Looking at the price, it makes sense to call Sole’s B94 a budget upright bike, but when you see the specs and features it comes with something just doesn’t feel right.
I guess that’s because when I hear the term “budget bike” I instantly think of a lightweight cycle with mediocre performance specs and an equally mediocre warranty.
And none of that applies to the B94 – quite the opposite actually.
This affordable bike comes with a 20 lb flywheel, 20 levels of magnetic resistance, a heavy-duty frame, bluetooth speakers, and an included chest strap.
And it’s also backed by a warranty that makes a lot of bikes costing 2x as much envious.
In other words, if you’re looking for a quality upright bike that won’t destroy your budget, I think Sole’s B94 is one of the best options out there.
But before you decide, it’s important to learn as much as ya can – and that’s where I can help.
In this review, I’ll go over all the key specs and features you should know about regarding the Sole B94 before you make a decision.
After reading, you’ll know whether or not this is the right exercise bike for you.
Let’s do this.
The Sole B94 Upright Bike
Sole’s a popular home fitness brand with plenty of great machines to choose from.
I get the impression they’re most well-known for their treadmills, but if you ask me, I think all of their cardio machines are of equal quality.
I like Sole because their machines are straightforward, easy-to-use, and usually built heavier-duty than most comps in their price ranges.
Well, that and they offer some of the best warranties around.
Speaking of price ranges, most Sole products fall in the moderate price range, but more on that in a bit.
The B94 is one of two upright bikes in their lineup and it’s the most affordable one to date (with the other being the higher-end LCB).
- 20 lb flywheel
- 20 levels of magnetic resistance
- Heavy-duty frame
- 300 lb weight limit
- Fully adjustable seat
- Bluetooth compatible
- Bluetooth speakers
- USB charging port
- Chest strap heart rate monitor included
- Cooling fan
- Tablet holder
- Great warranty
- Console fairly basic
- Not many built-in workout programs
When I’m checking out exercise bikes, I concentrate more on the performance side of things more so than the console features.
I think this is the smartest move to ensure you get a quality bike that’ll feel nice during workouts.
The most important of these performance specs has gotta be the resistance system.
Regardless of what type of exercise bike you’re looking at, they all basically use the same type of resistance system- a spinning flywheel and a magnetic or friction brake resistance mechanism.
The B94 is a magnetic bike, so we can skip the friction brake talk for now (just know that magnetic systems are superior).
You may’ve heard a lot of talk about flywheel weights with regards to spin bikes – well, turns out flywheel weight is important for upright bikes too.
And for the same reason.
Most home bikes are designed to benefit from a heavier flywheel – the extra weight helps the flywheel build more momentum as it spins, which makes for a smoother pedal motion.
That said, upright bikes aren’t especially known for having heavy flywheels.
The B94 comes with a 20 lb flywheel, which sounds kinda wimpy when compared to the 40 – 50 lb flywheels found on a lot of spin bikes.
But 20 lb is actually pretty impressive for an upright bike, especially one in this price range.
For the sake of comparison, the similarly priced Nautilus U618 comes with a 13 lb flywheel (and this is another one of the best bikes in this price range).
And NordicTrack’s slightly more expensive Commercial VU 19 comes with a 19 lb flywheel.
Sole pairs the B94’s heavy flywheel with 20 levels of magnetic resistance, giving you a fair amount of control over the intensity of your workouts.
Keep in mind that more resistance levels doesn’t mean more overall resistance, but it does mean you can make smaller changes to that resistance between levels.
Overall, I think the 20 lb flywheel is one of this bike’s best features and I like that it comes with plenty of resistance levels.
Users also generally agree that the B94 offers a smooth workout.
I mentioned earlier that Sole tends to make their machines heavier-duty than the competition – well, time to get a little more specific.
First though, I want to say that it gets on my nerves when I see the term “heavy-duty” thrown around carelessly by fitness bloggers…
And I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of doing it too, especially in my early days, but not every exercise bike is heavy-duty.
When I use the term, I try to be as literal as possible – that’s why I recommend that my readers always check out a bike’s assembled weight.
This simple little spec tells you exactly how heavy the bike is before you purchase.
