Reader Mailbag: Sole F83 vs F85


The Treadmill Sensei is trying to get caught up and, unfortunately, the old blog keeps getting passed over. It’s my red-headed stepchild…but I’m trying! Today, at the DOJO, I received a couple of emails asking almost the exact same question, so I’ll answer them both at once. Here we go!

The first note is from Joe:

Treadmill Sensei,
I am going to buy a treadmill for my house but do not know which one would be best for me. It is between the Sole f83 or Sole f85. I am 5′ 11″ and 210lbs and run at 8-12 mph. Your help would be greatly appreciated. -Joe

The second note, echoing Joe’s, is from Michael:

Greetings Treadmill Sensei,
First of all, I want to mention that your web site rocks. Keep up the awesome work! I am thinking of purchasing a sole f63 for my home gym. I weigh 230lbs and I would be using this treadmill for sprinting. Will the sole f63 hold up to a beating like this?

With shipping, it looks like the f63 will cost $1150.00. Should I spend the extra money and just get an f83 for $1800.00 or an f85 for $2000.00? Is the f85 worth the $200.00 price jump over the f83? Thanks for the help. -Michael

Guys, thanks for your notes…and, Michael, you have great taste in treadmill blogs!

At 230lbs the Sole F63/Sole F80 (they are the same from the console down – the only real difference is the commercial quality console on the F80 vs the LCD on the Sole F63) should hold up to you pretty well. They are sturdy machines. The Sole F85 might be a bit overkill, but if you’re looking for something a bit sturdier then the F83 is a great answer. For personal use, I don’t know if the F85 is completely necessary to jump up to.

Here’s my question for both of you: do you need a folding unit? If you want something a little sturdier AND a little cheaper, the Sole S73 is the non-folding version of the Sole F83…and the Sole S77 is the non-folding version of the Sole F85. Both are around $100 cheaper than their folding counterpart and will be a little sturdier.

The Sole treadmills are all very sturdy and will hold up to pretty heavy running workouts. Also, as the Hilton Hotels have discovered with their recent contract with Sole, the treadmills are all very low maintenance and run quiet.

Make sure to let us know which treadmills you decide on and how it works out for you. Take care and happy running!

The Treadmill Sensei

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