Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Good Rower For The Money.
on December 24, 2014
After pouring through tons of reviews on Amazon for various rowing machines, I decided on this one for the money. Of all the different rowers, I wanted one that was more like actual rowing, sculling type, rather than just a line pull. It is a bit heavier than others of this type which to me equates to more durability. I'm around 165 lbs and I think this will accomodate people weighing up to 250 with no problem.
Okay, so why the four stars? After going through reviews, people complaing about missing parts, or how flimsy the packaging was. Others complained about leaking cylinders, or that the resistance was too much even on low settings. Here's what I experienced:
The packaging was just fine, no issues except that one of the plastic bags was open and not sealed and that some parts from that bag had fallen out. It seemed like someone at the factory realized that they forgot a few items and threw them in at the last minute before closing it up for shipping. So, I removed all of the parts from their respective packages and inventoried them against the list of parts illustrated in the manual.
Everything was there!...Yea!!! Now then, the manual is in German, but they illustrate step by step the order in which the parts need to be assembled including the part numbers for all the different washers, bolts, etc. Be sure to check them off against the parts list. The illustrations could be better, but putting it together took me apx 1-1/2 hours by myself. Once done, I realized that the arms were not equal in height from the starting position so I contacted the seller Unique Fitness, (Amazon was out of these, so I purchased online from Amazon through this vendor). They were quite helpful and got me the right contact at Kettler. The person at Kettler that I spoke with went through all the possible steps to be sure I had assembled it correctly. I had. So after some consideration and measurements, their concensus was that the arm that was lower had been incorrectly welded at the factory. They promptly shipped a replacement on Fed-Ex Ground and I had it in three-four days.
I was still able to use the machine as it was prior ro getting the replacement arm, but when I get something new that I just spent $600.00 on, I expect it to be right. So, Kettler took care of the problem right away and if I couldn't get this resolved to my satisfaction, the people at Unique Fitness said they would arrange for me to ship it back for a full refund. So, customer service was great.
Now then, the rowing action is a bit stiff at first but as I use it, I'm noticing that it is starting to loosen up. This is normal for this kind of rower. Will the cylinders leak? Apparently so, over time, any rower that employs hydraulic cylinders will eventually...not right away. I'm thinking it's going to take a while for that to occur. If you're worried, place it on a mat.
One of the other reasons I bought this brand is their warranty. It is three years on most everything vs others that only have a few months to a year. Overall, I feel the construction is sound and should last me a long while. I am over 60 yrs old and didn't have any problem with the resistance and would suggest to people that do is to give it a little time to loosen up the cyclinders and they'll become easier to work with as you use it.
I do think Kettler could have made some improvements overall. I wish they had a handle on one end and perhaps some wheels on the other to accomodate picking it up and moving it out of the way. It does weigh about 65 lbs. The arms fold in for storage and they supply a couple of velcro straps to secure them so they aren't flapping around while moving it out of the way. They perhaps could have had a locking mechanism instead for a more secure postion instead of cheap straps. The straps for your feet are also cheap and may have to be replaced at some point, but they work okay for now. The electronic monitoring device and screen are a little diificult to understand, but there are English instructions for that. I wish the batteries they supplied weren't dead but not that big of a deal for a couple of AA batteries... but why didn't they supply with fresh batteries? For $600? Really?
Overall, I am happy with my purchase for this type of rower and the folks at Kettler and Unique Fitness were easy to work with.