Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine ReviewThe Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine is a perfect blend of two of the best resistance types!

It is the only commercial-grade rowing machine to have both air and magnetic resistance so there’s always a smooth and consistent motion throughout the entire rowing stroke.

It provides 16 levels of adjustable resistance controlled by a blue/green backlit multifunctional performance monitor with built-in heart rate receiver (wireless chest strap is included).

Now get ready for this, it also comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, whether it’s used for home or commercial use!

If that’s not enough for you, the R100 is the Winner of the 2013 Head of the Class Award from Fitness Professor Review. 

What did I tell you…this baby is loaded! However, there are also some negatives to this rower so you will have to read the full review for the full story.

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Table of Contents
(click a title to jump ahead!)

1. Resistance Type
2. Monitor/Control Panel
3. Build Quality
4. Comfort
5. Storage
6. Capacity
7. Dimensions
8. Assembly
9. Pros and Cons
10. Consumer Reviews
11. Warranty
12. Price

Resistance Type

The Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine is a dual-resistance rower that comes with air and magnetic resistance.

Most rowing machines have one resistance type only, with each resistance type having its pros and cons (to read about the four resistance types click here).

Just in case you didn’t read the ‘resistance types’ link above, here’s the cliff notes version.  :)

Air resistance is great because it provides a smooth rowing motion and variable resistance (resistance level is based on your rowing intensity, the harder you row the more resistance you feel).  One downside is the fan can be noisy, especially when you row with a lot of intensity.

Magnetic resistance is great because it uses a magnetic brake system to create resistance, which is practically maintenance-free, they usually provide adjustable resistance, and make little-to-no noise.  One downside is the rowing motion isn’t the smoothest.

The Lifecore R100 Commerical Rowing Machine combines the best of both worlds (for the most part).

You get the smooth rowing motion that an air rower provides (on the lower resistance levels) and when the resistance gets to the higher levels, the machine switches to magnetic resistance to reduce the noise output.

In addition, the dual-resistance setup provides a smooth and consistent rowing motion so you feel resistance throughout the entire rowing stroke.

The R100 has 16 different levels of adjustable resistance, which makes this rower ideal for people of all fitness levels, from absolute beginner to ‘gym rat’.

No users complained that the rower was too difficult or too easy to use, which is validation that this machine is truly built for commercial use and is a ‘one size fits all’ piece of fitness equipment.

Another important thing users DID NOT complain about was the rower’s workout balance, which is a really good thing!  It’s important that rowers feel their upper and lower bodies worked out while rowing.

You wouldn’t expect this issue from a higher-end rower like the R100, but there are a few rowing machines out there that have this problem so it’s definitely worth noting this is not an issue.

Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine ReviewThe resistance level can be easily changed by pressing buttons on the performance monitor.  This is a nice convenience to have because you can change resistance in the middle of a workout without stopping.

This is a big deal in my opinion, especially if you’re into HIIT (high intensity interval training) or crossfit-style workouts where you have to change resistance levels quickly.

There are some rowing machines that require you to stop rowing and even wait a few minutes to let the hydraulic pistons cool down before you can change resistance levels.

That’s good you don’t have to worry about that with the Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine.

While rowing, air is created and a nice feature the Lifecore LC-R100 Rower has is an adjustable cooling air vent.  The vent allows users to point the air created by the rower towards them while working out, which can help to keep them cool.

One additional thing about changing resistance easily on the performance monitor is that it can be done even when your feet are strapped in the footrests!  This may seem like it’s not a big deal to most of you, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rowed on a rowing machine and in the middle of rowing, I wanted to change something on the performance monitor but I changed my mind because I didn’t want to stop rowing and take my feet out of the footrests.

Monitor/Control Panel

The Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine comes with a nifty multifunctional performance monitor that has a large LCD blue/green backlit display.

Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine MonitorThe monitor tracks various fitness data such as:

  • Strokes per minute
  • Pulse rate
  • Watts
  • Time/ 500M
  • Total time
  • Total number of strokes
  • Meters rowed
  • Calories burned

All data is displayed simultaneously on the main screen.  The monitor also displays battery level (if batteries are being used to power the monitor), workout resistance level, workout program, and user profile.

Users loved the blue and green color combination and very easy to read data.  The large LCD backlit display makes it easy to read the workout data, even in low-lit areas.

