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The Sole F80 Treadmill for Fitness in Your Home

written by: Daniel P. McGoldrick • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 1/28/2010

The Sole F80 treadmill is yet another piece home of fitness equipment coming from a company that has produced highly praised equipment at very reasonable prices in the last decade. Let us see if the F80 comes loaded with the same quality engineering, performance, and stamina its predecessors have.

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    The Sole F80 Treadmill is designed and marketed with home use in mind as well as their deal with upscale hotel chains like Hilton. I’ve been on a lot of lame, rickety treadmills but this F80 is assuredly not one of them. The Broadwater Athletic Clubs where I work out in Helena, Montana seem to cycle a lot of equipment through, so that is a good way for me to tell what makes and models stand up best. I can also hop around town to other gyms to test out a particular piece of equipment that needs reviewing when necessary. That is all in an effort to add to the stream of collected and useful knowledge here at Bright Hub, where we’re dedicated to helping you make well informed decisions.

    The Hilton and Omni chain of hotels offer the Sole F80 in many of their rooms. How many of us are pleased when we book a hotel because there is a good gym in it or even a treadmill in the room, yet the trip comes and goes without us ever using the hotel fitness room or the treadmill at all. When necessity calls for it, and I’m not exactly a guest for that space and time, (but I might have been a guest before or will be one in the future) I might slip into a hotel gym.

    I do this only to test out a piece of equipment so I can report back to you. Since so many guests don’t ever use their gym privilege, I’m really only using their turn, besides, there will always be that soldier in me who thrives on operating behind enemy lines. So if I ever do get caught, I’m blaming you. But seriously, the fact that the Hilton (known for its dogged determinism to provide their guests with the best to uphold their reputation as a superior hotel) has an exclusive deal with Sole is the first favorable thing to consider about the Sole F80. Many more will follow below.

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    Sole F80 Treadmill

    PROSSole F80 Treadmill 

    It’s virtually unbeatable for the price (retails for around $1500). For the mid-range group of treadmills (between $1000 and $2000) on the market, The Sole F80 is really a top-notch product because this workhorse will take a daily pounding without breakage and their solid warranty shows their confidence in this product.

    Part of the reason it’s so reasonably priced lies in the fact that some more expensive parts that are designed for a gym treadmill that is used by multiple runners/walkers on a daily basis are not installed on this unit. Those components would be unnecessary because that much wear and tear won’t take place in the average household using one of these. For something so reasonably priced, it’s still high-end fitness equipment because Sole’s mission is to fill that niche plus the hotel market and not the mass produced commercial gym market.

    Since it’s also carried by large chains like the Sport’s Authority and Dick’s Sporting Goods, you have a better chance of being able to test one out if there’s a store within a reasonable proximity to you. Here is what it’s listed for at Sports Authority. Take a look at the customer reviews there and you’ll see it got an average 4.5 stars out of 5 rating. If you’re a skeptic and you think those reviews were somehow planted by Sole employees, that isn’t a viable conspiracy theory. Consumer satisfaction and expert approval for the F80 is well-documented all over the Internet.

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    Key Features that Make it Top-Notch

    • Cushion flex whisper deck reduces impact up to 40% compared to asphalt and it provides a wide space to run on too (75 inches long by 33.00 wide). It’s really comfortable and easy on the joints.
    • Motor is a 3.0 Horse Power, enabling speeds up to 11mph and electric incline to 15%.
    • Digital readout is easy to navigate and displays speed, incline, time, distance traveled, calories, pulse and pace.
    • A magazine rack and water bottle are nicely placed.
    • It folds up easily for storage but that doesn’t mean it is flimsy.
    • Customizable workouts can be programmed plus 6 pre-programmed solid routines built-in.
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    CONS

    One minor complaint by some might be the short handles but most users like to get their arms swinging and part of the work out anyway. I don’t like assembling anything so that’s always a drawback to me but customers have complained about particularly complicated instructions, and that you can’t really manage it alone. Finally, long-strided runners might find the 55 inch deck too short.

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    Conclusion

    All in all this really is an excellent treadmill. I forgot to mention it was quiet too. A lot of treadmills sound like someone put sneakers in the dryer and that can become rather grating on one’s nerves. Life Fitness might have a tad-bit superior engineering, performance, and stamina, but you’ll pay more and the extra features aren’t really necessary for home use. Life Fitness equipment is usually designed for at least a staggered platoon of 30 runners to trudge over them every day. I use Life Fitness treadmills at my gym and I really like them, but if I were to buy a treadmill for my home, I’d go with a Sole F80. So yes, the F80 is another in a long line of quality offerings from Sole.

    Resources:

    Sole Fitness

    Treadmilldoctor.com

    Sports Authority