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Last Updated: May 1, 2023
The Sole SB900 is one of our Best Bikes in 2023. It is also our Best Buy Bike for its quality frame and affordable price. Sole has a reputation for building high-quality fitness equipment and the SB900 is no different. It does not feature some of the updated tech found on more expensive bikes, but it is a great option for indoor spin enthusiasts who just want a quality bike that doesn’t need WiFi, an internet connection, or to be plugged in.
Awards: Best Exercise Bike Without A Subscription
We love that the Sole SB900 is a low-tech, hop-on-and-ride, exercise bike. It is incredibly smooth and stable to use, as well. The Sole SB900 Exercise Bike holds the award as the best exercise bike without a subscription on our best exercise bikes list. We recommend considering this bike for your home if you are looking for a hearty indoor cycling bike that doesn’t require subscription content to use or even an outlet.
Why Trust Our Review Of The Sole SB900
Our team of reviewers teaches indoor cycling classes and spends a lot of time in the saddle logging miles. We also have been fortunate enough to be able to review exercise bikes from all kinds of brands. This experience allows us to determine which bikes are best, as well as aspects they can improve upon. It also helps us compile full reviews like this one.
When testing the Sole SB900, we were able to draw from our experience using other equipment from Sole, and compare the bike directly to bikes like the Sole SB700, BowFlex C6, and the NordicTrack S22i.
Our Video Review
- Heavy duty steel construction:
- The SB900 is a well-engineered spin bike. It was designed by both indoor and outdoor cyclists. Steel tubing with aluminum shroud makes Sole bikes sturdy but still lightweight. The overall design is simple and streamlined for cycling enthusiasts.
- SPD/Toe Clip Pedals:
- You can clip in via SPD cleats on one side, or ride a flat pedal with cages on the other. Both options hold your foot in securely while riding so you can maximize motion through that pedal stroke. By clipping in or using cages, you can pull up at the top of the pedal stroke to better engage the glutes and hamstrings as opposed to all downward, quad-dominant motion.
- Front Mounted Transport wheels and Rear balancing feet:
- Wheels under the front stabilizer allow you to tip and roll the bike out of the way when not in use. Grippy feet under the rear stabilizer hold the bike securely so it doesn’t rock during your ride.
- 48lb Chrome-Plated Flywheel:
- A heavy flywheel makes all the difference! When riding a stationary bike, the front wheel doesn’t move with the same momentum as it would outdoors. If the flywheel is not heavy enough, it makes the pedal stroke feel heavy and jerky as the pedals lose momentum in the rotation. A weighted flywheel glides smoothly as the energy from your pedal stroke creates kinetic energy in the wheel. The forward inertia keeps the wheel spinning evenly throughout the rotation so there is no jerkiness in the pedal stroke.
- 3″ X 4″ LCD Integrated console displays heart rate, RPM, Time, kCal, distance, and speed:
- The LCD display provides a nice readout of your ride metrics. It is large enough to see, but not so big it gets in your way. Sole machines are not designed to feature a lot of tech.
- Eddy Current Magnetic Resistance:
- Magnetic resistance is ideal on an indoor bike. The magnets create external resistance on the flywheel without any actual friction, so there is no wear on pads or the wheel. This prolongs the life of the flywheel and makes it so the pedal stroke is nearly silent. Braking is quiet as well.
- Resistance Knob:
- This is the only aspect of the SB900 I would improve. While the resistance knob gives the rider a tactile feel for how much resistance they add with each turn — there are no digital resistance buttons. This makes it slightly more challenging to move between levels quickly and consistently.
- Comfortable Handlebars with extension grips:
- SB900 handlebars offer multiple resting points and feature a lightly coated spongy grip for comfort. This grip material won’t harbor bacteria and is easily wiped off.
- 4 Adjustment Points:
- The ability to adjust the bike four ways is vital to finding the correct fit. You can move the seat forward/aft and up/down. You can move the handlebars forward/aft and up/down. This allows riders of all sizes to find the fit that works best for them.
- Lifetime Frame Warranty:
- A lifetime frame warranty reaffirms Sole’s commitment to quality products. These are solid, well-built machines that Sole expects to hold up to regular use.
- Heavy duty steel construction
- 42″ H x 40” L x 21” W Footprint
- Bike only weighs 160 lbs.
- Hybrid Pedals with SPD/Toe Clip options
- Transport wheels on front stabilizer
- Leveling feet on rear stabilizer
- Belt drive creates quiet flywheel motion
- Flywheel weight: 48 pounds
- Simple console displays heart rate, RPM, Time, kCal, distance, and speed
- Magnetic Resistance is smooth and quiet
- Resistance Knob
- 3” x 4” LCD Workout Display
- Chest Strap Compatible heart rate monitoring
- Handlebars offer multidirectional resting points
- 4 Adjustment Points:
- Adjustable Seat: Vertical/Horizontal
- Adjustable Handlebars: Vertical/Horizontal
- 2 Water Bottle Holders
- Lifetime Warranty: Frame
- 3 Year Warranty: Electronics
- 3 Year Warranty: Parts
- 1 Year Warranty: Labor
In-depth Review of SB900
- Sole builds structurally sound, well-engineered fitness equipment. We always trust Sole to provide quality components and hearty construction. Steel parts are coated with anti-corrosive textured paint for protection and heavy-duty steel tubing in the frame supports users up to 300 pounds. The SB900 is a sturdy bike with a solid frame that won’t tip or wobble when you are riding.
