NordicTrack RW200 Review
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NordicTrack RW200 Rower Review

Today we’re reviewing the RW200 Rower. We’ll discuss the pros and cons and how it compares to other rowers in the same price range.

I have experience using the NordicTrack RW200 when training clients. So, while I don’t own it personally, I can review the model as someone having used the machine.

One thing I’ll say right off the bat is that it is a sharp-looking rower!

The NordicTrack RW200 rower in the living area of a home.

For those in a rush…

The NordicTrack RW200 is a good rower, but better options are available at the price point. For example, the Concept2 Model D is around the same price once you factor in shipping while offering a much better monitor.

So, I would recommend buying the Concept2 Model D over the RW200 Rower at this point.

Also, this rower is difficult to find these days at major retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart, etc. As you can see, it’s not even listed on NordicTrack’s website.

If you can find the RW200 used or at a steep discount (or locally so you won’t have to pay for shipping), I think it would definitely be worth picking up. While better options exist, it’s not a bad rower.

Table of Contents
(click a title to jump ahead!)

1. Resistance Type
2. Monitor/Control Panel
3. Build Quality
4. Comfort
5. Storage
6. Capacity
7. Dimensions
8. Assembly
9. Pros and Cons
10. Warranty
11. Price
12. Overall Review

NordicTrack RW200 Resistance Type

The NordicTrack RW200 Rower is an air and magnetic resistance rower. We’ll get into what that means, but the main takeaway of this section is that the post-2017 versions of the RW200 are plenty strong enough for beginner and intermediate rowers.

Older versions of the rower were weaker (air only) and received a lot of complaints. I used the air/magnetic version and I found it to be plenty strong for being an entry-level rower.

Air Resistance (Variable Resistance)

Like other air rowers, the air resistance works by first pulling the handle and spinning a flywheel at the front of the machine.

As the flywheel spins, air is sucked into the housing which creates resistance against the spinning flywheel.

The faster a user rows, the faster the flywheel spins, which in return creates more airflow and resistance.

Simply put – the faster you row the more resistance you create. Thus, rowing speed is one way to control the resistance level. This type of resistance is classified as ‘variable’ and is the same as that offered by water rowing machines.

Silent Magnetic Resistance

Magnetic resistance operates by moving a magnet closer to or farther from the metal flywheel inside the housing.

The closer the magnet is to the metal flywheel, the stronger the resistance. Since a user controls the magnet’s distance with the monitor, we call this “adjustable” resistance.

You can read more on this in the article on rowing machine resistance types.

Resistance Positives

People love air resistance rowers because the effort you put in determines the resistance of the rower.

NordicTrack RW200 Resistance Strength

Variable resistance is great for HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts because a rower can speed up or slow down without having to change any settings and resistance will automatically adjust to your speed. This is why air resistance rowers are seen in every Crossfit style gym.

Air resistance rowers also closely mimic the resistance felt when rowing in a scull on the water, which is why all Olympic rowers and athletes use air rowers.

Combine this with 24 silent magnetic resistance levels and you get the best of both worlds!

Adding magnetic resistance means you can benefit from the “low-end” resistance strength. Meaning, even when you row slowly, you can still feel strong resistance.

Magnetic resistance also makes the entire rowing stroke much quieter, so you won’t be as concerned with waking up people in your house or turning the TV volume up too loud.

Damper Setting

An added benefit of the RW200 Rower is that the “inertia enhanced flywheel” has a built-in damper setting much like the Concept2 rowers.

An inertia-enhanced flywheel is a flywheel that’s designed to maintain inertia. These flywheels are optimized in certain ways (e.g., in their size, balance, and weight) for smooth rotation.

Since objects in motion stay in motion, inertia-enhanced flywheels better maintain a smooth rotational motion making for a smoother rowing experience with minimal jerking.

While NordicTrack calls this “adjustable” resistance, that’s not technically correct. The “adjustable resistance” they are referring to is a handle that controls the amount of airflow into the flywheel (seen in the photo below). You can set the damper from level 1 to level 10.

NordicTrack RW200 Rower Damper Setting

Level 1 allows the least amount of air to enter the flywheel, which in return causes the flywheel to spin more freely and feel “less resistance”. This can be compared to rowing in a light, sleek row boat.

Level 10 allows the most air into the flywheel, which creates “more resistance”. This can be compared to rowing in a big, heavy boat.

While this may sound like adjustable resistance, it’s not really. Concept2 compares it to being “similar to bicycle gearing: it affects how rowing feels but does not directly affect the resistance” (source).

To adjust the “silent magnetic resistance” there is a plus and minus sign on the monitor.

Resistance Downsides

Here is where things get a little confusing. In the past, the RW200 was an “air-only” rower.

This meant there were a lot of complaints about the noise level and many people felt the resistance was overall very weak.

Some of these users did not understand you need to row faster to get stronger resistance. However, I did speak to a few experienced rowers, who helped me write the review, and they confirmed that the air-only resistance was weaker than the Concept2.

