Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Trainer Review

The Sole E35 elliptical trainer is one of the latest elliptical offerings from Sole Fitness, a well-known and highly regarded fitness equipment manufacturer based in North America (although the Sole E35 is available to purchase in countries around the globe including the USA, UK and Canada).

It’s a sturdy, high-quality machine that’s absolutely packed full of features, many of which you’d typically only usually find on high-end commercial elliptical trainers with (more than) double the price tag of the Sole E35. It’s a mid-level machine, falling within the $1,000 – $2,000 price range, and for this you get a great looking highly adjustable elliptical trainer that provides the end-user (you) with a challenging cardiovascular workout.

Not only does the Sole E35 elliptical trainer have an impressive set of features, but the build quality and adjustability of the machine leave little to be desired. The Sole E35 successfully blurs the line between home-use and commercial elliptical trainers, although there are one or two tiny ‘niggles’ to be aware of.

 

Dimensions & Technical Specifications

  • 27 (width) x 58 (height) x 83 (depth) inches.
  • 375 pound (170kg) maximum weight limit.
  • 215 pounds (97.5kg) unpacked weight.

 

Key Features

  • 29-pound heavy-duty flywheel (extremely sturdy and smooth)
  • Quiet drive system (exceptionally quiet)
  • 20 – 22 inch adjustable stride length
  • 15-inch pedals
  • 7.5 inch LCD display console
  • Six standard programs
  • Two customisable programs
  • Two heart-rate programs
  • Built-in fan
  • Built-in sound system (with optional headphone jack)
  • Water bottle holder
  • Includes chest strap heart rate monitor (very accurate)
  • Power adjustable incline (up to 30 degrees)
  • Pulse sensors on handlebars
  • Multi-grip handlebars

 

Comfort (9/10)

The Sole Fitness E35 elliptical trainer is an extremely comfortable machine thanks to a combination of factors. It’s heavy-duty flywheel combined with the high ratio gear system makes for an exceptionally comfortable and fluid ride whether you opt to use the machine in forward or reverse mode.

“I’d recommend this elliptical for anyone who wants a comfortable, easy workout in their home.”Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The four wheels running on heavy-duty rails at the rear of the machine further help to create a comfortable, stable and smooth experience and they also help to reduce side-to-side foot pedal motion; this can often cause discomfort on many less sturdy elliptical trainers.

Another big advantage comes thanks to the unique design of the Sole E35’s handlebars. Unlike many elliptical machines, the handlebars allow for a variety of different gripping options which makes the E35 an extremely comfortable and versatile elliptical trainer to use. The Sole E35 also features incline and resistance increase and decrease buttons on the handlebars which not only improves comfort but also safety (as you don’t have to let go of the handlebars in order to alter the incline and/or resistance).

The machine has an adjustable stride length of between 20 and 22 inches; because of this, the Sole E35 elliptical trainer is perfectly suitable for anyone 5’3″ or taller as the stride length is easily adjustable to suit varying heights. Even those freakishly tall fitness fanatics (i.e. 6’0″ and above) will find this machine comfortable thanks to this smart feature.

 

Performance (9/10)

Performance-wise, the Sole E35 elliptical trainer is one of the better performers on the market; particularly within the mid-level price range.

One of the most noticeable aspects (or unnoticeable, perhaps) is the incredibly quiet performance of the machine. To put it simply, the Sole E35 is whisper quiet and if you so desire, you could easily watch TV without having to crank up the volume. This is great if another person happens to be in the same room, as chances are that they won’t even notice you exercising in the background. – Skip to the 10:04 mark in the video above to hear (or perhaps not to hear) the Sole E35 in action.

“The thing is SOLID and it’s so quiet I can use it in the same room as someone else watching TV without cranking the volume” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

In terms of the workout programs on offer, there are a total of ten to choose from. There are six standard programs, two heart rate programs and two custom programs. This gives you a particularly high level of flexibility over your workout and the intuitive 7.5-inch LCD console makes programming the perfect workout straightforward and easy. The incline can be adjusted from 0 – 30 degrees which allows you to individually target lower body muscle groups with ease. Incline and resistance are also easily adjustable via the handlebar buttons.

