BodyCraft offers a robust, affordable rowing machine called the: VR100. The VR100 provides a sturdy and durable design while also offering numerous resistance levels, and an aircraft-grade aluminum and steel frame.
Plus, the adjustable console provides in-depth session statistics, from distance, time, strokes and calories burned to the option of monitoring your heart rate (more on that soon).
What did we experience during our BodyCraft VR100 rowing machine review?
Let’s cut right to the good stuff:
- Easy assembly and low price
- Glides smoothly
- Resistance levels add extra workout potential
- Fan is rather noisy
- Heart rate monitoring is sporadic
When rowing, you’ll notice that the fan is surprisingly noisy on this rower. Headphones or earplugs and some music will help you ignore the noise. Heart rate monitoring is also very sporadic. A single movement can cause a very high reading, and only the Polar T34 is able to be used for monitoring.
Again, these are too much of a concern, but it’s something I felt that you should know prior to making your purchase.
BodyCraft VR100 Rowing Machine Review
Weighing just 70 pounds, the VR100 is rather easy to assemble and lightweight. Once assembled (it takes less than an hour), you’ll find that the machine mimics rowing on the water pretty closely.
The seat is ergonomically designed to boost comfort, and the ball bearing system allows for smooth rowing at all times.
Rowing arms and grips are comfortable and stable, too. Providing a substantial workout, rowing will work your core, upper body and lower body. Resistance levels are available that will allow you to further boost the tension when rowing for further muscle building.
Faster rowing will also boost resistance.
Five magnetic resistance levels are available, too, if you find that the one level of air resistance isn’t providing you with the challenge needed to boost muscle growth.
Total weight capacity is 250 pounds, and the sturdy frame is made of aircraft-grade aluminum which is extremely durable. The pedals are comfortable, lightweight and the monitoring system provides you with robust metrics to ensure you have a thorough, heart-pounding workout.
Able to be adjusted, the monitoring system will allow you to track your:
- Calories burned
We really wanted to love the heart-rate monitoring, but we found it to jump up very quickly with even one or two strokes. And it would be near impossible for a heart rate to go that wild without a person falling on the floor in the process.
But since the monitor is optional, it’s not a must-have necessity by any means.
I do recommend turning on the radio or watching television when rowing, as this machine is louder than normal.
Don’t confuse this model with a Concept 2, which is a high-end rowing machine that is the best-of-the-best. Priced for the entry-level consumer, this is an exceptional buy that provides detailed rowing metrics and a sturdy durable design. Sure there are a few quirks, but the BodyCraft VR100 rowing machine still outperforms the competition in this price range.
If you’re after a robust rowing machine and are on a tight budget, the VR100 is highly recommended.