With that being said, NordicTrack has since upgraded the resistance to be the combined air/magnetic type – just like their upgraded RW500 and RW900 models.

The addition of magnetic resistance has lowered the noise level and increased the overall resistance strength.

Just keep in mind that most of the negative reviews and feedback you’ll find online about the RW200 rower’s “weak” resistance strength mostly come from the older 2016/2017 models.

More recent versions of the rower are fine for most beginner and intermediate rowers.

Overall

The NordicTrack RW200 resistance provides a smooth, strong rowing stroke that is great for almost all ages and fitness levels.

While the resistance strength may not be adequate for more advance users, I think it is great for a majority of people looking for ‘variable’ resistance.

Monitor/Control Panel

The NordicTrack RW200 Rower comes with a fully adjustable monitor with a backlit display.

The fitness monitor tracks various data such as:

  • Calories
  • Distance
  • Strokes
  • Strokes Per Minute (SPM)
  • Time
  • Watts (Power)
  • Watts Meter

The monitor turns on automatically and can be adjusted up or down based on the user’s height and preference.

The console uses four D batteries or it can be plugged into an outlet with the included power adapter.

One cool feature is the built-in speakers as the RW200 comes with two 2.0″ digitally amplified speakers.

Other cool features include Bluetooth Smart connection capabilities, and an auxiliary port to plug in headphones.

Plus, the RW200 Rower now comes with a FREE 1-Year NordicTrack iFIT membership! (more on this below).

Display and Programs

The data on the monitor is displayed in three windows: Upper, Center, and Lower.

  • Upper Display will show the watts and watts meter or the strokes per minute (SPM).
  • Center Display will show either the time, distance, or strokes.
  • Lower Display will show energy expenditure (calories burned).

You can row at your own leisure by selecting the “Manual Mode” and pressing the “Priority Display” button until the data you want is displayed in the correct window. The data can also be displayed in the scan mode.

Another option is to choose from one of the built-in workout programs. Choose from 1 of 20 preset “Watts or Calories” workout programs designed by personal trainers.

Each program displays a target zone on the watts meter that you need to stay in to complete the workout. The monitor will notify you when you fall out of range.

Unfortunately, the monitor cannot track heart rate (as discussed in the NordicTrack RW900 article), which is a bummer, although there are many wearable devices and phone apps that can perform this function.

One very popular heart rate monitor is the Polar H10 Bluetooth Fitness Tracker.

Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor
$99.95 $79.98

ANT + Bluetooth, Waterproof

06/17/2024 12:27 am GMT

Sound System

Any device with a 3.5mm jack can be plugged into the monitor with an audio cable (not included). You can then increase or decrease the volume using the buttons on the console.

I love this feature when rowing so I can listen to podcasts and audiobooks without the need for headphones.

iFIT Personal Trainer Membership

One of the newest features of all the NordicTrack Rowers is the included NordicTrack iFIT membership that’s meant to help you reach your fitness goals.

If you are familiar with Peloton (the program that comes with their exercise bikes), it’s a pretty similar style program.

The iFIT membership gains you access to 12,000+ workouts, many of which are rowing specific.

NordicTrack’s more advanced models come with monitors that can display the videos, but if you purchase the RW200 you will need to download the app and play it on your phone or tablet.

What’s great about the iFIT program is the trainers keep you really engaged and the time seems to fly by while working out! 

Some rowing workouts incorporate other workouts alongside your rower like squats, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. You can even follow along trainers as the row down famous rivers around the world!

If you get bored of rowing, there are plenty of other workouts offered by iFIT to help you reach your fitness goals. They offer programs for strength (weights and other forms of strength training), flexibility (yoga), and the cardiovascular system (kickboxing).

There is so much to cover on the program that it’s probably best to check out their website here.

I also have some additional info about the monitors in my RW500 and RW900 reviews which I link to in my final section.

Check out the iFIT promotional video below!

https://youtu.be/iLm52mOq-bM

Overall

The NordicTrack RW200 rower monitor tracks an okay amount of data, but it’s not as advanced as it looks.

While the monitor looks high-speed and flashy, its large surface is mostly populated by labels while showing little data for a monitor of its size.

While there are some cool features about the RW200 monitor, it just doesn’t compare to the monitors found on the Concept2 Model D or the Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower.

Having said that, if you add in the benefits of the iFIT program, then things get a little more interesting. The iFIT program does make the monitor better than the Stamina Avari but it will be an additional cost each month.

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Build Quality

NordicTrack is well-known for making durable exercise equipment, so quality and durability won’t be an issue.

The RW200 Rower has a solid build structure with an oversized steel seat rail and welded steel frame.

Like other NT rowers (e.g., the RW500), the RW200 is a reliable rower that is sturdy and built to last! To boot, NordicTrack backs its equipment with excellent warranties and 30-day money-back guarantees.