- Front and rear stabilizers with adjustable leveling feet keep it balanced. You can twist the feet under each stabilizer to make sure the bike sits firmly on your floor and doesn’t rock.
- Front wheels also make it easy to pivot and move out of the way. Construction is one of the SB900’s top selling points and Sole backs up all its products with a full, lifetime frame warranty.
- Height: 42″
- Length: 40″
- Width: 21″
- Item Weight(lbs.): 160 lbs.
- Weight Capacity(lbs.): 300 lbs.
There are four adjustment points on the Sole SB900. You can raise and lower the seat as well as slide it forward and aft. You can also raise and lower the handlebars and pull them fore and aft as well.
Four adjustment points make it so this bike will work well for riders of all sizes. Finding the right bike fit is important and the SB900 makes it easy to find your perfect geometry each ride.
- Who loves a 48-pound flywheel? We do! The wheel creates and maintains your pedal motion on an exercise bike and the 48-pound Sole SB900 flywheel is nothing short of fluid. Functionality is streamlined between pedals and flywheel so there’s no jerkiness or pauses in the rotation.
- A striking red and black design makes the saddle look chic! The saddle feels comfortable for long rides and makes time on the SB900 enjoyable. We’ve tested lots of exercise bikes and the feel of the saddle is the single biggest factor in overall comfort. The Sole saddles are well padded. Sometimes, the texture of the fabric on the saddle can make a rubbing noise, but that doesn’t affect the feel or cushioning of the seat.
- The SB900 has a backlit LCD console with basic metrics mounted on the front handlebars. In the light, it is easy to see the large, digital numbers. But if you like riding in the dark while watching a show or something, the numbers can be hard to see. This isn’t the most intuitive display and even though you can see the numbers, the header for each readout is really small, so you kind of have to remember what number correlates with each metric.
Both horizontal and vertical grips enable you to ride in different postures. EKG HR sensors are not integrated on the handlebar for heart rate monitoring, but a chest strap can be purchased separately from Sole.
There is a tablet holder at the top of the handlebars. A tablet is not included with the bike, but you can place any phone or tablet or even a book here. The adjustable clip slides up and down to hold your device securely. The handlebars are plenty long. I had a hard time reaching the end. This should provide plenty of space for riders of all sizes.
The SB900 pedals are two-sided. One side is a flat pedal with an adjustable cage and strap that will work with any athletic shoe. The other side of the pedal has an SPD clip so you can ride clipped in if you prefer. Hybrid pedals are great because serious riders who swear by their cycling shoes can easily clip in while casual riders can ride in their regular athletic shoes.
- No fans
- No weights
- There are water bottle cages below the handlebars
- A nice tablet holder attached to the handlebars with an adjustable clip will hold most personal devices securely. This is a nice feature because there’s limited tech on the SB900 so it’s nice to watch a show or listen to a podcast while riding.
- Heart Rate Chest Strap included — this will sync with the console for HR training
- There’s really no storage on the SB900. It’s probably best to place your bike next to a small table for your phone and other personal items.
I love how it feels to ride the SB900. You can tell Sole has used quality components on this bike. It just feels solid. The drawbacks are limited tech, non-specific resistance, and a rather small LCD screen, but if you are a person who just wants to spin on a quality bike, this is the perfect option.
Incline / Decline range
There is no incline or decline.
The Sole SB900 uses a resistance knob that is just below the handlebars for easy reach. The resistance is magnetic, and therefore very quiet. There is no noise while riding. However,
I don’t love non-specific resistance knobs. While you can adjust the tension easily via the knob, there’s no digital readout for specific resistance levels, which means you are adjusting all by feel. While the console does display your RPMs, calories, and distance, it doesn’t provide a readout for resistance. You can set a specific resistance level and then find it again each time. This type of resistance requires riders to ride very much by feel.
There are no pre-programmed workouts. The LCD displays metric readouts only, it does not feature any programs you can follow.
Sole does not have an app or any subscription options for the SB900. The drawback here is you don’t have as many options but you don’t need WiFi or internet to use the SB900. Just pedal and go!
The Eddy Current Magnetic resistance is silent. The Drive system is smooth so there is no pedaling noise.
Storage / Folding
The SB900 doesn’t fold, but it only weighs 136 pounds, so it’s easy to move out of the way when not in use.