The Tornado LX is Sunny Health and Fitness’ premiere air bike and it comes with some great features for the price.
Highlights of this cleverly-named exercise bike include a 27″ fan, a fully adjustable seat, and an impressive weight capacity of 330 lb.
It’s also pretty heavy-duty for such a reasonably-priced air bike and comes with a solid console that can track all the standard workout metrics you’d expect.
The biggest downside I see is that the warranty’s a bit short – I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s a deal breaker, but it could be depending on price (but more on that later).
Overall, I think the Tornado LX is a pretty nice fan bike, but I’m just not sure it’s the best buy in this price range.
If you’re thinking about investing in this bike, you’ve come to the right place – in this review, I’ll be going over everything this air bike does and doesn’t have going for it.
After reading, you’ll know whether or not it’s the right bike for ya.
Well, let’s get started already.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Tornado LX Fan Bike
Sunny Health & Fitness (SHF) is a well-known budget brand. You can buy directly through their site, but you often get better deals shopping through other retailers, like Amazon.
SHF has earned a good reputation for providing decent equipment for the price – something that can’t be said for all budget fitness brands.
Sunny has a huge lineup of machines to choose from, offering a little bit of everything cardio related, but personally, I think it’s their bikes that stand out the most.
You can get some great deals with this brand if you’re not looking for anything fancy.
Anyway, the Tornado LX is their highest-end fan bike to date and I’d just like to mention that I love this bike’s name.
Most of Sunny’s bikes come with generic model numbers, making them hard to differentiate, but not this one… “the Tornado LX”… just sounds badass.
- 27.5″ fan
- 330 lb weight limit
- 7 workout programs
- Heavy-duty frame
- Fully adjustable seat
- Heart rate monitoring
- Tablet holder
- Reasonably priced
- Sleek appearance
- Warranty could be longer
- No water bottle holder
But let’s be real, a cool name isn’t enough reason to invest in an exercise bike (or is it?…no, of course not).
We need bikes that can perform and help us get in better shape and when it comes to this stuff, air bikes are great options.
Air bikes can be be some of the most potent exercise machines on the planet – when it comes to getting your heart rate up, burning calories, and losing fat, these bikes are hard to match.
This is mostly because of the progressive way their fan resistance systems work.
There’s no need to get into the gritty details of how the aerodynamics work, but basically, the harder you pedal, the more resistance you feel.
This makes an air bike a great tool for interval training and all-out cardio workouts because it doesn’t take long for ’em to completely exhaust you.
This is one of the reasons the CrossFit folks use ’em so regularly (you can look up videos of people literally burning 50+ calories in 1 minute… crazy).
Well, all fan bikes work by the same principle of the harder you pedal, the more resistance you get – but there are still some differences to look for between models.
And one in particular is the size of the fan itself.
You’ll notice that not all fan bikes come with the same sized fan – more affordable air bike tend to come with smaller fans, while more expensive ones usually come with larger ones.
And even though they all work by the same principle, having a larger fan will still provide more overall resistance than a smaller one.
Larger fan = more air = more overall resistance.
The largest fan we see on air bikes these days is 27″ and this is the size of the fan found on the Tornado LX.
So, based on the fan size, the Tornado LX should be able to provide just as much resistance as these other elite fan bikes.
Something else worth considering though is the type of drive train used – chain or belt.
Chain drives can work just as well as belts, but they tend to create a bit more noise and may need to be lubricated every once and awhile for optimal performance.
To be honest, the fan on these bikes makes enough noise that you probably won’t notice the extra noise created by the chain, but chain drives are technically louder than belt drives.
With this in mind, the Tornado LX uses a chain drive.
The Assault Bikes still use chain drives too, although the Echo and the Schwinn Airdyne AD7 both use belt drives (they’re both also more expensive too).
Overall, the Tornado LX scores highly with a large fan, allowing it to provide as much resistance as you can handle.
Oh, almost forgot – the handles allow you to work your arms and legs at the same time, but there are also stationary pegs you can prop your feet on when you want to target your arms.
The fan is large on this bike, which I like, but I also like that the frame itself is pretty robust.
When comparing bikes, I always like to check out their assembled weights because I feel this spec can give us a good idea as to how stable or “heavy-duty” we can expect the bike to feel.
And seeing a higher assembled weight is a good thing for me, because I would expect a heavier bike to feel more secure.
