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Everything You Should Know About NordicTrack’s NEW RW900 Rower [A Review]

NordicTrack rw900 rowing machine review

The NEW RW900 is NordicTrack’s most advanced rowing machine to date, meaning it comes with a jumbo-sized console and tons of cool features.

More specifically, we’re talking a 22″ HD touchscreen that can rotate and pivot, making it easy to few iFit’s streaming workouts whether you’re on the rower or not.

And like most of NordicTrack’s other iFit-enabled products, the RW900 also comes with the Automatic Trainer Control feature, allowing the rower to set your resistance automatically throughout workouts.

The streaming tech this rower boasts is certainly the star of the show here, but the RW900 is packing some impressive performance specs too.

Like 26 levels of smooth magnetic resistance, a sleek frame, and a great warranty.

In other words, if you’re interested in joining the world of connected rowing, the RW900 is a solid choice.

But with other comparable rowers on the market, it’s important to do your due diligence.

And that’s where this review comes in.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at everything the NEW RW900 has to offer. Advantages, disadvantages, specs…the whole enchilada.

I’ll also offer a quick comparison to some of the other top rowers in this price range, so you can see how it stacks up against the competition.

After reading, you’ll have a better idea as to whether or not this is the right rowing machine for your home gym.

NordicTrack’s NEW RW900 is a great rower if you’re looking for an iFit compatible machine, but it finds itself in a highly-competitive price range. The streaming experience you’re looking for will likely be a big deciding factor.

NordicTrack’s NEW RW900 Rower

nordictrack new rw900 rower
Image courtesy of NordicTrack

The NordicTrack brand needs no introduction- it’s one of the most recognizable names in home fitness on the planet.

And they offer a pretty large lineup of cardio machines to choose from, including treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and rowers of course.

And when it comes to rowers, the NEW RW900 is their highest-end model to date.

FYI, this model is “new” because NordicTrack updated the older model’s frame design, giving a sleeker, more modern look (but performance wise, I don’t see any other real differences).

And is it me, or did they make their newer version of this rower look a little more like the Hydrow?

Hmm, maybe it’s a coincidence???

Well, regardless, I like the new updated look for this rower, it does look pretty spiffy.

Let’s start this review off with a rundown on how this rowing machine performs, then we’ll get to the more fun stuff later on.


  • Magnetic resistance system
  • 26 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Large, comfortable pedals with quick adjust straps
  • 22″ HD touchscreen display
  • Adjustable console
  • 30 days iFit included
  • Chest strap heart rate monitor compatible
  • Unlimited on-demand workouts to choose from (iFit)
  • Scenic rows
  • Great warranty


  • Weight capacity only 250 lb
  • Frame doesn’t fold


The type of resistance a rower uses is probably the easiest way to categorize them.

If you’ve ever heard people talking about “air rowers” or “magnetic rowers”, they where grouping them based on their resistance systems.

Most rowing machines can be grouped easily into 1 of 4 resistance types: hydraulic, magnetic, air, and water.

Each type of rower has its advantages and disadvantages and if you’re looking more information on the different styles of rowing machine, check out my rower guide.

The RW900 utilizes a magnetic resistance system, which is great because it offers a constant resistance independent of your rowing speed (unlike air rowers that increase or decrease your resistance based on your speed of rowing).

Magnetic rowers are also remarkably quiet during operation because you don’t get the swooshing noise air or water rowers put off.

This makes them a great option for people who are worried about bothering family members who may be sleeping during your workouts.

Anyway, when it comes to the RW900, you get 26 magnetic resistance levels to work with.

This gives you a lot of control to fine tune your resistance during workouts, which is always a good thing.

The way iFit is set up, your instructor will usually be adjusting that resistance level for ya throughout the workout (based on your fitness level and goals, etc).

If you like the idea of starting your workout and not having to worry about messing with the resistance levels, you’ll probably like the RW900 because of the automatic resistance changes throughout the workouts.

You can always increase or decrease the resistance during your workouts manually too when needed though.

Overall, the RW900 scores highly with its smooth magnetic system and option to use automatic trainer control.

nordictrack new rw900 rower
Image courtesy of NordicTrack


Quality rowing machines should have sturdy frames that aren’t going to wobble or creak during heavy use.

This can be tough to figure out without taking it for a ride, but there a few things we can look at to get an idea as to how sturdy it is.

