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278 of 281 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bowflex Series 7 vs. Sole F80
I owned a Bowflex Series 7 Treadmill for a couple of years. It was repaired several times after suffering mechanical and electrical problems, but never again ran properly. After disappointing customer service with Bowflex (Nautilus), I replaced it with a Sole F80. When comparing my ownership experience with both treadmills, I recommend the Sole F80.

Bowflex...
Published on February 10, 2009 by Marc Trevino

versus
47 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, could be better
Like everyone suggests, this is a decent machine. It does, however, have faults:

1. Trim construction is patchy. On self-assembly you will find a number of holes don't quite line up and you have to coax them into alignment. Have seen better mass production on Ikea furniture.

2. User manual is slight. Lots of built-in programs on this machine, not a...
Published on March 9, 2009 by Johnny Spangle


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for me, August 20, 2009
This review is from: Sole F80 Treadmill (2009-2010 Model, DISCONTINUED) (Sports)
I just purchased one of these through the Sole online purchase system. I had an excellent experience with prompt delivery, great support from the carrier, ease of assembly and the treadmill works perfectly. I had the carrier bring the box into my house; it is very, very big and heavy-think 3 grown men to move it around. It unpacks easily and I set it up by myself. The only tricky part was in mounting the back console. The problem for one person is that it is moderately heavy and you need to align it with the uprights while at the same time making sure you don't pinch the control wires while at the same time inserting the bolts. I was able to do it but it would have been very easy if I had some to hold it up while I positioned it and put in the bolts.

As far as functioning, the machine is perfect. Smooth, quiet and enough electronics to make it easy to do the exercise program you want to do. I am middle aged trying to stay healthy, not at all a conditioned runner. I would say this is the perfect machine for a middle aged person trying to stay fit. I can't comment on the suitability for a runner since I am not one.

Bottom line, if you have narrowed down your choices to include this machine, you can pick this one without any reservations. You will not go wrong.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sole F80, October 22, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sole F80 Treadmill (2009-2010 Model, DISCONTINUED) (Sports)
Just received the treadmill yesterday. I actually opted to pick it up at the ABF facility as it was so close to my house. I put the treadmill together this morning with absolutely NO PROBLEM in 45 minutes. Once I had it together I did a 30 min walk/jog utilizing cardio mode and let me tell you this treadmill is rock solid! I am 6'2" 245lbs and I read that tall people should opt for the F85. I thought about it, but honestly I did not want to spend more than $1500 on a treadmill. I am so glad I went with the F80. I once had a Horizon and there is absolutely no comparison. Sole is commercial quality! I really look forward to the coming months and shedding some pounds. Do not waste your time researching all the brands, just get this one. Having won 2 World Powerlifting Championships along with numerous National Championships in Powerlifting I know a thing or two about fitness equipment. Will post a follow up after 6 months of use.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Robust Treadmill..., June 25, 2009
By 
This review is from: Sole F80 Treadmill (2009-2010 Model, DISCONTINUED) (Sports)
My wife & I shopped around quite a bit for a treadmill & decided on this one. We have been very pleased with it. If you want a treadmill that is going to feel sturdy under your feet, be prepared to spend ~$1500. Sole makes a model that is ~$1000 but it is noticeably "cheaper" than this one.

Many people have complained about the assembly process...it's not that bad. It will take some time to assemble, but take it slow & it should go pretty smooth. As others have mentioned, take special care not to pinch the wires when installing the handle covers. The handle covers are plastic, so be careful not to over tighten the screws & strip the threads. Other than that, it's pretty straight forward.

