With a running area size more suited to commercial club-quality machines, the Sole Fitness S77 Non-Folding Treadmill has a number of features that make it the ideal choice for serious and casual runners alike.
It’s these design features that we take a closer look at in our review, including the Cushion Flex running deck system, preset workout programs, display console functions, and a quick check on the quality of the assembly instructions.
Before we go into a bit more detail on the display console functions and workout programs, we first wanted to take a closer look at the overall design of the Sole Fitness S77.
Although this does mean you need to allocate the machine a permanent placement in your home, it’s actually what Precor have done with their entire range of treadmills, all of which have proven incredibly popular.
With a maximum 15% incline setting and impressive 400 lb weight capacity, we were hoping for a fairly powerful motor to be able to maintain the high belt speeds under this amount of pressure.
At 3.5 CHP we weren’t disappointed, as this marks one of the most powerful classifications of treadmill motor you will find outside of a high-end commercial gym.
The running surface too is an incredibly important design feature to get right, particularly if you intend for the treadmill to cater for users exceeding 6ft in height.
Again Sole have got it right with the S77, with a running surface that measures 22 inches wide by 60 inches long.
Although we’ve come across one or two machines that offer a couple of extra inches on the length, this is really the best you can expect to find without paying $10,000+.
This is in fact the largest running deck that Sole and many other fitness companies produce, regardless of the price.
One final feature we wanted to mention was the whisper-quiet Cushion Flex system, integrated inside the running deck. This greatly reduces the impact to your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and spine, making it comfortable for frequent runners.
Sole Fitness S77 Non-Folding Treadmill – Features Summary
- Non-folding treadmill with 3.5-horsepower continuous-duty motor
- Vibrant 9-inch LCD display with integrated speakers, cooling fan and audio cable
- 6 standard workouts, 2 custom workouts, and 2 HR-controlled workouts
- Cushion Flex shock-absorption system
- Large 22-by-60-inch running surface
- Speed: 0.5 to 12 miles per hour
- Incline: 15 percent maximum, rack-and-pinion gear design
- Belt: Double-woven 2 ply
- Rollers: 2-3/4 inches
- Heart rate control: Yes, with wireless chest strap
Display console design
Although not quite as important as the range of incline or speed settings, having a fully functioning display console can certainly help make your workouts more enjoyable.
This is why the Sole Fitness S77 has included all the major entertainment options we had hoped for, with the exception of a storage shelf for a tablet.
Having a place to hold your tablet so that you can watch movies while you workout is generally considered as more of a nice-to-have, with many companies only just introducing them to their latest range of fitness equipment.
Instead, the S77 provides you with an audio jack for connecting your MP3 player or smart phone, headphone jack for listening to the music via headphones, and even a set of speakers if you find the headphones restrict your movement too much when running.
Moving away from entertainment options and more towards functionality, Sole have also built cooling fans into the top of the console. Although this may not seem like much, keeping cool while you workout has been shown to improve your performance and allow you to run for longer.
But apart from the entertainment and cooling options, what does the Sole Fitness S77 display console have to offer in terms of workout functions?
Despite not having a foldable running deck, you can still increase its incline through a full 15 degrees. This can be made easier thanks to the set of quick-select buttons that have been added to either side of the screen.
By pressing either the quick-select incline or quick-select speed, the running belt will automatically adjust to your chosen setting. This improves th efficiency of your workouts and means you don’t have to worry about holding down the ‘up’ and ‘down’ buttons that take much longer due to the smaller adjustment increments.
The final feature of the console we wanted to look at was the 9″ LCD display screen. Keeping up to date with your current workout stats is crucial for making sure you’re on track to beat your previous workout, which is a key part of progressively improving your personal fitness.
The screen itself can display the following information:
- 1/4 mile track
- Heart rate
- Calories burned
- Current workout program
Preset workout programs
If you prefer not to just jump on the treadmill and start a workout without worrying about adjusting the resistance yourself, preset workout programs are an important option to have.
The Sole Fitness S77 has 10 of these programs built-in to the console, each designed to help you achieve a specific fitness goal.
These can be broken down into 4 main categories; manual, preset profiles, used defined, and heart rate controlled.
If you want to follow a specific routine that’s already been created for you, the preset profiles are the ones that will provide the most benefits to your training.
5 Preset Programs:
As the name suggests, this simply simulates the feeling of running up and down a hill by varying the incline of the treadmill deck.
- Fat Burn
Specifically designed by Sole Fitness to maximise the burning of fat, this program builds up to a set level of speed or incline (ideally keeping your heart rate at 60% to 70% of your maximum), then maintains a steady pace until the end of the workout.
This is a program that has been created to increase cardiovascular endurance by creating and maintaining a higher level of intensity using a combination of running belt speed and incline.
Similar to the Cardio program in the sense that it very quickly builds up to a high level of intensity, the Strength program differs by actually keeping you there, rather than including slight fluctuations in work.
This helps to build and tone the muscle in your lower body.
You’ve probably already come across this type of workout before due to its popularity, but essentially the Interval program will switch between periods of low and high workout intensity.
This works on the principle of depleting then replenishing oxygen stores so that you can recover quicker after periods of cardiovascular exercise.
The S77 also includes two heart-rate-controlled workout options, whereby the treadmill will display a heart rate zone graph on the console while adjusting the incline to keep you in your target zone.
Ease of assembly
Due to the simplicity of the design, and the fact that the entire treadmill deck has already been pre-assembled for you prior to delivery, there’s actually very little involved in completing the setup for the Sole Fitness S77.
With the running deck being responsible for most of the weight, you might find it useful to have an extra pair of hands available to get this part positioned where you need it, particularly if it’s being carried up or down stairs.
With the running deck in place, all that’s needed is to attach the uprights, connect the display console, and attach a couple of minor pieces, like the end caps and accessory tray.
If you can get the running deck to the position where you intend to use the treadmill, and have all the parts unpacked in front of you, the assembly can be completed in less than 45 minutes.
This is also thanks to the well documented assembly instructions, which use a combination of diagrams, part lists, and textual explanations, and can be found inside the user manual.
Our review wouldn’t be complete unless we took a quick look at the existing customer reviews that have been left on trusted ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon and Ebay.
The only issue with researching reviews this way is that if a product happens to be sold by multiple vendors, builds up a large collection of reviews with one vendor, then they stop selling the item, then those reviews can be lost.
Fortunately, we were able to find a good collection of high quality reviews that were extremely detailed regarding their experience with the Sole Fitness S77 and the various delivery companies.
For the purpose of this review, we gathered the following pros and cons from these reviews based purely on the treadmill’s performance, not on any delivery issues.
- Large running area to cater for the full running stride of taller users
- Powerful motor means adjustments in speed are felt in the treadmill belt sooner
- Large display console with plenty of room for water bottle, MP3 player, etc.
- Large, backlit display screen ensures your workout information remains visible even in low light or under glare
- The heavy weight of the machine can make it difficult to move, but does help keep the machine sturdy and prevent any unwanted movement when running
- Audio jack for connecting your MP3 player or smartphone
- Wide range of workout programs to suit different fitness goals
- Custom workout programs available, which are preserved between sessions
- Speed and incline adjustment buttons also available on the hand rails
- Dual cooling fans tend to be relatively low powered
- Lower storage tray isn’t particularly easy to get to when running
- Distance displayed on the LCD screen is limited to displaying 2 numbers
What’s included with the warranty?
- Frame, motor, and deck: Lifetime
- Electronics: 5 years
- Labor: 2 years