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Comfort

The NordicTrack Rowing Machine comes complete with ergonomically designed footrests, handles, and a molded seat to help provide comfort during long rowing sessions.

The adjustable monitor height also allows a user to view their workout data in the most comfortable position possible.

A user can sit on an oversized, molded seat with comfy padding. Molded rowing seats have a contour meant to accommodate how one sits on a rower (upright and forward).

The seat height is slightly higher than other rowers, which makes it good for individuals with bad joints and arthritis.

The foot pedals move nicely with your feet if your heel comes off the platform and the adjustable straps can accommodate any shoe size.

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Nordictrack RW200 Folding and Storage

The RW200 is in the NordicTrack space-saving line, so storing the RW200 is a piece of cake.

It takes up very little floor space when folded.

Storing the rower vertically is very easy and only requires a person to hold the two handles on the seat rail and lift. They can then allow the rower to fold in half and clip together.

NordicTrack RW200 Rower Storage

NordicTrack RW200 Rowing Machine Storage

When upright, the NordicTrack Rower can be moved and positioned on the two built-in caster wheels. The folded footprint in fairly small and can easily be put in the corner of a room or inside a coat closet.

The NordicTrack RW200 Rower is heavier than most rowers so just be careful at first until you get used to the weight distribution.

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Capacity (Max User Weight and Height)

NordicTrack RW200 Capacity

The RW200 has a fairly long seat rail to accommodate tall users. I called NordicTrack and they informed me that rowers as tall as 6’6″ should be able to use this rower depending on their inseam length.

There are no height restrictions for shorter users on this rowing machine.

The max user weight is about on par with other rowing machines in the price range.

Some rowers have a weight capacity of 350 lbs+, but the RW200 max user weight is between 250-300 lbs, depending on the model.

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Dimensions

  • Assembled Dimensions (L x W x H):
    • 86.5″ x 22.0″ x 42.8″
  • Assembled Weight:
    • 105 lbs.
  • Shipping Dimensions(L x W x H):
    • 47.05″ x 22.64″ x 25.79″
  • Shipping Weight:
    • 145 lbs.

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Assembly

The NordicTrack RW200 Rower assembly process is fairly easy and can be done in about 10-15 minutes.

The rower comes mostly pre-assembled and a majority of the assembly left is attaching the seat and monitor.

You will need 1 Phillips head screwdriver, 1 adjustable wrench, and 4 D-batteries for assembly.

Just be aware that the shipping weight of this unit is 145 lbs, so you may want help carrying it to the proper room before putting it together.

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Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Dual air and magnetic resistance
  • 24 silent magnetic resistance levels.
  • 10 adjustable “damper setting” resistance levels.
  • Built-in sound system
  • FREE 1-Year iFIT membership
  • Good build quality
  • Comfortable, smooth rowing stroke
  • Easy assembly & storage
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Great warranty!

Cons:

  • Basic monitor without iFIT (no heart rate function)
  • Low weight capacity
  • Large price fluctuation (causing it to be a good deal or bad deal)

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Warranty

  • Frame: 10-Years
  • Parts: 2-Years
  • Labor: 1-Year
  • Return policy: 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

The NordicTrack RW200 has a solid warranty, in my opinion, and a 30-day money back guarantee always makes me feel a little more comfortable!

The actual item model number is NTRW5914, so when registering your rower for its warranty make sure to put down: NordicTrack RW200 Rowing Machine (NTRW5914).

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NordicTrack RW200 Rowing Machine Price

When the RW200 was widely available, the price varied a lot, depending on where you bought it, and whether shipping was included.

If you can find it for $800 or less with shipping, then it’s probably worth it, especially if you want the iFIT program.

If with shipping, the RW200 price is close to that of the Concept2, then I would go with the C2 hands down.

It seems as though NordicTrack has recently moved away from selling on Amazon and wants consumers to purchase through their website.

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Nordictrack RW200 Review: Conclusion

Since the upgrade from air to air/magnetic resistance, the NordicTrack RW200 Rower can provide an intense workout suitable for beginner and intermediate rowers.

However, given the lack of availability (it doesn’t appear to be available anywhere at this point) and lack of features compared to other rowers in its price range, I recommend going with a different rower.

When comparing the Concept2 Model D vs. NordicTrack RW200 rower, the C2 has the better monitor and resistance.

Overall, I would recommend getting the Concept2 Model D Rower over the RW200 Rower. Here is a link to my full Model D Review).

Another popular rower is the Xebex rowing machine (link to review).

Also, be sure to check out my NordicTrack RW900 Rower review (click here) and my RW500 Rower review (click here).

I hope you enjoyed my NordicTrack RW200 Rower review! Please ask me any questions in the comments below.

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72 Comments

  1. I’m wondering how you’d compare this machine to the Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399?

    BestBuy in Canada is selling both for around $500. The Norditrack, as you mention, can retail for much more in some cases but is it really a better machine than the Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399?

