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on April 28, 2013
I have to admit that I was somewhat let-down by this rower. I spent a lot of time looking and comparing reviews, because I knew that I couldn't spend the big money for a Concept 2, so I wanted to find the best I could within my price range. I finally settled on the LifeSpan.

Putting this thing together is a piece of cake. It literally took me 15-30 minutes. The main piece, the big gray box that houses all the pulleys and such, is already assembled for you. All I had to do was attach the seat, bars, etc. (The instructions were a little confusing when it came to the seat; I actually thought they hadn't sent the bolts for it and was very upset. Turns out the instructions were just a little poorly done for that particular piece, so if you get the same thing, don't worry!)

There are several different tension settings, so you can choose what works best for you.

And possibly my favorite thing - the seat and long bar fold up easily so storing it, or just reducing it's footprint, is really easy.

The computer part is supposed to show you strokes/min, a timer, estimated calories, etc. You put in the included battery and pop the unit into place. Mine has never worked. Oh, when I start rowing, numbers show up. But only on the timer - everything else stays blank - and the timer seems to work randomly. It will say 2:17 for a very long time, then decide to work for about four seconds, then stop again, etc. I have to use a watch in order to actually time my workout. Obviously it doesn't affect the workout, but it is disappointing.

If I get into a good rhythm and start pulling with any force (and it's just a fabric strap you're pulling) I find that the front actually lifts off the ground. I only weigh 135lbs, so I definitely didn't expect to pull the unit right off the ground! I actually had to find some heavy weights and put them on the front feet in order to keep that from happening.

After about 7 or 8 workouts, I started to notice a bit of noise when I was using it. After I pull, and I start to move forward, there's something like a squeak or a squeal. I assume it's from the pulleys inside the machine, and it's very distracting. I don't expect a silent machine, especially in this price range, but I like to try to watch tv while I'm rowing and the constant squeal/squeak gets extremely frustrating.

All in all, you get what you pay for. You're going to get a decent workout, it gets heart rate up, and it's much better for cardio than an elliptical or treadmill. (In my opinion.) But you're not going to get quite the same quality of experience you would if you shelled out the extra money for a higher end model like the Concept 2.
143 people found this helpful
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on June 30, 2015
I had done a lot of research before purchasing this unit. I realised it was a starter rower and read everywhere that if it's your first one then for the price, it's the best one to choose. In my case, I should have taken that money and invested it in a good quality machine.

Putting it together took about 15 mins. Very easy. Once you start rowing however the front base of it lifts off the ground. I wrote to lifespan to ask what to do about this and they told me that the I had to make sure the locking pin was in - it was.

I then did a search with the words Lifespan rower and lifts off the ground and there were several complains about that. Maybe it's just certain units - who knows.

I have time to return it but I'm not going to drag it back downstairs again so I'll make do. Someone has mentioned putting weights on the feet so I will try that.
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on August 22, 2015
I like this a lot. It gives a good work out. I have two minor complaints that aren't really complaints but to help others shopping for one. 1) This is very loud. Much louder than the concept 2 I use at the gym, but if you turn the tv way up you can hear it. 2) I don't think the display works very well. A 30 minute workout should burn about 350 calories, but mine shows like 90. The manual does say to only use it a comparison to other workout so I guess they know it isn't reliable.

But for the price this is a good purchase and was easy to assemble.
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on September 24, 2017
I used my machine religiously for just over 2 years. Loved it. The clockspring device that pulls the strap back into the unit after a stroke broke. I called Lifespan. My unit was outside of warranty. I knew that and was prepared to fix the unit because I loved it. I was told that you are not able to replace the small part tnat broke. You are FORCED to buy the entire mechanism (i.e. the whole system of parts that sets resistance and retracts the strap). Lifespan employee was as shocked as I was at the replacement part price.....$340 + shipping!!! A whole new unit cost 499....ridiculous!

My advice - IF you buy this unit by an extended warranty. Lifespan lost me as a future customer. I would have paid a reasonable price for parts but NOT this much.
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on June 28, 2015
Highly recommend this high quality, reasonably priced home rowing machine. Easy to assemble. Takes up less space folded and unfolded than most other machines. Smooth action. Can be used by tall people. Sufficient tension settings for average user. Other reviewers have complained that front of unit lifts off floor with vigorous use. They didn't read the instructions! You must insert locking pin when using - not just when upright for storing. If locking pin is installed, it is impossible to lift front of unit off floor while using. My only issue is that feet slip off bottom of foot pedals. Solution is to add a second foot strap for each foot so you can have foot strap at heel and at front of foot. Each foot pedal has two slots for foot straps. Generally available Velcro straps will work for heel straps.
15 people found this helpful
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on July 27, 2015
great product. Having watched videos on rowing machines I am able to use this as intended. I get an excellent workout. I don't understand the negative comments unless people are not using it correctly. As a number of people reported, my monitoring device failed almost immediately. For my purposes, I really don't need it, so haven't replaced it.
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on January 15, 2016
Have used this about a month now and absolutely love it. Other reviews complaint about the nylon pully, but I do not foresee a problem with it since it is on a smooth roller. This was pretty easy to put together, however, at some points it does take two people to hold the pieces in line so the bars slip together right. It provides a good workout that is easy on the joints (I have knee and ankle problems) and has the varying tension levels to use which is nice.

The only thing that I think I would change is that the console doesn't have a back light. So if that would light up it would be easier to read but that is only because I have my gym in the basement where it is darker.

I have no tried to fold this up since I have room to leave it down, so I don't know how easy or hard that is.

I bought the mat for it to sit on but haven't had to use it. I have it placed on a cement floor and it doesn't move around while rowing.

So far so good. Not sure how this compares to the more expensive ones but I really like this for my first rowing machine.
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on March 16, 2014
I've looked for a long time for a exercise machine of some sort that I can sit on (no butt crack bike seats) and get's my heart rate up without over working my back and left knee. This works for me. It's not full of features (to change resistance settings you have to momentarily stop to turn a knob) but it's well built and easy to move around.
I've used it every day for about three weeks and I see one issue that will take some attention to deal with and avoid maybe a serious injury. Over time the rail that the seat slides back and forth on can build up a residue. This residue from dirt, grease, sweat and oils can cause enough resistance to slow, if not stop the seat from freely sliding on the rail. It happened to me today when I pulled and extended my legs and the seat didn't move with me. I ended up on my butt off the side of the rail in a uncomfortable position (at the least) and I could see where you could bruise a tailbone or wrench your back. I fixed it by taking some brake cleaner (any good cleaner would probably work) and spraying it on a cloth then on the rail. Everything worked great after that. I'll make it a routine to do this minor maintenance every once in awhile and probably unbolt the seat and thoroughly clean the wheels once a month too. I'd recommend this rowing machine to anyone looking for a inexpensive way to stay in shape year round.
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on February 6, 2016
A solid product for the price (got for $100 less on lightning deal). It is a no frills unit and sturdy. Counts strokes and time is all that is accurate. Really quiet so I can watch tv. Would recommend.
5 people found this helpful
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on January 24, 2012
The LifeSpan RW1000 is an excellent home fitness machine. I couldn't be happier with it or recommend it more highly.

It was easy to assemble and is easy to use and the ability to store the seat slide in an upright position is critical in my house. It has enough monitor features to be informative and keep me motivated while exercising. The seat slide is very fluid with absolutely no resistance, the row strap move seamlessly and the machine is darn near silent when in use. I place my tablet next it for a little music to work out by and have no problem hearing it.

I've enjoyed the low-impact exercise this row machine offers.

I like the quality of the machine and it is a great product for the cost.
4 people found this helpful
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