Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3872 Under Desk Elliptical Review

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SF-E3872 review

The Sunny SF-E3872 is a light-capacity elliptical trainer. As opposed to a stepper, it’s made for seated workouts; it does not support the user in a standing up exercising routine that’s why it doesn’t have a specified weight capacity. It can be compared with the Cubii trainer but lacks the online connectivity.

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Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 24L x 19W x 11H inches (61L x 48W x 28H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 24.2 lbs (11 kg)
  • Stride length: 7 inches (17.7 cm)
  • Drive: Belt
  • Resistance: Manual magnetic, 8 levels
  • Fitness meter: Time, distance, speed, calories, scan
  • Warranty: Frame 1 year / Parts 180 days

Frame construction and parts

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3872 under desk elliptical trainer features a steel internal frame and base plate. The steel frame and the plate are welded together (no screws involved); this considerably improves the overall sturdiness of the unit. All the steel parts are coated with a corrosion-resistant paint, black in color.

The external covers and the pedal trays are made of ABS material. The ABS covers are white, while the pedals are black, these being the only colors available for this Sunny elliptical trainer.

The unit comes fully assembled and offers excellent portability. The ABS covers feature a lifting handle at the top which allows you easily lift and carry your under-desk elliptical. The unit is not too heavy but still weighs approx. 24.2 lbs (11 kg).

The Sunny SF-3872 is fairly small. Its footprint is approx. 24″L x 19″W (61 x 48 cm), while the top of the center unit reaches approx. 11″ (28 cm) above floor level. This being said, it should fit under any desk and stored under the bed.

This under-desk elliptical doesn’t have adjustable levelers. However, the front metallic base features rubberized end caps while the rear metallic plate on which the pedal wheels slide has two EVA pads. These considerably improve the unit’s adherence, preventing it from slipping even if it’s placed on a tile or hardwood floor.

The unit’s pedals are large enough to accommodate shoes of all sizes. They have inner and rear guards for extra foot stability and an anti-slip textured surface. The pedals are attached to two short steel bars featuring wheels on their rear side and attached to the crank arms on the front side. The wheels integrate ball bearings for a smoother usage. They also have a thick silicone outer cover for noise reduction. This being said, the usage of the elliptical is almost completely silent.

One last aspect to mention here regards the unit’s stride. Of course, since it’s not a standard elliptical trainer, it doesn’t offer the long-striding motion. Its stride length is approx. 7″ (17.7 cm) which should be enough for any user who wants to exercise while seated at the desk.

Resistance and drive

The Sunny SF-E3872 elliptical is equipped with a manual magnetic resistance system. This being said, it doesn’t require an external power source to increase or decrease the pedaling difficulty. The only power source it needs is a battery for the exercise meter (it can work without it, anyway). It also doesn’t have preset workout programs and does not adjust the resistance automatically.

The unit’s resistance system consists of an internal magnetic brake connected to the tension knob on top of the ABS casing via a short steel cable. By turning the knob clockwise, the magnetic brake moves closer to the flywheel which increases the intensity of the magnetic field. This leads to extra pedaling difficult.

The resistance system offers 8 distinct difficulty levels. But nonetheless, since it’s an under-desk machine, it doesn’t generate a super pedaling difficulty even if the 8th tension level is selected. The unit is made for a light-impact workout and muscle toning.

Although it’s a small elliptical machine, it does integrate a flywheel. This element weighs approx. 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg). It is perimeter weighted to add a bit of consistency and inertia to the pedaling motion. It also permits reverse pedaling.

The unit’s drive system uses a durable rubber belt. This means you don’t have to take the covers apart to lubricate its transmission. Also, this belt drive system contributes to the smoothness and quietness of the ride, as a belt drive delivers less vibration than a chain.

Exercise meter

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3872 under desk elliptical is equipped with a small fitness meter. As we’ve mentioned above, this unit is battery-powered. It requires one LR44 battery which is included.

Needless to say, the meter unit is a basic one. It doesn’t have a pulse reading function or preset programs and does not connect online as the Cubii model that we’ve already reviewed. It features an LCD display with two main sections which tracks time, distance, speed, and calories burned. Speed is always shown in the top section of the display, while the bottom part indicates time, distance traveled, and calories burned. Speed and distance are shown in MPH and miles; there is no setting for metric units (km/h and kilometers).

The meter unit is very easy to use. It has only one button. By pressing the button repeatedly, you can select the values that you want to view on the display, or you can select the Scan Mode. When the Scan function is selected, the unit will rotate time, distance, and calories at the bottom, showing each one for a few seconds. The unit’s button also has a Reset function. By pressing and holding it for four seconds, it clears all the values on the meter.

Last but not least, the meter unit has a sleep function. If there is no activity on the elliptical for four minutes, it will automatically turn off to save battery. It automatically turns back on when you begin pedaling or when you press the button.

Assembly and Maintenance

This Sunny under desk elliptical comes fully assembled. You simply need to remove it from the box and start pedaling. The battery is also already installed.

In terms of maintenance, there isn’t much to be done either. The internal parts don’t require any lubrication. However, if the joints of the pedals or the wheels develop squeaking noises, a bit of WD-40 or lubricant oil should do the trick. Other than this, you only have to keep the unit clean.

Pros

  • Compact construction, small footprint;
  • Lifting handle included;
  • Non-slip front caps and EVA base pads;
  • Extra-large pedals with inner and rear guards;
  • Large silicone wheels for reduced noise;
  • No-friction, magnetic resistance system (8 levels);
  • Belt drive system for a smooth and quiet pedaling motion;
  • Exercise meter included;
  • Battery for the meter included;
  • Comes fully assembled;
  • Little maintenance required.

Cons

  • Does not support standing up exercising (exclusively for use while seated).
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