It is very easy to use and has five buttons, all on the face of the monitor, that are clearly labeled.

The monitor arm is long and adjustable, which allows the monitor’s angle and height to be adjusted based on the user’s preference.  The arm’s length is great because it places the monitor in a “reachable” distance from the rower, meaning users don’t have to take their feet out of the footrests to use it.

I talked about this already in the ‘resistance’ section above but I wanted to reiterate how convenient this minor detail is.

The monitor can be powered by either 4 C batteries or with an included AC power adapter.  Lifecore recommends that you only choose one power source at a time to prevent any issues with the monitor.

To turn it on, all you need to do is press a button on the monitor or pull on the handle of the rower.  It will automatically go into “sleep mode” after four minutes of inactivity.

The Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine allows users to create unique user profiles for 4 different users.  Certain user details such as gender information, age, weight, and height are is requested and is used to calculate workout data more accurately and to provide better experiences with future workouts.

All user data is saved including historical workout data until the user profile information is manually erased.

It comes with a built-in heart rate receiver and includes a free wireless chest strap to record your pulse rate during workouts.

This is a nice addition by Lifecore because I have seen my fair share of rowers with built-in heart rate receivers, but the owner usually has to purchase the chest strap separately (even at this price point).

In addition to monitoring your heart rate during workouts, the monitor can also check your recovery heart rate (the amount of time it takes for your heart to recover after a workout) by simply pressing the ‘recovery’ button on the face of the monitor immediately after a workout.

After 60 seconds, the monitor will see how your heart rate is and will rank your fitness level accordingly in one of six levels. Level 1 means you’re in excellent shape and Level 6 means you’re below average shape.

Out of all the features this monitor has, users raved about the workout programs the most.  The Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine offers 15 different workout programs and I’ll highlight the different program types below:

Manual Program

  • This is a quick start program where the user determines what resistance level they want to row at
  • User chooses a target distance and time

White Water and Ramp Programs

  • These programs “simulate” rowing on white waters and ramps
  • The resistance levels will change as you go through the program and you can increase or decrease the resistance at any time
  • User chooses a target distance and time

Pacer Program

  • Allows user to race against or row beside a pace boat
  • User determines speed/ pace of the pace boat
  • Boat icons will be displayed on the monitor to show where you are relative to the pace boat
  • The monitor will let you know how many meters you’re behind or ahead of the pace boat if you’re not rowing beside it

Interval Programs

  • There are two types; time and distance
  • Helps build speed and endurance
  • Intervals are a combination of short and very intense rowing sessions mixed with short recovery periods
  • User determines amount of intervals and rest times

WATTS Control Program

  • Allows user to determine watt (power) goal
  • Resistance level is automatically determined by your rowing speed; manual selection of resistance is disabled
  • User chooses a target distance, time, and watt level

Heart Rate Control Programs

  • Allows user to keep training at their desired heart rate level
  • Programs are based off of individual user profiles
  • Three heart rate level options:  60%, 75%, 85%
  • User chooses a target distance and time

To sum things up, the Lifecore R100 Commerical Rowing Machine’s performance monitor offers plenty of options, makes reading the data easy, and is simple to use.

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Build Quality

The Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine is coated with black semi-gloss paint and has an extruded aluminum frame with solid steel support.

Users absolutely loved how durable and bulletproof the R100 feels.

It’s commercial grade and is built like a tank. It’s designed to take daily abuse from a health club and every part on the rower is made to last from the solid steel fan and flywheel to the industrial grade nylon strap and seat.

If you’re still unsure about the durability of this rowing machine, Lifecore backs up their product with a lifetime warranty on the frame, whether it’s used for residential or commercial use.  I wouldn’t worry about this puppy breaking down on you anytime soon!

No users complained about any annoying and creaking noises. Not a surprise given it’s a high-end, commercial-grade machine.

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Comfort

The contoured, oversized seat has an ergonomic design and extra padding for maximum comfort. Users commented on how “extremely” comfortable the seat is, even when rowing for a long period of time.

The handles also have an ergonomic design and have a slight angle, which allows the user to easily grip it.  In addition, the angled design alleviates strain on your hands and wrists.  Users mentioned the handles are thin enough to easily wrap their hands around and is comfortable to grip.

The footrests on the Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine are angled, wide, and have pivoting heel support.  The foot platforms are made of steel and have separate, durable heel supports.

