CityRow Go Review [Max & Classic]

CityRow Go Rower ReviewHas the CityRow Go Rower caught your attention? 

If yes, then you’re in the right place to learn everything you need to know about the CityRow brand and their rowing machines.

You might be confused on whether CityRow is a rowing machine, an app, or a rowing studio? 

I’ll explain it all in this review – since it’s sort of all three!

I’ll also break down the difference between the two models – the “Max” and “Classic”. 

Both offer an extremely smooth rowing stroke and sync with the award-winning CityRow Go app!

After reading this CityRow Go review, you’ll have all the information you need to decide whether this is the brand for you and which model best fits your needs!


Brief History of CityRow

First, I’d like to provide a brief history of the company and how the CityRow Go Max and Classic came to be.

From my understanding, CityRow started as a rowing studio in New York and became a very popular alternative to spin classes. People could visit studios and enjoy live rowing sessions to benefit from a total-body workout. As the studios became successful, CityRow started to franchise their brand.

As the company became more and more successful they partnered with the rowing machine brand they were using in their studios – WaterRower. WaterRower is the most prominent water rower brand on the market.

CityRow also began building an app so users could enjoy the same great “live” studio sessions from the comfort of their own homes.

Bringing it all together, CityRow now offers their own rowing machines (in partnership with WaterRower) that utilizes their CityRow app to create a unique at-home rowing experience.

I may be off on some of the history but that seems to be the gist of it!

Resistance Type

Both the CityRow Go Max and the CityRow Go Classic use the exact same resistance – water.

It’s also the same tank, pulley system, etc. so the resistance section will be for both rowing machines due to them being identical.

Ok, so what is water resistance? It’s one of the smoothest, most realistic resistance types out of all the different resistance methods. Why wouldn’t it be! When you row a boat, you are on the water, so the ‘physics’ of the resistance is very similar.

CityRow Go Water Resistance

Water-resistance works by filling a tank with water and then having paddles suspended in that tank. When you perform a rowing stroke, you pull the handle and spin the paddles. The paddles will have to displace the water in front of them, thus creating resistance.

Now as you are rowing, the paddles and the water in the tank are moving in one direction. So to create more resistance you will need to row faster. This feature is why we call water resistance ‘variable’ because you will need to row faster to create more resistance.

You can also add water to the tank to make the rowing stroke feel heavier. This technically doesn’t change the resistance. However, a lot of people will refer to this as increasing the resistance because it will require more ‘work’ to move the paddles.

You can read more about water resistance and how it operates in my comparison article here.

Resistance Benefits

The CityRow Go Rowers provide smooth, strong resistance throughout the entire rowing stroke. Many users love how the resistance feels “even” from the beginning, all the way to the end of the rowing stroke.

Each tank will have a level gauge to show you how much to fill your tank and what is the lowest and highest recommended level. The tank can hold about 4 gallons of water and can be added or removed with the included siphon.

Water resistance rowers are relatively quiet and many users love the soothing sound the water makes in the tank. Many people actually find it to be meditative!

CityRow Go Rower

One cool benefit of water rowers is the more work you put in, the harder the resistance. WaterRower likes to think of it as you being the engine behind the machine. If you want more resistance just row faster – and you will feel an exponential amount of resistance.

According to the rule of cubes – “The resistance in rowing is due to the drag of the water moving over the hull of the boat. By the laws of hydrodynamics, this resistance/drag varies to the cube of the velocity/speed. The rule of cubes, therefore, dictates that a doubling of the speed of the boat will require an eight-fold increase in resistance”

You can learn more about how water resistance works here.

As I mentioned, the resistance is smooth so there is no jarring or jerkiness. You also feel the resistance right away, which can be an issue on other rowing machines. The CityRow Go Rowing Machines provide a smooth, even connection throughout the entire rowing stroke.

Resistance Downsides

While there are plenty of upsides to water resistance some users feel there are a few downsides.

One downside is the resistance cannot be ‘adjusted’ like magnetic rowers. Meaning, there is no dial to turn to make the rowing stroke feel lighter or heavier. Users will either need to row faster or slower to change the resistance or add/subtract water from the tank.

There is also some maintenance for water resistance machines but it’s not as bad as some people think. You will have to add and subtract water at times but typically you will keep the same water level. You also need to add a chlorine tablet every few months to make sure the water does not become moldy within the tank (tablets are included).

