Xterra Erg400 Rower Review

Xterra ERG400 Rower ReviewLooking for an honest Xterra Erg400 Rower review?

Look no further because I breakdown each feature and describe all the pros and cons.

Unfortunately, with the Xterra Erg400 Rowing Machine there may be more cons than pros.

While the ERG400 does have many great features like dual combination resistance and easy-fold storage, it lacks in other important areas like dependability and build quality.

There also seems to be a large number of negative consumer reviews which you can read about in more detail below.


However, do not be worried if this Xterra Erg400 Rower review makes you decide against purchasing this model. I have many other great recommendations in my ‘Overall Review’ section.

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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 Xterra Erg400 Rower is a combination of air & magnetic resistance.

This means you get both the high and low end power benefits of each resistance type.

Air resistance operates by pulling the handle and spinning the fan flywheel. As you pull the handle faster, the flywheel will also spin faster.

As the flywheel spins faster it must displace more air and you will feel greater resistance.

We call this “variable” resistance because the faster you row, the more resistance you feel.

Magnetic resistance operates by setting the resistance level on the monitor and having a magnet or electromagnet interact with the metal flywheel.

We call this “adjustable” resistance because the resistance level will remain the same, no matter how fast or slow you row.

Air & magnetic resistance are a great combination because it provides the great low-end resistance strength of magnetic with the excellent high-end resistance strength of air.

You can read my Air Resistance vs. Magnetic Resistance Article to learn more about the two and how they operate.

Resistance Benefits

The Xterra Erg400 Rower comes with 16 different levels of electronic magnetic resistance combined with a layer or air resistance.

At the lower magnetic levels, users will feel mostly air resistance until they change to higher magnetic levels.

The combination resistance system is smooth, quiet, and strong.

The Xterra Erg400 Rowing Machine has a patented front-drive resistance system with an 11 lb. flywheel. This provides the quietest, smoothest, and most realistic rowing motion Xterra Fitness could build.

Xterra Erg400 Rowing Machine

Another benefit of the Xterra Erg400 Rower is the noise of the resistance is lower than an “air-only” rowing machine.

Due to the added magnetic resistance, the fan flywheel will not need to spin as fast and will produce less noise than an an “air only” rower.

Most users were able to listen to TV while rowing and only needed to turn the volume up a couple of levels. Others mentioned it did not bother anyone in their house while they were rowing.

The Xterra Rower also has an inclined seat rail for added resistance and a more comfortable rowing stroke.

Having an inclined seat rail means a user must push themselves up a slight incline every stroke and control their movement back down on the recovery. This increases muscle usage and calories burned.

Resistance Negatives

While there are many positive aspects of the ERG400 Rower, there are also some downsides.

The first thing to mention is not necessarily a negative but something every buyer should know.

The Xterra Erg400 resistance is controlled by electricity, so it must be plugged into a standard 110v outlet while in use.

A power adapter is provided but this could be a nuisance for some people based on where they want to use their rower.

Requiring electricity to operate the resistance also means more chances for there to be electrical malfunctions and issues.

There were many instances where users had issues with the resistance due to malfunctioning parts and required a new “resistance housing” to be sent out under a warranty replacement. I talk about this more under the ‘Build Quality’ section.

A few users mentioned they felt the resistance was low, even on higher levels, for a combination magnetic & air resistance rowing machine.

Resistance Overall

Overall, most users enjoyed the Xterra Erg400 Rower resistance as long as everything was operating fine.

Users enjoyed the dual combination resistance and the benefits provided by both styles.

The problem most people ran into was the flywheel having issues after just a short time of use.

Luckily, all of these people mentioned the Xterra customer service being great and sending them replacement parts without a hassle.

Monitor/Control Panel

The Xterra Erg400 Rowing Machine comes with a 3.5″ adjustable LCD display monitor. The monitor displays the following data while exercising:

  • Total Workout Time
  • Distance Rowed
  • Strokes per Minute
  • Resistance Level
  • Number of Strokes
  • Calories Burned
  • Watts Produced

Users will also be able to view the workout program they selected, rowing position, and program profile.

Xterra Erg400 Rower Monitor

The Erg400 Rower monitor is fairly easy to use and the manual has all the programming instructions.

