Sole Fitness manufactures solid, affordable fitness machines for light commercial settings and home gyms. Their light commercial and residential exercise bikes fall into three categories: traditional upright bikes, recumbent bikes for general use and physical rehabilitation, and indoor cycle trainers for competitive cycling practice and other intense workouts. Sale prices on the Sole Fitness website range from just $599 to $1499. These prices reflect discounts of up to $600.
The overall quality of Sole exercise bikes is high. Those built for the 2016 model year all have steel frames, provide smooth ergonomic cycling for trainees of most sizes, and carry industry-leading warranties for their price classes. Many also have workout programs and can connect to mobile fitness apps via Bluetooth. Their flywheel weights range from 18 to 48 pounds.
Here are some pros and cons about choosing a Sole Fitness exercise bike.
- Sturdy Steel Frames: Sole exercise bike frames have lifetime warranties and can hold up to 350 pounds. Each frame has a steel core and is shrouded with aluminum. This smart design provides stability while allowing a manageable machine weight.
- Heavy Flywheels: Sole Fitness provides a wide range of challenge and smooth resistance with up to 48-pound flywheels on its indoor cycle trainers. Flywheels on Sole recumbent bikes and traditional upright bikes range from 18 to 31 pounds.
- Built-In Programs: With the exception of the SB700 and SB900 indoor cycle trainers, all Sole exercise bikes give access to 10 workout programs including two that are user-designed and two that are controlled by heart rate.
- Bluetooth: Upright and recumbent bikes from Sole have Bluetooth for connecting with the Sole Fitness mobile app. The app supports program setup, data storage and data sharing with other apps such as MyFitnessPal and FitBit.
- Comfortable Pedals: Oversized and cushioned, the pedals on Sole bikes are designed for comfort. Narrow spacing between pedals and two-degree inward angling also contribute to pain-free pedaling.
- Heart Rate Monitors: All Sole exercise bikes can help trainees track heart rate. Each bike has contact grips and can also be used with a wireless chest strap.
- Transport Wheels: Sole bikes have pop-out caster wheels for easy transport.
- Adjustable Saddles: Riders generally find Sole bike seats to be be comfortable. They can be moved vertically and horizontally, and the recumbent bikes have adjustable back rests. Some Sole bike seats are interchangeable with standard bicycle saddles.
- Adjustable Handlebars: Handlebars on all Sole exercise bikes can be moved up and down, forward and backward to fit different riders.
- Extras: Upright and recumbent Sole bikes have sound systems for MP3 players. They also have tablet computer holders, water bottle holders and workout fans.
- Self-Generating Power: Sole’s light commercial exercise bikes generate their own power from users’ expended energy.
- Quiet Operation: These bikes help keep the peace. With the exception of the SB700, which uses felt brake pads, all Sole exercise bikes use frictionless magnetic resistance systems for virtually silent operation.
- Small Footprints: Sole exercise bikes take up relatively little space compared with other cardio trainers. The light commercial Sole LCB Bike, for example, has a 44” x 23” footprint. Sole recumbent bikes have up to 57” x 30” footprints.
- Warranty: Sole warranties are generous for the industry. All of their exercise bike frames have lifetime guarantees. The top warranties provide five years of parts and electronics coverage plus two years of labor.
Sole is a strong brand. In our individual Sole bike reviews we’ve noted minor customer complaints such as weak console fans. However, there are no deal breakers in terms of quality.
Who Should Buy a Sole Exercise Bike?
Sole exercise bikes are ideal for light commercial fitness centers and they’re affordable for individual use. Each has a high weight capacity and can adjust to fit different stride lengths and ability levels. Sole recumbent bikes are recommended for rehab and general training; Sole upright bikes are recommended for general training; and the indoor cycles are suggested for competitive training, preparing for outdoor rides, and advanced strength training.
The Bottom Line
Sole Fitness makes an indoor exercise bike for just about everyone. Their product quality is above-average to excellent, and the bikes are designed for everything from gentle rehab to prepping for intense bike trips. Generous standard warranties and helpful customer service agents help keep Sole a leader in the international fitness industry.