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on March 3, 2011
I reviewed several brands under $1000, including reviews for about 6 months before I bought. It came down to 2 units; the Sole E25 and the Spirit EL-455. Both were just under $1000 and I feel that I choose the wrong one. If you are interested in this unit look at the Spirit. I wish I had bought it instead, but too late for me. Here are some lessons learned and thoughts of this unit.
Putting it together: 2 person job, lots of plastic cosmetics (I wouls leave these off for the first month so you can retighten bolts that these cover. BLUE locktite (only blue) would be good on the bolts, some of them already came with some blue locktite on them. After a month of use I have 3 noises I need to fix which means removing these plastic parts.
Operating: The speakers are not very good but the fan is a blessing, this elliptical gives me a better workout then my old Proform. The standard routines are somewhat adjustable, but each segment it goes back to the original value, making you having to adjust again. During "Pause" I hear contacts constantly clicking which can not be good for them, so I do not use the Pause function. There is no heart rate controlled program on this whci would be really good for us that are improving. Overall it is a good maching but for $300 more the Sole E35 would give you a lot more. But if $1000 is your cap look at the Spirit, I wouldn't look at any others less than $1000 because these are the 2 best for that price. All of the others including Schwinn and Lifestrong just don't compare. 1 last item, had 2 pieces of plastic broke durng shipment, called SOLE and they said they would send them out. 6 weeks later NO PARTS!, hope this is not how their customer service does business!!!!
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on November 9, 2010
Well we just recently picked this up. So far I am loving it. It took about 2-3 hours to put together late night early morning so you could probably do it faster if you're of sound mind.

The machine itself seems to be very well put together to handle my current 260lb weight with ease.

I did a lot of online research before buying this one. It is the low end of the 4 available from Sole. Most reviews say to take this one for the money or to upgrade to the E95 if you can afford it.

The incline is now power on the E25. This is an update from the previous model and appreciated.

The display screen is quite basic but it does enough to keep you informed and working.

All in all, for what is a budget elliptical machine, I am very happy with the construction and the value I have received in this purchase.
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on February 17, 2012
As many here have already stated, I researched this purchase to within an inch of its very life. I read reviews and product explanations to the point of seeing them in my sleep. Been there, done that? Then you know what I mean. Beyond that, I visited stores, took demo rides and compared all to the standard model I've used at the gym for the past few years, the Life Fitness HR9500 which stickers for $4,000+. Nice machine that, but far too pricey for my needs. Even the used models come in north of $2K so the hunt was on to find an elliptical that could save me a few trips to the gym each week and do the deed at home.

Once I tried the E25, I knew I was home. Quiet, sturdy (I'm 6'4"/215lbs) and with enough standard features to get the job done like resistance & elevation controls all for under $1,000??? This can't be! It can be. It is the Sole E25 and now it's mine. I've put it through a few workouts already and have not found it lacking in the important areas noted above. It's a solid ride, as quiet as a whisper, and gets my heart rate and sweat up there pouring our profusely after only a 20 minute session. How does it compare to the Life Fitness you ask? In some areas, it's better but I won't know the real answer to that question until it passes the reliability over time standard but so far, it's been impressive.

The shorter overall length of the E25 as opposed to the other Sole models was something of note for me in terms of having the space in my workout room not overwhelmed by a longer model. Shorter length and still the stability needed. Now, THAT's a concept! You can tell some good thinking went into the design of this series and model as all the moving parts make sense. An economy of motion and with the superior 20" stride length, a good testing workout. There may be better ellipticals out there for under $1,000 but I didn't find them.

UPDATE at 2 WEEK mark:

The Sole E25 continues to impress. 20 minutes on the Sole has me sweating as profusely as going twice that long on the Life Fitness model at the gym. I know. Amazing but when I soak a hand towel in such a short period of time, it says something. To me, it says the 20" stride length is one reason while the smooth ease of motion betrays how hard you're actually working the unit. Also, don't get caught up with all the bells and whistles of the more expensive models.

The Sole E25 gives you everything you need: A timer, distance traveled and even a built in lap track on the monitor for additional motivation. If you want to monitor your heart rate, get a $30 chest strap/wrist watch device that's more accurate than the built in units on the pricey models. I know. Tested that many times both ways at the gym. As far as calories burned, a simple rule of thumb should suffice which is, figure about 10-12 calories burned per minute depending of course on how intense you're hitting the pedals.

A good target speed would be a lively pace where you're able to carry on a conversation which is in that aforementioned target area. On the Sole E25, it would be making a complete lap every 2.5- 3.0 minutes so if you can do the simple math, and you CAN, save the extra bucks for all that stuff built in on the upgraded units. I'm lovin' me some Sole E25!

