Sole Fitness F85 Folding Treadmill Review


About the Sole F85 Treadmill

The F85 Treadmill is Sole Fitness’ top end residential, folding treadmill. The F85 is priced at $1,999 and is Sole’s number one seller. The tread belt of the Sole F85 is the longest of all folding treadmills in this price range. At 60", this tread belt is commercial grade length.

Also, the motor is a 3.5 continuous motor, which is the most powerful motor in this price range. The total deck size is about 33" x 80" and the weight is a hefty 280 pounds. This is one solid treadmill to say the least!

In terms of speed, the F85 goes about 12 MPH and that is quite enough, even for the most avid runner and can handle users weighing up to 400 lbs.

This model has up to six auto programs and two user-customized workouts.

It also has two separate heart rate control programs.

It's fully equipped with all the programs and programmability for a high end folding treadmills.

The Sole F85 also uses a six-window club-style tri color LED display that is both, easy to read and functional. The treadmill console is user friendly with a vibrant display that includes a message board for clear instruction and feedback. The information that is displayed at all times include Speed, Incline, Time, Distance Travelled, Calories, Pulse and Pace. There is also a 1/4 mile track feature and a Peak and Valley graph for different programs.

I really like the Sole treadmill, not only for it's quality and durability but also for one of the best, if not, the best warranty for this price range. Check out the warranty:

- Lifetime motor;
- Lifetime deck;
- Lifetime frame;
- 5 year parts and electronics;
- 2 years labor

You simply won't find a better warranty for folding treadmills under $2,000. The Sole F85 is considered the best buy in it's price range by the Treadmill Doctor. Let's take a closer look at the Sole F85 Treadmill and find out if it's the best buy and what kind of grade it receives.

Direct Competitors

Smooth 7.1 HR Pro $1,899;
Vision Fitness T9450 Deluxe Treadmill $1,999;
Smooth Fitness’ Evo FX40-HR Treadmill $1,999;
Spirit Z300 $1,899;

Size

- Deck size: 33" x 80";
- Weight: 280 pounds;
- Tread belt: 20" x 60".

The Sole F85 is considered a large, folding treadmill. This treadmill is solid at 280 pounds so you won’t feel any wobbles, even at high running speeds. Since the frame is large and the weight is 280 pounds, I can believe it when the Sole website says that it can hold up to 400 pounds. Given that the motor is a powerful 3.5 continuous motor, I’m sure that the Sole F85 can handle 250+ pounds, running at a brisk pace on a 10% incline.

Smooth 7.1HR Pro:

- Deck size: 39" x 73"
- Weight: 280 lbs
- Tread belt: 20" x 54"

Vision Fitness T9450 Deluxe Treadmill:

- Deck size: 33" x 76"
- Weight: 260 lbs
- Tread belt: 20" x 57"

As you can see, the Sole F85 is one solid treadmill. Generally, a solid and sturdy treadmill will be a bit larger and will weight a little more to provide a solid base in which to exercise on. I will always choose a heavy duty treadmill to a lighter one.

The tread belt is the largest in it's class. It’s a full 3" more than it’s closest competitor in this category, the Vision Fitness T9450 Deluxe Treadmill. The 60" Tread belt is commercial grade size and you will only find this type of tread belt on gym quality machines.

For the price point, your not going to find a larger tread belt than the Sole F85. Does the size of the tread belt make a difference? It makes all the difference in the world. A longer tread belt means a more expansive stride and can accommodate taller users. A fantastic plus for the Sole F85 since it can accommodate the most expansive stride. You don't have to worry about running out of room with this treadmill.

Speed/Incline Control

- Motor: 3.5 HP Continuous Duty, DC type
- Speed: 1 to 12 mph
- Incline: 15% maximum, rack and pinion gear design

Compared to other treadmill models in this price range, such as the Smooth 7.1HR Pro, the motor is pretty much at the top end. Most other models in this price range come with a 2.5 to 3.0 continous HP motor. The speed of a treadmill motor makes all the difference in the world. Anything lower than a 2.0 motor, and depending on your fitness levels, a good hard run might burn the motor out. That's why it's important to have a solid treadmill motor in place. Especially on larger treadmills.

The Sole F85 out powers most of it's competitors in terms of it's motor. In fact, all of the treadmills in this price range don’t even come close to Sole’s 3.5 HP motor.

It's interesting that the Sole F85 has a 15% incline. This quite a high elevation in this price range. Most of the other folding treadmills in this price range went up to a max of 12%. At higher inclines, you are going to be provided with more intense workouts resulting in more calories being burned. The final result? More fat loss. Again, the Sole F63 outperforms the competition.