    I’d appreciate your feedback to help me make a decision.

    1. Hi Keith,

      I usually give the Stamina 1399 the edge because it sells for about 1/2 the price in the U.S.. However, when selling for the same price, the NordicTrack would have the advantage.

      The resistance on the Stamina 1399 is rated to be slightly stronger than the NordicTrack but the NordicTrack’s damper setting is a nice feature to be able to “adjust” the feel of the rowing stroke.

      The monitor on the NordickTrack is slightly better because it tracks more data points and has a watts meter. The warranty on the NordicTrack is also longer which is a nice benefit.

      Overall the two rowers are very similar with only minor functional differences. If you are buying from BestBuy I would ask if they have any display models that you could test out. You could then compare the models in person. Also make sure BestBuy offers a 30-day money back guarantee. This way if you don’t like your choice you can easily return it and choose the other option.

      I hope this was able to help! I would love to hear back on your decision and your personal findings!

      1. Thanks for such a quick reply! I’ve got my heart set on an Concept2 but with the price tag I might be more realistically looking at a Stamina 1399 or Norditrack. Thanks for your help and I’ll let you know how it goes.

  2. Great reviews. I am also comparing the Nordic Track and the Stamina 1399. I like the idea of the Preset workout programs on the Nordic Track to keep me focused and motivated. Does this feature work well, and is it worth the decreased resistance compared to the Stamina 1399? I am willing to pay the extra $300 if the Preset workouts are worth it.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Richie,

      If buying in the U.S. where there is a $300 price difference I would choose the Stamina 1399. The slightly better monitor is not worth the $300.

      The preset workout programs are nice but really all it does is tell you a range to stay in on the watts meter and then beeps when you go out of the range. For a lot less than $300 you can buy a good heart rate monitor that will accurately track heart rate and calories burned. You can then create different HIIT workouts based on your heart rate.

      The most popular HRM is the Polar H7 Fitness Tracker.

    2. Hi Richie,

      For what it’s worth I ended up buying the NordicTrack and, after a week, am very happy with it. As far as the preset workouts go, they are definitely *not* worth an extra $300.

      In addition to what’s already been said, the Watts Workouts get you to set the rower to maximum resistance and then gives you a target range to row within. It isn’t really that helpful. You could easily “create” a custom workout yourself by watching the clock and rowing harder and slower for certain amounts of time.

      That said, the Calories Workouts are even *less* useful. Surprisingly, the RW-200 doesn’t ask the user for *any* metrics about themselves so how it even calculates calories is completely mind-boggling. Since it can’t possibly accurately account for calories burned it’s impossible to trust the Calories Workouts and makes them pretty useless.

      All that said, I bought my RW-200 for $600CDN (with taxes, etc.) and have been very happy with it. The display *is* very good; I just don’t use the workouts, and wouldn’t have paid extra for them.

      1. Just wondering how I can get the monitor of the rowing machine to turn on?

        It must have a power source?? Mine came with no plug in or adapter I cannot find anywhere to put a battery.

        Please help

        1. Sorry to hear you are having issues! To turn on the monitor you can press any button or begin rowing.

          There should be a spot in the back for 4 D-sized batteries or to plugin an adapter. You can reference the owner’s manual for instructions.

          You can also visit NordicTrack.com and use the live chat feature.

  3. Hello Richie,
    I’m thinking of buying a rower. I first looked at Concept 2, but the price is up there. Then I saw the NordicTrack RW200 for a reasonable price, but then read some reviews on service for warranty on some of their other exercise equipment. They were not good at all. Now I’m leery again about purchasing. Not sure if reviews were from the US, as I live in Canada and hoping service is better. I’m a 57 yr old female and I used to body build years ago. I have gotten out of shape and would like to just toned up and go back to some weight lifting but not like in my younger yrs. Do you think I’d be ok with the RW200?
    Alixe

    1. Hi Alixe,

      The NordicTrack RW200 is definitely a huge downgrade from the Concept2 but it all depends on what you need/want. If you are just looking to get a good workout with out all the advanced monitor features then I think you will be ok. The RW200 will be more cardio focused and not be able to hit the stronger resistance levels like the Concept2.

      If you want a specific person in these comments to reply (like Keith or Richie) you must reply directly to their comment so they are notified.

      Thanks!

  4. Hi Edwin,
    Thanks for the review. Very comprehensive breakdown of the Nordic track. Just a quick question, the concept 2 seems to be the high water mark for rowing machines. You said the Nordic track is a “huge downgrade” compared to it. Why? The quality or durability of the machine? Or the components/monitor/programmed workouts. I am a novice rower, I’m in good shape, and am looking for some variety in my workouts. I don’t need a top flight machine, but don’t want a piece of junk either.

    1. Hi Brandon,

      Glad you liked the review! I think the best way to compare the NordicTrack and Concept2 is to read both reviews. They are different in a lot of ways and you can read each section side by side to compare.

