Considering that the Sole E35 Elliptical Machine won the Ichi Ban Best Buy Award a few years ago, one naturally expects the elliptical machine to deliver sterling performance while combining a host of excellent features that would justify its slightly higher price bracket. Thankfully, it does so in style, combining well designed and extremely smooth parts with a good array of features that make it a star performer among elliptical machines priced above $1,000.
Sole E35 Technical Spec
- Stride Length: 20’’-22’’
- Incline: 0 to 30 degree
- Resistance: 20 Levels
- Flywheel: 29-pound flywheel
- Programs: Six standard, two user defined and two heart rate programs
- Display: 7.5- inch LCD monitor with blue backlighting
- Footplates: 15-inch
- USB Connection: Yes
- Weight Capacity: 375 lbs
- Machine weight: 215 lbs
- Dimensions: 27 x58 x83 inches (W x H x D)
- Warranty: Frame: Lifetime/ Electronics and parts: 5- year/Labor: 2- year
Sole E35 Elliptical Machine provides a heavy duty tubular steel structure that is perhaps as sturdy a frame as you will get on a home-use machine. Furthermore, Sole has invested substantially in design research, and this produces a one of the most ergonomic frames in the industry. As compared to Schwinn’s machines with 10 degrees incline, Sole E35 comes with a 30 degrees ramp that is motorized, so that the incline can be changed using the dedicated buttons available on the machine. Since change in incline changes the elliptical machine benefits accruing from a workout, smooth and easy change of the ramp is a vital advantage that this elliptical machine has over those with manual ramps.
As some users commented, the Sole E35 is slightly on the heavy side at a full 215 pounds, of which a major part is made up by the motorized ramp. This weight however ensures the stability of the machine, and you can rest assured that it will not shift or wobble when you’re working out hard. Added to this is the broad base of the machine, which makes sure that the Sole E35 Elliptical Machine will not tip over when one is working out at a rapid pace.
Indeed, the only problem which some users might have is regarding the floor space of the machine. The machine’s dimensions are 27 x 58 x 83 inches (WxHxD), and it is not foldable. However, in absolute terms this space demand is not that high, since higher end elliptical trainers tend to demand even more. If you are still worried about the weight capacity, keep in mind that the machine has wheels at the bottom which allow it to be stowed away.
With heavy machine weight comes heavy user weight capacity. The upper weight limit of the elliptical machine is a whopping 375 pounds, which is far higher than any of its competitors in this segment. Resistance levels are sufficient at 20 and tend to be extremely smooth due to the magnetic eddy currents that are behind their functioning.
Despite allowing for such a high user weight capacity, Sole appears confident in its machine, which is seen through the generous warranties. A lifetime warranty is provided on the frame, and topped up with five years of warranty for electrical parts and an unbelievable two year warranty on labor. Though this is broadly in keeping with Sole’s practice of providing generous warranties, users commented that the warranty was one of the main reasons why they opted for Sole E35 over others.
One of the most important parts of an elliptical machine is the handlebar, and Sole takes due care of this aspect by providing the E35 with two pairs of handlebars – one stationary and one moving. The stationary ones have pulse rate monitors, while the moving ones can be adjusted for user convenience. Both pairs of handlebars are well designed to ensure that they are smooth even during fast workouts.
Like all good elliptical machines, the Sole E35 elliptical machine comes with a loudspeaker and a quiet fan. Some users commented that the fan should not have been placed in the control console, but this appears to be a minor complaint since most users did not mention anything negative about it. What all users did mention in a positive manner, however, was the flywheel, which weighs a good 29 pounds. Though this adds to the machine’s weight, in reality, this provides much of the stability and precision which the elliptical machine has come to be known for.
Stride and Footplates
Like all good elliptical machines, Sole’s E35 comes with an adjustable stride length of 20-22 inches, which should be sufficient for most average users. What really sets this machine apart however is the design of the footplates. Meant to accommodate even the largest foot sizes, the footplates are 15 inches in size and have a two degree inward angle for the footpads, so that your joints are placed at a neutral alignment and the nerves in the Achilles’ heel are not pressurized too much. Further, the angle of the footplates themselves can be changed, since Sole accepts the fact that each person will have different foot sizes.
Operation and Programs
Sole has provided this elliptical trainer with a 7.5 inch LCD display, which is quite large compared to other elliptical machines and is especially popular among users who tend to prefer a single display rather than split displays. Having blue backlighting, this display ensures that you never have to squint in the dark for those vital metrics. These vital metrics include Speed, RPM, Incline and Calories burnt If you like, you can have the Sole E35 elliptical machine cycle through the information every four seconds by using the Scan button.
There are 6 standard programs available, with two user defined programs. One of the most important programs is the heart rate monitor, which works using the heart rate sensors in the fixed handlebars. For those who prefer a contact-less method, Sole also offers a heart belt (free with the E35) which can be wrapped at the level of the diaphragm while working out. Finally, an iPod/smartphone port has been provided for those who wish to listen to music while working out.
Sole has ensured all round comfort by producing an ergonomic design, which includes on one hand the padded and curved pairs of handlebars and on the other, the state of the art curved footplates. All parts are extremely smooth, while the resistance is magnetic for added comfort. Add to these the stability of the machine, and you can appreciate why this elliptical machine is popular both amongst those users seeking a short workout and power users who want lengthy workouts.
- Powerful frame and excellent design
- 375 pounds user weight capacity
- Unmatched warranty on labor, lifetime warranty on frame
- Heavy flywheel for added stability
- Broad base ensures machine does not tip over
- Specially designed angled footplates
- Large LCD display
- Heart belt and heart sensors in handlebars for easy measurement
- Slightly larger and heavier
- Fan too quiet for some users
Reviews of Sole E35 Elliptical Machine
Though some machines may be lighter, the Sole E35 elliptical machine has features to justify its weight. Likewise, while some may consider the elliptical machine as priced slightly on the higher side, the features offered could easily have been those of a much costlier commercial elliptical machine. Indeed, some of the features like the footplates, are designed specially by Sole incorporating latest fitness research, thus improving the quality of the machine significantly. Taken together, these ensure that the Sole E35 elliptical machine ranks amongst the best elliptical machines available in any price range available today.