Top positive review
278 people found this helpful
Great space saving Stepper
on July 6, 2012
I was using the Stamina SpaceMate stepper regularly for six years before it became just about unusable (cracked metal, clunking sound, pieces falling off). I immediately went online to order another one and saw this Sunny Climber Stepper for around the same price (costs a bit more). I did a search and every review I read was positive, so with some reservations (I don't like change), I ordered it. The stepper arrived quickly and took about 10 minutes for my husband to put together. It's pretty much one piece; you only have to attach the handlebars and one end of the pistons to the main unit (the other ends are already attached). I put the included batteries into the counter/timer and slid it onto the top pole. Tools, bolts and washers are all included. I agree with the other reviewer who said it looks better than the SpaceMate....it looks a lot sleeker. I used it for the first time this morning and here are my impressions. It's very quiet and smooth, a definite plus. Since it's a climber stepper, the step you take is deeper which took me about five minutes to get used to. At first, I wasn't stepping deep enough, so the counter kept turning off because it wasn't registering. Once I started taking deeper steps, the counter was fine. I put it on the easiest tension (there are 12!) which I found to be harder than the easiest tension on the SpaceMate. Because the step depth is deeper and the tension harder, I was moving slower and taking less steps per minute then with the SpaceMate, but the depth and tension made it more challenging. I thought I would run out of energy sooner, but I was able to do the full 30 minutes with no problems. It got my heart rate up which is my goal. I doubt that I'll move on to more difficult tensions because at this point in my life (age 60), my interest is to exercise my heart and keep my legs strong. A younger person has 11 more tensions to conquer which makes this stepper very challenging for any age. I found that I really liked the triangular shaped handlebars because it gave me some variety as to what to do with my hands (helps with boredom). I could place each hand on the either side of the handlebars, or I could rest them together on the top. Another difference was with the foot pedals and foot placement. This stepper has a raised ridge around the edges of the pedals which keeps your foot from sliding off (a good safety feature). The SpaceMate didn't have that and I guess I used to put my feet closer to each other with that machine, but because of the raised edges on the Sunny, I found I couldn't do that. So, I had to keep my feet where they were which, I found, made me use the muscles on the outside of my upper thigh...the hip area. I like that as it will help strengthen my hips. I had no issues with knee pain; I felt the effort in my upper thigh muscles. So, in this case I will say that change is very good! I'm quite happy with this climber stepper and I'm glad I switched. Highly recommended, especially for the price. Updated to add one slight negative: I've used the stepper a few times now and still love it, however there is an issue. When you put the stepper together you attach one end of the pistons to the main unit by sliding in a metal pin which makes it very easy to assemble (as opposed to screwing in a screw). However, while I'm exercising the metal pins (especially the left one) inches out due to the vibration I guess, even though the pins have "stoppers" on them (which is a raised bump). We originally tried to solve this issue by sliding rubber washers on the ends, positioning them before the stoppers. This worked on the right pin, but not with the left....the pin still started to come out. So, I turned that pin around and now it seems to be staying in place. If that doesn't work in the long run, we have other ideas, such as placing elastic bands around the pin. In any event, this does not diminish my high review of this stepper as I'm still loving it. Update: Still going strong with the stepper. I just wanted to add one comment regarding another review that I read. The reviewer stated that the tension settings were difficult to adjust, and that the left and right settings don't necessarily match as far as resistance. For the sake of full disclosure, I will say that I have never changed the resistance on my stepper. As I stated in my original review, the first level is difficult enough for my needs and I have no reason to make it harder. So, I cannot comment as to whether there is an issue with the tension adjustments. I can tell you that the stepper is still working for me on Level 1 after seven months of use. I'd also like to reiterate that this stepper is NOT like the stamina Spacemate. With the Spacemate you take faster, more shallow steps. The Sunny is a CLIMBER stepper, so the pace is slower and the step deeper than the Spacemate. So, keep that in mind when trying to decide which stepper you want to purchase.
UPDATE: Well, it's now 2016 and I just turned 65 and I'm on Medicare and I'm still using my Sunny Climbing Stepper. Still works well. The only change is, I now use it for 20 minutes at a time instead of 30 minutes. Despite doing resistance training my entire life, I don't have the strength I used to have so I'm finding that pressing down on the pedals is harder for me than it used to be, even on the easier setting (I never changed the setting), so I find that 20 minutes gives me a good workout. No squeaks (wish I could say the same for my joints). I just make sure that all the pins are securely in place every so often. This was a great purchase for me.