Other than that there are really no other downsides. The resistance of a rowing machine is really a personal preference and which type you like best – water, air, magnetic, hydraulic-piston, or air/magnetic combination – depends upon the user.

Resistance Overall

Overall, the resistance on CityRow Go Classic & Max is great! Why wouldn’t it be when it uses the technology from the best brand of water rowing machines!

The rowing stroke is smooth, even, and strong. People who love water resistance have no issues with the resistance found on these models.

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Monitor/Control Panel

For the CityRow Go Rowing Machine, it makes sense to break down the monitor section into a few parts.

First, we’ll discuss the app and all of the features. Both the CityRow Go Max and Classic use the exact same app so there’s no need for 2 app sections.

Then I’ll describe how the monitor differs on each rower since the Max has a touchscreen monitor and the Classic uses a personal device (tablet/phone).

Touchscreen Monitor

CityRow Go App

One of the main selling points of this rowing machine is the CityRow Go App! It’s basically you’re own personal trainer right in your home!

A really cool feature of the app is that you are not only getting rowing workouts – you’ll have a variety of workouts like HIIT, endurance, strength, and yoga.

CityRow Go App Review

New classes are released weekly so you’ll never get bored. There’s also a huge library of previously released programs that you can sort through. Do you like HIIT workouts? Do you like a specific trainer? You can easily sort the library to find what workout you need to keep you motivated!

The app also has a lot of cool tracking features so you can see how you are improving, what workouts you’ve completed, and even the length of your workout streak!

CityRow Go App Tracking

Compatibility / Pricing

The app is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Meaning you can still get the benefits of the app if you are not buying the Max (LCD monitor) or if you want to use it with a different rowing machine.

The app will sync with both CityRow Go Rowers, the Concept2 PM5, and the WaterRower S4.

You can use the app with lower-priced rowers but the only downside of using the app without a compatible rower is your workout metrics will not be recorded in the app.

You can even cast the app to your TV if you’re looking to follow along on the big screen! (Apple TV, Chromecast, Android Mirroring)

CityRow Go App Device

The app does come at an additional price and will cost $29/month or $243 for your first year ($20.25/month).

It’s obviously something you will have to consider since one of the main reasons to buy this rowing machine is to utilize the app!

I will say that following the app is a much better experience than just listening to music! Trust me, that can get boring.

Plus, it’s so much better to follow along with a professional and you will 100% push yourself harder than when you row alone. Plus+, you will not get bored and will have more than enough workouts to choose from every day!

Learn more about the CityRow Go App here!

CityRow Go Max Monitor

The CityRow Go Max is your complete package since it comes with a 19.5-inch sweat-resistant touchscreen monitor.

The touchscreen is mounted right in front of you so you really feel like you are in a rowing studio. Plus, it has high-fidelity speakers so it feels like the trainer is in the same room!

CityRow Go Max Monitor

The monitor can be adjusted up and down for optimal viewing levels and it can rotate for when you are doing off-rower workouts like yoga.

All of your workout metrics and data tracking will be displayed and stored right on your monitor. If you don’t want to follow along with a program, you can use the “just row” feature and all of your workout data will be displayed on-screen.

CityRow Go Classic Monitor

The CityRow Go Classic has a different style of the monitor since you will be using your own device for the app. Meaning, the Classic has an adjustable monitor arm with an attachment for a phone or tablet.

Simply download the app, put your device in the attachment, and you are good to go! Obviously, the downside is the sound and size of the monitor will not be as good as the Max Rower monitor.

CityRow Go Classic Monitor

The Classic also comes with a basic monitor that is built into the rower, right near the footrests.

This enables the data to be recorded and synced with the app on your device. It also allows a user to row without the app if need be when they use the “just row” feature previously mentioned.

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Build Quality

When talking about the build quality of the CityRow Go (and a lot of other features), we are talking about the renowned WaterRower brand.

Since the “CityRow Go Max” and “CityRow Go Classic” are both very much the same rowing machine as the WaterRower A1, I would recommend checking out my A1 Rower review here. 

Ok back to build quality – with the CityRow Go you are getting an exceptionally well-built rowing machine. WaterRower is known for its very high-quality wooden rowers and that is exactly what you will get with the CityRow Go.

