The Sole F80 by Sole Fitness, is a folding treadmill with plenty of great comfort design features and entertainment extras. The treadmill has an impressive range of features including; a 15 degree incline,12 MPH maximum speed, 10 inbuilt exercise programs, telemetry enabled heart monitoring and pulse grips, an MP3 compatible sound system, a 7.5 inch LCD screen, and a frame, motor and deck lifetime warranty. At around $1500 dollars it offers less features than competing machines within this price range. Are all the features good quality? Is the machine high spec enough to warrant the price tag?
Dimensions & Technical Specifications
- 55 H x 80 L x 35 W inches (139.7 H x 203.2 L x 88.9 W cm)
- Deck Size 35 X 80 inches (88.9 x 203.2 cm)
- 375 pounds maximum weight capacity (170.09 kg)
- 265 pounds assembled weight (120.02 kg)
- 295 pounds shipping weight (133.8 kg)
- Folding Deck Design – Easy Assist – SOLE Fitness if proud to offer the best folding treadmill design on the market. Our design features a patented all gear rack & pinion system with the Safety Lock Deck design that locks the deck into place when the treadmill is in the upright position. The F80 also comes with our Easy Assist Folding Deck Design, this unique feature allows you to release the deck, step back and the deck will unfold itself effortlessly while you watch. The Easy Assist Folding deck design is unique to SOLE and makes unfolding your treadmill all too easy.
- Convenient Controls – Users want to have the freedom of increasing speed and incline quickly, the display features quick speed/incline buttons along the sides of the LCD making it extremely convenient and easy to control and maintain your workout.
- Cushion Flex Whisper Deck – A unique design to any type of treadmill on the market, this deck provides our users with a comfortable and quiet workout as well as reducing impact of up to 40%. The reversible deck is the same type used in Commercial grade models and is wax lubricated, which means less work on the motor during use.
- Precision Welded Frame – Accurate and precise welding is important when designing a treadmill. Durability of a product begins with a strong frame, capable of handling multiple users of various weights and heights.
- Large Light Commercial Display Screen – The SOLE LCD console display makes work outs easier and more effective. A vibrant blue screen with large clean readouts provide users with helpful information, such as Heart Rate, Speed, Pace, Calories burned and many other useful bits of information
- Message Board – SOLE is proud to offer integrated message boards on most of our models. What is the SOLE Message Board; it is an alphanumeric text center that sends scrolling messages to the user in an effort to guide them through all of the details of every workout. Ever wonder how to set up the user profile workout, just push the user profile button the message board will walk you though the rest. Think of the message board as having someone standing next to you reading from the owner’s manual on what to do next in just about every function of the treadmill. After years of seeing people get frustrated in the gym and at home we came up with a better way to help you use the full capabilities of our treadmills, and we made is very user friendly. The message board will also recap your entire workout after you are finished, so you can see your progress.
- High Torque Motors with Flywheels- All SOLE treadmills feature the heaviest duty chassis and motors in their class. Beginning with powder coated all-steel welded frames and heavy duty stable inclines, we add industrial quality motors with large diameter, all-steel zinc coated balanced flywheels for a vibration-free secure running/walking surface. Why do we add a flywheel to our motors? Flywheels cause the motor to run cooler with less amp draw and extend the life off the motor. They also allow us to offer a start speed of .5mph of 1mph. SOLE also uses much heavier flywheels than its competitors which give you the fluid motion you’re accustomed to at the gym or on treadmill costing thousands more.
- Rollers- When we chose the rollers for our treadmill line we went with only the best and outfitted all of our treadmills with the same high-end rollers that most people only offer on $5000 treadmills. We use 2.75″ rollers with a sealed bearing design and copper ground wires for each roller to reduce static. Larger rollers make for a larger contact surface against the belt and longer roller and belt life. This makes for smooth, quiet, static free motion that will stand the test of time.
