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Best Ellipticals Under $1,500

Sole E55 Elliptical Rating

Features
Display Console
Durability
Customer Service
Overall Rating

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Sole E55 Elliptical Detailed Overview

Compact but capable, the Sole E55 Elliptical is ideal for shoppers with small workout areas and rather high standards. The new model has the smallest footprint of any Sole elliptical trainer (27″ x 71″) yet has a high weight capacity of 375 pounds. It’s equipped with many of Sole’s best performance components for home ellipticals too, and digital upgrades include an improved display screen with adjustable angle, a Bluetooth connection for using the Sole Fitness App, an integrated tablet holder, Bluetooth audio speakers, and a USB charging port. Most importantly, like all Sole ellipticals the E55 has excellent ergonomics from the pedals to the arm bars. For extra motivation the E55 has music speakers and a secure tablet computer holder, and to help with comfort it has personal cooling fans and a water bottle holder. The online sale price of $1,499 ($2,599 MSRP) offers an excellent value, especially considering the product’s long warranty. Purchased directly from Sole Fitness the price includes delivery and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

A favorite feature on the E55 and other Sole ellipticals this year is 20 levels of incline up to 20°. The automated incline makes this machine especially effective for targeted muscle toning; in effect you get 20 elliptical paths instead of just one. Elliptical machines without inclines pale in comparison! For convenience, Sole ellipticals have incline controls built into the arm bars.

Is this cardio trainer sized for you? Two key specs for the E55 are a 20-pound flywheel and Sole’s famously natural-feeling 20″ stride. This combination makes the machine ideal for novices and intermediate-level trainees of average to taller heights. (Advanced athletes would likely prefer elliptical trainers with heavier flywheels, such as the Sole E95. People who are significantly taller or shorter than average would especially appreciate the Sole E95s, which has an adjustable 18″ to 24″ elliptical path.)

As for workout programming, all Sole ellipticals have a 10-item menu.The options include manual mode, user-designed workouts, and preset workouts focused on cardiovascular health, rapid calorie burn and muscle strengthening/toning. The default display screen is a 9-inch LCD, which is higher contrast than the previous version, and the console can be tilted to each user’s optimum viewing angle. With Bluetooth a tablet computer or smartphone can also function as the elliptical machine’s control center. This works via the free mobile app simply named “Sole Fitness App.”

The Sole Fitness App is compatible with Apple and Android devices. It lets the user set up a workout, then use other apps if desired as it collects data during workouts. The app can store workout info long-term and can also share the data with popular fitness apps such as iHealth and MyFitnessPal.

Our Favorite Features

  • 20” stride supports a natural gait
  • 20-pound flywheel
  • Power adjustable incline
  • Can save user-designed workouts
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Integrated tablet holder
  • Bluetooth audio speakers
  • USB charging port
  • Wireless heart rate transmitter included
  • 5 year warranty on parts and electronics
  • 2 year in-home labor coverage

Sole E55 Elliptical - Notable Specs:

Overall Rating:4-stars
Compact / Folding:No
Incline:0-20 levels
Stride Length:20 inches
Flywheel:17 LBS
Programs:10 programs
Fan:Yes
Weight Capacity:375 LBS
Dimensions:71" L x 27" W x 64" H

Our Least Favorite Features

  • Fixed stride is too long for petite trainees (See the E95s for comparison)
  • Speakers are not very powerful
  • Limited to 10 workout programs

The Bottom Line

All Sole ellipticals for 2017 are top values in their respective price classes. The E55 is well worth its $1,499 sale price, particularly for beginners and intermediate-level trainees. Advanced athletes might prefer a model with a heavier flywheel, such as the Sole E95s elliptical, for more challenge.

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