Overall, it's a great treadmill for the price. You'll be glad you got it...however, don't expect that you'll work out more just because you're buying a new treadmill :)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT treadmill!, September 23, 2009
This review is from: Sole F80 Treadmill (2009-2010 Model, DISCONTINUED) (Sports)
I looked at tread climbers for a while, but the reviews scared me off. Then I started researching treadmills. I decided to go with a Sole because of the reviews and ratings. I looked at cost vs features, and the F-80 was a good combination of both. I ordered it from Dick's Sporting Goods, so they brought it up to my 2nd floor flat and put it together. Well worth the cost! I love using this machine! It's reasonably quiet, it has a variety of programs, and it's got room for my phone, some water, a towel, and my Kindle (which is perfect to read while on the Sole with the text set to the largest size!). There are a lot of more technical details covered in other reviews, so this is all I need to tell you. Buy a Sole treadmill, you'll be a happy camper.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Treadmill but does have some missing features, August 19, 2010
This review is from: Sole F80 Treadmill (2009-2010 Model, DISCONTINUED) (Sports)
I've used this treadmill quite a bit since I got it and in terms of ease of use and durability I have no complaints. This feels like it belongs in a gym and can be useful to beginners and trained athletes alike with its speed and incline maxes. The running surface is generous and the cushioned surface saves my ankles. There were a few things missing on this treadmill that, having used many gym treamills in the past, I thought were just standard issue such as:

- No cool down mode after a run. When your time runs out, the machine just gradually stops. Normally I just quickly start another run on low speed.
- No increase/decrease time function in case you want to run a little more. If you want to run less I guess you just stop whne you want.
- Fans are a nice idea but don't cool your front at all. You may gain a small sensation of running outside by turning them on, but if you want to be cool have AC and a ceiling fan running like I do.
- User ID's are not really "your personal profile" like I thought, but rather you can design your own run, defining speed and elevation at each point. Also, once you start your workout the machine will fight you to return to the programmed settings if you plan to change the parameters on the fly. Eg. you're tired and want to slow down on the run you designed, well too bad cause I'm changing back to full speed even though you just slowed me down.
- Heart rate monitor on the console is tough to hold onto while you're running. Worse yet, is that the HR takes a LONG time to count up to your true heart rate which is very awkward if you're trying to run at the same time. The included chest monitor is necessary if you want to know your HR during the run.
- Speed and incline adjustments are only in units of 2 (i.e. speed buttons 2, 4, 6, etc. incline 2, 4, 6). If you want to run at say 5 mph, you have to pick 4 and fine adjust in 0.1 mph intervals to get to 5. This can be tough if you're running intervals on the manual setting.
- Preprogrammed workouts are not really explained and hard to get an idea of what to set the "max speed" at. For intervals I want to jog then sprint but I end up with a walk and run at a low max speed or a jog and insane sprint at a higher max speed.
- Most importantly, although this thing is very sturdy once assembled. This thing is a huge pain to assemble. From hauling this thing up the stairs to trying to interpret the awful directions to working with wierd clips to put scres through for holes that don't line up (think of IKEA furniture when the holes don't align) to feeling the wires from the console in a very non-intuitive way to the base, you will hate this task. It took about 90 min to get it together and I was so frustrated that I wished I had paid for the delivery and install even though I was capable of doing it myself.

Overall, these gripes are not as big as they seem. I am happy with this treadmill and for the price, the quality of the materials can't be beat. I just wanted people to have a buyer beware in case any of these things matter enough to be a deal breaker. But looking at the other brands in this price range, you're not going to get much better than this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Happy, May 20, 2010
By 
This review is from: Sole F80 Treadmill (2009-2010 Model, DISCONTINUED) (Sports)
I am a first time treadmill user and I'm the type that does a lot of Internet research before I make a major purchase. I started out thinking I would spend about $1000, and I almost bought the Sole F63. But since the treadmill would be used daily by both me and my wife, I decided to step up to the F80 for the bigger motor, better deck and a longer warranty. I have had the treadmill for a week.

We tried out the treadmill at Dick's, but we ordered online from Dick's website.

Delivery: I ordered on a Monday morning. It was delivered 10 days later on Thursday. This is in line with the delivery estimate on Dick's website. ABF called a week ahead and set up a delivery time with a 4 hour window. They arrived at the end of the time window with 2 guys. The box was in excellent condition. They hand-trucked the box into our designated room with no problems. The treadmill is extremely heavy. I hope I never have to move.

Assembly: I assembled by myself. It took about an hour and 15 minutes. When putting the console on top of the treadmill, the instructions say to connect the wiring before mounting the console. This is impossible for one person to manage. I found that you can mount the console and then connect the wires with no problem. Putting the plastic shields around the wiring/console connection is tricky. You have to make sure the wires are positioned correctly so the shields can be attached without pinching the wires.

