The Velocity Fitness Magnetic Rower (aka Cap Barbell CHR-2001 and Proteus PMR-3000) not only looks nice but plays nice, too! It’s a magnetic resistance rowing machine that uses a Drum Magnetic Control (DCS) system to provide smooth variable resistance without making any noise. It’s fairly compact so it’s ideal for smaller workout areas – plus it can fold up in seconds when not in use to save plenty of additional floor space. It also comes with a clever backlit fitness monitor that keeps track of workout data and provides plenty of different workout options. Simply put – it’s a well-rounded rowing machine that’s simple to use and it fits the bill for people of all fitness levels.
The Velocity Fitness Magnetic Rower is a magnetic resistance rowing machine that’s extremely quiet and offers adjustable resistance. For more information on characteristics of a magnetic resistance rowing machine click here. It’s equipped with a Drum Magnetic Control (DCS) system but to be honest with you I have no idea what that means and what makes it so special. However, I did find out something interesting when I was trying to research DCS:
In case you didn’t notice in the intro paragraph, this rower is also known as the Cap Barbell CHR-2001 and the Proteus PMR-3000. I’m not 100% certain why this product has 3 different names but based on my research (and what I found on the company websites) this is what I think happened:
- Proteus originally manufactured and sold the product as the PMR-3000 but changed their business model and instead of manufacturing and selling fitness products, they decided to just make them and sell the “rights” of their products to other companies.
- Cap Barbell bought the “rights” to the PMR-3000 and rebranded it as the CHR-2001. As Cap Barbell grew, they decided to start different brand divisions and the cardio division was called Velocity Fitness and Cap Barbell rebranded the rower as the Velocity Magnetic Magnetic Rower (having 3 different names made researching this rower extremely difficult by the way).
Sorry for going on a tangent there but I know most of you would be curious about the different names for the same rower!
Okay back to the review – what I noticed when I researched how this same rower was marketed under its different names, the first 2 (PMR-3000 and CHR2001) don’t mention DCS in their list of product features but it’s listed under the Velocity name. It appears that DCS was always built in the machine, but Velocity decided to change up the marketing a little bit by explicitly mentioning it to possibly make it sound unique among other magnetic rowing machines. I’m not quite sure but once I get more information on DCS I’ll update this review.
The Velocity rower comes with 8 levels of adjustable resistance so it’s suitable for people of all fitness levels from a complete workout newbie to gym enthusiast. Families of 4 (2 adults and 2 teenage boys) with varying strength levels were able to use it without any issues highlighting the versatility of the machine. The resistance is easily adjusted by pressing the up and down buttons on the fitness monitor to increase or decrease resistance.
The 5-button, multi-function fitness monitor is conveniently located at the base of the rower near the footrests. It has a large LCD display so it’s easy to read and it has a blue backlight so you can see the data on the monitor in low-lit areas.
The fitness monitor keeps track of important workout data including time, count, distance (in km), calories, stroke/ minutes, watt and pulse. All the data is shown on the LCD display at the same time and it’s easy to read since the display is large. The fitness monitor even has a motion sensor that’s used to detect your actual rowing motion, which is shown as a little graphic on the display.
The monitor is flexible because it doesn’t only count the aforementioned data from zero to wherever you end up at but it also lets you set a target time, count, distance, or number of calories to burn and it counts down from your targeted number to zero. Once you hit your target, the monitor will beep to remind you that you’ve hit your goal.
The rower offers 12 different workout programs, which are controlled through the fitness monitor. The 12 programs consist of 6 preprogrammed workouts, 1 target heart rate program (the fitness monitor will determine a workout for you based on your desired target heart rate), 4 open slots to customize your own workouts programs, and 1 manual program that allows you to row at your own pace without any restrictions.
The monitor comes with a built-in heart rate receiver that can easily track your heart rate with a chest belt (included). A user claimed they were able to display their heart rate on the fitness monitor by using a timex heart rate monitor watch so that’s good news for people who already have a heart rate monitor. I’ll get a list of compatible heart rate monitors with the display and update this review.
In addition to monitoring and displaying your heart rate on the LCD monitor while working out, you can also check your pulse recovery rate by pressing the ‘pulse recovery’ button on the monitor immediately after completing a workout. This function is helpful because it tells you how long it takes to recover from exercise; the longer it takes the worse your recovery rate is.
The test lasts for 1 minute and the results are displayed on the monitor. The addition of a flexible heart rate receiver to the Velocity rower is a bonus since a lot of rowers in this price range don’t typically come with one.
An AC adapter that plugs into the front of the machine powers the monitor. Simply plug it in when you’re ready to turn it on and to shut it off unplug the adapter or it turns off automatically after a few minutes of inactivity.
