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I bought a new tunturi R25 rowing machine to replace one I had for years of the same make.

The new one is a magnetic rower, while the old one is a piston. here is the new one.

I got it and put it all together and I have three problems with it.

One - it may be thinner than my old one, but it's much chunkier. I used to stand the old one up and hide it behind a cupboard. This one does fold, but it's still quite big.

Two - I can't come as far forward on the new one as I could on the old one, on the old one I used to hunch up all the way to the front, this one I have to limit my motion a bit, although it's fine going back.

Three - The old one allowed you to set the clamp on the piston arms so that the resistance made it almost impossible to row. On the new one I'm already on the highest resistance setting and it's not very hard. It's OK, but no room for improvement. One thing I liked about the old rower was that as well as being good cardio, all these muscles started appearing on my back, so I kept turning up the resistance which was good until it broke...

Are these problems worth sending the thing back for? Or do they not matter?

and if they are legit problems, what's the alternative? All the piston ones are really cheap and people say they break, but the alternatives are huge! i don't want a giant piece of equipment in my house!

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This a good question :) the FAQ says you can ask things about "gear and gadgets used during exercise". –  user3085 Mar 28 '12 at 16:34
@Sancho thanks! –  SirYakalot Mar 28 '12 at 16:47
I think my main gripe is - surely I should be able to replace my 15 year old piston rower with a new one that does everything the old one did and more for the same price? I find it annoying that the old one did some things better despite this costing more. –  SirYakalot Mar 29 '12 at 9:16

2 Answers 2

From what I can tell by doing a precursory search for home rowing machines online is that you have a comparatively expensive one. It also has a larger fore section than any of the others I saw listed.

If you are unhappy with it, by all means return it.

I feel like something like this would be more to your liking:

York R301 Diamond Series Magair Folding Rower

Or if you wanna spend even more...

Rower Machines over £500

== Update 3/30/2012 ==

So after more research into rowing machines, I have found that there are 4 basic designs

  • Air (the ones with fans and that make a lot of noise): usually have the lever in the front that helps easily adjust the resistance
  • Water: these are usually more expensive but people seem to think they have the best overall feel. However, you don't have the option to select the resistance level simply because the faster you row, the greater the resistance of the water - just like rowing on a lake. Form factor here is an issue: they seem to run large in size.
  • Hydraulic: cheaper, smaller, can usually fold them up.
  • Magnetic: silent, can be compact, have the least satisfying rowing action.

There's a lot of good general information here at Rowing Machine Reviews, but relatively few actual reviews. So I looked online for reviews of your machine and the biggest complaint people seemed to have with it was exactly the issue you have: the lack of higher resistance levels.

Again, I recommend returning your machine and try to find one you know you like before purchasing. Shoddy equipment will eat away your will to exercise.

I imagine trying a rowing forum and asking them for any recommendations would be a good place to start. Rowing Forum seems to be decently active and they have section for discussing indoor rowers.

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Care to explain why he might like those better? –  Ivo Flipse Mar 29 '12 at 14:03
Care to explain why you made this comment? –  Merritt Mar 29 '12 at 15:05
@Merritt The point is that link-only answers aren't very good in themselves. Providing more description about them would make your answer more valuable to the asker. If these links change or disappear over time, then there isn't much that can be done about them. –  Matt Chan Mar 29 '12 at 15:27
Because your answer doesn't explain why the two rowing machines you recommended are any good. So how would other users be able to judge whether you're making a good recommendation? You are by no means obligated to do so, but if he has to try out your recommendations himself to have an idea if they're any better, than you didn't really help him much –  Ivo Flipse Mar 29 '12 at 15:27
The only thing that matters to you it seems is getting higher resistance. My experience with magnetic rowers has been ususally disappointing, and I would wonder exactly how much one would cost that would provide the type of resistance you are looking for. You should really try a more specific forum, maybe look for a rowing-related google group or something. –  Merritt Mar 30 '12 at 15:17

After doing very extensive research it seems the right product just does not exist. Better rowers cost much more than the r25. A model that I'd be more than happy to get is the kettler kadett - it may not be quite as good as the r25 but it's smaller and well, I don't need a top if the range rower.

Oh wait, it's actually more expensive than the r25, but not as good - so that's out of the question. And all of the other small piston rowers don't provide enough resistance and aren't of a good enough build quality for someone that rows as much as I do.

The concept rower is the best but way too expensive. The only other option is the tunturi r60, but honestly I was really hoping to 'upgrade' to a more compact model.

I think I'll send the r25 back and fix the giant piece of iron I've used for years until something comes out.

Very disappointing.

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