Customer Reviews: Sole Fitness E25 Elliptical Machine
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on December 24, 2012
I bought this a few weeks ago through the manufacturer since Amazon didn't have the 2013 model yet (I had the money ready and I wasn't feeling very patient, plus, the manufacturer was offering a tax free + free shipping deal that I couldn't pass up).

Regardless, this thing is incredible.

Be careful when you order it, as this package is heavy as hell. It was intended for a room upstairs at my house and I had to carry it up one piece at a time. The base, which includes the fly wheel and foot positions is a two person job. We kept the bottom part of the box underneath it and lifted by the box to bring it upstairs. Again, HEAVY! If you plan on keeping it downstairs, it will be a much easier job (just slide the thing if need-be).

Assembly was mildly difficult. I assembled it myself and the instructions were lacking. Just giant pictures with parts and small numbers all over the place. I'm not saying you have to be a rocket scientist to put it together, but it does take a bit of time. The main step I had issues with was step 4 (the last step). There are a number of covers that are supposed to be put on (seem to be mainly for aesthetic value, but I could be wrong). I decided to give up on the last 4 covers, since I couldn't figure out where they would go or why they would go there. The instructions say things like, "Put the [ball joint cover] #112 (#112 isn't labeled on the parts and the picture is microscopic) on using screw #49 and #52." So you have to flip back four pages to figure out which screws are which, and you never have any idea what part #112 is. Not very intuitive.

Once I got it up and running though, everything was a breeze. I think the functionality outweighs anything bad that can be said about the instruction manual.

The fan on the machine isn't superb, but chances are, if you have a room dedicated to workout equipment, you've got a stand alone fan or a ceiling fan in there anyway. I haven't tried out the speakers (and don't plan to) because I have a computer set up in front of the elliptical that I use for all of my entertainment purposes.

It came with a chest strap for heart beat monitoring that works like a charm. Most ellipticals do NOT come with this. The strap comes with an extra battery. NOTICE! There is ALREADY a battery in it! I stripped a screw trying to find out. It also comes with a water bottle (thanks!) that fits perfectly in the designed storage area in the face of the screen.

No noises, very stable. The structure of the machine feels well made while the covers are made of plastic. Love the screen. Very large. Also, the screen has a lip on it that will fit a Kindle or an iPad if you're into that sort of thing.

I highly recommend this machine if you want to start getting into shape. Just remember, personal ellipticals are expensive. DO NOT LET IT TURN INTO "that thing that I lay my clothes on." Personal responsibility, need, motivation, and financial stability need to be taken into consideration before purchasing something like this. If you're ready, I highly recommend this machine.
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on February 10, 2013
I ordered this directly from the manufacturer's website, due to the fact that the 2013 model was not available on Amazon. Sears offered it for the same price, but it did not include free delivery like the manufacturer (but Amazon does when it is in stock). The delivery service was really easy to deal with: they gave me a two-hour window, and were true professionals when delivering the item. Keep in mind that you will have to pay extra if you want the delivery person to lift it up stairs, etc. They will be more than happy to wheel the heavy package into my garage, but if you are expecting them to move it into a room inside your house, you will need to cough up more dough.

The elliptical works great, it is silent, and I like the large info screen. I was contemplating going for the E35 model (more expensive), but it would not fit in my preferred location due to the additional length; the E25 is shorter in length by many inches. That said, I am totally happy with the E25, and I feel like the upgrade to the E35 would have been overkill for my needs and not worth the additional money.

I am going out on a limb, but after reading the negative reviews on this site, I get the feeling that most people are writing negative reviews for this particular model due to their own assembly errors. Instead of exclusively using the included tools for assembly, I used a 3/8" ratchet with 12mm and 14mm sockets PLUS the included 13mm open wrench. I also used a 1/4" ratchet with a 5mm hex/allen bit versus the included L-shaped allen key. These two tools enabled me to significantly reduce the assembly time to about 1.5 hours (and I assembled it really slowly to be safe). I should also add that I assembled this machine myself, with no other help except to lift the heavy chassis into its final destination inside my house.