Visually, the rower should look durable and robust. Although looks can be deceiving, when a rowing machine looks flimsy, it usually is.

A more objective way, though,  is to look at the weight capacity and assembled weight – higher numbers here are indicative of stronger, more durable frames.

Applying these rules to the RW900, at first glance, the frame looks pretty solid. The stabilizing legs and rail all look heavy-duty.

Now NordicTrack makes it a little tougher on us because they don’t report their assembled weights. Instead, they use “in box” weights, which include the weight of the packaging.

The RW900 comes with an in-box weight of 162 lb.

Most fitness equipment like this usually comes with 30 – 40 lb of packaging, so if we subtract this from what NordicTrack gives us, we can estimate that this rower weighs somewhere in the 120 – 130 lb range.

There are heavier-duty rowers out there (the Hydrow weighs about 145 lb), but this is still pretty good for a home rower.

But when we look at the weight capacity, we find that this rower can hold users up to 250 lb safely.

And this is a little disappointing, considering most high-end rowers can hold at least 300 lb.

The Hydrow again, has a much higher weight limit of 375 lb, for comparison.

The weight limit on this rower is a little low, but users don’t seem to have many complaints regarding the stability of this machine.

The older model of the RW900 could fold, although the newer addition can’t (again, it feels like they’re mimicking Hydrow’s look).

So, if you’re worried about floorspace, certainly something to consider.

Speaking of which, the RW900 takes up a footprint of 82″ x 22″, or roughly 7’x 2′, so it’s a full-size rower.

Overall, the RW900 is well-built and comfortable. The weight capacity is lower than I’d expect to see, but this machine is heavy enough to provide a stable feel.

new rw900 console
The New RW900 comes with a 22″ HD touchscreen, making it easy to view all workouts. Image courtesy of NordicTrack.


Ok, now to the good stuff.

The most notable feature on this rower is the huge flatscreen tv attached to it.

To be more specific, the RW900 comes with a 22″ HD touchscreen display that can also rotate and pivot for easy viewing when you’re not rowing.

This beautiful display is designed to be used with NordicTrack’s streaming fitness app, iFit.

Much like the Peloton and Echelon apps, iFit is loaded with on-demand workouts lead by professional trainers.

iFit offers a ton of workouts to choose from, but I think they’re all prerecorded (no live classes as of last time I checked).

Personally, I don’t think that’s a big deal because I never do the live classes on my Peloton

Anyway, like the other fitness apps, iFit also offers a lot of non-rowing workouts to choose from.

The same fitness app is used for all their equipment (as well as ProForm), so if you’ve signed up for it in the past, you won’t have to pay double (assuming your account is still active).

With iFit you also get to track your workout data as well as get access to scenic rows (which is actually pretty cool)- seeing your instructor row down scenic rivers while you row.

There are a couple of different payment options, but generally speaking, iFit will cost around $39/month for full access.

The console is heart rate monitor compatible, but a chest strap isn’t included. iFit requires internet, so the monitor is WiFi compatible.

There’s a set of speakers and an audio import and you can also use wireless headphones via bluetooth to hear your workouts.

You should also know that you can only access iFit through the monitor- don’t expect to watch Netflix or tv through it.

Overall, the console is quite nice – it’s large, HD, and touchscreen.

Otherwise, this rower comes with a comfy handle and large pedals that are easily adjustable for a secure fit.

The seat is also contoured for added comfort and glides smoothly over the aluminum rail. 

The RW900 also uses a high-end strap to connect the handle to the flywheel. Straps are often used in rowers (as opposed to chains) because they’re quieter and don’t really need any maintenance. 


If you decide to purchase the RW900, you shouldn’t worry too much about assembly.

Putting this rowing machine together is a pretty straightforward process.

You’ll be responsible for attaching the stabilizer legs, adding the seat, and attaching the console. 

All the necessary hardware and tools required for the job are included.

The assembly manual is pretty easy to follow. It includes both images and written directions, although the images could be a little larger.

Attaching the console (and console neck) is probably the most challenging step, just have to make sure you don’t pinch the wires during the process.

You’ll want to have a second person around to hold the large screen as you attach it to the frame.

Overall, I think most fairly handy folks will be able to assemble themselves without having to pay for professional assembly.


The NordicTrack RW900 Rower comes with the following warranty:

  • 10 year frame
  • 2 year parts
  • 1 year labor

This is actually a really good warranty on this machine. Ten years on the frame is more generous than most (the more expensive Hydrow only offers 5), as is 2 years on parts.