Users can start rowing immediately using the ‘Manual’ program or choose between 6 different preset workout programs.

The workout programs include: rolling, valley, fat burn, ramp, mountain, and mountain 2. Below are pictures of the program profiles.

Xterra Erg400 Rowing Machine Program Profiles

When users select a program, the resistance will automatically adjust to match the levels shown in the profile pictures.

Some downsides users mentioned about the monitor was the size of the data being a little small and difficult to read while working out. Others mentioned it would have been nice to include a back-light.

The Xterra Rower monitor also doesn’t include any ability to record pulse but this can be done with other relatively inexpensive Heart Rate Monitor or Fitness Activity Tracker.


The Xterra Erg400 Rower monitor is not considered a high-performance monitor nor does it include any advanced features.

However, for the price of the rowing machine, I think it is good and in-line with the other monitors in its price range.

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Build Quality

The ‘Build Quality’ section is where the Xterra Erg400 Rowing Machine runs into most of its issues.

As you may be able to see from reading different reviews, there are many complaints of people having issues with parts malfunctioning.

While most users felt the rowing machine was strong and sturdy while using, they mentioned the dependability was not there.

Meaning, everything operates fine until it doesn’t. Then somethings breaks and the Erg400 Rower cannot be used until a warranty replacement part is sent out.

Luckily, the Xterra Rower has a fairly long warranty and great customer service so there were no complaints about receiving the warranty parts. However, it is a real pain to have to replace the flywheel 2-3 times in one year!

You can read more about actual user reviews below in my ‘Consumer Review’ section. Below is a video of how the Xterra Erg400 Rower should operate at all times.

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While the build quality of the Xterra Rowing Machine did not receive a good grade, the comfort scores a little better.

Users felt the large, padded rowing seat and padded rowing handle are comfortable for long rowing sessions.

The nylon rowing strap and ball-bearing rollers allow for a smooth sliding rowing stroke on the aluminum seat rail.

Most users liked the oversized, pivoting footplates and felt they moved nicely with their natural movement. However, some users had issues with their feet slipping off the back ledge of the foot pedal while rowing.

Xterra Rowing Machine Handle

Xterra Erg400 Rower Seat

Xterra Rower Footplates

The major comfort flaw came when analyzing the ability to perform a full rowing stroke.

Having the fan flywheel & handle positioned directly in front of the user and not “farther away” causes a restriction in the rowing motion.

When rowing, a user should be able to have their knees fully bent and arms fully extended forwards (with a slight lean forwards). However, on the Xterra Erg400, the main flywheel housing is in the way of allowing a users arms to fully extend forwards.

Just take a look at the woman’s arms while rowing in the video below. She is not able to fully extend her arms forwards and she is also not performing a “forward lean”.

As you can see, the flywheel being directly in front of her is restricting her movement. This is a major design flaw and and one that can really cause some discomfort while rowing.

For users who have never rowed before this may not be noticeable but for more experienced rowers this will be an issue.

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One feature the Xterra Erg400 Rower does right is storage. Folding can be done in 5-10 seconds and requires very few steps.

Just remove the locking pin, fold the seat rail, and reinsert the locking pin. That’s it!

Xterra Erg400 Folding Rower

The Erg400 Rowing Machine can then be rolled into the corner of a room on the built-in caster wheels.

Unfolding is just as easy and requires the same steps above in reverse order.

Many users who are short on space loved the small storage footprint provided by the Xterra Erg400 Rower.

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The manufacturer’s recommended weight capacity for the Xterra Erg400 Rowing Machine is 250 lbs..

Due to the lower build quality of this model, I would not operate this machine if you weigh much more than this limit.

The seat rail on the Xterra ERG400 is also a bit shorter than most models and has stoppers on each end.

Users who were 6’2″ said they were able to use the rowing machine but could sometimes feel the seat hit the stopper.

If you have a longer inseam length than most people and find yourself hitting the stoppers, you can always remove them to gain a few more inches of travel length.

However, I would not recommend this rower for anyone over 6’2″.

There are no lower end capacity measurements on this model and anyone under these upper limits can use this rowing machine without an issue.

