All posts by Chad L. Newsome

GVCC Members Review: Bowflex Max Trainer M5

Take you cycling to the next level this spring with a new “secret weapon”, check out our Bowflex Max Trainer M5 review below.

Full disclosure: the spring has come and gone, it has long passed and a few things have changed. As Black Friday 2018 draws nearer, Bowflex has announced that the Max M5 model is coming to an end, it will be retired, and it will be dearly missed, but despair not, there is light. At the same announcement we where told that there will be a new and improved model released. The new model is called Bowflex Max Trainer M6, and soon enough will update this review to reflect the changes introduced by Bowflex.

As usual GVCC members can contact us directly for private reviews and membership discounts. Here is our third review over the last 3 years, we are planning to release 2 more mini-reviews later this year, stay tuned.

Bowflex is widely known for its workout equipment. The company’s Max Trainer M5 is one of their latest products. This exercise equipment is unique and comes with a wealth of high-tech features. It is also compatible with the Max Trainer app, which is available for Apple and Android devices. This machine is designed to exercise the upper and lower body simultaneously. It also offers a grueling cardio workout. Additional details about this machine will be provided in greater depth below.

The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Comes w/ Backlit Display And Heart Rate Monitor

The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is equipped with a backlit display. The display offers comprehensive information regarding your workout. This includes heart rate, calories burned and more. The user’s heart rate can be measured in two ways. The machine includes a chest strap and contact grips. This can clearly be seen looking at pictures of the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 published in online reviews of the Bowflex Max Trainer M5.

Includes Several Workout Programs (Review the Instruction Manual)

The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 machine also comes with a handful of workouts. The user can easily find a workout that suits their needs. For instance, they can choose from Fat Burn, Calorie Burn, Stairs, and Fitness test. In total, the machine comes with 9 individual workout programs.

Compatible With Max Trainer App

As mentioned above, the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is compatible with the free Max Trainer app. The information can be transmitted from your Max Trainer M5 to the app. The app gives the user the ability to track various statistics, including heart rate, burned calories and so much more. It also allows the user to define their goals and win awards for reaching personal records. It is also possible to stream video content from Bowflex’s personal trainers. The machine is Bluetooth compatible, so you won’t have to worry about dealing with cords or cables. Everything can be transmitted from the device wirelessly.

Free Workouts

If you purchase this machine, you’ll also receive free workouts. This includes a free live one-on-one training session. The company will also provide you with a personalized workout plan for free. It also includes three online group workout classes.

Bowflex Warranty

It should also be noted that this machine comes with a two-year warranty. Bowflex is known to have reliable customer support as well. If anything goes wrong within two years of ownership, the owner will be able to get the problem fixed for free.

Max Trainer M5 Comes With 2 User Profiles

The M5 comes with two user profiles. This makes it suitable for households with multiple athletes or fitness enthusiasts. Each user can save their statistics and keep track of their progress along the way.

A True Full Body Workout

One of the most notable things about the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is the fact that it delivers a full body workout. The machine is capable of challenging your entire body simultaneously. According to the company, it requires eighty percent more upper body activation. Plus, it requires more lower body and core muscles to be utilized than ellipticals. The machine also takes pressure off of the joints. According to Bowflex, it is two times easier on the user’s joints.

M5 Owners Burn More Calories

Most people will use an elliptical to burn calories. The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is designed to burn more calories. According to the company, this machine has been proven to burn up to two and a half times more calories than other ellipticals. It offers a smooth, minimum impact workout that is effective.

16 Resistance Levels

There is a good chance that more than one person in your home is interested in working out. The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 can accommodate multiple individuals, because it offers 16 resistance levels. Those new to working out can take advantage of the lower resistance levels, until they’re able to boost their strength and endurance. Veterans and athletes can enjoy the higher resistance levels. If you read any Bowflex Mac Trainer M5 review, you will see that 16 resistance levels are more than what you’ll get with most alternatives.

Superior Grips

The handles are ergonomically designed to provide user with full control. Each handle is covered with a slip-resistant material to prevent accidents during workouts. Even when your hands get slippery with sweat, you will still be able to maintain a full grip. They are also designed to offer superior comfort, as you can place your hands and forearms just about anywhere on the handle.