And heavier bikes are more likely to feel stable and secure – otherwise known as “heavy-duty”.
Ok, now that my rant is over, let’s move on.
The B94 comes with an assembled weight of 123 lb, which is amazing for a bike under $1000 (P.S. – assembled weights over 100 lb are pretty good for most bikes).
Most bikes in this price range fall somewhere in the 80 lb range, give or take.
With an assembled weight this high, the B94 is going to feel a lot more substantial than most other bikes in this price range.
It’s also a good idea to look at the weight capacity – again, higher numbers are a good sign of superior build quality.
The B94 comes with a max weight limit of 300 lb, which is pretty common for quality bikes (and not a given in this price range).
Otherwise, this bike takes up a footprint of roughly 2′ x 4′, which is pretty standard.
Overall, the sheer weight of the B94 is a good thing in my book and another key difference between it and most other bikes in this price range.
Sole Fitness backs their B94 Upright Bike with the following residential warranty:
- Lifetime frame
- 3 year parts/electronics
- 1 year labor
See, I told ya Sole doesn’t mess around with their warranties.
It’s rare to see a lifetime frame warranty on any exercise bike, much less one costing under $1k.
For the sake of comparison, Nautilus (who also offers some of the best warranties around) only backs their U618 up with a 10 year frame guarantee.
Three years on parts/electronics is also great, considering 1-2 years is common in this price range (NordicTrack offers 2 year parts warranties).
One year on labor is pretty standard operating procedure for any price range.
Overall, the B94 comes with the best warranty you’re going to find in this price range.
The B94 comes with the following included features:
9″ LCD console- the console on this bike is pretty basic, no fancy HD touchscreens or anything like that, but it’s large and brightly lit for easy viewing.
10 workout programs- Sole doesn’t cram a ton of workouts programs in their bikes, but with 10 options to choose from, it’s got plenty to keep ya busy. These workouts include 6 standard profiles, 2 heart rate guided ones, and 2 custom workouts.
Fully adjustable seat- you can adjust both the height and fore/aft position of the seat, making it easy to find a comfortable riding position.
Bluetooth- the B94 is bluetooth friendly, allowing you to connect it to popular fitness apps for scenic rides and metric tracking.
Bluetooth speakers- you can also use bluetooth to wirelessly connect your phone or tablet to the bike and listen to your workout jams through the built-in speakers.
USB charging- this is a convenient feature that allows you to charge your device during workouts.
Heart rate monitoring- this bike comes with built-in grip monitors and is also compatible with strap monitors for more accurate readings during workouts. Sole even includes a chest strap with purchase.
Cooling fan- there’s a built-in fan to help keep ya comfortable during those harder rides.
Tablet holder- the tablet holder is placed above your console, so you don’t have to worry about blocking the view of your display screen when using your tablet.
Water bottle holder- this feature is pretty self-explanatory.
Ok, time to talk price.
At the time of writing this, the Sole B94 is on sale for $599.
Now that price might vary a little throughout the year, but it should always cost under $1k (unless something really drastic changes after writing this).
Other top upright bikes in this price range include the Nautilus U618 which I’ve mentioned a few times already, as well as NordicTrack’s Commercial VU 19 and ProForm’s 8.0 EX.
The B94 is heavier-duty, comes with a heavier flywheel, and is backed by a longer warranty than all of those other bikes.
Now all of those other bikes come with more workout options, so if that’s something you’re looking for, one of these other bikes would be a better option.
Well, I think it’s about time to wrap this review up.
It’s probably pretty clear by now that I think the B94 is a very nice upright bike.
For me, it’s all about the performance specs.
And the B94 is packing more muscle than any other bike I’ve come across in this price range.
With a 20 lb flywheel, 20 resistance levels, and an impressively heavy-duty frame, this bike is well prepared to take on folks looking for a legit workout.
I also love that Sole backs it with such a generous warranty.
The biggest downside would be that it doesn’t come that many built-in workout programs – so if workout variety is a priority for you, this might not be the best option.
But if you’re looking for a rock solid upright bike that can offer a smooth workout, Sole’s B94 is as good as it gets in this price range. Highly recommended.