I assembled a bed frame from that big Swedish store this past weekend, and I have to say that the instructions and ease of installation of the elliptical machine was way, way easier.

Go ahead, purchase this item. I researched the older version of this model online, and it seemed to be the best value of any elliptical that cost less than $1,000 - especially considering the high level of quality.

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on September 7, 2013
After setting up the elliptical and using it twice, the right wheel kept jumping the track after taking a few steps (we both weigh well under the max lbs. noted). A quick google search (and information in the manual) indicated that it might be a problem with 1)too much dirt or too much lubrication on the track, or 2) bolts not tightened enough. I cleaned off the track and wheel with rubbing alcohol and placed a small amount of lubrication back on the track. My husband and I tightened the bolts. The wheel still keeps jumping the track after a few steps. I tried calling Sole Customer Service and was placed on hold for 40 minutes (even though the recording stated that I was in position 1). After holding for 40 minutes of waiting at position 1, I somehow jumped to position 2. With no indication that my phone call would ever get through to a live person, I hung up and sent an email request through Sole's website. I received an email a day later asking me to fill out a form. No big deal, except that after I filled out this additional form, I received an email two days later stating that I needed to send my original receipt and then a representative would contact me. Why was I not notified of this during the first email? I could have sent all the relevant information if it was requested of me up front. I emailed a copy of my receipt within an hour of receiving the email. I still have not heard back from any Sole representative either via email or by phone. This equipment is basically useless. The wheel jumping off track during use is incredibly dangerous if your knee is in the wrong position when it goes off track. I would not recommend this model and I'd go a step further in not recommending any Sole products for lack of customer service.
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on January 8, 2014
Purchased this as Christmas gift for my wife. Did a ton of research. Purchased based on review scores and supposed unbiased websites. Assembly was easy enough. No issues there. Worked fine when I tested it and wife's first couple times on the machine. About the 3rd time on the machine. Started squeaking pretty loud enough to be heard 3 rooms down behind 2 closed doors while I'm trying to put my son to sleep. Next noise I hear is the CATHUD and the WTF from my wife. Apparently one of the wheel skipped of the track. Thought maybe it was a fluke put it back on. Went pretty slow and CATHUD same thing. Thought bathe something is loose. Checked ALL the bolts the bearings etc. everything seems fine. The only thing I can think is the wheels that go on the track don't spin very freely. But they do roll smooth so it's not a bad bearing. Next day wife tried again. Now other track skipped off. 2-3 times. This thing is a accident waiting to happen. Calling amazon/sole in the morning this thing is going back before someone blows out a knee
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on May 26, 2013
We were very cautious about spending $1k on a consumer-level piece of exercise equipment. We read many reviews and this one seemed to come out better than the slightly cheaper ones available at Academy. It is worth the extra money. The look of it is great - it would not look out of place in any gym. Obviously the operation is not quite as silky smooth as the mechanically assisted ones. In silence there is a gentle clanking sound as the parts move back and forth but once you get some music pumping, this works great. As others say, the fan is pointless but we have a large fan in the same room anyway. The speakers are ok but again, we use a Sonos in the same room so have no need for the speakers. The modes are easy to use and the display looks like most gym displays. I am a heavy-set 260lb male and find it sturdy beneath me. Slight movement once I get up to speed and I could probably tip it if I really threw my weight to one side but overall, very solid for the price.

Delivery-wise, we were not offered any additional options as far as taking packaging away etc. This thing is heavy. We were putting the item in a downstairs master bedroom and the delivery guys were happy to drop it in there for no additional cost. I don't know if it would have been more to take it upstairs. Unpacking takes some time with the heaviest part remaining at the bottom. TIP - the first two parts you attach are a carry bar at one end of the base and wheels at the other end allowing you to tip and wheel the heavy base part relatively easily. It is worth doing this and then using the bar and wheels to get the heavy part where you need it to be.

