The Sole E95 Elliptical Trainer is a front drive elliptical trainer with a generous 20″ stride length that uses an eddy current brake. These are features that are not always found in the $1000-$2000 price range for residential elliptical trainers. In addition, Sole has paid a lot of attention to biomechanics and ergonomic design with the E95. Oversize adjustable foot pedals that also include foam cushioning is a very commendable effort by a fitness equipment manufacturer to deal head on with foot numbness that is all too common with most elliptical trainers.
This is a very intelligently designed elliptical trainer that provides a very smooth motion. The smooth feel is due to the 30lb flywheel and high gearing ratio. Sole Fitness designs their equipment, ellipticals and treadmills, with the partnering of both design engineers and physical therapists. This collaboration has resulted in an elliptical trainer that approaches perfection in the Sole E95 elliptical trainer.
The physical therapy team contributed to the unique design of the ergonomic foot pedals and the cushioning is a direct acknowledgment of the aggravating “Elliptical Trainer Sleepy Foot Syndrome”.
The engineering side of the house has designed an intoxicatingly smooth, whisper-quiet, drive mechanism that’s proving to be very durable. The 4-wheeled foot rails are shrouded with plastic housings that both protect the wheels and reduce noise. Other manufacturers of front-drive ellipticals should take notice (hint to Octane).
Early front-drive elliptical trainer designs were prone to breakdowns due to the additional complexity of putting the drive system up front. They were also notorious for annoying squeaks from the wheels of the foot rails. However, as is typical with any kind of technology, as time advances, and so does the state of the art.
Sole appears to have taken the front-drive elliptical design to new heights. When all is said and done, there are several inherent advantages to a front-drive elliptical trainer. One of the immediate bonuses is an extended stride length due to the rail system. This is evident in the 20″ stride length of the Sole E95. You would have to invest considerably more in a near-commercial grade rear-drive elliptical trainer to get an equivalent stride length.
And let’s not forgot an often overlooked, but really neat benefit of a front-drive elliptical: the ability to get on and off it from the rear. No more having to awkwardly straddle the foot rails to get on like when using a rear-drive elliptical!
It also can’t go without mentioning the very generous warranty terms provided by Sole on the E95: lifetime frame, 5 years parts and electronics, and 2 years on labor. Most other manufacturers aren’t as generous (or as confident in their products). Just be aware that the E95 takes up some space with its 82″x33″ footprint, so plan and measure accordingly, but if you have the space, then I think you’ll be very pleased for years to come with the Sole E95 elliptical trainer.