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BodyCraft VR200 Rower Review

Quick Take

The VR200 is BodyCraft’s entry-level air and magnetic resistance rower. It’s a simpler and more compact version of the VR400 PRO rowing machine, yet it can still comfortably accommodate trainees up to 6’4″. The VR200 features 8 levels of resistance, combining wind and Eddy Current Technology. The fan provides a cooling breeze. Although the monitor displays all your basic exercise data, it doesn’t display watts, level or pulse like the higher-spec BodyCraft rowers do. You can’t use a heart-rate strap with this machine. It’s also limited to manual mode; unlike the brand’s other rowers, there are no preset workouts for you to enjoy. Although the VR200 is the most compact model in the BodyCraft rower series, it has limited levels of resistance and by far the simplest features.

Pros

Compact
Easy Folding
Durable

Cons

Resistance
No Workouts
No Heart-Rate Data

Our Review

The VR200 is the simplest and most compact model in the BodyCraft rowing machine series. The series also features the VR400 PRO and the VR500 PRO. At just 79″ long by 17.75″ wide, the VR200 is a compact machine. Like the other rowers, it fuses air and Eddy Current magnetic resistance. It has 8 levels of resistance, level 1 being wind resistance only, and levels 2 to 8 being a combination of wind and Eddy Current technology. The tension knob is within arm’s each, allowing you to make resistance changes on the fly. Another plus of an air rower like this one is that you get a cooling breeze when you work out. It’s also an easily foldable machine, and can be moved into another room after use with the help of the attached wheels. Folded, it’s just 35.5″ long by 17.5″ wide by 58″ high. It weighs just 59.5 lbs.

 

As for comfort, it has pivoting footrests with straps to support a natural rowing motion, and a contoured seat with heavy-duty roller bearings for a smooth ride. Its precision extruded aluminum track allows for a stable row. It provides 34″ of travel which will accommodate users up to 6’4″. The seat is positioned at 15.5”, which is a bit lower than chair height. This makes it easy to get in and out of. The handlebar uses a nylon belt. Although this is a plus in terms of quietness, it does have the potential to fray.

 

Although its LCD monitor displays time, distance, calories, time 500m, strokes, strokes per minute, and total strokes profile, it’s a pretty basic console overall. There are no preset workout programs; it’s limited to manual mode. It also misses out some other exercise data such as watts, level, and pulse (which the other BodyCraft rowers include). Pulse is the data we miss the most, and something which sets this machine apart from the higher-spec models. The other BodyCraft rowers allow you to track your heart rate wirelessly and use this data in the heart-rate-controlled workout programs. This isn’t possible on the VR200.

 

Positives

  • Basic Data: A pivoting monitor shows all your basic session data including time, distance, calories, time 500m, strokes, strokes per minute, and total strokes profile.
  • Handlebar: The handlebar is made from lightweight, rubber-coated aluminum and has an ergonomically correct grip.
  • Seat Height: The seat height of 15.5” is comfortable for most rowers.
  • Adjustable: The seat travels 34″, making this rower a good fit for people up to 6’4″.
  • Compact: At just 79″ long by 17.75″ wide, it’s the most compact BodyCraft rower.
  • Easy Folding/Storage: Folded, the VR200 is just 35.5″ x 17.5″ x 58″. The frame has wheels for easy re-positioning.
  • Strong Frame: A sturdy, extruded aluminum beam supports a smooth glide. The frame is powder coated and the support legs are heavy gauge powder-coated steel.
  • Energy Saving Mode: The console powers off after 75 seconds of inactivity.
  • High Capacity: The maximum user weight is 300 pounds.

Negatives

  • Resistance: The resistance is manually controlled. Some riders would prefer digital controls. There are only eight levels of resistance. The resistance is from air and magnets, which is smooth but not very realistic for crew training.
  • Nylon Belt: The handle drive has a nylon belt which has the potential to fray. A preferred alternative is a low-maintenance chain.
  • No Workout Guidance: You can only use this rower in manual mode. Other rowers have built-in programs.
  • No Heart-Rate Data: You can’t monitor your heart rate on the VR200 like you can on BodyCraft’s other rowers.

Our Conclusion

The BodyCraft VR200 rower offers good durability for the price and supports efficient calorie burn. Just keep in mind that it’s a basic, entry-level machine. It’s best for someone who isn’t interested in getting workout guidance, or using their heart-data in workout programs. The lack of programming and limited resistance levels help to bring the cost down, but you have to make quite a few sacrifices for this lower price. A better choice? Opt for one of the higher-spec BodyCraft rowers, or take a look at the Concept2 Model D rower which is a significantly better buy in the same price category.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does the BodyCraft VR200 weigh?
A: The BodyCraft VR200 rowing machine weighs 59.5 lbs./ 27 kgs.
Q: Does the BodyCraft VR200 rowing machine fold?
A: The BodyCraft VR200 folds and has transport wheels for easy storage.
Q: What are the folded dimensions of the BodyCraft VR200 rower?
A: The BodyCraft VR200's folded dimensions are 35.5" L x 17.5" W x 58" H.

Rating: 75%

Resistance Type

Air

Resistance Level

8

Dimensions (inches)

79" L x 17.75" W x 36.25" H

Folding

Yes

Maximum User Weight Capacity

300 lbs

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