Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill Review and Recommendation
Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill is big, heavy, sturdy and rather pricey home treadmill with many features which justify such price tag.
Although it comes with very strong frame and running deck, very good maximum user limit and 3.5 CHP (Continuous HP) electric motor, Sole F80 treadmill is not covered with warranty for commercial use.
Published: March 7, 2016.
Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill is big machine - it measures 35 x 58 x 80 inches (89 x 147 x 203 cm) when ready to be used, so be sure to have enough room for the treadmill BEFORE purchasing one.
Running deck measures 35 x 80 inches (89 x 203 cm) with running surface being 22 inches wide and 60 inches long (56 x 152 cm) - running surface is large enough even for taller people with longer strides.
Note: stride length and the size of running surface are not directly related - size of running surface is more related to running technique and pace change. If you are a taller person, have in mind that the running surface is around 8 inches (20 cm) above the floor when using 0% incline (no incline). If your ceiling is low, you could have issues with running, especially when increasing the incline.
Sole F80 is also a heavy machine - it weighs 265 pounds (120 kg), but, it has a very good maximum user weight of 375 pounds (170 kg).
Treadmill uses large 2.75 inch (~7 cm) rollers which is very important for smooth operation and durability of the running belt.
Sole F80 treadmill uses proprietary 'Cushion Flex Whisper Deck', which is claimed to reduce impact on joints by up to 40% compared to running on asphalt. A two-ply running belt combines several materials to improve durability and impact cushioning. No matter how advanced belt and deck are, belt/deck lubrication is required on regular basis.
Unit is equipped with 3.5 CHP DC Type motor. Minimum speed is 0.5 mph (0.8 km/h) and maximum speed is 12 mph (19 km/h), which is more than enough for most runners. Personally, I really don't like 'sprinting' on the treadmills (just go to the YouTube and search for 'treadmill fails'!), so 12 mph is, IMHO, more than enough.
Treadmill has 0-to-15% rack-and-pinion gear design incline. It comes with six standard programs, two custom programs and two heart programs supported by pulse grip and chest strap heart rate monitors.
Builtin cooling fans keep runner freshly cooled, but personally, I prefer working out in room with proper temperature and properly dressed - there is really no need for putting a ton of clothes on and complain about being too hot.
Treadmill controls are easy to reach and operate, while 7.5-inch LCD display shows required information which are easy to read, even when grasping for air during fast runs.
Displayed information includes running speed, incline level, running time, traveled distance, burned calories, pulse and pace. Treadmill also has a 1/4 mile track feature and a 'Peak and Valley' graph for different programs.
Sole Fitness F80 Foldable Treadmill also features MP3-compatible sound system, safety pin (this feature is a MUST! Again, check Youtube...), integrated message board (displayed on the LCD), deck safely locks etc.
Sole Fitness F80 Treadmill includes the manufacturer's warranties against defects in materials and workmanship - lifetime on frame, motor and deck, five years on electronics and two years on labor, when unit is used at home.
Drawbacks of Sole Fitness F80 Foldable Treadmill
Although big, sturdy, and rather expensive, the F80 treadmill has few cons, too.
Again, it is big, heavy, sturdy (welded steel frame) treadmill which comes without commercial warranty (only 'Residential Warranty'). If you need it for home use and you need a treadmill like this, consider F80! But, for commercial gym use choose a treadmill with full commercial warranty - such treadmills are even heavier, sturdier and cost even more.
Again, it is heavy, so if you have to move/carry the package when it arrives on upper floors by stairs, choose that delivery option if available. Although it is possible for two men to carry the package around, personally, at least three men are recommended to carry the package around.
When it arrives, unit must be assembled and if one follows instructions, it can be done 'relatively easily'. This means that it requires two adults who have at least some DIY experience. If you expect any issues with assembling the unit, consider ordering a technician to do it for you (and in most cases, this must be additionally paid) - in that case, let the technician assemble the unit and test run it for you for few minutes. If anything goes wrong, it can be repaired on spot or at least technician can diagnose the problem - early units were notorious for 'LS1' (Low Speed) and similar errors, and not even new ones are immune for issues and problems like that.
IMHO - F80 treadmill cost more than $1000 and such unit simply MUST work flawlessly for years when used and maintained properly! And it does, in most cases, especially later models, but ...
If you are ordering F80 over Amazon, note that Amazon representatives are practically always very user friendly, while Sole had some representatives which were anything but 'user-friendly', but bad comments and reviews of their F80 treadmills and 'User Service' made them improve few things, to say the least...
Long story short - Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill is expensive home treadmill with many very useful features. It had certain issues, which were ironed out over time, but are still possible, although rarely.
If you need a treadmill of this size and with all these features for home use, consider this treadmill.
For more reviews and recommendations, check Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill Amazon link (link opens in the new window).