Noise Level: I've never used treadmills before, and based on the other reviews I expected it to be really quiet. The motor makes a low whirring noise and the pitch of the whir sound changes with the speed. It is not loud, but you do hear it. Also, walking or jogging on the deck makes a plop sound as your foot hits the deck. I assume this would be the same on any treadmill. I watch TV while I workout and I do have to turn the volume up louder to hear over the motor and the deck impact sounds.

Controls: I like the controls a lot. The quick keys for incline and speed on the console are great, and the incremental up/down keys on the hand-rests are nice also.

Programs: I've tried the heart rate program with the wireless chest strap. It's really nice for setting and maintaining the desired heart rate. The treadmill will alternate incrementing incline and speed until your heart rate gets to the desired number. It will then alternate decrementing if your heart rate goes higher than the target number. I sometimes put it on manual with the heart rate strap so that I have more control over whether I want to increase my speed or incline. It also allows me to get up to my target heart rate quicker. I haven't tried the other programs yet, but it seems to have a good selection.

Construction: The treadmill is very well constructed. Raising and lowering the deck is very easy. After I got it assembled, I was very impressed with the overall look and feel of the treadmill. I'm 5'10", 180 lbs. and it feels very sturdy and stable when I walk or jog. However, even though the treadmill is a fold-up portable with wheels, it is very difficult to move on carpet. This is due to the weight of the machine which causes the wheels to sink down into the carpet, and I even have Berber carpet which is very low. The hardest part with moving is turning the treadmill in order to roll it in a different direction. If you are moving in a straight line forward or backward, it's not too bad. I imagine if you were on a hard floor it would be very easy to move.

Bottom Line: I am very happy with my purchase so far.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sole F80 wins!, February 23, 2010
By 
J. Higgins "jahrun" (Gaithersburg, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sole F80 Treadmill (2009-2010 Model, DISCONTINUED) (Sports)
I used a lot of the Amazon reviews to buy my treadmill and I have to say that I'm not disappointed and got exactly what I was looking for. I'm a runner and train all year round for half and full marathons, usually about 35 miles a week. I have run very little on treadmills most recently but was looking to get some relief from the winter snow.

Before reading a lot of the reviews and research, I found the consumer reports rated the Bowflex series 7.0 to be the recommended buy. However, after reading further comparisons and reviews it was obvious that although slightly cheaper, the Sole F80 had a much better warranty. My bottom line was that I needed a 3.0 hp motor and good warranty in the $1500 range. The Sole F80 falls perfectly within that criteria and gives you the most for your money.

Some highlights of the positive:

- The deck is definitely well cushioned
- The motor is very quiet
- The display is quite simple to use
- The fans are fairly mild but it's better than nothing!
- Price is very competitive
- Like other reviewers commented, the set up and assembly is a snap but you have to take your time. The only complaint is that when you are connecting the console, it doesn't specify that you should re-feed the wires under the bottom of the handrails before fixing the console. You quickly find this out when installing the handrail guard covers but have to be sure not to pinch the wires throughout this process. Also, using the "lube" that comes with the kit is recommended as it could be easy to miss threads and strip the threads!

- If you're a runner:
- This unit goes up to 12 mph (5:00 min pace) (whereas a lot of units only go up to about 10 mph (6:00 min pace) which can be limiting for some people's interval workouts.
- There's an auto pilot feature to control your heart rate at a target. This can be really useful for tempo workouts.

Some of the bad:

- The delivery is a little self service through Amazon (not sure how it is for Sole direct delivery). You get "inside service" which was in the doorway and out of the rain.
- I needed a lot of help (one guy) getting this into the basement (not sure if/how I'll ever get it out)
- The heart rate monitor is not as comfortable as my garmin heart monitor. Oh well, this is a great feature so I can't really complain.
- Other reviewers commented that it's hard to tell what all the various programs do. It could be more transparent but I'll try to look on the Sole website - I believe one other person commented on this.

