The Sole E35's ease of use, build quality and low price make it exceedingly popular with both owners and experts. Although it doesn't have as many features as more expensive elliptical trainers, the E35's solid performance and good warranty, backed by Sole's solid customer service, make it an excellent value.
A great ride. The Sole E35 boasts a heavy flywheel for its price range, plus a high gear ratio and sturdy frame. "You can't compare the several thousand dollar gym machines to home machines unless you want to pay the price, but the E35 is the closest I found without breaking the bank," writes one happy user at Amazon.com. The E35's eddy current braking system is quiet and smooth, with 20 resistance levels to choose from. The incline ramp adjusts between 0 and 30 degrees, which also adjusts the stride length between 20 and 22 inches.
A universal fit. Overall, reviewers say the Sole E35 is very easy to use. Fingertip resistance and incline controls make it easy to modify your workout without breaking stride, and the oversized foot pedals have a 2-degree inward tilt to ease stress on your knees and ankles. Some reviewers find the built-in fan and sound system to be mediocre. The E35 comes with a chest-strap heart-rate monitor and has built-in handgrip heart-rate monitors, too; it offers two heart-rate control programs, two custom programs and six preset workout programs. Assembly is straightforward but time consuming; user estimates of assembly time average between three and four hours.
Stable and solid. The Sole E35's large footprint and 215-pound weight make it smooth and stable; it's rated for users up to 375 pounds. "I'm 6'4" 250 and this thing is stable for me... this elliptical has held up for heavy usage," writes an Amazon.com user who's been using his E35 almost daily for five years. He says he has had only a few minor issues, which customer service resolved quickly and easily. A few consumers have an issue with a squeaking or clicking pedal after some weeks of use; it's usually resolved by cleaning and lubricating the foot rails.
Reputation for quality. The Sole E35 comes with an excellent warranty: lifetime coverage on the frame, five years for parts and electronics and two years for labor. Sole Fitness has an equally excellent reputation for customer service; owners say they're quick to respond to inquiries, and most repairs are completed within a few days of the service call. "I called Sole warranty service, explained the problem with the console... They shipped a new console, scheduled someone to install it and take apart all of my work and put it back together so I didn't have to redo all of my labor," writes one Amazon.com user, in response to another's post.
TreadmillDoctor.com editors began as exercise equipment technicians and have built a reputation for credible and objective reviews. They name the Sole E35 a Best Buy in its price range, saying that it "gives the best combination of price and features of any Sole elliptical in our opinion."
Review: Sole E35 Elliptical Review, Editors of TreadmillDoctor.com, Not Dated
A former marketing executive for Smooth Fitness, Waters tests elliptical trainers and speaks with fitness equipment salespeople and experts. He names the E35 the Best Buy in its price range, noting that although it doesn't have many bells and whistles, it provides "a rewarding crosstraining experience and [is] a very low maintenance machine."
Review: Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer Review, Fred Waters, Not Dated
Just over 40 Amazon.com customers review the 2013 version of the sole E35, giving it a 4.3-star rating out of 5. This is a notable increase from the previous model's 3.9-star average. They overwhelmingly say it's solid, comfortable and quiet and a great alternative to going to a gym.
Review: Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2013
A reconditioned version of the Sole E35 draws more than 40 user reviews at SearsOutlet.com, for an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5. Most customers say the E35 is smooth, quiet and stable. Most of the negative reviews seem to be related to the fact that this item was reconditioned.
Review: Sole E35 Elliptical Training Machine, Contributors to SearsOutlet.com, As of December 2013
This duplicate listing seems to show the same model of the Sole E35 as our previous source, but with about 15 different user reviews; here, the E35 gets an overall score of about 3.7 stars. Most complaints seem to be related to Sears's service, not the elliptical trainer or Sole's service.
Review: Sole E35 Elliptical - 2013 Model, Contributors to SearsOutlet.com, As of December 2013