As the lowest-cost Sole elliptical, the E25 has many of the features of the more expensive models, but also accentuates some of their flaws as well.
The Sole E25 Elliptical Trainer is the most inexpensive of the Sole ellipticals, but it is still quite costly, and as such, it cannot be exactly classified as an entry-level exercise machine. It is still relatively low cost for these complex machines, however, and offers enough features so that if the customer can avoid the problems which some users report, it is a good source of elliptical exercise, especially for those who like this form of exercise but can’t afford the higher-end models.
Dimensions, Weight, and Stability
The Sole E25 Elliptical is a large machine, like most ellipticals, being almost 6 feet (71 inches) long, 27 inches wide, and 5 feet 8 inches (68 inches) high. It comes disassembled, so it is possible to open the box on delivery and carry the machine into your home piecemeal, but moving it after assembly is likely to prove extremely difficult.
When fully assembled, the Sole E25 weighs 264 pounds, slightly less than the higher-end Sole models. This weight, plus the design of the base, makes the Sole stable and solid-feeling.
The machine comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, which is made of heavy steel, a three-year warranty on parts, brakes, and electronics, and a one-year labor warranty. These times are shorter than the warranties on some of the more expensive Sole models (like the Sole E35) , but are still quite robust in terms of the market as a whole.
Repairs are Subcontracted and Possibly Slow
However, there is one problem with the warranty that the customer should be aware of. The machine is so massive that it cannot be sent in for repairs, and Sole has no dedicated service personnel. Instead, the company subcontracts repairs to local repairmen.
This is good for your local economy, but it may mean that the repairman is too busy to come immediately, or that he will not be very familiar with the machine and will need to experiment around to find the best way to fix it. If a problem does occur, it may take quite some time to solve for this reason.
Weight Capacity and a Possible Design Flaw
The Sole E25 Elliptical has a weight capacity of 325 pounds, slightly less than the more expensive E35. This weight capacity is still quite high by exercise machine standards, where a mid-level machine like this usually has a weight capacity of 300 pounds or slightly less. However, it is possible that this weight capacity is excessively optimistic.
One user, K. Tan "Kit," reports that the connecting arms which hold up the foot pedals will snap after several weeks of use by a 200-pound man:
"my husband weighs about 200 lbs and it seems like every time he starts using it, the machine will break within a few weeks."
On the other hand, some tall clients like the machine for its 20" stride, and presumably weigh close to or more than 200 pounds, and apparently have no problems with the connecting arms.
Complicated Assembly Requiring 3+ hours
Like most Sole equipment, the E25 has an extremely complicated assembly process, which is not made any easier by the poor layout of the manual. The manual contains all the information needed to build the machine, but flipping back and forth between different pages is needed, and the text is dense and filled with part numbers, meaning that it must be studied for a while in order to get everything right.
You should count on assembly taking 3 hours, and possibly more. Be certain to tighten all bolts thoroughly so that they do not work loose during exercise sessions, causing squeaking or clicking sounds.
Foot Pedals, Resistance, Manual Incline Adjustment
The foot pedals have the smooth, quiet eddy current braking system of resistance, and 16 levels of resistance based off a 23-pound flywheel, meaning that resistance is not quite as robust as the E35 or E55‘s, but is still very strong and provides a good, impact-free workout.
The pedals are large, with a 2-degree inward slope to ease the pressure on the ankle and knee joints. On this model, there are 3 different inclines available, although adjustment must be done manually, using a pin that holds the pedals in the chosen position.
A Basic But Useful Monitor
The monitor of the Sole E25 Elliptical is fairly basic, with a small LCD display located between the handlebars. Although the screen is small and therefore not as easy to read as some, it is backlit, so it can be used in both well-lit and dark conditions.
The computer includes 6 built-in, pre-programmed workouts and 1 user-programmed workout — a small selection, but much better than nothing. Heart rate monitoring is provided by both an included heart-rate telemetry belt and pulse monitors in the handgrips.
There is also a water bottle holder, allowing you to remain hydrated, and a small cooling fan — although this part of the machine is very weak and provides only a small draft of air that will not be enough to cool you if you are truly overheated.
Strong, Smooth Workout
Although it may feature a fairly basic monitor and suffer from a few potential mechanical faults, the Sole E25 Elliptical Trainer delivers on the exercise front when it is working properly. One user, S. Lambert, sums up the vigorous workout the E25 provides by saying that:
"This machine is VERY stable for us, even for intense workouts. Far more stable than the Horizon and Nordic models I tried."
The workout is very smooth, intense, and builds muscles, cardiac health, and energy with great efficiency — which is, ultimately, the reason for a buying an exercise machine in the first place.
Summary of the E25
All in all, the Sole E25 Elliptical is a good middle-range elliptical machine with a few potentially obnoxious flaws. The machine offers excellent exercise, with ample resistance, smooth and very quiet operation, and an adequate, if rather simple, computer.
However, the potential user should bear in mind that the connecting arms of the pedals may break under heavier users who should be able to use them with no problem, and that service, although always available, is not always quick.
The best price for the Sole E25 Elliptical Trainer is to be found on Amazon.