The heel supports on a few other high-end, commercial grade rowing machines I reviewed are flimsy and made of plastic and it was a pleasant surprise to see Lifecore paid this much attention to detail to beef up this “minor” part on the machine.

Quick cinch foot straps are used to secure rowers’ feet while rowing.  Users commented on how they liked how the foot straps didn’t loosen up while rowing.

Another thing users liked was the spacing of the footrests, which is ideal for people of all sizes, especially taller people.

The rowing motion is extremely smooth.  Resistance is fluid throughout the entire rowing stroke due to the dual air and magnetic resistance setup.  The seat glides effortlessly up and down the rail and the commercial grade nylon strap doesn’t snag. I almost forgot to mention the use of a nylon strap vastly reduces the noise every time the handle is pulled!

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Storage

Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine ReviewThe Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine folds up in seconds by simply unscrewing a knob underneath the rower and standing up the seat rail.

The rower has dual caster wheels that make moving the rower around manageable when
needed, but it’s fairly heavy so keep that in mind if you plan to move the R100 around often.

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Capacity

The maximum weight capacity on the Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine is 600 pounds (272 kg).

A user that weighed 300 pounds (136 kg) used this rower without any reservations and didn’t experience any issues.  The rower is solidly built and could accommodate practically anyone.

The R100 has a long seat rail that can accommodate most users.  The seat can glide almost all the way to the footrests so shorter users don’t need to worry about being “too short” to use the machine.

Users as tall as 6’3” (1.92 m) have used this rower and commented they had a few more inches of space to spare.  If you’re taller than 6’4” (1.95 m), before you purchase the rower, I would look for a Lifecore R100 at a local gym or fitness equipment retailer and try it out just to be sure the seat track is long enough to allow your legs to fully extend while rowing.

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Dimensions

  • In-Use:
    • 92.0″ x 19.0″ x 36.0″ (234 cm x 48 cm x 91 cm) (L x W x H )
  • Storage:
    • 52.0″ x 19.0″ x 67.0″ (132 cm X 48 cm X 170 cm) (L x W x H)
  • Weight:
    • 96 pounds (44 kg)

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Assembly

Many users commented on how easy it was to put the Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine together.   Some users even commented that they were able to put it together in under 10 minutes with the included allen wrench!

The instruction manual is very detailed and easy to read so even if you’re not the type of person that’s good at putting things together (yes, I fall in that category) it shouldn’t take you longer than 30 minutes.

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Pros and Cons

Pros:  

  • Commercial-grade durability
  • Dual-resistance setup  (air and magnetic)
  • Winner of the 2013 Head of the Class Award
  • Smooth rowing motion
  • Oversized, comfortable seat
  • Backlit performance monitor with several different workout programs
  • Performance monitor can be powered by battery of AC adapter
  • 16 different resistance levels that can be changed from the performance monitor
  • Rower includes wireless chest strap for heart rate monitoring
  • Detailed and easy to read instruction manual
  • Easy to assemble
  • Dual caster wheels
  • Lifetime warranty on the frame (whether it’s used for residential or commercial use)

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Footrest support pedals sometimes pinch your heels when lifted
  • Higher end price range

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Consumer Reviews

Users love how the Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine feels indestructible.

They also love that the performance monitor offers so many different workout programs. Many users commented that it was the best piece of workout equipment they have used.

Some negative reviews deal a lot with price and comparing it to the Concept 2 Model D. Some users felt that they didn’t get a better rower than the C2 model D and that they should have because they payed more money. You can click here to see my full  C2 Model D Review.

Or check out the full line of Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine Review.

Average Rating: 4.3

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Warranty

Residential Warranty

  • Frame:  Lifetime
  • Labor:  1 Year
  • Parts:  5 Years

Light Commercial Warranty

  • Frame:  Lifetime
  • Labor:  90 Days*
  • Parts:  2 Years

* Amazon listed the labor as 1 year, but according to Lifecore’s website the labor is 90 days.  Accordingly, I updated the information based on the manufacturer’s information.

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Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine Price

The price of the LC R100 is at the higher end of most rowing machines but the cost is definitely justifiable.

It has an extremely good build quality and offers 2 types of resistance. It is built for commercial use and can satisfy the needs of multiple users.

The price of the Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine varies depending on where you buy it but Amazon tends to have the lowest price.

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Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine
Author Rating
4

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