Sole F85 Treadmill
“A High Rating Fold-up Treadmill, One of the Best- Sole F85 Treadmill”
The Sole F85 treadmill may just be the best folding treadmill for runners. It has a powerful motor, extra long running surface and an impressive warranty. Sole has the reputation for building quality machines at value prices. They back it up with an industry leading two-year service warranty.
Sole treadmills are used by the Hilton Hotel chain for in-room fitness. With a proven track record in a rigorous commercial environment, you can expect the F85 to hold up exceptionally well under residential use.
Note: As of 5/10/09 the Sole F85 was selling for $1,999 with shipping, which is a good value.
Recommendation: If you do not need a folding treadmill, you can get the comparable Sole S77 treadmill for $100 less.
The Sole F85 Treadmill Features…
Long 60 ” Running Surface – Most manufacturers define the length by the treadbelt. In most instances, several inches of the treadbelt is covered by the shroud. You’ll find the 60″ length on the F85 is adequate to handle taller users and interval and sprint training. In comparison, when running at fast speeds on a 54″ surface you often feel like you are about to run off the end.
3.5 Continuous Duty HP motor – A 3.5 HP motor is like having an 8 cylinder hemi under the hood. It will run effortlessly at high speeds. This size motor is about as powerful as they get for home use.
Extra Large 2.75″ Rollers – Few people realize the value of large rollers. The larger roller surface means less revolutions, that translates into less wear and tear on the treadbelt, rollers, bearings and the motor. The larger rollers will also reduce the noise level.
Speed and Incline Controls on Siderails – As a runner, this is a feature I particularly like. You can change up the speed and incline without having to lean over the console, which I find breaks my stride. Premium
Console and LED Display – The console has a smart layout. You get multiple window readouts, including a progression display. Also included are speakers with inputs for MP3 and iPod players, and cooling fans. Note: The fans give moderate relief and don’t expect Blaupunkt quality from the speakers.
Impressive Warranty – You get lifetime on the motor, 5-years on parts and 2-years on labor. The 2-years labor coverage is exceptional. When I talk to other manufacturers and mention the Sole warranty, they shake their head and wonder how they can manage the expense. Well Duhhh! There is no expense if the treadmills are low maintenance.
Wireless Heart Rate Control – If you are serious about getting the optimum workout, then HRC is an attractive feature. Many professional athletes use HRC to maximize their workouts.
280 Lbs. Weight – The Sole F85 treadmill weighs as much as many commercial models. What that means is you get a very stable and solid feel, even though it is a folding treadmill.
Note: You don’t want to have to move this machine. If you order direct from Sole, the Free Shipping is to the curb. You may want to opt for the inside delivery option. Also, be aware that due to the size and weight, when folded this treadmill is not as compact as some budget models.
I feel this is one of the best folding treadmills available. It is built for commercial use, so it will excel in a home environment. And you can’t beat the 2-years service warranty. No one offers two years coverage for in-home labor in this price range. That alone tells you you are purchasing quality.
Overall, the F85 is a very durable machine with an excellent service record. I have yet to receive any negative feedback on this treadmill’s performance.
Great Treadmills For Runners – The Sole F85 is a great value for money treadmill for serious runners. I clock over 25 miles per week and it has held up well for 3 months now. I am using it to train for my first marathon. I like the long belt and the 3.5HP for this price is a steal as compared to other treadmills with similar features.
Made For Runners – I have a late 2006 model which is identical to the 2008 model as far as the specs. There has been a slight cosmetic design change but nothing drastic. My wife and I have been running and walking on this machine for over a year and a half and we’ve had no problems. The heart rate monitors could be better but I’m not convinced any of the treadmills offer anything more accurate. They get you in the ballpark. The warranty is what really matters and few machines match Sole’s much less alone exceed it. I’ve spoken with Sole on several occasions and the customer support is superb. No overseas call center and instant response from a company that wants your business.
What I Don’t like I found several annoying things:
1)the heart rate monitors are positioned so that , at 5’9″, I had to stoop slightly to hold onto the sensors. It took about 1-2 minutes to register a pulse that even approached accuracy, making the monitor essentially useless as it was so uncomfortable walking in a bent-over position.
2) the plastic cover at the front of the treadmill extends too far back; I regularly found my feet hitting it.
3) It doesn’t fold to a complete vertical position like my previous treadmill and takes up more space in that position.
4) There appears to be speakers on the console, a plug for headphones and another with a music-note symbol on it. I guess I’m supposed to somehow plug an audio device in that hole, but can’t fathom how because…
a)the plug is the wrong type for connecting either an mp3 player or any other kind of audio device that I know of, and
b)the instruction manual doesn’t even mention this feature.
Sole F85 Treadmill Specs:
Motor: 3.5 HP Continuous Duty, ultra high torque – Can handle serious runners.
Speed: 0.5 to 12 mph
Incline: 15% maximum, rack and pinion gear design. Most treadmills only go up to 12%.
Weighs a hefty 280 lbs., giving it a very solid and stable feel.
Deck Size: 33 X 78 – Custom Flex Whisper Deck
User Weight: 350 lbs.
Running Surface: Extra Long 20″ X 60″
Belt: Double Woven 2-Ply
Rollers: 2 3/4″ – Designed to extend the life to the belt, motor, bearings and rollers.
Folding with the Easy Assist folding feature. Heart Rate Control with wireless chest strap included.
Hand Pulse Grips for easy readout of your heart rate.
Arm rest speed/incline controls, makes it easy for adjusting.
Tri color display, with multiple windows for simultaneous readouts.
Message Window with Scrolling Information
Standard Programs: Six
User Defined Programs: Two
Heart Rate Programs: Two
Cooling Fans Shipping is Free in continental US
Warranty: Motor, Lifetime — Deck, Lifetime — Frame, Lifetime — Electronics / Belt / Rollers and all other wear components, 5 years — Labor, 2 years
*This Sole F85 Treadmill Review is based on not only testing the equipment, but also comments, testimonials, reviews and ratings of customers and third parties. We attempt to be as accurate as possible. Warranties, features and prices can change without notice.