SOLE E95 Elliptical Review: Pros, Cons: Our Verdict
If you’ve been looking for a high-quality elliptical machine, you’ve likely come across the SOLE Fitness Elliptical Machine. SOLE Fitness is known for its excellent quality, high-end machines which are also affordable for most consumers.
SOLE Fitness is one of the fastest growing manufacturers of consumer home fitness products and in some areas is already considered a leading producer.
If you have been considering purchasing the SOLE E95 Elliptical, our complete review of this machine will give you everything you need to know to decide if this is the machine for you.
But first, if you are in a hurry…
Table of Contents
- How Does the SOLE Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine Work?
- What Functions Come with the SOLE 95 Console?
- What Workout Programs Come with the SOLE Fitness E95 Elliptical?
- What Are the Dimensions of the SOLE E95?
- Where Can I Buy the SOLE 95 Machine?
- Is the SOLE E95 Difficult to Assemble?
- Are There Any Downsides to the SOLE Fitness Elliptical Machine?
- What Is the Warranty Offered by SOLE?
- Who Is SOLE Fitness?
- Our Verdict
How Does the SOLE Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine Work?
The SOLE Fitness E95 Elliptical trainer is a high-end ergonomic home fitness machine that comes with excellent features and a design meant to reduce stress on the body. It provides a full body workout and comes with some of the latest technology to keep you up to date with mobile apps and fitness programs.
The heart of the elliptical machine is the flywheel, which is driven by the motion of the user, who drives the flywheel with a stepping motion and handle bars.
The SOLE 95 flywheel is a heavy-duty, 27 lbs. weighted flywheel which uses gear ratios and electromagnetic resistance. This resistance can be increased in increments between 0 – 20 levels so that you can customize your workout. The resistance is what makes for a challenging workout.
The flywheel is whisper quiet so that you can easily listen to music or hold a normal conversation while the machine is running. And because the resistance is electromagnetic rather than friction, the motion will be fluid and smooth so that your workout will be consistent. You can also work the flywheel in reverse if you want to work a different set of muscles.
The E95 Elliptical features a frame that is thicker and stronger than other comparable models. It is composed of 38mm steel that is designed to make the elliptical more durable so that it can hold more weight and take more motion than other models. If you are someone who is a bit larger, you can be sure that this machine will hold you up well. Some models, on the other hand, have the feel of a delicate machine that might break underneath you.
The supports for the frame come with two center disc levelers that can be adjusted to ensure that the machine is level even if the floor isn’t. The rear frame comes equipped with a handlebar that can be used to tilt the machine onto its front transport wheels. This allows you to move the elliptical machine easily if it becomes necessary. While it is recommended that you situate the SOLE E95 in a permanent location, this feature does make it easy to move and put into proper position.
Articulating Foot Pedals
Perhaps one of the better features of this model is that SOLE has equipped it with excellent foot pedals. In other models, the pedals are completely immovable, which means there is a fixed stride length and the possibility of numb toes with repeated use. To counter these common problems, the E95 Elliptical has oversized foot pedals that are fully articulating and fully adjustable.
If the foot pedals do not fit your stride, it is common to experience toe numbness and sore Achilles tendons. In order to avoid these problems, the SOLE E95’s foot pedals have 2 degrees of inward slope so that the way your foot, ankle, and knees work with the motion of the steps is natural and will not cause stress to these areas.
Furthermore, because everyone is different, you can adjust the angle of the pedal to fit your particular step. The SOLE E95 uses a “worm drive” to dial in the exact angle of the pedal and make it easy to fit your exact step. And those steps will be cushioned by the foot pedals’ padded design.
This adds up to one of the most advanced foot pedal systems of any elliptical trainer within this price range. You can be sure your foot motion and your feet will be comfortable and secure throughout all your workouts.
Another great feature that is not often offered on other ellipticals is an incline option. While standard on treadmills, the elliptical has not quite caught up on this feature. Fortunately, the SOLE E95 features 20 different levels of incline that can be adjusted with just the touch of a button. This can be adjusted up to 40 degrees incline for a truly uphill climb.
This gives you a whole new way to increase the intensity of your workout by not just having more force to work through on the flywheel, but by having to step up with the incline. This is like having a stair master along with an elliptical. Few other ellipticals on the market have this feature, which really sets the SOLE E95 apart from other brands.
If you want to increase the scope of your workout, you can work the handle bars which are ergonomically designed to work your upper body. The hand grips are specially molded for a comfortable feel to make it natural to work in line with your step. The design will also work well as you increase the resistance or add to the incline of the step. As you make these adjustments, the handlebars will adjust so that no matter what setting you choose, you can work out your whole body.
In addition to these handlebars are two stationary handle bars that are mounted near the console. These can be used as you are getting on or off the elliptical trainer. They are also helpful for those who are still getting used to the full motion of the machine.