Display/Console

- Speed;
- Incline;
- Time;
- Distance Travelled;
- Calories;
- Pulse and Pace;
- Cooling fans above console;
- 1/4 mile track feature and a Peak and Valley graph for different programs.

I really love the layout of the console. Check out the console below.

You get all the basic readouts that come with most treadmills in this price range. What I really love about this layout is the track feature. The track gives you an indication of how much distance you've covered. Absolutely lovely! You won't see this kind of feature on most treadmills in this price range. The console is all state of the art push button technology. Of all the consoles in this price range, this is my favourite layout.

The treadmill console is user friendly with a clear and vibrant display that includes a message board for clear instruction and feedback.

Programs

Standard Programs: Six
User Defined Programs: Two
Heart Rate Programs: Two

These programs are pretty standard on treadmills in this price range. What I really love about the programs is the fact that it comes with two heart rate controlled programs with a wireless chest strap. This is a fantastic feature since you don’t have to grab any pulse grips on the handle bars.

Durability

Given the fact that:

- The Sole F85 weights in at a hefty 280 pounds;
- There is a very powerful and solid motor installed; And
- The frame is quite large for this price range

This treadmill should hold up for individuals over 250+ pounds, even at the highest incline and at a brisk running pace. Sole is a reputable company and the warranty states that. I have complete confidence in Sole's component parts and construction process.

Heart Rate Monitor

- Contact pulse pads;
- Wireless chest strap

There are contact pulse pads on the treadmill plus a wireless chest strap. The features on the Sole F85 keep getting better and better. At this price range, it’s very hard to find other treadmills that offers a wireless chest strap.

What is the advantage to a wireless chest strap? You don't have to interrupt your exercise by trying to hold onto the handle bars to get your pulse. With a wireless chest strap, you keep on walking or running without compromising your exercise session. The fact that the Sole F85 comes with two heart rate controlled programs is simply outstanding.

Warranty and Service

- Lifetime motor;
- Lifetime deck;
- Lifetime frame;
- 5 year parts and electronics;
- 2 years labor.

This warranty is top of the line. The only warranty that comes close to the Sole F85 is the Smooth 7.1 HR Pro. Smooth's warranty for the 7.1HR Pro Treadmill is as follows:

- Lifetime frame and motor;
- 5 year parts and electronics;
- 1 year labor.

As you can see, the Sole F85 is the best treadmill warranty for this price range. You won’t find a better warranty, anywhere, for under $2,000. What does Sole's warranty say to me, as a consumer and exerciser? It says, we have all the confidence in the world in our product and we stand behind our product 100%. This warranty is top of the line in this particular price range.

A quick word to any exerciser looking for a treadmill for home use. The very first thing you should do is look over a companies warranty information. If you see a weak warranty, don't even bother looking at the product because it simply reflects the quality of the treadmill. A strong warranty on the other hand speaks volumes about the quality of the product. A company with confidence in their product gives me, as a consumer, the comfort in knowing that their product is a solid one.

Price/Cost Effectiveness

$1,999 (Includes shipping - curbside) ;
$239 delivery and in home set up

Actual price minus taxes is $2,238. Now, you don't have to go with the in home set up but beware, the curbside delivery is just that, curbside. They will simply deliver the F85 to the curb and that's it. I strongly recommend you get the in home set up because it will get done right, the first time. I don't care if you order Lifefitness' top commercial treadmill, if you set it up wrong, your going to end up with a piece of junk ($6,000 piece of junk!). Always go for the professional set up!

In terms of the Sole F85's price and value, your not going to find another treadmill quite like this one. It has the longest tread belt in this price range at an expansive 60". This tread belt can be used by anyone, regardless of height and leg length.

The F85 is a solid treadmill, weighing in at 280 pounds. It's one of the most solid treadmills you'll find at this price range. The motor is the most powerful in this price range at 3.5 continuous horsepower. It's the most powerful motor for under $2,000. The console is beautiful and all necessary programs are in place.

The warranty is the best you can get for under $2,000.

Treadmill Rating

I have no issues at all with the Sole F85 Treadmill. The Treadmill Doctor gave this particular treadmill a best buy for under $2,000 folding treadmills. I can see why they would give this kind of recommendation. There is no treadmill on the market today that is going to beat the Sole F85 treadmill for under $2,000. They are the tops (under $2,000 folding treadmills) when it comes to tread belt length, motor horsepower, durability, console features and functionality.

Grade:

A+

All the best,

Blake









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