Reviewed Treadmill: Sole F85
The Sole F85 is a popular high-end treadmill. This model is sold by Sole Fitness who also provides treadmills for several hotel chains. The F85 has got the features you may expect from a high-end treadmill.
One of these features is the 4 CHP motor, which is the strongest motor that Sole offers. That’s why this treadmill is especially suited for frequent high-intensity users.
- Big 22 by 60-inch tread belt which is useful for runners or large users
- 2-ply (layered) commercial-grade belt for more comfort
- Wireless heart rate monitor included
- Limited workout programs
- No USB-charger to charge a media device
- The Sole F85 has the largest treadmill belt that Sole offers. It’s a 22 by 60 inches treadmill belt, which is suitable for a serious running or power walking. It can also be useful for large people because they could have a longer stride.
- A wireless chest strap is included to make use of the 2 heart rate programs. These are designed for users who want to train at a certain heart rate. Alternatively, you may use the pulse grips to monitor your heart rate, but this tends to be less accurate.
- The incline which goes up to 15 percent can be adjusted by pressing the incline keys on the handgrips. The same goes for the speed which can be adjusted up to 12 MPH. This feature is particularly helpful if you run at a high speed because stretching forward at a high speed to change the speed or incline on the console itself might be a bit of a challenge.
REVIEW OF THE PRODUCT
Build Quality: 5/5
The F85 is a high-quality folding treadmill. This model has a weight capacity of 400 lbs and the treadmill itself weighs 265 lbs, which makes it a relatively high weight capacity treadmill. These numbers are both relatively high. The weight capacity and the total weight of the treadmill are important indicators of the overall build quality because it means that it is constructed of heavier materials.
Additionally, you’ll get a lifetime warranty on the; motor, deck and frame. Plus, 2 years on labor and 5 years on electronics. If you compare the warranty period to other high-end treadmills, then you may conclude that the warranty of the F85 is quite long. This is another good indicator of the build quality of this treadmill, which can be considered as good.
According to the product information, this model has got a Cushion Flex whisper Deck. Which should reduce the impact on your joints by a maximum of 40 percent compared to running on asphalt.
The actual effectiveness might be hard for an individual user to measure, but the cushioning does help to provide extra comfort while you’re working out.
Furthermore, it has got a 2-ply tread belt. A 2-ply belt is a commercial grade belt. A 2 layered belt is thicker and therefore it obviously provides more comfort than a 1-ply belt, which you’ll find on most entry- and mid-level treadmills.
Ease of Use: 4/5
The ease of use is mainly determined by two things; the display and overall console design. The LCD display is easy to read, because of its 9-inch size and blue backlit.
The display gives you ‘standard’ information about your workout, like; speed, time and incline percentage. Therefore, a first time user will probably quickly understand all of the current workout statistics that are being displayed.
Furthermore, the controls are fairly easy to operate as well. All of the controls are big enough to adjust, even while you’re running.
In the middle of the console, you can select one of the 6 workout programs or select your own customized workout. The customized workout lets you build and save your own workout. It also saves your weight and age to give you an indication of the amount of burned calories.
The possibility to save your own workout and user info can be a time-saver for users who regularly use the same custom program.
Ease of Assembly: 4/5
You don’t have to be an experienced DIY’er to be able to assemble the F85. Just make sure to use the ‘assembly pack checklist’. It gives you an overview of what hardware to use at which step. In total there are 8 assembly steps.
At almost all of the assembly steps, there’s a corresponding hardware step. For example; at the 6th step of the assembly you’ll need the 6 pieces of sheet metal screws from hardware step 6. For most people, it’s probably do-able, as long as you carefully follow the steps outlined in the manual.
"HOW DOES IT COMPARE?"
You might already be aware of the fact that Sole offers a similar model which they call the Sole F80. There isn’t a lot of difference between these two Sole treadmills. The main differences are the less powerful 3.5 CHP motor and the smaller 7.5-inch LCD workout display.
A 3.5 CHP motor is still powerful enough for serious runners to run comfortably at a high speed. The smaller screen might be a disadvantage for users who really need the bigger screen to be able to read it properly.
There’s no denying that you’ll make a small concession when you go for the F80 instead of the F85. Although, most people probably won’t even notice the difference.
NordicTrack C 1650
Another high-end treadmill is the NordicTrack C 1650. There are a few pros and cons compared to the F 85. The main pros are; the adjustable tablet holder and the 34 workouts programs.
The adjustable tablet holder might be a handy feature for people who want to make sure they can easily view their tablet from every corner. Additionally, the 34 workouts programs are probably the biggest pro. This gives a user more opportunity to bring variety in their training.
The drawbacks of the C 1650 are the 3.5 CHP motor and 300 lbs weight limit. The less powerful motor is mostly important for users who run at a high pace. Furthermore, the weight limit might be a big deal for people who are overweight, because they’ll obviously need a treadmill which has a higher weight capacity.
3G Cardio 80i
If you are looking for a treadmill to run on, but you haven't got a lot of space, then the 3G Cardio 80i might be an interesting treadmill to take a look at. When folded to the floor, this treadmill has a relatively low height of 9.75”. The overall features are not as good as the F85, but are still good enough for a comfortable running experience.