These handles also have heart rate monitors which communicate with the console to track your heart rate over the course of your workout.
The handlebars also feature control buttons for the console. This allows you to change various features of your workout while in progress without having to move your hands from the bars. Some people find it uncomfortable to move off the handlebars just to adjust the resistance or incline as this throws them off-balance. By placing the controls on the handlebars, you do not have to worry about this, so your workout can progress comfortably and without difficulty.
What Functions Come with the SOLE 95 Console?
The console on the SOLE E95 Elliptical comes with a 10.1″ backlit LCD screen. This makes it perfectly clear and easy to read the metrics even in low light. The internal power supply will function automatically as soon as you plug in the elliptical. It will also automatically switch to standby mode when not in use so you do not have to worry about turning the machine off so as not to waste electricity.
The console will give you reading on all the basic metrics you would need to track over the course of your workouts.
The Time metric can be switched between counting down from a programmed time so that you can set a workout goal or it can accumulate up to 99 minutes and 59 seconds.
The Speed function can be set to either miles or kilometers and will also give you the RPMs every 6 seconds so that you can track the consistency of your workout.
Distance, like Time, can count up to 99.99 miles or count down from a preset goal.
The console will also display an estimation of the calories burned, number of watts exerted, your pulse (if you use the included chest strap or place your hands on the stationary handlebars), and the resistance level.
In addition to the readings, the console also comes with a cooling fan, which can help decrease the heat buildup over the course of your workout. The built-in speakers allow you to hook up your mp3 devices to listen to your favorite music, audiobooks, or podcast. And since the motor on the machine is whisper quiet, you will have no problem listening through these speakers.
SOLE has also put a water bottle holder on the console so that you can be sure to remain hydrated while working out.
What Workout Programs Come with the SOLE Fitness E95 Elliptical?
In order to maximize the quality of your workouts, SOLE has equipped this model with 12 different programs to ensure that you can find the right workout for your situation.
The SOLE E95 comes with five different preset programs that allow you to simply select a program and have a great workout. The first of these is the “Hills” program, which, as you can imagine, simulates going up and down hills for the workout. The elliptical machine will gradually increase the resistance at predetermined intervals and then back off the resistance. This can be a nice workout to give you peaks of hard work with times to recover.
The second preset program is the “Fat Burn” program, which optimizes the burning fat (or calories). This program creates a longer, steady workout that keeps your exertion level up throughout the course of the exercise.
The third option is a “Cardio” workout, which is designed to provide the maximum workout for your cardiovascular system. This will give your heart and lungs a great workout by fluctuating high levels of exertions at periods through the exercise. This will help increase your heart muscle and increase your lung capacity and overall blood flow.
The fourth option is a “Strength” workout that primarily focuses on high levels of resistance to increase the strength in your lower body. This should greatly help tone the muscles in your legs, but should not be confused with an actual strength training program which uses weights and lifting.
The fifth preset program is the “Interval” program, which alternates high levels of resistance with low levels of resistance. This is a good combination of the Hills program and the Cardio program so it will work your cardio system and still give you sufficient periods of rest in between these bursts of resistance.
Heart Rate Programs
One of the most aspects of effective exercise is to track and maintain particular levels of heart rate. You should consult with your physician regarding target heart rates in order to make sure that your workout is safe. If you overexert yourself you could end up damaging your heart.
With the heart rate programs, the elliptical machine will monitor your heart rate via the chest strap to ensure that you meet your target heart rate goals so that you can maximize your workout and make sure they are safe.
The SOLE E95 also allows you to program your own workouts. The console will allow two different users to enter their unique profiles and create their own workouts which the machine will track and remember. This allows multiple people to use the machine and keep track of their progress over time.
What Are the Dimensions of the SOLE E95?
This model is fairly long compared to other home fitness machines, but that’s part of the reason it is such a quality machine. The floor space it will take up runs around 7 feet long and 2.7 feet wide. It is also around 5.5 feet high. To ensure you have enough head room, you should consider that you will be anywhere from 1 to 2 feet from the ground while using the machine so you should add that to your height to calculate ceiling clearance.
The elliptical itself weighs 236 lbs. With its heavy-duty steel frame, it is a solid machine that can hold up to 400 lbs. This means even larger people can effectively work out with this machine. It will feel solid beneath you and give you confidence in the effectiveness of your workout.
Where Can I Buy the SOLE 95 Machine?
SOLE Fitness equipment is distributed by most major sports retailers and even some department stores. While it can be convenient to shop in store, it can be difficult to transport such a large and heavy box from a store.
Because of this, many people prefer to order fitness equipment online. SOLE Fitness offers their products directly to the consumer from their website with free shipping. SOLE also sells their products through Amazon.com, which can also sometimes include free shipping and sometimes (but not always) allow for the option of purchasing extended warranties or in-home assembly. But you will need to check Amazon for current availability as these offers do not always apply.
