The Sole series of elliptical trainer machines offers a whole array of progressively more sophisticated elliptical trainers, with the model number indicating where the particular machine falls on the continuum — the higher the number, the more advanced the machine.
The Sole E95 Elliptical Trainer represents the higher end of modern elliptical trainer design, and features enough sturdiness, powerful but smooth resistance, and data feedback from its sophisticated computer console to give any level of user a well-rounded workout.
Size and Weight
When fully assembled, the Sole E95 Elliptical is 82 inches long, 68 inches high, and 33 inches wide, or, in other words, roughly 7 feet long, 5.5 feet high, and 3 feet wide. This is a considerable space, and when choosing the place to install your new elliptical, you should also bear in mind that the machine’s ‘step up’ is 15 inches — meaning that you will need to have at least half that distance in clearance above your head to avoid having to duck or strike your head on the ceiling frequently. The machine has four wheels to make it easier to move, and the deck folds to save space, but given its size and weight storage is likely to occur at or near your exercise area.
Stability and Construction
This elliptical trainer weighs 275 pounds when fully assembled, making it heavier than most of the people who will be using it. This, combined with its good stability engineering, makes it a stable and reliable platform for a vigorous workout. The building process is fairly complex and time-consuming, though not impossible by any means. The heaviest part is the flywheel assembly; the flywheel itself weighs 30 pounds, as with all other Sole models except the E25, and part of the machine comes attached to it, so this is a formidable piece of the ‘puzzle’ straight out of the box.
Hints on Assembly
The box itself can’t fit through standard doorways, however, being 34" wide, so opening the box and carrying the pieces in one at a time is usually the only option for getting the parts inside. The manual, as usual, is rather poorly written — as one user, Kerbo, stated in his detailed guide to assembling the E95:
"The assembly process isn’t that complex but it does require some mechanical reasoning (like understanding a schematic) to fill in the many gaps in the instructions."
Weight Capacity and Warranty
The added durability of the Sole E95 Elliptical Trainer is clearly illustrated in both its weight capacity and its warranty, which both exceed those of other Sole models and many third-party ellipticals as well. The Sole E95’s weight limit is an imposing 400 pounds, which exceeds that of both high-end competitors, such as the Smooth Fitness CE 7.4 Elliptical Trainer (350 pounds) and other Sole models such as the E55 (350 pounds as well). Even for those far under this weight, this is an excellent gauge of sturdiness.
More Details of the Warranty
The Sole E95 Elliptical’s warranties further confirm the indications of weight capacity and the accounts of users who have found the machine to be "very, very, very sturdy" in the words of PghYinzer. Not only the frame, but the braking system have a lifetime warranty on this device, which makes the warranty the equal of other top-line elliptical trainers. Other warranties include 5 years on parts and electronics, and 2 years on labor. Like other models of Sole elliptical following the E25, the E95 has a 1.5 inch welded steel frame.
Excellent Resistance for All Levels of User
The powerful eddy current braking system of the Sole E95 Elliptical Trainer provides very quiet, very effective resistance for all levels of users. The machine is very quiet in its operation, and the motion is as smooth, continuous, and free of joint-jarring impacts as an elliptical workout is supposed to be. There are 20 levels of resistance, which are controlled by buttons located directly on the machine’s handlebars, so that time-consuming manual adjustments are unnecessary. BrianW, a fitness enthusiast who purchased an E95, commented about the machine that:
"it has more resistance than any home piece of equipment I have ever seen, and just as much as most of the commercial ones. The bottom line is no matter how strong you are, I don’t think you are going to outgrow this thing."
Foot Pedals – Spacing, Stride, Adjustment
The incline of the foot pedals can also be minutely adjusted from controls on the handlebars. The pedals have a 2 degree inward tilt like all Sole machines to help ease the stresses on ankles and knee joints, and are padded to protect and cushion your feet. The pedals are articulated and adjusted by a worm drive. The stride is 20 inches, the foot spacing is 5.5 inches, and the step up is 15 inches.
The computer of the Sole E95 matches the expectations generated by the machine’s other top-quality features, and includes detailed information feedback and tracking, controls, and preprogrammed workouts to vary your exercise routine and work a few new muscles. The red LED display is backlit for easy viewing at any time of day or night, and displays such information as a graph showing your current heart rate as a percentage of your maximum heart rate, pulse, speed, time, distance, calories, and other types of useful exercise information.
Heart Rate Monitoring
The heart rate monitoring is achieved through either the handgrips or an included heart rate belt. The machine also includes 10 workout programs, 8 of which are pre-programmed and 2 of which are custom programs designed by the user. The programs are well-liked by users and the only complaint is that a program cannot be lengthened while it is running — you must complete the program or exit it and start over in order to prolong a specific program. This is a fairly small flaw, however.
A Design Flaw
The main cause for complaint among customers are the chunky handlebars of the Sole E95 Elliptical. These handlebars are large, if well-padded, and people with small hands will find them awkward until a few sessions on the machine make the size of the handlebars more familiar.
The best price for the Sole E95 Elliptical is to be found on Amazon.