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Xterra Review

Saturday, March 2nd

2024 Rowing Machine Reviews

Xterra Review 3.5 Star Rating


3.5 Star Rating
  • Rower Type: Air, water, magnetic, combination air & magnetic
  • Price Range: $299 to $899
  • Different Models: 7
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Return Policy: 30 days, shipping not included
  • Warranty: Depends on model
  • Shipping: Included and available in 48 US states

Spirit Fitness is the parent company of Xterra Fitness and a prominent international brand in the fitness industry. Since its establishment in 1983, the company has championed innovation and customer satisfaction. Spirit Fitness has sold over 1.2 million fitness equipment pieces in 50 countries, securing 55 awards along the way. The company prides itself on using cutting-edge science and technology to create engaging fitness equipment that helps people achieve their fitness goals faster. Fun fact: they were an early innovator in integrating cooling fans into their equipment.

Wide product range

Xterra offers a versatile lineup of rowing machines to cater to various preferences, consisting of:

  • 3 Water Rowers
  • 1 Air-and-Magnetic Combination Rower
  • 1 Air Rower
  • 2 Magnetic Rowers

With a total of 7 models, Xterra's range covers all preferences. The two most expensive models, the ERG700 Air & Magnetic Rower and ERG650W Water Rowing Machine, are priced at $899.99 - not a bad deal for their top-tier products. On the other end, the affordable ERG160 Magnetic Rower is available for $299.99.

ERG700 Air & Magnetic Rower: a fan favorite

This flagship model showcases a combination of air and magnetic resistance, offering a smooth and challenging workout experience. With 16 resistance levels and 10 workout programs, this is the model we'd recommend to serious rowers. It's taller than many other rowing machines, with the seat raised 20" off the floor, so it's easier to sit down on and stand up from. The ergonomic row handle, user-controlled intensity, and bright 5.5" backlit console amplify the experience. The console might have a retro feel, but it clearly shows your strokes per minute, overall distance rowed, time passed, calories burned, power output, heart rate, and resistance setting. The rowing machine's foldable design and industrial strength handle strap add to its convenience. Enthusiastic customer reviews underscore its durability, performance, and liken it to more expensive rival rowing machines.

ERG650W Water Rowing Machine: durable and authentic

The ERG650W Water Rowing Machine delivers a realistic rowing experience with over 15 programmed workouts and 6 resistance levels. The innovative multi-blade impeller water tank ensures authenticity in rowing feel and results. Users report their satisfaction with its ease of assembly, range of resistance, durability, and comfort. We're glad to see this model lives up to the $899.99 price tag.

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ERG160 Magnetic Rower: just gets the job done

The most budget-friendly of the bunch, the ERG160 Magnetic Rower has a magnetic flywheel resistance with 8 adjustable levels and an LED display that shows basic workout data. Customer reviews praise its construction but wish that resistance could be set higher for more intense workouts. It's a bummer that the warranty for parts on this rower is only 90 days. Unless you're using it every day, it's unlikely that you'll wear out components like the foot straps within that time frame, as they may require replacement only after extended use. In other words, you might have to replace them on your own dime if they wear out after 90 days. We'd recommend this model for people who are casually interested in rowing and want to add a cardio option to their home set-up, but aren't necessarily expecting the top-tier experience provided by rowers found in commercial gyms.

Read the warranty fine print

Another word about warranty: it's different for every model. The more expensive machines come with a Lifetime Frame warranty, 5 years for parts, and 1 year for labor. The cheaper rowers come with 1 year for the frame, and 90 days for parts - nothing mentioned anywhere about labor. If you're on a budget and want to take advantage of Xterra's low prices, this may not be a dealbreaker for you, but it's something you should be aware of.

Sign up for the newsletter to save

When we visited the site, we got a pop-up advertising Xterra's newsletter, which frequently features discounts. Xterra also appears to run site-wide sales often, so check back often if you're after a bargain.

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Free shipping but less-than-generous return policy

Spirit Fitness ships to the contiguous US states, aiming to dispatch orders within 3 business days, with expected delivery in 2-3 weeks. We love that basic delivery is included in the cost, and that customers receive tracking notifications. However, if you want to return your rower, you'll only have 30 days to do so. You'll be on the hook for paying your own shipping costs, as well as a restocking fee of either 10% or 20% (we aren't sure which number is correct, as we found conflicting information on different pages).

A few issues with repairs

At the time of our review, the Better Business Bureau listing for Spirit Fitness was being updated. However, Spirit Fitness has been accredited by the BBB since 2018. Other review sites revealed customers' displeasure with customer service here. The most common complaint in the small sample we found was that the engineers incorrectly diagnosed problems with the equipment and sent the wrong replacement parts. One customer wondered in her review what good a warranty does if it isn't honored by the company. We would have to agree with her, and we hope this problem is not widespread.

