Trying to find a quality treadmill that isn’t going to break your bank account takes a little more time than most expect.
Now, it’s not that there are so few options out there – but that there are so many – and whittling them down be to just one can be quite a challenge. We recently compared to other treadmills, the NordicTrack T616 and T618 and we know how hard it can get to choose a treadmill.
But that’s why we have put together this detailed guide.
We highlight what we like about these options, what we don’t like, and whether or not one or the other is worth your hard-earned money. This guide covers how they are designed and engineered, the special features they bring to the table, and where we feel like both models could have improved.
Ready to jump right in?
Let’s get to it!
Quick Overview of Each Treadmill
A quick overview of each treadmill, their specs and what I like about each one.
The SOLE fitness equipment company has been responsible for making some of the most impressive, budget focused solutions on the market in the last 10 years – really knocking it out of the park every step of the way. They make fantastic professional treadmills and the Sole F63 is no exception.
The F63 is a perfect example of that kind of approach, shoehorning a lot of great treadmill technology into a super affordable package.
User-friendly, intuitive, comfortable, and (relatively) compact, this is a fitness center style treadmill designed for home gym applications.
3.0 hp motor
82” x 35” x 57”
Weighs in at 254 pounds
Phenolic deck with shock absorbent technology
Weight capacity of 325 pounds
6.5 inch LCD command center
What I Like
Solid, sturdy frame even when running at full speed
Strong, powerful motor that delivers up to 12 mph of training speeds
Capable of hitting a 15° incline
20” x 60” running deck is long and wide, especially for a compact unit like this
Phenolic deck is soft enough to cushion each footfall
Contact pulse sensors work well and are accurate
10 integrated workout programs allow for training right out-of-the-box
Easily integrates with Android and iOS devices, with built-in tablet holder
Bluetooth speakers and USB charging port available, too
Anytime you talk about affordable home fitness equipment you have to talk about the Bowflex brand, a company that (essentially) built the home fitness equipment industry from the ground up, treadmills, bikes, you name it. they built it.
This Bowflex treadmill – the BXT6 – take advantage of everything that the engineers at Bowflex at learned about home gym equipment and treadmills specifically (with their different variations; self propelled treadmills, traditional treadmills, etc.), pushing the boundaries of what this tech can do while still keeping the price relatively low.
Smooth, almost silent, and designed for those looking to start working out as well as those that have been training for a while, there’s a lot to like when it comes to this Bowflex option.
- 3.0 hp motor
- 78.2” x 35.6” x 51.1”
- 20” x 60” Running deck
- Weighs in at 230 pounds
- 300 pound weight capacity maximum
- 7.5 inch blue backlit LCD control swing
- Detailed telemetry, including heart rate monitoring
- Capable of hitting speeds of 12 mph
- Capable of 15° inclines
- 10 year warranty
What I Like
- The price point of this treadmill is top-tier, making it one of the most affordable high-quality treadmills available
- Offers easy connect ability to your favorite fitness applications on your phone or tablet, including Zwift
- Runners can dial this up to 12 mph at a 15° incline, offering multiple levels of training
- Comfort Tech deck cushioning has long been regarded as some of the best deck material in the home fitness world
- Telemetry and heart rate monitoring systems are well engineered and smartly implemented
- Dedicated sound system connects via Bluetooth as well as USB, with integrated speakers that are quite loud and consistent
Sole F63 Vs Bowflex BXT6, How Do They Compare?
Now we put each treadmill against the other and see who comes out on top.
Which One is Built Better?
When breaking down the Sole F63 vs Bowflex BXT6 comparison, it’s important to take a closer look at which of these two treadmills is built better than the other – especially if you’re going to be running on them every day (or every other day) for years and years to come, they are great cardio machines and should be used a lot.
The last thing you should have to worry about is your treadmill falling apart simply because it wasn’t made as well as it could happen.
Both companies have fantastic engineers and top-tier reputation for durability, but when you stack them up against one another (head-to-head) the Sole F63 comes out a little bit on top in the quality of build department.
It’s not that the materials used by Sole are better than what you find on the Bowflex. In fact, material wise these two are almost identical.
It’s just that the fit and finish on the Sole treadmill is a little bit nicer. The difference is negligible – but it’s a difference all the same.
Which One is More Comfortable?
Again, both of these treadmills are super comfortable to run on but there’s just something a little bit more comfortable about running on the Sole F63 treadmill than on the Bowflex.
For years and years, Bowflex and their cushion deck material were the gold standard when it came to home gym treadmills. This makes their treadmills great for bad knees.
In fact, there were a lot of commercial gyms treadmill companies that contracted out their decks to Bowflex (or used the same proprietary material) to get the same kind of feel.
Sole has taken a different approach, using a phenolic deck material that provides a lot of extra footfall absorption without sending shock through your feet and ankles into your knees and your hips.
The result is feeling like you are running on firm grass rather than pounding the pavement or hammering your feet on the track.
Which One Offers More Features?
This is where things start to get a little closer, as both of these treadmills are super feature-rich.
The Bowflex has the better looking screen, that’s for sure.
