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The Sole E25 Elliptical – Powerful, Durable, And Affordable [A Review]

sole e25 elliptical review

Sole’s E25 is an affordable home elliptical that offers a great combination of function and features. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise though- the Sole brand has made a name for themselves by doing this with pretty much every model they produce.

The E25 is special though, because it’s the most affordable elliptical in their lineup.

And with a heavy flywheel, long stride length, and great warranty, the E25 might just be the best elliptical around for under $1000.

This review is here to help you figure that out. This article will provide a close look at everything this elliptical has to offer. After reading this, you should have a good understanding to whether or not this is the right elliptical for your home.

A Quick Intro To Sole

If you’re unfamiliar with the Sole name, that’s ok. I want to start with a quick intro to the brand before we dive into the review anyway. I always think it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the company producing any fitness equipment you’re considering.

Reputations, good or bad, are often rightly earned.

When it comes to fitness equipment brands, these reputations are often earned over time through the word of happy (or angry) customers.

In Sole’s case, they’ve earned their stellar reputation by producing high-quality fitness equipment over the last few decades. Their treadmills and ellipticals always seem to find their way onto the years’ “best of” lists in pretty much every category.

Sole started off by providing hotel chains with their treadmills. These machines were so popular in the light-commercial category, that they decided to start producing residential models and selling them directly to folks looking for a great workout in the comfort of their own homes.

They used the same high-quality parts and materials that made their hotel treadmills so popular in their residential models and it was a booming success.

They’ve branched out a little from treadmills and now offer ellipticals (obviously), bikes, and rowers as well.

Sole specializes in budget and moderately priced machines, though some of their higher-end models give commercial grade equipment a run for their money.

Over the years, Sole has become known for:

  • Using high quality materials for sturdy frames
  • Offering great warranties
  • Having great customer service
  • Producing great, affordable home fitness equipment

Oh, another great thing about Sole products is that they’re usually sold at sporting goods stores around the country (like Dicks). If you live near one, you can go there and try it out before you purchase.

Sole E25 Elliptical

As I mentioned earlier, the E25 is Sole’s entry level elliptical. This just means this is their least expensive model. On sale, this elliptical costs $999 (don’t worry, it’s always on sale).

Since this bad boy costs just under $1000, I would consider the E25 to be a budget elliptical. For the price, I think you get a great combination of specs and features here, but I’ll let you be the judge.

Pros

  • Large, 20″ stride length
  • Strong frame (350 lb weight limit)
  • Heavy, 20 lb flywheel
  • 20 resistance levels
  • 20 levels of power incline
  • Articulating foot pedals for added comfort
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Access to free Sole fitness app
  • USB charging port
  • Built-in tablet holder
  • Awesome warranty

Cons

  • Basic display screen
  • Assembly can be a little confusing

Stride Length

I always like to start with an elliptical’s stride length because I think it’s one of the most important specs to consider when comparing machines.

Similarly, I always start with a treadmill’s running surface. The two specs are pretty much the same- they tell us how much room we have to exercise in.

On an elliptical, the stride length is technically the distance your feet move front to back as you pedal. Like running surface on a treadmill, larger is better because it gives you more room to stretch out.

This is especially important for the taller folks out there.

The gold standard for home ellipticals is 20″. You can spot a subpar elliptical a mile away by glancing at its stride length.

You can rest easy because the Sole E25 comes with a 20″ stride length. With a stride length this large, it’ll be able to comfortably fit most users without any issues.

The frame on this elliptical is built rock-solid too. How can we tell? By looking at the weight capacity- the higher it is, the more durable the frame has to be.

The E25 comes with a 350 lb weight limit. This is really high for an elliptical in this price range. Most budget ellipticals top out at around 300 lb.

The extra weight capacity shows us that Sole has done a great job designing this frame.

In case you’re wondering, the step-up height on the E25 is 14″. This is pretty standard for most home ellipticals.

Flywheel

The flywheel is another important spec you’ll want to consider because this is what provides the resistance for the elliptical. When it comes to flywheels, heavier is usually preferred because it will provide a smoother ride.

It all has to do with momentum- the heavier wheels build more momentum as they spin, thus providing for a less bumpy feel.

