Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer (2009-2010 Model)
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- Boasting a heavy 25-pound flywheel
- Contains unique oversize foot pedals
- Features a 2-degree inward slope that reduces the ankle and knee stress
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Easy to use electronic console with blue backlight LCD display. Includes a built-in cooling fan and water bottle holder. Fluid natural motion provided by a whisper quiet drive system. The combination of a heavy 30 lb. flywheel and a high gear ratio not found on comparable models means an extremely smooth feel with plenty of resistance at the top end for a machine that will provide a challenging workout. Upper body exercise provides a total body workout. Stationary handle bars with built-in pulse sensors for monitoring your heart rate. A heart rate chest strap is also included for hands free pulse monitoring and heart rate interactive programs. Oversize foot pedals for a comfortable workout. These unique foot pedals were designed in collaboration with a leading physical therapist and sports enthusiast. Sole engineers have designed in a 2 degree inward slope to the foot pedals which reduce ankle and knee stress that is common in other elliptical machines. The four real wheels which ride on heavy duty rails provide a smoother more stable feel and reduce side to side foot pedal motion. A feature found only on more expensive models
Enjoy an efficient full-body workout without heading to the gym with the Sole E35 elliptical trainer. Boasting a heavy 25-pound flywheel, a high gear ratio not found on most comparable models, and a pair of upper body handles, the E35 delivers an extremely smooth workout with plenty of top-end resistance. Users will also appreciate the unique oversize foot pedals, which were designed in collaboration with a leading physical therapist and sports enthusiast. The pedals are not only extra large, but also feature a 2-degree inward slope that reduces the ankle and knee stress that's common in other elliptical machines. And thanks to the stationary handle bars with built-in pulse sensors, it's a breeze to monitor your heart rate as you exercise (a chest strap is also included for highly accurate wireless monitoring).
Workout specifics include 16 resistance levels, ten total programs (including one custom program), and a 20-inch stride length. Perhaps the handiest feature from a user perspective, however, is the easy-to-use electronic console, which integrates a blue backlit LCD display, a cooling fan, and a water bottle holder. The E35, which offers a maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds, carries the following warranties: lifetime on the frame and brakes, five years on all parts and electronics, and two years on the labor.
- Assembled Dimensions: 82 by 27 by 68 inches (L x W x H)
- Stride Length: 20 inches
- Front Drive
- Steel Frame: 38mm
- Resistance Type: Eddy Current Braking
- Adjustable Pedals
- Articulating Pedals
- Flywheel: 25 pounds
- Resistance Levels: 16
- Power: Plug in
- Upper Body: Yes
- Pulse Grips: Yes
- Handlebar Adjust: Yes
- Display Type: Small LCD
- Heart Rate Control
- Heart Rate Telemetry Belt
- Track Display
- Color: Backlit Blue
- Audio System
- Incline: Power
- Six Standard Programs
- Two User-Defined Programs
- Two Heart Rate Programs
- Cooling Fans: Standard
- Water Bottle Holder
- Rear Rail Shroud
- Weight Capacity: 350 pounds
The E35's LCD display will track your key workout metrics.
frame and brakes - lifetime, parts / electronics - 5 years, labor: 2 years
Sole brings over twenty years of treadmill and fitness product design and manufacturing to the table in their line of innovative equipment designed for fitness-conscious people. The company's treadmill line is simple in design, with an emphasis on quality and warranty all at a great price. Sole's easy-to-use treadmills offer a great value and feature a convenient, space-saving portable design. The treadmills have a very stable base with four wheels for ease of movement, folding decks to conserve space, and a 30-year motor and lifetime deck and frame warranty. Sole is always looking for ways to make their equipment better, more efficient, with higher quality at a great price.
About Elliptical Trainers
Elliptical trainers represent the next wave of advancement in low-impact cardiovascular exercise machines and continue to grow in popularity. By simulating motions experienced through walking, stepping, cycling, and skiing, elliptical machines allow for a smooth and fluid motion while building strength in the arms and legs. Similar to the exercise position for treadmills, elliptical trainers are used by standing in an upright position while holding the handrails of the machine. With elliptical trainers, however, your feet remain in the foot pedals throughout the exercise regimen and circulate in a smooth and seamless motion, resulting in little to no impact on the knees, back, and hips.
