Nordictrack RW200 Rower ReviewCheck out the NordicTrack RW200 Rower – the base model in this 3-series lineup!

But don’t think “base model” means it’s not advanced!

The RW200 Rower provides a smooth, strong rowing stroke that is great for all ages and fitness levels.

It features all the great benefits of other high-end rowing machines like providing a full-body workout with good resistance, and being a very low impact workout.

Plus, it has an advanced monitor and is designed to work with NordicTrack’s iFIT fitness app!

Functionally, the NordicTrack RW200 Rowing Machine is an excellent product that consumers love!

However, there are a few small setbacks – one being large fluctuations in price during the year which can really sway people’s decision.

I cover all the pros & cons below in my full Nordictrack RW200 Rower review!

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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
13. Overall Review

Resistance Type

The NordicTrack RW200 Rower is an air & magnetic resistance rowing machine.

Like other air rowers, the air resistance works by first pulling the handle and spinning a flywheel at the front of the machine.

As the flywheel spins, air is sucked into the housing and creates resistance against the spinning flywheel.

The faster a user rows, the faster the flywheel spins, which in return creates more airflow and resistance.

Simply put – the faster you row the more resistance you create.

This type of resistance is classified as ‘variable’ and is the same as a water rowing machine.

Magnetic resistance operates by moving a magnet closer or farther to a metal flywheel inside the housing.

The closer the magnet is to the metal flywheel, the stronger the resistance. Since a user controls the magnet’s distance with the monitor, we call this “adjustable” resistance.

You can read about all the different resistance type in this comparison article.

Resistance Positives

There are a lot of great things about the RW200 resistance and a few that have changed over time (which I mention in my “downside” section)

Firstly, people love air resistance rowers because the effort you put in, is what you get out.

This is due to the ‘variable’ resistance mentioned earlier and the fact that the faster your row, the stronger the resistance!

NordicTrack RW200 Resistance Strength

This type of resistance is great for HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts because a rower can speed up or slow down without having to change any settings and resistance will automatically adjust to your speed. This is why air resistance rowers are seen in every Crossfit style gym.

Air resistance rowers also closely mimic the resistance felt when rowing in a scull on water, which is why all Olympic rowers and athletes use air rowers.

Combine this with 24 levels of silent magnetic resistance and you get the best of both worlds!

Adding magnetic resistance means you can benefit from the “low-end” resistance strength. Meaning, even when you row slowly, you can still feel strong resistance.

Magnetic resistance also makes the entire rowing stroke much quieter, so you won’t be as concerned with waking up people in your house or turning the TV volume up too loud.

Damper Setting

An added benefit of the RW200 Rower is that the “inertia enhanced flywheel” has a built in “damper setting” much like the Concept2 rowers.

While NordicTrack calls this “adjustable” resistance, that’s not technically correct. The “adjustable resistance” they are referring to is a handle that controls the amount of airflow into the flywheel (seen in the photo below). You can set the damper from level 1 to level 10.

NordicTrack RW200 Rower Damper Setting

Level 1 allows the least amount of air to enter the flywheel, which in return causes the flywheel to spin more freely and feel “less resistance”. This can be compared to rowing in a light, sleek rowing boat.

Level 10 allows the most air into the flywheel, which creates “more resistance”. This can be compared to rowing in a big, heavy boat.

While this may sound like adjustable resistance, it technically is not. Concept2 compares it to being “similar to bicycle gearing: it affects how rowing feels but does not directly affect the resistance.” If this is confusing you can read their Damper 101 article here.

To adjust the “silent magnetic resistance” there is a plus and minus sign on the monitor.

Resistance Downsides

Here is where things get a little confusing. In the past, the RW200 was an “air-only” rower.

This meant there were a lot of complaints about the noise level and many people felt the resistance was overall very weak.

Some of these users did not understand you need to row faster to get stronger resistance. However, I did speak to a few experienced rowers, who helped me write the review, who confirmed the air-only resistance was weaker than the Concept2.

With that being said, NordicTrack has upgraded the resistance to be combination air & magnetic – just like their upgraded RW500 and RW900 models.

This upgraded resistance has lowered the noise level and increased the overall resistance strength.

Just understand that some of the negative reviews about resistance strength may be from older models in 2016/2017.

Unless you are extremely fit and used to rowing on a Concept2, I think the resistance provided by the NordicTrack Rower will be suitable.

Overall

The NordicTrack RW200 resistance provides a smooth, strong rowing stroke that is great for almost all ages and fitness levels.

While the resistance strength may not be adequate for more advance users, I think it is great for a majority of people looking for ‘variable’ resistance.

Monitor/Control Panel

The NordicTrack RW200 Rower comes with a fully adjustable monitor with a backlit display.

The fitness monitor tracks various data such as:

  • Calories
  • Distance
  • Strokes
  • Strokes Per Minute (SPM)
  • Time
  • Watts (Power)
  • Watts Meter

The monitor turns on automatically and can be adjusted up or down based on the users height and preference.

NordicTrack Rowing Machine Monitor

The console uses 4 D-batteries or it can be plugged into an outlet with the included power adapter.

