Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Review

The SF-RW5515 has the same design as the RW-5623 air rower from Sunny, only that it uses magnetic resistance, and it’s slightly a few dollars less than the RW-5623.

With this machine, you can do both low-impact aerobic exercises and cardiovascular exercises. In essence, you will be able to work all major muscles of the body.


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Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine with LCD Monitor by SF-RW5515
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Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine with LCD Monitor by SF-RW5515
  • Magnetic tension System with (8) levels of adjustable resistance
  • Large LCD console displays time, count, calories, total count, Scan
  • Fully padded seat and non-slip grip handlebars for optimal comfort
  • Large anti-slip foot pedals with adjustable foot straps
  • Built in transportation wheels for easy portability; maximum user weight 250 lbs

Resistance knob

Unlike air rowing machines that make you rower harder to get more resistance, this one uses a magnetic tension system with a knob to vary the intensity of your workouts. The knob can be twisted to eight adjustable levels. You can rotate the knob either clockwise or anti-clockwise to get a high resistance (level 8) or a low resistance (level 1). In between, the resistance is pretty decent.

Depending on how strong you are and how hard you want to work, you may start with a smaller setting and then increase the intensity as you get used to it. With some rowing machine, getting to the highest resistance can be an uphill task – but not with this one.

At maximum resistance, you will still have to put up a fight, unless you are an active guy who hits the gym a lot. That said; some users may not find the maximum resistance a challenge, depending on how strong and fit they are. For someone who works out at the gym or a professional, you may need a rower that provides more tension.

Comfort

The SF-RW5515 provides you with the ultimate comfort when rowing. Each stroke you hit when rowing feels smooth, natural and comfortable.  The seat glides smoothly and quietly, and it’s not tough on the butt because it’s cushioned.  Also, its pull-bar has a protective cushion to enhance the grip when rowing.

 Its foot pedals are large, sturdy, and they can accommodate various sizes. Apart from that, the footrests are textured, and they have safety straps to keep your feet secured during your workouts. 

It does not wobble when on the ground, although you may want to place a mat underneath it to make it rock steady, especially if you weigh more than 200 pounds.

Dimensions

Because the SF-RW5515 has a small footprint, it does not take up space.  When assembled, it has dimensions of 82L x 19W x 23H inches.  The rail where the seat glides is long enough to accommodate even someone tall with an inseam measuring more than 34”. This means you can fully extend your legs and still leave an extra space of about 5”-6”. From the ground, the seat is raised at the height of about 11 inches high, which is alright because you wouldn’t have trouble getting on/off the seat. When folded, it has dimensions of approximately 38L x 19w x 53.5H inches, about half of its size when assembled.

Weight & capacity

The frame construction of this machine can handle a maximum weight of 250 pounds. Also, it’s a lightweight machine, weighing around 59 pounds.  This means, to move the rower to anywhere you wish in the house, it would take less effort, especially because it has two wheels at the front.

You can check this rowing machines overview to find more rowers if you do not really like this one.

LCD monitor

As for its LCD, it lacks all that high-tech that would excite you – it’s just a basic monitor that shows the calories count, time, and scan. The monitor does not display the distance, and it does not have a heart-rate monitor. Moreover, it’s accurate when showing time stats but not the calories burnt. Get the Polar FT60 pulse monitor, if you want to track the number of calories burned with this rower. 

Noise level

Noise is a thing of the past with magnetic rowers. Being a magnetic rower, it’s smooth and super quiet when pulling unlike air resistance rowers – this is where magnetic rowers stand out. You don’t need to turn up your TV or Stereo’s volume because it’s incredibly silent. You could hit your workout without anyone knowing what you are up to. 

Built Quality

We could say that the SF-RW5515 is a rigidly constructed machine because it has a built quality like that of a tank. Despite being lightweight and compact, it’s solid; during workouts, it remains steady as you pull back and forth.  Instead of a cable or chain, a webbing strap connects the handlebar to the flywheel.  When pulling, it’s smooth and quiet unlike air resistance rowers – this is where magnetic rowers shine.

Storing

It takes seconds to fold up this machine because it uses a quick-release mechanism. Once you are done with your exercise, simply fold it and push it to a corner or luggage rack.

Assembling

At least, assembling this rower won’t make you break a sweat.  Just 20 minutes of your time, and you are done.

Pros:

•    Affordable price.

•    Sturdy frame.

•    Smooth motion.

•    It's super quiet. 

•    Easy to assemble.

•    Adjustable resistance levels.

•    Foldable and easy to transport.

•    Nicely padded seat and handlebar.

Cons

•    The monitor does not track meters.

•    The LCD is tiny and basic.

•    No heart-rate monitor.

Verdict

If you are a professional rower or you have rowed at the gym and grown stronger, this machine is probably not the perfect fit. That because; despite missing out on some exciting features such as an advanced monitor, its highest resistance level may not be a challenge to you. Some wish it had an extra resistance after level eight.

Even so, if you are just a beginner or even an intermediate rower, the SF-RW5515 can be great start. You only have to decide whether you want a magnetic rower, such as the SF-RW5515 or an air rower like the SF-RW5623