The Sunny Carbon Pro SF-E3981 Elliptical trainer is an excellent rear-drive system for low-impact cardiovascular exercise. It’s great for users of all fitness levels and anyone needing recovery training after surgery or starting an in-home calorie-burning exercise routine.
With ten levels of magnetic resistance, you can change up your workouts to help you reach your health and fitness goals! The 13 lb (5.9 kg) flywheel in the elliptical rear enables you to balance toward the machine’s center, making it a smoother position for the user. In addition, with the 16-inch stride length, you’ll burn calories more efficiently at an optimal performance rate.
The Sunny Carbon Pro SF-E3981 Elliptical has a fitness monitor with an LCD that tracks time, speed, distance, calories burned, RPM, and pulse. The pulse reading function is hand-grip contact only. The steadier & more prolonged elevated heart rate is during a workout; the more calories get burned, the more weight you lose.
In addition, the SF-E3981 features full-motion handlebars that engage your upper body for a full-body exercise by moving your arms, shoulders, chest, and back muscles. Keep your feet moving safely with the SF-E3981 textured non-slip foot pedals that accommodate all sizes.
Learn more in my complete review below!
Product: Sunny Carbon Pro SF-E3981 Elliptical
Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 180 days
My rating: is 8/10
Affiliate Disclosure: As a Sunny Health & Fitness Affiliate Program participant, I earn commissions on purchases made through links in the post. Full disclosure
Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 69.3L x 28.7W x 64.8H inches (176L x 73W x 165H cm)
- Assembled weight: 95.5 lbs (43.3 kg)
- Supported weight: 265 lbs (120 kg)
- Stride: 16 inches (41 cm)
- Incline: No
- Resistance: Manual magnetic, ten levels
- Fitness Monitor: Time, speed, distance, calories, pulse, RPM, scan, goals
- Extras: Device holder
- Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 180 days
SF-E3981 Frame Construction
The Sunny Carbon Pro SF-E3981 Elliptical features a steel frame combining cylindrical and oval tubing in its construction. In addition, the whole frame comes double-coated with a thick black paint finish black.
The machine also integrates several parts made from a rigid thermoplastic material. The most notable ones are the pedal trays and the covers of the drive system. The casing of the fitness monitor is also plastic-made. All the plastic parts and caps are black or dark gray to match the machine’s frame.
The fully assembled trainer is relatively large. It is approximately 69.3″ (176 cm) long and 28.7″ (73 cm) wide, while its moving arms reach a height of approximately 64.8″ (165 cm) above the floor. Allowing at least two feet of clearance around the elliptical is also advisable for correct safe usage and ease of access.
The machine is also pretty heavy, weighing approximately 95.5 lbs (43.3 kg) with all the parts assembled. Thus, two people should transport the packaged elliptical. However, once completed, one person can move the elliptical as its front base bar integrates two small transport wheels. In addition, both base stabilizers also feature adjustable levelers.
This Sunny Health & Fitness elliptical has two fixed handlebars and one mobile. The fixed handlebars attach directly to the front upright bar of the machine with two screws, so they are non-adjustable. In addition, they integrate pulse sensors and have short grips.
The moving arms feature more extended grips without any sensors or controls. Instead, they connect to the pedal bars and the upper mid-section of the front mast of the machine. Thus, they do not remain stationary while you pedal; they continue to move for as long as you pedal.
Elliptical path, stride, and pedal height
First, the Sunny Carbon Pro SF-E3981 elliptical has no incline system. Therefore, you cannot adjust the length of its stride or the angle of its elliptical path.
However, it offers a medium-range stride of 16″ (41 cm), so it comfortably accommodates users up to 6’2″ (188 cm). Taller persons can still use this elliptical trainer but may not benefit from a complete and satisfying range of motion.
The machine’s pedal trays are made of durable thermoplastic material. They have front and side guards and a textured surface for improved foot stability. But unfortunately, they do not have any extra articulations or cushioning.
However, like any other elliptical, the SF-E3981 provides a low-impact ride. Also, the pedals and the machine’s crank arms are durable; they have a maximum user weight capacity of up to 265 lbs (120 kg).
The machine’s elliptical path is slightly inclined forward. Therefore, pedaling resembles a descent on a soft ramp or hill. Furthermore, this leads to a more consistent workout for the thighs, glutes, calves, and tibialis muscles.
The machine’s pedal step-up height is approx—9″ (24 cm). Also, the pedals reach approximately 13″ (34 cm) above floor level at their highest. Therefore, it is advisable to use this elliptical trainer in a room with a ceiling height of at least 20″ (51 cm) higher than the height of the tallest user.
SF-E3981 Resistance and drive
The Sunny Carbon Pro SF-E3981 elliptical trainer has a manual magnetic resistance system. Therefore, you don’t need a power adapter or an external power source to adjust the resistance. However, the included fitness monitor cannot change the resistance automatically and does not have pre-set workout programs.
