Both Smooth Fitness and Sole offer a variety of folding and non-folding treadmills to choose from. Designed for use in home, hotel and light commercial settings, these treadmills represent a hefty investment that can pay hefty dividends, too, if used diligently.
While it may not always be possible, the best way to be sure if either treadmill is for you is to visit the showroom, or possibly a gym or hotel that features the product line, and try them out.
Smooth Fitness treadmills come with motors that rate between 2.5 and 3.0 continuous horsepower. Some Sole treadmills have 2.5 or 3.0 horsepower motors, too, but the F85, S77 and TT8 treadmills all feature more powerful 3.5 horsepower motors.
As of May 2010, Smooth Fitness treadmills retail for anywhere from $2,000 to over $5,000. Sole treadmills are slightly less expensive, starting at $1,900 and going as high as $3,000.
Maximum user weights for Smooth Fitness treadmills range from 275 lbs. on the 5.65 treadmill to 400 lbs. on high-end models like the 9.45ST and 9.45TV models. Sole treadmill weight limits range from 325 lbs. on the F63 to 425 lbs. on the TT8.
Incline and Speed
All Smooth Fitness and Sole treadmills offer a variable incline of up to 15 percent. Maximum speeds range from 10 mph on the 5.65 treadmill to 12 mph on the 6.75 treadmill for Smooth Fitness, with Sole treadmills covering a similar range. The Sole F63 provides a maximum speed of 10 mph, while the majority of Sole treadmills provide a 12-mph maximum.
Both Smooth Fitness and Sole treadmills offer running decks of roughly comparable sizes, approximately 20 inches by 55 inches on most folding models and 20 by 60 on most non-folding models. The Smooth Fitness 7.35 folding treadmill offers a running deck that’s slightly longer than average at 20 by 62 inches, while the Sole TT8 offers a slightly wider than average running deck, 22 by 60.
Sole offers a 30-day trial period for all of its fitness equipment, as well as a limited lifetime warranty on the treadmill motor, frame and usually the deck, too, with shorter warranty coverage on the electronics, belt, rollers and labor.
All Smooth Fitness treadmills come with a lifetime warranty for the frame and motor, plus a limited-time warranty on parts, electronics and service. Some Smooth models come with a lifetime guarantee that covers all parts and electronics.
About this Author
Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics at the University of Alaska Anchorage and contributes regularly to various online publications. Print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.