Customer Reviews: Sole Fitness F63 Folding Treadmill
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on April 9, 2013
I purchased this treadmill in March 2013 and received it 3 days later WITHOUT disappointment. Prompt delivery and service! I'm not sure why the negative reviews. I have been looking for a treadmill for 6 months. It was a very long process because I was looking for a motor with a CHP of 3 or greater because of running. Most of the reviews on the running forums said to buy a treadmill with at least a 3.0CHP (Horsepower) motor. Sole had a good reputation and my neighbor purchased the F80 with a 3.5 CHP. I went back and forth, but couldn't justify spending $500 more just for 0.5 CHP more. Here is my advice. If you run more than 50 miles a week on a treadmill, go with the F80. I love my treadmill and am so happy with the purchase. I run at least 3 miles at a time at a pace of 10mph with sprints. I use the treadmill about 6 days a week and it's been great. I was so relieved to come back to this treadmill after running on my parents' Nordic Track (2.25 CHP) during a vacation.

I've read reviews about the fan, heartrate monitor, etc. I was buying a treadmill for the SOLE purpose of running. I don't care about the fan or the monitor. First, if you want a monitor, buy a polar one. Sole specializes in treadmills not heartrate monitors. I did call the company and they offer military discounts directly for those who serve our country, which was a plus in my book, but I purchased it on Amazon. Second, you get a lot of bang for your buck here. Proform also sells another treadmill, which is comparable, but most of the runners reviews suggested to stay away from Proform.

Setup was easy and I feel like I'm running on a Life Fitness, well maybe that's an exaggeration, but it's pretty close with a better price. The only solid consistent reviews I got during my research was for Life Fitness Treadmills or Precor. These were way out of my price range.

If you want a treadmill for running and you run less than 50 miles a week, this is a great buy. If you have many heavy people running on the treadmill, pay more money and buy either the F80 or a Life Fitness. I weigh 140 pounds and even though I'm only 5'2, the long running deck is nice.

The one complaint my husband did have was that the front of the treadmill was a little close to where he runs and he tends to hit it when he runs. This really depends on where on the treadmill you like to run. Some run more towards the front than the rear and others do not. I love the cup holders on top and bottom. I like the easy access to change speed and incline.

Again, if you are looking for a quality treadmill and don't want to spend more than $1000, this is your treadmill. Any treadmill that is less than this price is probably for walking and light jogging. Check the CHP! Remember, you are buying a treadmill, not a tv, fan, or heartrate monitor. I'm grateful for the additions, but I was testing the treadmill not the extras.
Also for those of you who don't know, after much research, I found out that this treadmill is the F80 from last year. They increased the CHP output for both F63 and F80.
Check the warranties because they also differ a little.
Everyone's needs are different so buy a treadmill for your needs. You will read so many reviews that it gets daunting. I gave up looking for about a month. I'm glad I waited and Sole came out with the updated version of F63.
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on February 14, 2014
I no longer have this treadmill, and have been shopping for a replacement. Perhaps the BEST feature of this treadmill is the construction. It is SOLID, no cheap plastic rattling parts. Also, the console layout is user-friendly and basic, which to me is a huge plus, as I prefer manual workouts. ~~~the downside to the one touch controls is that they go up in vast increments...1, 3, 6, 9, 12, etc. (which is a huge increase in both speed and incline unless you are prepared to do burst workouts) There are speed and incline controls on the arms rails which I loved and used all the time to keep up with the one touch buttons on the main console.
Another outstanding feature of this treadmill is the convenience and practicality of the accessory trays found both on the console and underneath, which also serves as a stabilizing bar for the unit itself. PLENTY of room for water bottles, keys, phone, ipod, anything and everything. The speakers themselves were decent. Loud and clear enough for the average person. (If my face isn't vibrating from speakers while I am working out I am not impressed, as I am an audiophile, and I NEED the extra oomph from a real external sound system for motivation.) I have read other reviews complaining about noise treadmill could run at top speed and incline with ease, mine was SO quiet!! I did NOT like the display, I found the display was sometimes hard to read, the white lights did not contrast enough to the blue display, and mine kept switching between readout modes, which was beyond frustrating. This treadmill was assembled for me, so it was SUPER sturdy; however, moving it around was a huge ordeal when we moved into our new home. The wheels (not the rollers for the deck, those are awesome) but underneath the treadmill for mobility need to be larger for such a massive machine. If you are going to keep this in one place, this would be a non-issue. In hindsight, after WEEKS of shopping around for a new treadmill I wish that I had kept this one until I actually purchased a new one because I am underwhelmed by almost all of the other ones I have tested in the stores. The construction of this treadmill, the power of the motor, very quiet...I have yet to find in any other as of yet. MAJOR PROS: heavy duty construction, almost flawless design, a SILENT workhorse and (to me) MAJOR CONS: not easily moved when upright, display hard to read due to lack of contrast between blue background and white readouts, too many gaps in between one touch design for someone (like myself) who prefers manual workouts. If Sole would fix the last two I would buy it [almost at any price] in a second and be a very happy girl. the fan is the only thing loud on this treadmill, and I do wish that it came with wireless chest straps to track your heart rate. ;o) hope this helps
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on December 26, 2014
I'm taking my time to write this review and there will be many updates along the way. I was very wary of buying any treadmill as the reviews seem to be all over the place.
So far I have had no problems. I assembled it by myself and it is not difficult. It should take most people about an hour but the assembly instructions could be improved
The treadmill works very well. There is lots of cushioning. Compared to an older Smooth Fitness model that this replaced the cushioning makes you work harder for a better workout. I have no issues with the display or controls. The speed buttons are helpful. It makes slightly more noise than I expected but I think I can get that fixed sometime soon. At this juncture the only fault I could find we it this is the fan. There are 2 non directional fans at the top of the unit that only produce a faint breeze. There is only 1 speed and the direction cannot be adjusted. I'm not taking any points off for that but it needs to be mentioned because if you are going to spend longer than a half hour running and you want a breeze to help cool you off the fan is totally useless
All in all excellent machine.
Will update with the program functions next
Update No2 /2/1/15
The treadmill continues to work well. I stand corrected on the fan as it can be adjusted up or down but it is still ineffective as it needs to be a bit more powerful. With the winter of 2015 in the NY area taking a turn for the worse I am very satisfied to this point as I am putting a lot more mileage than customary indoors.The treadmill is sturdy and long enough that I can even do speedwork. I promise to review the programming functions next
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on September 4, 2015
I have used this treadmill on a consistent basis for the last ten months, and have definitely racked up mileage training for a marathon. Runs great. Very smooth, no problems with the motor. I would definitely purchase another Sole product.
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on April 4, 2013
I have the older model of the F63, but I think my comments should be mostly applicable to the new model.

