Sole F85 Treadmill Review
What would you consider to be the most important factor when shopping for a new treadmill, especially when you are thinking of a high-end model? If you are like me, who loves to put in plenty of miles each week, you would most likely talk of a treadmill that runs as smoothly and noiselessly as possible. Someone blessed with sufficient height would most probably want a model with enough room to accommodate his or her height. If you have a tech-persona, you would want something with all the bells and whistles on an ample dashboard. Whatever your needs and preferences are, you may want to pay a close look at the latest edition of Sole Fitness F85 Folding Treadmill before you make a purchasing decision. I had the privilege of giving the treadmill a test run and can say it is really high quality although with a few shortcomings.
The manufacturer, Sole, calls the F85 the world’s best treadmill, and for a good reason. I found it actually a top-of-the-range piece of fitness equipment made of the best components in the market today. I had even heard it mentioned in some gym circles as a treadmill with everything a keen walker or serious runner needs in indoor training equipment, from a powerful motor and roomy workout area to an automated incline and very comfortable cushioning. In my opinion, the F85 is more than that.
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The 2016 edition of the F85 comes updated with the latest digital technology too. It has a 20.6 cm graphic workout display, a firm tablet holder and Bluetooth connection that allowed me to use my tablet as a monitor and even share my workout sessions with others through wireless apps. That’s quite impressive for a machine priced under $4,500. Here are a few things I loved about the treadmill and some that I didn’t like much.
- The F85 is made of the best quality parts to meet your cardio training needs at home. It is designed to last for years.
- I loved its 4.0 CHP motor that can support fast sprints and support user weight of up to 181 kg.
- Like other 2016 Sole treadmills, the F85 also features a durable two-ply track that runs smooth and quietly.
- The treadmill’s deck is made of CushionFlex Whisper technology that is known to reduce joint impact by 40% in comparison to outdoor terrain. It has a higher impact reduction than most of the other treadmill brands out there. The deck technology further muffles running sounds which would otherwise be a nuisance when exercising at home.
- The treadmill’s incline has 30 levels, the highest being 15% which is great for exercising lower body muscles.
- It has an easy to read workout display console. The console has 10 programs focusing on different training needs such as cardio, muscle toning, and weight loss. It even allows you to create profiles and save favourite programs for convenient fast-start when you next step on the treadmill.
- The F85 is fully compatible with MP3 players and iPods for all your audio needs when exercising. It comes with jacks for speakers and headphones as well as on-screen controls.
- The treadmill can easily be folded to save space when not in use.
- The F85 is quite safe to use. It has a stop button and an automatic safety cord that you can use to stop it in case you trip and fall.
- The motor, frame, and deck have a lifetime warranty while the electronics come with a five year warranty.
- With all the hype about the treadmill’s technology, I didn’t see any change or improvement in programming. It has the same 10 program modes found in other Sole treadmills. I expected more.
- It is still a bit bulky even when folded.
- The siderails or stability hand rails as some would call them are not as long as I would have loved them to be.
Talking of features
The treadmill may not have the gadgets you dream about, but it does come with the latest features you would ever want in a treadmill, at least in real life not in your running dreams. Take its folding deck, for instance. When vertical, the deck locks in place and easily lowers itself when I’m ready to hop on and begin my exercising.
The motor is basically the heart of any treadmill. The F85 has a powerful motor of 4.0 CHP that gives me a diverse range of speeds starting from 0.8 to 19 kph (0.5-12 mph) and up to 15% incline. If you didn’t know, these impressive stats are not common even in high-end treadmills.
The treadmill’s CushionFlex Whisper Deck technology gives me safer and quieter workouts with impact significantly reduced by up to 40%. Its frame is strong and durable. It can accommodate users of varying weights and heights. The F85 also features a high torque motor with a steel zinc coated flywheel designed to give me a vibration-free and secure running experience. It has rollers with sealed bearings that ensure I have a smooth and quiet exercise session. The treadmill’s incline has 30 levels, the highest being 15% which is great for exercising lower body muscles.
The F85 is fully compatible with MP3 players and iPods for all my audio needs when exercising. It comes with jacks for speakers and headphones as well as on-screen controls. Other notable features of the treadmill include pulse grips and chest strap for heart rate monitoring and a cooling fan.
It has an easy to read workout display console. The console has 10 programs focusing on different training needs such as cardio, muscle toning, and weight loss. It even allows me to create profiles and save favourite programs for convenient fast-start when you next step on the treadmill.
Other computer features I love in the F85 include a wide LCD display backlit in blue, ten program modes including one manual program, a wide range of settings such as hill, fat burn, strength, cardio, two heart programs, and workout data that includes calories, pulse, time, RPM, and level just to mention a few.
Health benefits of using the F85
You get plenty of health benefits when you work out with the F85. For starters, the exercising boosts your circulation and cardiovascular systems, transforms unwanted fat into beneficial lean muscle, improves your endurance, improves your metabolism and significantly helps in your weight loss efforts. The treadmill is your best option when you don’t have the time or theheart to battle the unfavourable outdoor weather conditions in a five mile jog. Personally, I prefer to stick to my personal routine to meet my workout objectives rather than drive to the gym. The treadmill allows me to exercise in a safe environment where I’m not likely to slip on wet leaves or trip over a tree stump sustaining a serious injury in the process. Running outside in extreme weather conditions surely does have a few side effects that I would rather avoid by investing in a safe and durable treadmill such as the F85.
Other factors you may want to know about the F85
All factors considered, the F85 is a high quality piece of fitness equipment albeit with a few shortcomings such as short stability hand rails and a rather bulky frame. However, it runs quietly and is both strong and durable, which are core factors we all seek for in a treadmill. From its folding deck to the motor, the F85 features some of the best components hardly found in other models.
More than 10 programs would have been better
In as much as I would have loved to see more pre-programmed workouts in the new 2016 F85 treadmill, I still think Sole did a great job incorporating 1 manual workout program, 5 programmed modes, and additional 2 custom and 2 heart rate programs in this treadmill. It would have also been great to have some form of connectivity between the treadmill and a workout app or just a way you could download your workout data for future reference. This would have helped a lot in tracking my performance over time. These are some of the important features that lack in almost all of Sole’s fitness equipment.
In normal operation, the F85 does indeed run quiet and smoothly. I however noticed that after some time squeaks could be heard emanating from the treadmill, which was quite unexpected in a machine of its calibre. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly where the squeaks come from given that this is a treadmill of the highest quality. If you can’t absolutely stand any noise from a treadmill, be advised to do your own due diligence and test the treadmill thoroughly before you finally make that important purchase decision.
Last word on the Sole F85 Folding Treadmill
Sole treadmills are renowned for a wide range of features and performance. The company is also well known for the best customer support. The F85 is currently the most advanced treadmill in Sole’s stable of high quality exercise equipment. When Sole claims the F85 is the world’s best treadmill they really mean what they say based on the features and functional design of the treadmill. If you are looking for a treadmill that is built to serve you for long then the F85 is worth considering.