SOLE vs BowFlex Max Trainer Elliptical Comparison 2024 | Features, Pros & Cons

SOLE vs BowFlex Max Trainer Elliptical Comparison 2024 | Features, Pros & Cons

Key Takeaways

  • SOLE ellipticals have a smooth, gym-quality experience with adjustable features for personalized comfort.
  • BowFlex Max Trainer ellipticals are designed for high-intensity workouts, combining the motions of an elliptical and a stepper.
  • Stride length, resistance levels, and workout programs vary significantly between the two, impacting the user experience.


At SOLE, while we're proud of our own product lineup, we also recognize the importance of making well-informed decisions when it comes to your fitness equipment. That's why we're presenting a detailed comparison between SOLE and Bowflex Max Trainer ellipticals.

Featured Products

  • SOLE Ellipticals: Priced from $1,199.99, SOLE ellipticals are known for their ergonomic design, durability, and affordability. They provide a quiet, smooth workout with intuitive consoles, adjustable stride lengths, incline options, and heart rate monitoring, ensuring a comprehensive exercise experience.
  • BowFlex Max Trainer Ellipticals: BowFlex Max Trainers are designed for high-intensity interval training, featuring compact designs, adjustable resistance, and unique calorie-burn displays. They appeal to users seeking an efficient calorie burn in less time, with an emphasis on boosting metabolism and muscle engagement.


Top Features of SOLE Ellipticals

  • The Whisper-Quiet Drive System ensures smooth and quiet motion, making your workout experience fluid and noise-free. 
  • Models like the E35 and E95 offer both forward and reverse motion, engaging more muscles and diversifying your routine. 
  • All SOLE ellipticals, except the E95S, feature adjustable resistance and incline for a dynamic workout.
  • Integrated Bluetooth speakers on SOLE ellipticals let you connect your device and play music without the hassle of headphones or cords, enhancing your workout experience. 
  • The displays, either LCD backlit or touchscreen, are clear and easy to read, showing crucial data like distance, calories burned, and heart rate, so you can track your progress in real-time.
  • With adjustable pedals, stride lengths, and incline settings, users can tailor their workout experience to their personal fitness level and goals, making it a versatile choice for multiple users in a household.

Side view of the Sole E95S elliptical machine in a matte grey finish, featuring a digital display with the SOLE logo, ergonomic handlebars, adjustable foot pedals, and a base with a yellow folding release lever and smooth-rolling wheels for easy movement.

Top Features of BowFlex Max Trainer Ellipticals

  • BowFlex Max Trainer ellipticals are geared towards high-intensity interval training (HIIT), allowing users to burn more calories in less time compared to traditional ellipticals.
  • BowFlex Max Trainer ellipticals have a unique design that combines the low-impact motion of an elliptical with the calorie-burning power of a stepper. 
  • With pre-programmed HIIT workouts, the Max Trainer is designed to boost your metabolism and burn calories efficiently. The machine's resistance is tuned to challenge users at every fitness level

Detailed Feature Analysis: What Sets Them Apart

Console and Technology Integration

SOLE ellipticals cater to tech-savvy users with features designed to enhance the workout experience. 

  • Can be used with the free SOLE+ and Kinomap apps among others.
  • Integrated tablet holder for personal devices.
  • Bluetooth audio speakers for an immersive sound experience.
  • USB charging port to keep devices powered up during workouts.
  • Built-in cooling fan for added comfort during intense sessions.
  • Backlit LCD or touchscreen display that shows essential workout data. For example, the E98 has a 13.3" Touchscreen display. 

On the other hand, BowFlex offers a connected fitness experience. 

  • Bluetooth connectivity for app integration with Bowflex JRNY and other fitness apps.
  • Interactive coaching technology that adjusts to your fitness level in real-time.
  • Touchscreen consoles on select models for easy navigation.
  • Streaming capabilities for entertainment during workouts on the Bowflex Max Total 16.
  • Performance tracking that provides detailed metrics and progress reports.

Comfort and Usability

SOLE ellipticals place a high priority on ergonomic design and user comfort. The articulating pedals and adjustable stride ensure that users can exercise in a natural position, reducing the risk of strain. 

  • Articulating foot pedals that reduce joint stress via the “worm drive” technology. The E95 is one model with that design.
  • Adjustable stride length to accommodate various user heights. For example, the E95S has a power adjustable stride between 18" to 24".
  • Cushioned footbeds for a comfortable workout experience.
  • Handlebars designed for multiple grip positions.
  • Low step-up height for easy access and safety.

BowFlex Max Trainers are also designed with the user experience in mind. They deliver a good workout with minimal joint stress

  • Zero-impact workouts that are easy on the joints.
  • Compact design that fits easily into most home spaces.
  • Target-zone and burn-rate indicators for goal-focused training.
  • Simplified user interface for quick start-up and use.
  • Performance hand grips and aerobar for added stability and variety.

Space and Storage Options

While SOLE ellipticals are a sturdy and stationary piece of equipment, some models such as the  E25 and E35 feature a foldable design that allows you to reclaim floor space when the machine is not in use. The built-in transport wheels facilitate moving the elliptical for cleaning or repositioning, making it a practical choice for home environments where space is at a premium.

  • Front-drive design that typically requires more floor space.
  • Built-in transport wheels for easier mobility.
  • Heavy-duty frame that's designed to be stationary.
  • Models with foldable designs for space-saving when not in use.

The BowFlex Max Trainer has a compact footprint and vertical storage options on certain models.  

  • Vertical storage capabilities on select models to save floor space.
  • Compact footprint that's ideal for smaller living areas.
  • Transport rollers that allow for easy movement when needed.
  • Low-profile design that can fit under some furniture when not in use.

