Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Trainer Review

The Sole E95 elliptical trainer is pretty-much the flagship machine in the Sole Fitness range of elliptical trainers and as you’d expect, it has a premium price tag to match. It’s a good few hundred dollars more expensive than the Sole Fitness E35 (a machine we also rated extremely highly) but for the extra money, you do get one or two unique features that you won’t find on many other non-commercial elliptical machines in this price range, if any.

It’s equipped with a larger flywheel than the Sole E35 and offers one of the steepest incline angles you’re likely to find on any elliptical currently on the market. It features a great design, a beautiful blue-backlit 9-inch LCD display and a number of different workout programs (including a couple of customisable programs).

Much like the Sole E35 however, there are a few small issues that let the E95 elliptical trainer down. Although minor, it’s important to be aware of them before you commit to buy.

 

Dimensions

  • 32 (width) x 62 (height) x 83 (depth) inches.
  • 400 pound (181kg) maximum weight limit.
  • 215 pounds (97.5kg) unpacked weight.

 

Key Features

  • 34-pound heavy-duty flywheel (extremely sturdy and smooth)
  • Quiet drive system (exceptionally quiet)
  • 20 – 22 inch adjustable stride length
  • 15-inch pedals
  • 9 inch LCD display console
  • Six standard programs
  • Two customisable programs
  • Two heart-rate programs
  • Built-in fan
  • ECB resistance
  • Built-in sound system (with optional headphone jack)
  • Water bottle holder
  • Includes chest strap heart rate monitor (very accurate)
  • Power adjustable incline (up to 40 degrees)
  • Pulse sensors on handlebars
  • Multi-grip handlebars

 

Comfort (9.5/10)

The Sole E95 elliptical trainer is by far one of the most comfortable elliptical machines on the market, especially considering the price. It features an extremely heavy-duty 34-pound flywheel (5 pounds heavier than the Sole E35) which provides a smooth, sturdy, fluid and natural motion when in use. The four rear wheels on heavy-duty rails also add to the stability of the trainer and reduce side-to-side foot pedal motion; a common issue on many elliptical machines, even those in a higher price bracket than the Sole E95.

“It has auto incline adjustments and level adjustments that are smooth between adjustments..” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The foot pedals are large (15 inches) and articulate to match your stride.  This helps to reduce stress on Achilles tendons and also helps to reduce the common “numb toe effect” that anyone accustomed to elliptical usage will likely be familiar with. Not only this, but the pedals were also designed in collaboration with leading physical therapists and feature a two-degree inward slope. This helps to reduce ankle and knee stress that once again is a common problem with many elliptical machines.

As with the Sole E35, the handlebars on the Sole E95 allow for multiple grip options and they also feature buttons to alter the incline (power adjustable up to 40 degrees) and resistance. This helps to improve both comfort and safety. The stride length is also adjustable between 20 and 22 inches, making the Sole E95 elliptical perfect for both tall and short users alike (i.e. anyone over 5’3″).

 

Performance (9/10)

In terms of performance, it doesn’t really get much better than the Sole E95 elliptical trainer. Although it’s essentially a mid-range elliptical, it certainly performs as well (if not better) than most commercial trainers costing more than double what the Sole E95 costs.

It’s a sturdy, heavy machine (thanks to the heavy-duty 34 pound flywheel) that oozes of quality, offering a smooth ride that simply glides. Even if you’re relatively heavy, the 400-pound maximum weight load ensures that the trainer won’t struggle one bit.

“It is big, heavy, and QUIET.”Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

What’s more, it’s definitely one of the quietest elliptical trainers you’re ever going to come across. Even during relatively vigorous use, the Sole E95 creates barely any noise at all. This, in part, is thanks to the quiet drive system and because of this, it’s perfect for use while others are in the room. They’ll barely know you’re there.