Overall, I'm very happy with the purchase and I hope that it will be useful for the whole family for years to come!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great treadmill. Was looking for build quality, stability, quiet motor and that's what I have., March 16, 2009
This review is from: Sole F80 Treadmill (2009-2010 Model, DISCONTINUED) (Sports)
Before purchasing the F80, I chose the Precor 9.23 at my local fitness store ($2,400) but the waiting period of over a month did not sit well with me. I went back to the store after a month of waiting tried the 9.23 once again and was not as impressed as I was initially, so I canceled the order. I race-walk and jog during the winter months about 4-5 miles a day (I'm in South Florida) and relegated to the treadmill during the hot, sticky summers.

The F80 build quality was similar to the Precor, but the F80 provides a more cushioned running surface than the entry level Precor. I also tried various treadmills in Sears (Nordic Track) as well as Lifetime Fitness and Pacemaster at Busy Body fitness center (all between $2,200 and $2,500). F80 price is right considering the high quality of this treadmill

The treadmill came in 10 days and was assembled on day 11. The professional assembly took about 90 minutes. I did not want to assemble it myself because of the sensitive electronics and posts of problems with the screws aligning correctly. I'm a female 5'3" weighing in at 123 pounds. I was NOT looking for bells & whistles (IFit, many programs, tv in the console, etc) but rather a solid, quiet machine that reminded me of the StarTrac I use in my clubhouse fitness center. I tweaked it to my specifications:

1) I use my own Polar soft chest transmitter with my Polar watch because I don't like the stiffness of the included Sole brand waist transmitter.

2) I also use Shure noise canceling ear buds attached my 52" LCD tv with a 25" headphone extension cord so I don't hear anything at all around me during the workout. I also used my iPod, interchangeably, with the same Shure Noise canceling ear buds. I pop in a DVD and I'm good to go for 60-75 minutes or so. The first day I worked out 72 minutes with just the volume of the TV and it was fine. I had to pick up the volume about 1 notch and all I heard was my own feet on the deck.

I'm pleased with my choice and I do recommend the F80 highly.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First treadmill ever purchased, April 29, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sole F80 Treadmill (2009-2010 Model, DISCONTINUED) (Sports)
My husband and I love this treadmill, the incline is intense. My husband is ex military so if it can keep up with him it's something. It's not loud I can even run with the baby asleep in the same room. The only reason I didn't give the thing five stars was because it is soooo heavy. We had to carry it in and set it up and we barely got it up the steps. Also make sure you step away before snapping the plastic that's around it. It says this on the instructions but we didn't read until after and that thing springs open and almost took out my shin. Very good purchase.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock solid. You can't go wrong with this one., November 8, 2009
By 
anonymous (Sterling, VA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sole F80 Treadmill (2009-2010 Model, DISCONTINUED) (Sports)
A few months ago I bought a used Image 16Q treadmill for $100. It originally was in the $500 to $600 price range, I think. I didn't want to spend a lot of money till I knew my wife and I would actually use it. We did... so I sold it. Did lots of studying and made my decision on a brand new treadmill.

After doing much studying on all makes and models of treadmills, I settled on this one. This was an excellent choice. I have had it about a month and i couldn't be more pleased.

I bought it at Dick's Sporting Goods because I wanted it right away and they had it in stock. I have a trailer so I was able to pick it up. However, the box is big, bulky and heavy and definitely requires 2 people to get it in the house. It took about 45 minutes to assemble. I did use a treadmill mat. I set it up in the kitchen bay window facing the family room so I could walk while I watch movies. This has worked out perfectly. The treadmill is very quiet. About the only sound coming from it are my shoes as they come in contact with the belt.

The first thing I noticed after assembly, is how solid the thing feels. There is nothing flimsy about this equipment. I have not used all the programs, but the ones I have used are awesome. I love the way it changes speed and incline automatically. Very cool!

The speakers work well. The cushioning is important to me as my hips and knees have been aching for months. This does a pretty good job of taking the stress off these problem areas.

The only thing I could possibly see an improvement on are the cooling fans. They are only one speed and do not produce a whole lot of air flow. But if I was walking outside on a calm day, I suppose the amount of wind in my face would be equivalent to what comes from the treadmill fans, so I guess it is acceptable.

Overall, I highly recommend the Sole F80 treadmill.
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