Summary: The SportPlus Indoor Rowing Machine has 8 levels of air resistance. This is smoother and more predictable than magnetic or elastic mechanisms – and will last for years. This is a mid-priced rowing machine, which has features you will only find on commercial style rowers. It is a big machine, made from aluminium and certified by European safety standards bodies. You get an app compatible computer, chest strap and console. You can also choose to use this rower with your own tablet or iPad.
Excellent feedback for this rower. You can check this, along with the full picture gallery (including the close-ups) over on this dedicated amazon.co.uk product page.
Your first clue that this is a professionally designed rowing machine are the 3 sections that touch the floor. The front end has wide feet, with a bar at the back and additional bar in the middle – which has wheels to move it around.
This is a big rower – especially compared to the budget rowing machines that most people choose for home use. It is 217cms long by 50cms wide and 97cms tall to the top of the console – which has an elevated position in this strikingly designed machine.
The main difference with this model is the ‘turbine’ resistance. This works using air, making it increasingly difficult to pull against the air going through the turbine. This is smooth, realistic, and predictable compared to magnetic resistance. It is also cheaper and not as messy as water rowers (which require adjusting the amount of water when you want to change resistance).
You will change the resistance using a paddle. This can be seen at the front of the rail on the main pictures.
It is not only the size and technology which make for a professional rowing machine. Multiple small details will determine whether people feel they got value from their purchase. Firstly, I like the ball-bearing seat rail setup on the SportPlus air rower. These help the seat glide, without the added noise of the luggage style wheels which are used for budget rowers.
Add to this a professional seat, stunning design features and the extra-long aluminium track which works for users up to 2 meters (more than 6 foot 5), and this is clearly a quality rowing machine.
There is a receiver for a chest strap heart rate monitor – which you will need to purchase separately from the main unit. This uses the popular 5khz band.
You have a choice of using the built-in LCD monitor, or connecting your smartphone or tablet (iPads / iPhone) via an app. The console is fine on its own for those that don’t work with the new technology. This will display distance, speed, strokes (per minute and total), calories and time per session.
A good mix of feedback for this rower. This makes a change from the polarized comments left on some other machines. We get to find out a little more than whether people loved it or wanted to rant about a scratch (for example).
The air resistance impressed a lot of buyers. This is smoother and tougher than you will get from magnetic rowers. While assembly did challenge some users, the unit was considered both big and sturdy by most people. App connections did cause a couple of challenges – though there are specific mentions that this worked fine once it was completed.
In conclusion, this indoor rower is ideal for users looking for something a bit bigger than most indoor rowers, with the option to up the resistance. It is a sturdy machine, with a lot of pro features for the price. You get air resistance, which is smooth, realistic, and predictable. You also get app compatibility, chest strap connection (the strap is not included) and a fully functional monitor.
Feedback has been largely positive – with the size and sturdiness coming in for individual praise.
Check out the full gallery for yourself – this includes close-ups of all the key features – over on this dedicated amazon.co.uk product page.
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