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Is The Sole F65 Treadmill A Smart Buy? [A Review]

sole f65 treadmill review

The F65 is one of Sole’s more affordable treadmills, but you’d be hard pressed to tell based on the impressive list of specs and features this folding model comes with.

Highlights include a 22″ x 60″ running surface, a 3.0 HP motor, 2.36″ rollers, and a 330 lb weight capacity.

The performance specs alone make the F65 one of the smartest choices in its price range, but when you consider the generous warranty Sole backs it with, it’s nearly impossible to deny this model’s awesomeness.

In other words, if you’re looking for a sturdy, moderately-priced treadmill, the F65 is a great choice.

But there are a lot of nice treadmills in this price range, so it’s important to do your homework- and that’s where I come in.

In this review, I’ll take ya on a tour of everything this treadmill has to offer.

After reading, you’ll not only be well-versed in all the specs and features, but you’ll have a better ideas as to whether or not the F65 is the right treadmill for your home gym.

Let’s begin.

The Sole F65 Treadmill

sole f65 treadmill review

Photo courtesy of Sole Fitness

Sole is a well-known home fitness brand that’s gained a lot of respect in the industry for providing high-quality machines that work the way they’re supposed to.

And they’re surprisingly well-priced too.

Sole offers a pretty generous lineup of ellipticals and exercise bikes to choose from, but I think it’s their treadmills that they’re most known for.

This makes sense, considering Sole started out as a supplier of light commercial grade treadmills to hotel chains before branching out into the world of residential fitness.

Sole has 6 treadmills in their current lineup, and with a sales price of roughly $1500, the F65 is the second most affordable one on that list (with only the F63 costing less).

As you work your way up their lineup, you’ll see upgrades in terms of motor strength and weight capacity, but they all more or less come with the same console features (except for the newly upgraded F85 and its touchscreen).

Pros

  • 22″ x 60″ running surface
  • 3.0 HP motor
  • 330 lb weight capacity
  • 2.36″ rollers
  • 10 workout programs
  • Top speed of 12 mph
  • 15 levels of incline
  • Folding frame
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Compatible with fitness apps
  • USB charging port
  • Straightforward assembly
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • Pretty basic console

Running Surface

The first spec I like to discuss with any treadmill is the running surface. As the title implies, this spec refers to the actual dimensions of the top side of the belt.

You know, how much available space you have to work with during your workouts.

This spec is usually written as “width x length” and measured in inches (at least here in the USA anyway).

Having a larger running surface is beneficial because it’s going to provide a more spacious workout experience and having more room always feels more comfortable than having less room, regardless of whether or not you need the extra space.

And for the taller folks out there, you’ll want to pay close attention to the length especially, because if the running surface isn’t long enough, you could literally run out of room (see what I did there?).

Most quality treadmills these days are offering running surfaces of at least 20″ x 60″ because at this size, the treadmill can handle most folks comfortably.

That said, the F65 comes with a running surface that measures 22″ x 60″.

The extra couple of inches in width makes for a roomier feel, and the 60″ length is long enough for most people to be able to stretch out fully when running at faster speeds.

The running surface is large on the F65, but I also like that Sole uses 2 ply belts on their treadmills, which are a little thicker than the single ply belts used on some budget models.

Their Cushion Flex Whisper Decks also do a nice job of absorbing shock, making for a comfortable experience.

Something else I want to point out is that this treadmill comes with a weight limit of 330 lb, which is pretty high for this price range.

Higher weight limits are indicative of superior frame/deck strength, as well as just overall machine quality.

It also allows the F65 to accommodate larger users than many other home treadmills that top out with a 300 lb limit.

This treadmill is also quite heavy compared to most home treadmills – with an assembled weight of 267 lb, this is a very robust machine.

This extra weight is a good thing though, because it gives the treadmill a more stable base, meaning it won’t wiggle or feel shaky during use.

Overall, the F65 scores highly in this department with its large running surface and heavy-duty frame.

Motor

If the running surface is the most important spec to look at, the motor strength is a close second. After all, the treadmill’s motor is responsible for powering every workout you’ll do on it.

And if the motor isn’t strong enough, your workouts will suffer for it.

Home treadmills usually come with DC motors that range between 1.5 – 4.0 HP.

While walkers can safely get away with weaker motors, people who plan on running regularly should look for a treadmill that has at least a 3.0 HP motor (and even stronger for serious runners).

Stronger motors will be able to reach and maintain faster speeds more efficiently. This makes for quieter, smoother belt action, which relates to a more enjoyable feel during your workouts.

And since stronger motors don’t have to work as hard as weaker ones to provide the same output, theoretically stronger motors should last longer.

Sole’s F65 comes with a 3.0 HP motor.

FYI, Sole’s older model of the F65 came with a 3.25 HP motor, so I’m not sure why they decided to downgrade the motor a little with the newer model, but I’m guessing it was financially motivated.

Regardless, at this strength, I consider this treadmill a solid option for walking, jogging, and fairly regular running.

Serious runners might want to consider a treadmill with a little more horsepower under the hood though.