Elliptical trainers are compatible for all ages and fitness levels and allow you to select the difficulty level through the incline and intensity settings. Additionally, elliptical trainers allow you to determine the complexity of your workout based on your needs, all while listening to music, watching television, or reading a magazine while exercising in the comfort and safety of your own home.
Although different types of elliptical trainers offer an assortment of features, many of them include an array of challenging programs, forward and reverse directional movement, EKG grip pulse handles, a lightweight portable design with easy fold-up capability, and a monitor displaying calories burned, distance, speed, time, and heart rate. Other types of exercise machines, namely treadmills and bikes, offer excellent cardiovascular exercise and muscular training for the legs in a forward-motion exercise. Elliptical trainers take this to the next level by offering an upper and lower body workout with dual motion, challenging and diverse programs, and a low-impact exercise machine that won't strain sensitive joints.
Top Customer Reviews
First, Be ready to take about half a day to move the box and assemble the machine -- the box is about 290lbs (gross weight) and feels all of 300lbs. Worse yet, if you take the machine out piece by piece so that it's lighter (say, if you want to move the machine up a flight of stairs) you will be very unhappily surprised to find that the fly wheel is bolted to some articulated arms, which are EXTREMELY hard to finagle around and to move when the machine is out of the box.
(**UPDATED INFO ON TAKING THE MACHINE APART 9/21/2010: I recently moved and found that the articulated arms can actually be unfastened from the fly wheel, and the machine can be disassembled into four main parts: the fly-wheel, two individual arms with foot pieces, and the rails. I had to do this when I moved, and while the machine still operates as it did before being disassembled, I would NOT recommend taking the arms off the fly-wheel unless you really know what you are doing and have exactly the right tools. And, even then, the fly-wheel part by itself weighs probably close to two hundred pounds. So, if you are dead-set on not paying the in-home installation fee, are good with tools and know what you are doing in that regard, I can attest that the machine can be disassembled into four main sections that are MUCH easier to move by themselves if you need to go up a flight of stairs or move the machine very far. Again, the machine comes with the arms attached to the fly-wheel, so I highly doubt that the manufacturer ever intended them to be detached by the user-owner, so this is definitely an at-your-own-risk solution, and attempting it comes with the chance that you could screw up your machine.)
I cannot stress this enough: IF YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR E35 SET UP IN THE SECOND OR THIRD FLOOR OF YOUR HOUSE JUST PAY THE EXTRA $99 FOR THE DELIVERY COMPANY TO DO IT. Unless you have (not exaggerating) 3 or 4 healthy, strong guys to move this box, forget about getting it upstairs if it's just you and one other person. I really wish I had just paid the extra money for the shipping company to move it up the stairs of my house.
Once you get the box situated where you want to set up the machine, however, you're good to go. The assembly instructions are VERY well written and very clear. There are a lot of parts and steps, but none of them are very complicated or require a lot of dexterity or "handyman" knowledge. Also, if you need any help, SOLE's customer support is great.
Once I got the machine put together, there was no comparison -- I tried out a few different Ellipticals in the $800 - $1,500 range, and the E35, with its power incline (the power incline works great), 25lb flywheel, 350lb maximum weight capacity, and silky-smooth movement are far and away more than you're going to get with any other machine in this price range. While the display is fairly simple, it comes with some nice extras like a heart-rate monitor that hooks up to the display (this all comes with the machine) so that you don't have to hold on to the heart-rate sensors throughout your workout.
I used Precor machines for years at a big gym. If you're not familiar with them, they're easily the most expensive Ellipticals out there and cost well over $3,500 for their mid-grade model. The Sole E35 isn't a Precor 5 series, but it has a LOT of the features that the Precor does. I would say it's 80% or 90% as good as a Precor, where the only detracting factor for the Sole is that it's not as stable as the tank-sized Precor (the Precor machine is probably 350+lbs) and doesn't have as refined features as the Precor, much like the difference between a really nice, fully loaded Cadillac and a Rolls Royce -- you can tell a difference, but either way, you're very happy with what you've got.
