The Sole E55 elliptical trainer fares well with reviewers: Owners and experts like its sturdy design, articulating foot pads, smooth operation and general reliability. Another plus is that the 20-inch stride makes it comfortable for people who are more than 6 feet tall. There is some debate among reviewers about whether the addition of a heart-rate control mode in this model makes it better than its sibling, the less expensive but top-rated Sole E35 (Est. $1,300) . At least one professional reviewer names the E55 a best buy, and it enjoys positive owner-written reviews; most users say that this elliptical trainer feels stable when in use. Sole has a reputation for providing good customer service, but we saw a number of complaints on that front for this elliptical and the Sole E35. Some users also report that the bolts loosen easily.
The Sole E55 elliptical gets good coverage from TreadmillDoctor.com's expert reviewers, who have an excellent reputation for short but well-informed reviews of treadmills and elliptical trainers. Fitness-Equipment-Source.com also has a long entry on the Sole E55, and Fred Waters makes space for customer reviews alongside his own in-depth analysis. Owner-written reviews at Amazon.com round out the picture.
Brothers Clark and Jon Stevenson award the Sole E55 Best Buy status in its price range, giving it good marks for ergonomics and adjustability. They also praise Sole's overall excellent quality.
Review: Sole E 55 Elliptical Review, Clark and Jon Stevenson
Reviewer Fred Waters, a former executive with Smooth Fitness, says he likes the Sole E55's "very smooth and fluid motion." He also likes the Sole E55's 20-inch stride and the dual wheels each pedal rides on, although he describes the E55's console as adequate.
Review: Sole E55 Elliptical Trainer Review, Fred Waters
About 20 reviewers give the 2011 Sole E55 model an overall 4.5-star rating out of 5. Most praise the machine's quality and value, although one user reports that a machine arrived with a manufacturing defect.
Review: Sole E55 Elliptical Trainer (2011 Model), Contributors to Amazon.com
Buzzillions.com has only a few reviews of the Sole E55, but most are positive. Most owners say they are impressed with the quality and love the workout this elliptical trainer provides, but there are a few stray comments about difficult assembly.
Review: Sole E55 Elliptical, Contributors to Buzzillions.com