My first treadmill was a ProForm that I bought used for $300 on eBay. I owned it for about a year and a half during which I broke the frame, had it re-welded, and then trashed the belt.
The second treadmill I bought was a Horizon T900 for which I paid $1000 new. I owned it for three and a half years during which I wore out bearings and cracked the running deck 4 times. Thankfully I bought the extended warranty, so they refunded my money for this treadmill.
I decided to buy a heavier duty treadmill. After reading reviews, I bought a Sole F85. It was delivered last Friday. The box weighed over 300 pounds! I unboxed it Saturday, and with the help of a couple friends, we managed to carry the heavy deck up the stairs to the room where I planned to have it set up. I am guessing the deck weighed over 200 pounds. And since it was so wide, we had to carry it turned on it’s side to fit up the stairs and through doorways. It took about an hour or two to put it together. I probably could have done it faster, but I was taking my time making sure I did everything right.
The first thing I can say about it is that it is very heavy and solidly built. I didn’t have time to run on it Saturday night, so my first run on it was Sunday morning. I wore the Sole heart rate monitor strap and started my run at about 7:30 pace. My heart rate quickly climbed up into the 190s which was ridiculously high for the pace. I paused the treadmill and rewetted the strap. This time my displayed heart rate stayed a little more reasonable. As I ran at a reasonably easy pace, my heart rate climbed into the mid-150s or over the 144-151 range I trying to run in. I bumped the speed down a 1/10th of a mile per hour, and my heart rate dropped down into the 130’s. I bumped the speed up a notch and my heart rate climbed into the 150s again. I have been training with a heart rate monitor for a long time, and found this very strange. So I pulled out my Polar HRM, and started using it. I found that the treadmill seemed to be picking up the signal from my Polar HRM strap. Cool! But I noticed that the treadmill heart rate display didn’t match the Polar watch display very closely. In fact, I have routinely seen it disagree with the Polar watch by 20 or 30 beats per minute higher or lower. That’s ridiculous!
Next, the built is fans are useless. If I stick my face right next to them, I might feel a little air. So I have a fan on the floor pointed up at me while I run.
When you start the treadmill or change the speed, the speed changes kind of on the slow side. It would be nice to be able to adjust this. It registers the speed/distance during this speed up differently my Horizon. On the Horizon, if I started the treadmill, and hit 10mph, it registered that I was running at 8mph (7:30 min/mile pace) even during the speed up and I would finish the first mile in 7:30. On the Sole, it will register the actual time/distance covered, so if I start the treadmill, and hit 8mph (7:30 pace), with the slow speed up, I might actually finish the first mile in 7:45. I kind of miss the ProForm which came up to speed pretty quickly. Surprisingly the cheaper ProForm had some great features that the more expensive treadmills don’t have.
If I pause the Sole F85 by hitting the stop button once, it’s supposed to pause for five minutes. But there have been a couple times when I have paused it, did a quick chore, and came back to find he treadmill had reset losing the time/distance I had run. I am almost certain I was away for less than five minutes. I used to do this on my Horizon with no issues. The Horizon would also pause for 5 minutes. Again, I miss the feature of the ProForm treadmill which would pause for much longer. It is possible I might have hit the stop button, and it registered two taps which will reset the treadmill. I don’t know. But I have lost my workout data a few times like this which is really annoying.
How to read Sole treadmill odometer: