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ERG500 Air Turbine Rower Review

Quick Take

The ERG500 Air Turbine Rower is this year’s only row machine by XTERRA Fitness, a brand known for delivering good value to home gyms. We’ve reviewed a number of their rowers over the years, and we’re consistently impressed with their ability offer these rowers that rival the likes of NordicTrack and others for a lower price of entry. This specific rowing machine tends to earn enthusiastic customer reviews, which is surprising for such a low-priced fitness machine. At $699 the XTERRA ERG500 costs hundreds less than the typical air rower – and sometimes XTERRA drops the price to just $499 with delivery included. Even so, the factory-direct warranty covers parts replacement for two years, which is a good sign of the machine’s durability.

Pros

Price
Easy Folding
Smooth Resistance

Cons

No Data Export
No Preset Workouts
Short Labor Warranty

Our Review

Main specs for the XTERRA air rower include a foldable steel frame, dual aluminum rails, a large seat and a padded handlebar. Additionally the foot pedals flex to help you maintain a comfortable and natural-feeling rowing form. The air rower’s data console has adjustable angle for easy viewing. It shows your exercise time, distance, calories, strokes per minute, and total stroke count. It can also show heart rate if you wear a chest strap (not included). A graphic of the stroke cycle shows at the bottom of the screen to indicate your distance covered.

 

Resistance on the XTERRA ERG500 has eight settings. You can adjust the amount of air resistance by simply moving a slider up or down. Most customer reviews report that the resistance is ideal; people can work up a sweat with just 10 or 20 minutes of rowing. However, people with advanced rowing experience might find that the maximum resistance isn’t enough challenge. Machines in the next price category can cover a wider range of force. The factory-direct sale price includes delivery plus a two-year parts warranty and other buyer protections. Professional assembly of the machine costs about $125, but we don’t necessarily recommend the service. With a partner you can likely assemble the ERG500 Air Turbine Rower in about 30 minutes.

Positives

  • Low Price: Full price for the ERG500, $699, is low for an air rower. When discounted to just $499 it’s an especially good deal.
  • Easy Assembly: The XTERRA ERG500 rower arrives with clear assembly instructions, and new owners can put the machine together in about half an hour.
  • Sturdy Steel Frame: The steel frame weighs about 80 pounds and can safely hold a 300-pound trainee.
  • Smooth Resistance: Air resistance is a smooth option for affordable indoor rowing. For comparison some of the cheapest row machines use hydraulic fluid to generate resistance. The effect tends to feel less smooth and much further away from simulated water rowing.
  • Pivoting Pedals: Pivoting pedals on the XTERRA move with your body, helping to make the exercise ergonomic and feeling natural. Straps are attached to keep your feet secure.
  • Data Console: A data screen with adjustable angle can show your total stroke count, pace, calorie burn estimate, pulse and more. To help you visualize your distance covered, it also shows a graphic of the row cycle. The console uses AAA batteries so that the machine can be used without a power cord. To help you save battery power, the console will automatically shut off after four minutes of inactivity.
  • Works With Wireless Pulse Transmitters: Heart rate chest straps, sold separately, are compatible with the XTERRA air rower.
  • Folds for Storage: This machine is rather long at six feet, but it easily folds for storage between workout sessions.
  • Helpful Customer Service: A very small percentage of reviews report trouble with the console, or else receiving a machine that was damaged during shipment. However, the same reviews report being able to make returns without any hassle. XTERRA Fitness customer service is based in the USA and gets great reviews consistently.
  • Good Warranty on Parts: The manufacturer’s two-year warranty is a good deal for the machine’s full price of $699. It’s excellent for the $499 discount price.

Negatives

  • No Data Export: The XTERRA rower doesn’t sync with mobile apps or have a USB port for data sharing.
  • No Preset Workout Programs: Unlike some higher-priced row machines, this unit lacks training programs.
  • Short Warranty on Labor: The free labor warranty is only valid for 90 days. Longer warranties are rare in this price category for rowers.

Our Conclusion

The XTERRA ERG500 Air Turbine Rower is a good choice if you’re set on saving money, yet still want realistic row experiences and helpful customer service if needed. Choosing a more expensive row machine might bring the extra benefits of training programs and a higher maximum resistance… but for the majority of people seeking low-priced home row machines, the ERG500 is a satisfying ride.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does the XTERRA ERG500 Air Turbine Rower weigh?
A: The ERG500 air rower weighs 79.4 lbs.
Q: Does the XTERRA ERG500 Air Turbine Rower fold?
A: The ERG500 air rower folds and has transport wheels for re-positioning.
Q: What are the folded dimensions of the XTERRA ERG500 Air Turbine Rower?
A: Folded, the XTERRA ERG500 Air Turbine Rower is 45” L x 20” W x 57” H.

Rating: 80%

Resistance Type

Air

Resistance Level

8

Dimensions (inches)

72" L x 19" W x 33" H

Folding

Yes

Maximum User Weight Capacity

300 lbs

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