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      August 5, 2020

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Lifespan Fitness vs Sole Fitness

To help you find the Best Rowing Machines, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Lifespan Fitness and Sole Fitness.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Rowing Machines, please Click Here

Buy Your Rowing Machine with Xterra Today! Where can you find the best rowing machines? Maybe you got a taste at a HIIT class like Eat the Frog or Orangetheory, you're a CrossFit devotee, or you just get in a rowing session when you hit Planet Fitness or another gym. Many people have a love-hate relationship with this particular piece of fitness equipment, so we applaud you if you're looking for a quality machine to add to your home gym!

You probably know all of the reasons to love rowing machines: few cardio workouts give you the total body focus that's achieved while rowing. Generally speaking, a rowing routine uses 65-75% legs and 25-35% of the upper body - strengthening legs, arms, and abs all at the same time. That's efficient!

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Best Reviews

2020

Rowing Machine Reviews

3.5 stars
Lifespan Fitness

LIFESPAN FITNESS

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Cost:

From $499 to $1,199

LifeSpan has the spectrum of at-home fitness equipment covered, from treadmills and other cardio machines to stretching machines and even treadmill desks!

2 rowing machine options

LifeSpan carries two rowing machines: the RW1000 and the RW7000. At a price point of just under $500, the RW1000 is a basic, easy-to-use model for "simplified rowing". You'll get 5 levels of magnetic resistance, making the machine almost silent when compared with air resistance rowers. The electronic display offers you basic data of distance, time, calories, stroke count and strokes-per-minute, and it's battery operated. This model folds and moves easily for storage. Out of 51 customer reviews on the LifeSpan site, the RW1000 earned 4.4 out of 5 stars, with most users saying this machine is reliable and priced well for what it delivers.

Best Rowing Machines

Commercial grade

On the other hand, the RW7000 is a commercial model that delivers a workout similar to what you'd expect from equipment you find at a gym. You'll pay just under $1,200 for this model, which gives you a hybrid air/magnetic resistance system with 16 levels of difficulty. The console is much more advanced, with rowing modes that include manual, goal selection, race and HIIT workouts. The console is also blue backlit, so if you're rowing in low-light conditions you'll still be able to see your data. As far as we could tell, the black steel monorail of the RW7000 is not foldable or detachable for storage, so plan on a permanent location that gives you around 100" of floor space.

Equipment overview:

  • Rower Type: Magnetic or Air/Magnetic hybrid
  • Price Range: $499 - $1199
  • Different Models: 2
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Return Policy: 30 days, 15% restocking fee
  • Warranty: Frame - 5 years or lifetime, Parts - 2 or 5 years, Labor - 1 or 2 years
  • Shipping: Free

Free shipping

Most of LifeSpan's customer policies are solid. You can make returns within 30 days of delivery, but expect a restocking fee of 15%. Your warranty coverage depends on the model you select, with less coverage for the lower-priced rower: 5 years or lifetime on the frame, 2 or 5 years on parts, and 1-2 years on labor. You'll also get free shipping on either rowing machine.

Good track record

Overall, LifeSpan demonstrates a good track record of customer care. With over 25 years in operation, they have an "A+" and accreditation by the Better Business Bureau. And, over more than 450 independently-verified shopper reviews, LifeSpan earned an average of 4 out of 5 stars. We appreciated the responsiveness of their customer service team on those reviews that were less-than-satisfied; it's obvious that they don't sweep their customers' concerns under the rug.

Solid choice

You won't find lots of options for rowers at LifeSpan, but the two they offer are well-priced and come with a decent number of features for what you'll pay. Free shipping is a nice plus, and a reasonable return policy won't take too much cash from your pocket if you decide your rower needs to go back to the warehouse.

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3 stars
Sole Fitness

SOLE FITNESS

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Cost:

$999.99

Sole Fitness originally focused on hotel gyms for their fitness equipment, but their sales evolved into residential use as their machines grew in popularity.

Only 1 rowing machine

Sole Fitness has one rower model: the SR500, priced at $999.99. Resistance is delivered in an air/magnetic combination, giving you 16 levels to choose from. You'll need an outlet nearby, because unlike many rowing machines this one needs a 120V power source.

Equipment overview:

  • Rower Type: Air/magnetic combo
  • Price Range: $999.99
  • Different Models: 1
  • Financing Available: No
  • Return Policy: 30 days, no restocking fees, no return shipping fees
  • Warranty: Frame - lifetime, Parts - 3 years, In-Home Labor - 1 year
  • Shipping: Free

Folds for storage

The SR500 folds for easy storage, but plan on needing 94" of floor space when in use. Sole has an extraordinary return policy. You have 30 days to try out your rower and return it if you're unsatisfied for any reason. Unlike most of their competitors, Sole doesn't charge any restocking fees and they even cover your return shipping costs.

Reputation can be improved

Unfortunately, Sole's reputation leaves room for improvement. At the time of our most recent visit to the BBB website, Sole only had a "C+" rating. Some customers had a difficult time getting help from Sole representatives, especially when needing help or service with warranty claims.

Website issues

We also had a few minor issues when using the website, especially when we didn't have the screen maximized on our laptop: the images jiggled all over the page, making it hard to click to get more information on the rower.

Just so-so

For many reasons, Sole Fitness' rowing machine leaves us with an impression that's just "so-so". We love their fantastic return policy, but we wish there was a wider range of rowers to choose from. Plus, to move up in our rankings, we'd definitely need to see a better customer response. If you absolutely love the SR500, go for it - but we think most customers prefer a wider range of rowing machines when making their purchase decision.

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Continued from above

Another huge reason to take advantage of rowing is its low-impact style. There's no pounding on already-sensitive joints while using a rowing machine, just a push and a pull that glides back and forth with whatever amount of effort you choose to use.

What style of rowing machine is best? That largely depends on preference. Resistance comes in four ways: air (flywheel), magnetic, pistons or cylinders, and water. If you've used a machine at a fitness center, you're probably familiar with flywheel and water rowers already. Those styles also do the best job of imitating the feel (and the sound, for tank-base systems) of rowing in open water.

So, how can you tell which rowing machine is the right one for your home gym? Here are several criteria to keep in mind as you shop for a rower:

  • Price. Rowing machines can range from ultra-affordable (less than $300) to top-of-the-line (over $2,500). While spending more usually puts more features and cutting-edge technology in your hands, you don't have to break the bank to get a rower that delivers a terrific workout.
  • Features. Make a list of the must-haves for your rower. Does it need to fold easily for storage? Do you want the capability of following a live class, Peloton-style? Should your rowing machine have a certain look to match your other home gym equipment?
  • Returns and Warranty. What if your rowing machine doesn't fit the space you had planned out? Or you realize that you'd actually prefer the resistance of a water rower instead of a flywheel system? Most retailers of rowers allow returns, but watch out for restocking fees and return shipping fees. What kind of warranty coverage does the company give you for the frame, mechanical components, and any electronics?
  • Reputation. What do other shoppers say about the company? Can you expect good service if something goes wrong during shipping, installation, or day-to-day use? A rowing machine can be a significant investment, so you want to know that your purchase is from a business that has your back.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best rowing machines available today. We hope this information helps you pick the right rower to meet all your health and fitness goals!

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