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      October 1, 2020

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Xterra vs Sole Fitness

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

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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

5 stars
Xterra

XTERRA

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Cost:

From $349.99 to $899.99

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Xterra Fitness has spent more than 30 years helping both amateur and professional athletes to reach the top of their performance. Every fitness product they sell has been designed to deliver an exceptionally comfortable workout, with advanced training programs and attention to the details that make a cardio machine fantastic.

Water, air, or magnetic

Xterra has the widest variety of options among rowing machines. Whether you prefer your resistance to be delivered in a water, air, or magnetic system, you'll find a rower to match.

Equipment overview:

  • Rower Type: Air, Magnetic or Water
  • Price Range: $349.99 - $899.99
  • Different Models: 6
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Return Policy: 30 days, 10% restocking fee + return freight charges
  • Warranty: depends on the model, ranging from 1-5 years on parts, 1-2 years on frame, 0-90 days on labor
  • Shipping: Free

16 resistance levels

The most expensive rowing machine sold by Xterra Fitness is the ERG700 - but still reasonably priced at $899.99. This rower combines air and magnetic resistance, and a 20" frame height makes it easier to get on and off (compared with models that sit almost flat on the floor). It has 16 resistance levels and 10 programmed rowing workouts. The display may be a little old-school, but it gives you a clear idea of your strokes per minute, total distance rowed and time elapsed, calories, watts, heart rate, and resistance level. Fold it up for quick storage when not in use. We were impressed by the customer reviews on this model: several users compared it to higher-priced competitor rowing machines and said that this one meets and beats expectations.

Best Rowing Machines

Foldable design

The most economical rower that Xterra carries is the ERG220. Even though the price is lower, you'll still get a decent set of features: magnetic manual resistance across 8 levels, a simplified console for tracking your workout data (including a built-in HR receiver), and a foldable design.

Discounts offered

During our most recent visit to the Xterra site, there was a pop-up offer of a $50 discount for first-time visitors to the site. We had to enter our email address to get the code via email, and it was valid only for 48 hours and for orders of at least $799. There was also a promo featured at the top of the site offering a Total Fitness kit worth over $200 for free with the featured code. This kit included six popular fitness items, including a small foam roller, exercise ball, ab roller and jump rope. And, free shipping on all rowing machines makes this retailer even more appealing.

30 day returns

If you get your rower and decide you want to return it, you'll have 30 days from the date of delivery to request a Return Authorization number from Xterra's customer service team. Be aware that you'll have to pay a restocking fee of 10%, and you're responsible for the return freight shipping costs.

Highest rating

Xterra Fitness does an excellent job of putting well-constructed rowing machines within reach of most customers. Although their rowers don't have the most cutting-edge features you'll find with some rivals' machines, you'll get enough features to deliver a calorie-burning, muscle-building workout right at home. Xterra Fitness earns our top recommendation for rowing machines.

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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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