Image by diana.grytsku on Freepik
By Simon Gould
The F85 is the flagship folding treadmill for Sole Fitness. It represents the peak they have to offer meaning it has the biggest motor, the biggest user capacity, the best display screen and more. Sole say it’s their number one seller and it deserves to be, I’ll explain exactly why and if you should buy it in this review.
The 4.0 CHP motor means that experienced runners and those who like to exercise very regularly are perfectly catered for with this treadmill. Lower Sole models have been used daily by members of a family and this is the one I would choose if you plan to do that. This motor is the biggest I see for in home equipment.
The dimensions for this F85 have barely changed from even the entry level Sole treadmill. However, the machine itself weighs in at a massive 301 lbs so make sure you get some help if you need it moved anywhere. By being this sturdy the F85 can be used by a user of up to 400 lbs maximum. For a folding treadmill that’s impressive.
The F85 has a better display than all of Sole’s other folding treadmills. It is a 10.1″ TFT LCD which means it’s a graphical display so you’ll see the information you need in a bigger and clearer way. Treadmill rollers have contact with the belt and the bigger they are the longer the belt and motor last, the rollers on this are 2.75″ which is very good.
Features of the Sole F85 Treadmill
+ Welded Frame – Some treadmills frames are bolted together which is a point of weakness. They would also need to be tightened and checked regularly. The F85 is welded which means the steel is heated to high temperatures and connected to the other parts. This is why the F85 can have such a high maximum user weight and the frame has a lifetime guarantee.
+ Heart Rate Chest Strap Included – Instead of using the unreliable pulse sensors in the handlebars, Sole have included a chest strap which can transmit your heart rate to the treadmill. Your heart rate is shown on the display and you can see how your workout is helping you. This can also be used by the heart rate control programs which are recommended to help improve your fitness level.
+ Peak & Valley Graph – If you choose to use the incline or a program that has it, you’ll see a graphical representation of the terrain you’ve covered and are about to cover. You’ll know if you’ve got a hill coming or a resting flat surface. All this gives encouragement and motivation for you so you can keep going through the tough runs.
+ Wide 22″ Deck – The deck is long too and this is what we come into contact with as we run. We need a deck that’s long and wide for safety. Many people get injured on treadmills every year and the slightest loss of concentration can affect our stride. With a long and wide deck you’re less likely to come off and most importantly you can run with confidence.
+ Fitness App – Sole have created a fitness app so you can download your workouts onto your tablet or smartphone. This information is also recognized by the other leading fitness apps. This way you can see graphs and tables of your workout and how it progresses over time. This is great to keep you developing your fitness and seeing how you improve.
+ Nice Touches – The little extras always matter. The sound system while not being hi-fi quality are still nice there and you can plug in headphones. The water bottle holders mean you don’t have to stop running when you need to hydrate. An accessory tray to rest your tablet or smartphone is helpful and cooling fans will help keep you cool as you run.
+ Up To 15% Incline – An incline will help you workout your leg muscles in a different way. Walking and running up hill works different muscles than exercising on flat. You shouldn’t run too far on a steep incline because of the stress to your joints and muscles. But an incline workout now and then will do you the world of good.
Drawbacks of the Sole F85 Treadmill
– Limited Top Speed – The top speed is 12 mph or 19 kph. This is 5 minutes per mile and is very fast if you’re trying to cover a mile, this is approaching elite athlete speed. However, if you’re an experienced runner and you do a lot of sprinting then this top speed may not be enough for you. You simply need to calculate what speed you need and if 12 mph will be enough.
– Short Handrails – This is a common complaint for Sole Treadmills for years. They update their machines regularly yet they seem to do nothing about the short handrails. Maybe it’s because there are some electronics in them for changing speed and incline. Whatever the reason it looks like they’re here to stay so you just need to remember they’re slightly in front and to the side, you’ll get used to it
Sole F85 Treadmill Specifications
|Sale Price||$1,999.99 (September 2021)|
|Running Surface||22″ x 60″|
|Display||10.1″ TFT LCD|
|Dimensions||L 83″ x W 37″ x H 57″|
|Max User Weight||400 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 F85 Treadmill Review Summary
The Sole F85 is an impressive treadmill as you can see by the above review. The large motor is one of it’s best features and because it is so powerful it will rarely reach it’s peak. This means that it’s going to last longer and has less chance of burning out. Wear and tear on the motor will be kept to a minimum and it has a lifetime warranty.
The F85 is not only a Sole best seller but is also a high end, folding treadmill. The features speak for themselves and owners have reviewed this treadmill highly. It’s made for the home and due to it being folding, it can be used and stored afterwards in a small space. Overall the Sole F85 is a great machine that will satisfy all exercise goals in the home.