The E25 comes with a 20 lb flywheel, which is very respectable for a budget elliptical. Twenty pounds should be plenty to provide a smooth, comfortable ride regardless of your fitness level.

For comparison’s sake, many budget ellipticals come with flywheels in the 13-18 lb range.

To give you control over that flywheel, the E25 comes with 20 different levels of resistance and 20 different incline settings. This gives you a lot of options when it comes to controlling the intensity of your workouts.

Power incline isn’t a give in this price range- a lot of the competitors can’t offer the same incline adjustability that the E25 does. I think it’s a great touch because it really does add variety and challenge to your workouts.

Playing with the incline also gives you the ability to emphasize different muscles in your legs (higher incline usually hits the glutes and hamstrings more).

Features

The Sole E25 comes standard with the following features:

10 workout programs- this isn’t a ton of workouts like some ellipticals offer, but it should be plenty to keep you busy. These include 6 standard programs (distance, calorie, fat burn, etc), 2 heart rate workouts, and 2 custom workouts.

Bluetooth speakers- this is a nice feature that we’re starting to see on a lot of treadmills and ellipticals now. You can wirelessly connect your phone or tablet to the bluetooth speakers to hear music or a Netflix movie through the elliptical.

Articulating foot pedals- Sole partnered with a physical therapist to design the foot pedals in such a way that they will reduce stress through your ankles and feet. This should increase comfort and reduce chances of injury.

6.5″ LCD screen- the screen isn’t that sophisticated, but it’s large enough so you can see all your workout stats at the same time. Sole doesn’t usually put a lot of fancy stuff in their monitors, they tend to put it where it counts (like in the frame and drive system).

USB port- the built-in USB port allows you to charge your devices while you workout. This is great because it ensures you don’t drain your battery while listening to music or watching a movie.

Free app- Sole has a free fitness app that can sync with the E25 through bluetooth and record all your workout data. This app can also sync up with other fitness apps like FitBit and iHealth.

Grip heart rate monitor- the included grip handles allow you to get an idea of what your heart rate is as you workout (but these are known for being less than accurate). The E25 is also compatible with chest strap monitors, but one isn’t included.

Tablet holder- the tablet holder is conveniently located at the top of the console so it doesn’t block your view of the workout screen.

Fan- nothing too fancy here, but the fan will help cool ya off during your workouts.

Water bottle holder- yup, this is where your water bottle goes.

Assembly

Putting the E25 together isn’t awful, but there have been some users complaints about it being a little confusing. The assembly instructions could be a little better.

Sole does a good job of presenting large illustrations of the hardware required for each step, but the actual image of where everything goes is on a separate page.

There are written descriptions for each step too, but again, they’re on a different page than the actual image showing where everything is going.

There’s only 4 steps in the instructions (technically speaking), but step 4 has a lot going on and could’ve easily been broken down into several more steps.

I think it would a little more sense to have the image of where the parts are going and the written instructions all together on the same page.

Even so, I think most fairly handy people will be able to get the E25 together by themselves with little problem. It might just take a little longer than it needs to.

I’d expect to spend at least 1-2 hrs putting it together.

Warranty

The Sole E25 Elliptical comes with the following warranty:

  • Lifetime frame
  • 3 year parts
  • 1 year labor

This is a fabulous warranty for an elliptical in this price range. Sole’s reputation for offering great warranties stands true here. I doubt you’re going to find a better guarantee for under $1000.

Final Thoughts

Sole is a very well known home fitness brand that has earned a reputation for providing high-quality equipment and backing them with awesome warranties. Their E25 is no exception.

For a budget elliptical, the E25 has a lot going for it. It comes with a heavy, 20 lb flywheel that will provide a smooth and consistent feel. It also has a large, 20″ stride length that should fit most people very comfortably.

It’s also packing some bonus features you wouldn’t necessarily expect on a budget elliptical, like bluetooth speakers, a USB charging port, and 20 levels of power incline.

Add in the fact that this machine has a 350 lb weight limit and is backed by a wonderful warranty and you’ve got yourself a serious contender for best in class.

Overall, I think the E25 is a great elliptical for the price. It reminds me a lot of the Horizon 7.0 AE and the ProForm Pro 9.9 – both of which are on the short list of some of the best budget ellipticals around. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Highly recommended.

 

 

Will

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