As far as assembly goes, the instructions aren't brilliant. It did take a good 2 hrs+ as we were trying to be careful. Made a mistake when threading the wires up to the console. The instructions say to pull the wire out - but they don't mean pull it out completely (as I did - and then spent 20 mins trying to feed it back through). This bit was fiddly and screwing a couple of the final plastic bits on at the end was fiddly but overall not a bad assembly experience - I am no rocket scientist.
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on February 27, 2013
I received this E25 Sole elliptical yesterday. I purchased it directly from the company following an awful experience ordering originality with Sears. The Sears delivery guys could not get the box inside the house and after a few tries, just gave up. I reordered a couple of weeks later thinking that I'd get a better crew and an item in a less damaged box (the first box had gaping holes in it). Turned out, I got the same sorry crew and the same exact box, only now it was in an even worse condition with entire sections of box missing. The third time is the charm as they say, and I decided to order directly from Sole. Their price was even less than Sears. They use ABF Freight and they offer three tiers of delivery - 1. Delivered to your front door, 2. Carried to any room in your home (even upstairs) or 3. Turnkey delivery including assembly. Each tier adds more to the cost of delivery. I went with option 2 for an additional $99.00. Tier 3 adds a whopping $240 but it may be worth it to some, especially if you are not comfortable putting things together. It took me four solid hours to put this elliptical together. It comes very well packaged but none of the parts are labeled so you must rely on the manual and it's rather cryptic diagrams. I have never had to read instructions so many times to finally get the gist of what they were saying. The hardware is well identified and separated by steps which was very helpful. Unfortunately, the main parts are not identified or labeled so you must rely on the diagrams and a good dose of common sense. Tools are included but I wouldn't rely solely on those as they are rather cheaply made. The electrical connections are not well explained and the diagrams are too small to see what goes where. Nowhere does it explain that the main cables need to be snaked through the main post that supports the console. Only a small sticker on the cable itself provided a hint to this detail. There is not much slack in the cables either, so making the connections to the circuit board requires much dexterity and perhaps a second set of hands. The unit itself seem very well made at this price point. I had no squeaks or vibrations once I finally got to test it out. I paid heed to the advice from Sole to tighten down the various bolts and screws as tightly as possible. They claim 90% of all complains stem from loosely fitted parts or dirty wheels.
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on April 5, 2014
I bought my Sole E25 elliptical from a local distributor as an unopened shipping return. I may not have a warranty, but I got a brand new machine for about half the average going price. I'm happy with that.

Assembly was a little challenging, but not impossible. My biggest issues were that the provided wrenches are a little big and tend to strip the bolts a bit, and that there seems to be a mismatch between the number of cables to the console, and the number of ports in the back of console. Despite the cable/port discrepancy, everything seems to work, so I'm not sure what's going on with that. Assembly took me (alone) about 3 hours.

When I first used the machine for an actual workout, it was making a hissing sound with each stride. I tried taking apart and greasing the wheel assembly, which didn't fix the problem. As it turns out, I just needed to add a little of the provided "LUBE" to the tracks where the wheels run. Problem solved. In the 2-3 months I've been using it, I've needed to grease the railings twice.

Next, it started making a knocking noise. I had seen reviews complaining of this. Tightening the obvious places (the ones I had to assemble myself) didn't work, but it didn't take me long to locate the problem. The screws holding the pedals on weren't totally tight. A quick crank with the screwdriver, and the knocking disappeared and hasn't returned. Works for me.

I've never had a wheel skip off of the track like some of the other reviewers report. I'm not sure what you would have to do to cause that. Maybe a lot of lateral pressure in your stride? It has never been an issue for me.

