BodyCraft VR400 Folding Rower Review
The VR400 is BodyCraft’s mid-range rower. It fuses basically unlimited air resistance with 15 additional levels of magnetic resistance: level 1 being air resistance only, and levels 2-16 combining wind and Eddy Current Technology. Centered on a sleek aluminum track that would complement any workout room, its highlights include several preset workouts, wireless heart-rate monitoring, and 16 levels of resistance. Its 18” seat height is easier to access than lower profile rowers, so it can accommodate a wider variety of trainees. With 38.5″ of seat travel, the VR400 can accommodate users up to 6’8″. Although this rower has a relatively large footprint when in use, it’s easily foldable.
Sharing many of the same features as BodyCraft’s top-spec VR500 rower, the VR400 features a combination of air and magnetic resistance. It has half the amount of resistance levels than the VR500, and simplifies things with manual resistance controls. The user can work their way up through the rower’s 16 levels of resistance by manually adjusting the knob. On level 1, you will be utilizing air resistance only. You can add more challenge with the levels 2-16 which combine air and Eddy Current Technology. This combination will provide enough challenge for most trainees. And with 38.5″ of seat travel, the VR400 will work for users who are up to 6’8″ tall. Its sturdy aluminum track can hold up to 350 lbs. The seat level is 18” (a bit lower than regular desk chair height), so it will be easy for most users to get in and out of. At 98.5″ long by 21.25″ wide when in use, the VR400 commands a lot of space. It can be folded to 43.25″ long by 21.25″ wide by 69.25″ high for compact storage though. You can pack it away after use and move it with the help of the transport wheels.
The VR400 features a basic LCD display. Although it’s not the most impressive console out there, it still displays all your essential rider data including time, date, distance, calories, pulse, time 500m, strokes, strokes per minute, total strokes, watts, resistance, and recovery profile. The console features a range of preset programs including a recovery program focused on pulse recovery. Like the VR500, you can add on an optional tablet holder at the checkout so you can dock your device and try virtual rowing and coaching videos.
Much like the VR500, the VR400 features a nylon belt. Although this is quieter than a chain drive, it can affect product longevity. But you can expect a smooth and satisfyingly quiet ride. As for comfort, the VR400 features a lightweight aluminum handlebar, contoured seat, and pivoting heel rests with quick-adjust foot straps. You’ll also have peace of mind when it comes to the warranty coverage. BodyCraft sells the VR400 Rower with two solid warranties. The residential warranty provides lifetime coverage for the frame, seven years for parts, and two years of free labor. This is an impressive warranty for any price category. The light commercial warranty (up to five hours/day) provides ten years for the frame, three years for parts, and one year for labor.
- Monitor: The BodyCraft monitor is a backlit LCD. It has an adjustable arm and can pivot for a perfect view.
- Data: The monitor provides all your essential session data, including heart rate if you use your own wireless chest strap.
- Program Profiles: The VR400’s most eye-catching program is a motivational boat race. You can also choose from goal programs for distance, time, pulse and more. A fifth option is manual mode. A recovery program gives a 60-second test for pulse recovery.
- Energy Saving Mode: To save energy, this plug-in rowing machine powers off after four minutes of inactivity.
- Comfort: The lightweight aluminum handlebar has an ergonomically correct grip. The seat is contoured and can travel up to 38.5″.
- Folds: The VR400 can be folded and wheeled away for compact storage. Its folded dimensions are 43.25″ long by 21.25″ wide by 69.25″ high.
- High Seat: The seat height of 18” is comfortable for most trainees to access, including those with limited movement. Outdoor rowers might prefer a lower profile though.
- Strong Frame: The seat glides along a strong aluminum beam.
- High Capacity: The maximum user weight capacity is 350 pounds, suitable for most trainees.
- Warranty: Both types of warranty are impressive for the price point, especially the residential one.
- Large Size: At 98.5″ long by 21.25″ wide by 40.25″ high, it quite commands a lot of space when in use.
- Labor Warranty: Residential customers get 2 years of free labor, but light commercial customers only get a year. That’s not so comforting considering the $1,199 price tag.
- Nylon Belt: The handle drive uses a nylon belt which has the potential to fray. Although rowing machines with metal chains require oiling, this is still generally a superior setup.
The BodyCraft VR400 Rower is a durable fitness machine. We would say it’s most appropriate for light-commercial fitness rooms. This is because it’s sized to fit basically all rider heights and has a high entry point making it suitable for physical therapy patients to access. Although keep in mind that you’ll only have a year of labor coverage in this case. This is pretty short for our liking.
For home use, the VR400 may be priced slightly too high considering its limited programming and manual resistance controls. These manual resistance controls won’t suit everyone; electronic adjustments like those on the VR500 can be much more convenient. Bumping up to the VR500 for an extra three hundred bucks will get you more bang for your buck when you compare these two rowers’ features and components. Concept2 also has some great options in this price category, such as the Dynamic rower.
Frequently Asked Questions
98.5" L x 21.25" W x 40.25" H
Maximum User Weight Capacity