For the space conscious runner there are plenty of Folding Treadmill options on the market. In this review we will look in depth at the Sole F85 folding treadmill reviewed here. This is at the top end of the price range for folding treadmills, at around $1800. This is a step up from most of the best treadmills on the market, we will see what you get for your money, and most importantly if it is worth the extra spend.
Read on for our Full Sole F85 Treadmill Review:
Is the Sole F85 Right for you?
This treadmill is designed for men and women wanting to run faster and further than is possible with lower end treadmills on the market. There are a number of design choices that Sole have made to achieve this, we will look into each of these in full. If you are just looking for a machine for walking or light jogging and you weigh less than 350lbs then you can manage with the Sole F80 Treadmill. However if speed and distance is what you are after read on!
The first thing to notice about the F85 is that its very solid and well built. Weighing in 265lbs it’s one of the heaviest treadmills we have handled. While this makes assembly a little more tricky all this extra weight provides huge strength and stability to the machine, even when running flat out.Fitting and Equipment: What this Treadmill has to offer?
As a high end consumer treadmill the Sole has all the top end features that you would expect. The first thing you will notice is that the running surface is big, at 60″ long and a comfortable 22″ wide there is plenty of space to run and not have to worry about either coming off the back or hitting the front bar. This is often my worry on small treadmills, and can be a distraction when the speed, or incline starts to increase.
The other feature of the deck, aside its size, is that its incredibly comfortable to run on, the mat is specially designed to take the impact of running. This lowers the stress on joints enabling you to run in comfort for longer. The design includes two woven layers of rubber over a strong plastic core, all this adds thickness and life to the belt (allowing sole to offer a life time belt warranty). It also makes the belt very slick over the rollers, minimizing noise and resistance making the running again more comfortable.
Speed and Incline
Like most treadmills the speed of the F85 is limited to 12mph (enough for most people – this is 5 minute mile territory) what makes the difference is the motor. With its powerful motor you never get the feeling that the machine is struggling to move at this speed.
The other benefit of this powerful motor is that it will power you up some significant inclines in this case a 15% slope. What I really liked about the incline was the way the console tracks the vertical climb on the screen. If you have a local hill its great to set the height of that as a target for the run.
I have used many treadmills that feel like they are working harder than I am at high speeds, the Sole feels like it can just keep going long after I have given up.
Sole F85 Console
To keep you motivated, engaged and updated on the stats Sole have a modern looking console fitted to the F85. The console provides easy access to a number of useful features, such as two large bottle holders, an iPad/Magazine rack, a three speed fan that actually works and speakers to listen to music. Also on the console are quick set buttons to set the speed and incline.
Sole have included some extra speed and incline controls on the arms either side of the treadmill. I didn’t like these so much, simply becuase the machine is quite big, and I found them a stretch to reach at full speed.
Summary of Sole F85 Features:
- Powerful 4.0 CHP, DC Type motor
- 0.5-to-12 MPH speed range,
- 0-to-15% rack-and-pinion gear design incline,
- two-ply belt,
- pulse grip and chest strap heart rate monitoring
- Six standard programs, two custom programs, and two heart programs; cooling fans and MP3-compatible sound system; nine-inch LCD workout display
- Measures 35 by 58 by 80 inches (W x H x D);
- deck measures 35 by 80 inches (W x D)
- running surface measures 22 by 60 inches (W x D);
- 265-pound weight
- 400-pound weight limit;
- 2.75-inch rollers
- Includes the following manufacturer’s warranties against defects in materials and workmanship:
- lifetime on frame, motor, and deck;
- five years on electronics;
- two years on labor
What are other reviews saying about the Sole F85 Treadmill?
The Sole F85 has been well received by users for a number of years, and has quickly built a reputation for solid reliable performance.
“I was concerned about the purchase being worth the money. I have had this treadmill for three years now, and it is still running strong. Very solid build on the machine…better than some gym treadmills”
“Do your research and you will see this is the highest quality treadmill, no squeaky
Cheap noises while pumping out 5 miles.”
Sole F85 Video:
Sole F85 Treadmill Review: Our Verdict.
While this is not the cheapest treadmill on the market by a long shot, it is probably the most affordable ‘Gym Quality’ Treadmills available. If you are used to the power and comfort of the high end machines in good fitness centres then you will know what its like to use the Sole F85 Treadmill. We love the smooth way that the power and speed builds up. Reliability has never been an issue for us either, and reading other users reviews this seems to be the norm. Even then Sole back it up with an impressive warranty.
If you are looking for a great quality treadmill that will last, and constantly push your performance the Sole F85 makes an ideal choice.
Sole Fitness F85 Folding Treadmill Review Summary:
For weight loss the Sole F85 is hard to beat. At a price of $2000 it is more expensive than our best all round treadmill however it can accommodate runners up to 375lbs while the TR1200 maxes out at 300lbs.
The Sole F85 is a high quality folding treadmill, so its fairly easy to store after a workout. Its not uncommon to find Sole equipment in gyms, and you can feel the quality of this product in its fit and finish. The buttons feel good, and the run is well cushioned and comfortable.
Most importantly for plus sized runners the deck is massive, at 22" by 60". This means that you will not feel constrained even if you are very tall! The extra 2" over the TR1200 may not sound like much, but imagine the difference there would be in an airline seat if they gave that extra space?
To support the extra weight this machine packs some punch, with a powerful motor that is designed to stand up to the rated weight limit. The belt has also been upgraded from a normal two layer belt, this one is two ply four layers. This provides much more shock absorption leading to a safe, comfortable and quiet workout.