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The XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower – A Great Bang For Your Buck [A Review]

XTERRA Fitness ERG700 rower review

XTERRA Fitness’s ERG700 is a combo rowing machine, meaning that is uses both magnetic and air resistance systems to fuel your workouts.

The result is a rower that takes advantage of the benefits of each, while simultaneously negating the drawbacks each system brings to the table.

The ERG700 has plenty of other features to be proud of too though, like its 20″ seat height, 16 resistance levels, and the easy to read console with 10 built-in workouts.

And with a sales price at around $1000, it’s priced effectively to move.

Overall, I like XTERRA as a brand and I think their ERG700 is a pretty safe bet for folks looking for a quality rower that won’t completely break the budget.

But if you’re looking for a little more detail, keep reading- in this review I’ll go over everything the ERG700 has to offer.

After reading, you’ll know everything you need to in order to decide whether or not this is the right rower for your home gym.

The XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower

XTERRA ERG700 rower review

XTERRA is a fitness brand that specializes in budget friendly gear. They remind me a lot of Sunny Health & Fitness, another budget brand, who does a good job of providing affordable equipment that actually works.

That said, I think XTERRA equipment is a little higher-end.

XTERRA also backs their equipment up with great warranties, something Sunny doesn’t always do.

Like Sunny, XTERRA has a large lineup of equipment to choose from. They specialize in cardio machines, so you’ll find a great selection of bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, and rowers to choose from.

XTERRA also offers an affordable seated stepper (the RSX1500) that’s popular for folks looking for a low impact workout.

When it comes to rowers, they’ve got a lot to choose from: last time I checked I think they had 7 different models to choose from.

The ERG700 is one of their highest-end models to date and the only combo magnetic/air rower they offer.

Pros

  • Dual resistance system (magnetic/air)
  • 16 resistance levels
  • Folding frame
  • 350 lb weight capacity
  • 20″ seat height
  • 5.5″ LCD console
  • 10 built-in workout programs
  • Heart rate monitor compatible
  • Easy assembly
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • No air damper
  • Heart rate monitor not included

Resistance

When talking rowing machines, it’s easiest to classify them based on the type of resistance system they use. Historically, home rowers come in 4 varieties: hydraulic, magnetic, air, and water.

This classification system still works pretty well, but now we have a lot of rowers like the ERG700 which are combo machines, which use both magnetic and air systems.

There’s also new, advanced resistance systems like that found on the Hydrow which uses a magnetic system, but one that’s controlled to react more like an air or water system.

Each type of rower has it’s advantages and disadvantages and the type of rower that’s best for you really depends on what you’re looking for (as well as your budget).

(For more info about rowing machines in general, check out my complete rowing machine guide).

The combo rowers seem to be growing in popularity because we’re seeing a lot of them on the market.

And it makes sense when you think about how these machines work.

Rowers like the ERG700 use both magnetic and air resistance systems- I feel like I keep saying that, well, now I’m gonna talk about what that actually means.

One of the nice things about magnetic rowers is that you get a consistent resistance regardless of how hard or fast you pull. You set your resistance level and off ya go.

This is different than an air rower, where the resistance you feel is directly related to how fast you row- pull harder and you feel more resistance, slower and less.

An air rower (like a water rower) resembles real rowing more closely, but it doesn’t allow you to row slowly against high resistance.

And magnetic rowers allow you to set your resistance independently of your rowing speed, but you have to keep adjusting the resistance level to increase intensity.

Well, combo rowers like the ERG700 are the best of both worlds.

With the ERG700, you set your baseline resistance level (it comes with 16 levels to choose from)- when rowing at slower speeds, you will always have at least this much resistance.

But as you start rowing faster, the air fan kicks in and provides additional resistance to pull against.

With these combo rowers, I’ve always gotten the impression that it’s the magnetic system that provides the majority of the resistance and that the fan just supplements a little on top of that.

Which means combo machines like the ERG700 will be a little quieter than traditional air rowers.

Overall, the ERG700 has a nice resistance system that can provide a wide range of intensity levels to challenge both novice and experienced rowers alike.

Users agree this machine provides smooth action that is surprisingly quiet.

Frame

One of the most disappointing things about budget fitness equipment is how light weight and flimsy they tend to be- you sit down on one of these machines and you’re not completely sure you aren’t gonna end up on the floor before the workout is through.

It can be hard to discern a light weight from a heavy weight machine without taking it for a test spin, but one of the best ways to tell without trying it is by looking at the weight capacity.

