Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Elliptical Trainers, Equipment

Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine Review

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The Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Trainer is an upgraded version of the E25, with some important improvements that have made it Sole’s top elliptical on many eCommerce websites, including Amazon.

This review takes a detailed look at the design features, display console functions, workout programs, customer reviews, and even warranty coverage to help you decide if this is the best elliptical for your personal fitness goals.

Design features

Whether your goal is to lose weight, tone up, or improve your general cardiovascular fitness, a high quality elliptical machine is one of the safest and most effective types of exercise equipment you can buy.

Despite having a similar design to the earlier E25 model, the Sole Fitness E35 has a number of useful new features, together with some impressive upgrades for the foot pedals and weight capacity.

Although the E35 is slightly larger than many ellipticals, the resistance system and flywheel are extremely quiet

As part of this upgrade, the pedals are now fully adjustable to help relieve any knee pain that you may currently be experiencing from running.

This involved adding a (2 degree) inward angle to each foot plate, which not only relieves pressure on your ankles, but also increases the transfer of power from your foot to the machine.

It’s the combination of this slight inward angle and 3 foot pedal angle settings (0, 5, and 10 degrees) that makes this design so unique for helping you to find your natural running posture.

But it’s not just the foot pedals where we can see improvements. It’s also in the design of the larger set of moving handlebars.

Incline settings and stride length

If you’ve used incline settings on a treadmill or elliptical before then you’ll probably realise how much more challenging and effective they are for burning calories and increasing the intensity of your workout.

Fortunately, the Sole Fitness E35 offers a variety of incline positions, controlled by a power incline that has adjustment buttons on both the display console.

You’ll also find controls on the larger set of handles, with the E35 being the lowest priced elliptical in the Sole Fitness range to offer this feature.

Adjustable foot pedals with a slight inward tilt promote comfort during longer workouts

One last feature that we wanted to mention (which is actually one of the most important) is the stride length.

Finding an elliptical that has a long enough stride length to support your full running motion is crucial for getting the most out of your training.

With a maximum stride length of 20 to 22 inches, the E35 is more than capable of supporting even the tallest of users, to well over 6 feet tall.

The rear glide rails also help ensure a smooth elliptical motion throughout your workout.

Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine

Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical – Features Summary

  • 29 lb flywheel
  • 15 resistance levels
  • 30% power incline
  • Adjustable pedals and console
  • Power adjustable stride
  • 20-to-22-inch maximum stride length
  • Six standard programs
  • Two custom programs
  • Two heart rate programs
  • Pulse grip and chest strap heart rate monitoring
  • Includes heart rate chest strap
  • Blue backlit LCD console with 7.5-inch display
  • Front drive system
  • Built-in fan
  • 15-inch pedals
  • Includes sound system and water bottle holder

Display console design

Despite some of the physical design differences between the Sole Fitness E35 and earlier E25 model, the display console actually supports many of the same functions.

You have an almost identical button layout, with the exception of a larger LCD screen (7.5″ vs. 6.5″).

As Sole Fitness are one of the companies who tend to create larger display consoles, it’s no surprise that the E35 combines its functional button operations with a number of attractive entertainment options.

Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine

The cooling fan has been built-in between the two speakers, directly above the main data window.

This makes it conveniently placed to help cool you down during your workout, although it’s worth having a read through the reviews to see what people think about its power.

Taking a look at the LCD screen, it’s clear that you have everything you would hope for if you wanted to track your workout results over a period of time.

The workout information fed back to you via the screen includes:

  • Time
  • Program name
  • Distance
  • RPM
  • Watts

  • Calories
  • Laps
  • Level
  • Incline
  • Pulse

Taking a quick look at the button functions, this is where there’s a big similarity with the E25.

You have the same controls for powering the fan, same control keys for adjusting the resistance and incline, and row of program buttons which includes Hill, Fat Burn, Strength, and Interval.

Being able to simply press a button and have your workout change certainly helps you make the most of your training time.

This is compared to some ellipticals and cross trainers that require you to navigate through several different menu screens before finally being able to start your workout.

Workout programs

10 workout programs to choose from, including interval and hill climb

One of the main drawbacks about buying an entry level elliptical is the lack of variety when it comes to preset training programs, with many machines offering no programs at all.

This isn’t the case with the Sole Fitness E35, which offers 5 preset, 2 heart rate controlled, and 2 user defined programs, where the preset programs have been custom designed to help you achieve specific fitness goals.

These 5 preset programs have been designed around the following 5 popular workouts:

  • HillAs the name suggests, the ‘Hill’ program is designed to simulate the feeling of running up and down a hill. The resistance increases towards the middle of your workout, then tapers off towards the end.
  • Fat burnSimilar to the ‘Strength’ program, but with a low level of sustained resistance at a set level. Although all programs will help you to burn fat, lower exertion rates have shown to be most efficient.
  • CardioSimilar to the interval program, ‘Cardio’ is designed to improve how efficiently your body processes oxygen to increase your endurance level.
  • StrengthDesigned to keep you working at a high resistance level for the majority of your workout, the Strength program increases muscular strength and tone in your lower body.
  • IntervalBased around the classic interval style of training, this program alternates between periods of high and low intensity, helping to increase your endurance and boost your cardiovascular system.

The 2 user defined programs allow you to enter basic personal information (age and weight), before setting the incline and resistance level for each stage of your workout.

This program is then stored against a specific ID (U1 or U2) for use in the future, with the age and weight input increasing the accuracy of the ‘calories burned’ feedback on the display.

Ease of assembly

The user manual for the Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical features a comprehensive list of assembly instructions

Due to the size and weight of the Sole Fitness E35 (215 lbs), you’ll probably find it useful to have someone assist you with the assembly.

As with other elliptical machines from Sole, the main flywheel casing and rear glide rails arrive already pre-assembled.

This saves you some time with the setup, and makes it much easier to complete the remaining steps with a solid base to build on.

In terms of the assembly instructions themselves, the user manual actually does a pretty good job of providing you with everything you might need, including a full parts checklist.

In all honesty the step-by-step walkthrough could certainly be improved by breaking the instructions out into smaller steps, and combining the pictures with a simplified text explanation.

As it is, the textual instructions are written as a single block on a different page to the actual exploded diagrams, which can make it difficult to follow when some of the steps reference dozens of parts.

That being said, the guide is fairly comprehensive in its explanation, and following the instructions provided has led to most people setting up the machine in less than 2 hours.

If you would like to see the quality of assembly instructions for yourself, as well as a detailed guide to the functions of the E35 elliptical, it’s worth having a read of the owner’s manual.

Unfortunately due to the fairly bulky size and weight of the machine, this isn’t one of those ellipticals that can easily be moved around once assembled.

Customer reviews

Despite having a slightly lower rating than the E95, the Sole Fitness E35 is currently the most popular machine in the range, with a high average rating from dozens of reviews submitted to online marketplaces such as Amazon.

In fact, it’s not just the quantity or average rating that makes the reviews so impressive, but the distribution of ratings within that average.

Whereas a lot of the fitness equipment we review tends to have a fairly even upwards trend towards the full 5 star rating, the vast majority of reviewers have rated the E35 at the full 5 stars.

But even after reading this review and hearing about how popular this elliptical is amongst home gym users, it can still be useful to find out why people have chosen to rate the machine the way they have.

That’s why we’ve put together a quick summary of the pros and cons that were mentioned most often in the online reviews.

If you have a question about the E35 that we haven’t answered, you can always ask current owners of the machine any questions you might have over on the Amazon website. This is where you’ll also find the full reviews that we used to compile the lists below.


  • Assembly tools provided
  • Smooth running motion
  • Multiple ergonomic grip position options
  • 2 sets of handles for whether you choose to isolate your lower body, or opt for a full body workout
  • Solid and stable base design prevents any unwanted movement at higher resistance levels and inclines
  • Not whisper quiet, but quiet enough to comfortably watch TV in the same room as your workout
  • Adjustable foot pedals allow you to find a position that best suits your natural running motion
  • Larger LCD screen than the earlier E25 design
  • Long stride length
  • Outstanding warranty duration
  • Excellent customer service
  • Customizable workout programs


  • The machine is heavier than most home ellipticals and can take several hours to put together
  • Cooling fan is too low powered to have much of an effect
  • Being quite heavy and bulky makes it difficult to move around after the initial setup

This isn’t so much of a con as it is a note to taller users (6ft+), but if you’re thinking about where to place the elliptical, try to choose a room with a high ceiling.

When you take into account your position on the foot pedals when set at the highest incline, and combine this with your height, you’re probably going to want to find a ceiling that’s at least 7ft 6ins high.

Warranty and maintenance

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Electronics and parts: 5 years

  • Labor: 2 years
  • Cosmetic items:* 90 days

* Grips, console overlays, labels, etc.

As with most cardio equipment, the warranty coverage listed above is only valid for the original owner. This essentially means that you won’t be covered if you buy a used machine.

In terms of the maintenance, there’s really not a great deal of effort required. Sole simply recommend wiping down the wheels, rails, and base frame after each workout, which is typical of any high quality piece of fitness equipment.

There’s also some useful diagnostic software built into the console to help test and resolve any issues that require troubleshooting.

Sole Fitness Elliptical Trainer Guide

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

4 / 5

If you were to make a list of all the features you need in a high quality elliptical, the Sole Fitness E35 should come close to ticking all the boxes.

You have the high number of resistance settings (20), range of power incline settings, longest stride length on any non-commercial machine, and foot pedals custom designed by Sole engineers to improve comfort.

In terms of differences between this machine and the top model in the range (E95), there really aren't too many. A higher weight limit and larger screen? Yes, but no additional workout programs and the stride length is exactly the same.

When you take into account the free shipping, lengthy warranty, and impressive review history, this is an elliptical that really does represent excellent value for money.

Product dimensions: 27" (W) x 58" (H) x 83" (L) Product weight: 215 lbs Weight limit: 375 lbs

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