Sole E25 Elliptical Review – 2020

Kristen (Kacey) NelsonKristen (Kacey) Nelson

Last Updated: October 20, 2020
Sole E25 Elliptical Review 2020

The Sole E25 Elliptical is an affordable, quiet elliptical that will suit the budget and needs of most users. The E25 is a front-drive elliptical with a 20 pound flywheel at the base of the handlebars. The pedals offer a 20” stride length and there are 20 incline and 20 resistance levels. Ellipticals are a good way to get a low-impact workout that targets all your major muscle groups in your legs, chest, back and arms. The smooth forward/back motion of the pedals reduces joint impact and the fluid motion of the synchronized handles and pedals reduces strain on the elbows, shoulders, knees and hips. The Sole E25 is covered by Sole’s impressive lifetime warranty on the frame, with five years coverage on the motor. It is also backed by Sole’s exceptional reputation for quality products and design. The E25 is priced under $1000 making it an affordable option for an in-home full body trainer.

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Who it’s For: Users who want the best combination of price and quality on a quiet front-drive elliptical

The Sole E25 is good for users who are looking for:

  • A solid machine that works all your major muscle groups
  • Low impact training that can be done at home
  • Something that doesn’t require the internet to use
  • An elliptical that can be placed in a garage or basement since it doesn’t need wifi
  • Cushioned pedals that glide smoothly
  • An elliptical priced under $1000
  • Something with a tablet holder so you watch/read your personal device while working out
Pros
  • Affordable full body workout
  • Doesn’t require internet
  • LCD screen is simple and easy to use
  • Chest strap included for accurate HR training
  • Power incline with 20 levels
  • Cushioned pedals are adjustable
  • Resistance is silent so you can use the E25 at any time
  • Extras included a tablet holder, Bluetooth audio, USB charging port, fans and water bottle holder
Cons
  • Has a good sized footprint and does not fold up
  • Stride length cannot be shortened less than 20”
  • No subscription content or app programs play on the console

FeaturesSpecifications
  • Console is syncs with included HR Chest Strap
    • The included chest strap will sync with the console to provide a real-time metric readout of your heart rate
    • Heart Rate training programs built into the program for customized training.
  • Tablet/Phone Holder mounted on top of console
    • In addition to the LCD screen, there is a tablet holder at the top of the console which will hold personal devices securely. You can read/watch while you workout without blocking the screen.
  • USB Port on side of Console
    • If you plan to use a tablet during your workout, you can keep it charged via the USB port on the side.
  • Preloaded programs do not require a subscription
    • There are 6 Standard Programs, 2 Custom Programs, and 2 Heart Programs built into the console. These do not require internet or a fee to access.
  • Step Up Height: 14”
    • The step up height is the distance of the lowest pedal from the floor. This is a higher step-up height than on a treadmill. 14” is just over a foot high, so users must be able to lift their knee and place their foot up on the pedal to get on the machine.
  • Lifetime Frame Warranty
    • The lifetime warranty on the E25 frame reinforces the fact that this is a quality machine. You also get a 3 year warranty on electronics and parts.

Construction:

  • Height: 71″
  • Item Weight: 212 lbs.
  • Length: 70″
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs.
  • Width: 24″
  • Step Up Height: 14”

Controls & Features:

  • Bluetooth Speaker: Yes
  • Tablet/Phone Holder: Yes
  • USB Port Charging: Yes
  • Bluetooth Compatible: Yes
  • Standard Programs: 6
  • Custom Programs: 2
  • Heart Programs: 2
  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Pulse Grips & Chest Strap Compatible
  • Chest Strap Included: Yes
  • Cooling Fans: Yes
  • Sound System: Yes
  • Workout Display: 6.5″ LCD
  • Display Color: White Back-lit
  • Water Bottle Holder: Yes
  • Flywheel Weight(lbs.): 20 lbs.
  • Cushioned Foot-pedals: Yes
  • Incline Adjustability: Power Adjustable
  • Drive System: Front
  • Incline Level: 1 – 20
  • Maximum Stride Length: 20″
  • Adjustable Console: Yes
  • Resistance: Magnetically generated

Warranty:

  • Lifetime Frame
  • 3 Years Electronics
  • 3 Years Parts
  • 1 Year Labor

Summary

The Sole E25 is a great elliptical at an excellent price. It has an impressive 350 pound weight capacity. Ellipticals are an excellent way to gain cardiovascular conditioning and full body muscle strengthening while staying low impact for comfort. The E25 has a 20” stride length and comes with 10 preloaded programs. The motion between handles and pedals is synchronized for fluid movement. This is a good elliptical for home use that doesn’t rock when in use.