One of the Sole E95 elliptical trainer’s unique features is the power adjustable 0 – 40 degree incline. Very few elliptical machines offer anywhere near this range (most go no higher than 30 degrees, much like the Sole E35) and it performs extremely well, giving you the ability to target lower body muscle groups at the touch of a button. Incline and resistance buttons featured on the handlebars also boost performance and ensure you’re in full control at all times.

In regards to the workout programs on offer, the Sole E95 has six standard programs, two heart rate programs and two custom programs to choose from (for a total of ten programs). The workout programs are virtually identical to those on offer from the slightly cheaper Sole E35 elliptical trainer, although they’re presented on a slightly larger LCD display (9-inches).

The fan is the only thing preventing us from awarding the Sole E95 elliptical trainer full marks for performance rating as it really doesn’t perform that well. It does very little to actually cool you down and is also considerably noisy.

 

Ease Of Use & Convenience (8.5/10)

sole-e95-elliptical-trainer-lcd

The Sole E95 elliptical trainer is extremely easy to use and for the most part, extremely convenient. The 9-inch blue-backlit LCD display features a relatively simplistic user-interface that is easy to get to grips with, even if you’re a bit of a technophobe. It displays your time, distance, pace, chosen workout program and heart rate. It’s clean, simple and easy to understand, allowing you to focus on your workout, not the technology.

The multi-grip handlebars complete with incline and resistance buttons are another convenient design feature.

“The display is easy to read and very user friendly.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

As you’d expect from a mid-range elliptical trainer, the Sole E95 has a water bottle holder and features a small ledge. This is perfect for resting your iPod, Smartphone, book or tablet PC. One small design flaw is the fact that when using the ledge, your item will actually end up covering part of the LCD display. It’s not a major problem, but it’s something that could be improved upon for sure.

The Sole E95 is also extremely heavy (215 pounds) and it’ll take a good few hours to complete the initial setup of the machine. Once this has been completed however, it’s an extremely convenient machine that works like a charm every time. Plus, if you prefer not to handle the setup yourself, you do have the option of choosing a professional home installation for a small fee during the checkout process.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that this is a relatively large elliptical trainer so make sure you have enough room before you commit to buy.

 

Entertainment (8/10)

Entertainment-wise, the Sole Fitness E95 elliptical trainer is virtually identical to its fractionally cheaper sibling, the Sole E35. It features a built-in sound system that can be connected to your MP3 player via a standard 3.5mm cable (included). If you prefer to listen to your tunes on headphones, you do have the option to plug them directly into the elliptical machine itself.

“Some people complained about the speakers – they aren’t Bose, but we didn’t want to pay for Bose.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

As with the Sole E35 and E25, the sound system is nothing special so if you’re a die-hard audiophile, you’ll probably want to use your own headphones instead. For light listening, the sound system will be perfectly adequate for most people. At the end of the day, you’re paying for a state-of-the-art elliptical trainer, not a state-of-the-art sound system.

 

Warranty

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

 

The Final Verdict

The Sole Fitness E95 elliptical trainer is a well-built, sturdy, smooth and impeccably quiet machine that is leaps and bounds above most other elliptical machines in the mid-range category (or even the high-end category for that matter). If you’re in the market for an elliptical machine, we’d highly recommend the Sole E95.

“I think this machine offers great value for the price and I believe it will continue to perform well for years to come.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Having said that, the Sole E95 is extremely similar to the Sole E35 in terms of both its design and feature-set. It does have a few extra features though including the unique 0 – 40 degree power adjustable incline (the E35 only goes to 30 degrees), the 400-pound maximum weight, the large 9-inch LCD display (compared to the 7.5-inch display on the E35) and the addition of articulating and custom foot pedals (designed to reduce knee and ankle stress, along with the “numb toe effect”). The ride is also slightly smoother and more sturdy thanks to the heavy-duty 34-pound flywheel (compared to the 29-pound flywheel on the E35).

For some users, these features will be more than enough to justify the extra cost for the E95 elliptical trainer but for others, it might be difficult to justify the extra cost considering the similarities between the two machines. The Sole E25 is another even cheaper option if you’re looking for something around the $1,000 mark.

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