The Sole E95 is rich in features where it counts, but doesn't skimp on build quality. A heavy flywheel, sturdy frame, good warranty and excellent customer service all combine to make this one of the best ellipticals on the market. Top features include a motor-adjust incline ramp, two heart-rate interactive programs and adjustable foot pedals.
Smooth operator. Fred Waters of Fitness-Equipment-Source.com tests the E95 at Sole headquarters and writes that the heavy flywheel "provides a more natural and smooth elliptical stride." Most users agree that the E95 is solid and stable, and that its quiet eddy-current braking system is smooth and reliable. Its stride length adjusts between 20 and 22 inches, depending on where you've positioned the motor-adjust incline ramp (which adjusts between 0 and 40 degrees of slope). Program options include 6 preset workouts, two custom workouts and two heart-rate control workouts for use with the included chest-strap heart-rate monitor.
It has everything. Plan on spending a couple of hours putting the Sole E95 together, but that will be your only hassle. The editors of Treadmillor.com praise this elliptical for several user-friendly features, including its 9-inch LCD console (which tilts for easier viewing) and cushioned footpads. Said footpads are angled at a 2-degree inward slant to reduce stress on your joints, and can be further adjusted to best suit the way your body moves. Resistance and incline can both be controlled from the console or via handgrip controls. The E95 also has a built-in sound system and fan, which users describe as merely adequate.
Solid use up to 400 pounds. The Sole E95 is rated for users up to 400 pounds, and several Amazon.com reviewers post to say they use it frequently -- sometimes multiple times a day -- without a problem. One eBay reviewer writes that the E95 "is very heavy, sturdy, (and) does not wobble even for the over 200 pound users in my family." The E95 weighs 215 pounds when fully assembled, which contributes to its smooth, stable ride. The biggest complaint we found from reviewers was about a persistent squeaking around the foot rails, although it's often resolved by lubricating the foot rails.
Efficient in-home repair service. Those who own the Sole E95 have only good things to say about the company's customer service. In one case, an Amazon.com user and his wife used their Sole E95 every day for four years; when the incline motor stopped working and couldn't be repaired, Sole shipped him a brand-new, updated E95 completely free of charge. (The E95's frame has a lifetime warranty. The parts and electronics are covered for five years, and labor is covered for two years.) The company also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, although returns may be subject to a restocking fee.
TreadmillDoctor.com has a good reputation in the fitness industry for its unbiased reviews of treadmills and elliptical trainers. The Sole E95 earns a first runner-up designation in its price range, drawing praise for its console, cushioned footpads and heavy flywheel.
Review: Sole E95 Elliptical Review, Editors of TreadmillDoctor.com, Not Dated
Waters, the former vice president of marketing for Smooth Fitness, gives the E95 a complete but non-comparative review. He neither rigorously tests the elliptical trainer nor performs extended time tests, and can't speak for the longevity of the product. Ultimately, he calls it "one of the best values in the $1,500-$2,000 price range."
Review: Sole E95 Elliptical Trainer Review, Fred Waters, Not Dated
About 20 users give their opinions about the 2013 version of the Sole E95. They assign it an overall score of 4.7 stars out of 5 -- a marked improvement over the previous version's 3.9-star average rating. Owners say it's quiet and well-built and offers a smooth ride.
Review: Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2013
Nearly 20 owners post comments on this e-commerce site, giving the Sole E95 a perfect 5-star rating. They rave about its ease of use, quality, sturdiness and even the company's customer service. A few say it rivals health club-grade equipment. Overall, customers feel it was worth the price.
Review: Sole Fitness E95 Front Drive Elliptical Trainer, Contributors to eBay, As of December 2013