The frame is made of sturdy aluminum and the beam is made of anodized aluminum profile and rectangular tubing support. In other words – it’s made of some durable stuff! Users have commented that it feels sturdy and secure; one even mentioned that the frame feels like it’s made of “heavy steel”.
I’ve reviewed my fair share of rowing machines and I usually see that a rower is classified as “for home use” or “commercial” (for use in health clubs, etc.). Keep in mind that these websites are typically based in the United States. For this rower, I had to research thoroughly under all of its names because I barely found anything under its current name.
When researching under ‘Proteus PMR 3000’, European retailers classified this rower as “for intense home use”. One website even mentioned that it’s practically durable enough to be used commercially.
To make sure that “for intense home use” wasn’t the same as “for [basic] home use”, I checked other rowers on the same European websites and the cheaper models were classified as “for [basic] home use” validating in my mind that this machine is engineered to be more durable than your basic home rowing machine. In addition, this rower has double-bearings, which significantly reduces the wear of the bearings on the machine (this is usually found in higher-priced machines).
Practically every reviewer mentioned that this machine is whisper quiet and no one mentioned that it made any out of the ordinary squeaking or creaking noises. Multiple users commented on how they’re able to use the Velocity rowing machine in front of the television without having to turn the volume up loud and some even mentioned they’re able to use it in the same room they share with others while they were sleeping.
The molded seat is large and made of polyurethane leather. Users mentioned the seat was well padded and very comfortable to sit on. It glides up and down the seat rail smoothly.
The handles are padded and comfortable to grip. I remember using a rowing machine with handles that had no padding and I had no gloves to wear. Within 20 minutes of finishing my workout, I started to develop a blister on my left hand. The padding on the handles will help those with sensitive hands that blister easily (like mine).
The footrests are oversized, non-slip with velcro straps to secure your feet while rowing. Teenagers to people taller than 6 feet were able to fit their feet in the footrests with no issues so it appears it’s suitable to fit most shoe sizes.
Users praised the fluid rowing motion on the rower; it’s extremely smooth from the gliding of the seat to the pulling of the handles. This machine is essentially maintenance free and since it’s made with double-bearings it should be operating smoothly (without you having to do anything) for a long time.
The Velocity Magnetic Fitness Rower can fold up in seconds by simply removing a knob that secures the seat rail in place, folding up the seat rail so it’s upright, and screwing the seat rail back in place with the same knob that was just removed. When in storage mode, the rower resembles a vacuum and can be easily stored in a closet or in the corner of a room.
It also comes with concealed built-in wheels that make it easy to move around when needed.
According to Velocity, the weight capacity of this machine is 275 pounds.
The seat rail is fairly long so it should accommodate most users. Leg length is the most important metric to determine whether a person is too short/ too tall for a rowing machine but height can also be used. Based on my research if you’re taller than 6’ 2” I suggest trying out this rower at a local sports store to ensure it’s compatible for your height. It should be fine for everyone else.
80.3″ x 20.1″ x 25.2″
43.3″ x 20.1″ x 54.3″ (folded)
Weight: 75 pounds
A majority of users mentioned the rower was extremely easy to put together; it took them between 10-30 minutes to fully assemble the machine. By looking at the packing list in the instruction manual, I saw there’s not that many loose parts to put together so I understand why people had such an easy time to put it together. The Velocity rower also comes with the necessary tools needed for assembly.
Pros and Cons
- Super quiet
- Smooth, fluid rowing motion
- Comfortable seat, handles, and footrests
- 8 different levels of adjustable resistance
- Backlit fitness monitor with large LCD display comes with plenty of workout options
- Built-in heart rate receiver with included chest strap to monitor heart rate
- Durable frame
- Built with double-bearings which significantly reduces wear of machine (usually found on more expensive machines)
- Can fold up in seconds to save plenty of floor space
- Concealed built-in wheels make moving rower simple
- Easy to assemble
- Manufacturer’s warranty is not as long as other rowing machines
There are so many different rowing machines out there and this is one of the few that users didn’t really say anything negative about. Users really liked how quiet the Velocity Fitness Magnetic Rower is in addition to the smooth rowing motion and overall comfortability.
Average Rating: 4.7
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1 year on parts/ labor
I called the manufacturer to verify the warranty period and they confirmed. The representative I spoke to also mentioned if there are any repairs that need to be done on the machine (that can’t be fixed by simply sending a replacement part) during the warranty period, the rower needs to be sent to the manufacturer and the shipping cost has to be paid by the customer.
I periodically check prices on all rowing machines I review including the Velocity Magnetic Rower and Amazon currently has the lowest price.
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