Warranty and Customer Service

SOLE ellipticals have extensive warranty on frame, parts, and electronics, combined with labor coverage. Our customer service team is known for being responsive and helpful, further adding to the value of your purchase.

  • Lifetime warranty on frame for most models.
  • Parts and electronics warranties ranging from 3 to 5 years.
  • Labor coverage for 1 to 2 years post-purchase.
  • Dedicated customer service team for support and inquiries.

BowFlex is also committed to ensuring customer satisfaction through its warranty and service offerings. 

  • Comprehensive warranties that cover various parts and labor.
  • Customer service support via phone, email, and live chat.
  • Extended warranty options available for additional purchase.
  • Easy access to replacement parts and maintenance resources.

SOLE vs BowFlex Max Trainer Elliptical Comparison 


SOLE Ellipticals

BowFlex Max Trainer Ellipticals


Backlit LCD and touchscreen

Backlit LCD/LED display (varies by model)


Up to 20 levels of resistance

Up to 20 levels of resistance

Additional Features

Integrated Speakers

Bluetooth heart rate armband


Lifetime warranty for frame, up to 5-year warranty for parts

10 years to lifetime warranty for frame (varies by model)





Range from $1,199.99 to $2,899.99

Not mentioned on the website

Pros and Cons: A Balanced View

Pros of Choosing Sole Elliptical

  • Gym-quality feel and durability.
  • User-friendly features for comfort and adjustability.
  • Long warranty and reliable customer service.

Cons of Choosing Sole Elliptical

  • Not as challenging as Bowflex Max Trainer for upper body
  • Limited console features on some models

Pros of Bowflex Max Trainer

  • More immersive workout
  • Space-saving design
  • Built-in JRNY app compatibility (on some models)

Cons of Choosing Bowflex Max Trainer Elliptical

  • Higher intensity workouts may not suit everyone.
  • Limited stride length compared to traditional ellipticals.

Customer Reviews

SOLE Elliptical Review

Recent buyer Regige left this comment on SOLE's site:

"I Love my Sole E25

I love my E25. It is quiet and smooth. It is very easy to jump on for a few minutes or for a full cardio workout. I am amazed at how quiet it is."

Bowflex Max Trainer Ellipticals Review

Recent Buyer Kevin Conran said on Amazon's Site

"Good machine but not very durable

I like the machine a lot and it provides a great workout. Mine broke down after 14 months though (2 months after the warranty expired. I am 57 years old and use the machine every day but either do the 14-minute Hitt workout or 30 minutes of steady workout. Not exactly overusing the equipment. I was disappointed when the resistance levels stopped working and then the HIT training setting stopped working. Now when I am at level 8 (the highest resistance) it feels like I am at level 2. Contacted Bowflex and ordered the parts they thought I needed but they didn't come with any instructions, and it looks pretty complicated. Don't think I would buy again."

Expert Opinion: Our Take on the Best Buy

If you prefer a traditional elliptical experience with a focus on comfort and adjustability, the SOLE may be the best buy for you. 

Ideal SOLE Elliptical Users

SOLE ellipticals are ideal for users who:

  • Prefer a low-impact, steady-state cardio workout.
  • Want a machine with a gym-like feel and durability.
  • Need a piece of equipment that can be adjusted to suit multiple users.
  • Value quiet operation and smooth performance.

Why is SOLE a Better Choice?

SOLE ellipticals are popular because of their user-friendly interface, and because they offer a premium workout experience without the high price tag. SOLE’s commitment to quality and ergonomics is evident in every aspect of their ellipticals, from foot pedals to adjustable stride length, ensuring a safe and comfortable workout.

When comparing ellipticals from SOLE, you'll find a range of options that cater to different needs and budgets. From the entry-level SOLE E25, known for its value and durability, to the high-end SOLE E98, designed for commercial use, there's something for everyone. Additionally, the SOLE E35, SOLE E95, and SOLE E95S provide enhanced adjustability and comfort, with the latter offering a variable stride for users of all sizes. 

SOLE ellipticals are notable for their heavy flywheels and smooth performance. They stand out for their affordability, while still offering advanced features like heart rate monitors and Bluetooth connectivity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I use the SOLE elliptical if I have joint issues?

Yes, SOLE ellipticals are designed with low-impact workouts in mind. The ergonomic design and adjustable features allow for a comfortable workout experience that minimizes strain on the joints.

Is the BowFlex Max Trainer suitable for high-intensity interval training?

Absolutely, the BowFlex Max Trainer ellipticals can be used for high-intensity interval training (HIIT). 

Are there any subscription fees associated with SOLE or BowFlex?

SOLE ellipticals do not require any subscription fees to use the features. Even the SOLE+ fitness app is free and users can access tons of workout videos without paying any subscription fees. 

BowFlex also provides some free features that do not require a subscription, but it also offers optional subscription services like the BowFlex JRNY™ for personalized workouts and tracking, which comes with a monthly fee.

How do warranty claims work for each brand?

For warranty claims, SOLE and BowFlex have customer service teams that are ready to assist. Typically, you'll need to provide proof of purchase and describe the issue. The process may involve troubleshooting, sending replacement parts, or arranging for repairs, depending on the terms of your warranty.

Can either elliptical accommodate users of all heights and sizes?

Yes, both SOLE and BowFlex Max Trainer ellipticals can accommodate a wide range of user heights and sizes. SOLE offers adjustable stride lengths, while BowFlex has a design that's naturally accommodating to different body types.

However, if you're particularly tall or short, it may be worth trying out the machines in person to ensure the fit and stride feel right for you.


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