A very good choice

Xterra Fitness offers a wide range of rowing machines, catering to different budgets and preferences. From the top-of-the-line ERG700 to the budget-friendly ERG160, they have something for everyone. While their machines may not have all the bells and whistles of some competitors, they get the job done and are praised for their durability and functionality. Plus, with free shipping and the potential for discounts through their newsletter, Xterra is a great option for those looking for quality and affordability. However, potential customers should be aware of the warranty details and customer service issues. Overall, Xterra Fitness is a very good choice for rowing machines and a realistic option for anyone looking to get fit at home.

Where Can You Find the Best Rowing Machines?

Rowing machines, or "rowers," have swiftly sailed into the mainstream fitness world, gaining traction as a one-stop solution for a comprehensive workout. They're not just about the sport of rowing anymore; they're about sculpting your body, boosting your cardio, and getting fit in a fun way. Rowing machines provide an all-in-one workout, working the legs, back, arms, and core.

So it should come as no surprise that rowing machines have become so popular. With rowing, you can elevate your heart rate and improve endurance without stepping outside. What's more, rowing is gentle on your knees and joints, thanks to the smooth motion and the seated position. The resistance can be adjusted to tailor the session - amp up the intensity for a challenge or keep it light and steady.

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Rowing Machine FAQ

There are four basic types, all classified by the type of resistance they provide. The rowers you may have seen at your local gym, CrossFit box or Orangetheory studio probably used flywheel or water resistance. Other rowing machines use magnetic or piston/cylinder resistance mechanisms.
Absolutely! Rowing machines use up to 85% of your body, from the effort it takes to push backwards to the core strength needed to go back and forth and, of course, all of the upper body in the pull. Like any new exercise routine, you may find there's a learning curve to developing proper form, but it's one of the best low-impact workouts you can get.
Yes! There are many workouts designed for all levels of fitness, including yours. You can also find communities that share rowing challenges -even worldwide! This is especially true if you use a Concept2 rower, which is considered as the "gold standard" when entering competitive times for races and recruiting.
Sometimes, depending on the model you select and how many features it offers. You'll see rowers ranging from under $300 to over $2500. You might be able to get low-interest financing from the retailer of the rowing machine you select.
Most styles will have a certain minimum floor space when in use: you're pushing yourself back and forth along a track, so think about how long your legs extend from a bent position to a fully-extended one. However, if space is an issue, there are rowing machines that can be folded up when not in use (usually by placing the track in a vertical position).
Most retailers of Rowing Machines offer a return period of at least 30 days. But, keep in mind that you're usually going to be on the hook for return shipping fees, which can get expensive.
Some rowers are delivered for free. Don't be surprised to see shipping costs upwards of $130, though: rowing machines are oversized and heavy.
Generally speaking, you'll be the one setting up your rower. A few retailers might be able to connect you with a local professional who can do it for you, but you might want to try it yourself first. These machines are typically straightforward to get up and rowing.
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Continued from above...

What are the different styles of rowing machines? Rowers come equipped with a variety of resistance types, each offering a distinct rowing experience. Each type caters to different preferences in terms of workout dynamics, noise levels, and maintenance needs.

  • Air (flywheel) resistance uses a spinning fan, and the intensity grows as you row harder, although it can be a tad noisy.
  • Magnetic resistance, on the other hand, employs magnets, allowing for a quieter, smoother row where resistance is manually adjusted and stays consistent regardless of how fast you row.
  • Machines with pistons or hydraulic cylinders create resistance through air or fluid-filled components, making them more compact and often more affordable, but they might not mimic the traditional rowing feel as closely.
  • Finally, water resistance models, featuring paddles moving through a water tank, will give you an experience closest to actual rowing, including the calming sound of water, but they're typically heavier due to the water component.

Are you seeking the ideal rowing machine for your personal gym space? Here's what you should consider as you shop:

  • Budget. Rower prices span a broad spectrum. While the high-end models (exceeding $2,500) boast state-of-the-art features, you can snag a reliable machine for under $300. No need to splurge to ensure a solid workout session.
  • Features. Think about what you really want in a rower. Is space-saving important? Do you want the ability to join real-time classes, akin to Peloton? Or maybe the aesthetic matters, with the machine's look needing to mesh with your existing gym equipment?
  • Return policy and warranty. Be future-ready. If your chosen rower isn't the right fit for your space or if you end up wanting a different resistance type, can you send it back? Beware of potential hidden costs like restocking or return shipping charges. Moreover, get clarity on the warranty - what's covered, from the frame to electronics?
  • Company credibility. Dig into user feedback. What's the buzz about the brand? Will they step up if challenges arise during shipment, setup, or regular use? Given that a rowing machine isn't a trivial expense, you want to ensure you're placing your trust in the right hands.

If you're looking for a comprehensive breakdown of the top machines on the market, Top Consumer Reviews is the right place to be. We hope these ranked reviews will help steer you toward a rowing machine that aligns with your fitness aspirations!

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