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By Simon Gould
It is at this level of treadmill that I start to recommend them for the home. This Sole F80 gets 5 stars and deserves it. The improvements over the previous models make it a leader in it’s class. Every important aspect has had attention, there is a bigger motor, bigger display and a bigger maximum user weight.
I like the fact that all these improvements have been made yet the overall dimensions haven’t changed, the height, width and length remain the same as previous models. The F80 is heavier though by 15 lbs and it would need to be to cater for bigger users. It does this with a maximum user weight of 375 lbs. I think you’ll agree that is big.
The motor rises to a 3.5 CHP so the F80 caters to all levels if fitness whether you walk, jog, run or all three. CHP means continuous horse power and is the kind of motor to look for as it can run at it’s peak consistently. The display is now 9″ which is a lot bigger than previous models which makes monitoring your progress easier.
The Sole F80 is the treadmill that are sold to hotels for their gyms. So if they’re happy with it, it should be fine in your home. You want a machine that will stand the test of time and Sole have made the F80 in that way. It comes at a very reasonable price for what you get and a 30 day money back guarantee means there’s no risk.
Features of the Sole F80 Treadmill
+ Easy Controls – Every control to change a setting is clearly visible and available to you as you exercise. Instead of just pressing up on to make the treadmill faster you can specify the actual speed. This saves you having to hold the up button as you run which is inconvenient and awkward. There are controls on the handrails too so you can change the settings with the minimum of fuss.
+ Heavy Duty Chassis & Motor – These are the work horse of the treadmill so they need to be able to withstand constant use for many years. The F80 components have been made with this in mind. Sole uses flywheels which means their motors run cooler and last longer. They are bigger than their competitors and gives you a smooth, fluid motion as you run.
+ Good Labor Warranty – Sole have excelled themselves when it comes to the labor part of the warranty. You get 2 years and labor is the most expensive part of any repair, most only have one. This is the best that Sole offer and you never see longer than 2 years available anywhere without spending thousands for your treadmill.
+ 2 Heart Rate Workouts – I’ve always been a fan of these. You set the heart rate you want to maintain and the incline changes to keep you at that rate. If your heart rate decreases the treadmill makes your run harder and if your heart rate is too high then it makes it easier. It does this on the fly and is a great feature to improve your cardiovascular fitness.
+ Cushioned Deck – Sole have calculated that this deck will reduce joint impact by around 35% to 40% compared to running outside. For me this is one of the best things about treadmills. Running outdoors can lead to joint and muscle pain and soreness especially if you weigh a lot. The cushioned deck means you can workout with confidence.
+ Assembly Videos – Sole have provided assembly videos to guide you through setting up their treadmills. They’re a little bit old but I think they’re still helpful to use as well as the clear manual. My recommendation has always been to pay for assembly but if you don’t, help is out there and because the F80 is popular and there are good assembly videos available.
+ Folding Deck – The F80 is very easy when it comes to folding and unfolding. To unfold you press a latch and step away as the deck comes to ground in front of you in a stable way (make sure there’s nothing in the way). When you’re finished it’s a case of raising the deck to the folded position and the treadmill locks in place.
Drawbacks of the Sole F80 Treadmill
– Speaker Quality – Whatever you do you’re not going to get good quality speakers in the console of a treadmill. That’s the case here where the sound is slightly tinny. If you do buy this for the home then I’m sure you’ll have other speakers in the home you would be using. There is a headphone jack to give your music a more private option.
– Few Workout Programs – This is only a minor drawback. I think few people use the workout programs once you have some experience with treadmills. The F80 offers 10 in total and they are varied with the usual options like hills and valleys but there aren’t enough. There are machines with many more programs that can be made harder or easier for you.
Sole F80 Treadmill Specifications
|Sale Price||$1,599.99 (September 2021)|
|Running Surface||22″ x 60″|
|Dimensions||L 82″ x W 37″ x H 57″|
|Max User Weight||375 lbs|
|Speed||0.5 to 12 mph|
|Incline||0 to 15 levels|
|Warranty||Lifetime: Frame, Motor & Deck|
5 Years: Parts & Electronics
2 Years: Labor
Sole F80 Treadmill Review Summary
The Sole F80 is one of my favorite foldable treadmills. It has the power to get you a great workout again and again. The motor is powerful enough for most runners although the top speed may not be enough for those who are expert. Some high intensity interval training maybe a struggle where sprinting is concerned but otherwise 99% of workouts can be done.
There is a reason that the F80 is one of the best selling treadmills. It also favors well in reviews across the web. These are reviews from people who own the machine so you can rely on what they say. The F80 is well under $2,000 and this is the sort of price range to aim for to get a decent treadmill. I always say spend the most you can afford and if that’s this F80 then it will be money well spent.