The real added advantage of purchasing the elliptical online is the great convenience of having it delivered directly to your door without having to worry about how to get it there. Most companies will call ahead of time to ensure that someone is home to receive the package and will help locate it within your home.
Is the SOLE E95 Difficult to Assemble?
Whether you purchase the SOLE E95 Elliptical trainer in a store or online, you will have to assemble it in your home. Because this is a top of the line machine, it does have a fairly complex assembly, but not so difficult that it cannot be assembled by the average individual.
SOLE offers “exploded” diagrams of the E95 Elliptical machine that show how the entire assembly looks piece by piece. Using their step by step instructions gives plenty of guidance to put the machine together if you are familiar with the basics of assembling other pieces of furniture.
As long as you are sure to follow the instructions fully, there shouldn’t be any trouble putting it together. It may be a good idea for there be at least two people working together as the machine is heavy and can be awkward to hold up while you are trying to assemble it.
You should also ensure that you do not tighten the bolts as you go, but rather wait until the end to complete the tightening as this allows for proper alignment.
Another reason to make sure you assemble the elliptical trainer correctly is that if the machine becomes damaged due to improper assembly, SOLE Fitness will not warranty the machine.
Are There Any Downsides to the SOLE Fitness Elliptical Machine?
There are no real design flaws in the SOLE Fitness E95 Elliptical. Earlier models had reported problems with some of the bearings in the articulating pedals, which resulted in some “clicking” noises when used. However, in later models SOLE has corrected for this and users do not report this problem anymore.
While SOLE Fitness lists their “cooling fan” on the console as a design feature, do not expect it to keep you very cool. The fan just isn’t large or powerful enough to cool effectively. If you are concerned with keeping cool during your workout, we advise having an additional fan set up in your room.
Furthermore, the speakers included in the console are not exactly high-quality. While it might be a nice feature to have speakers in the console, if you really want to listen to quality music, you might want to set up some other speakers or have some good headphones. The speakers on the console will not give you much bass output, but can suffice for basic audio performance.
What Is the Warranty Offered by SOLE?
SOLE Fitness offers some of the best warranties in the business. First, the frame of the E95 Elliptical is warrantied for life. If the frame should ever break, SOLE will repair or replace the frame at their discretion. For the electronics and other parts, the SOLE E95 is warrantied for five years against all manufacturer’s errors and part defects.
This warranty also includes two years of in-home labor. So, if anything should happen to your machine within these time frames, SOLE will send a technician to your home to repair the elliptical at no charge to you. This way you do not have to figure out how to transport the machine to a service shop just to have it fixed.
You should also note that the warranty is only good for the original buyer. You cannot transfer the warranty to a second purchaser. This is a good reason to buy the SOLE E95 Elliptical new, rather than used so that you can be sure you are covered should anything happen to the machine.
Who Is SOLE Fitness?
SOLE Fitness is not exactly a household brand name. However, if you pay attention, you will see their machines everywhere. A brief history of the company can explain why they may not be a familiar name right now, but may be in the very near future.
SOLE Fitness is an international company with distribution in most major markets around the world. In the United States, they are headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. However, much of their equipment is manufactured in Taiwan by the Dayco Company. This allows them to distribute globally more easily.
The company itself began in the hospitality industry. They manufactured and sold training equipment for fitness centers in hotels around the world. In addition, many of their treadmills and other equipment were supplied to several lines of cruise ships.
Part of the early success of SOLE Fitness was their big contracts with hotel chains like Hilton Hotels, Hotel Monaco, and Omni Hotels. Because they were marketed for high-end hotel chains, their equipment was top of the line. This tradition continues in their models even today.
In addition to these models meant for fitness centers, they also began manufacturing trainers intended for individual luxury suites. These models had to be the highest excellence to match the quality of the rooms they would be located in.
With their success in the commercial business selling to the hospitality industry, SOLE Fitness began manufacturing models directly for the consumer. They also began expanding their lines beyond just treadmills.
Today, SOLE Fitness manufactures some of the leading home fitness equipment including elliptical trainers, treadmills, rowers, stationary bikes, and recumbent bikes. Their product lines have gained a reputation for being some of the best equipment on the market as well as being highly affordable.
“Affordable” here is relative to their quality. While you will be able to find cheaper products, for what you get with a SOLE Fitness machine, we find them to be well worth the money.
If you are looking for one of the top of the line elliptical machines, the SOLE Fitness E95 should certainly be on the top of your list.
It is solidly made with a high weight capacity and features that are offered by no other manufacturer.
It is easy to see why SOLE Fitness is amongst the fasting growing manufacturers of home fitness equipment.
With the E95 Elliptical machine, you can be sure you will get one of the best workouts available for the price.