Finally, I'll share what I did as far as working out a deal. If you find a comparable machine or a licensed dealer on E-Bay selling Sole's ellipticals, Sole's customer service people will match prices if you are diligent. In my personal case, I found a 2008 E35 on Ebay being sold by a Sole dealer for $999 shipped, so I called Sole and asked if they would match the price, and they said they would. I paid them the $999, and lucky for me, when the machine came, I saw "NEW 2009 MODEL" on the box, and it was obviously really cool. So through doing some research and spending time before I made the purchase figuring out what I could work out with Sole, I got it for 30% less than the Amazon.com price. Just keep this in mind -- the elliptical / work out equipment machine market is VERY competitive and the companies will often bend over backwards to get your business.
Very last, I just want to mention that the 2 year in-home service / 5 year parts warranty is better than any comparable machine, and actually better than the warranty on some of Precor's models. So, all in all, I would highly recommend the 2009 Sole E35.
UPDATE AFTER ONE MONTH: Still solid as a rock, with just a few clinks here and there while in full motion on the machine. Heart monitor works great, power incline still functioning perfectly. No problems to report.
UPDATE AFTER THREE MONTHS: Still going very strong. Haven't had to call customer support about anything. I have experienced a little bit of "knocking" that suggests a bolt might be loose somewhere, but I think this is a common issue that comes up. When I put the machine together I realized that I had made a mistake tightening the bolts that connect the fly wheel arms with the handlebars. I corrected the mistake, but I think I might have overlooked something, so I'm guessing that the "knocking" is probably my fault. I'll fix it sometime and then update -- not really a big deal or that annoying.
Otherwise, I'm really starting to appreciate the refined features of the machine like the heart rate monitor and the power incline. While these things were off my radar when I was looking for a machine, I now appreciate them after using the machine 5 or 6 days a week. Sole really designed these features well, and they work just like they're supposed to. I'm still very satisfied and I think the E35 is a great piece of home equipment.
UPDATE AFTER FIVE MONTHS: Still no complaints. Holding up nicely. I've lost 20+ pounds and this has been a great, really convenient way to work out in the morning before heading to work. I tightened some of the bolts in the joints and now it works with minimal squeaks or creaks.
Though I stated this before, it is even more true now: when you get into the routine of using this machine 4 - 6 times a week you REALLY start to appreciate the power incline and resistance settings, which have held up very nicely. Likewise, the heart rate monitor has held up well and it is another feature that I felt "so what" about when I bought the machine, but now greatly appreciate as a feature.
Again, given that I got my unit for $1,000 shipped, I feel like I got an exceptional bargain for how well this machine has held up and continues to work basically exactly as it did out of the box after months of frequent use.
Just make sure that you clean the rails and the wheels. They are magnets for dog hair and dust, but cleaning them once a month or so seems adequate. You can't go wrong at this price point for the value you get.
10 MONTH UPDATE: Still works nicely and no problems or complaints. I have had to tighten the bolts again at the point where the arms connect, but this really isn't that big of a hassle and is probably something that has to be done on all elliptical machines from time to time. Still very glad I invested in this machine.
One year: Nothing really to comment on, everything still works properly and nothing has broken or caused any issues. Machine is still running strong. My dog chewed up the heart rate monitor and Sole sent me a new one for free.
7/25/2010: Still working well. Like before, a little bit of knocking here and there that I have to adjust with a wrench, but otherwise its holding up nicely. It even survived a move into my new house -- and it got banged up pretty badly. While moving it, I figured I might have to pay to have it fixed, or do some major overhaul, but when I set it up in my new house it ran like normal. Very impressed with its durability. Thanks for all the good comments.
9/22/2010: No problems to report. Haven't used the machine much over the summer since I've been exercising outdoors, but I've tested it here and there to make sure it's operating normally, and I have had no concerns.
I did a lot of research before I purchased my Sole E35, and one of the big issues I factored in was the warranty. My experience so far is that their warrant is worthless.
On 1/17 called the tech support/warranty department in the morning and got a recording that the office was closed (okay, Saturday - understandable) but I could not leave a message because the mailbox was full (first sign of trouble). So I went online and completed a work ticket on the Sole web site.
1/20 called again and this time got a person (after a long wait on hold) -I told her I was following up on my electronic work ticket, she checked the computer and said she had no record (so much for their web site). I asked if she at least had received my warranty card (I both mailed it and completed the online form) - the Sole lady on the phone literally laughed in my face, I kid you not. She stated that they receive "thousands" of these cards and do not have time to enter them - I am not embellishing here. So I started at square one and gave her my issue (the left arm was bent and thus the left arm and leg peddle clicked and bumped). She then become professional and polite, took my information and said someone would call me in with 24 hours.
