Sole F85 Fitness Treadmill Review

Product Review

Sole Fitness F85 Folding Treadmill

The Sole F85 treadmill is the top model in the Sole Folding series and pretty much the ultimate runners treadmill.

The new 2011 model steps up to an extra wide 22″ x 60″ belt giving you more room to move, strong 3.5 HP ultra high torque motor to keep up with the top 12 MPH speeds, and a reinforced frame giving you a monster 400 lb user weight capacity.

On the softer side, you get an advanced health club style console, iPod port with speakers and heart rate control programs to keep you in your target range.

Features:

  • Price: $1999
  • Motor: 3.5 HP
  • Speed: 0.5-12 MPH
  • Incline:  0-15%
  • Treadbelt: 22 x 60″
  • Folding: Yes
  • Cooling Fans: 2
  • Water Bottle Holder: Yes
  • User Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Heart Rate Monitor: Hand Grip Pulse Monitor
  • (+ Free Wireless Chest Strap included)
  • Warranty: Lifetime on Frame, Motor and Deck, 5 Years on Electronics/Belt/Rollers, 2 Years on Labor

Verdict: Highly Recommended

The Sole F85 is a commercial grade luxury machine with pretty much everything you could ever want in a treadmill.

With a high powered motor, Whisper Deck, Cushion Flex cushioning, health club console, highly stable feel, iPod dock and one of the longest warranties on the market, the Sole F85 feels like a health club machine – without the commercial price tag.

While occasional walkers can probably save a bit and go with the F80, the Sole F85 is the ideal treadmill for runners. It will hold up well over the long run, even if you use it every day.

Product Pros And Cons

Sole Fitness F85 Folding Treadmill

1) 22″ Wide Belt Gives You Extra Room To Move

This is the widest belt you’ll find in the industry. With the extra 60″ length, runners and taller users will love the space on this treadmill. 

2) 3.5 HP Ultra High Torque Motor With Flywheel To Extend the Life of Your Treadmill

The motor is the heart of your treadmill and often the most expensive part to fix. So you want a strong motor that will keep running smooth and steady, even for long periods of time. The F85 packs a whopping 3.5 HP ultra high torque motor with a large diameter, balanced flywheel. The flywheel causes the motor to run cooler with less amp draw. This extends the life of your motor and gives a much more stable feel. You also get a lifetime motor warranty which helps protect your investment.

3) Most Advanced Console – Backlit with Heart Rate Control

The F85’s Console is more advanced than previous models with a bright blue backlit console and a message board for clear feedback. It also allows for more customization.

For example, the heart-rate control option automatically calculates your recommended target range based on your age. There are 2 heart rate control workouts (where the treadmill adjusts speed/incline to keep you in your target zone) as well as 6 built-in programs and 2 more customizable programs.

4) CushionFlex Cushioning Reduces Joint Impact By 40%

Good cushioning is essential in a treadmill, especially if you’re a runner, as cheap treadmill cushioning can damage your knees, back, hips and ankles.

The Sole Cushion Flex system on the F85 treadmill is one of the best cushioning systems on the market. It’s actually been shown in a university study to reduce impact by 40% compared to running on asphalt. So you get great protection for your joints.

5) Speed and Incline Controls on Arm Rests

With these side handrail controls, you can change your speed or incline with the touch of a button on the arm rests instead of reaching up to the console.

This comes in handy, especially when you pick up your pace and don’t want to reach up to the console which can throw off your stride.

6)  iPod / Mp3 Dock with Speakers

You can plug in your iPod or mp3 and listen to your favorite music or audiobook through the built in console speakers. There’s also a headphone jack if you prefer (which many treadmills don’t offer). This can make your workout a lot more enjoyable.

7) Strong Deck For Stable, Shake-Free Running & Quiet Operation

Sole’s Whisper Deck is more quiet than even standard Phenolic coated decks. The deck also comes with a lifetime warranty so you never have to worry about replacing the deck. Sole will do it for you – Free.

Sole decks are also extremely strong so they can take a pounding. When we compared them to several other department store brands, they just felt more substantial, especially when you start to run.

8) Horseshoe Folding Frame Adds Stability 

Many times, because of the limits of the design, folding treadmills are not as stable as non-folding units. So you save space but sacrifice on stability. 

Sole however uses a special double horseshoe folding frame on their folding treadmills including the F85. This frame makes their folding treadmills more stable than many non-folding treadmills. So you can get a folding treadmill without sacrificing on stability.

Plus the F85 has a reinforced framework which makes it more stable than the F80 or F83 with a higher user weight capacity – 400 lbs.

9) Excellent Warranty With 2 Years On Service To Protect Your Investment

The Sole F85 treadmill comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, deck and motor.  Electronics, belt and rollers are covered for 5 years and labor is covered for 2 years.  This is one of the best warranties on the market. 

Of special note is the 2 years on service – which is excellent.  With other brands, you usually only get 1 year on service. This alone can save you quite a bit of money.

Pros

  • 22" Wide Belt Gives You Extra Room To Move
  • 3.5 HP Ultra High Torque Motor With Flywheel To Extend the Life of Your Treadmill
  • Most Advanced Console - Backlit with Heart Rate Control
  • CushionFlex Cushioning Reduces Joint Impact By 40%
  • Speed and Incline Controls on Arm Rests
  • iPod / Mp3 Dock with Speakers
  • Strong Deck For Stable, Shake-Free Running & Quiet Operation
  • Horseshoe Folding Frame Adds Stability
  • Excellent Warranty With 2 Years On Service To Protect Your Investment

Cons

  • More than an Occasional Walker Needs And is a bit Expensive
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