If you want to keep an eye on your heart/pulse rate with the Sole E35 elliptical machine, we recommend using the included heart rate chest strap as it is impeccably accurate; much more accurate than the readings produced by the sensor systems on the handlebars.

The Sole E35 does have a small fan built-in but as is the case with many elliptical trainers, the performance leaves a lot to be desired. It’s by far the noisiest feature of the machine and is certainly not enough to cool you down during an intense workout session.

Overall, the Sole E35 performs well and is also extremely smooth thanks to its 29-pound flywheel, high gear ratio and front drive system. It simply glides and is an absolute pleasure to use.

 

Ease Of Use & Convenience (9/10)

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As already mentioned, the 7.5-inch LCD console is extremely easy to use and the blue backlit display looks great too. It displays everything you might want to know including your time, distance, heart rate, pace and workout program. It’s features a simple user-interface that’s pretty easy to get to grips with. If you’ve ever used a commercial elliptical trainer in the gym, you’ll likely be somewhat familiar with the layout of the LCD display already.

The 2013 model of the Sole E35 (the one currently being sold on Amazon) also features a couple of well-thought-out redesigns including the addition of incline and resistance buttons on the handlebars and on each side of the LCD display. Because of this, controlling the E35 is much easier and more convenient when compared with the previous model. It’s certainly no deal-breaker, but it’s a nice addition that further emphasises the great design and build quality of the machine.

As you would expect from a mid-range elliptical trainer, the Sole E35 has a water bottle holder conveniently located directly in-front of you. Below the LCD console display, there’s also a small ledge which is perfect for a resting a book, iPad, Kindle or a similar device.

“Assembly took two of us about 2 hours. Overall, it went together quite easily.” – Click here to see the full review on Amazon.

The only slightly difficult and inconvenient aspect is the initial setup of the machine. It’ll probably take a good few hours to setup the elliptical for first use as it consists of well over 100 parts. What’s more, the boxed weight of the machine is around 300lbs (136kg), so you might need the help of a friend or family member to help move it to your desired location.

If this is a big problem, you can opt to pay a small fee ($75 – $100) for the professional setup and assembly of your elliptical trainer in your home. This is an optional extra during the checkout process.

 

Entertainment (9/10)

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The Sole E35 elliptical trainer has a built-in sound system which can easily be connected to your iPod or MP3 player of your choice.

“There is a nice little ledge built into the display which is perfect for fitting an iPad and built in speakers that can be utilized.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The sound quality is certainly nothing special, but it’s not terrible either. At the end of the day, most of us aren’t looking for studio-level sound quality in an elliptical machine, so the sound system will be perfectly adequate for most users.

You do have the option to plug a pair of headphones directly into the machine itself if you prefer, which will likely be the best option for any serious audiophiles out there.

 

Warranty (9/10)

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Electronic components & other parts: Five years
  • Labor (in-home): Two years

 

The Final Verdict

The Sole E35 elliptical trainer stacks up pretty well and is definitely one of the better mid-range elliptical machines on offer. It’s packed with features (many of which originated in high-end commercial elliptical trainers) and is easily adjustable. It also looks fantastic and the build quality is exceptional to say the least.

“Overall, 5 stars and highly recommended.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Yes, the fan isn’t the most powerful fan in the world and it tends to be a little on the noisy side; plus the initial set-up might take a good few hours but on the whole, you’ll struggle to find a better elliptical trainer than the Sole E35 in this price range.

Putting the minor issue surrounding the somewhat lengthy initial setup of the machine aside, there is very little that could be improved with the Sole E35 elliptical trainer. So if you’re in the market for a mid-range elliptical machine, we’d highly recommend this machine.

What’s more, considering the Sole E35’s rather generous warranty, it’ll no doubt serve as a great machine for years to come too.

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