Straightforward Assembly Instructions From Bowflex

As with any elliptical, it requires time to complete the assembly process. To ensure its customers that they glide through this process with ease, Bowflex provides a step-by-step instruction guide just for the assembly. If problems are encountered during the assembly process, consumers can contact Bowflex customer service. In addition to this, all assembly parts are labeled and tools are included in the package.

Maximum 300-Pound Weight Capacity

The Max Trainer M5 has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. This capability proves the elliptical is sturdy and durable. If you weigh less than 300 pounds, you can hop on the M5 and workout for hours, without fear of getting injured due to broken parts or frame.

User-Friendly Interface on the Bowflex Max Trainer M5

The Bowflex M5 console is very easy to understand and navigate. The user-friendly interface allows users to search through preset workouts, readings and other information. The console is backlit to ensure superior visibility, even in dark. Each reading is labeled to ensure they are found with ease. The readings are also listed in small and large white numbers.

Media Shelf And Cup Holder

Workouts can sometimes be intense and boring. This is why The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 comes equipped with a media shelf and cup holder. Not only can you listen to and store your media devices while you work out, but you will also always have access to a cold beverage, in the event that you get parched. This will allow you to keep your heart rate up without having to stop to get something to drink.

Small Footprint

Not everyone has access to a large workout room or has the ability to go to the gym every day. The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is only 46-inches (L) by 25 inches (W) x 63 inches (H), so it will fit in some of the smallest places.

Bowflex Designed For Experts Or Novices

Starting to get in shape or beginning an exercise routine for the first time can be both frightening and hard. Bowflex has specifically designed the Max Trainer M5 so that it is suitable and comfortable for both experts and complete beginners.

Max M5 – Sturdy All Metal Frame

Workout equipment can take a lot of abuse over the years. This is especially true if you use it on a daily basis. The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 was specifically designed with a durable metal frame to withstand intense workouts. In addition to this, in a review from Steve Frazier on he points out that the sturdy design ensures that the piece of equipment always stays stationary.

Notable Specifications

  • Includes 16 resistant levels (Max Trainer M5)
  • Compatible with the Max Trainer App
  • Backlit display for tracking stats along the way
  • Can help the user burn up to 2.5 times more calories
  • Equipped with computer-controlled resistance
  • Contains 9 workout programs
  • Chest strap and contact grips heart rate monitor
  • Provides a full body workout
  • Includes a water bottle holder and media shelf
  • Can accommodate 2 users
  • Protected by a 2-year warranty

Bowflex Max Trainer M5 – Overall Assessment

The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is equipped with tons of high-tech features. It is sturdy and protected by a 2-year warranty. It works like a stepper and an elliptical.

Send GVCC your feedback and support now!

The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 could certainly be a good investment (but check the reviews first)  for anyone who wants to get into shape.

GVCC Members Review: SOLE E95 Elliptical Machine

It’s 2018, and it’s time to step up your cycling, we take a closer look at the SOLE E95 elliptical, it’s a decent elliptical trainer that includes all the features of a health club model for your home gym, check out this mini-review below.

This year will be no different to 2017, we will continue to provide our GVCC members with in-depth reviews and publish news form the forefront of fitness and cycling. First out this year is our SOLE E95 elliptical machine review.

Check out the SOLE E95 elliptical machine. Awarded the “Best Elliptical” in the above $2000 category, this electronic elliptical trainer console, which is now available at a price of about $1799, is worth looking at.

We also recommend checking out this comparison of elliptical training, stationary cycling, treadmill walking and overground walking.

The SOLE E95 Elliptical – Review Introduction

The SOLE E95 elliptical comes equipped with a standard 10.1″ TFT LCD that displays all the relevant training data and helps you track your progress. The E95 modell also includes water bottle holder, built-in fan, and speakers that allows you listen to your favorite music and enjoy your exercise routine. The data feed shows you pace, heart rate, incline degrees, calories, resistance levels and distance achieved.

The SOLE E95 is featuring a heavy 27lb flywheel and a high gear ratio, this fitness machine not only offers stability and comfortable momentum, but also provides a challenging workout. There are plenty of elliptical reviews of sole fitness equipment pointing out the SOLE E95 elliptical machines unusual smooth natural motion provided by the noiseless drive system functions in both forward and reverses elliptical action. Equipped with a power incline feature with provides additional resistance and fully adjustable ramp angle that goes from 0 to 20 levels (use with caution elliptical fitness tips), this fitness equipment helps you work out every lower body muscle group at the touch of a button. This electric console uses 20 levels of magnetic ECB (special friction brake) resistance. The ECB magnetic technology which is commonly a feature of higher end elliptical trainer’s offers the advantage of quiet operation, no friction, and little or no maintenance costs (please review your costs after minimum 1 year of usage).