I bought it 'used'--hardly used, in fact, so it was almost brand-new. I used it to build a treadmill desk. I have walked on it for 4-6 hours most weekdays for the last two years. The f63 can operate at a pretty slow speed (0.5 mph) and goes up in 0.1 increments, so it is well suited to that purpose. I usually have it at about 1 mph if typing, or a little higher if just reading or watching something else on the screen. The incline is nice because you can up the effort while leaving the actual belt speed low. Most days I have the incline at it's maximum setting. I have heard of people having ankle problems and what not from using the incline too much, but it has yet to bother me. I have also occasionally bumped the speed up to run, and it seems fine, but I don't do it that often.

The f63 is more than capable of handling this level of use, but you do need to remember to lube the track regularly. If you use the treadmill a lot, might as well invest in a large bottle of the silicone lube. I got a spray bottle from Treadmill Doctor, not sure if Amazon still carries it, but there is a similar looking product from Lifespan. So, when should you lube? Follow the directions, at least. If your motor is heating up--if you can smell that electrical component smell--your track is generating too much friction and you need to re-lube and/or loosen the belt a bit. Buy a big bottle, use a generous amount, but if the belt is slipping, you used too much. Don't worry, just use it on low speed with no incline for a while and it will work itself out. If you really overdo it, I guess you could wipe the deck with a towel. Anyway, I relube once a week when I am using it daily.

The belt loosening and retightening/realigning is inconvenient to say the least. After you do it about 10 times you will get a better feel for it. Seems to me this is something they could partially automate without too much trouble--use an electrical actuator and some kind of belt tension sensor. If your treadmill is making a godawful noise, the belt is probably just misaligned. Follow the manual and get the track back on track, Jack.

If you use electronics near this treadmill, or just about any other treadmill, you may experience interference. I had a huge problem with my internet signal dropping out, and also line level hum in my stereo. This is caused by the design of the electric motor--it can pump a lot of interference back into your house electrical. There is a quieter motor type available, but it is more expensive, so the mfrs don't use it, at least in this level of product. But there is an easy fix. Plug the treadmill into a filtering surge suppressor. I got the smallest available TrippLite Isobar Ultra, which works perfectly. Don't plug anything sensitive into the other outlets in the suppressor or you'll defeat the purpose.

My biggest issue with the f63 is that it is too noisy when I have a phone call. I just pause it. Maybe the f80 is quiet enough.

A minor issue is the size of the thing. In particular, treadmill mfrs seem to have a fetish about making the control console this colossal over-designed blinkenlights star trek command panel. If you are associated with a treadmill manufacturer, please heed this. I'm sure the average iTablet could control a dozen of these without breaking a sweat, so it's not the electronics that drive the size. You could probably OEM one of the cheaper off-brand tablets and have a touch screen to boot.

Oh, another minor issue is that the fans and the speakers are a sad joke. Ditto approximately knee level location of the cupholders. What is up with that? So, I don't use them and they take up space.

