Do you want a treadmill that you can run on endlessly? Are you seeking a manufacturer confident enough with their product that they’d offer a lifetime warranty on the framework and engine?
Look no further than the Sole F85 Treadmill, advertised as the best folding treadmill on the planet. Find out more in our Sole F85 review below
Sole F85 Treadmill Review Summary
SOLE F85 treadmill is for those who are looking for the best folding treadmill on the market. The treadmill is a clear demonstration of reliability, offering a touchscreen, a powerful motor guaranteed for life, a low-noise workout, and a plethora of accessories and other features.
The F85 has a hefty price tag, making some people question if it’s worth that price however you are certainly paying for quality here!
However, you’re purchasing a motor that, according to the manufacturer, is there for life, like all Sole treadmills, the frame is over-engineered and there are numerous other benefits. So it’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth it or not.
- A lifetime guaranteed engine that can withstand up to 180kg of weight and go up to 22 km/h
- A high-clarity LCD touchscreen with preinstalled and customizable workout programs and Youtube + Netflix. Unlike many other treadmills, you don’t need a subscription to use the screen.
- An over-engineered steel frame that doesn’t flex under heavy usage and can still be folded for portability
- An incline range of up to 15°, allowing you to get much more from your workout. The treadmill remains stable even at the max inclination
- You get a tablet holder, multiple storage spaces on the control panel, and a storage tray between the supporting arms of the treadmill
- A chest wrap that allows you to measure your heart rate without fixing your hands on the handles
- The physical buttons don’t allow for fine-tuning of the workout intensity, as they use increments of two to change the speed
- Despite being advertised as one of the smoothest treadmills in its class, there are other commercial-grade treadmills that offer a smoother run
- Some users reported a glitchy or inconsistent touchscreen. They said that the screen isn’t consistently registering their touches while they're using it.
View Sole F85 Treadmill
Who Is It For?
The F85 is a perfect treadmill for home usage or hotel gyms. However, it’s not suitable for professional use inside a public gym.
Foldable treadmills aren’t generally built to withstand hard punishment. So, you’re better off buying a larger treadmill if you’re aiming to start a fitness business.
Sole F85 Treadmill In-Depth Review
Now that you have a general idea of the Sole F85’s features, let’s talk about its features in a bit more detail.
Design and Frame
The SOLE F85 has a sleek, modern design that screams cutting edge. The supporting poles of the control panel are slightly leaning toward the user to prevent that awkward arm stretch while handling the controls.
You also have four holding pouches for your phone, water bottles, and other accessories — all without compromising the necessary space for the control panel and screen. And you have an additional storage tray under the control panel.
The F85 is currently the flagship of SOLE and its highest-quality folding treadmill. As such, the frame is built from steel, providing optimum durability and longevity.
Motor and Noise Level
SOLE F85 has a 4 HP motor that can go up to 12 mph (approximately 21 km/h). This powerful motor can also support up to 400 lb (around 181 kg), which is about 100 lb (45 kg) more than comparable treadmills of the same class.
You may expect such a formidable motor to be quite noisy, but you’d be wrong. SOLE is notorious for its super quiet treadmills, and the F85 is no exception.
The F85’s motor reportedly produces approximately 70 dB of noise. For comparison purposes, a typical conversation between two people is 60 dB.
Deck Size and Cushion Technology
The SOLE F85 features a spacious 20 x 66 in. running deck, suitable even for people on the larger side.
Also, according to the manufacturer, the WhisperQuiet cushioning belt technology absorbs up to 40% of the impact, allowing you to run for much longer distances. Plus, it reduces the tension on your joints, decreasing injury instances.
This cushioning feature is a massive improvement over running on the tarmac, but it’s still not as soft as some other treadmills of the same class.
For example, the NordicTrack 1750 feels a bit smoother to use and is considerably cheaper than the SOLE F85. However, it lacks some of the features that the F85 has.
Additionally, if you’re training for a marathon or aiming for tougher workouts, the F85 allows you to switch off the cushioning option entirely to get that tarmac feeling again.
The SOLE F85 can raise the running incline up to 15°. You may change that incline manually as you run using the control screen or set a program that’ll elevate the treadmill accordingly.
For example, if you’re using a muscle strength program, the incline should automatically increase to some extent to add more tension to your leg muscles. If the effort is too much, you can manually reduce the inclination, and it won’t interrupt the program.
F85 has a 2-ply belt that feels gentle and supportive as you step on it. The belt also nestles against the rails, preventing that slapping foot sound you might hear with some treadmills.
We had no apparent issues while testing the F85’s belt. One of our testers is quite picky about his treadmills since he likes to run bare-footed, but he still found no major issues.
However, our taller team members did find a slight inconvenience with the motor placement. Because of their taller legs, their leaps are sometimes higher than usual, leading to accidental steps on the motor housing in front of the belt.