The SOLE E95 fitness machine not only provides lower body workout, but also provide an effective upper body workout routine. While the ergonomically designed hand grips help provide you with a comfortable grip, the incline and resistance controlled handles allows convenient usage. Additionally, heart sensors that are inbuilt on the stationary bars help you keep a check on your heart rate.

Sole Fitness  also includes a heart rate chest strap that allows hands- free monitoring of your pulse and heart rate interactive programs.

SOLE E95 w/ Specialized Cycling Pedals

One of the best features SOLE E95 elliptical machines is its specialized pedals. Designed with durable foam cushioning, these over-sized pedals provide additional comfort during workout routines. A unique feature of the foot pedals is that they are designed with a 2-degree inward slope. As a result, the likelihood of having a knee and ankle stress common with most front drive elliptical machines is considerably reduced. What’s more, E95 pedals can be adjusted to fit the way you walk. The adjustment is done by using a ‘worm drive’ dial that allows you to dial in the pedal exactly where it needs to be angled. Using these feature helps ease sore Achilles tendons and toe numbness that usually occurs when using other elliptical machines.

SOLE E95 Elliptical: Product Specifications

Machine Dimension:

  • Product Weight: 236lbs
  • Height (in): 67″
  • Length (in): 82″
  • Width (in): 31″
  • Weight Capacity: 400lbs
  • Box Dimensions: 66″x23″x34″

Features and Controls

  • Bluetooth compatible: Yes
  • Chest strap included: Yes
  • Sound system: Yes
  • Cooling Fans: Yes
  • Cushioned foot Pedals: Yes
  • Water Bottle Holder: Yes
  • Adjustable Foot Pedals: yes 10 Positions
  • Adjustable Console: Yes
  • Drive System: Front
  • Custom programs: 2
  • Standard Programs: 6
  • Heart Programs: 2
  • Workout Display: 10.1 TFT LCD
  • Flywheels Weight (lbs): 27lbs
  • Incline level: 1-20
  • Drive System: Front
  • Maximum Stride Length: 20″
  • Hear Rate Monitoring: Chest Strap and Pulse Grips Compatible
  • Incline Adjustability: Power Adjustable


All services of SOLE E95 performed in the home.

  • Electronics: 5 Years
  • Labor: 2 Years
  • Parts: 5 Years
  • Frame: Lifetime.

SOLE E95 Technology

Equipped with a wide blue back-lit LCD display, this easy to use electronic console also includes a water bottle holder, a cooling fan and built-in- speakers that you can plug your iPod or MP3player to and listen to your favorite music while you workout.

Bluetooth Technology:

Equipped with Bluetooth technology, this sole fitness equipment allows its users to transfer workout to their smart device, via Bluetooth. Users can transfer their fitness data to different fitness apps such as Fitbit, Apple Health, Mapmyrun, Record or can download or track their and their data for free on the Sole app.

Adjustable Foot pedals:

Every individual walks in a different way. For this reason, SOLE E95 is specially designed to adjust or articulate to fit your walking style. All sole models –e35, e55 and e95 include level adjustment feature added in their construction. Fitness enthusiasts who use the Sole machine are less likely to experience sore Achilles tendons and numb toe effects, allowing them to be more focused on achieving their goals rather feeling uncomfortable during their workouts. The new e25 model features bigger (15 inch) and comfortable pedals.

Strong Frame:

The frame of the sole elliptical is constructed of heavy thick steel that helps support the weight of the user. The frame includes multi-position hand grips that allow the user to try variations in his/her workout routine.

Custom Designed Foot pedals:

Designed in collaboration with leading physical therapists, the custom foot pedals of SOLE E95 elliptical machine features foot pedals with a 2-degree inward slope. This unique feature which is commonly absent in other light commercial elliptical machines helps reduce knee and ankle stress when used on a routine basis.

Power Incline:

A characteristic commonly absent in other elliptical machines available in the market, the power incline feature helps workout those areas of the lower body that would normally be not worked on when using an elliptical that does not include this element.