      The consensus is the Concept2 will have stronger resistance than the Nordictrack. However, this can me mitigated because the Concept2 should usually be around a 5 damper, while you could set the NordicTrack higher to an 8-9.

      The biggest difference is the monitor. The NordicTrakc has a very basic monitor that is inaccurate at tracking data. The Concept2 has a highly accurate monitor that can even detect changes in humidity, elevation, dust build up, etc. This makes it so you can compare your time to any other rower in the world.

      I also see you have a Canadian email address. The NordicTrack will have lower reviews in the U.S. because the price is much closer to the Concept2. This makes people feel it is worth it to spend a little more to get a much better rower.

      I have spoken to a lot of Canadian who have purchased the NordicTrack because the selling price is much lower than the C2, which makes it worth it to buy.

    1. Hi Jeff,

      The chain is definitely stronger but I rarely hear of nylon belts wearing out. The chain can be a tad bit louder and you will have to oil it every 50 hours but really not a big deal.

      The chain is good if you are into HIIT workouts and doing very hard/fast sprint workouts.

  5. Hi Edwin,

    I live in Canada and have just purchased the Nordic Track R200 at a “special” price and so far am very satisfied with it. Can you please explain the “watts” 1-10 selections on the monitor and the progressive increase in the numbers for each selection? I am 80+ and really enjoy my workouts.

    1. Hi Don,

      Glad to hear you are enjoying your RW200! All of this information will be outline in much better detail inside the manual. If you have misplaced the manual you can download one online.

      I’m not 100% sure what you are referring to because the watts meter goes well over 100 and you are mentioning 1-10. Are you referring to the “damper” or “resistance” setting?

  6. I am in the midst of choosing a rowing machine. 5’2″ and do need it to be quiet.
    I don’t see any comparison to the NordicTrack RV500 or RV900 model.
    Does anyone have any input on these 2?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Barbara,

      Sorry, I haven’t had the chance to use or speak to anyone who has used the new Nordictrack Rowers. I plan on reviewing these models but unfortunately I probably won’t have them until January.

  7. Hi I know you probably answered this but I was wondering what you thought about the Nordic Track Rw200 vs. the Stamina 1399. I like both but I’m not really sure which direction to go. I like the variable resistance on the Nordic Track rw200 and the idea of the built in programs though I have seen that others weren’t impressed with them. I like that the Stamina 1399 is 11 inches shorter than the Nordic Track but I don’t know if that’s a good enough reason to go that route when I plan on having the machine folded when not in use. Also I know the Nordic Track can be considerably more than the Stamina but I managed to find one at around $480. I should also mention that I’m very new to rowing, which is half the reason I’m having problems decided, I’m just not sure what to look for. I’m not in best shape to begin but I am very serious about getting my health back in order and really want something that will last.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Tiffany,

      It is a very tough choice and the closer they are in price the tougher the choice becomes. Most people dismiss the Nordictrack monitor and feel that it doesn’t provide much in terms of workout programs. They do like that you can adjust the damper to control the amount of air allowed in the flywheel.

      However, a lot of people say the 1399 has almost the same resistance.

      If you are new to rowing and looking to stay in the lower price range, I would probably go with the 1399. In my opinion, you aren’t getting the additional value by buying the Nordictrack.

      I’ve had multiple people who have used both and say they are very similar. Some people went with the NordicTrack because they like the company and felt it may be better quality, while others went with the Stamina to save on price.

  8. I just purchased the Nordictrack RW200
    And upon assembling it I find the wheel makes a knocking sound at slow speeds and goes away at higher speeds, only to return as the wheel slows down. Is this normal?

    1. Hi Marcel,

      No, I would say this is not normal and may be an issue withe the bearings/rollers or possibly and uneven wheel or bump in the railing. I’m not 100% sure what it could be but I would contact NordicTrack customer support and see if you can isolate the issue and get a replacement part sent to you.

  9. Edwin,

    The newer model nordictrack rowers all claim to have magnetic resistance instead of air, but they look very similar to the old design. Are they an air/magnet hybrid? Or something else? Additionally, as far as I can tell, the only difference between the rw200 and the rw500 is a longer warranty and more preset workouts (and a touchscreeen?!?). Anyway, it doesn’t seem worth the extra money. I am looking for a mag resistance trainer to be able to workout while the toodler sleeps, so at this point I am torn between the rw200 or a stamina avari. But obviously, if the Nordic tracks make too much noise that won’t work for me. Any insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Clint

    1. Hi Clint,

      Thanks for reaching out! Yes, NordicTrack has been switching their models to air/magnetic hybrid resistance. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to update my reviews and find someone who has tested the new models. I also haven’t looked into the RW500 in great detail.

      With that being said, these models will have some air resistance noise and will not be totally silent. If you want a good magnetic-only rower then I would go with the Stamina Avari.