1/22 (50 hours latter) - no call, I called Sole again (forth attempt to get service) - this lady was very nice, apologized for the delay, checked the system (this time I was in there), but said they were very backed up with service calls (perhaps an indication of their quality?)- she could not give me an estimate of when they would get back to me, just promised that they would - someday.
I will update this entry if Sole ever follows up, so if you are reading this and I do not have a date of follow up, it means they have not.
One other point - Sole states that you can assemble their machine in "about 25-35 minutes" -In all honesty, this is another exaggeration (as other reviewers have pointed out). It is probably the same marketing person who came up with the line on their web site "With SOLE you can expect the best product, the best warranty, the best service and the best support. We will do whatever we can to help you make the most of your fitness equipment." Right now I just be happy if they returned my repeated phone calls.
UPDATE: 2/11 - I had to call a couple of more times - though to be fair, they closed their office for a couple of days because of the bad ice storm. But finally got a follow up, SOLE has shipped a replacement part to me (I got it today) and I got a call from a local rep to repair my unit - they will be able to fit me in next week. Like another review, total time to get this resolved will be just around 30 days - as long as you are willing to be persistent.
UPDATE: 2/14 Now Amazon.com is adding to the problem. Purchase this using their credit card 1 year interest fee promotion. When I got the first bill I noticed it was charging me interest, so I wrote an email (and thank goodness I kept a copy) on 12/28 on this problem. Customer service responded that same day and reassured me that this purchase was under this 1 year, interest free program. I just got my second bill and again saw that it was charging me interest. This time I called, got a lady who was very professional, and assured me they would fix this problem and credit me the interest charged to my account - I will not hold my breath.
Can any of these companies act with any competence? Can any of these organizations deliver on what they promise online? It is getting to the point I am spending more time fixing problems about this purchase than actually using my Elliptical trainer. BTW - my Elliptical still has not been repaired.
UPDATE: 2/20 - Sole repair person shows up, he is unable to repair - the flywheel is defective. Suggested I speak with Sole about just replacing my unit since the unit they sent me is defective and will require extensive rebuild. Said he was going to submit his report to Sole that he was not able to fix this band new elliptical machine Sole sent me.
UPDATE: 2/23 - Call Sole warranty and advised them of the situation. I request that they send me what I paid for, a working - non defective elliptical machine. Sole advises me to go to their web site and complete a Return Authorization Request form. I do so, and within less than an hour get an email back stating "Unfortunately you will need to speak with Amazon to get a replacement for this machine. Please let us know if you have any further questions." From Cody - Cody@SoleTreadmills.com. I sent an email back asking "Why" - my warrant is with Sole, not Amazon.com - and the reason I requested that they exchange my machine now is that their warranty department has not been able to fix the machine Sole sent me after over a month (no reply as yet).
I call Sole back and advised them that 1) I am reporting them to the better business bureau 2) I am updating this tread on how worthless their warranty is - and how defective their products are. 3) I am contacting Amazon.com and advise them I want to stop payment on my credit card for this product, since I have not received what I paid for - a brand new, working Elliptical Machine. 4) instead of working with Sole I am now going to spend my time searching for consumer advisory web sites to post my experience with Sole so that other customers do not get burned by this company. 5) I am going to look into a small claims court case agains Sole for for fraud to recap my $1,300 for a band new machine that does not work.
Again - more proof on how worthless this warrant is -I just sent my second payment and I have yet been able to use this machine.
UPDATE: 2/23 - Just followed Sole's instructions about going through Amazon.com about returning my defective machine - got this message from Amazon.com: "a restocking fee equal to 15-50% of the original purchase price will be deducted from your refund according"
So Amazon.com is charging me for returning a defective product that Sole warranty's department has been unable to fix after over a month of trying to work with them in good faith.
This does not take in account that this machine is very heavy and I am going to have to pay someone to help me pack it up and bring it downstairs to be shipped. I had to pay someone to bring it upstairs when it was delivered - but that was my decision. But it seems very unfair I am going to have to incur these costs because of Sole's failure to deliver what they promised in product and service.
DO NOT BUY THIS MACHINE from SOLE, it is a nightmare of incompetent customer service.
PS - did not mention, but the left arm the Sole repair men did replace when he was here Friday, the incline control no longer works on it - so it is worse.
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