The Sole E35 vs. NordicTrack 12.9 Comparison – Which one is our winner?

by Kevin Lee

March 23, 2020

The Sole E35 vs. NordicTrack 12.9 Ellipticals

Ellipticals are popular training machines that can give you a solid, low-impact workout that’s great for people of any fitness level. Right now, there are various ellipticals available for purchase, and each one has its own set of features. With so many great options on the market, choosing one for your home gym may seem like a challenge.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at two distinct ellipticals: the Sole E35 and the NordicTrack 12.9. We’re going to compare each elliptical’s strengths and drawbacks to help you decide which machine is the better buy.

Quick Answer:

The NordicTrack 12.9 and Sole E35 are very similar in price. The 12.9 offers more features and includes iFit with purchase. While the E35 does not have the iFit subscription included you can always use your tablet. The E35 has better customer support and reliability.

Sole E35

NordicTrack 12.9

Sole E35 Elliptical
NordicTrack 12.9

PROS:

High durability
Silent
Adjustable intensity levels
30 incline levels

PROS:

24 digital resistance levels
Adjustable power ramp
Onboard computer

CONS:

Large
Limited workout programs

CONS:

Large
Has reliability issues

Workout programs:

10

Workout programs:

35 On-board Workouts, iFIT

Incline:

20 levels

Incline:

20° adjustable incline

Stride length:

20" - 22"

Stride length:

17" - 19"

HR monitoring:

touch grips on the handlebars

HR monitoring:

touch sensors and an optional chest strap

Dimensions:

82” (L) x 31” (W) x 67” (H)

Dimensions:

80.25” (L) x 26” (W) x 64.5” (H)

Max user weight:

375 lbs

Max user weight:

375 lbs

Warranty:

full lifetime frame warranty

5-year warranty for parts & electronics

2-year warranty for labor

Warranty:

lifetime frame warranty

5-year warranty for its parts

2-year labor warranty

Features

The Sole E35 is an elliptical manufactured by Sole Treadmills. It’s a solid exercise platform for upper- and lower-body workouts of various intensity levels that remain kind to your joints. The E35 features a 29-pound flywheel that serves as the centerpiece of its quiet drive system. Because of its heavy flywheel combined with high gear ratios, each movement with the E35 is smooth and flows naturally while remaining silent.

Users have praised the Sole E35’s solid construction and adjustable intensity levels, making it a great choice for both beginners and professionals alike, especially for its price.

Meanwhile, the NordicTrack model NTEL71218 Commercial 12.9, otherwise referred to as the 12.9, is a high-end elliptical with many features integrated into its onboard computer. The 12.9 offers users a comfortable workout experience thanks to its high-quality features, adjustable parts, and electronic functionalities.

Unlike other ellipticals, the 12.9 places an emphasis on user comfort. The machine comes with a 7” touch-screen display with a web browser and media player so you can stream music or workout videos while exercising. In addition, the machine has padded grips, a workout fan, cushioned pedals, and a water bottle holder to maximize comfort.

Built-in Workout Programs

The E35 comes with 10 different programs: six standard workouts, two heart-rate programs, and two custom programs.

The E35 also has a power incline feature that can be adjusted into 20 different inclination levels. You can adjust the inclination of the machine to match the workout intensity of your choice. It also comes with adjustable pedals and a power stride feature for even finer adjustments.

The 12.9 also features NordicTrack’s iFit, an interactive, subscription-based personal training program that provides you with workouts that will suit your needs.

It also sports a heavy flywheel that supports low to high resistance and an adjustable stride length to match the needs of different users. Its 20-degree adjustable power incline and 24 different resistance levels allow for a customizable workout experience.

Heart Monitor

The touch grips on the handlebars of the E35 are connected to a built-in heart-rate monitor that can also be linked to a wireless chest strap. You’ll be able to see all of the information about your workout session on the E35’s LCD display.

The Nordic 12.9 has touch sensors and an optional chest strap for wireless telemetry so you can monitor your heart rate while you exercise.

Dimensions

The E35 is a large machine measuring 82” (L) x 31” (W) x 67” (H) and weighing 244 lbs. If you plan on getting this elliptical for your home, then make sure you have ample space with a strong foundation.

The size is the only real downside of the E35. However, if you have a dedicated space for it, then it can serve you well for years to come.

The 12.9 is slightly smaller than the E35, but it is still on the bigger side of the spectrum. It measures 80.25” (L) x 26” (W) x 64.5” (H) and weighs 210 pounds. Once the 12.9 is assembled, it cannot be folded for convenient storage.

Build Quality

The E35 is built with strong and durable materials. It can handle up to a maximum weight of 375 pounds. If properly maintained, the E35 can last for a long time. In the event that it does break, you can have it restored under the warranty policy of Sole Treadmills.

Certain users have reported some reliability issues regarding the NordicTrack 12.9’s construction. Some users have said that their 12.9 broke down within the first three months and customer service was of very little help.

Warranty

The E35 is covered by a full lifetime warranty for the frame, a 5-year warranty for spare parts and electronics, and a 2-year warranty for labor.

Similar to the E35, the NordicTrack 12.9 also has a lifetime warranty for its frame, a 5-year warranty for its parts, and a 2-year labor warranty, which will come in very handy when the need arises. The 12.9 is solidly built except for the plastic hand grips, but in case of any defect, the warranty will have it covered.

FAQ:

1. Is the iFit program needed to purchase the 12.9 elliptical?

No, but the 12.9 comes with a free 1-year subscription to iFit.

2. What’s the difference between the E35 and the newer E95?

There are actually very few differences between the two models. The E95 is 25 pounds heavier thanks to its 40-pound flywheel, and its LCD screen is slightly bigger. Other than that, the difference is hardly noticeable.

Final Thoughts:

The Nordictrack 12.9 offers comfortable workouts, but it comes with the risk of receiving a defective product with unreliable customer service. Other than that, the 12.9 has been generally well-received. It offers good exercise while keeping the user comfortable. Also, the extremely useful iFit program makes it a good bargain.

The Sole E35, on the other hand, has fewer bells and whistles and offers a more straightforward approach to working out.

The poor reception of the 12.9’s support service makes the E35 the safer option. However, if you know how to work your way around technical or mechanical issues, then the 12.9 will work just as well.

About the author 

Kevin Lee  -  Health and fitness have always been a passion for me; whether its being in the weight room, going for a run before work or even participating in a half iron man triathlon. ShapeJunkie was created to share to knowledge and love of fitness with others.

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