Sole Ellipticals are designed by engineers and physical therapists. Their philosophy is that the machine is adjusted to you while you workout and not the other way around.
Resembling an intricate piece of modern sculpture in glossy black metal with a few stark white highlights, the Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer is a higher-end elliptical machine that offers lasting quality and a solid workout that will keep most users fit and well-toned for years.
Featuring a 30 pound flywheel and extremely good workmanship, as well as a highly useful computer, the trainer is flawed mainly by its great weight (which may be beyond those living on an upper floor in an apartment house to handle on their own) and occasionally tardy customer service when a problem does arise. Most customers seem satisfied with the Sole E35, however, and it is clearly a very robust entry in the elliptical machine market.
Size, Dimension, and Weight
The total weight of the device is 225 pounds, and although it can be carried to its intended location in pieces if you open the box at the curbside, the flywheel and handlebar assembly come as one large, heavy, extremely clumsy pre-assembled section, which may require several people to handle easily. Some customers recommend paying the shipping company to carry the box into your house as well — a prudent step for those unused to handling heavy weights.
Durable Steel Construction
As might be expected with such a high weight, much of the Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer is made of steel. The frame is 38mm steel (about 1.5 inches thick), and, as you would imagine from such a sturdy construction, both the warranty and the user weight capacity back up the image of durability.
Sole Ellipticals: Designed Based On Anatomical Principles of Movement
Lifetime Warranty on Frame and Brakes, Excellent Quality
The warranties on the Sole E35 include a lifetime warranty on the frame and brakes, a 5-year warranty on the electronics and parts, and a 2-year labor warranty. The machine has a maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds, which is quite impressive, considering how complicated the pedal system is on an elliptical trainer.
One satisfied user, M. Doughtery, who has tried a number of different ellipticals only to find that the E35 is the best machine in the $800-$1,500 range, reported 5 months after using the E35:
“Still no complaints. Holding up nicely. I’ve lost 20+ pounds and this has been a great, really convenient way to work out in the morning before heading to work.”
After a year and a half of steady, vigorous use,
"Everything still works properly and nothing has broken or caused any issues. Very impressed with its durability."
Assembly: Difficult and Lengthy
Assembly of the machine is quite challenging, and the instructions are brief enough to be confusing, since so many steps and names of different nuts and bolts are crammed into the same paragraphs.
The manual is designed poorly, with the need to refer back and forth between descriptions, diagrams, and parts lists printed on different pages. As one user, Gregory Bloom, pithily described it,
"[It is] a manual that adhered to the sort of style they had back in WWII, with one explosion diagram having all the parts numbered, and a separate diagram showing each screw and washer with their associated part number."
The user should be aware of this and be prepared for a long and possibly frustrating assembly process of 3 to 4 hours on average.
Good Foot Pedal Action, Inward Angle to Ease Joints
The heart of any elliptical trainer is the foot pedals. Ellipticals combine the exercise methods of treadmills, exercise bikes, and stair climbers, with the feet remaining constantly in a pair of independently mounted pedals which allow you to exercise with a continuous motion that is very good for the muscles and heart, but easy on the joints and spine, since it lacks impacts.
The Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer makes good use of the current technology to deliver a thorough, weight-burning, invigorating workout. The foot pedals are arranged at a slight inward angle which further eases strain on the ankles and knees.
The pedals can be tailored to match your movements precisely so you can focus on the intensity of the workout and not the numbness of your toes.
Strong, Smooth Resistance at 16 Levels, 20" Stride
The Sole E35 Elliptical’s pedals offer 16 different levels of resistance. The stride length is 20 inches, which is a good length for most users, but may be somewhat difficult for smaller people.
Sole ellipticals have resistance controls built directly into the arms so you can adjust your workout without slowing down.
Resistance is extremely robust, meaning that a good workout for a typically fit person can be had at level 4 or 5, and advanced users will find the machine to their liking also, since the highest levels are very challenging indeed. As Muriel Wuillot put it, the elliptical gives a "very energizing work out for the legs and the arms."
Noise: Many People Report that the E35 Is Quiet
There is a variety of different accounts from exercisers who use the Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer as to how quiet the machine really is. The eddy current braking system is supposed to provide nearly silent operation, and there is a large group of users who report that this is indeed the case, and the machine is very quiet. It is even possible to listen to music while exercising, use the device late at night or early in the morning, and so forth.
Others Claim It Is Noisy
A smaller, but noticeable, group of users complain about the elliptical being very noisy instead, producing hideous, piercing squeaks with every step, and with lubrication being totally ineffective at stopping this uproar. There are enough people who report this that it seems unlikely that the noise is caused by incorrect assembly.
However, with the mass of users reporting that the machine is almost silent, the conflicting report is hard to reconcile. The user is therefore advised of the possibility that the machine may be noisy, although it will probably be silent,
and to be extra-careful during assembly so that no parts will rub when the machine is being used.
A Good-Quality, Useful Computer
The Sole E35’s computer is well-made and sophisticated, and offers both a range of different data that allows you to track your progress, and a selection of different workout programs to give your exercise time variety, interest, and the ability to work out different muscle groups.
Heart rate is monitored both through the handgrips (which you should hold to steady yourself throughout your exercise session) and an included heart telemetry belt. You can also monitor calories burned, distance, speed, and time. There are 6 built-in exercise programs and 2 user-defined ones, allowing you to keep your workout varied and fresh.
Customer Service – Plaudits and Problems – Pros and Cons
Reports on customer service are as varied as those on the noise level of the Sole E35 Elliptical. Many people report that the customer service is fast, accurate, polite, and professional, while others claim that it is slow, rude, and ineffective. The experiences are so conflicting that again, the potential purchaser should probably expect good customer service if needed, but with the possibility of encountering unprofessional customer service personnel when contacting Sole.
Best Place to Buy the E35
The best place to buy the Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer, is Amazon which offers high quality, deep discounts, and free shipping.