Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine Review

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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.

ProsMotor-adjust incline ramp, Heavy flywheel, Adjustable foot pedals, Excellent customer serviceConsAssembly may be difficult , Occasional squeaks, clicks

Breaking it down

Performance

Smooth operator. Reviewers say that the heavy flywheel on the Sole Fitness E95 makes for a very comfortable, natural stride. Users also say that the E95 is solid and stable, and that its quiet eddy-current braking system is smooth and reliable. The E95's 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) and it functions in both forward and reverse. Program options include six preset workouts, two custom workouts and two heart-rate control workouts for use with the included chest-strap heart-rate monitor. Owners love these features, which they say are more common on machines costing far more.

Ease of use

User friendly, but plan for assembly time. Most owners say the Sole E95 takes a couple of hours to put together, but that the task isn't especially difficult -- although we saw a few comments from owners who disagree and say they struggled with the instructions. Expert and user reviewers praise this elliptical for several user-friendly features, including its 9-inch LCD console (which tilts for easier viewing) and cushioned footpads. The footpads are angled 2-degrees inward 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 adjusted from the console or via handgrip controls. The E95 also has a built-in sound system and fan, although both are described as merely adequate.

Durability

Solid use up to 400 pounds. The Sole E95 is rated for users up to 400 pounds, and feedback indicates that even heavy individuals found no issues with this ellipticals' stability while in use. Many owners say that the E95 is used frequently -- sometimes multiple times a day by different family members -- without any durability problems. The E95 weighs 215 pounds when fully assembled, which means it's not particularly portable. We saw a few complaints about a persistent squeaking around the foot rails, although users say it's often resolved by lubricating them. Customer service gets excellent feedback from owners. The Sole E95's frame has a lifetime warranty; 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.

Our Sources

1. TreadmillDoctor.com

Sole E95 Elliptical Review, Editors of TreadmillDoctor.com, Not Dated

For the second year in a row, the Sole E95 is chosen as the first runner-up in its price range from the editors of TreadmillDoctor.com. It draws praise for its 40-degree incline and beefy flywheel. They say the E95, "shines above most in specs, warranty and performance."

2. Fitness-Equipment-Source

Sole E95 Elliptical Trainer Review, Fred Waters, Not Dated

Fred Waters gives the E95 a complete review after testing it at Sole's corporate headquarters. He notes that, while it can't match the quality of commercial machines, it has features that match or exceed much more expensive ellipticals. Ultimately, he calls it "one of the best values in the $1,500-$2,000 price range."

3. Amazon.com

Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2015

More than 85 users give the Sole E95 an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5. Most say it's quiet, well-built and offers a smooth ride. We saw some scattered complaints about durability, a lack of features, and difficult assembly.

4. DicksSportingGoods.com

Sole E95 Elliptical, Contributors to DicksSportingGoods.com, As of December 2015

The Sole E95 fares better here, earning an overall rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 in nearly 35 reviews. Users love its value, saying it's got high-end features at a home elliptical price. They also praise its solid build and quiet operation. Some assembly complaints are seen here too.