Sole E25 Elliptical

In-depth Review of Sole E25 Elliptical


Construction

Frame

This elliptical has a solid steel frame with a protective overlay over the hinged areas. There is a weighted rear stabilizer that holds the frame securely on the floor. The frame is powder coated to resist rust and dents. This is a large front-drive system so the flywheel is under the console with the pedals extended behind. The E25 has three supporting stabilizers, with one at the front, center and rear of the machine. Each stabilizer beam has leveling feet beneath it and extends laterally to keep the E25 centered on your floor which prevents rocking and wobble side to side. The frame takes a bit of space on your floor; it doesn’t fold up and is not designed to be moved often. A steel bar on the base of the pedal track allows the elliptical to be lifted and rolled gently but we recommend placing the E25 where you plan to use it. A flat carpeted or hard floor with a mat underneath is recommended.

Since the handlebars are directly connected to the foot pedals, there is a fluid motion between hands and feet. Also, there are two sets of handles: the rotating upright handlebars and a pair of station handles that are attached to the machine. The stationary handlebars provide a solid hand-hold so you can safely step on and off the machine.

Pedals

The E25 foot pedals are cushioned and oversized with a textured surface to keep your foot from slipping. The pedals use a durable foam cushioning and have a slight inward slope which reduces ankle and knee stress common on other ellipticals. There is a dial on the back of the pedal so users can adjust the angle of the pedal to eliminate the issue of numb toes which often happens while using an elliptical.

A contoured ridge around the front of the pedal keeps your foot from slipping off. These pedals will work with any athletic shoe. Since there isn’t a ridge around the backside of the pedal, you can hover your foot off the back edge for a change of body position. I didn’t find my foot slid forward or back — unless I moved it intentionally — so the pedals provide good traction and feel cushioned.

Stride Length: 20”
The 20” stride length is sufficient for most people and this is one of the reasons the E25 is one of Sole’s most popular models. If you are significantly taller or shorter than average, then an adjustable stride length may be necessary, but if not, the 20” on the E25 works well for most people. If adjustable stride length is something you value, take a look at the E95 elliptical as it offers that feature. We are of the opinion that it’s not necessary to pay for a feature you won’t use — so while adjustable stride length is a handy feature, it may not be necessary for everyone.

Handles

As mentioned above, the E25 has both stationary handlebars and multi-position moving handlebars that move in line with the pedals. The stationary handlebars are attached firmly to the frame. These provide a safe hand position when getting on or off the elliptical. Ellipticals that do not have stationary handlebars can be difficult to get on and off safely since the pedals on an elliptical shift when you stand on them. The stationary bars sit below the console and are attached to the main frame. The upright handlebars angle upwards in front of the machine and rotate back and forth.

The raised handlebars move in line with the pedals and allow for a full body workout on the E25. The custom molded hand grips provide a comfortable feel. The inclusion of upper body exercise provides a full body workout on the E25. The rotating handlebars also include adjustment buttons so you can control your resistance and incline without having to remove your hands from the handlebars. This is very helpful. These are placed at what would usually be thumb height on the outside of the vertical grip. We love the addition of these control buttons.

Incline: 20 Levels

The E25 has 20 levels of incline and 20 levels of resistance. The combination of incline and resistance makes the E25 a challenging but low impact workout machine. When you change incline, you are able to target different muscle groups for more specified training. Inclining targets the posterior muscle groups that include the glutes, hamstrings, calves and inner thighs. Bringing the E25 to a level plane without incline targets the anterior muscles of quadriceps, tibialis anterior and the supportive network of muscles and tendons that encloses the knee. This makes it so you can target different muscles while performing the same motion.

If you choose to run one of the preloaded programs, the incline is automated so the machine will adjust for you. This allows users to keep their hands on the handles at all times. You can also run the elliptical in manual mode where you control the incline.

Resistance: 20 Levels

The E25 uses magnetic resistance that is virtually silent so you can use this machine in a family room or other shared space. Magnetic resistance is created by magnets that oppose the motion of the flywheel. This makes the pedals harder to push and the handles harder to pull. There are no contact points with magnetic resistance, which allows it to be silent regardless of what level of incline you are on.

Occasionally we heard a noise under the pedal tracks as we used the elliptical, but this was due to the E25 shifting slightly at high resistance. When we placed a mat under the E25 this noise stopped. The eddy current resistance makes no noise in and of itself. The pedals will also move in both forward and reverse motion which again targets your leg muscles in a different pattern.

Console/Controls

Screen

6.5” LCD Screen
This screen is white backlit and maintains much of the functionality found on the more expensive models, just on a smaller screen. The console includes a built-in cooling fan, speakers, tablet holder and water bottle holder. There is an AUX-in port so you can connect your phone to the console to play your music through the speakers. Like Sole’s other ellipticals, the E25 has 10 preloaded workout programs in the console. These do not require a subscription or internet connection. There is also a USB port on the side of the console to charge devices while you workout.

Console Layout

The color LCD screen sits in the center of the console for easy visibility. There is a wide ledge below the screen where you can set a phone or tablet. Setting a large device here may block the screen but the functionality of the screen is not affected. The entire console tilts upward so you can adjust the screen for visibility. At the top of the console there are two speakers and a fan. The fan is placed a bit high, and it isn’t the most powerful workout fan. Honestly, it really doesn’t provide much air flow. But the speakers work fine. Since there is no audio included on any of the preloaded workout programs, the speakers are only present to allow you to play your personal music through the console. We tested this with an iPhone (and dongle) and it works fine. You can also plug an iPad or other tablet into the AUX port to get volume through the speakers if you are listening to a book on tape or watching a program.