One other note of interest: The Sole has dual guiderails for increased stability. Those are the rails the foot pedals slide on when the machine is in motion. Noteworthy because many other competitive ellipticals in this price range cheap out and provide only one guiderail which is another solid point in favor of the Sole. It's early in its tenure with me, so take that into account but I'm giving it my highest recommendation.

UPDATE at about 2 YEARS:

The Sole E-25 rocks the house, and, as it nears the two year mark of ownership, nothing has gotten me to back away from that view. I keep the foot guide rails well lubricated with WD-40 every couple of weeks, dust it regularly, and continue to put about 5-6 20 minute sessions on it every week. It operates the same as day one which is to say, excellent! You can go crazy and pay 3-4x more for an elliptical, or go the other way and cheap out with one costing half as much or lower but I don't think you'll find a better overall value the Sole E25 represents. The main reason I like it? It's remarkably stable which speaks to its build quality. Anytime you're on an elliptical that moves around or sends you a signal that it's about to tip over or shudders under your body weight load, you know what I'm talking about.. The Sole E25 will have none of that! I think you should have some of THIS.
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on April 27, 2011
I have used a Precor for two years where I worked out four to five days a week an hour each time. Due to health issues, I have to start working out at home. I have yet to use the machine, but in trying it out, it works just a smooth as a Precor. Like most people, it took me around two hours to put it together. The parts lined up perfectly. The bottom part comes in two sections. It's really easy to assemble. I purchased the machine from and it was delivered by ABF Trucking. It was delivered free of charge and the ABF driver was very considerate.

In deciding which elliptical to purchase, I spent at least twenty hours on line reading reviews. In reading the reviews, I only noticed a couple of individuals expressing some frustration with the e25 as they wanted more out of their machine than what it could provide. I read no complaints about the machine's construction, the manufacturer (Sole), warranty and customer service support. Whereas, I read numerous complaints about MANY other machines. These complaints consisted of expressions, e.g., junk, poorly built, no customer service, can't get parts, etc.

In deciding on which elliptical machine to purchase, I had to take into condideration my height 5' 9", and entry height of the machine. Where I have to place the machine, I only have a 7' 4" ceiling height. At full incline, I still have at least two inches between my head and the ceiling. Since one does not stand while using the elliptical, I probably have three inches. I say this as I only found one review where the writer spent time to explain what I just explained. It was a very important review for me. I also sent an e-mail to Sole, and someone from their sales department took the time to respond with specific information. This is Sole's customer service. I sent an e-mail to another elliptical manufacturer and all I got was a generic sales response.

As I use this machine, I will try to come back and add to this review. I have no idea if this is possible. If not, I will write another review. I went through so much in deciding which elliptical to buy and I feel that it is only right that I get my thoughts out for others use.
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on November 24, 2011
Just finished my first 45 minute cardio on this machine and I am so happy with this purchase!
I would totally recommend it to the in-home user.

I spent a few days researching and reading reviews on ellipticals. At first I thought I would try to find machine for about $300, but after my research it just made sense to
up my budget and get something that will last, and not discourage me from using it (i.e. being rickety, noisy, cheap feeling would turn me off to using it).
I kept going back to the Sole products in my online research and settled on the E25. I loved the price of $999.99 with free shipping and no tax. I ordered it on a Monday and it arrived on a Wednesday morning; the freight truck driver called me when he was 10 minutes away and two guys brought the box inside my house. And the thing weighs a proverbial ton so shipping would have been pricey had I needed to pay for that.

I also like the weight capacity (325 lbs in case my future boyfriend wants to use it ;~), the stride length of 20" because I am 5'-8" tall, and the good weight of the flywheel which I learned will help with smooth operation. I also liked the features of HR monitor and the power incline buttons both on the console and in the handles.

Now the fan feature, frankly, is silly because it barely blows air, so you would be better using a room fan at home. I haven't yet tried the speakers but at home I would use my own sound system anyway. I am still learning about the other features and programmed workouts.

I just feel like I am using a solid, commercial grade elliptical because it feels really heavy duty to me and is really quiet.

Now assembly - it took me 5 hours but I was alone and I took my time making sure I had all the right hardware and understood the directions. They include the tools as well, so that was nice. In addition, I would keep going back to my computer to watch their assembly videos from their website, which was amazingly helpful and I would recommend doing that too. The thing is so heavy, you really should have help with it so I would definitely suggest having one other person to help assemble it. I had to call the tech support once for help and got "Russ" who was so helpful and nice.

