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First Degree Fitness Trident Challenge AR Rower

Quick Take (Discontinued)

Another in the long list of now older/discontinued water rowers from First Degree Fitness, the Trident Challenge AR was one of the brand’s higher spec models with a rock solid metal frame, adjustable water resistance (operated via a control knob, not by altering the volume of water in its tank. Geared to the light commercial market, this unit was at the upper end of the pricing scale, and has since been outpaced by other high quality commercial grade rowers from the brand that offer a greater range of resistance adjustment. When FDF was first offering models listed as ‘AR’ (for adjustable resistance), they were only offering offering models with an adjustment of 4 resistance levels. With more current examples, adjustability can be upwards of 10 or more resistance levels. That all said, variable resistance isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker with a rowing machine, as most people adapt easily to an efficient and challenging workout without the need for resistance adjustment.

Pros

Variable Water Resistance
Data
Easy Storage

Cons

Slow Adjustment
Maintenance
Customer Service

Our Review

The Trident Challenge AR is a top rower in the First Degree Fitness Horizontal Series. This collection has horizontally-mounted tanks, a design strategy that makes for easier storage. Most models in this series are for home use or light commercial settings, but the Trident AR is especially large and has a full commercial warranty for international use.

The Trident’s essentials include a steel beam, four levels of smooth water resistance, and a computer monitor showing time, distance, 500M split time, strokes per minute, calories per hour, watts, interval training and heart rate. (A chest strap for pulse monitoring is not included.) A comfortable seat and adjustable footplates encourage long workouts and keep riders coming back.

The Trident Challenge AR is the largest rower in this collection. It has a footprint of nearly 85″ x 32″ and is about 40″ high. Transport wheels are attached and the rowing beam can be turned upright for tall, narrow storage.

 

Positives

  • Variable Water Resistance: Resistance on the Trident rower is created as a stainless steel paddle turns through a water tank. The rider can adjust the tension level with a dial on the water flywheel. When the dial is at “Max,” the water tank is filled to capacity. It can hold up to 17 liters.
  • Cushioned Seat: The Trident Challenge AR’s seat glides on low friction bearings for a smooth ride. The track is concealed to reduce the need for dusting.
  • Adjustable Footplates: The footplates have adjustable height to let riders of different sizes all get an ideal fit.
  • Ergonomic Handle: A handlebar with slight angling at each end promotes comfortable exercise.
  • Data: The data monitor can show heart rate (chest strap not included) along with time, distance, 500M split time, strokes per minute, calories per hour and watts. Interval training programming is included.
  • USB Port: A USB port on the monitor lets trainees use this rower with apps for racing and training guidance. There is also an On Screen Display function that lets a person layer their workout data over video.
  • Easy to Store: This rowing machine commands a lot of space, yet it can be stored upright and made more compact when floor room is needed.
  • High Capacity: The Trident Challenge AR has a maximum user weight capacity of 330 pounds.
  • Good Warranty: The commercial warranty provides ten years of protection for the frame, three years for the tank, two for non-wearing mechanical parts, and one for wear parts.

Negatives

  • Slow Adjustment: The adjustable water tank requires a bit of time to adapt to new settings.
  • Maintenance: The Trident Challenge is advertised as being virtually maintenance free, but the owner will need to sometimes adjust the belt and bungee.
  • Customer Service: Customer service for this brand has been slow. The wait time needed for repairs might be unacceptable to a fitness club.

Our Conclusion

The Trident Challenge AR Rower is a sleek commercial rower with engaging programming. It’s aimed at those seeking a metal frame, adjustable resistance and little day-to-day maintenance.

Before choosing this model though, compare it with WaterRower’s impressive competition in this price class. WaterRower’s craftsmanship is more durable and their customer service is more responsive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the First Degree Fitness Trident Challenge AR Rower fold?
A: The Trident Challenge AR Rower does not fold, but it can be stored upright.
Q: How large is the First Degree Fitness Trident Challenge AR rowing machine?
A: The Trident Challenge AR rower is 84.6" L x 31.5" W x 39.4" H.

Rating: 93%

Resistance Type

Water

Resistance Level

4

Dimensions (inches)

84.6" L x 31.5" W x 39.4" H

Maximum User Weight Capacity

330 lbs

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