The Sole E20 is an entry level elliptical by Sole Fitness. Every fitness equipment company has this type of machine in their range. On my first impression I can see that the console is more basic than other Sole ellipticals. Also that the maximum user weight is lowered.
A feature that I am impressed with for an entry level machine is that it has a powered incline and stride. Varying stride lengths is very beneficial for toning the leg, hips and buttocks and is unusual to see in an elliptical of this class.
The console is basic but it does the job you need it to do quite adequately. For this reason it gets an average rating of 3 stars. You still get in built speakers and a headphone jack. Also you have a workout fan. It has the smallest display out of all the Sole ellipticals but you do get the workout information you need.
All the functions can only be controlled from the console so there are no thumb control handlebars. There is a heart rate sensor in the handlebars but this is never too accurate (all ellipticals are like this). For accuracy you need a heart rate chest strap and on isn't included with the E20. It does have the ability to read one if you own or choose to buy one instead.
The E20 has the same programs that all Sole ellipticals have. They're ok and you get a nice range of them. I think they deserve an average 3 star score and that's what all Sole ellipticals I've reviewed get. It's a shame a heart rate chest strap is not included because without one the heart rate programs are useless. Even the product manual alludes to this.
The programs are chosen from the console and you're given a pictorial representation of the workout you're about to do. The resistance and incline change according to what you've chosen. Of course if you want to just get on and go then you can by pressing start and change the levels yourself. As you exercise the wattage (work rate) shown will increase.
Because you have both incline and resistance there are many varying ways you can get a good workout from the E20. That and the speed you go at all play a part in how effective your workout will be. You need to choose a program based on what you want to achieve. Whether that's losing weight a strength based program or more. I personally recommend varying your workouts to maximize results.
There are various technology Sole have applied to their ellipticals and that goes for the E20 too. They have custom designed and articulating foot pedals. When you exercise on a Sole elliptical you do find that it is a natural motion for the legs but then I feel that with all ellipticals I've used, Sole or not. Sole say it's unique though.
The workout fan is a bit small but you can just about feel a slight breeze on you as you exercise. If you tend to go at your exercise routine quite hard then this may not be enough. You may want to buy an electric fan in addition to the Sole fan. There is of course a water bottle holder so you can hydrate yourself as you go.
The flywheel is heavy at 21 lbs. This doesn't mean it's hard to exercise because that depends on the resistance and incline. A heavy flywheel means a very smooth ride. The weight combined with the gear ratio makes for an even better stride. The video to the right shows how a Sole elliptical looks when they're being ridden and I'm sure you'll agree it's impressive.
Max user weight
The maximum user weight is 325 lbs or 147 kg. This is about the average I have seen on reviewing many ellipticals. I think it's ok. People buying I'm sure will weigh far less but I like this figure to be influential on how sturdy the elliptical is. This is more than acceptable so it get's an average 3 star score.
The warranty is lifetime for the frame, 3 years parts and electronics, and 1 year labor. You can do a lot better so it only gets 3 stars. However for the price to get 1 year labor is very good. Like with the maximum user weight the warranty is important indicator to how long the manufacturer thinks their equipment will last.
At the time of writing the E20 is $799.99. This is good value for what you get and so I give it 4 stars. This is equalled the lowest price I have reviewed on this site and I would not go any lower. I just wanted to review the whole of the Sole ellipticals because they have some excellent products available.
The advantage of this elliptical is the warranty and that it's made by Sole Fitness. My advice is however to save your money and go for a better elliptical. Always pay at least $1,000 if you can. That way you get a descent piece of equipment that will serve you well and last. The other Sole ellipticals are all well worth buying.
So if you have only $800 to spend then is the E20 worth it? This is equalled the cheapest I've reviewed that's available in the US. I wouldn't buy it, it felt ok but it may not last as long as a more expensive home elliptical. You shouldn't scrimp when it comes to a piece of home equipment that you could use a lot. Your health and fitness is worth a better investment than the E20.
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