SOLE E95 Elliptical Review – The Conclusion

The SOLE E95 elliptical is one of the better front- drive elliptical machines that looks and performs (and has been reviewed) like those in professional gyms. This E95 model is an ideal option for cyclist enthusiasts of any skill looking for a low impact workout, right in the comfort of their home. This elliptical bike which can support up to 400 pounds and helps provide an effective and complete cardiovascular workout by combing upper and lower body flexibility. While the impact free motion is easier on a cyclists joints, regular usage of this trainer helps you lose weight and improve heart health.

Send GVCC your feedback and support now!

Overall, the SOLE E95 elliptical proves to be a good choice for at-home cycling training.

Merry Christmas from GoletaBike

We extend our fullest Christmas and New Year best wishes to all customers and their families, with thanks for your support and business during 2017.

Thank you for your trust and belief in us. We look forward to serving you in the coming year. As always, our technical support will be available 24/7 throughout the festive period and can be accessed by initiating a live chat from our website or emailing us.

Once again many thanks for your support and business during 2017 – we wish you the most prosperous 2018 and look forward to working together in the coming year.

Best wishes,


GVCC Members Review: SOLE E25 Elliptical Machine

If you want to take your cycling to the next level, learning more about the SOLE E25 Elliptical Machine is not a bad idea.

As usual we provide our GVCC members with useful reviews and content with respect to cycling and fitness, so with out further ado, here comes our latest review in a series of 5; the SOLE E25 elliptical trainer review.

sole e25

Introduction To The SOLE E25 Elliptical

While treadmills provide a great way to do cardiovascular workout, the impact on joints when using these machines can be quite harmful.

If you have suffered knee or foot injuries, treadmill machines may not be recommendable for you. This is where elliptical machines, such as the SOLE Fitness E25, come in and have proven to be a much better choice than treadmills. An elliptical machine offers a perfect way to perform workouts. What makes this machine ideal is the fact that it reduces the amount of impact on your joints without compromising on the quality of workout.

sole e25 elliptical pencil sketch

The SOLE E25 elliptical machine provides challenging cardio workouts, thanks to its ground-breaking cardio-workout technology. With its patented SOLE E25 elliptical technology, this easy-to-operate personal gym equipment boasts a fluid natural motion provided by a noiseless drive system which runs in both forward and backward motion. This gives an incredible physical activity as well as a natural human movement. Read these elliptical trainer fitness tips from Lincoln Laboratory Fitness Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a great overview of the benefits.  Also check out the more in-depth SOLE Fitness E25 review from John Williams over at, for an extensive pros and cons list.

With an extraordinary blend of cutting-edge features and technical specifications; the SOLE E25 elliptical machine takes your cardio-workout routine to another level.

Features and Tech Specs

  1. Electronic console with blue-black lit 6.5-inch LCD display, perfectly shows you fitness essentials.
  2. Built-in pulse grip heart rate monitor.
  3. The SOLE E25 elliptical trainers comes with a 38mm steel frame.
  4. 10 integrated workouts cater to all your specific training needs.
  5. 20 levels of resistance, 20 increasing incline levels offer workout variety.
  6. Built-in fan to keep you from getting too hot.
  7. Articulating oversized pedals with 2-degree slope inward to simulate natural stride, reduce impact.
  8. Wireless chest strap accurately keeps track of your heart rate.
  9. Water bottle holder for hydration.
  10. Multimedia capability allows you to train while being inspired by your favorite artists and songs.
  11. The E25 has mobility wheels that make it easier to move the machine, you can see these wheels clearly in some of the pictures of the Sole E55 (the elder brother to the E25 – the SOLE E55 elliptical and the E25 elliptical have the same basic frame)

sole e25 elliptical cup holder

Advantages of the SOLE E25 Elliptical Machine

1) SOLE Fitness Performance

The SOLE E25 elliptical trainer is equipped with a heavy 19-pound flywheel as well as a high gear ratio not found in its counterparts. As a result, this easy-to-use workout equipment delivers an extremely fluid performance and plenty of top-end resistance, allowing it to function pretty much like a high-end trainer.

2) Foot Pedals

The E25 elliptical trainer comes with custom designed foot pedals. These rare elliptical machine components were developed with the help of a renowned physical therapist. Together with the manufacturer, they designed a 2-degree inward slope to the foot pedals which minimizes ankle and knee stress common in most brands of elliptical machines on the market.