I've been using the machine about 3x/wk for 3 months now, and for the past 2 months, it has been problem-free. It's smooth, quiet, and sturdy. With the incline and resistance, it can give a really good workout. The chest strap works ok. Just ok. I think it tends to read a bit lower than the actual heart rate. It could also be more comfortable. I was happier with the POLAR heart rate monitor on the treadmill I had previously, but that's not a deal-breaker for me.

Overall, I think it's a good machine. I'm happy with it. Is it perfect? Well, no, but with a little effort up front, it's pretty darn good. Would I recommend it to a friend? Maybe. Ellipticals are expensive, and I hesitate to recommend anything expensive to my friends. But if you're in the market and willing to spend the money, I think the Sole E25 is a solid bet.
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on January 5, 2013
Love this thing! Had our first baby this year which seemed to put an end to my gym days. For less than one year of gym membership I got this elliptical and now I wondered why I didn't do it sooner!

The delivery dudes were awesome -- offered to take it upstairs, unpack it and haul away the garbage for me. I declined all three, but was amazed that it was an option.

I had one minor issue assembling it -- one of the "preassembled parts" needed to come apart and absolutely would *not*. The cheezy little allen wrench that came with it failed its job and the wrench and the bolt ended up all mangled. No idea why they preassemble a part that has to come apart anyway... I took the whole part up to Home Depot looking for tools/advice to fix it and they kindly got the bolt out for me.

Other than that, it's been great. It has a nice long stride, it's SUPER quiet!, and nice and stable. I love the controls on the handles, I love the console display and all the info it shows, I love the audio input and output jacks (nice to know if I step off the machine with my headphones in I won't drag my phone off to its death).
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on June 6, 2015
purchased from Sears 08/2013. complete junk do not purchase. very easy for elliptical to rock side to side if you actually try to push it for what it's intended to do = get in shape. the wheels jump off frequently. while I lost 30lbs and in great shape, it's no loner functional. there are plastic parts throughout the machine many have snapped particularly on the most critical design of the machine, the sliding legs mechanism. why would you put plastic where most of the force is placed? flawed and very dangerous design. ALSO probably the noisiest elliptical ever. worst design ever. either take the $1000 and join a gym with real machines, purchase 3-4 cheap machines as you can just throw them out after a year or 2 and still have more years of investment or pony up some more money and buy a real elliptical. made in Taiwan. enough said
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on April 12, 2014
I purchased this elliptical from Dicks sporting goods, not from Amazon, so I can't comment on shipping, but I will comment on the machine I bought from a brick-and-mortar store. But first, I want to say that I did my homework on ellipticals and read tons of reviews on all kinds of brands, makes, and models. I even tested floor models at most sporting good stores in my area. The Sole brand seemed to be the best fit for my needs. If you are even considering getting an elliptical, there are a few key things you should know about ahead of time, one of them being stride length. This is something I found out about the hard way, in that I originally purchased the Sole e20 model from Dicks which is not sold on Amazon, but is a cheaper model but only has an 18" stride length. I am 6 foot tall and I can tell you that it was too short of a stride length for my height!!! So to my dismay, I wasn't happy at all. Fortunately for me the manager of my local Dicks was sympathetic to my qualms and was nice enough to allow me to return the e20 for the more expensive e25 model which I am now reviewing. The e25 model has a 20" stride which is about right for my height. Assembly was okay, but it was a challenge trying to "fish" the wires through the main bar to attach to the display screen and they were very difficult to plug in. But I assembled it all on my own, so it may be easier with two people. Another minor complaint I have is that the lowest resistance setting still is a challenge for me to use longer than in 10 minute bouts but then again, I am overweight and out of shape. I can't imagine ever using this thing on full resistance, let alone full incline! I have only been using this machine for about a week now and I haven't had the rollers come off the track yet like other users have had happen, but I hope that by keeping the track lubed it will prevent that from happening. There are a few minor clicking noises in the machine when I use it, but nothing major. Overall, it is a fairly smooth ride. I would recommend this model.
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