We look at two very popular rower models, the Stamina Air Rower vs and the Concept 2.
The Stamina Air Rower
A very popular rower on the market today, the Stamina is an adjustable Air Rower which has a lot going for it. It is well built offering a comfortable yet very strong rowing action which is often more associated with more expensive rowers. Its electronic performance monitor will display all the information you’re likely to need including speed, time, distance and that all important calories burned.
It has a sturdy steel construction, conveniently folds for storage between uses and has wheels, making it portable and less cumbersome than some machines.
The seat is comfortable and slides easily with very little friction and the seat rail is angled to allow for easy seat return. The foot plates are large enough to accommodate most foot sizes and they have adjustable straps to make sure the feet remain where they should.
This rower is very much middle of budget, it has a lot of good points and no real negatives as far as we can see but will it last a lot of very heavy use? It’s likely to stack up well against the competition in this price range (expect to pay around $300), if this is your budget, the Stamina Air Rower is definitely worth a second look.
Concept 2 Rowing Machine
How many gyms & fitness centres don’t have the Concept 2 rowing machine? Can’t be many!
At RBR we are most definitely biased to the Concept 2. Strong attempt to remain impartial coming up!
This rower is what we would describe as having industrial quality. The first time you sit in a new (or even a well looked after second hand) one of these, you know they are something special. Great build quality, precise movement, accurate and interesting digital feedback display and fantastic aftersales support.
We might adopt this as our new phrase! But you really do get what you pay for, and this sort of quality does of course come at a price. For a brand new model E Concept 2 expect to pay around $1300, with the model D fetching about $400 less. Our webmaster has been using a model C for 3 years now and the rest of the team is not shy in asking to ‘borrow it’. He picked it up off eBay for less than $400, quite a bargain in our eyes.
One of the great things about this brand is the maintainability and support for the product. As far as we can tell, spares are readily available and you could physically keep this rower in A1 condition for many years.
With the Stamina Air Rower, you are buying a well built and affordable machine that looks like it can do the job and keep you rowing for a good few years. We have not been able to see the same sort of spares and support commitment which comes with the Concept brand and would advise any potential customer to do a bit more research in this area, and look at a good selection of customer reviews.
The Concept 2 Rowing Machine, really does have it all. Great rower and fantastic support. If you have a limited budget then it is worth spending a bit of time looking at the free ads and auction sites to see if you can pick up a decent second hand one. If you do and then find that it has a problem, you can fix it yourself (maintenance guides and spares available online) or even pay for a Concept engineer to do it for you.
As always, if you’re not sure which is best for you, do your best to try one out (gyms/fitness superstores etc.), even just seeing one in person can sometimes be enough!
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Why not find out more about these rowing machines from their manufacturers?
Concept 2: http://www.concept2.com/