Both treadmills come with a screen. It’s a 7.5 inch blue backlit LCD screen versus the screen you’ll find on the Sole, a 6.5 inch white backlit LCD that has a tendency to cause headaches if you’d like to run early in the morning or late at night when the room is going to be pretty dark.
The speakers on the Bowflex are also a little bit better than the ones you’ll find on the Sole F63, but not so much that it’s necessarily a deal breaker. Both of them offer USB, auxiliary, and Bluetooth connectivity to your audio source (probably your smart phone or your tablet), allowing you to stream your music or media without a lot of extra effort.
Application integration on both of these treadmills is fantastic, too.
Both of them to pair nicely with all popular this apps on the Android and iOS marketplaces and both of them are great treadmills for Zwift, too.
It’s a bit of a wash in the feature department, truth be told.
You’re going to have access to ten different workout program presets if you decide to get your hands on the Sole F63 treadmill, whereas you’re only going to have nine workout program presets ready to rock and roll if you go with the Bowflex BXT6.
There isn’t enough of a difference here to make anyone lean towards one treadmill or the other when it comes to workout presets.
The fact that you’re able to create your own workouts with these treadmills (using the manual controls) makes most of these presets nothing more than a convenience.
What Are the Customer Reviews Saying?
Both of these two treadmills – Sole F63 vs Bowflex BXT6 – have glowingly positive reviews all over the internet today, with fitness enthusiasts across the world really appreciating how well these treadmills are made.
Most people find the Sole to be slightly less feature-rich, slightly less “fancy”, and slightly less impressive when compared to the Bowflex. But both of these treadmills get better than 4 ½ star reviews pretty much everywhere online.
You really can’t go wrong with either one.
Size Comparison - Which is Better for Small Spaces?
As far as and overall size breakdown of the Sole F63 vs Bowflex BXT6 goes, the Sole F63 treadmill is just a tiny bit smaller and more compact – but not by much.
This treadmill measures in at 82” x 35” x 57”, compared to the Bowflex treadmill that measures 84.6” x 63.3” x 55.2”.
As you can see, you want going to need need all that much extra floor space for real estate to squeeze a Bowflex into the same spot that a Sole treadmill would have been able to fit in. Both of them are great options if you are looking for a compact small treadmill for your apartment or your home gym.
Both of them also fold up into super compact form factors for easy storage or just talking away in a room when you aren’t using them. The fold up and wheel systems both of these feature are well engineered and made for the long haul. They may not be fold flat treadmills but they get the job done.
Which is Easier to Setup?
Each of these treadmills are going to be relatively easy to set up right out-of-the-box, but the Bowflex is decidedly a little simpler and more straightforward to get up and running with.
You don’t necessarily need any special tools or any special experience to install or assemble either one of these treadmills, this makes both of them perfect as treadmills for seniors, but Bowflex has decades of experience creating home fitness center equipment that folds up in stores away – and they apply all of that here with this treadmill.
It’s going to take anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour or so to get either of these two treadmills rocking and rolling when you pop them out-of-the-box. Make sure you set aside at least that much time, and it’s not a bad idea to get an extra set of hands to help you, too.
Do They Both Offer a Warranty? If So, How Long?
Both of these treadmills do come with fantastic warranties, with the warranty on the Sole F63 being just a little bit better.
Bowflex offers their standard 10 year warranty on pretty much every single aspect of the treadmill, but Sole comes out swinging with a lifetime warranty on the framing and the motor of their treadmill.
The electronics and the parts on the Sole are only going to be warranty for three years, though (compared to the 10 year “bumper-to-bumper” warranty) from Bowflex. You’ll also get a one-year warranty on labor from this company, too.
What About Price? The Deal Breaker
Although the Bowflex BXT6 price has been dropped significantly
As far as price and value for your money is concerned, the Bowflex definitely squeaks out a win in this column.
As of right now (late 2021), the Bowflex will set you back $1199.99 direct from the manufacturer – though you can break down into smaller payments (monthly payments) pretty easily.
If you order or buy to pick up from Dicks Sporting Goods though you can expect to drop that price about 200 bucks down to 998. Check the latest price of the BXT6 here.
That’s a solid deal for a treadmill this well-made and this well engineered, that’s for sure.
On the flip side of things, the Sole has a base price of $999.99 which looks cheaper on the surface until you realize you usually have to pony up a little bit of extra cash to get your hands on the features and accessories that make this treadmill competitive with the Bowflex BXT6.
It’s not unreasonable to spend $400 or $500 more on treadmill accessories just to get these two units neck and neck with one another. At that point you’re spending more on the Sole treadmill, crushing its value instantly.
Which Treadmill Should You Buy? - My Recommendation
When you get right down to it, you really can’t go wrong with either of these two treadmills.
Both of them are smartly designed, well engineered, and very well-made.
Both of them feature all of the modern treadmill technologies you expect, including a bunch of “creature comforts” that make life training more effective and more enjoyable.
At the same time, though, it’s tough to argue with the long-standing reputation for excellence and fantastic price point that Bowflex has to offer.
If you’re trying to settle on which of these two are best – a head-to-head Sole F63 vs Bowflex BXT6 comparison – you have to give the nod to Bowflex.
The BXT6 is the best “bang for your buck” treadmill on the market today!
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