While there is such a thing as LifeSpan rowing machines, the company doesn’t put much effort into their design, and you shouldn’t put much effort into thinking about buying one.
Founded in 2002 in Park City, Utah, under parent company PCE Health and Fitness, LifeSpan fitness equipment includes treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, rowers, and vibration trainers aimed at the “value-conscious consumer.” The company’s treadmill line has won consumer product awards and many Best Buy recommendations. Their bike designs are also noteworthy, but Lifespan rowing machines are not.
The company only has one rower in their stable these days: the RW1000 that has an MSRP of $699 but is usually on sale for hundreds less.
It is a magnetic rower with a 16.5-lb flywheel, a fabric cord pulley, padded seat, folding frame, and a user weight capacity of 300 pounds. It looks good and feels great at first glance, but there are several problems you’ll discover once you check out the details.
For example, the display is woefully inaccurate –in the stroke counter, and strokes per minute, as well as the calorie count. And that means that the distance measurement isn’t accurate either. Oh well, at least the time count works, so that’s one out of five readouts that is dependable.
The most flattering thing to say about the Lifespan RW1000 is that it is very easy to assemble (one person, half an hour) and simple to use. If you want a nice rower for casual use for a couple of years, this one will do. But if you are a hard-core rower, you will not like the inaccurate display, nor will you put up with the cheap parts used on the seat rolling mechanism and the fabric cord pulley system.
For $499, LifeSpan should build a better rower. The problem is, Lifespan rowing machines are an after-thought from a company whose focus is on treadmills, indoor exercise bikes, and elliptical trainers. Those award-winning products are excellent and worthy of the Lifespan brand. We hope you’ll skip the RW1000 and buy a machine from a company that designs and builds rowers as its primary focus.
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