      I haven’t received a ton of great feedback on the RW200 monitor but the RW500 monitor would be great if the built-in workout programs were similar to the Peloton Bike monitors.

      Hopefully I can get around to redoing my RW200 review and getting one done for the RW500!

  10. Hi I have a rw200 and have been back and forth with NordicTrack ay rower only calculates the distance on the drive and not the return to the catch. I am used to the concept 2 at the gym where the distance continues to calculate unt the fly wheel stops spinning. The technicians at NordicTrack say this machine only calculates the wheel spinning forward and not when spinning backwards so it makes it hard to calculate your split time if you don’t know the correct distance. I am quite surprised that I haven’t seen this complaint come up in any comments /reviews that I have seen. I feel I’m getting the run around from NordicTrack. I already had a technician come in and reconfigure my flywheel as the magnet was rubbing on the metal and making it hard to pull. What are your thoughts?

    1. Hi Leone,

      I think you are getting the run around because the support you are talking to doesn’t have a solid understanding of how accurate rowing monitors work. The RW200 is not going to accurately calculate splits because the monitor is not able to calculate drag. You probably have a more solid foundation of rowing than most people using the RW200 which is why you don’t see these complaints.

      The Concept2 PM5 is one of the only monitors that can accurately calculate splits, which is why Concept2 is such a popular brand! It’s also the reason they are used in indoor rowing competitions and World Records. Most other rowers will not have very accurate monitors and it is a major downside if you are looking to track rowing times.

      You can see their article here for what goes into accurate calculating flywheel speed by using drag factor

      1. So in saying that is it correct that on the rw200 I only see the distance in the drive and if so then I double that to get my distance?

        1. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. A lot of factors go into determining how far you move on each stroke. Driving/pulling at 50% of your power isn’t going to move you as far as driving/pulling and 100% of your power. This is why you need a very advanced monitor to accurately calculate all of the stats. Most monitors are just rough estimates.

    2. Hi, sorry for my english, bit I want to tell you, I have the same problem. After the first work out I was surprised, because my effort was maybe the same,than ön concept 2, bit the the distance was the half.
      I have dissamled the rower, checked the reed switch, bit it was working well.
      So I think the technicians answer was correct, this machine only calculate the distance,when you row (drag) and not when the flywheel is moving.
      Unfoetunatly This machine is only for the average home users :(

  11. Hi,

    Is there anyway I can open up this rower and increase the resistance on it? Find it very weak even at level 10. Very disappointing

    1. Hi Aidan,

      What year model is your RW200? Is it an air-only rower or is it a combination air/magnetic resistance rower?

        1. Hi Aidan,

          The RX800 is an air-only rower (same as the original RW200). This means the faster you row, the more resistance you will feel. By opening the damper to a setting of 10, you will allow more air into the flywheel and cause the fan to slow down faster and feel “heavier” to row.

          The only way to increase the resistance if you are already using a setting of 10 is to row faster. Try rowing at a SPM of 28-30 and performing explosive rowing strokes. If this isn’t enough resistance then the correct resistance type for you might be an air/magnetic combination which has stronger overall resistance.

  12. hi there i have seen the full rewiew wich i found really intresting, and i still have some concern issue , that its been label whit this cancer advertise stiker (p65warning.ca.gov) is this something that i really shoudl care, or just some legal precautions on the marketing, thaks

    1. Hi Cesar,

      You can do your research on it but most (if not all) rowing machines will have this warning. I believe it is a requirement for products that use a certain type of plastic.

      In the US is differs by state but California also has Prop 65 which requires a sticker on a lot of products. I ignore it but I haven’t done my research

  13. Hola, sabrás como consigo el banquillo o banco de la nordictrack rw200, o si venderán solo las rolineras. Gracias por tu atención.

    1. Hi Jesus – I’m not sure what replacement parts you can purchase separately. I would call the number on the manual or visit the Nordictrack website and call their customer service department.

  14. Hi Edwin, im interested un buying today this rower so im un between buying Nordictrack rw200 or proform 550r, which is better if same price? I read u say its the exact same machine but the Nordictrack rw200 says on display about ifit, what Is ifit cause ive read some info about it and ir says it includes 1 year free membership to the ifit service but i dont know how i would use ir on this rower, can u explain please? Tks un Advance

    1. Hi Antonio – thank you for reaching out!

      If both rowers were the same price, I would choose the RW200. The resistance and damper mechanism on both rowers is the same, so essentially the resistance is equal. The frame is also the same (you can compare the photos of each and see the design). However, the monitor on the RW200 is better.

      If you get the 1-year free iFit membership you can learn more about it here: https://www.nordictrack.com/ifit-coach

      The RW200 won’t have a monitor where you can view it (like the RW900) but you can still use it with your phone or iPad!

      1. Tks a lot for the quick responde, i decided to buy the nordictrack per ir recomendations, also i want yo ask u about another icon products i wanna get, the nordictrack gx 3.9 or the proform 405spx? Both are spinning bikes and look exactly the same as the rowers, which one would u recomend? And Aldo the Nordictrack rower says ifit Sync option on it, do u know what it does? Tks in adv.

