For the benefit of those who have not yet heard of the name SOLE, let me start by reemphasising that SOLE Fitness is a respected fitness brand the world over, and for a good reason. They manufacture a wide variety of top-of-the-range fitness equipment you find in most hotels and high-end fitness centres all over the globe. They make great home-based fitness equipment too. A fine example is the latest 2016 version of the Sole E35 Elliptical Cross Trainer.
Before I discuss the new Sole E35, allow me to educate you a little bit on what an elliptical machine is and how it benefits you. An elliptical fitness trainer is basically a stationary exercise machine that simulates running, walking, or stair climbing motions without putting too much pressure on your joints. So how does that benefit me? For a start, it reduces the chances of experiencing impact injuries. Secondly, it is the best workout machine for cardio-based exercises. Third, it is a great option for those of us who are not comfortable with traditional fitness machines that place too much impact on your joints.
I first developed an interest in the original Sole E35 when a certain consumer website named it their Best Buy winner a couple of years ago. I tried it and decided not to contest the claim that it really does provide the best commercial grade fitness experience. You can now have the same club-quality exercising experience only provided by hotels in your home, thanks to the new Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer.
- 1 What’s updated in the latest 2016 E35 model?
- 2 What I liked most about the Sole E35
- 3 What I didn’t like most about the Sole E35
- 4 Final Thoughts
What’s updated in the latest 2016 E35 model?
Despite a few shortcomings that I’ll point out shortly, the 2016 Sole E35 is a top choice for those who love keeping tabs about their exercise routine in real time. In my experience, the best improvement I saw in the latest E35 is Bluetooth connectivity. I may not be a technology enthusiast but having a simple way of transferring information from an elliptical machine to my iPhone was a big plus. That’s what the new E35 does. You can send information from the elliptical trainer straight to your Android or iOS mobile device and then integrate the data with any fitness app you have on your mobile device. I easily connect the machine to a MyFitnessPal app I have on my iPhone and keep track of my progress, or lack of, from one platform. I can even operate the machine straight from the app.
- It allows you to raise its incline up to 30 degrees
- It has a 50.8 centimetre stride with 30 incline levels
- It has adjustable pedals with 3 positions
- Comes with silent magnetic resistance
- For music lovers, it features MP3 speakers
- Its touch and wireless heart rate monitors are quite convenient
- It can be synced wirelessly with mobile apps via Bluetooth
- It comes with transport wheels and a tablet holder too.
- It has 10 preset workouts only
- It is not a foldable elliptical trainer
- Does not have weight loss workouts
- Does not come with a reading rack
- It is a large machine that takes too much space.
Speaking of features…
The Sole E35 Elliptical Cross Trainer goes a notch higher as an entry level fitness machine for both novice and intermediate users. The 2016 model is updated with more tech-integration than the previous version. It comes with a tablet holder, Bluetooth connectivity, and a more advanced sound system that is fully compatible with MP3 players and iPods.
I have a weakness for any fitness machine’s key specs and readily admit the new E35 does not disappoint. Its front wheel design has a powerful 11.3 Kg wheel, a 50.8 cm natural stride with both forward and reverse motions, and a power-adjustable ramp complete with 30 levels. It is a great machine for muscle toning, as I later learned.
I have previously tested Sole’s products and can attest that their biggest selling point is ergonomics. In the case of the new E35, its pedals and a two-degree inward slope live up to the brand’s excellence in ergonomic design. I might also mention the machine’s pedal cushioning and three pedal angles are what any physical therapist worth the title would recommend. It is a perfect machine for home gyms given that it provides quiet magnetic resistance and transport wheels for easy relocation from one place to another.
However, if you have limited space, you may run into difficulties using this trainer. It is a bulky machine weighing close to 100 kg. On delivery, I had to ask the delivery gentlemen to help carry it to the room I intended to install it. Assembling the E35 was a time-consuming task too. It is not really hard to assemble if you have handled such equipment before but keep in mind it is a high-tech trainer with a good number of components to fit together. Fortunately, it came with all the assembly tools I needed to get the job done.
What I liked most about the Sole E35
Here are a few things I loved most about the Sole E35 Cross Trainer:
A durable commercial-grade design
From the look of everything and the manufacturer’s reputation, this trainer is designed to last. Keep in mind Sole Fitness specialises in exercise equipment for hotels where the machines are normally used non-stop all day all week. The trainer is well built to withstand as much abuse from your rigorous fitness sessions as possible. You can go as hard as you feel like on this machine and it won’t budge. This is probably why Sole Fitness gives us solid warranties. I am convinced the E35 will give you commercial-grade durability.
Another feature I found quite impressive about the new E35 is its powered incline. I didn’t need to stop my exercising to fiddle with settings every time I wanted to increase my resistance. The machine’s controls are conveniently located on the handlebars so I could do everything almost hands-off. Unlike many similar machines with 20-degree inclines, this trainer actually goes up to 30 degrees.
Detailed display screen
I may also say a thing or two about the E35’s high-quality display screen. This machine comes with all the latest tech integrations so a 19.5 cm LCD display screen is just the beginning. Workout data for all its 10 programs are clearly displayed on its screen and on your mobile device too via Bluetooth.
It is a detailed display screen that allows you to select your preferred training program from a diverse list ranging from manual mode, weight loss and muscle, and heart programs to customised workout programs. You are allowed two user profiles to save and monitor your progress. You can then transfer the saved data to your favourite fitness app on your mobile device for further analysis. The display provides more useful information such as your speed, distance travelled, and your total workout time among others. One thing I like is the information about calories I had burned after each session that is clearly displayed on the screen. If you have the chest pulse or hand grip sensors activated, you’ll also get your heart rate information directly from the display screen.
Sole Fitness Warranties
I believe the warranty provided by the manufacturer should be a key factor to consider before one makes a purchasing decision. The Sole E35 comes with solid warranties, which can be extremely useful should the machine break down. It has a lifetime frame warranty, five-year warranty for parts and electronics, and a two-year labour warranty. I find these warranties quite useful as I can go one exercising with peace of mind knowing that any problem I may ever have with the machine will be taken care of without additional charges.
What I didn’t like most about the Sole E35
Here are a few things that were not so great about the E35:
10 workout programs
Well, most people I know are comfortable with ten workout programs. Ten is even a bit excessive for some but I expected a machine of this calibre to have a few extra programs besides the usual ten.
It is an enormous bulky machine
Space saving was not my priority but I know people with plenty of clutter in their exercising spaces and such a large machine may be a deal breaker. My advice is to make sure you have a room dedicated to this machine ready before you purchase it.
Missing reading rack
The E35 comes with a tablet computer holder but no reading rack. If you love reading while you workout then that is a luxury you may have to do without with this machine. A reading rack is not such a crucial feature but I expected to see it on the E35 since many models have one. In my honest opinion, the presence or absence of a reading rack should not be a primary factor in your purchase decision but it is something you should be aware of.
The Sole E35 Elliptical Cross Trainer continues to earn Best Buy awards every year because it is a smooth, durable, and high performing piece of exercise equipment. The new 2016 model is packed with additional features such as Bluetooth connectivity, a tablet computer holder, and an advanced music system. It is a machine that will give you the same fitness experience you get from a club or hotel gym. It runs quiet, smooth, and s safe for your joints and body. I highly recommend it.