Reader Mailbag — Sole E25 Elliptical Questions

Moshi Moshi!

Welcome again to the DOJO. I am your host, the Treadmill Sensei, and today we have another offering from our reader mailbag. This time we have a question from Hank who has been looking at the Sole E25. Let’s hear from Hank:

“Treadmill Sensei, dig the blog, very helpful. So I’m about to pull the trigger on the elliptical Spirit XE150/Sole 35 based on all the good reviews I’ve read on it (including yours of course), but I’ve also heard good things about the Smooth brand (direct on-line only) ellipticals. Have you ever had any experience with them? About the same price range.

I’m short (5’5″) so I’m actually wondering if the Smooth’s 19″ stride is better for me than the Spirit’s 20″ – you think a one inch difference would make much of a difference anyway?

Thanks, and keep up the great reviews!”
Hank from NY

Thanks for the note, Hank, and I’m glad you enjoy the blog. I am familiar with Smooth. They used to be a very good brand (and were actually made by Spirit at one point, as well as by Sportsart, I believe), but in the last year or two they’re gone down hill. The new manufacturing company (whose name escapes me right now but I can look it up if you are interested) has dropped the quality of the parts quite a bit.

The Spirit XE150 / Sole E35 Ellipticals are definitely “A” quality and the Smooth is more “B-” or “C” quality from what I’ve seen. We get a couple of their ellipticals in a week to do repair work on. Oh, and so you know, I don’t have any attachments to either company. I do repair work for every single manufacturer out there and would prefer if everyone bought a Smooth because it would mean more work for me!

The stride different shouldn’t matter much at all — I’d definiely avoid a 22 or 24 inch stride (I’m 5’7″ myself) and keep away from anything less than 17-18 inches.

And we had a follow up question from Hank:

“If I can pick your brain one more time – would you happen to know what the big difference is between the cheaper Sole E25 and Sole E35 model, if any? According to the Sole site, the only real difference is the lcd size, pulse monitor and different warranty (E25 does not cover as many years). I don’t really care for the bells and whistles, heart rate monitor and stuff, but I want to make sure the E25 has the same internal mechanics and parts – looks like it’s got the same magnetic braking resistance, stride length the same, etc. Not many places selling the E25 (most are selling the E35) but Dick’s Sporting Goods does have it on sale for $999.”

Hank, ou listed exactly the differences between the Sole E25 and the Sole E35 Elliptical. The E25 is a stripped down version of the Sole E35 but is still a good machine. It also has a slightly smaller footprint, but from the couple I’ve worked on, they seem to be the exact same machine otherwise. I believe it was an exclusive model that could only be ordered through a select few retailers and through Sole itself. The Sole E25 ellipticals are very nice little machines that will last you for a good long time.

I hope that helps Hand and any of you out there interested in more information on Sole and Spirit in general or the Sole E25 elliptical in specific.

Until next time, take care!

-The Treadmill Sensei


  1. I’ve been researching the e25 vs e35 as well and one of the important differences is the flywheel. The e25 has a 19lb flywheel while the e35 has a 30lb. I think that’s a big difference but the Sensei will have to let us know if it’s worth the extra $200.

  2. Wonderful information. Very helpful, i want to buy an elliptical, never have used one. This site has helped narrow down my choices. Question: How important is it to pay extra to beable to go in reverse? Is that something I’ll regret not having.
    I don’t think the Spririt ze120 or sole e25 does? But sounds like the wisest choice.

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