Sole F65 Treadmill Review

Sole F65 Treadmill Review

Sole F65 Treadmill ReviewWhile all of the machines available in the Sole line of folding treadmills are known for their quality and value, you might want to consider taking a step up from the basic model to the Sole F65 treadmill. Offering all of the same features as the F63 plus a little bit more, the Sole F65 Treadmill is a good option for those who want to take their workout to the next level.

Push Yourself Harder with the Sole F65 Treadmill

If you want to push yourself and your workout a bit further, the Sole F65 Treadmill might be an excellent choice for you. While the basic F63 model is only capable of reaching a maximum speed of 10 mph, the Sole F65 Treadmill allows you to push a bit harder to a maximum of 11 mph. Offering an incline of up to 15 percent, the Sole F65 Treadmill still allows you to vary your workout in ways that target different muscle groups while also pushing your cardio further.

Enjoy a More Comfortable Workout with the Sole F65 Treadmill

For some users, the running surface available on the basic F63 model may not provide enough space to enjoy a full stride. If this is the case for you, the Sole F65 Treadmill may be a better option. Whereas the F63 features a running surface of 20 x 55, the Sole F65 Treadmill’s running surface is 20 x 58. That extra 3 inches of running space can make quite the difference when it comes to enjoying a full, comfortable stride if you are on the taller side. Like the F63 model, the Sole F65 Treadmill features a Phenolic deck with shock absorption running deck, built-in speakers and an MP3 hookup. The Sole F65 Treadmillalso offers a built-in cooling fan, speed and incline controls on the arm rests, hand pulse grips and a wireless chest strap. Furthermore, the Sole F65 Treadmill’s console features a back-lit LCD display that provides information on distance traveled, calories burned, pace, pulse, time, speed and incline.

Bring Home a Machine that Was Built to Last

Sole takes pride in creating machines that were built to last, and the Sole F65 Treadmill is no exception. Featuring a 2.75 continuous duty HP motor, a 2-ply belt and 2 ½ inch rollers, the Sole F65 Treadmill is capable of accommodating users weighing up to 350 pounds. Sole is so confident in the quality of the Sole F65 Treadmill that it comes complete with a one year warranty on labor, a three year warranty on parts and electronics and a lifetime warranty on the frame and motor.

Sole F65 Treadmill Reviews:

The F65’s overall workmanship is solid.

The rubber treadmill surface feels durable and hard enough that you’ll want to cushion your feet and legs with sneakers or tennis shoes rather than work out barefoot or in socks.
For the most part there’s metal where you want metal and plastic where it’s tolerable – with possibly one exception:

That one exception is the folding release lever used to let down the treadmill base after being secured for portability. I think this lever is designed to have some play in it and the plastic may lend itself to that, but I’d prefer metal. It feels mismatched to unlock the heavy treadmill base with a plastic handle, even a solid one. This is a minor point: The lock/release mechanism works very smoothly and, depending on how portable you intend your treadmill to be, you may rarely use the handle.

Some of the bells and whistles on the operating console are very cool: There a mini-jack to connect your mp3 player of choice (or a Walkman for us dinosaurs) to small speakers that sound surprisingly good. They even threw in a short mini jack connector. My treadmill happens to be in an unfinished basement where sound gets lost and I prefer the headphone jack. It’s safer to store a player in the console’s pockets and run your ear buds off the console jack than to keep the player off to the side or on your person.

Dual cooling fans with an easy to read on/off switch blow right at your face and once the warm weather rolls around should provide pleasant relief.

The design of the bottle holder rack is kind of odd: The F65 comes with a water bottle (nice touch) but it doesn’t rest very snuggly in the rack holes. Not a big deal; I can stuff a washcloth or something in there to pad it. Your favorite bottle may fit better.

The console LED display comes with an assortment of programs that vary both speed and inclination. What’s important for me is first deciphering how to run the treadmill in manual mode, where I can strictly control the speed and incline resistance without the interference of some program. Once I got a feel of what the treadmill could do and how it responded, I was more comfortable setting the `auto-pilot’.

I’ve used similar consoles on stationary bikes and had no problem picking up the Sole’s. As far as operating the F65, I found the manual much more useful than I did during unpacking and assembly, but more on that later.

The speed and incline controls offer two levels of granularity: the large console buttons are in whole-number increments while the side handle buttons let you to fine-tune your settings in tenths. I found this very useful because the gradual response of the controls – particularly the speed – takes some getting used to for someone like me who’s not that experienced with electronic treadmills.

These gradual transitions are by design to avoid injury and more closely emulate the way people do in fact walk, jog and run. If you’ve ever played with airplane simulator software (or flown the real thing) you know how flight controls can lag in their response.

Applied to the treadmill: If you’re striding along at speed level 4 and want to slow down to level 2, be sure to give yourself what feels like 15-20 seconds to get there. The larger the speed interval you’re shifting add a bit more time. In contrast, the incline will immediately begin to climb or descend smoothly at a consistent rate of speed so I found it easier to judge how long such shifts will take.

The incline mechanism is really a blast: it feels very realistic, moves smoothly and really intensifies the resistance.

