Top critical review
January 11, 2017
I just rowed my first workout on this rower earlier today. After around three years of using a C2 at my gym, I kind of went out on a limb on this machine. I was hesitant because there are so many reviews on either side, but I hope this will give some people a little clarity on this rower. I'm here to say: it's ok.
• The handle is a little narrow but didn't really cause me discomfort.
• The seat is made of a molded rubber that is very firm. I was concerned when I first pulled it out of the box, but after rowing on it for a half hour, it caused me no discomfort.
• Even at a full sprint, the chain remained firmly on the flywheel, with the chain guides doing their job nicely. I think I actually noticed the chain slapping less on the recovery than I have experienced on some C2 machines.
• The flywheel does make noise, which is to be expected of an air rower. This machine is louder than a C2, but not so loud I'd call it excessive.
• The seat does shake back and forth on its bearings a little, even after some adjustment, but I didn't notice the rocking during my workout.
• Foot straps held my feet in place very well (I've had the straps on C2's come loose after prolonged rowing).
• The flywheel resistance cannot be changed with a damper, but it hardly matters. The point of the air rower is that it is infinitely variable. The harder you row, the more resistance it provides. As I said above, I have a fair amount of experience rowing on a C2, and I was able to work myself up to a full sprint on this machine while still feeling that the flywheel was offering good resistance.
• All said, this machine is definitely not as well made as a C2. It feels sturdy, but there is a noticeable vibration from the flywheel as you get it up to speed.
I would recommend this rower, but only to someone who had experience on a higher quality rower and understood how their stroke should feel after viewing a force curve, as well as the intensity necessary to row specific 500 split times because -- and this is the big thing -- the monitor is absolute. garbage.
It reads out in imperial, not metric (which makes no sense to rowers), the speed is in miles per hour (again, nonsense) and the speed updates instantaneously, so fast the screen can barely keep up. It will go from 23 mph in the middle of your drive back down to 8 mph instantaneously as you finish and recover, and as a result you never know how fast you are really going. And the monitor scans back and forth so frequently that you can barely even use the thing as a timer (I haven't yet figured out how to turn the scan off). So I would really only recommend rowers who are familiar enough with what they are doing that they don't really need a monitor anyways.
TL;DR - It's a serviceable air rower and it costs $600 less than a C2. It provides all the resistance you could ever need, but the monitor is totally useless.