Sole F80 Treadmill Review 2017

Reviewed by
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Features

6/10

Tech Specs

9/10

Build Quailty

8/10

Treadmill Review

Updated: 6-27-2017


The Sole F80 Treadmill is one of the most popular models of treadmills sold on the market today. When it comes to competing with the NordicTrack/ProForm (ICON) juggernaut, Sole might just be the most competitive - and the F80 seems to be their flagship/anchor model.


With a solid build, good price tag, and decent features, the F80 Treadmill by Sole is a solid option for those looking to purchase a treadmill in the $1500 range.


Price


Typically, you will find the Sole F80 priced around $1,500 - $1,600. As such, it generally is compared against the NordicTrack 1750 Treadmill.

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Who the Sole F80 Treadmill is For:


The Sole F80 is built for the serious runner who wants a no/low-frills, easy-to-use treadmill that will last for years to come. If you are someone who likes to run, needs a folding treadmill that is solid, and also like to have physical buttons to push (vs. more electronic, touch-pad options), then you should consider purchasing the F80. It’s a great treadmill that will last a long time but won’t take up a lot of space in your home or apartment.


It’s also good to note that the weight capacity of the F80 is 375 lbs, which is one of the highest for treadmills in this price range. If you are someone who needs that extra weight limit in this price range, then this is a great option.


Why we rate the F80 Treadmill by Sole one of the best treadmills under $1,500.

The reasons we rate the Sole F80 Treadmill as one of the best treadmills under $1,500 (rated #2 in the category right behind the NordicTrack 1750) include:


  • Sturdy, durable treadmill, with a higher weight capacity vs. other competitors in this price range (375 lbs).
  • Very simple and easy to use. While we love the technology on the 1750, we also understand that not everyone wants a super high tech treadmill. We love the buttons on the F80 and find them very easy to use. For the minimalist who doesn’t want to worry about having to learn how to use a touch-screen, then the F80 could be a great treadmill.
  • Fold very easily. This is great for people who need a treadmill that doesn’t take up a lot of space.
  • Very easy to put together. When it comes to assembly, the Sole F80 was one of the easiest machines we have put together. Part of this is due to the fact that the console is more simplistic than some others; however it is very nice that the console comes as one piece vs 2 and makes the assembly much easier for those who are not ‘install-savvy’.

Main Specs - 9/10


Specs “Quick Review”:


  • Motor Size: 3.5 CHP, DC Type
  • Roller Size: 2.5”
  • Running Area: 22" X 60"
  • Weight Capacity: 375 lbs.
  • Folding: Yes
  • Footprint (in use): 37” (width) x 82” (length) x 57” (height)
  • Footprint (folded): 37” (width) x 44” (length) x 71” (height)
  • Decline/Incline: 0% to +15%
  • Screen: 9” LCD Screen, white back-lit
  • Speakers: 2 speakers
  • Noise Level: 60 dB to 78 dB (background noise @ 53 dB when measured)
  • Max Speed: 12 MPH
  • Treadmill Best For: walking, jogging, running, home use

Motor Size - The motor on the Sole F80 is a 3.5 chp (continuous horse power), DC type motor. One of Sole’s strengths is that their motors do tend to last a while. As such, Sole has built up a following of people who like a machine that, while simple, lasts and does it’s job. We do like how the motor is a CHP motor vs HP, as you will get more power from that in a treadmill. At 3.5 CHP, the Sole F80 comes in just under it’s main competitor, the NordicTrack 1750, which boosts a 3.8 CHP motor.


Running Surface - We really like the running surface of the F80. At 22” x 60”, the F80 is ¼” larger than the track on the 1750, and around 2” wider than some of the other competitors on the market (i.e. the Horizon T7 that only has a 20” belt).


Again, in comparing vs the 1750, the Sole F80’s belt is 22”, which is ¼” wider than the 1750. Total track width was the same (23”) for both models. While we have never had an issue with either machine in terms of having enough space to run, it is something that we like on the Sole F80.


F80-vs-1750---Belt-Width

Space / Footprint -While in use the F80 by Sole takes up 100 cubic ft : 37” (width) x 82” (length) x 57” (height). While stored and folded, the F80 takes up 67 cubic ft : 37” (width) x 44” (length) x 71” (height).


This is slightly more than the NordicTrack 1750 and the Horizon T7.


Noise Level -


Treadmill running at (baseline room noise of 53 db):


  • 12 MPH, w/fans: 78 db
  • 6 MPH, w/fans: 70 db
  • 1 MPH, w/fans: 61 db

12-mph6-mph
1-mphbaseline53

As you can see, the numbers show a pretty quiet machine that is right inline with the competition. You can for sure run on this treadmill while you child is sleeping in another room.


Max Speed - The F80 has a minimum speed of .5 mph, and a maximum of 12 mph, which is fast enough for even really fast runners. If you can average better than a 5 minute mile in training mode...well your awsome!


Incline/Decline - With an incline of 15% you will be able to really get a great workout in while running on the F80. No, this doesn’t compare to the 35-45% inclines you find on incline trainers, but this is very comparable to our other topic picks in this price range.


One thing we don’t like about the F80 is that you don’t have the ability to run at a decline - the track won’t decline below 0%. While we don’t know many people who love running downhill, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to be able to train for when you have to run downhill. This is something we hope Sole will improve on in the future.