Each rower is built using sustainable American Ash wood and black powder-coated aluminum. The wood is also painted black for a more sleek look and protection from any scratches or scuffs.

Each rower uses a mono-rail design, meaning there is a single rail that the seat glides on. The rail is very supportive and can hold users up to 375 lbs. There are also 6-points of contact with the ground, which makes for a very strong base and no wobbling while rowing hard/fast!

As you can see from the photos, there is a very sturdy “foot-board” for a user to drive off when they perform the rowing stroke. The footstraps and footrests are also high quality and have no issues with breaking.

All of the other components such as the handle & strap, bearings, rollers, water tank are all very high quality and no users mentioned the quality as being an issue. You are definitely buying a high-end machine and it’s built like one!

Check out the CityRow Go Max promo video below:

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The CityRow Go Classic & Max will have all the same comfort features!

A great way to start off this section is by saying no users have complained about any comfort features that are specific to the CityRow Go Rowers! There are a few small things to mention but they are seen on almost every rowing machine.

First off, the water resistance provides a smooth, soothing rowing stroke that users love. As I mentioned in the resistance section, the stroke is even and comfortable throughout the entire process.

Another great feature is your foot’s width on the footrests is a comfortable distance apart compared to other WaterRower machines. Due to the monorail design, your feet are about 8.0″ apart compared to being closer together on the dual-rail design of the other WaterRower models.

CityRow Go Rower Review

The footrests, handle, and seat are also comfortable for users. The handle is not round like most rowing machines and is more of a tapered oval to fit your palm more comfortably. If you use other rowing machines this could take a few sessions to get used to but many users love it!

As for the seat, people will always say a rowing machine seat hurts their butt after rowing for 20-30min. There is nothing you can do except read my article on how to prevent rowing butt pain or buy a top rowing machine seat pad.

Overall, the CityRow Go Rowing Machines are extremely comfortable to use and provide users with a great rowing experience.

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I’m not sure why you would want to store such a beautiful rowing machine but the CityRow Go does have a nice storage capability.

Storing the rower only takes a few seconds and takes up only a small amount of floor space – about the same as a regular chair.

Simply grab the back of the seat rail, lift up, and store the rower on the front support (as shown below).

CityRow Go Rowing Machine Storage

The weight of the water tank makes the rower extremely stable while stored upright and you don’t have to worry about water leaking or anything like that.

You can also roll the rower into the corner of the room on the built-in caster wheels. When stored, the rower is 24.0” x 22.25” x 85.0” (L x W x H).

The monitor arm also folds down so it’s not taking up any additional space!

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If you’re both big & tall or just one of those, this rowing machine should do the trick! 

While the CityRow Go Rowers don’t have the largest capacity amongst rowing machines in this price range, they should cover most users.

According to the website, both the Max and Classic can fit users with inseams up to 39.0″. This usually equates to someone who is 6’7″. However, some people who are 6’7″ can have longer or shorter inseams so it would be best to measure.

The maximum weight capacity for both models is 375 lbs.

CityRow Go Rower Capacity

There is no lower-end capacity so really anyone under 375 lbs and shorter than 6’7″ can use this rower just fine.

If you need a rowing machine with a larger weight capacity, you can check out the WaterRower Natural, which is similar in design but has a dual-rail system for more support.

There are also some air rowers like the Xebex Rower or Concept2 Model D, which have higher weight capacities and the ability to purchase longer seat rails.

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CityRow Go Max

  • Assembled Dimensions:
    • 85.0” x 22.25” x 45.25” (L x W x H)
  • Folded Dimensions:
    • 24.0” x 22.25” x 85.0” (L x W x H)
  • Assembled Weight:
    • 75 lbs
  • Max User Height:
    • 39.0″ inseam
  • Max Weight Max:
    • 375 lbs.

CityRow Go Classic:

  • Assembled Dimensions:
    • 85.0” x 22.25” x 20.0” (L x W x H)
  • Folded Dimensions:
    • 20.0” x 22.25” x 85.0” (L x W x H)
  • Assembled Weight:
    • 61 lbs
  • Max User Height:
    • 39.0″ inseam
  • Max Weight Max:
    • 375 lbs.

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Assembling the CityRow Go Max is super easy! Why? Because the rower comes with free assembly.