All in all, I am very happy with this purchase and motivated to stay healthy and fit!
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on March 2, 2011
Please note that this review is for a 2007 model of the E25, so ours doesn't have an iPod input (or speakers) or any sort of incline. BUT, my wife and I now have logged almost 400 hours of use on this great machine and we still love it. I know the bearings are sealed, but I have added some heavy duty moly grease to several of them to reduce or eliminate some slight noises. Other than that, all we have done is happily use the E25.

I am 6'4" and my wife is 5'1" and we are both very comfortable using this elliptical. I assume the basic design for the current model is pretty much the same as our 2007 model....and if so, we would highly recommend the E25.
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on August 10, 2011
Had researched ellipticals for a couple of weeks trying to decide on what I wanted. I was originally planning on spending about $500 or so, but all the reviews I had read said anything at that price was junk. I kept looking and decided $1000 would be my max so I could find a long lasting quality machine. I have had this machine for over a month now and love it. I exercise on it at least 4 times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes.

Sturdy, I am 260 pounds and it doesn't wobble or shake as I workout. A few ellipticals that I had tested in stores did shake.
Super smooth, just glides along with you. Truly rides better than my gym's fancier elliptical.
Most of it is already assembled you just have to put the bigger pieces together and put the plastic parts that cover the bolts on the machine. Looking at 1.5 hours to put everything together.
Easy to change incline and resistance as you are working out, located on the hand bars so you don't have to stop to change the settings. Easy to set up the two user profiles.
You can use the arm poles to work your arms to or just grab the hand bars and exercise just your legs.
Can choose from different programs to do, manual, hill, interval, cardio, fat burning, etc.
Has a water bottle holder or can be used for your mp3 player.
Can hook your mp3 player into the machine and listen to music through its speakers or through your own head phones.

Directions for putting it together were not the clear as they could've been. Has worded directions and then a small illustration of what you are to do. I think if they had better instructions you could out some extra putting together time.
Developed a slight squeak when using the machine, put some of the included grease on the track and the squeak is gone.
Heavy and kind of a pain to move around. May need someone to help you get it where you want it in your home.
The fan isn't that great.

To me the cons are minor quibbles when looking at the overall picture. I would definitely buy this machine again. I love how sturdy it is, how well it glides, the fact that you can use the arm poles or not, change incline and resistance on the fly, and it is simple to use. Highly recommend if you are looking for a smooth, sturdy machine.
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on May 11, 2012
I've owned and have beein using this machine since last Christmas and it is absolutely wonderful. Assembly took some time and 2 people were required but it was well worth the effort. There was a part missing to the console and the manufacturer was very responsive and sent it out immediately. It has a nice, smooth motion and is relatively quiet. It came at a super price on along with excellent customer service. With regular use, I can see results in my energy level, muscle tone and stamina as well as my overall mood. If you are serious about a home elliptical machine that works exceptionally well and is enjoyable to use, you won't go wrong with this Sole. While there are less expensive ones, remember, you get what you pay for.
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on February 27, 2011
We ordered end of Januray and got the Sole a few days later, delivered inside our house. Assembling was very easy. All parts fitted extremly well due to a very precise manufacturing. Yes it happens, there was one piece missing, not needed to the use of the Sole. I emailed Sole, a customer rep called me a few hrs later and the missing part was shipped the same day. Congratulations Sole, a really worldclass customer service.

We, my wife and I have been using the sole now for a month with both of us exercising 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes. I have to write that it's a wonderful piece of engineering. No noise at all, smooth and we are very happy that we chose the sole. We tried a few other ones in the same price range and even higher at local sports shops and the sole e25 always came back at the top of our list.

I highly can recommand the sole e25
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on May 28, 2012
I have had my elliptical about one week, and I am thrilled I purchased it. I did not buy through amazon (I got mine at Dicks Sporting Goods on clearance for $300 less). Before I purchased the item, I read a lot of reviews and thought a cheaper machine might do the trick. I am glad I went for the more expensive purchase. First, this machine is stable. There is no rocking when you are on the machine. Secondly it is quiet. Unlike the old treadmill, which you could hear running throughout the house, this elliptical is so very quiet. Only when changing incline does it make a noise, which is at best minimal. The programmed workouts are great. Of the ones I have used, they are 15 minutes. There is a manual, hill, fatburn, and cardio setting. I love the low impact on my knees. I have already had knee surgery, so running is painful for me. This elliptical is smooth, gives a great workout, and my knees are not in pain when I get off. My dad travels a lot for work, and when we went to try this machine at the store, he commented that this is one of the best machines he has tried (compared to all the hotel models he has used throughout the years). The fan is worthless, so get yourself a nice standing fan. But really that is a marketing tool, and it didn't factor into my decision to purchase the machine. Overall, E25 has been a worthwhile purchase. I know I will be getting a lot of miles out of this machine.
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