Fortunately, this only happens at high speeds, and you only need to adjust your running position to fix it.
The control panel is the core of the treadmill and is where most of the features lie. Let’s start with the display:
The F85 has an android, ultra-clear 10.1" touchscreen display that comes with Netflix and Youtube built-in, advertised by SOLE as “the clearest in the market.” The screen has multiple functions and workout programs that you can use.
It’ll show you the current speed, calories burned, incline, and distance traveled. The current pulse will also show on the screen if you’re using the heartbeat sensor.
The screen allows you to switch between six preset programs, two heart rate programs, and two customizable ones. This may not be enough for avid treadmill users, but it’s still great for home use.
You also get seven preloaded apps like YouTube and Netflix, which can make your running time feel a little shorter.
As cool as the screen sounds, we did run into some issues while testing it. Yes, it’s clear, but it isn’t as fancy as some other treadmills we tried. The touch sometimes feels bugged or out of place, and you won’t hear the feedback noise if you’re running the fan.
Still, despite these issues, the screen is a great upgrade over many others. It’s simple and allows you to control everything on the treadmill with a few touches.
You can connect your phone or iPod to the treadmill using Bluetooth in just a few seconds. Using the free SOLE app on Android or Apple, you can synchronize your workout routine from your phone.
The SOLE F85 has a simple interface of buttons that you can use to adjust your training routine. These buttons are easy to reach, click, and navigate through. However, one thing we didn’t like is how the buttons use increments of two.
For example, you can’t jump from speed 6 to speed 7 using the physical buttons; you’ll have to utilize the touch screen for that. It’s a minor inconvenience at best, but it’s still worth mentioning.
You can quickly fold the F85 and carry it around. However, it’s considerably heavy at around 300 pounds, so we highly recommend using the wheels if you’re just moving the treadmill from room to room.
We were surprised by how easy it was to simply push the treadmill around on its wheels. That may not help you to transfer the treadmill between far locations, but it’s handy when you’re getting the machine somewhere close.
Don’t worry; the wheels won’t move the treadmill as you work out since you can lock its deck in place.
You get some handy accessories with your F85 purchase:
Are you bored of being restricted to what’s only available on the treadmill’s touch screen? Just hang your tablet on the holder and enjoy whatever you want.
We tested tablets of different sizes, and none of them seemed to slide off the holder’s rubber grip. The fact that the treadmill is very stable also eliminates any risky vibrations.
A cooling fan is a great addition to any treadmill, especially if it doesn’t compromise performance. Luckily, with a 4 HP motor, you’ll get a reliable fan with lossless engine performance.
No treadmill should come without the safety plug. You attach that to your clothes, and it rapidly stops the belt if accidents happen.
USB Charging Port
You get a USB charging port with your F85, so you won’t need to worry about your devices losing power.
The charging rate isn’t as fast as your devices’ original chargers, but it gets the job done.
Heart Rate Chest Wrap
You don’t need to place your hand on the sensor to have your pulse measured. Put on the chest wrap, and you’ll get an accurate measurement while keeping your hand in motion.
SOLE claims that the accuracy of that chest wrap can go up to 99%.
SOLE F85 provides you with a lifetime warranty for the frame and motor. There’s also a 5-year warranty on electrical components and a 2-year warranty for home labor services.
The extended warranty, especially on the frame and motor, may justify the hefty price tag of the treadmill.
The assembly of the F85 was a bit too bothersome for our team. The treadmill was hardly assembled aside from the motor and belt in place. We had to build up everything else ourselves.
According to the official user manual, there are eight steps to ready up the treadmill. They mostly involve attaching parts and tightening screws.
The process wasn’t overly complicated, but it took more time than we expected. That’s because of the number of parts and components we needed to sort, even before beginning the assembly.
It took around 30 minutes to sort the parts and assemble them with two people. It will take quite a bit longer if it’s just one person doing the assembly as putting the console together would be challenging with only one pair of hands.
We’ve looked around at some reviews about the F85, and most of them were positive. However, there were some mild issues that some users reported. Here are some of them:
Many users had problems with the assembly. Some screws are sometimes missing, and some of them won’t screw into their respective parts
Some users are complaining that physical buttons are raised and get damaged quite faster than flat buttons
A common issue was unfair expectations around delivery. Delivery companies aren't responsible for assembly or moving the unit to your preferred location. They will only get the product to your door. Users who were living on their own had to lift a 300-pound box by themselves.
At Cardio Online we have a network of 3rd party contractors across Australia who can install and assemble the machine for you to manufacturers specifications, and take a lot of the stress out of the process!
The Bottom Line
The SOLE F85 is one of the finest treadmills we tested. Is it worth being called the best folding treadmill on the planet?
No, but it comes awfully close. It does have some of the best capabilities out there, but you can get a runner-up treadmill for a lower price.
View Sole F85 Treadmill