        1. Hi Antonio – No problem! I’m not sure on the bikes since I don’t research those items. The reason all these items are the same is because they are all owned by the same “umbrella” fitness company called ICON Health & Fitness. You can see their brand list here: https://www.iconfitness.com/#/our-brands

          I’m not sure on the sync option. It’d probably be best to contact NordicTrack customer service since they will have more info than me. My best guess would mean it syncs to your devices since the rower doesn’t have a monitor like the more expenses RW900

  15. I recently purchased this model and love it, but when using it with the IFit workouts I get a large disparity in distance rowed. A thirty minute iFit workout will register over 6k on the app, but not even hit 4K on the rowing machine read out. Any idea why or how this happens? Is the rower not calibrated? Thanks.

    1. Hi Dallas – This may be a good question for NordicTrack customer support to understand why iFIT and their monitor are not syncing up with distance.

      In terms of the monitor being calibrated, I don’t think these monitors are highly accurate like the Concept2 Rowers. The Concept2 Rowers have a feature called “drag factor” which calculates the true “work” you are doing by constantly reading the speed of the flywheel. Here is an excerpt from the Concept2 website:

      “Between each stroke, the PM measures how much your flywheel is slowing down to determine how sleek or slow your “boat” is. This rate of deceleration is called the drag factor. On your next stroke, the PM uses the drag factor to determine from the speed of the flywheel how much work you are doing. In this way, your true effort is calculated regardless of damper setting. This self-calibration is what allows us to compare scores from different indoor rowers, making things like indoor racing and the online world rankings possible.”

      So my guess is the RW200 monitor does not know exactly how hard you are pulling, based on the speed of the flywheel (which is also being affected by magnetic resistance) which means it’s not going to be highly accurate when recording distance.

      You can read more about it on the Concept2 website: https://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/training/tips-and-general-info/damper-setting-101

  16. I, thank you for all your great review. It’s very usefull. At the end, I am considering the RW200 with both air and magnetic resistence (880 canadian $) and the Sole SR500 (1000$). I already have a Sole treadmill and I am very satisfied with it. I am an average user (beginner with rower) but at these prices I am expecting quality. I read some good and bad review about the quality of the RW200, so I still don’t know what I think about it.

    During my training I will watch TV. With the RW200 it’s seem that we can reduce the air resistance and increase the magnetic resistance to reduce the sound of the rower. I am not sure but I don’t think we can do the same thing with the SR500 ? The resistance level of the SR500 seems to be an all in one (air and magnetic). iFit and other gadgets do not matter to me.

    Thank you for your help. After comparing with other web sites, your review seems to be the most complete and up to date. Congratulation for your good job.

    1. Hi Dany – thanks for reaching out and thank you for the kinds words!

      If the slight price increase and iFit does not matter to you, then I would go with the Sole SR500. I think the SR500 has stronger resistance and a better monitor (excluding the iFit capabilities)

      What you are describing is sort of correct. The RW200 does have a damper setting which can increase/decrease the amount of air let into the flywheel. This will give users the ability to control the “feel” of the rowing stroke more. However, a rower used on a damper setting of 1 and a damper setting of 10 is not going to have much of an effect on noise level. Both rowers should be about the same noise level.

  17. Thanks for your very thorough reviews. I’m currently a member at a rowing studio with Concept 2 ergs. I’m looking at purchasing something to use at home, especially since I can’t go to the studio for a while. I’ve become accustomed to watching my split as I row. If I understand correctly, the RW200 doesn’t (can’t) calculate split times. Is the C2 the only rower that calculates that? It seems like such an important piece of information, but maybe that’s because we focus on it so much in class.

    1. Hi Mindy – Correct, the RW200 would not have all the metrics like the C2 and will not give you split time. If you are used to using a Concept2 and want to have all the different data points then there are 3 air rower options I would look into:

      Concept2 Model D (obviously the best option since it’s what you use)
      Xebex Air Rower
      Endurance R300

  18. Dear Edwin, thanks for your review.

    I have recently purchased the Nordictrack RX800 wich I guess is the same rower, but in Europe (I live in Barcelona, Spain) has a different name. It looks the same in pictures.

    The only issue I amb having with the rower is that no matter how is set the air resistance and how strong you row, the meters done in every row are almost the same, between 5 and 7, not more even if I am rowing like a machine. So I am afraid the accuracy of the mnonitor is not the best… Any comment on it ? (Although I have already read some comments on this topic in this forum).

    Thank you very much!

    Ramon

    1. Hi Ramon – thank you for reaching out! NordicTrack customer support may be able to give you more information but I believe the monitors are fairly inaccurate in regards to distance.

