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Sole F85 Treadmill Review

treadmill Doctor Note :

The best foldup on the planet just gets better! The Best Buy winner for the best foldup. The best you can do in the fold up field.

Sole F85 Treadmill Review

MSRP:

$1799

Walking Area:

9

Power:

8

Cushioning:

6.5

Reliability:

7.2

Noise Level:

7

Quality:

7.2

Value:

7.8

Warranty:

8.5

Overall Rating: 7.67

Sole Fitness is a company that has posted remarkable growth through affiliate marketing, and through their own website and mass retailing giants like Sears and Amazon. Capitalizing on a broad distributor network, their models are widely respected for providing quality at an affordable price. High quality components, reduced noise levels, stable cushioning, and an outstanding service warranty add value for money, and the upgraded F85 is a good choice.

The bouquets

The Best Folding treadmill in its category

The F85 is assessed to be the best folding treadmill in its class. The folding feature helps to stack up the treadmill into a tighter compact area. It makes it easier to use and store the treadmill once the workout is over, and a safety lock keeps the machine out of harm's way. It is so stable that you will forget that it is a fold up.

Powerful big frame 4 HP motor that's great value for money

This is a large frame motor that generates excellent power which compares favorably with other machines that fall in the sub-$3,000 range, and surprisingly you'll find some expensive models failing to match this kind of power. It offers at least 1HP more than other competitors in this price range. It will be less noisy and efficient and will deliver higher speeds with relative ease. There's no doubt that you are getting good value for your money.

An expansive 22" X 60" belt that enhances your running experience

You combine a 4HP motor with an expansive tread belt like 22" X 60" and you get a treadmill that is custom made for runners. It's a rare combination where motor and drive complement each other perfectly giving users a smoother running experience.

The larger running area provides the width and length to handle bigger and taller runners with ease. A larger belt can be a disaster if it's underpowered by a low HP motor that is out of sync with its drive, but that's certainly not the case with the F85.

Cushioning offers adequate protection against injury

There are probably models in the sub-$1,000 range that offer similar shock absorbing capacity. Obviously, nothing spectacular is on offer in shock absorbing department. Having said that, we rate the F85 as OK and its existing impact deadening cushioning is adequate to protect muscles and limb joints from tear and injury that pavement running would exacerbate.

Incline maxes at 15% giving users variety in running options

This is a welcome feature useful for runners that like to vary their running options to simulate outdoor running formats and styles. Users gain by improving muscle tone and burning calories more efficiently.

Warranty coverage and service delivery are one of the best in the industry

Even the best of companies desist from going full throttle in warranty and servicing. Sole is an exception. Labor, which is a big money drain, is covered for two years (at least a year above the norm); components get 5 years and frame, the deck and the motor are covered for life. Deals hardly get better than this, and it reflects the confidence of the company in the quality of its product.

And the criticisms...

Preset workout programs are too few for serious runners

The treadmill has a powerful motor, a great running surface and good motor-drive compatibility; it's surprising that they have loaded only six standard workout programs in their console. This will certainly discourage the serious runner who has far better options in other models competing in the same price segment. In cutting costs the company appears to have lost an opportunity to market a saleable feature.

Unit weight of 265 pounds unlikely to support 400-pound users

The company's claim that the unit supports 400-pound users can't be accepted at face value. A difference in unit-user weight exceeding 100 pounds will definitely make the treadmill unstable and wobbly at higher speeds, besides damaging the drive appreciably if heavy weights use it.

The final diagnosis

For a serious runner in need of a folding TM, the Sole F85 is certainly the best in its category. You may not get a better bargain in the mid-range price segment below $1,800 as the unit packs quality components and delivers a satisfying user experience, assuring best value for consumer money. Sole has done a great job with the F85; this is one to strongly consider if you are a runner and need a foldup.

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