Sole SB900 Review From an Instructor

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By Robbie Ferri, Cyclist, Personal Trainer, and Group Exercise Instructor.

The Sole SB900 is an excellent bike, and I feel although it’s not the cheapest on the market, it does offer great value for money, and it is a fantastic asset to anyone’s home fitness setup. Before we start, we have to mention that we are reviewing the latest models (2021, 2022), which have some significant improvements compared to the previous model. You can tell which model you are looking at by the buttons on the LCD screen. Red is the older model. Black is the newer models.

On-Sale!
Sole SB900 Bike
4.7

Equipped with a 48lbs flywheel, this bike is going to be super silent and going to feel incredibly solid at all times, including when you're in a maximum sprint. It comes with Bluetooth connectivity so that it can be used with third-party applications such as Zwift or Peloton.

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Pros and Cons

The SB900 Sole is an incredible bike and boasts some amazing stats, such as a huge 48lbs flywheel, but it does come with a few drawbacks. Here’s the low down on what to expect from this epic spinning bike.

Pros

  • Looks great
  • 48lbs Flywheel
  • Very compact Bike
  • Bluetooth Technology for third party Applications
  • 4 Way adjustable Handlebars and Saddle
  • Easy to Assemble and Install
  • LCD Display with Power Function
  • Tablet Holder

Cons

  • It is at the higher end of Spinning Bike Prices
  • Short Height Range

Can I use the Peloton Application with my Sole SB900?

A very common question we are often asked is, can you use the Peloton application with the Sole SB900, and on the new model with Bluetooth capabilities, yes you can. It will link up with your heart rate monitor and connect to the Peloton application with no issues at all. It’s straightforward to connect. All you need to do is activate the SB900’s Bluetooth and start a cycling program on the application, and on the right side of the screen, you can hit the connection button with the name of your bike.

You do lose a few of the features when you are not using a Peloton Official bike, such as you don’t get the leaderboard on the screen and some of the other metrics the instructors offer. It is about $25 cheaper though, and you’re not tied into that single one application. You can also use Zwift and many others. 

Detailed Review

On-Sale!
Sole SB900 Bike Sole SB900 Bike
4.7

Equipped with a 48lbs flywheel, this bike is going to be super silent and going to feel incredibly solid at all times, including when you're in a maximum sprint. It comes with Bluetooth connectivity so that it can be used with third-party applications such as Zwift or Peloton.

Specifications

  • Heavy Duty Steel Construction
  • 48lbs Flywheel Evenly Balanced
  • Magnetic Resistance
  • Belt Drive
  • LCD Monitor
  • Bluetooth Connection
  • Tablet Holder
  • Height Range 5ft to 6ft 2”
  • Footprint 42″ H x 40” L x 21” W

Quality and Construction

The bike is made very well, and the construction quality is very high. Sometimes it’s in the little details where it matters. I absolutely love the oversized tubing, and the fact they have out a sweat protective panel over the center goes a long way for me. It shows they have a concern for the bike‘s longevity and want it to look more streamlined.

Resistance

The resistance system is incredible and what they are using is an entirely frictionless system. So instead of a traditional bike where you have a brake pad creating the resistance on the flywheel instead, it uses a magnetic eddy current. Like the effect of putting two magnets next to each other, the bike works on a similar function. This means you have no friction, and the bike is silky smooth to ride, and very quiet.

sole sb900 resistance knob

It also comes with a belt drive, so unlike a traditional bike with a chain that requires oil and replacing every so often, a belt drive doesn’t. It is very low maintenance and makes the bike sturdier in those sprints and when you’re putting heavy power into it. The SB900 has an excellent resistance system, and it’s going to feel great to use. You use a dial to change the resistance on this bike, and it will be excellent for a beginner all the way up to a seasoned cycling pro.

The Flywheel is a whopping 48lbs, and it’s even weighted. This gives the bike stability from the weight, but also being evenly weighted, it makes the bike feel very smooth, and even when in a standing sprint, you will feel planted to the ground. 

Monitor

The Sole SB900 only has a small basic monitor on the front, but this isn’t a negative. It’s actually a pretty good bit of kit. It will show you all the standard data metrics from time, calories, distance rpm, speed, and heart rate. Then on top of that, it has power which is vital when it comes to using this with specific applications and tells you how hard you’re working at any given time.

sole sb900 monitor

Above the monitor, there is a tablet holder. It’s excellent for a tablet like an iPad or similar and is adjustable for larger or smaller screens. The bike hasn’t been designed like a Peloton to have a giant screen. It’s been designed to have a small monitor, and you have to add a tablet or device to use applications. I love that you have the best of both worlds from a traditional spinning setup and this interactive technology.

Connectivity

When it comes to the Sole SB900 connectivity, you have to ensure you’re getting the correct model. The old SB900 had red buttons on the screen, and it didn’t have Bluetooth. Then you have the SB900 with the black buttons on the screen, and these are the updated 2021 and 2022 models, which have Bluetooth.

The connectivity of this 2021 Sole SB900 is excellent, and when linked to a tablet, you get so many options for some excellent applications. You can use Zwift and get your indoor cyclist moves going on or jump onto Peloton and join a spinning class. I love that they have made this bike so open to pretty much any application on the market. You can also link a heart rate monitor and any other devices you might want to up to it as well. 

