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Sole F85 Treadmill - Price: $1,799.88

The Sole® F85 treadmill boasts a strong, continuous-duty 3.5 HP motor that delivers challenging speeds up to 12 MPH; the Cushion Flex Whisper Deck reduces impact on your joints by up to 40% as compared to running on asphalt. As an additional perk, the console is designed with built-in speakers, which allow you to plug in your MP3 player for a rockin' ride. .....more

List Price: $2,499.99
Price: $1,799.88
You Save: $700.11 (28%)

Customer Review

Great lifetime value, built strongly !! March 17, 2011
I've been exercising on the Lifefitness' commercial model treadmill at my gym for over three years. It's a great treadmill, and I've never had any issues or complaints. Since it's a commercial model, it's huge and bulky; it's probably built to last long for the heavy usage at a gym or a fitness center. Well, that's good, except the price of over $5000. That's a half of ten grand. Their noncommercial models are maybe $1000 less, but I still can't say they are in an affordable price range. Having said that, the Sole F85 is well under $5000, to be exact it's now at $2000 with free shipping. I am mentioning the price first because at this price, I think the affordability comes first when considering a treadmill. And I think F85 is affordable without sacrificing the quality and the value compared to Lifefitness' overpriced models.

Assembling took about an hour by myself, and I did not have any issues with missing parts or mismatching joints. The assembly instruction wasn't the easiest thing to follow, but it did the job. One difficult thing in assembling was the weight. This machine is very heavy to move around, so I recommend finding the perfect spot to put this before you start assembling.

Operating was quick and easy for me since I've been using Lifefitness treadmills for a long time, but, generally, anyone can figure out the operation within a couple of minutes. All the buttons are big and responsive so it's easier to access when running fast. Both inclining and speeding was gradual but quick. Also, the safety key worked well; when I pulled it, the treadmill immediately slowed down and stopped. There are incline and speed buttons on the side bars as well, and that's kind of convenient for a quick change. Lastly and most importantly, it runs smooth.

I consider a couple of things seriously, however. A) Comfort. It is important to have enough space on the treadmill when running. F85 might be slightly smaller in width compare to Lifefitness' bigger model I am used to, but I did not feel crammed on this one either. The second to take seriously is shock absorption. I do not have strong knees and I can't run on the asphalt so it is important to have a good shock absorption system. I've been running around 3 miles/day a couple of times a week for over a month now, and I don't have any pain (yet) on my knees and feet. The final aspect to consider is the noise of the machine. I can tell Sole's F85 is quieter than Lifefitness' when under 5mph, but when I run around 6mph, I think the noise level is about same. But I do like that this machine is less noisier in low speed; this perk is particularly convenient, because often times I choose to run in low speed at night when my son is asleep, and fortunately, this machine is minimally noisy that it does not wake him up (he is quite the light sleeper).

There are some additional features I'd like to mention. The first is the cooling fan. There are two fans above the LCD screen, and it's only position adjustable (not speed). The size is quite small (like the ones in the computer box), so I didn't expect much, but actually, it was very nice to have them running while exercising. The fan speed is not too strong or weak; it just gives little breezes, but it feels different from not having one before. Another feature is the technology. This treadmill doesn't offer too much current technology such as ipod/iphone compatibility, usb port for data output, color lcd with catch animations and graphics, etc. And that's what I like about. Less technology is better on some things, I think, and this treadmill is one of them. I'm sure there's a treadmill that can support all kinds of devices and do everything wireless, but had the manufacturers put all these techie features in the F85, the price wouldn't be at this range. And it is no secret technology outdates too quickly, so I find this important. I've seen this happening on my ipod speakers and many iphone compatible accessories. I can't just change my treadmill every year. The LCD screen is not color or touch screen, and I could care less; I do not think it's necessary as well. However, there are those who would disagree. I also favor the fact that I can lift and position the deck, which can help save some room if you live in a small or apartment or simply want to make a little extra room around the machine. I find this feature pretty awesome!

There are a couple of cons. There are two deep pockets big enough for water bottles on the dash board and that works well for me. But there are other bottle holder pockets under the dash board, probably at knee height, and it's not a convenient spot to put and grab bottles while running. Another con are the speakers. I can connect my iPod (only audio input), but the speaker quality is not too good (this part of technology I do find important). I was not expecting too much, but these speakers can be better quality, considering the price of the machine.

Overall, the machine is easy to assemble and use, is affordable, and valuable (more motor power than Lifefitness' lower end model). Lastly, the quality of the machine is high; it's built in heavy steel, and is meant to last a very long time. So long as consumer takes good care of the machine, this treadmill could last years. The machine also comes with various warranties: lifetime on motor, deck, and frame, and 5 years on electronics, belt, rollers, and other small components, and 2 years on labor (this information can be found on the website). For all that is offered, this machine is perfect for anyone!

Very nice treadmill December 26, 2010
By Chad Lowe
This treadmill looks very nice and feels very solidly built. I was able to assemble myself in about an hour and everything lined up perfectly. It runs relatively quiet. The display shows all parameters (distance, time, calories, speed, etc) all at the same time. My old treadmill had one numeric display that would cycle these parameters. The lap display was also a very nice added feature. The integrated fans do not blow very hard, but provide a nice breeze. This treadmill has built-in speakers. While they won't please audiophiles, they are more than adequate for working out. The deck folds up smoothly with almost no effort.

The only negative point about this treadmill is that the speed does not change very fast. This is most annoying when slowing down. It took about 45 seconds to slow from 6 mph to 2 mph. Perhaps this is a safety feature, I would have liked it to be a bit more responsive. It does speed up much faster than that, however.

The treadmill was delivered in two days. The delivery folks were going to leave it in the garage because that is all they are responsible for. However, my wife slipped them a little cash and they carried it to the basement. Like I mentioned, the unit was very easy to assemble by a single person.

Excellent display. Ease of assembly. Solidly built. Quiet. Speakers.

Speed adjustment a little sluggish.

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