Xterra Erg400 Rower Capacity

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  • Assembled Dimensions:
    • 72.0″ x 18.9″ x 33.1″ (L x W x H)
  • Assembled Weight:
    • 50.7 lbs
  • Shipping Dimensions:
    • 53.0″ x 29.0″ x 11.0″ (L x W x H)
  • Shipping Weight:
    • 71.0 lbs
  • Seat Rail Height (off the floor):
    • 16.0″
  • Seat Dimensions:
    • 10.0″ x 15.0″ (L x W)

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Assembly of the Xterra Erg400 Rower is fairly straightforward and can take anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes.

Consumers mentioned to have a clear open space and to follow along with each step in the assembly manual.

All the tools necessary for assembly come with the packaging, so there is no need for additional items.

The only consumer complaints were from the parts being difficult to remove from the packaging.

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Pros and Cons


  • Dual magnetic & air resistance
  • 16 levels of magnetic resistance
  • 6 preset workout programs
  • Comfortable padded rowing seat
  • Easy fold storage
  • Lightweight
  • Compact design
  • Good warranty & customer service


  • A lot of build quality issues
  • Cannot fully extend your arms during complete rowing stroke
  • Low height capacity
  • Long assembly time
  • Monitor can be difficult to read and lacks some features

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Consumer Reviews

The Xterra Erg400 Rower reviews have been pretty poor with many complaints about quality issues. Reading through many of the reviews you will see a common trend like the situation below:

  1.   A person purchases the ERG400 Rowing Machine, uses it without an issue, and then it malfunctions all of a sudden.
  2. The person calls Xterra Fitness to have a warranty replacement part sent out free of charge and mentions the customer service is great!
  3. They realize labor is not included in the warranty and must pay someone to install the part or do it themselves.
  4. After a few months they run into another issue and must repeat the same process!

Most consumers mentioned they would pass on this model all together and spend a little extra money to get something of higher quality. I have a few recommendations in my ‘Overall Review’ section below.

You can read more Xterra ERG400 Rower reviews here to see exactly what people had to say.

Average Rating: 2.9

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  • Frame: 5-Years
  • Parts: 1-Year

With many people experiencing quality issues, it is nice to see a 1-year warranty on parts for the Xterra Erg400 Rower. A warranty like this is not usually seen on rowing machines in this price range and a 90-day warranty is more common.

The Xterra Fitness customer service is also excellent and consumers were very pleased with how issues were handled. Just note that labor is not included in this warranty, so if you are not handy you will have to pay someone to install any replacement parts.

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Xterra Erg400 Rower Price

The Xterra Erg400 Rowing Machine did sell for a higher price in the past, but I believe Xterra Fitness lowered the price to help encourage more buyers after receiving some bad reviews.

Currently it is one of the lowest priced air & magnetic combination rowers and one of the lowest priced rowers with a 1-year parts warranty.

The Xterra Rower is offered by a few big box retailers but Amazon tends to have great pricing and also offers a great return policy. They also offer a good layer of consumer protection and free shipping on qualifying orders.

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Overall Review

Overall the Xterra Erg400 Rower is a decent rowing machine if you don’t run into any quality issues.

It comes with a fairly good monitor that can track all the necessary workout data and is equipped with dual combination resistance.

The biggest concern is there are just too many quality issues to be able to recommend this model. I feel there are other rowing machines in this price range that can perform just as good, if not better, and have far fewer quality complaints.

If you want an excellent air resistance rowing machine you can look into my Stamina 1399 ATS Air Rower review and see why I named it the best budget rowing machine under $500.

You can also look at my vote for the best rowing machine under $300, which is a magnetic resistance rowing machine. You can view my Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine review here.

If you really like the idea of dual magnetic & air resistance there is a new model available with better build quality than the Xterra Rower. Read my Sunny Health & Fitness Air Magnetic Rowing Machine SF-RW5623 review here.

You may have also read about many people saying they returned their Xterra Rowing Machine and saved up to buy the #1 bestselling rower. While this model does cost almost 3x as much as the ERG400 Rower, it is probably 10x as good (if not more)!

The model they are referring to is the Concept2 Model D, which is the rowing machine I use. You can read my full Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine review here.

I hope you enjoyed my Xterra Erg400 Rower review! If you have any questions about my review or about a different rower, please leave them in the comment section below.

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