Machines with low weight limits are going to be lighter weight and feel less stable during use.

Personally, I like to see at least a 300 lb limit on any fitness machine I’m considering (even though I weigh significantly less than that) because I know that means it should be structurally sound.

With that in mind, the ERG700 comes in with a weight limit of 350 lb.

This is great for any home rower, especially one in this price range. It also means the ERG700 is capable of holding larger users safely.

Tall ones too for that matter- according to XTERRA, the ERG700 can easily fit folks who are up to 6’4″ tall (any taller and there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to extend fully).

And even though this rower is capable of holding large and tall folks safely, it’s still easy to move around with an assembled weight of only 76 lb.

The rail can also fold vertically for easy storage.

Overall, the ERG700 scores highly in the frame department. I like that it comes with such a high weight limit and can still fold easily for storage and transportation.

Seat & Handles

There usually isn’t that much to discuss when it comes to the seat and handles of a home rower- honestly, most of these machines are pretty standard when it comes to this stuff.

There are a few things I want to point out on the ERG700 though.

Rowing machines in general get a bad rap when it comes to comfort- the seats are usually small and firm and for some reason rowers are usually very low to the ground, making them difficult to access for some.

Well, the seat on the ERG700 appears pretty standard to me, but users have mentioned how comfortable they found the cushioned seat to be.

What’s more notable however, is that the seat on the ERG700 is significantly higher off the ground than most.

With a seat hight of 20″, the ERG700 is sitting a good 6″ higher than most (with traditional rowers being 14″ or so off the ground).

This is great for folks who might have a hard time sitting down and getting up off of lower rowing machines.

The handles are padded and contoured, making them pretty comfortable to hold on to during use. This rower uses a belt drive (as opposed to a chain), which cuts down on the noise level.

The pedals are large and come with adjustable straps (although there have been complaints from users that they aren’t that easy to adjust).

The pedals move a little with ya as you row- this is supposed to keep your ankles in a more comfortable position throughout your rowing motion.

Overall, the star of the show in this category is the elevated seat position, which is quite nice for people with mobility issues.

Console

Most rowing machines come with pretty simple consoles that don’t have that much to offer. This is changing fast though, with technology and the streaming craze of course.

The console on the ERG700 isn’t fancy or anything, but it’s large enough and brightly lit to see clearly during your workouts.

Speaking of which, this console comes with 10 built-in workouts to choose from. Which is pretty good for a rowing machine.

These workouts include manual, a few different interval options, a few goal oriented options, and a little game to keep things more interesting.

The console displays all the key metrics you’d expect from a rower, including time, pace, distance, heart rate, calories, and watt output.

The console on this rower is chest strap heart rate monitor compatible, although one isn’t included.

Overall, the console on the ERG700 is fairly advanced. I like that it comes with several workouts to choose from and that it’s heart rate monitor compatible.

Assembly

It doesn’t take much to put the ERG700 together. That’s definitely one of the nice things about rowing machines- very limited assembly.

There’s only a few steps to get this rower unpacked and running.

You’ll be responsible for attaching the front and rear stabilizers, connecting the rail, and then attaching the seat and pedals- that’s it.

The assembly manual is easy to follow and the procedure itself is a piece of cake.

Most users report they were able to assemble in 30 min or so and I believe it (there’s only 4 steps).

Overall, assembly shouldn’t be an issue with the ERG700. Most folks should be able to assemble this one themselves without having to worry about professional assistance.

Warranty

The XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower comes with the following residential warranty:

  • Lifetime frame
  • 5 year parts
  • 1 year labor

If you ask me, this is a great warranty for this rower.

You can’t beat a lifetime guarantee on the frame and 5 years on parts for a rower in this price range is great. A year on labor is industry standard.

Overall, the warranty department is an area where XTERRA shines and the guarantee on this rower is no exception.

Final Thoughts

Well, that about does it for the ERG700.

Honestly, I don’t have that much to complain about here- I think this rowing machine has a lot to offer. The dual resistance system is great because you can set your baseline yet still get more intensity with faster paces.

And I love the fact that the seat sits half a foot higher than most standard rowers.

Even the console scores highly with a nice selection of built-in workouts to choose from and being heart rate monitor friendly.

It would be nice if there was a damper to let you adjust the air inflow, but that’s really just me nitpicking.

Overall, I think the XTERRA ERG700 is a very nice home rower for the price (and you can’t beat that warranty). Recommended.

 

Will

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