Yup, according to the website, “your rower will be delivered to your door fully assembled. All you need to do is add water using the included siphon pump and row!” [this is not available in Hawaii or Alaska]

The CityRow Go Classic will need to be assembled but it’s fairly straightforward.

It will take about 45 minutes of your time and it would be helpful to have a second person available in case they need to hold a piece in place.

Rather than sit here and explain to you the step by step instructions, you can just watch a video of the WaterRower A1 being put together (6min):

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Pros and Cons


  • Ability to utilize CityRow Go App
  • Smooth, “even” water resistance
  • Great build quality
  • Quiet rowing stroke
  • Good height & weight capacity
  • Great warranty
  • Looks amazing!


  • Larger footprint than low-cost models
  • High price
  • Subscription-based app

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Consumer Reviews

Overall, the CityRow Go Rower reviews have been very positive. What’s not to like about a great rowing machine like the WaterRower with a state-of-the-art app by CityRow!

Users love the great build quality of the machine and the super smooth stroke provided by the water resistance. They also liked the lower noise levels produced and the meditative sound.

People really enjoy following along with the great workouts within the app and also the fact that you aren’t just getting rowing workouts! You’re also getting great yoga, weight lifting, strength routines, and HIIT workouts!

The app is super motivating and it’s really the next best thing besides a personal trainer. Some people even like it better than a personal trainer because you can work out from the comfort of your own home and you can exercise whenever you want! You just have to stay disciplined.

There was really nothing bad to say about this rowing machine beside the price can be a little high for some people.

You can read WaterRower A1 reviews here to understand more about the machine itself.

Check out the CityRow Go Classic & Max reviews here and also read some general information about the machines.

Average Rating: 4.8

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When paying a high price for a rowing machine, you want to ensure it is protected under a good warranty for a certain period of time.

This always gives me peace of mind that no matter what, my piece of equipment will be covered for “x” amount of years.

Luckily, both models come with a solid warranty offering:

CityRow Go Max:

  • 5-Years: Frame
  • 3-Years: Non-electronic components (seat, clutch, tank)
  • 1-Year: Tablet

CityRow Go Classic:

  • 5-Years: Frame
  • 3-Years: Components excluding the rechargeable battery (seat, clutch, tank, monitor)
  • 1-Year: Rechargeable battery

According to the manual, you must register your rower to be eligible for the warranty.

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CityRow Go Rower Rower Price [Max & Classic]

The CityRow Go Rowers are in the higher-end price range so you are looking at the “cream of the crop” of rowing machines.

You are paying a decent amount for the high-quality rowing machine and paying for the touchscreen monitor and also the ability to use the rowing machine featured in the app workouts.

If you like the idea of having a large touchscreen monitor on your rowing machine, then the CityRow Go Max is your best bet. It is pricey but you’ll have your workouts right on the machine and it really does look awesome!

If you are fine with having the app on your phone or a tablet, then the CityRow Go Classic is the best option.

Keep in mind, you will have to pay for the app subscription so there is an ongoing cost to keep this feature. It’s not required to use the rowing machine, but if you don’t plan on using the app, you should consider purchasing the WaterRower A1.

Overall Review

As you reach the end of this review, I hope you have a better sense of what the CityRow Go Rowers have to offer. Below I will give you my reasons on why you should choose one of these models or choose a different brand.

If you are looking for the “crème de la crème” of water rowing machines, then you should buy the CityRow Go Max. It will be delivered to your door, assembled for you, and you will have the touchscreen monitor right in front of you for all workouts. It’s an amazing rowing machine with very few downfalls (except the price is high for some people).

If you really like the CityRow Go but feel you can do without the large monitor, then the Classic is your best bet. You can cast the app to your TV or use a tablet in the monitor arm.

Now, if you just like the idea of water resistance and aren’t completely sold on the app, you can buy the WaterRower A1 (read my review here). If you feel you want to add the app later, you can always cast the app to your TV, prop up a tablet next to your rower, or buy an attachable tablet holder.

If you aren’t sold on water resistance but feel the app would be a cool feature to have when rowing, then I would check out the Concept2 Model D (read my review here). It’s the bestselling rowing machine but be aware that air rowers do make more noise than water rowing machines.

That’s all folks! I hope you enjoyed my CityRow Go Rower review! Please ask any questions in the comment section below.

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