Some cool features include two 2.0″ digital amplified speakers, Bluetooth Smart connection capabilities, and an auxiliary port to plug in headphones.

Plus, the RW200 Rower now comes with a FREE 1-Year NordicTrack iFIT membership! (more on this below)

Display & Programs

The data on the monitor is displayed in three windows: Upper, Center, and Lower.

  • Upper Display will show the watts and watts meter or the strokes per minute (SPM).
  • Center Display will show either the time, distance, or strokes.
  • Lower Display will show the calories.

You can row at your own leisure by selecting the “Manual Mode” and pressing the “Priority Display” button until the data you want is displayed in the correct window. The data can also be displayed in a scan mode.

Another option is to choose 1 of 20 preset “Watts or Calories” workout programs. Each program displays a target zone on the watts meter that you need to stay in to complete the workout. The monitor will notify you when you fall out of range.

These programs were designed by a certified personal trainer so you are sure to get a kick-butt workout!

Unfortunately, the monitor cannot track heart rate, which is a bummer but there are many wearable devices and phone apps that can perform this function.

One very popular heart rate monitor is the Polar H10 Bluetooth Fitness Tracker.

Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor

Sound System

Any device with a 3.5mm jack can be plugged into the monitor with an audio cable (not included). You can then increase or decrease the volume using the buttons on the console.

Users loved being able to listen to podcasts or audio books while they row without having to use headphones. It is a great feature that is not included on any other rowing machine model.

iFIT Personal Trainer Membership

One of the newest features of all the NordicTrack Rowers is the included iFIT membership.

If you are familiar with Peloton, it’s a pretty similar style program.

The iFIT membership gains you access to 12,000+ workouts, many of which are rowing specific.

NordicTrack’s more advanced models come with monitors that can display the videos, but if you purchase the RW200 you will need to download the app and play it on your phone or tablet.

What’s great about the iFIT program is the trainers keep you really engaged and the time seems to fly by while working out!

Some rowing workouts incorporate other workouts alongside your rower like squats, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. You can even follow along trainers as the row down famous rivers around the world!

If you get bored of rowing, there are plenty of other workouts offered by iFIT such as yoga, kick-boxing, weight training, and many more!

There is so much to cover on the program that it’s probably best to check out their website here.

I also have some additional info about the monitors in my RW500 and RW900 reviews which I link to in my final section.

Check out the iFIT promotional video below!

Overall

The NordicTrack RW200 Rowing Machine monitor is a unique piece of equipment that can track a good amount of data.

While the monitor looks really cool and has a flashy sound system, it’s not functionally as good as some of the other monitors in this price range. If you look closely at the monitor, it is very big but only a small portion of it actually displays data.

While there are some cool features about the RW200 monitor, it just doesn’t compare to the monitors found on the Concept2 Model D or the Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower.

However, if you add in the benefits of the iFIT program, then things get a little more interesting. The iFIT program does make the monitor better than the Stamina Avari but it will be an additional cost each month.

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Build Quality

The NordicTrack RW200 Rower is built by a well-known and well-trusted fitness company. NordicTrack has been supplying customers with high quality fitness equipment for over 40 years.

The RW200 Rower is no different – it has a solid build structure with an oversized steel seat rail and welded steel frame.

The rowing machine is sturdy and built to last! If that isn’t satisfying enough, NordicTrack backs its equipment with excellent warranties and 30-day money back guarantees.

According to users, the NordicTrack Rower felt strong and sturdy while rowing. Pieces like the footrest, handles, and rowing strap felt strong and built to last.

I wouldn’t worry about the quality of the rower since NordicTrack stands by the quality of their equipment and will do what they can to make things right if something should break.

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Comfort

The NordicTrack Rowing Machine comes complete with ergonomically designed footrests, handle, and seat to help provide comfort during long rowing sessions.

The adjustable monitor height also allows a user to view their workout data in the most comfortable position possible.

NordicTrack RW200 Rower

A user can sit on an oversized, molded seat that is made with superior padding and covered in vinyl for additional support.

The seat height is slightly higher than other rowing machines, which makes it good for individuals with bad joints and arthritis.

The footpedals move nicely with your feet if your heel comes off the platform and the adjustable straps can accommodate any shoe size.

Finally, they will grab the soft, ergonomically designed handle that helps decrease hand & arm fatigue.

Overall, users felt the NordicTrack RW200 Rower had a smooth, comfortable rowing stroke!

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Storage

Storing the RW200 is a piece of cake with the patented SpaceSaver design.

Storing the rower vertically is very easy and only requires a person to hold the two handles on the seat rail and lift. They can then allow the rowing machine to fold in half and clip together.

NordicTrack RW200 Rower Storage

NordicTrack RW200 Rowing Machine Storage

When upright, the NordicTrack Rower can be moved and positioned on the two built-in caster wheels. The folded footprint in fairly small and can easily be put in the corner of a room or inside a coat closet.

The NordicTrack RW200 Rower is heavier than most rowing machines so just be careful at first until you get used to the weight distribution.

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Capacity

The RW200 has a fairly long seat rail to accommodate tall users but unfortunately, the weight capacity is not as high as other rowing machines in the price range.

