Compared to the earlier F63 design, the Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill offers a range of improvements that put it much closer to the F85, in terms of the running area, screen size, and weight limit.
This product article takes an in-depth look at the design and safety features, as well as the workout programs, assembly instructions, and customer reviews.
Although treadmills are generally considered one of the largest items of fitness equipment you can use in your home, they are also one of the most effective.
To ensure you can experience effective cardio workouts without worrying about the space it takes up when not in use, the Sole Fitness F80 features a foldable running deck, which is surprisingly easy to raise and lower when needed.
Another important feature to consider when buying a new treadmill is the size of the running deck.
To reduce the space taken up when not in use, the F80 features a patented all gear rack and pinion system with a Safety Lock Deck.
The Easy Assist Folding Deck Design, allows you to release the deck, step back, and the deck will unfold itself silently until it’s resting securely on the floor.
Another important feature of the F80 is the cushion flex whisper deck, designed to provide a comfortable, quiet workout while reducing impact by up to 40%.
In terms of the motor, all Sole treadmills feature the heaviest duty chassis and motors in their class. In this case that results in an impressive 3.5 CHP, which is a 0.5 CHP improvement over the earlier F63 model.
One of the most important areas of design with any piece of fitness equipment you use at home is safety, which is why the Sole Fitness F80 provides you with 3 main safety features; the hand rails, emergency stop button, and safety clip.
While the hand rails and emergency stop button are excellent for if you need to suddenly stop your workout, the safety clip has been added as more of an emergency safety measure.
With one end attached to your clothes and the other to the display console, if you do happen to fall on the running belt this will detach and cause the running belt to very quickly come to a complete stop.
Ease of assembly
A common misconception about treadmills is that because they are one of the larger types of fitness machine available, this means there are more parts and more assembly needed than equipment such as exercise bikes.
In fact the opposite is often true, which happens to be the case with the Sole Fitness F80, with the entire assembly being covered in just 8 simple steps.
With the majority of these steps relating to how to attach the display console, this leaves very little in the way of heavy lifting once you have the main running deck out of the box.
With the running deck laying flat on the ground, following the steps provided in the user manual is made much simpler thanks to the combination of exploded drawings, textual explanations, and a detailed parts list. This helps to make the full assembly possible in less than 30 minutes.
Sole Fitness F80 – Features Summary
- Cushion Flex Whisper Deck, shown to reduce impact on your joints by up to 40% compared to running on asphalt
- 3.5 CHP, DC Type motor
- 0.5 to 12 MPH speed range
- 0 to 15% incline
- Two-ply belt
- Pulse grip and chest strap heart rate monitoring
- 6 standard programs, 2 custom programs, and 2 heart programs
- Cooling fans and MP3-compatible sound system
- 7.5-inch LCD workout display
- Running surface measures 22 by 60 inches (W x D)
- 2.75-inch rollers
If you are thinking about buying a new treadmill, one of the questions that will probably be near the top of your list of things to check is the quantity and variety of workout programs available.
The Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill provides a range of options, from specially designed programs for targetting fat loss, to programs that are better for increasing your overall cardiovascular fitness.
These programs can be broken down into 7 main types; hill, fat burn, cardio, strength, interval, user defined, and heart rate controlled.
Display console design
Aside from the main size of the running deck and quality of the cushioning system, one of the most important design features of any treadmill is the display console.
This is where you will have the most interaction with the machine, using the buttons to change the resistance and incline settings and keeping track of your workout information on the screen.
The Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill manages to provide all the features you would expect from a high quality treadmill, without making the console feel too cluttered.
As well as the quick change incline and speed buttons on the hand rails, the main console provides a selection of preset options to quickly change between different settings, making it ideal for anyone that enjoys interval training.
The cooling fans above the main display screen help to keep you cool during your workouts, while the built in speakers let you listen to your favourite music to help keep you motivated throughout your workout.
Tracking your workouts with the dot matrix display
With the wide range of quick select speed and incline options, and the large 7.5 inch display screen, the Sole Fitness F80 is widely recognised as having one of the best display consoles of any treadmill currently available.
Rather than simply displaying important workout information on a small screen like many designs, having the 7.5 inch screen size creates plenty of room to allocate each measurement its own screen space, making the information much clearer to read.
As well as the standard measurements such as speed, time, heart rate, and calories burned, there is also a large area of the screen dedicated to displaying your current workout progress, peak and Valley graph, and even ¼ mile virtual running track.
The console also has built in speakers which allow you to hook up any MP3 player to listen to your favourite playlist during your workout.
User weight limit
20″ x 60″
22″ x 60″
22″ x 60″
Although we’ve talked about the design and workout options for the Sole Fitness F80, an important part of researching fitness equipment before buying is to read through the customer reviews.
While we would still recommend reading through the 50+ that are available on Amazon to get a well rounded impression, we’ve also summarised the most frequently mentioned pros and cons and listed them below.
- Simple assembly, possible in under an hour
- Reasonably quiet to use even at full speed
- Great customer service
- The Sole has comparable options to the LifeSpan but with considerably more power
- No shaking or rattling of parts. A very solid design.
- The wide belt allows for a more natural stride
- Plenty of storage for water bottles, MP3 players etc.
- Heavy to move into place, so may require 2 people to assemble
- Slower transitions when switching speeds compared to some treadmills
- Distance only registered to one decimal place
- Heart rate hand sensors built into the display are slightly low for people over 5′ 10″. Heart rate chest strap is recommended for taller users.
What’s included in the warranty?
- Frame, motor, and deck: Lifetime.
- Electronics: Five years.
- Labor: Two years.