If spending a lot of money makes you squeamish you may want to turn your eyes away right now, as the Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill is definitely not for the budget-minded consumer. Prices may vary, but you can expect to pay close to $3000 for this machine. If you just did a double-take I’m not surprised – that’s a lot of money to pay for a piece of home workout equipment. Personally, it’s a little outside of what I’m willing to pay – even if it is on sale for $1500 at the time of writing this.
Don’t get me wrong – this treadmill is packed full of features and it’s built to handle a heavy workload. But there are machines that will do a similar job for a lot less money. That being said, there is no doubting the quality of this machine – it wouldn’t look out of place in a professional gym. It also comes with a great warranty that includes a lifetime guarantee on the frame, five years for replacement of the electronics, and two years for labor.
What do you get for the large price tag? Well, for one thing this is one of the best treadmills on the market for protecting your joints from unnecessary wear and tear. It comes with patented Whisper Deck technology which reduces the impact on your joints by providing a cushioned surface that flexes as you run. Some customers suggest it’s like running on a cloud and that’s a pretty impressive endorsement. My family has a history of joint pain and arthritis, so this was a very interesting feature for me – I’m trying hard not to become the next member of my family to suffer these painful conditions.
Most treadmills I’ve come across will do a maximum 4 to 5 mph; this machine blows those statistics out of the water as it’s capable of reaching speeds up to 12 mph. I don’t know about you, but I can’t see myself wanting to run much faster than this so this machine is more than capable of pushing me to my limits. Let’s just say it’s definitely going to make you sweat.
If you don’t think a top speed of 12 mph is enough to push you to your limits, then you might want to try kicking it into high gear by using the automatic incline. This treadmill can be raised to an incline of up to 15%. If you combine that type of incline with speeds of up to 12 miles an hour you’re bound to get a fantastic workout – there are very few people on this planet that wouldn’t find such a workout challenging.
Another thing that’s a serious consideration for me when looking for the right treadmill is whether or not I can fold it up out of the way when I’m not using it. Surprisingly, this premium machine can indeed be folded up. When you’re ready to pull it out for a workout you’ll find that it’s an extremely quiet process with its easy-assist folding deck, which lowers to the ground in a slow steady pace while making very little noise. You don’t have to worry about disturbing your spouse at six in the morning by banging around as you get your treadmill ready to use.
The Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill really does have quite a sturdy construction. The treadmill belt has a two-ply design that helps prevent excessive wear and tear, and the surface is nicely cushioned for a comfortable run. It also comes with a chest strap for monitoring your heart rate wirelessly, which is great if you don’t like holding onto the handlebars as you run, like you have do on many machines in order to measure your heart rate.
This treadmill also has a lot of cool extra features, such as the ability to adjust your speed with built-in sensors on the handlebars, numerous different built-in workout programs, an MP3-compatible sound system, and various storage compartments for your smart phone, tablet, or TV remote. There’s also more than enough room to store your bottle of water here as well.
You might expect a machine in this price range to be all but perfect, but this machine has had more than a few complaints leveled at it. One thing that seems to come up fairly regularly is a low-speed issue. When this happens the machine shuts down shortly after starting, producing something called an LS1 error – this doesn’t happen to most users of the product, but for those that face the problem it’s very frustrating.
Another major issue with this machine is its bulkiness. Yes, it is foldable, which enables you to fairly easily move it out of the way when it’s not being used, but I wouldn’t want to try taking this thing up or down the stairs too often. It’s a large machine that weighs around 300 pounds, so unless you’ve been pumping some serious iron you’re not going to want to move this thing too far.