A year on labor is pretty standard operating procedure.

Overall, a pretty awesome warranty.

NordicTrack’s New RW900 vs The Competition

New RW900The HydrowThe ErgattaAviron Strong Rower
ResistanceMagneticComputer-controlled magneticWaterAir/magnetic
Weight limit250 lb375 lb500 lb507 lb
Console22″ HD touchscreen22″ HD touchscreen17″ HD touchscreen22″ HD touchscreen
Instructor-led, scenic routesInstructor-led, scenic routesGame-basedApps, games, workouts
Warranty10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
5 year frame
1 year parts
1 year labor
5 year frame
3 year parts
1 year console
10 year frame
1 year parts
The New RW900 and some of the other best rowers in this price range.

As I’m writing this, NordicTrack has the RW900 listed for around $2k, putting it in the higher-end price bracket when it comes to home rowers.

This is also the same price range heavy-hitters like the Hydrow and Ergatta are found.

Now the Hydrow usually comes with a full retail price of around $2500, although it does often go on sale for around $2k around the holidays.

hydrow rower

So, it’s usually a bit more expensive, but I still think it makes sense to compare the RW900 to it (for a more detailed comparison, see my full post on the topic).

Anyway, the Hydrow is an elite rower that also comes with a 22″ HD touchscreen and it uses a proprietary, computer-controlled magnetic resistance that more closely mimics the feel of rowing on water.

The Hydrow comes with a heavier-duty frame and a much higher (375 lb) weight limit, but NordicTrack’s warranty is quite a bit better.

Hydrow obviously uses its own streaming service as well, which focuses on instructor-led workouts that are filmed on real bodies of water.

The Ergatta is another top comp and again, it usually sells for a bit more, often being priced close to $2500 (but it too goes on sale from time to time).

ergatta rower

The Ergatta is quite a bit different though.

For starters, it’s a water rower, so it uses a completely difference kind of resistance.

It also comes with a solid wood frame, for a completely different look.

The Ergatta comes with a 17″ touchscreen console, which uses Ergatta’s own streaming platform that focuses more on gaming and racing-inspired workouts.

When it comes to the warranty, Ergatta offers a solid guarantee (5 year frame, 3 year parts, 1 year labor), although again, NordicTrack’s frame warranty is longer.

I also want to point out that Hydrow and Ergatta both offer “lite” versions of their classic rowers, offering more affordable alternatives that still use their same streaming platforms.

aviron strong rower

Finally, I should mention Aviron’s Strong Rower, which also usually costs around $2k.

The Strong Rower comes with a 22″ HD touchscreen console loaded with entertainment apps and tons of different workout options.

It also comes with a heavy-duty frame and a serious weight capacity of 507 lb.

This rower uses a magnetic/air combo system that can offer up to 100 lb of resistance, allowing it to challenge rowers of all skill levels.

And with a 10 year frame, 1 year parts warranty, its coverage is very similar to NordicTrack’s.

NordicTrack’s New RW900 vs The New RW700

NordicTrack’s New RW900NordicTrack’s New RW700
26 levels
26 levels
Weight limit250 lb250 lb
Console22″ HD touchscreen10″ HD touchscreen
Streaming experienceInstructor-led workouts
Scenic routes
Instructor-led workouts
Scenic routes
Warranty10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
The only difference between these two rowers is the size of the console.

The last rower I want to compare the RW900 to is NordicTrack’s own New RW700.

The RW700 comes with a smaller console, but otherwise, it’s pretty identical to the RW900.

It comes with all the same iFit streaming features, the same weight limit, same warranty, same resistance system, and basically the same footprint.

So, if you’re ok with a smaller screen and looking to save a few hundred bucks, the New RW700 could be a smarter buy.

Final Thoughts

These days, we have more options than ever when it comes to our streaming workouts and that includes rowing machines too now.

That said, I think NordicTrack’s New RW900 is one of the nicer streaming rowing machines out there.

I like the large, HD touchscreen display and I like the idea of a magnetic resistance system with automatic control.

The design of the rower looks nice and sleek too.

My only real complaint is the lower than expected weight capacity, but realistically, as long as you fall below it, you shouldn’t have any issues.

That said, there’s some serious competition in this price range.

The Hydrow, the Ergatta, and Aviron’s Strong Rower are all great rowing machines with advanced features and high-end streaming services.