Edit: If you are interested in using a treadmill in a "walking desk", see my review of the "LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill (2013 Model)". It is better suited to that purpose since you can operate it in a headless configuration--you can take the uprights off and slide it under a standing height desk.
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on March 12, 2013
I have been the owner of several treadmills and between my wife, 3 boys and I we put an average of 100 miles per week. The Sole F63 could not handle this amount of usage and went bad. After calling customer service to use my warranty, they sent me a replacement part, but this was on back order and I had to wait 2 weeks. Once I received the part and installed it, the same error was registering. After troubleshooting the issue, the tech said it was a faulty board and they would send another one out immediately. A week later, I called to check on the part and it had not even shipped. When I requested for it to ship and raised Cain, I was told it was being pulled off the shelf as we speak and would be overnight shipped. 3 Days later when I called to inquire of the part's whereabouts I was told it had not shipped and was back ordered again. I was given the runaround for over an hour with various customer service reps, until a supervisor finally said there were 140 in stock so he would send me one immediately overnight. When this part arrived, the error message was still indicating on the treadmill. They said it couldn't be 2 faulty boards so they would send another part, but it would be 2 to 3 more days. 4 weeks since my treadmill broke, and I still do not have the correct part to rectify the situation....My recommendation is by Livestrong.
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on May 23, 2016
I've had this treadmill for about a year and I really like it. Does it all have all the features of a $2k bowflex treadclimber or one you'd find at a gym? Obviously not, but do you really need all those things for a home treadmill? Trust me I did a LOT of research before deciding to make buy this F63 treadmill and in the end I'm totally happy that I chose this unit. Here's why
1) Folding feature - do yourself a favor and get the folding treadmill for home use - it makes big difference that you can fold this and easily move it around to save space
2) lots of incline/speed options. Do you really need a decline? do you really need a 40 degree incline? I'd say that 99% of the time you won't use these 'nice to have' features. Most people don't need those extra's and won't use them often enough to warrant spending the extra $1k or so to get them. This treadmill gives you lots of options for the main speeds and inclines you will use. You can burn all the calories you need with this machine
3) long deck - plenty of room to run
4) decent size screen - it's not an HD screen and if you wanna pay extra to subscribe to one of those add-on trainer services then this is not the machine for you. Personally I don't need all that and don't want to pay the extra monthly fee to get those add-ons from bowflex, etc. This screen is a good size and tells me what I need to know
5) nice heart rate monitor options - using the handlebars or the heart rate strap that comes with it
6) fairly easy to build - it's really heavy to unpack and lift and it takes a while to build for one person but it's not difficult
7) I got mine at Dicks for less than $800 with a coupon so I would shop around for a good price.

Is it a perfect machine? No, but if you really ask yourself what you need, I think you'll find this TM should be high on your consideration list
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on April 15, 2014
My husband purchased this for my birthday (at my request). It arrived quickly but when it was assembled it did not run. The incline did not work, the motor would not accelerate and it was very loud. We have called customer service numerous times but it took 2 weeks to get a repair man to come to our house even though the unit was defective from the first. Once the repair man came he determined a bar on the bottom of the treadmill was bent and cracked and unable to be repaired. We now have an unfixable treadmill sitting in our master bedroom waiting to be returned.
I have a Sole elliptical and it has been excellent which is why I chose a Sole treadmill but the customer service, or lack thereof, has turned me off of Sole for life. The representatives that I dealt with were rude and condescending.
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on December 17, 2015
This is an excellent treadmill that delivers exceptional value for the money. It is comparable to many models costing twice as much. I run on it three times a week, and I have had no issues. There are some minor things I miss from gym-level treadmills (like having two places after the decimal point in the distance readout--it only indicates tenth of a mile), but these are small things to sacrifice for such great value. Unfortunately Amazon's delivery service left much to be desired. I was contacted a day prior to the delivery by the delivery company to confirm delivery. I have a first floor entryway to a second floor townhouse so I instructed them to make certain they had at least two guys on the truck to help carry the almost 300lb treadmill up the stairs. They showed up with one guy about my size, not particularly muscular, and pushing 60 years of age. The man refused to help me get it inside my townhouse, and just left it on my front steps. This after being specifically instructed that additional manpower would be needed. After an hour my wife and I were finally able to find a complete stranger to help us lift it up the stairs. The freight delivery company Amazon used was a complete failure.
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on January 31, 2014
We purchased this machine six weeks ago from a large sporting goods store. Since then, three different technicians have been out trying to make it actually work. The company simply keeps forcing new parts to be ordered - which takes a week - and then sends out technicians who don't even live near us (and so we can't schedule anything convenient) - which takes another week. Rather than simply approving a swap-out of machines or refunding our money, they keep forcing us to keep a $900 machine that doesn't work. I will never buy a product from this company again, and I recommend others stay away from it as well. Their customer service is unacceptable.
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