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| Sole E35
Top Elliptical Trainers for 2012
Reports directly from our consumers to you!
|NEW! The Best Elliptical Machines Under $1000 for 2013
Our Choice: Sole E35 Best Value
Close second LIVESTRONG Fitness LS13.0E
December 18, 2012 Update: We purchased the Sole E35 on January 9, 2012 with free delivery. It came in a few days. We had the delivery guys bring it around the back and put it in our exercise room through a sliding door. Other places charge extra for inside delivery but the guys were very pleased with a $20 (two $10 bills) tip and thanked us over and over. We allowed several hours for assembly while watching sports on TV so we would not be rushed. It went together without a hitch but we are handy with tools. After eleven months of use about 20 times a month, we could not be happier with our choice.
The biggest surprise is how QUIET it is. We could barely hear our TV at full volume with our old treadmill while this is nearly silent while in use. You can workout while people sleep in other rooms and not have the machine wake them up. We also recommend a Pedestal Fan & an Equipment Mat. The only maintenance we do is dusting and towel cleaning of sweat. Occasionally we wipe it down with Lysol wipes to keep it fresh.
If the E35 is unavailable, then we would consider the new for 2013 Sole E25 and Sole E95.
That is the features are worth the extra money if they are what you are looking for but we will be happy enough with the E35. CostCo has the Xterra brand made by Dyaco which makes Sole. The models look similar but with slightly different flywheel weights and features at the price points. We would consider these if we could test them in a store to see if they fit our stride and CR tested one of the higher models. CR ranked the $600 Schwinn 420 higher than the $900 Xterra FS220e in Feb. 2011.
Some sites, like the "Treadmill Doctor" accused others of making recommendations for brands that give them large commissions to sell directly. They seem to only sell their "Treadmill Doctor Elliptical Installation and Assembly" as we couldn't find direct links to buy the treadmills they recommend other than links to Amazon.com similar to ours where you can buy anything Amazon offers. In the $1,000 to $1299 category, the Treadmill Doctor rated the Sole E35 as a "Best Buy runner up" behind Livestrong LS13.0E "by virtue of customer praise." In the $1300 to $1400 category, they gave the Sole E55 (not available in 2013) their best buy award.
So, now we are down to the Sole E95 and LiveStrong LS13.0E. Amazon offered an extra special $100 off for Sole's while LiveStrong was offering a free exercise mat and an added year to the warranty. The LS13.0 has a bit heavier flywheel and some features to use on the LiveStrong web site while the Sole machines are widely available so finding parts, if needed in years down the road, shouldn't be an issue. We're still leaning towards buying the E95 but have not made the decision yet. Also, we checked Consumerreports.org to see updated reviews and the Livestrong LS13.0E didn't get a "best buy" or "recommended" rating with a score of 62 compared to the Smooth CE3.6 score of 72. (For reference, The Sole E35 scored 78 in the Feb. 2011 issue.)
What is nice about Amazon.com (note 1) is FREE delivery. Some of these weigh well over 200 lbs so this saves money and your back! Some places will deliver to the curb for free, charge $50 to put it inside your house and up to $200 to bring it up stairs. Make sure you get this figured out BEFORE you order! If you have stairs to climb, consider "Treadmill Doctor Elliptical Installation and Assembly" for $199. It sounds like they will haul it up the stairs and assemble it for you for the same price some places charge to carry the box of parts up the stairs without assembly.
Brands: TOP OF PAGE
|Icon Health and
The original NordicTrack went bankrupt some
years ago and Icon bought the name. You can find
NordicTrack at Sears. Icon also builds Epic (sold at Costco to make
it appear they are not heavily discounting the Reebok
(Sold at Sears and Sports Authority), Reebok (sold at Costco) and Schwinn elliptical
trainers. Icon products are also found at
Wal-Mart and Dicks Sporting
Goods. Most elliptical review sites say
they create "innovative products with numerous
bells and whistles" but their shortfalls (in both
elliptical trainers and treadmills) are quality
components. Buying an extended warranty is a
good idea if you plan on heavy use. The better
brands offer 3 to 10 years on parts. Our top
EFX 5.33 offers lifetime on
frame and welds with 10 years on "parts and wear
items" with one year on labor. If you look
closely, some of the Schwinn models (Schwinn 431 and
Schwinn 460) only offer 90 days parts for wear on
parts. Your shoes might last longer running on
Precor was established in 1980. It is the most expensive brand but we feel you get what you pay for. "Precor has distinguished itself as a worldwide industry leader, providing state-of-the-art fitness equipment to health clubs, hotels, spas, fitness centers, and private homes all over the world. The company is proud of their hard-won reputation for producing fitness equipment that's easy for people of all abilities to use and durable enough to withstand years of use. The same experience and commitment to quality that goes into all of their commercial equipment also goes into the creation and manufacture of our home models."
Sole, Xterra and Esprit/Spirit are all made in China by the same parent company--Dyaco in headquartered in Taiwan with a US office in Jonesboro AR. Sole is mainly sold online and at Sears and Dicks Sporting Goods. Xterra has a different dealer network including some of the warehouse stores like Costco. Esprit and Xterra both have models similar to the Sole E35.
Sole E35 Elliptical Before $1999.99 Now $1299.99 - "Best Buy" for quality and value. (Free Shipping no Sales Tax!)
Note 1: If you find our reviews helpful and decide to buy from Amazon.com, then please use our product links so we get a commission..
Note 2: We were so impressed with our Sole E35 after almost a year of daily use that we applied to be an affiliate to sell direct with a higher commission that Amazon.com pays us so please use our links if you find our advice helpful.
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