- This is a budget-friendly rowing machine
- Comes with 20 pre-set fitness programs on its console
- It has a smooth, quiet operation
- Shows energy generated in watts, allowing you to use watt-based fitness apps
- It has an adjustable console
- It lacks a heart rate monitor in its programs
- Its damper selector is made of plastic, which may break more easily
- The LCD display screen is quite small
Table Of Contents
Things to Consider Before Buying the NordicTrack RW200 Rower
The first thing that you should always check when buying any rower is the mode of resistance. The NordicTrack RW200 uses air and magnetic resistance. There is a flywheel at the front, which spins when you pull the handle, generating wind, which in turn, creates resistance.
Air rowers have a dynamic resistance based on the strength at which you pull the handle. The magnetic component is near the flywheel and creates resistance by moving closer or further from the wheel.
You should also check the ease of assembly. Go for an easy-to-assemble roller that does not require professional assistance. The RW200 is easy to assemble even for amateurs in the DIY world.
In addition, it is essential to look at added features in the rower. RW200 is a mid-level rower and, therefore, lacks several intricate features. However, it has a small display that comes with 20 pre-set programs, one of which displays the amount of energy you generate in watts. It also has built-in speakers and a socket for your smartphone so that you can listen to music as you work out.
It is also compact, making it suitable for an apartment or office set up. Its stands do not skid or scratch the surface. Therefore, you can use it on any type of floor.
Features And Benefits
Here are some of the core features of RW200 Rower.
You can assemble the NordicTrack RW200 Rower with relative ease using tools found at home. Most people can assemble it in ten to fifteen minutes. Much of the machine comes pre-assembled for parts such as the flywheel and stands.
What you are left to do is to mount the monitor and your seat. You will need an adjustable wrench and a Phillips head screwdriver for assembly. Various tools and a detailed assembly manual are included with the product.
Here is a video to walk you through the assembly process in case you need some extra help.
The NordicTrack RW200 Rower combines both air and magnetic resistance into one. This has several advantages. The air resistance offers the variable component of resistance and increases or decreases it as per your strength.
At the same time, the magnetic element sets the limit below which the resistance cannot go lower. This makes you work harder to keep up with the resistance.
It has a damper, which allows you to control the resistance with a choice of levels 1 to 10. You can begin with a low resistance setting when getting started with exercise and increase the resistance as you get fitter.
- Resistance type: Air/Magnetic
- Max user weight: 250 lbs (113.3 kg)
- Dimensions: 85”x 22” x43” (H)
- Machine weight: 105 lbs
- Material: Steel frame, vinyl, cell foam moulded seat
- Colour: Black painted rail, Silver damper and flywheel, orange or grey stands
Build Quality and Features
The company behind the RW200 is a trusted fitness company that has been supplying clients with high-quality fitness products for over three decades. It has maintained the quality in the manufacture of this fitness equipment.
I found it to have a solid build structure, an oversized steel rail and a sturdy welded steel frame, all signs of a machine built to last. To show confidence in their product, NordicTrack backs up its product with excellent warranties, which I have explained below.
The stands of this equipment are rubberised at the base. However, it is safe to use a mat for extra floor protection. Other parts, such as handles and footrest also feel firm when pressed during a workout.
RW200 is part of the SpaceSaver series fitness equipment, which allows you to fold and roll them away after you are done exercising. When folded, it takes up a tiny space in your closet. You can also move it around with relative ease if you need to exercise at different locations.
The NordicTrack RW200 comes with an adjustable monitor that has a backlit display. On the display, you will find such fitness data as Strokes per Minute (SPM), calories, distance covered, Watts (power), Watts meter, time spent and the total number of strokes. This monitor automatically connects when you unfold your machine.
You can also adjust it up or down, depending on your height and preference. Unfortunately, the display lacks a heart rate monitor. If you need to monitor your heart rate, purchase one of the wearable monitors in the market, though I can recommend the Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor.
Below the display are two in-built speakers, a sound jack port and a holder on the side to place your phone. This offers hands-free playing of music from your device. The speakers have good quality output and enough sound for a medium room.
The RW200 comes with ergonomically designed handles, footrests and sets to offer utmost comfort when rowing. You then adjust the monitor to face you in the preferred seating position and read your data with ease.
Besides, it has a moulded seat with foam padding and a vinyl cover for additional support. However, some users feel that they could do with larger seats. Overall, the fitness machine is comfortable for regular rowing usage.
If you are picking a rowing machine for use at home, always consider its storage. At 105 lbs, it may seem quite heavy. However, as said earlier, it is foldable and can be rolled across the floor to the designated storage location.
When done rowing, remove fan pins, fold your machine and return the pins. To fold, lift the handles so that the central part of the rails bend. Take the bent rail towards the front stands of the machine. The shorter rail lets it fit even in small spaces.
NordicTrack provides a 30-day money-back guarantee should you not like the product. The frame comes with a 10-year warranty; parts have a two-year warranty and a year’s warranty on labour. You need to register your machine to validate the warranty.
NordicTrack customer service is available to assist with any questions. I contacted them once and found them to be articulate and friendly.
Alternatives to NordicTrack RW200
Concept2 Model D has a similar working concept as the NordicTrack RW200. However, it is a little more expensive than RW200. Model D uses a spiral dampener but has fewer resistance levels than those on the RW200.
However, it comes with adjustable footrest as opposed to RW200, where you can just adjust the straps. When it comes to inbuilt fitness programs, the Concept2 Model D lags as it has only four against 20 for the Nordic machine. It also lacks a free coach app and speakers, as in the case of the former.
The NordicTrack RW900 is an upgrade from the RW200. There is the RW500 machine between the two models. Therefore, you expect it to have more and better features than its predecessor.
One of the most significant differences is the size of the monitor; the RW900 comes with a 22-inch interactive touch-screen and not the small monitor in RW200. You can watch iFit Workouts in HD quality on the screen as you practise them. Their mode of working is similar except for high resistance options in the RW900.
ProForm looks more or less like the RW200 except for the placement of the monitor, seat and footrests. The footrests are raised above the main frame while the monitor is placed between the footrests.
This is an LCD monitor, which is larger and more interactive than that of the RW200 but records much the same data, including wattage and strokes per minute. In addition, the 550R comes with a damper with which you can adjust the resistance levels for your workout. However, the ProForm 550R lacks the silent magnetic resistance that you will find in the NordicTrack RW200 fitness machine. Pricewise, the 550R is cheaper than the RW200.
Final Thoughts On The NordicTrack RW200 Rower
The NordicTrack RW200 is an entry-level rower for use at home. It is a budget-friendly option if you are looking for a rower that you can use at home or studio. The machine is quieter than most air resistance rowers in the market and can even compete with some high-end brands.
It combines magnetic resistance with air resistance to give you a consistent rowing experience with an option of varying it as per your preference. The RW200 is a durable rowing machine that you can use for full-body exercises and intense workouts. If looking for a perfect in-home rowing machine, NordicTrack RW200 is an ideal buy.