The Sole F80 Treadmill Review -Best Buy Or Not?
Buying a treadmill for home use is generally a major undertaking. There are many options spreading across a wide set of price points. The Sole F80 is definitely not the cheapest, nor the most expensive, but judging by the reviews we have collated it is the “best buy” in its price range.
So does the 2013 model live up to all the hype? Take a look at Sole’s own video below and then read our review..
There is little doubt that treadmills are one of the most popular and versatile items of home fitness equipment. They can provide a vigorous for the most gifted runners down to those of us who just wish to get exercise in our own homes. For most of us mere mortals the health benefits from regular treadmill use are clear.
The Sole F80 Treadmill is designed to provide professional quality in a domestic use treadmill. It provides a raft of features only normally found in equipment in gyms and workout studios.
Sole is a relatively young company with a philosophy of delivering commercial, fitness studio levels of quality, durability and customer service to the home user market. Judging by the reviews the whole range of Soles Treadmills and Elliptical Trainers receive they have certainly succeeded.
Sole’s Marketing Leading Warranty
Sole back their claims by offering the best guarantees available anywhere in the fitness market. Treadmills receive the following warranties: lifetime on frame, motor, and deck; five years on electronics; and two years on labor.
None of this matters if it fails to deliver. It is clear that it does. The F80’s standout features include a ‘Cushion Flex Whisper Deck’. It sounds fantastic and pretty much does what it says: reduces impact and is very quiet in operation (something that can be very important for home gym kit). According to Sole’s website their cushioning system reduces impact by as much as 40% when compared to running on the road. Less impact equals fewer injuries and much better exercise.
The overall effect is said to be comparable to larger big name treadmills that cost significantly more.
The running surface on the 2013 model has been lengthened by 5 inches making it suitable for the better runner with a longer stride. Sprinting is now comfortable without the worry you will over stride. It’s been widened by an extra 2 inches too. Not much maybe but that little extra room means it is suitable for bigger framed and heavier set individuals. Don’t worry if you are a little bigger- there is a whopping 375 pound weight limit so most people will be able to use the F80 comfortably.
The motor is backed by a lifetime guarantee and powers up significantly better than the average treadmill. It can reach speeds of up to 12mph and has an adjustable incline up to 15%.
The machine’s display screen is fairly typical featuring all the usual adjustable options including Incline, Speed, Time, Distance Run and Calories Burned. Cool features not always found in home equipment include a heart rate monitor and built-in speakers that allow you to plug in your iPod or MP3 player and enjoy some tunes while you run.
What Actual Users Are Saying About The Sole F80
We’ve never found a piece of home gym equipment that satisfies all users and the F80 is no different. It is encouraging that over 80% of on-line reviews we have checked are very positive.
A number of users speak about how reliable and easy to use Sole’s machines are. Some typical review comments:
A user from Colorado Springs says that he opted for the F80 after testing it out at a store and finding the deck to be comfortable to run on. As an avid runner, he says that it was definitely worth what he paid as it allows him to run without overworking his joints.
LT from Arizona bought it primarily because of the lifetime warranty but; as a bigger individual he’s found the machine to be a sturdy and excellent way to shed the pounds.
TW from Texas considers himself to be a very safe and savvy shopper who does all his homework before making a purchase. His extensive research led him to the Sole F80 because he found Sole Fitness to be a trustworthy brand. On top of the warranty and value for money, he finds the handrails and MP3 plug in option to be wonderful add-ons.
The More Critical Angle
We’ve found several reviews that found that the transitions between speed levels were a little too slow and this interfered with the ability to do interval training. One person complained that the machine beeped too much while in use but we guess that is how they set it up.
Others have commented that the product was a little too bulky – a perennial problem for home gym equipment. You can see from our folding sequence pictures this is a pretty big piece of kit. With a boxed weight of 275 pounds it is a good idea to make sure you are home when it’s delivered and you get it placed in the room where your are going to use it. Whatever you do, don’t try to move the box on your own or the chances are it could be a while till you are fit enough to use if at all
BM from New Jersey found it difficult to assemble and thought that it was too big and heavy for his liking. See the notes above on weight and handling. Remember, it’s big and heavy for a reason – solid, long-life treadmill components designed to last many years are not going to be lightweight.
What You Should Know
It is always wise to explore your options. Hopefully we have done much of the work for you by trawling the internet to compile this review. Nevertheless you need to pick a treadmill that best suits your lifestyle and running.
If you are training for long distance events for instance, you might be better off with a machine that offers greater cushioning so as to reduce the likelihood of picking up an injury. Unfortunately, these treadmills tend to be built for the commercial market and have a correspondingly higher price tag.
Budget wise, there are some seemingly attractive options at the lower end of the price range. From the specification alone some of these appear to give the F80 stiff competition. If you read user reviews a different picture quickly emerges – unreliable products, inconsistent speeds, limited controls and console. You get what you pay for.
If you are not too worried about getting the latest model of a brand new treadmill it may be possible to find some cheap, factory reconditioned models. Take a look at the Sears Outlet Store (not an affiliate link) – you might be lucky
The Final Verdict
The Sole F80 treadmill is a very good option for buyers who are looking for durability and value for money. The lifetime warranty puts it way ahead of all the competition in its price range and it seems to be the one factor that induces a lot of people to purchase this machine. Overall the Sole F80 treadmill is a really good buy, deserving of a big round of applause.
You can buy the machine from many outlets. We strongly suggest you buy through the official Sole Fitness website. This way you are sure to get the best deals and addons available. At the moment the company is offering free shipping and no sales tax to sweeten the deal.