Features - 6/10


While the Sole F80 is great, solid machine (see build quality below), where we do feel it falls short is in terms of features. Sole’s treadmills definately don’t have the same amount of tech and other features found in some competitors models (NordicTrack and ProForm specifically). However, we do feel that Sole fits a specific niche in the market - those people looking for a straightforward, solid treadmill where you don’t have to worry about tech and touch-screens.


In other words, if you are someone who likes physical buttons, simple yet straightforward workouts, and don’t like dealing with technology (which, we do feel it’s important to acknowledge that sometimes tech ends up causing problems), then the F80 could be a great treadmill for you and your family.


Review of the NordicTrack x11i Incline Trainer: Features

  • 10 Pre-Installed Workout programs
  • 9” White Back-lit LCD Screen
  • 2 Speakers
  • Two Built In Fans
  • Bluetooth Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor
  • Cushioned Running Surface

Workout Apps -


The Sole F80 treadmill comes with a total of 10 different running apps. There are 6 different programs (manual, hill, cardio, fat burn, strength, interval), 2 different target heart rate programs, and then you also have the ability to customize 2 different user programs.


Overall, they are good programs. Solid, nothing flashy, but they work.


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Manual Workout - Sole F80 Treadmill. As you can see, the setup is basic but very easy and simple to figure out and use.


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Hill Workout - Sole F80


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Fat Burn Workout - Sole F80


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Cardio Workout - Sole F80


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Strength Workout - Sole F80


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Interval Workout - Sole F80


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Heart Rate Workout #1 - 60% Target Heart Rate


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Heart Rate Workout #2 - 80% Target Heart Rate


9” White Back-lit LCD Screen - As you can see from the image above, the Sold F80 comes with a basic, non-color, LCD screen. The size, 9”, is nice - but other than that, the screen is very basic.


Speakers There are 2 small speakers that comes with the F80. The speakers don’t really put out much volume, so don’t plan on really rocking out while you are running with these. We would say these put out about ½ - ⅔ of the sound volume produced by the 1750.


It is nice that Sole includes an adapter that you can use to connect your phone so you don’t have to by that.


Workout Fans - 2 small workout fans sit at the top of the consol. We do wish that Sole would have done more here, as the fan output is very mild and disappointing. There is also only one speed.


Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor - We like how a wireless bluetooth monitor comes with the F80. While the heart rate grips worked well, we are still big fans of the bluetooth monitors because grabbing and holding onto the grips while running is awkward on all machines. However, this issue is a little worse on the F80 given how low the grips are. If you are above 6’0” then this could get annoying very quickly.


Cushioning - Sole has what they call their “Cushion flex whisper deck”. Unfortunately, the run feels much more firm and stiff vs the 1750, and there isn’t a way to adjust the firmness. If you are someone who likes a more firm running surface, however, then you will like this model.


Other Tech Features

  • Auxiliary music port, with cable included, so you can plugin your phone or MP3 player and listen to your own music through the machines speakers (again, we would recommend using headphones as the music sound volume is not that high)
  • Heart Pulse Monitor. We like the responsiveness to the heart pulse monitor built into the machine. It is quicker and seems more accurate than the 1750 by NordicTrack. However, the monitors are situated very low and are somewhat annoying to have to reach for.
  • Accessory Trays. There are a total of 5 accessory trays - 2 up top and 3 down below. Again, the trays down below are pretty low and hard to get to while running.

iFit/Other Tracking Program Enabled: No. There is no internet connection or other programs you can tie into with the Sole F80 treadmill.


Build Quality - 8/10


Sole F80 Treadmill Review: Build Quality

  • Warranty, frame/motor/deck - Lifetime
  • Parts and Electronics - 5 years
  • Labor - 2 years
  • Customer Support - Email / Phone - no online chat support offered
  • Return Policy - 30 day return policy, with an 8% restocking fee (so that comes out to around $120 for the F80)

The build quality of the Sole F80 is very solid. It’s a great machine that will handle even hard, long running as you train for a marathon or triathalon. The base is very sturdy and you get just a small amount of shaking of the console are you run.


Overall, we would put the F80 above average in build quality but slightly below the quality of the NordicTrack 1750. As we run, there is just slightly more wobble on the F80 when compared to the 1750, which you notice even more when have items in the storage trays (water bottles, keys, etc.).


Of course, we really like how the weight capacity is higher on the F80, but do question how someone 300+ lbs would do on it (at this time we don’t have anyone who weighs more than 275, so we will update this once we can find a good ex linebacker to help us out here).


Note for Tall People: We don’t think that tall people will like the Sole F80 that much. The console, controls, and storage bins are much, much lower than the 1750, so if you are tall (above 6’2”), then we would recommend looking at the 1750 model by NordicTrack instead.


Bottom Line Review of the F80 Treadmill by Sole


Overall, we really like the Sole F80 Treadmill. It’s build solid, has a great weight capacity, and will perform very well for someone who is not super tech savy. We have it rated as our #2 treadmill in the under $1,500 category, losing just barely to the NordicTrack 1750.


However, if you are someone who is not tech savvy and wants physical buttons to change speed and incline levels, then we would recommend the Sole F80 over any other model in this price range.


Best Place to Buy the x11i Incline Trainer


While the Sole F80 is available in some stores, we highly recommend purchasing directly through Sole. They typically have the best pricing, even on holidays like Black Friday or Memorial Day weekend. In addition, you get better support if you go directly through the manufacturer and there is no difference in terms of delivery options.

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