Considered as the entry level machine for Sole’s ‘E’ range of fitness equipment, the Sole Fitness E25 Elliptical Machine still manages to offer a wide range of workout programs and subtle design features.
This review takes a look at these subtle features in more detail, together with the preset workout programs, quality of assembly instructions, and existing customer reviews. This is to help you decide if the Sole E25 is the best choice of elliptical trainer for your own home.
It would be impossible for us to write a detailed review on the Sole Fitness E25 without mentioning the stride length.
Measuring an impressive 20 inches, this is close to the longest that you can expect to find on any non-commercial elliptical trainer, and is well suited to all user heights (including 6ft+).
The easy to use E25 also features a 25 lb flywheel and high gear ratio, resulting in a fluid and natural running motion.
It’s the quiet front drive system that functions both forwards and in reverse, making best use of this motion throughout each of the 20 resistance levels and variety of incline settings.
Sole have also placed a high level of importance on the design of the articulating foot beds and pedals, which have been created in collaboration with a leading physical therapist to help you maintain a more natural body posture.
Each pedal features a two-degree inward slope for reducing knee and ankle stress, while the rear wheels on the heavy duty rails ensure a smoother, more stable workout experience.
In terms of the handle design, each set has added functions that make the most efficient use of your workout time.
While the smaller set provides a set of heart rate hand sensors, the larger set lets you adjust the incline and resistance settings, without ever having to reach for the display console.
Sole Fitness E25 – Features Summary
- Power adjustable stride with 20-to-22-inch maximum stride length
- Six standard programs, two custom programs, and two heart rate programs
- Pulse grip and chest strap heart rate monitoring and includes heart rate chest strap
- LCD console with 6.5-inch display
- ECB resistance
- Built-in fan
- 15-inch pedals
- Includes sound system and water bottle holder
- Power incline – The ramp angle is fully adjustable from 0 to 30 degrees, allowing you to target and individually work all major lower body muscle groups
- Custom foot pedals
Display console design
If you’ve ever come across one of the ProForm ellipticals, you’ll know how much time and effort is spent in enhancing your running experience, and making the workout more enjoyable.
A similar theme is present in the Sole Fitness console designs, with a mix of workout program functions and quick-select incline and resistance settings.
The large display screen is an excellent feature for keeping you updated with the latest workout statistics, with a cooling fan installed to keep you cool.
If you’ve already read some of the reviews for lower priced ellipticals, you might have also noticed how little trust most people tend to place in the feedback of calories burned.
This has been because the built-in computer in the console didn’t let you enter the information needed to perform the calculations correctly.
Fortunately the Sole Fitness E25 does allow you to enter your age and weight, which are the two key pieces of information needed to provide much more accurate measurements of your heart rate and calorie burn.
These measurements can also be of great use when setting new personal fitness targets.
Preset workout programs
If you’re looking at buying an elliptical around the $1000 price point, you’re going to expect a fair amount of variation in the preset workout programs, to cater for a variety of personal fitness goals.
This is why the programs for the Sole Fitness E25 have been divided up into no less than 6 categories (excluding the manual training option).
6 workout program categories:
Designed to simulate going up and down a hill, this program is based entirely around resistance control.
As you progress through the workout, the resistance gradually increases, until you reach a point where you start moving down the hill again, and the resistance decreases.
- Fat burn
This is really the program that benefits most from the console receiving an accurate feedback for your heart rate.
Although each of these programs certainly has the potential to help you burn fat (when combined with calorie controlled diet), the Fat Burn program simulates a lower, steady, exertion workout.
This is optimal for fat loss and should see you burning calories and losing weight faster than other training methods.
As the name suggests, the Cardio program is custom designed to improve your cardiovascular efficiency by increasing your lung capacity.
Rather than keeping you at a high resistance level throughout, the Cardio program keeps the resistance at an average level but the work rate high.
Similar to the hill climb program, but rather than gradually building up to a high resistance level, the Strength program starts there and keeps you there for the duration.
This helps to develop strength and muscle tone in your legs, hips, calves, and glutes.
If you’re not already familiar with interval training, it’s essentially a highly effective way of increasing your endurance.
This is done by depleting your oxygen stores with periods of high intensity exercise, followed by periods of lower intensity exercise to replenish this expended oxygen.
The Sole Fitness E25 includes an interval program specifically for anyone that’s more advanced in terms of their fitness routine, and is looking for a program that’s a bit more of a challenge.
- Custom defined
While the programs in the previous 5 categories are well suited to the majority of training preferences, sometimes you just want to change things up a bit.
There are two of these custom workouts for you to setup if you need to, with custom name creation making it easy to tell the two apart in terms of their purpose.
You then get the chance to enter your age and weight (to ensure accurate workout feedback is displayed) and set the time and maximum resistance level.
The custom part of these programs then comes when you get to choose the resistance level for each segment of your workout. Once you’ve done that, you can start training according to your own specific training plan.
Ease of assembly
Apart from the stride length or stability of an elliptical, one of the most common reasons behind a lower review rating is poor quality assembly instructions.
While we wouldn’t rate the instructions for the Sole Fitness E25 as poor quality, we do agree that a number of improvements could be made to simplify the process.
A quick read through the reviews also shows that this is a problem other reviewers have experienced, and could be due to the textual instructions being on separate pages to the diagrams.
There are also a number of instructions within each step that aren’t individually explained in the diagrams.
The final change that we would like to see made is to add a parts list with a diagram of each part.
With no part references or images of the different bolts and washers, it’s difficult to match up what you have in your hand with what’s in the user manual.
This has led to a longer recommended assembly time than with some other ellipticals we’ve reviewed, at between 90 minutes and 2 hours.
Despite receiving a slightly more mixed reception compared to their bestselling E95 Elliptical, the Sole Fitness E25 still has an impressive collection of customer reviews.
That’s why as well as providing our own insight into the features and functions of the machine, we also wanted to take a look at the reasons behind the ratings left by other reviewers.
Hopefully this helps you build a clearer overall picture of whether or not this is the right choice of elliptical for your own training, or can at least point you towards a more suitable model.
To provide you with accurate lists of pros and cons, we’ve personally read through reviews left on ecommerce marketplaces such as Amazon, to find those points that were mentioned on a regular basis.
You can now find the results of this research in the lists below.
- Longest stride length available on any non-commercial elliptical (20″ which is ideal even for taller users of 6ft+)
- High quality heart rate strap included
- Very stable machine, even at higher resistance levels
- Quiet running motion makes it suitable for workouts at all times of day
- Large display screen to provide constant feedback on your workout
- Adjustment controls have been built straight into the moveable handles
- Large carry handle and transport wheels make it easier to transport the machine between rooms if needed
- Challenging collection of workout programs available
- Minimal maintenance required after assembly
- Assembly instructions are difficult to follow at times
- The machine is a lot heavier than some of the lower priced cross trainers (190 lbs)
- Cooling fan is quite low powered
- Large foot pedals can make it much easier to find your ideal foot placement, but can also cause your feet to move around a little during your workout
What’s included with the warranty?
- Frame: Lifetime
- Electronics and parts: Three years
- Labor: One year