This model has a top speed of 12 mph, which is pretty normal for any home treadmill, and can reach a top incline of 15% (again, pretty standard).

This treadmill also comes with 2.36″ rollers, which is pretty good for a treadmill in this price range (it used to come with 2.5″ rollers, which was even better).

The rollers are what allow the belt to glide over the deck as the motor does its thing- they make physical contact with the belt and spin as the belt moves.

Having larger rollers is beneficial because it makes for a smoother feel, while also putting less stress on the belt, the rollers, and even the motor.

Treadmills in this price range usually use rollers in the 1.9″ – 2.25″ range, so at 2.36″, the F65’s are still larger than average.

Overall, this treadmill scores highly in this category too- the motor is strong enough to support comfortable running and the rollers are larger than most in this price range.

Features

The Sole F65 comes with the following features:

9″ LCD console- the console on this treadmill isn’t particularly advanced or anything, but it’s large enough to see easily during workouts. It can also display all your key metrics at the same time without having to wait for your desired metric to scan across.

10 workout options- these include 6 standard programs (like cardio and fat burn, etc), as well as 2 custom workouts and 2 heart rate guided workouts.

Bluetooth speakers- you can connect your phone or tablet up to the built-in speakers wirelessly to jam out during workouts.

App compatible- you can also use bluetooth to connect to a fitness app and track your data. Sole has their own free app, but you can also connect with other popular options like Fitbit, Apple Health, and MapMyRun.

USB charging port- you can plug your smart devices in and keep them charged during workouts (convenient if you choose to watch Netflix, which can really drain a battery).

Chest strap heart rate monitor-┬áthis treadmill comes with grip heart rate monitors, but it’s also compatible with chest strap monitors for more accurate readings.

Quick touch speed/incline controls- these buttons allow you to instantly set the speed and/or incline to a predetermined value with the push of a button. Very convenient.

Tablet holder- the tablet holder is located above the console, so you won’t have to worry about blocking your screen when watching your tablet.

Cooling fan- there’s a little fan in the console that can help keep ya cool during workouts.

Water bottle holders- there are places to store items/water bottles on each side of the console. There’s also a little shelf under the console with convenient departments for storing all kinds of things.

Assembly

The assembly process for the F65 is a very straightforward one and Sole does a nice job making the assembly manual easy to follow.

There’s really not that much that needs to be done to get this treadmill up and running.

The deck comes preassembled, so you’re basically just attaching the uprights and then attaching the console to the uprights. After that, there are just a few covers, etc that need to be screwed on.

Pretty easy stuff.

The trickiest part with putting treadmills like this together is usually the step where you have to connect the wires before attaching the console.

It’s a good idea to have a second person available to hold the console while you make the attachments (or vice-versa) because you’ll have to take care not to pinch any wires during the process.

The last thing you want is to get everything attached just to find something isn’t working from a pinched wire.

Overall, I think most people will be able to get this treadmill assembled on their own without the need for professional assistance. I’d expect to speed 30-60 minutes getting the job done.

Warranty

Sole backs their F65 with the following warranty:

  • Lifetime frame
  • Lifetime motor
  • 2 year deck/electronics/parts
  • 1 year labor
  • 90 day cosmetic items

I think this is a good warranty for this treadmill considering what other brands are offering.

You can’t beat a lifetime guarantee on the frame and motor, that’s as good as it gets (and most at this price point are only offering 10 years on the frame).

Two years on parts is pretty average, matching what NordicTrack and ProForm offer – Sole used to offer 3 years on parts for this treadmill, but they cut a year off with their most recent upgrade.

Horizon’s 7.4 AT is in the same price range and it comes with a 5 year parts warranty, so there’s that.

A year on labor is pretty standard operating procedure.

Overall, Sole is known for their long warranties and the guarantee they provide for the F65 is pretty solid for the price range.

Final Thoughts

That about does it for the F65.

All things considered, I think this is a fine treadmill with some respectable performance specs, but I’m not gonna lie – it’s a little disappointing to see the subtle downgrades in this newer edition.

Honestly though, even with the slightly weaker motor and smaller rollers, the F65 is still easily one of the best options in this price range.

That said, if you’re looking for a moderately priced treadmill, I would certainly check out Horizon’s 7.4 AT.

At the time of writing this, it costs about $100 more, but it comes with a stronger motor, a heavier-duty frame, higher weight limit, and a better warranty.

There’s also Sole’s own F63, which costs about $500 less.

It comes with a slightly more narrow belt, but it comes with the same motor, larger rollers, and a better warranty – which to me, probably makes it the better buy between the two.

I guess what I’m saying is that I think Sole’s F65 is a decent treadmill, but it’s not necessarily the best buy in this price range.

For the price, I like Sole’s F63 and Horizon’s 7.4 AT better.

 

 

Will

Will's a licensed physical therapist with over 15 years of experience treating patients from all backgrounds. He's been lifting weights and exercising in one form or another since middle school and has been working out in his own home gym for over a decade. When it comes to fitness equipment, there isn't much he hasn't tried. In his spare time, if he isn't writing or working out, he's likely playing basketball, watching movies, or hanging with his family.

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