EXPERT FITNESS INFORMATION AND TREADMILL REVIEWS
From Simon Clarke
Simon Clarke

What makes the Sole F85 Treadmill stand-out?

We undertook the massive project of researching all the different aspects of the Sole F85 treadmill in order to bring you this comprehensive compressed review on all that it has to offer you. Below you’ll find a summary of the upsides and downsides to this particular piece of exercise equipment. The machine was clearly designed to save space with it’s fold-up capability, and also to facilitate heavy duty workouts over long periods of time with it’s sturdy design. The users/owners of Sole S85 treadmill’s have given us a lot of information on how the treadmill performs in practice. Read on to find out if this treadmill is suitable for your exercise plans.

Product Description

The Sole F85 Treadmill is the ultimate compact running grade treadmill. The vertical fold up feature allows you to save on space by storing the treadmill away when it’s not in use. When it is in use the Sole F85 does a great job of facilitating running or other forms of general exercise with it’s comfortably large 22 inch by 60-inch belt. This belt is then powered by a strong 4.0 continuous duty motor which can easily handle even the most intense workout sessions.

  • Standard treadmill industry design with sturdy black and silver frame and Sole branded treadmill belt
  • Short arm rails on both sides and a front crossbar with heart rate monitor contact strips on it
  • Head unit has blue display in central position with buttons below for convenience and speakers on either side for audio
  • Long black triple compartment accessory holder located below the head unit
  • Wheels built in to both ends of the treadmill for easy portability

Key Features

The Sole F85 Treadmill offers users all the features that we’d usually see in a high class non-folding running treadmill. What makes the F85 special is that it somehow manages to have these features and fold up! Our favourite functions are probably it’s built in audio speakers with MP3 compatibility, it’s Cushion Flex Whisper Deck, and it’s strong motor.

Cushion Flex Whisper Deck
You can rest assured that your joints would be well taken care of with the Sole F85 treadmill. The deck on this treadmill is a Cushion Flex Whisper Deck. For those who don’t speak treadmill, this means it has a deck that cushions the tread belt users run on, thereby reducing the impact on users joints by up to 40%! Having a proper suspension/cushioning system is very important for user’s long term safety, especially for those who want to run or are using the treadmill for recovery purposes.

Big Tread Belt
The Sole F85 features one of the largest standard tread belt sizes in the industry. Most high quality running treadmills will have a 22 inch by 60 inch belt to accommodate their user’s larger strides comfortably. It is however rare to find a fold up treadmill that has such a big surface. It’s a mixture of space saving while still not compromising on giving the user a fantastic treadmill experience. We quite like it.

Triple Compartmentalised Accessory Holder
We always say that an accessory holder on a treadmill is underrated, at least by those who have yet to actually get their own treadmill. Anyone using a treadmill in their home on a regular basis understands that an accessory holder built into a treadmill adds a whole new level of convenience to your workout. You don’t have to pause your workout every time you want a towel, water bottle or to check your phone. And you don’t have to put an awkward side table next to your treadmill either. The Sole F85 has ensured it’s users get a 3 part accessory holder just below the head unit, at arm’s reach.

MP3 Compatible Speakers
The console of the Sole F85 has speaker built into it as well as an audio cable plug in. This is great for playing your own music or other audio on while exercising. You’ll feel a lot more motivated to do your daily workouts when it’s fun, and music or a good audio book can certainly make it so. Many users enjoy passing the time while listening to something on their treadmill but earphones can get annoying when your arms are swinging side to side or you are sweating. The built in speakers of this treadmill solve that problem.

Standard And Customizable Programs
The Sole F85 comes with the regular amount of programs you’d expect from a treadmill in it’s price range. There are 6 standard programs, 2 customizable programs and 2 heart rate programs. These all change the incline and speed of the treadmill automatically while you are working out in order to achieve a number of goals. The standard programs often involve simulating an outside environment and one of them is a ¼ mile track specific program. The heart rate programs on the other hand are aimed at maintaining either intermittently or permanently your heart rate at a certain level and will use speed most often to do this. And the customizable programs? Well, they’re just that. Customizable.

Strong Motor
The motor in the Sole F85 comes with 0.5 more HP than industry standard for this type of fold up treadmill. We appreciate the extra grunt the 4.0 continuous duty HP gives over a 3.5 CHP alternative. Having a stronger motor means the motor won’t have to exert itself too much when users ramp up the speed or a larger user hops on. Not operating at full capacity will not only mean a more durable motor long term, but will also mean the machine runs quieter.

