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Kettler Stroker Rower Review

Quick Take

Though the brand is less well known than some of its competitors, the Kettler Stroker Rower is an interesting offering in the entry level rower category. Using magnetic resistance, the Kettler comes loaded with a fairly detailed console, and even sells with an included wireless heart rate monitor—something pretty much unheard of in a rower under the $700 mark. It’s well suited to taller and heavier rowers too, which doesn’t happen often in this price bracket. Additional attachments (included) allow the unit to also be used for strength training exercises. The unit was actually featured on the ‘How It’s Made’ TV show ages ago. It’s also worth noting that this machine is very quiet on account of its magnetic resistance and nylon belt pull mechanism. Though air resistance has its perks, this makes the machine a favored choice for those not wanting to disrupt their household with the sound of their daily workout.

Pros

Smooth Resistance
Comfortable Design
Bonus Exercises

Cons

Manual Resistance Control
Noisy
Not For Taller Users

Our Review

The Kettler Stroker Rower and Multi-Trainer is an affordable rower with the added functionality of strength training exercises thanks to an attached set of footplates. This unit has a powder coated steel frame like the well-received (and more expensive) Kettler Coach E, but it uses manual magnetic resistance controls and is less challenging. The Kettler Stroker Rower has a monitor displaying time, oar strokes, current cadence, cumulative distance, heart rate, and kilojoules. A wireless chest strap and receiver are included.

Kettler rowing products are unique for providing extra exercise support. The Kettler Stroker Rower is called a “Multi-Trainer” because it arrives with an innovative attachment to support 10 additional exercises. This attachment is also available with other Kettler rowers. The Kettler Stroker Rower and Multi-Trainer is rather large, measuring 86” L x 24” W x 32” H. Though it takes up a bit more space than some other machines, these dimensions also help in letting it accommodate taller, heavier rowers. Thankfully, its long beam can be folded upright for storage. Wheels are attached to make repositioning the entire unit easy.

 

Positives

  • Cardio Wellness Feature: Improving cardiovascular fitness is a primary benefit of using a rowing machine. The monitor for the Kettler Stroker Rower has a recovery program that measures your pulse change after exercise. Based on this measurement, it provides a cardio wellness score of 1 to 6 to help track your fitness.
  • Smooth Resistance: The Stroker Rower and Multi-Trainer uses magnetic resistance. It can be manually adjusted with indexed settings 1 through 8. Infinite adjustments can be made between the highest and lowest level.
  • Comfortable Design: This rowing machine is nicely sized for people shorter than 5’11”. The biomechanically correct footplates support healthy motion for the hips and legs, while your upper body is free to use a full range of motion. Its seat is well padded and glides smoothly for low-impact exercise.
  • Low Maintenance: The Stroker Rower’s seat glides with top grade rollers.
  • Stores Upright: The Kettler Stroker Rower can be stored vertically and transport wheels make it easy to move.
  • Steel Frame: The frame is made of powder coated steel. It weighs about 80 pounds and has a lifetime warranty.
  • Bonus Exercises: The Kettler Stroker Rower and Multi-Trainer arrives with a steel plate attachment for the back of the machine. This supports 10 additional exercises, transforming the rower into a mini gym.
  • Battery Powered: The console uses AA batteries, so no power cord is required.
  • Warranty: The parts warranty is for two years, a nice match for a $699 rowing machine.

Negatives

  • Data Monitor: User have reported issues with Stroker Rower’s monitor’s accuracy, unlike the monitors on other Kettler products. Time, Energy Consumed, Strokes, Pulse Rate and Frequency are shown simultaneously. The data is shown with English and German.
  • Weight Limit: Kettler rowers have relatively light weight capacities. The limit for this rower isn’t published, but is estimated to be 250 pounds.
  • Manual Resistance Control: An advantage of manual resistance is that precise adjustments can be made, but we still prefer the electronic controls found on more expensive rowing machines.
  • Noisy: The best magnetic rowing machines are the quietest rowers on the market. Unfortunately, customers have reported that this one can get quite squeaky after a few months of use.
  • Not for Taller Rowers: Judging from customer reviews of the Kettler Stroker Rower, it is best sized for people under 5’11”.

Our Conclusion

The Kettler Stroker Rower is well suited to all but the tallest riders. However, its electronics are a disappointment. Customer reviews suggest that only about half the owners would recommend this machine to a friend. The Kettler Coach M and Coach E are much more reliable rowing machines and the Coach M doesn’t even cost much more. Not all budget priced rowers are actually a good deal. Sometimes those savings are reflected in an inferior product like the Stroker.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the Kettler Stroker Rower fold?
A: The Kettler Stroker rowing machine folds and has transport casters for easy re-positioning.
Q: What does the Kettler Stroker rower weigh?
A: The Kettler Stroker rower weighs 104 lbs.
Q: How large is the Kettler Stroker rowing machine?
A: The Kettler Stroker rower is 86" L x 24" W x 32" H.

Rating: 60%

Resistance Type

Magnetic

Resistance Level

8

Dimensions (inches)

86" L x 24" W x 32" H

Folding

Yes

Maximum User Weight Capacity

250 lbs

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