- Belts- We use double woven 2-ply belts with four layers on almost all of our treadmills. Two rubber layers over a middle PVC layer with a nylon backing that rolls over the deck and rollers. The rubber provides the durability, the PVC stops the belt from over-stretching and the nylon provides a smooth static free surface to glide over the deck and rollers.
- Bullet proof frames All SOLE treadmills feature epoxy powder coated paint, baked to appliance finish durability. This finish protects the all-steel construction, along with welded steel, not bolted, our frames are indestructible thus the lifetime warranty.
The key feature of this treadmill is its cushion flex whisper deck which claims to reduce negative impact on the body (during use of the machine) by up to 40%. This feature is most definitely the reason the treadmill feels so fantastic underfoot. You feel a really nice bounce when you use the machine to its highest capacity and the extra spring in your step really encourages you to stay on for longer. The frame feels solid and sturdy and does not shift, so you feel safe while you’re sprinting. The motor is very quiet and doesn’t sound heavy duty, this adds to the overall commercial quality feel of the machine as a whole.
Another particularly nice design feature is the generous 60 inch length treadmill belt which really allows users of all stride lengths to enjoy a fully stretched out run comfortably, without any worry of coming off the end. The negative aspects of the treadmill comfort-wise are the fan and speed change timings. The fan is not strong enough to make much of a difference to your temperature during a workout and the machine takes around a minute to adjust between speeds. This may not be an issue for fitter users, but those who need to slow down quickly may find they need a little more endurance than expected because the slow down speed drags.
Depending on what you intend the use the Sole F80 for, it does have a reasonable amount of features to enhance your performance levels and enable you to walk, jog and run with adequate customization facilities. The machine is really well designed for users who want a solid machine with a good level of incline and speed options and useful feedback options. The fact that the treadmill has a chest strap heart monitor means you’re guaranteed an accurate heart rate reading and you don’t have to grip the handles during full sprints – useful if you like to use your arms while you run.
The user profile allows you to see your full workout progress in detail which is a useful feature, especially if you want to change your settings during the customized workouts as you can then see those changes and save the program if it worked well for you. There are 6 actual exercise programs, 2 heart rate focused programs and 2 customizable options. The programs themselves are a little disappointing and don’t seem intuitive or well designed.
The most notable feature for performance is the incredible Cushion Flex Whisper Deck which really has an effect on how long you’re likely to stay on the machine. If a treadmill is comfortable and pleasurable to use, you’re only going to feel encouraged to use it for longer.
Ease Of Use & Convenience
The machine itself is incredibly sturdy which unfortunately means, it is pretty hefty to move. The foldaway option is definitely a nice touch once the treadmill is set up, but you are more than likely going to need someone to help you get it in place when it is first delivered.
The LCD screen and programming is unfortunately rather basic compared to the rest of the machine which is a little disconcerting at this price range. The handlebars are also positioned rather strangely; although the adjustment buttons are conveniently on the bars themselves, the positioning makes gripping them properly rather awkward which could be a problem for users who need them in order to balance properly.
The treadmill comes with a couple of useful entertainment features in the way of a reading rack and speakers (compatible with MP3/ iPod). The reading rack is well designed and easily accommodates a Kindle or tablet which is useful if you want to read or watch programs during your workout. The speakers are poorly designed with pretty low sound quality; adequate for a workout but disappointing at this price point.
- Frame- Lifetime
- Motor- Lifetime
- Deck- Lifetime
- Electronics- 5 years
- Labour- 2 years
The Final Verdict
For the Sole F80 $1500 dollar price tag, you don’t get a high spec treadmill that is heavy on entertainment features or ultra modern extras. But what you do get with the Sole F80 is a quiet, comfortable and well designed treadmill. It has an incredible warranty and enough features to enable you able to work out with ease, and more importantly, it enables you to continue wanting to workout because of the low impact, super comfortable Cushion Flex Whisper Deck. Despite its programming, handlebar and extras shortcomings, it is still excellent value as a sturdy, high performance treadmill.