Vibrant User Friendly Display
The display on the newer F85 has been upgraded to a 10.1 inch version, though the old 9 inch was still plenty big. The screen is back lit and easy to understand, with the following useful information always shown to users on it’s interface:

  • Speed
  • Incline
  • Time
  • Distance Travelled
  • Calories
  • Pulse
  • Pace

Safe Heart Rate Monitoring
Many machines simply allow users to choose their own target heart rate and then increase the speed or incline under the user’s feet until that heart rate is achieved. This is not always safe and the Sole F85 has implemented a clever safety feature whereby it calculates the best target heart rate for users depending on their age. This heart rate is then monitored with great accuracy either by gripping the contact wireless strips on the front crossbar of the treadmill or by wearing the heart rate monitoring chest strap during workout. Users often find they prefer one method over the other and stick to it.

The Big One: Foldability
The ability to be folded up and stored away until it’s next use time is perhaps the most important feature of the Sole F85. The folding mechanism is a simple rack and pinion gear design which will be easy to use once the user gets the hang of it initially.

Short Summary

Key Specifications

Suitable for All forms of exercise, including running
Assembled dimensions 80L x 35W x 58H inches (203L x 89W x 147H cm)
Tread belt dimensions 60L x 22W inches (152L x 56W cm)
Supported weight 400 lbs (181kg)
Motor 4.0 continuous duty HP
Incline Automatic, 0% – 15%
Deck cushioning Yes, Cushion Flex Whisper Deck
Foldable Yes
Speed levels 0 – 12 MPH (0 – 19km/h)
Workout routines
  • 6 standard programmes
  • 2 customizable programmes
  • 2 heart rate monitoring programmes
Price Approx. $2,369.99
Weight 265 lbs (120 kg)
Warranty
  • 5 years electronics
  • 2 years labour
  • lifetime deck, motor and frame
Roller 2.75 inches (7 cm)
Handrails Short side hand rails and frontal crossbar
Tread belt ply (noise indication) 2-ply (quiet)
External device compatibility Yes, MP3 input
Heart rate monitors Contact and Wireless
Head unit Display
  • Older model: LCD 9 inch (22.9 cm)
  • Newer model: Graphic 10.1 inch (25.7cm)

Pros:

  •  Deck is cushioned to reduce impact by up to 40%
  • Tread belt is large enough to do any exercise on comfortably
  • Convenient triple compartment accessory holder
  • MP3 compatible speakers make for a fun workout environment
  • Both standard, heart rate and customizable programs
  • Clear user friendly screen shows valuable information
  • Age specific heart rate monitoring, both contact and wireless available

Cons:

  • No super smart technology has been put into this treadmill (like Google Maps Wireless Integration).

Customer Feedback on the Sole F85

Our investigation of the Sole F85 included reviewing what actual users have to say about their Sole F85. We figure this is an important part of analysing a treadmill, as these are the people that actually use it! The user’s comments on the Sole F85 were overall very positive, with several mentioning aspects of the treadmill that they really liked which aren’t even advertised on it’s selling pages.

User Favourites:

  • The folding down is done using hydraulics and ensures that the deck folds down very slowly, thus making it a safe piece of equipment to have around pets and children.
  • Users liked the simplicity of the interface and some think it’s better than a touch screen because it’s likely to last longer.
  • The machine is quiet enough to suit users well, with many being glad that it’s noise level is so low that they can comfortably watch television while exercising.

User Negatives:

  • Moving the item does require a fair bit of push. Even though it has wheels these can become snagged on longer carpet or rugs.

Our recommendation

We think this model of treadmill is a great lightweight option for those wanting a great little treadmill to run on at a modest price. It’s perfect for those with smaller areas to work with who want a piece of exercise equipment that can facilitate running. With it’s powerful 4.0 continuous duty HP motor we’d even recommend this as a good choice for a small professional setting (commercial use). Our only caution is that the Sole F85 belt is considerably smaller than other running tread belts so very tall or large users might be better off with a bigger treadmill overall. If you are an average or smaller sized person, then there will be no problems. Overall, we’d definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to save on space and still go for a run.

The Sole F85 is a petite treadmill that still has enough power to be a running, walking or jogging workout partner. We like the simplicity of the design and the any built in safety features. It’s left out none of the crucial stuff in it’s minimalist approach and provides users with an easy, effective workout style machine. To see more information about it on it’s retail page, click here.