The F65’s motor is surprisingly quiet on a concrete floor. If you’re in an apartment though, you’ll probably want to ask around to see if floor thickness and sound/vibration transfer is going to be an issue. I once lived in a building with parquet floors so crunchy it was mandated tenants install runners along trafficked areas. I couldn’t imagine operating a treadmill in such a place without some serious floor padding beneath it.

The F65’s folding mechanism allows you to easily raise and lock the treadmill base and wheel the unit around. The base lets down effortlessly to about waist-height where a hydraulic mechanism kicks in to slowly and safely lower it to the ground. It feels sturdy and well-balanced when you’re wheeling it, which is important because it’s heavy.

A side-benefit (unexpected or not) of the F65’s portability is to compensate for drift: After a forty-minute session I noticed the back of the treadmill had fishtailed about 10-15 degrees from its starting position on my concrete basement floor. How much of this can be blamed on the imperfect leveling of the floor versus my favoring one leg over the other, I don’t know. It’s a minor annoyance I’ve had with other pieces of equipment but fortunately, the F65 is a breeze to reposition back where I want it.

The treadmill comes with a tube of lubricant (looks like grease) and the manual is actually quite good describing scheduled maintenance and cleaning.

Some Practicalities: It’s definitely worth your while to give some thought as to how you’ll get the F65 treadmill into your space and assembled. The manual unfortunately, like many others, takes for granted the pieces just magically emerge unwrapped from the box. That’s a shame because this is a good-quality product that’s packed well for shipping and it deserves better documentation.

Take the following as one guy’s experience:

The box is 83″ x 37″ x 17″ deep and marked 255 lbs (the driver told me they weighed it at 275). This is a two-person delivery: Amazon used an in-state company who contacted me and offered convenient Saturday delivery. They showed up promptly and were great to deal with – I really wish I could give them a plug.

I’m in a house and they carried the box straight into the garage. If you’re in a condo or a high-rise do yourself a favor: jot those dimensions down, grab a tape, and scope out any doorways, halls, steps, freight elevator, whatever beforehand to save yourself (and the delivery guys) a lot of grief.

(I had an awful time once with a piano and swore never again to utter the words, “I think it’ll fit.” without being absolutely sure of it.)

The treadmill’s final spot in the basement wasn’t cleared so the next day I used a small hand truck to get the box from the garage over a single step into the basement. Again a two-person job: my wife held the raised end with the truck while I pushed the box forward and up over the step. (I know, sounds like trouble but it actually went more smoothly then anticipated – and yes, we’re still on speaking terms).

Unpacking something like the F65 can be more work than assembling it. With a box this size you’ll need more room than the assembled product will occupy so plan accordingly.

Find the top arrow and lie the box down widthwise with at least an equal amount of room beside it. Pry the large staples out of both sides with a screwdriver, clip the nylon bands and lift the front of the box off.

Everything except the treadmill base can be removed and placed aside. Getting the plastic wrap and supporting Styrofoam blocks off of the base will require you to lift the heavy end. Keep a couple of those blocks close by; they’ll come in handy later on for the same purpose.

In fact, there’s enough Styrofoam in the box to fill 4-5 large garbage bags (unless you want to relive that Flintstones Building Boulders set of your childhood or care to spend time breaking the pieces up). Not to mention – unless you’ve got kids who love to play in large boxes – it’ll take you awhile to cut that box into pieces suitable for the garbage (or at least the private carting around here).

The manual again proved barely adequate for assembly – I’m pretty comfortable putting stuff together but I was stumped in a couple of places:

The resolution of the printed figures and parts was too small compared to the better quality figures describing how to use the treadmill. The exact location of some parts was unclear due to poorly positioned arrows. Identifying which screws and bolts to use where could have been clearer.

Each of two console mast covers is attached using three speed nut clips: Not mentioned is that the front one requires you to prop up the treadmill to put it on. I still have no clue how the middle one and its bolt are meant to be attached (they went back in the bag). Fortunately, the front and rear clips are more than enough to secure the covers.

Two other pieces, the left and right side caps, were mislabeled with tiny `L’ and `R’ stickers that were reversed (Or are you really expected to judge left/right by standing in front of the treadmill rather than on it? As we say in software: “Not intuitive”).

I’d also question the order of some of the steps: I think it would be better to screw the horizontal bar between the main supports in loosely before the supports are fully tightened rather than squeezing the metal bar in which can slip and catch a finger.

All in all unpacking and assembly took a few hours (I left the boxes and Styrofoam for the following week).

What else to say? I’m extremely happy with the Sole F65 and can easily imagine getting many years of reliable use from it.

 

-frankp93 “frankp93” (Amazon)

 

 

The treadmill set up was straight forward, it took about 45 minutes. The treadmill is so sturdy, whether running or walking with the incline at the highest percent it does not wobble or shake. I love the features, its great to be able to hit a number button for the speed and incline changes instead of constantly hitting the up or down buttons. The fan works well although I’m a little too short (5’2) for it to really hit me. I am incredibly happy with this purchase. I bought this treadmill for interval running and it is perfect for that. I dont know if it is because it is new but this treadmill is better than the giant ones at the gym I go to. It doesnt budge and runs nice and smooth- my dog even got on it with me. It was really shocking but she jumped on and walked right next to me on it. Shes a pit bull so that should tell you something about the good size of this machine.

 

-Lisa M. Smallwood

Sole F65 Treadmill Review

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