Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer Review
|In our opinion, the Sole E35 elliptical offers the best bang for your buck, providing performance and features well in excess of its current price tag.
The Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer (2011 Model) is pitched by sole fitness as a mid-range elliptical, falling between the closely related E25 and E55 models. It is what we consider to be the best value elliptical machine available for sale online at the moment. Priced in the $1300-$1500 range, it is one of the lower priced elliptical machines, yet offers all of the essentials you need in a modern elliptical trainer, along with a few nice extras such as the excellent warranty. For those interested in an elliptical trainer with commercial level quality at a price that won’t break the bank, the Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer is the machine you’ve been looking for.
Sole E35 Features Summary:
- 25lb flywheel
- High gear ratio
- Adjustable foot pedals
- Holds up to 375lbs
- Sturdy frame
- 16 Levels of resistance
- Up to 30-degree incline
- Easy to use console
- One of the best warranties in the industry
- 20-inch stride
- Disappointing speakers and cooling fan
- Stride is not adjustable
Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer Features In Detail
Let’s look at each feature and component of the E35 to give you a clear picture of every aspect of this model, and enable you to decide whether the Sole E35 is right for you.
On any elliptical trainer, the flywheel is one of the most important components to consider, because essentially it is the flywheel which governs the movement of the hand grips and foot pedals. A good rule of thumb to follow is that the heavier the flywheel is; the smoother and more fluid the motion of the elliptical will be. A heavier flywheel often tends to translate into higher durability and an overall longer life for your elliptical.
The flywheel on the Sole E35 weighs in at a hefty 25lbs which whilst heavier than the cheap entry level models, is still quite a bit short of the high-end Yowza Captiva which has a 40lb flywheel, although remember that the Captiva is near twice the price. It is important to realize that whilst heavier flywheels offer better performance and durability, they also affect the price. We feel that the 25lb version offers a solid compromise between performance and price, particularly for those needing an elliptical solely for home use. If you are looking for ultimate quality and are prepared to pay more for the privilege, then you should definitely take a look at the Yowza Captiva.
The Gear Ratio
Closely related to the flywheel is the gear ratio of an elliptical machine. Simply put, gear ratio relates to transferring rotational motion somewhere else – in ellipticals, a high gear ratio is considered better as it translates into a smoother, more natural motion. All of the current Sole models, including the E35, have a very high gear ratio which gives the user a very fluid motion when working out.
The Foot Pedals
An often overlooked feature in elliptical machines is the foot pedals, however, we feel that they are an extremely important component to consider when purchasing an elliptical. The Sole E35 offers oversized, adjustable foot pedals that slope inwards by 2 degrees, and have three different settings. So how exactly do these foot pedal features affect your workout? Let’s look at each one in more detail.
The 2-degree inward slope greatly reduces the stress placed on your ankles and knees. This may not sound like much, but it can make a big difference to your comfort levels, prevent injuries and strain, and make the E35 ideal for people who have suffered from previous ankle and knee injuries. This feature also makes the E35 simply more comfortable to use – remember that you will hopefully be spending a lot of time working out on your elliptical several times per week, so user comfort is not something to be overlooked or sacrificed in the name of price. The three different footbed settings further enhance your comfort by allowing users with different gaits to find the most comfortable position – this is most definitely NOT a case of one size fits all, and these features really enhanced overall user comfort when working out on the E35, particularly when using it for long periods of time.
Editor’s note: The Sole E35 is currently on sale, click here to check the latest price
The Sole E35 weighs in at over 200lbs and can hold up to 375lbs of weight – as such the frame is extremely solid and durable, and more importantly stable. If you have ever worked out on a cheap elliptical, you will know that it’s not much fun swaying from side to side during a high-intensity workout! We experienced no flexing, creaking, swaying or squeaking when working out on the E35 – The sturdy construction and sheer weight of the E35 provide you with a very stable and safe workout. This is one area where we really felt as if we were working out on a far more expensive commercial quality elliptical and is one of the reasons we scored this model so highly, especially considering its lower than average price point.
The Stride Length
The Sole E35 offers an impressive 20-inch stride which is a good deal longer than the standard 17 to 18-inch stride offered by entry level models, but still a good deal short of the adjustable 18 to 30-inch stride length offered by the high-end Yowza Captiva. Once again though, you have to consider the dollar value of the different machines, and for most people, a 20-inch stride is more than adequate, even if you are very tall! The stride feels very smooth, fluid, and comfortable, particularly during long workout sessions.