I called NordicTrack and they informed me that rowers as tall as 6’6″ should be able to use this rowing machine depending on their inseam length. They also said the weight capacity limit is 250 lbs.

NordicTrack RW200 Capacity

The weight limit is usually a manufacturers suggestion that is on the conservative side to ensure there are less warranty claims. I’m confident this machine can handle more weight but just know the warranty would technically be voided.

There are no height restrictions for shorter users on this rowing machine.

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Dimensions

  • Assembled Dimensions (L x W x H):
    • 86.5″ x 22.0″ x 42.8″
  • Assembled Weight:
    • 105 lbs.
  • Shipping Dimensions (L x W x H):
    • 47.05″ x 22.64″ x 25.79″
  • Shipping Weight:
    • 145 lbs.

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Assembly

Assembling the NordicTrack RW200 Rower is fairly easy and can be done in about 10-15 minutes.

The rowing machine comes mostly pre-assembled and a majority of the assembly left is attaching the seat and monitor.

You will need 1 Phillips head screwdriver, 1 adjustable wrench, and 4 D-batteries for assembly.

Just be aware that the shipping weight of this unit is 145 lbs, so you may want help carrying it to the proper room before putting it together.

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Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Dual air & magnetic resistance
  • 24 levels of silent magnetic resistance
  • 10 adjustable “damper setting” resistance
  • Built-in sound system
  • FREE 1-Year iFIT membership
  • Good build quality
  • Comfortable, smooth rowing stroke
  • Easy assembly & storage
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Great warranty!

Cons:

  • Basic monitor without iFIT (no heart rate function)
  • Low weight capacity
  • Large price fluctuation (causing it to be a good deal or bad deal)

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Consumer Reviews

Finding consumer reviews on the NordicTrack RW200 Rower is difficult and I had to search on various sites in a few different countries. In countries such as the U.K., Germany, and Canada, this rower can sell under names like NordicTrack RX800 and NordicTrack RX1000.

After compiling all the reviews, it seems that consumers either love this rower or strongly dislike it. The main reason for disliking it was due to “weak resistance”. Many people felt the rower didn’t provide enough resistance even when the damper was set to level 10.

I already mention this previously, that these reviews are mostly for the older versions but I just wanted to reiterate.

Either way, most consumers felt the rowing machine was excellent in all other areas and there is now the added benefit of the iFIT program and 24 levels of silent magnetic resistance.

If you are concerned about resistance strength, there are plenty of other rowing machines in this price range that can offer proven, strong resistance.

Price variation was also an issue with the RW200 Rower and I have seen it listed around what the Concept2 sells for and lower around $600 (I can’t name specific prices because it is against manufacturers terms of service since prices change)

My rating is based on the non-discounted price. If the cost is above $800, I would 100% recommend the Concept2 unless you really want the iFIT capabilities.

Check out more information on the RW200 Rowing Machine here.

Average Rating: 4.4

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Warranty

  • Frame: 10-Years
  • Parts: 2-Years
  • Labor: 1-Year
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

The NordicTrack RW200 has a solid warranty, in my opinion, and a 30-day money back guarantee always makes me feel a little more comfortable!

The actual item model number is NTRW5914, so when registering your rower for its warranty make sure to put down: NordicTrack RW200 Rowing Machine (NTRW5914).

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NordicTrack RW200 Rower Price

As I mentioned previously, the price for the NordicTrack RW200 Rowing Machine can vary a lot! Obviously, the massive price difference makes recommending this rower difficult.

If the rower is offered a little above $500, then I think it can be worth it (especially if you can’t make the stretch to a Concept2 and want the iFIT program).

If the RW200 cost the same as a Concept2, then I would go with the C2 hands down.

It seems as though NordicTrack has recently moved away from selling on Amazon and wants consumers to purchase through their website. I would check both listings to see the better price.

Amazon.com Price:

Check lowest pricing

NordicTrack.com Price:

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Overall Review

The NordicTrack RW200 Rower is a great piece of exercise equipment that many people would be very happy purchasing. All the features are exactly as advertised, so it’s hard to say anything bad about it.

However, at a higher price point, I feel there are other rowing machines that offer better resistance, better monitor, and better overall value.

There seems to be a consensus that the resistance on the RW200 is not as good as other high-end air rowers and the monitor is very basic, which can be a deciding factor if choosing between the Concept2 Model D vs. NordicTrack RW200 rower.

For this reason, I would recommend buying the Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine over the RW200 Rower (link to my full Model D Review)

If you really like the style of this rower you can compare the NordicTrack RW200 vs. ProForm 550R Rower. They are the exact same rowing machine except the ProForm Rower has a downgraded monitor, shorter warranty, and lower price. You can read my full review here.

They are actually both owned by the same company – Icon Fitness

Also be sure to check out my NordicTrack RW900 Rower review (click here) and my RW500 Rower review (click here).

I hope you enjoyed my NordicTrack RW200 Rower review! Please ask me any questions in the comments below.

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Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
NordicTrack RW200 Rower
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray
Product Name
NordicTrack RW200 Rower
Price
USD N/A
Product Availability
Available in Stock