The Sole F85 Treadmill Review — High Quality and High Performance, but Low Maintenance and Low Cost


Anyone who has been a regular reader of this review site knows the Treadmill Sensei has a love affair with Spirit manufactured equipment, especially the treadmills and ellipticals released through Sole Fitness. I recommend it on here, I recommend it to friends and family, I recommend it to complete strangers I pass on the street who have no interest in fitness. They make good product and I always smile when a piece comes through the DOJO. Sure they have a few misses with things like the Z8/XT8 Treadmill or their old ZE20 and ZE50 ellipticals, but in general they are a very reliable company.

The continues with the Sole F85 treadmill. The F85 is the top end of the Sole line. The machine is a hydraulically assisted folding unit but is also available as the non-folding Sole S77 treadmill. Because of the way they are made, there is very little stability difference between the two units. The Sole F85 is just as sturdy as the Sole S77.

A quick aside for those of you who are confused by the whole Sole-Spirit relationship. Sole is a repackaging company. What they do is take Spirit treadmills and ellipticals and relabel them. It’s generally the exact same equipment with a different logo and some cosmetic changes. They also tweak the “paper specifications” of their units to try and differentiate them from the Spirit standard units. So, on a Spirit Z88 you might see a 310 pound weight capacity but on the F63 a 325 pound limit is listed. They’re exactly the same, the numbers have just been fudged a bit to make one seem better. Manufacturers will do this with weight capacity, motor horsepower, even speed and incline. Anything which can be adjusted electronically or just flat out fibbed about will be changed.

The Sole F85 is the top of the line treadmill from Sole. This is the unit you’ll find in a lot of Hilton Hotels. In fact, we’re installing a batch of them this week at a local hotel. The reasons Hilton chose the Sole F85 (and the Sole S77) are numerous. Let’s go over them.

The Sole F85 is incredibly quite even while running full out on it. Sole has dubbed this their “whisper deck” and that moniker isn’t far off. The way the decks are put together results in very little friction between belt and deck which gets rid of the loud “whirring” noise a lot of treadmills have. On top of that, when you factor in the very smooth, very quiet motors on the Sole F85, then you’ve got a treadmill which can go in a hotel, business gym, or even condominium or apartment where you need to worry about the noise.

The other big reason the Hiltons choose Sole is because they are very low maintenance. As long as you keep the Sole F85 lubricated (about every 6-10 months depending on usage), a good mat underneath it, and the motor dust free, this unit will just about last you forever with little to no service issues.

Add all that up with the standard features of the Sole F85 — monster 3.5 horsepower motoer, 10 programs, heart rate monitoring and control, heavy duty construction and the great warranties, Hilton just can’t go wrong with the Sole F85 treadmills…and neither can a consumer. If you work out on a Sole F85 treadmill you won’t want to get off!

For continuing in excellence, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Sole F85 4.5 out of 5 Golden Buddahs.

The Sole F85 gets 4.5 gold buddahs out of 5.

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Sole F85 Treadmill Specifications
Horsepower: 3.5 HP
Max Weight Capacity: 375 pounds
Max Speed: 12 MPH
Max Incline: 15%
Heart Rate Monitor: Pulse grip and wireless chest strap
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Programs: 10
Special Features: Cooling fans, speed and elevation control on handles
Weight: 250 lbs.
Roller Size: 2.7″
Deck Thickness: 1″

-The Treadmill Sensei

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