Comfort

As far as comfort goes with the SB900 spinning bike, you’re getting some good stuff. The saddle is well-shaped and padded. As with any saddle, it might take a few rides to get used to entirely, but typically, most people say it’s excellent from the get go. The handlebars are multi-position and give you a lot of places to work in, my favorite being the aero position where you lean your arms on each side of the screen.

sole sb900 saddle

Adjustability

The SB900 is an excellent bike, and it does have a lot of adjustabilities. The first thing to mention is unlike many bikes at this price, both the saddle and the handlebars are four-way adjustable. They can move up, down, forward, and back. Although this doesn’t sound like a big deal, it is and makes such a huge difference.

sole handlebars

This means that you can get that fit exactly right, and this is vital when buying a spinning bike for your own home. The height range is pretty short and goes between 5ft and 6ft 2”, so it might be worth looking at other bikes if you are not in this range. However, many reviews indicate that it can suit taller and shorter people.

Size and Portability

The bike is tiny as far as spinning bikes go, and for something with such a large flywheel has been excellently designed. It’s 42″ H x 40” L x 21” W, which means its got a tiny footprint and is roughly 10% – 20% smaller than most typical spinning bikes. It has wheels on the front, which gives it the ability to move around, and it’s not hard to move when you lean it forward. 

Pedals

On the SB900, you also have the twin pedals. You will be able to use clip-in cycling shoes and also be able to use flat shoes too. I love the fact they do this as standard. The pedals seem of a very high quality, and the bearings spin well.

Assembly and Setup

The SB900 isn’t difficult to assemble. They say it takes about an hour, but personally, I would allow for two and take your time and get it right the first time. The instructions are very clear, and it can be done by a single person alone with no trouble. You might notice there’s no power cord when it comes to the setup of this bike. One of the best things about this bike is that it doesn’t need external power. It has a battery in the monitor. 

Warranty and Returns 

The Sole SB900 has a lifetime warranty on the frame, three years on parts, and one year on labor. This, in my opinion, is excellent, and you can tell they take pride in the build quality. You also have a 30 day return policy if you change your mind after buying it. 

Alternative Comparisons 

There are a lot of different bikes on the market, and if you’re reading this, you’re probably looking at a few different ones. We have taken the majority of the Sole SB900s competitors, and we are going to tell you how they match up against each other.

Sole SB900 vs. Sole SB700

The Sole SB700 is a budget lower-end version of the SB900. The SB700 doesn’t have a lot of the features that the SB900 has. It doesn’t have a frictionless magnetic resistance system and instead uses a fiction pad which I personally wouldn’t want. It requires more servicing, is noisier, and creates more vibration. The SB700 also doesn’t look as good and is not as streamlined. The pedals don’t have the ability to clip in. Instead, you have toe straps. Finally, you don’t have the power function or Bluetooth connectivity.

Sole SB900 vs. Bowflex C6 / Schwinn IC4

The SB900 is very close to the Bowflex C6 in the specification, and they both share similar technology. The SB900 does have a power function that tells you how hard you’re working when the Bowflex C6 has a gear level on the screen instead. I felt the Bowflex did look better as it’s entirely color-coded. Internally they have very similar resistance systems, and both have that magnetic resistance and belt drive. If you want to know more, then check out this article where we compare them in detail.

Related: Differences Between Bowflex C6 & Schwinn IC4

Sole SB900 vs Keiser M3i

The Keiser is an incredible machine and one of the only bikes fully built and produced in the US. It is a different beast than the SB900 and is of slightly higher quality, and does have some very few differences that challenge the SB900. Firstly the power function is not an estimation but a direct strain gauge. Secondly, the pedals are unique in design, specially made for indoor cycling, and have incredible design features like uprated bearings and rounded bottoms. The resistance system is of astonishing quality and feels it when being ridden. To find out more, check out our article on the Keiser M3i.

SB900 vs. Echelon EX3

The Echelon, in my opinion, does look amazing with the rear-facing flywheel and sleek design. The Echelon is a smart bike, but it doesn’t have a screen, unlike the SB900. It would be best if you had a tablet or smartphone to get the best capability out of the bike. It is locked to the Echelon application and is heavily focused on using their application which is $39 a month. It’s tough to use as a stand alone spin bike as it doesn’t have a primary monitor when the SB900 can work in a traditional sense and has the option to add the tablet and make it an interactive machine. 

SB900 vs. The Peloton

The legendary Peloton is an excellent bike, and it has had a lot of success. Like the Echelon, they are trying you onto their application, and without paying the $39 a month, you are very limited. The Peloton is well designed and is of a high standard. With the Sole SB900, you could have a similar experience using the Peloton application, as mentioned above. The SB900 is a much better all-around bike, in my opinion. Not only is it cheaper to buy outright, but in the long run as well, you save money, and it can give a similar experience.

What do the customer reviews say?

Although I highly rate the Sole SB900, it’s vital to understand it from other cyclists and spinners points of view. After hitting the reviews and reading many from various places, here’s what I find is a common issue. Customer service can be hard to deal with if you have problems, but they get the job done. 

What are the common issues?

A common issue many people get is rust on the steel frame. This is common in many bikes when people don’t tend to wipe the sweat off after a workout regularly. Apart from that, people sometimes don’t tighten the pedals enough, and it ends up damaging the crank. These can both be easily avoided.

FAQs

Does the Sole SB900 have Bluetooth?

The most recent models from 2021 and 2022 do have a Bluetooth function. The earlier models didn’t make sure you are buying the later models.

Does the Sole SB900 work with Zwift?

It sure does. This is one of the bike’s best features and why I highly recommend it to many people looking for a home spinning bike.

Conclusion

sole sb900 review featured

The Sole SB900 is an excellent bike, and I highly recommend it if you are looking for an indoor cycle. I love it because it can work as a traditional spinning bike, and it also has all the capability to function as an entertainment bike. It’s well worth the money and a lot of fun.

Robbie Ferri

A Personal Trainer and Ultra Cyclist living in King's Lynn in Norfolk, UK. From Ultra Cycling World Records to Bikepacking Races and a huge amount of time on the gym floor training myself and clients my experience when it comes to Health and Fitness is vast.

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