What’s more, the manufacturer understands that not everyone walks the same. For this reason, they made the pedals articulating to fit your walking style. This unique feature also minimizes the numb toe effects and sore Achilles tendons, allowing you to concentrate less on being uncomfortable and more on hitting your target.

3) SOLE Elliptical E25 Power Incline

In fact this is the feature that sets the E25 elliptical trainer from other brands out there. The Power Incline feature creates a totally different training which is targeted to areas of the lower body that usually wouldn’t be worked out on a non-Power Incline elliptical trainer.

4) Frame

This feature-laden elliptical trainer from SOLE Fitness comes with a strong and heavy 38 mm steel frame, which is designed to support user weight capacity of up to 350 pounds.

sole e25 elliptical start stop incline

Setting Up and Operating Your SOLE E25 Elliptical Machine

While both an elliptical machine and a treadmill offer an incredible workout routine, they are dissimilar in terms of so many aspects including effectiveness, how to use each one of them and so on.

For instance, an elliptical machine will go to work on some muscle groups that the treadmill will not. Here is how to operate the machine;

1) Read the Instructional Manual Carefully

Your E25 elliptical machine from SOLE will come with an instructional manual carrying all the information you need on how to set the machine up and operate it. Read through the manually carefully to make sure that setup has been completed properly and that you know how to operate your trainer before you step on it.

2) Handling the E25 Machine

Your E25 elliptical trainer from SOLE will feature handles for 2 reasons;

  • As a way to keep your arms moving along with your legs for enhanced workout efficiency.
  • As a safety and comfort feature to help you feel safeguarded and supported.

Do not grip the handles too tightly; a light grip should be enough. As you mount the machine, begin with the pedals in the neutral position, next to one another and parallel to the floor.

Take hold of the handles as you step on the pedals and keep them in neutral position as you enter a series of instructions into your machine so that it can begin running efficiently.

3) Features Reviewed

As said before, the E25 is an elliptical trainer that packs a number of features, and you will want to get well conversant with each one of them to be able to gain the most out of the machine.

For instance, depending on your strength and comfort, you can adjust the resistance of the pedals for less or more. Your machine will also come with a built-in pulse grip heart rate monitor, so you can keep your heart rate in the target zone for the most effective training. It is always advisable to make adjustments and change programming as well as resistance before you begin working out.

NB: Avoid trying to press buttons and change programs while moving.

sole e25 elliptical display

4) Posture

You should maintain a proper posture as you train on your elliptical equipment. To get the best results, try to keep your head straight and body upright.

Leaning on the front bar of the machine is not advisable.

sole fitness e25 music speakers

SOLE E25 Elliptical Review – The Conclusion

Take your training to the next level as you hit your fitness goals with the E25 elliptical trainer from SOLE. With its patented sole e25 elliptical technology, this easy-to-use aerobics or cardio-workout equipment is designed to suit all your workout needs. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why it has consistently received lots of top reviews as well as ratings from the most reliable consumer review magazines and websites.

Send GVCC your feedback and support now!

And what’s surprising about the SOLE E25 elliptical trainer is the fact that despite its ground-breaking features, it actually goes for less than $1000.

Join our rides for fun and fitness!

The club offers a variety of rides from monthly newcomer rides to tougher tours up the local hills. Check the calendar and come ride with us!

Although many of us wear colorful biker clothes and have road bikes, we are tourers, not racers. Our greatest passion, and perennial source of discussion, is safety on the roads — how routes can be configured for better bike safety and how bikers can make wise riding choices to maximize safety.

While it is true that some GVCC members enjoy chasing down younger race kit-clad speedsters, club rides are cooperative, not competitive..

Non-members are always welcome to come meet club members and try our rides out. Check the calendar and join us.

The Breeze Review

GVCC Email Mailing List

Goleta Valley Cycling Club has an email list at Google Groups. Club members can join or get off the list by contacting Janaki.

Please be aware when you reply to a group email, the reply goes to the whole group. If you only want to reply privately to the sender, don’t send the reply to the gbike group. Instead, copy out the email address of the sender and send your email to that person.

In order to avoid exposing GVCC members’ email addresses to the public, the messages and message archives are only viewable by group members. The mailing list is also not listed in the Google Groups directory and does not have a Google webpage.

Email posts go to all list members.