Sole has a long established reputation for making high quality elliptical trainers and home fitness machines ( + treadmills, spin bikes, cross trainers). You often see machines from their wide range used in commercial gyms.
In fact, many five star hotels chains like the Hilton have their equipment in their gyms. The Sole fitness range looks great and is very easy to use, functional and built to last. The classic E95 ticks all of the essential boxes when it comes to what you need to look for in a good elliptical.
If you need a heavy-duty machine because you are severely overweight, the multi-award winning E95 machine from Sole Fitness is going to be perfect for you.
Here are the specifications:
Top Line Model – this is the top spec model in the Sole E Series
Max user weight – 400lbs (the highest capacity we have found for a non-commercial elliptical machine)
In depth heart rate monitoring – provided via a pulse grip and a basic heart monitor that has to be worn around the chest. The heart monitor and chest strap is included, but you need to check the sizing if you have a big chest.
Machine dimensions – this trainer is big, so takes up a lot of floor space. It measures 27″ X 62″ by 83″
Stride length – this elliptical machine works for people of any height because the stride length is adjustable between 20 and 22 inches. That caters for the vast majority of the population.
Workout variability – this machine is great for users with widely varied levels of fitness. There are six standard programs and two heart rate programmes. Two users can set up their own custom program. People rave about machines having 20 different program levels when most of them are the same with a slight difference. It you want true customization run the machine in manual mode.
Large Clear 9″ display console– keep an eye on your stats with a quick glimpse of the bright blue LCD (same model used in health clubs). It is also simple to use.
Resistance – this is good on the E95. Highly variable resistance is provided with 20 levels of resistance offered by this jerk free reliable ECB (eddy current breaking) system.
Incline adjustment – incline adjustment is great for this machine. The ramp angle can be adjusted to between 0 and 30 degrees. If you want to recruit more muscle fibers, or reach the burn in a faster time, ramp it up!
Drive type – front wheel.
Stability – Dual rollers & four rear drive wheels make this machine extremely stable. There is very little side-to-side movement, but it is one reason this machine is so heavy, you really would not want to have to move it around much.
Water Bottle Holder – Just like no car is complete without coffee cup holders, you can keep hydrated by storing your workout drink on board the machine.
Built-in-fan – keeps you cool during training sessions an it actually does have a powerful enough blast so you can feel it (see video above).
Entertainment – Built in speakers and port for mp3 player or iPod. Never experience a dull workout again! No internet browser, but too hard to navigate on an elliptical unless you are posing and not sweating it out!
Practically Indestructible Frame – tough 38mm frame will last the distance.
Warranties – you get a full lifetime frame warranty as well as a five-year warranty for the electronics and parts. However, most labor aspects of the warranty are limited to two years only.
The Good Points of the E95
Exceptionally quiet – Despite its size, this exercise machine is extremely quiet. It features the aptly named whisper drive system which powers the pedals without making any noticeable sound.
Forward & Reverse Drive – Forward and reverse motion allows you to target different muscle groups an eliminate the boredom of pedaling in a forwards direction.
Smooth action– As well as the fluid drive system a heavy 34 pound flywheel keeps the pedals turning smoothly.
Light – tough workouts -. A high gear ratio provides plenty of top end resistance.
Large Adjustable Foot Pedals – features 10 levels of adjustment so you can find the perfect spot for the pedals to achieve that continuous uninterrupted flowing elliptical movement.
Well built – The build quality is exceptional. In fact, some owners said it was better than the equipment they used at their local gym.
Multi-funtion handlebars– D shaped handlebars allow you to engage your arms in your cardio workout and tone your shoulders, biceps, triceps and forearms. The movement will also engage your back and torso increasing your strength an eliminating fat.
Variable grip handles – being able to choose how the handgrips were positioned was seen by many as a big plus. The fact the footrests are adjustable too makes it easy to get comfortable on this machine.
There’s no point listing the finer points of any elliptical machine without having a look at customer opinion.
Very few reviewers had anything negative to say, but here are the most important of the few negative raised during the reviews:
Difficult to assemble – assembling the machine is tricky. The majority of users took at least two hours to do it. However, this is an issue with virtually any piece of home fitness equipment. Usually it is a two-person job and can be extremely fiddly. Thankfully you will always find great assembly videos on youtube to ease your pain.
There are lots of bolts fixings and covers to attach as there are so many separate units, 2 sets of handle bars, the pedals, the rails… it might be worth paying for assembly if it sounds to much hassle. But if you like tinkering you’ll get through it in an evening. (See assembly diagram).
Heavy – this machine is heavy weighing in at 215Ibs (shipping weight is 264 pounds). It has a set of wheels at the back to ease transport, so is not as hard to move as many people expected it to be once you have it set up. Getting it up and down a set of stairs is another thing entirely though…
The above pros and cons are based on either personal use or what reviewers have said about the product. The majority of those who bought this machine on Amazon really liked this machine; in fact, it is so good that 78% of them gave it either a four or a five star rating.
What Makes Sole’s ECB System Worth The Sale Price Alone?
Extra tension is provided by the remarkably smooth electronic braking system that is designed to apply slowly once you up the levels. It won’t cause friction or ram on abruptly and knock you off your stride when you want to change levels and up the intensity.
You really get the star quality treatment when using this system. It smacks of quality and makes you feel like you are using a well engineered machine, which you are.
The essence of the E95 is to provide a workout from a machine that doesn’t ‘feel like a machine’. This is achieved with ease by Sole as the e95 machine is sturdy and non clunky. Your stride flows naturally thanks to the 2º inwardly sloped angle of the oversized foot pedals (with foam for cushioning & comfort) and the smooth resistance provide by the electronic magnetic resistance system.
Foot Comfort Essentials
This machine is all about the stride. But how can it be so unique considering we all have different stride lengths and we all walk differently? A unique system allows you to adjust the pedals and dial them in to precisely the right angle that feels comfortable for you.
This allows you to set the pedals up to the exact angle your feet are aligned when you walk. The dial rotates using a “worm drive”. Forget the freakish name, this cleaver touch eliminates numbness in your toes and wards of Achilles tendinitis which can be a common recurring injury on regular elliptical users.
The machine doesn’t bump or grind through gear changes, transitions are unnoticeable, plus the heavy flywheel and whisper drive system also combine to add oodles of comfort and free flowing strides.
You can enjoy your workout in peace without thinking of how ‘hard’ the machine is on your body. Ellipticals are known for being low impact on the body, and this is where this model comes into it’s own. So much so that it outperforms other contenders that are $1000+ more expensive.
Built to last, extremely versatile, and a joy to work out on.