The main control panel allows users to select a program and input user data. Two large buttons on either side adjust incline and resistance levels. There is also an AUX input port so you can plug your phone in and play your music through the console speakers if desired. A headphone jack is present for outgoing volume. The console is also Bluetooth enabled so you can sync your phone via Bluetooth as well. The E25 console has a built-in USB port on the side which allows you to charge devices while working out. If you plan to watch Netflix on your tablet, you can plug it in to the USB port so it stays charged throughout your workout.

Sole machines well-built, but the tech is usually quite simple. The E25 has large buttons that are easy to see and press so this is a great machine for users who want functional simplicity. However, the E25 does not have a color touchscreen, subscription options or video programs you can download. If you are a user looking for updated tech on the console with classes and routes that are regularly updated and possibly even live — you’ll have to shop elsewhere. The E25 is built for those who just want to get on and go without the hassle of downloading programs, waiting for videos to buffer or worrying about internet connection. The E25 does require power from a wall outlet – but this is all you need to get going.

Console Features

Fans
As we mentioned above, there is a fan, but we wouldn’t recommend relying on this for much air flow though. If you enjoy a cool breeze while working out, you’ll do better with a standing fan placed near the machine.

Tablet Holder
Sole includes an integrated tablet holder at the top of the console which will hold most devices securely. The tablet holder has an adjustable clip so it should hold different sized devices securely. The addition of a tablet holder is especially helpful since the console itself doesn’t use WiFi. You can watch your favorite show or read a book on your personal device while you workout without having to navigate a touchscreen console.

Bluetooth
The E25 is Bluetooth enabled so you can sync your phone with the machine and play music through the speakers. You can also sync your personal chest strap or the one included from Sole to get real time heart rate readings on the screen. Heart rate is a metric that will be displayed right on the screen so if you are wearing a chest strap, you get real-time heart rate data as you workout.

The E25 will not sync via Bluetooth with wireless headphones. However, since no audio is included with any of the programs, this wouldn’t be necessary anyway.

USB Port
There is a USB port on the side of the console so you can charge your personal device while on the E25.

Noise Level

Since the E25 uses silent magnetic resistance, the machine is very quiet when in use. The pedals glide and handles are attached in such a way that you can exercise without disturbing those around you. In fact, we were able to use this machine in a room where others didn’t even realize we were using it! The motor makes a bit of noise when inclining or declining, but this is subtle and limited to those times when you are adjusting the tilt. In general, this is a machine you can use in shared spaces. While it does take a bit of space, it won’t disturb those around you.

Storage / Folding

Like most ellipticals, the E25 does require a bit of space, so make sure you have enough room before purchasing this machine. The E25 does not fold. There are wheels on the front stabilizer and a steel bar at the base so it can be lifted and rolled when needed. We do recommend having two people or at least one strong person lift and roll the machine. The E25 weighs 261 pounds, so it is large and difficult to lift. We don’t recommend moving it often.

10 Preloaded workouts

Pre-programmed workouts

There are 6 pre programmed workouts on the E25 elliptical that will guide you through various intensities and resistance. These include:

  • 6 Standard Programs
  • 2 Custom Programs
  • 2 Heart Programs

No Subscription Content

The E25 is designed to be fully inclusive so it does not rely on the internet or an ongoing subscription model for classes and videos. The 10 preloaded programs are the same each time you use them, so users always know what to expect. The E25 does not require an internet connection to operate. The screen is relatively simple compared to other fitness equipment. If you are looking for a quiet elliptical that has simple, understandable programs that don’t require the internet, then this is a good option for you.

Sole E25 Elliptical

Bottom Line:

The Sole E25 elliptical is an affordable, quiet treadmill that provides a smooth, low-impact workout for multiple muscle systems. Sole has included a HR chest strap with this machine and two heart rate specific programs for those who want targeted training. There are also 20 incline and resistance levels. The fluid motion between the handles and pedals makes the E25 easy to use. We also appreciate the addition of stationary handles that attach to the console which makes it easy to get on and off the machine. The E25 has a 350 pound weight capacity so it will support most users. There is a 14” step up height, which can require users to lift the leg up and place their foot on the pedal to begin. Getting on and off an elliptical is slightly more challenging than getting on and off a treadmill — but you have the advantage of low-impact training since the pedals hover slightly above the floor. We recommend users with balance issues test out an elliptical first before purchasing one, just to make sure you have the ability safely get on and off.
Ellipticals are large machines and since this is a front-drive system, it is not compact. The E25 does not fold and can only be lifted and rolled when needed — although this requires a bit of strength. We recommend having at least two people on hand to help move and/or assemble it. However, once assembled and placed in your home, this is a great machine that will provide good training and exercise for users of all sizes and abilities.

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