When choosing between ’em, I think it’ll likely come down to the type of rower you want (magnetic vs water) and the streaming experience you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for more traditional, instructor-led workouts, NordicTrack’s iFit platform will be a good fit; but if you’re more interested in games or streaming apps, one of the other streaming rowers just mentioned would make more sense.

Overall though, I think NordicTrack has a winner here. Recommended.


Will's a licensed physical therapist (DPT) with over 15 years of experience treating patients from all backgrounds. He's been lifting weights and exercising in one form or another since middle school and has been working out in his own home gym for over a decade. When it comes to fitness equipment, there isn't much he hasn't tried. In his spare time, if he isn't writing or working out, he's likely playing basketball, watching movies, or hanging with his family.

17 thoughts on “Everything You Should Know About NordicTrack’s NEW RW900 Rower [A Review]”

  1. How did you determine the monitor is heart rate monitor compatible?

    I ask this because it doesn’t appear to be yet I was given that impression by NordicTrack as well. But I can’t find solid proof. Does it say that someplace?

    This is really important because not only is your review wrong, NordicTrack appears to be engaging in deceptive advertising. The heartrate monitor strap, which I bought, is the final straw that convinced me to purchase the RW900. And I can find no way to connect it to the monitor/RW900.

    1. That’s interesting- yeah, according to the user manual, the RW900 is supposed to be compatible with all bluetooth chest strap monitors. There are a few different model numbers for the RW900 and I checked the manual for all of them and they all state that this rower is compatible with bluetooth chest straps. You might want to check that your heart rate monitor is indeed a bluetooth chest strap. If it is and you’re still having problems connecting, I would contact NordicTrack support and see what’s up.

      1. I sent mine back because it doesn’t connect to HR monitor. Mine would keep connecting and then disconnecting all the time. After speaking with them multiple times they couldn’t fix the problem and told me they wouldn’t replace it they would just pick the rower back up.

  2. Found the problem. Generally it’s poor info and poor design by NordicTrack.
    1) It IS compatable with the IFIT bluetooth heart rate monitor (unsure of others)
    2) You can’t tell if it’s connected until you are in a rowing session (bad design)
    3) It is sometimes hard to get connected (I had to keep fuddling with it)
    4) NordicTrack online help tells you to press the button to sync (false info) It’s supposed to auto connect, nothing you can do to make it connect
    5) I wish they would display the heart rate on the home screen (more bad design)

    1. Looks like the bluetooth audio has been added since I wrote this review- I’ve edited to correct my mistake. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Lots of people seem to be having issues with the RW900, including me. I just bought one used (so warranty doesn’t transfer) and the wheels are warped. It’s not an isolated incidence from what I’m seeing on the internet. The magnetic resistance is also not working. I opened it up, appears that the magnet is too far from the flywheel, and I’m now looking at ways to adjust or repair it – except for other owners, the magnet is close and the warped wheels grind against it making a horrible sound. Understand, this unit is less than one year old, total use time <6 hours by former owner and myself. I haven't yet contacted customer service, but given the reviews I've not super hopeful. Perhaps I'll be surprised.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, I’m sorry to hear it’s been so rough so far. Yeah, good luck with NordicTrack’s customer service, their reputation isn’t stellar.

  4. Thanks. Sad to see. Long ago I owned an original Nordic Track pro skier, built right here in MN. Was acquainted with a couple of people in Chaska MN who worked on the line building them. Well made stuff. Now it’s so hard to find quality. Other aspects of the machine seem decent, but for the most important parts to be faulty is bad news. I’ll post again what I find out and whether I can repair it.

    1. Yeah, that old saying “they don’t make ’em like they used to” tends to ring true a lot these days unfortunately. Yes, please post again, I’d love to hear how it all turns out for ya.

  5. I used my RW900 erg for the first time. I am used to the Concept 2 erg. I find the resistance on this rower very heavy. I changed the flywheel to 2, but what about the magnetic resistance? I am so out of breath from months of being stagnant!

    1. If you’ve got the magnetic resistance down at the lowest setting and it still feels too heavy, there could be a malfunction. Sometimes the magnets can get stuck in the wrong position and have to be realigned. If it continues, I’d suggest checking in with NordicTrack’s customer service. Good luck.

  6. Does anyone know how to reset the Bluetooth settings? I can only see 2 devices and it will not recognize the headphones I want to connect.

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