One thing to note however is that If you are very short, say around the 5ft mark, you should probably consider an elliptical which offers an 18-inch stride length option, as the E35 is fixed at 20 inches and is nonadjustable.
The Levels Of Resistance
The E35 provides the user 16 levels of resistance in addition to an adjustable ramp that goes up to 30 degrees to provide an incline workout.
We always prefer working out on machines that offer a high number of resistance settings, as this enables you to very gradually raise the resistance level, and makes building your fitness a lot easier as the jump between each level is not too great. For more advanced users the incline workout option offers the user extra resistance whilst targeting different models which are great for adding some variety to your workout.
A really nice feature is that the controls for the resistance and incline are locating on the handlebars so there is no need to interrupt your rhythm and break your stride when you want to adjust the settings. A surprisingly large number of ellipticals have these controls on the console which can be fiddly to adjust during use.
The console screen is a blue LCD display that is 6.5 inches in size. It is quite bright and vibrant and as such is easy to see at any angle you are likely to be positioned in whilst using the elliptical. In addition to this, it is it can be tilted to provide maximum visibility. Using the screen you can easily view the resistance level, time, incline, distance traveled, calories burned, and pulse rate.
The E35 provides 8 preset programs that vary the resistance automatically to provide you with a preset workout and vary the challenge.
The E95 comes with built in speaks which you can plug your mp3 player or iPod directly into. However, the sound offered is somewhat flat and disappointing – in the end, we much preferred to use our own headphones during workouts.
There is also a built-in cooling fan, however once again we found it somewhat underwhelming, and much preferred to use our own fan to help cool us down and make the workout more pleasant.
Thankfully a water bottle holder is provided, although this is a small addition, in our opinion, it is unforgivable for a modern elliptical to be missing this feature.
One of the great little surprises of the Sole E35 is that as standard it now comes with a wireless chest strap heart rate monitor, which we haven’t seen in any other elliptical in this price range. The wireless chest strap boasts a 99.9% accuracy when it comes to monitoring heart rate, offering a significant performance boost over the standard hand sensors.
Whilst the water bottle holder and wireless heart monitor are nice extras, we felt that the built-in speakers and fan were just gimmicks, and we would have preferred they left these out and shaved a few dollars off the price, however your mileage may vary.
When you are spending this much money on something, it’s always important to check out what kind of warranty is provided. We have to say that the warranty offered by Sole on all its products is one of the best we have come across so far as it includes lifetime on frame, 5 years on parts, and 2 years on labor. It is pretty safe to say that when a company offers a warranty as impressive as this, it is because they know that their products are durable and reliable and unlikely to fail. This is a pretty good indicator that the Sole E35 is going to last you for a very long time.
Other Points To Consider
The E95 is extremely heavy, so it is definitely advisable to order online and have it delivered to your home rather than attempt to it home yourself. Because of its size and weight, it does take up quite a bit of space and most definitely does not fold away for storage, so you are going to need to have somewhere to suitable to set it up such as a spare room or garage. It is also quite a complex piece of kit so allow a good 1 to 2 hours for assembly.
Once the E95 is set up, it really does look like a slick piece of kit and has a very modern futuristic appearance. We were extremely impressed by its aesthetics and would happily have this in our homes. It is definitely one of the best-looking ellipticals available right now.
It is very intuitive and easy to use, and the ergonomics are excellent. You should have no problem working out on the E95 and we find the overall workout extremely smooth and fluid.
Video of The Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer In Action
See the video below to get an idea of how Sole Ellipticals look:
Feedback From Other Customers
Looking around online at feedback from customers who have purchased the E35, we were not surprised to see that the majority of the feedback was incredibly positive. Most people were extremely impressed by the quality and smoothness of workout offered by the E35.
Who Is This Model Best Suited For?
If you are looking for a modern elliptical at a price that doesn’t break the bank, and don’t need to own the latest and greatest model, the E95 provides a more than adequate workout and performs well above most other ellipticals in a similar price range.
The Sole E35 is currently on sale! click here to check the latest price