I mean, commercial fitness equipment is always a lot heavier and those machines certainly feel more stable than most home models.
Now it’s true, heavier bikes will be a little harder to move around, but I think it’s worth it for the extra stability you get while riding it.
Anyway, the Tornado LX comes with an assembled weight of around 99 lb, which is pretty good when we compare it to the weights of other similarly priced fan bikes.
The AssaultBike Classic, for example, comes with an assembled weight of roughly 96 lb, so there’s that.
The Airdyne AD6 weighs a bit more at 112 lb and the Echo Bike weighs a lot more at roughly 127 lb, but at around 100 lb, the Tornado is pretty solid.
This bike also comes with a weight limit of 330 lb, which is pretty darn impressive for a bike in this price range.
It’s also higher than the 300 lb weight limits found on the AssaultBike Classic and Airdyne AD6.
So, overall, I’d say the Tornado XL holds its own quite well when it comes to the heavy-dutiness of its frame (yea, I know, I don’t think that’s a real word either).
Sunny Health & Fitness backs their Tornado XL with the following home warranty:
- 3 year frame
- 180 days parts
The bike itself holds its own pretty well when you look at the performance specs, but SHF’s warranty is a bit lackluster.
Especially when compared to what the other comps are offering.
Honestly, 3 years on the frame isn’t that bad for an exercise bike in this price range, but the fact is, it’s still shorter than the 5 year frame guarantee on the AssaultBike Classic and the 10 year guarantee Schwinn offers on their Airdynes.
Surprisingly, Rogue only offers a 2 year warranty on the Echo Bike, but that thing is so heavy-duty I don’t think we could damage it if we tried.
6 months on parts is really short too – Assault Fitness and Schwinn both offer 2 year parts warranties on their respective air bikes.
And SHF doesn’t offer a labor warranty at all.
Overall, there’s certainly room for improvement in the warranty department.
The Tornado LX Fan Bike comes with the following features:
LCD monitor- the console on this bike is pretty simple and it isn’t backlit, but it does display all the metrics you’d likely want to keep track of (time, distance, calories, speed, rpm, watt output, and pulse).
7 workout options- it also comes with 7 workout programs, including 3 goal oriented countdowns, 2 preset interval programs, a heart rate guided workout, and a custom interval option.
Heart rate monitoring- surprisingly, the console is compatible with chest strap heart rate monitors, but one isn’t included with purchase.
Fully adjustable seat- the seat is fully adjustable, meaning you can adjust the height and fore/aft positions easily for a comfortable fit.
Tablet holder- there’s a place to put your tablet/phone during workouts, just know that it will block your view of the console.
Transport wheels- these built-in wheels make it a lot easier to move the bike around.
The time has come to talk dollars.
At the time of writing this, SHF has the Tornado LX listed full price at $699, but Amazon is offering it quite a bit cheaper at $575.
I also did a quick internet search and didn’t see anybody else offering it any cheaper than that.
I’ve already mentioned a few of the top competitors in this price range, but I want to bring ’em up again here.
The most obvious competitor is the AssaultBike Classic, which Assault has listed at $699 at the moment.
The AssaultBike has been the gold standard for air bikes for some time and was even used in the CrossFit Games for several years, but in terms of specs, the biggest advantage it has is the longer warranty mentioned above.
Schwinn’s Airdyne AD6 is priced around $799, so a little pricier, but it comes with a much longer warranty and a heavier-duty frame (smaller fan though).
There’s also the Rogue Echo Bike, which is even more expensive at around $845 – it’s a lot heavier-duty, but only backed by a 2 year warranty.
So, based on these prices and the Tornado’s specs, I’d say it’s definitely in the right ballpark…
But personally, I’d like to see the price on the Tornado under $500.
If it was just a little cheaper, I think it would make a lot more sense because right now, it’s only about $100 less than the AssaultBike Classic.
And given the AssaultBike’s incredible reputation and much longer warranty, I think it’s worth the extra cash.
That said, I do think Sunny has a great product here.
The Tornado LX is a heavy-duty air bike with a large fan and a monitor that’s comparable to most (and I still think it’s one of the best air bikes on the market).
The only real downside I see is that short warranty.
So again, personally, I think the AssaultBike Classic‘s price is close enough to make it the better buy here, but if every dollar counts, the Tornado LX wouldn’t be a bad option.