      There are quite a few calculations needed to determine the true distance traveled while rowing. If you think about a person rowing a boat you have how tall the rower is (stroke length), how hard the rower pulls the oars (watts), the resistance of the boat against the water (damper setting). All of these factors need to be taken into consideration and I don’t believe the NordicTrack rowers has these capabilities.

  19. Hi Edwin,

    I am considering the RW200 vs the BodyCraft VR200. I am advanced fitness level. Both are the exact same price right now. I want a Magnetic + Air row vs a Concept 2 to reduce noise. My space is limited which is why i’m considering the BodyCraft VR200 as it is more compact.

    VR200 Pros – Compact, Build Quality. Cons – Basic Monitor, no workout programs (but i have an Apple Watch)
    RW200 Pros – Better Monitor, Workout Programs, Looks Cool Cons – Less Compact and Heavier

    I am mostly in favor of the VR200 due to its compactness i just want to ensure that it is a comparable rower in terms of workout capacity and quality vers the RW200

    1. Hi Douglas – thanks for reaching out! I think when taking your preferences into account the VR200 is a great option. The monitor on the RW200 is not that great either and the rower is now being built more for the iFIT app.

      If you have an Apple Watch are are fine just watching Netflix/YouTube while rowing – I think both rowers are similar in terms of resistance and quality.

        1. Great to hear!! We’d love to hear your feedback after you’ve had the chance to use for a while.

          Good luck and enjoy!

  20. Hi.

    I bought the NordicTrack RW 200 a week ago, it was so far so good until today when the console only displayed a HELLO message and nothing else. I turned it off and on again a couple of times but no change, would very much appreciate your help.

    Many thanks

    1. Hi Pablo – sorry to hear you are having issues with the monitor. Please reach out to NordicTrack directly and they will be able to help with your issue. You can visit NordicTrack.com and use the live chat feature. Just make sure to have your order # and serial # available in case you need to use the warranty.

      1. Happened to me. Just hold down the iFit button for 15 seconds and it’ll restart. Plugging and unplugging did not work for me.

  21. Just an FYI, the 30 day satisfaction is very misleading. You have to pay $250 return shipping plus 10% restocking fee.

    Nordictrack told me they do not sell used equipment. So they do their best to discourage returns
    I can not find any stores that stock any rowers so it becomes a buy and hope for the best scenario.

  22. Another downside is you need a table or phone to use the ifit, then you need someway to hold it, Nordic track does not provide one

    1. Actually there’s convenient tray part off the lower bottom of the monitor for holding devices. Fits an iPad perfectly either for streaming iFit or whatever you want to watch while rowing! It blocks the actual screen, but this doesn’t matter if you paired iFit since the app will display your stats.

  23. Not sure I’m in the right section. I own an NT R850 Rower. I bought this rower as a replacement for my old simple air rower. The main reason was, it is a combined air/magnetic which I hoped is much quieter as my old one. My experience is mixed. Mechanically it is a good build machine. Technically rather disappointing. The magnetic resistance is zero. Doesn’t matter which level is selected it is always the same feeling. I meet the service guy today. He showed me this little magnet and how far they are away from the metal disc. It is impossible to adjust the resistance with this setting. The second point, the display shows all relevant data but it doesn’t store it until the next session or in addition for a week or month. You need a paid IFIT membership to have an overview of your progress. I can’t recommend this rower as semi-professional gym-equipment in the price segment 800€. In this configuration, it is not more worth than my old 280€ rower with a simpler computer but able to store the data. Another point against, there is no free mobile app as you can see for many other rowers. Regards IP

    1. I saw a Profrom 750 rower that looked identical to these. My issue seat was very loose and no way to secure. Since that was the care, I did not even try to row.

      I like the new Octane RO they have at the gym, but $1600 is out of my budget.

      Edwin always recommends the c2, I am not a fan of the chain, plus they are sold out at suppliers.
      I can get the Xebex 2.0 with connect for the same price, but it is a chain also

  24. I’m looking at a used NordicTrack RW200 Rower. The previous owner says they never used it and can’t answer any particulars about it. I overall want to be able to participate in virtual, follow-along workouts and watch on my Smart TV via Air Play. I believe this can be done with the iFit app and an iPad. However, i read terrible reviews on amazon talking about a terrible Bluetooth connection. Has anyone used this model with bluetooth for any other apps from the Apple store??

  25. Hi,
    On the 200RW, is there any way to recall the stats from a workout after you are done and the timer / calorie counter turns off?

    1. Hi James – thank you for reaching out! Sorry but I’m not sure if there is a way to recall the stats. I think reaching out to NordicTrack customer support would be the best option to find out.

  26. Hello Edwin.

    If you have this RW200 and the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine at same price, which one will you take?

    Thanks for your time

    Yanner

    1. Hi Yanner – I would probably try to figure out which resistance type I want, air/magnetic or water. This can help narrow down your decision.

      I would probably go with the water rowing machine because I like a rower with a little more resistance and users have fed back the RW200 resistance is a bit light.

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