The ellipticals resistance system consists of a magnetic brake connected to the tension dial at the top of the front upright bar via a steel cable. Therefore, when you turn the knob, the brake moves closer or farther from the internal flywheel, increasing or decreasing the workout load.
The main advantage of the magnetic brake is that it does not touch the flywheel, so there is no friction, and the pedaling motion is smooth and quiet. There are ten levels of resistance available. The lowest one generates a relatively light pedaling difficulty. Conversely, the 10th level offers the possibility to perform a more consistent workout.
Like most fitness bikes or ellipticals with a magnetic resistance system, the Sunny SF-E3981 features a belt drive system. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about the lubrication of the drivetrain. It also generates less vibration than a chain.
Last but not least, this Sunny elliptical trainer comes equipped with a 13-lb (5.8 kg) flywheel. It’s not a super-heavy flywheel like indoor cycling bikes, but it has a perimeter-weighted design. This type of construction leads to a more consistent pedaling motion and superior stability. Plus, it is bi-directional, and you can pedal in reverse.
The Sunny Carbon Pro SF-E3981 elliptical trainer has a relatively simple fitness monitor. It features an LCD divided into five sub-sections to show multiple workout metrics. It tracks time, speed, RPM, distance, calories, and pulse.
The speed and distance are in Imperial units (MPH, miles), and there is no option for changing them to metric units (kmh, kilometers). The pulse reading function is hand-grip contact only. Therefore, you have to hold the sensors integrated into the fixed handlebars for the monitor to track your pulse. It does not read pulse from wireless HR chest strap transmitters.
The fitness monitor does not have pre-set programs. Unfortunately, it also does not have Bluetooth connectivity and is not compatible with any fitness apps.
However, it does offer the possibility of creating workout goals for time, distance, and calories burned. After choosing a workout goal, the monitor will count down from the selected value until it reaches zero, indicating the desired goal’s remaining value.
The fitness monitor features three buttons. These are Mode, Set, and Reset. The Mode button allows you to scroll through the workout metrics and select the one you want to view on the top, a more significant display section. You can also set the Scan Mode that rotates all the metrics showing each one for 6 seconds.
The Set button serves the purpose of creating workout goals. And finally, the Reset button clears all the values on the monitor to zero.
The battery-operated fitness monitor requires two AAA batteries. It starts when you begin pedaling and automatically turns off if it does not detect any activity on the elliptical for more than 4 minutes. In addition, it also integrates a device holder.
SF-E3981 Assembly and Maintenance
The unit’s base frame with the drive and resistance elements comes pre-assembled. The rest of the parts still require user assembly, though. So, you will have to attach the front base bar, the rear base bar, the front upright mast, the pedal bars, the moving arms, the fixed handlebars, the pedal trays, and the fitness monitor.
Consequently, this may take up to two hours of your time. However, the process is not too complicated, and the manual provides precise assembly instructions. Also, all the necessary tools come with the elliptical.
In terms of maintenance, the internal parts do not require any lubrication. However, the unit’s joints may require lubrication if they begin to squeak. After that, you only have to keep your elliptical clean, periodically check for loose bolts or damaged parts, and retighten or replace them.
- Sturdy frame – can support users up to 265 lbs;
- Aesthetic design;
- Adjustable levelers on both base bars;
- Transport wheels on the front base;
- Durable textured pedals;
- Fixed handlebars with pulse sensors;
- Maintenance-free belt drive;
- Balanced, 13-lb flywheel for improved motion stability;
- Manual magnetic resistance system for a seamless, whisper-quiet pedaling motion;
- Fitness monitor included – it tracks time, distance, speed, RPM, calories, and pulse;
- Goal settings for time, distance, and calories;
- Device holder included;
- Easy to assemble;
- All the assembly tools included;
- Little maintenance is required;
- Excellent warranty.
- The fitness monitor doesn’t have online connectivity;
- The fitness monitor does not have any pre-set workout programs;
- There isn’t a bottle holder.
Sunny Carbon Pro SF-E3981 Elliptical Summary
The Sunny Health & Fitness Carbon Pro SF-E3981 is an elliptical trainer for home use. It features a 10-level manual magnetic resistance system, a 13-lb internal flywheel, durable pedals, and a fitness monitor that tracks time, distance, speed, RPM, calories, and pulse.
Moreover, it’s an excellent machine for low to medium-intensity cardio workouts, muscle toning, recovery training, stamina development, and weight loss. This Carbon Pro Magnetic Elliptical trainer is a must-have for people who want a great-value elliptical in their homes.
I hope you found this article helpful and informative. Would you please speak up if you have anything you’d like to share on the topic or any opinions about my website? I look forward to your comments, questions, and the sharing of ideas.
Please remember to consult your physician to determine if you have any medical or physical conditions that could risk your health and safety or prevent you from using the equipment properly. In addition, your physician’s advice is essential if you are taking medication that affects your heart rate, blood pressure, or cholesterol level.