Are you looking to buy a decent air/magnetic rower and came across the XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower?
If so, you’ve come to the right place to see if this is the rowing machine for you!
The Erg700 Rower is one of Xterra’s higher-priced models and provides a great full-body workout.
It’s perfect for people who aren’t sure whether they prefer air or magnetic resistance so they want to get the best of both worlds.
Just remember that choosing both doesn’t mean you get the ultimate rower! There are some trade-offs that you’ll want to read about in this review.
While you may get stronger overall resistance at a reduced noise level, you will also get a less accurate monitor and a quality trade-off from other similarly priced rowers.
Make sure to read my full XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower review to get all the pros and cons of this model!
The Xterra Erg700 is a combination of both air and magnetic resistance. This means the rower uses a blend of both resistance types.
Air resistance works by the rowing machine using a fan that when pulled, is forced to move air out of the way of the fan blades. As a user pulls the handle, the fan begins to spin and must displace the air – thus creating resistance.
As the user rows faster, the fan spins faster and must displace more air. Meaning, the faster a user rows, the more resistance they will feel. We call this ‘variable’ resistance because the resistance is determined by how fast a user rows.
Magnetic resistance operates by having a metal flywheel built into the fan. A magnet is placed near the flywheel and creates resistance by reacting with the metal flywheel. The closer the magnet is to the flywheel, the more resistance the user will feel. The monitor controls how close/far the magnet is to the flywheel, so we call this ‘adjustable’ resistance.
Magnetic resistance is great for feeling more resistance while rowing slowly, while air resistance is great for feeling resistance when rowing faster. You can read my article about how air and magnetic resistance operate here.
The Erg700 Rower comes equipped with 16 levels of magnetic resistance layered on top of air resistance. This means there is a wide range of resistance for any user – beginners all the way up to advanced athletes.
One major benefit of air/magnetic rowers is the stronger overall resistance. By having a blend of both resistance types, these rowers will typically have more resistance strength than an air-only or magnetic-only rower.
If you want light resistance to perform a HIIT workout, you can turn the magnetic level down and use mostly air resistance. On the contrary, if you want to row slowly and feel strong resistance, you can crank the rower up to level 16.
Users have commented that on the mid-to-lower settings, the resistance is comparable to the Concept2 Rower, and on higher settings, it feels stronger. This is great if you are looking for a rowing machine for more of a strength-based workout.
Another benefit is the lower overall noise level compared to an air rower. Air rowing machines, like the Concept2, produce a fair amount of noise, but due to the magnetic resistance on the Erg700, this is reduced. This is due to the fan spinning slower, due to the increase in resistance, so the fan makes less noise.
However, the noise level is more than a magnetic-only rower due to the fan, so you can think of the noise level being between an air-only and magnetic-only rower.
Lastly, some users feel the combination air/magnetic resistance gives a more ‘consistent’ resistance throughout the stroke because the magnets are always interacting with the metal flywheel. Whereas, on air-only rowers, some users describe the resistance and feeling lighter towards the end of the stroke due to the momentum of the spinning fan.
While there are some nice upsides to air/magnetic resistance, there are also some downsides.
First, the rowing stroke will not closely mimic the resistance felt while rowing on water. For most, this is not an issue but technically a water rower or air rower will be the closest feeling to rowing on water.
This has to do with how a scull or rowboat moves through the water. As a boat glides through the water, the next stroke has to be quick to propel the boat forward as it is already moving. This is similar to the fan continuing to spin after a rowing stroke on an air or water rower.
Second, the resistance on the Xterra Erg700 is controlled by electricity. Meaning, it needs to be plugged into an outlet to operate. Again, not a big deal for most people but it does add another layer of complexity to the machine and another point of failure.
Should your monitor break or wires malfunction, you would need to replace the monitor to be able to use the rower.
Overall, the resistance on the Erg700 Rowing Machine is excellent. There were very few complaints and most users felt it was stronger or on par with the other high-end rowing machines.
It’s a bit quieter than some rowers, which is a plus, and you should have no issues finding your optimal resistance level!
- Heart Rate
- Resistance Level
The 10 programs offer a wide variety of workouts and include distance, time, calories, 20/10 interval, 10/20 interval, custom interval, fat burn, cardio, strength, game, and manual. More info about each program can be found in the manual here. The monitor section begins on page 8.
Another cool benefit is the monitor sits on an adjustable arm so you can move it to the optimal viewing position.
Some downsides mentioned about the monitor are, as previously mentioned, it has to be plugged into an outlet. Not a dealbreaker but some people don’t like relying on an electronic monitor for their rower to operate.
The second downside is the rower does not come with a heart rate monitor. This means you have to purchase one separately or you won’t be able to view your heart rate. Again, not a big deal but something to consider.
You can view some top heart rate monitor options here.
Lastly, some users did not like that the monitor does not accurately record distance. This is not an Xterra Erg700 issue but an issue with all air/magnetic rowers. As I mentioned in the resistance section, due to air/magnetic rowers not closely mimicking the resistance felt while rowing on water, it is hard to calculate the distance traveled. Calculating distance on a rower is very difficult because you have to calculate how far you “glide” when not rowing and this can only be done with advanced monitors seen on Concept2 and WaterRower rowing machines.
This may not be a deal-breaker but for people who like tracking data, it can be frustrating.
Overall, the monitor on the Erg700 is decent. It provides some good data points, motivational workout programs, and it’s easy to read.
However, if you are looking for accurate data, you should look at purchasing an air-only or water resistance rowing machine.
When looking at a higher-end rower, you want to get what you pay for in terms of quality. You shouldn’t read reviews about broken parts, malfunction monitors, or any other blunders.
Luckily, the Xterra Fitness Erg700 seems to pass all the build quality test and appears to be a solidly built rower.
There is a solid steel frame to keep the rower sturdy while rowing and an extended aluminum seat rail for a smooth, sturdy rowing stroke.
While not considered a commercial-grade rower, all the components seem to be well-built.
As you can see from the photo, all the components (foot pedals, straps, handle, seat rail, etc.) are all made of high quality material and held up to the test of time.
All of the plastic components are made of ABS material (high-quality plastic) and any straps are durable and did not wear or fray over time.
The seat felt durable and the roller/bearings felt sturdy and smooth when gliding on the seat rail. The front housing also felt well-built and a 7.7 lb flywheel was used for the magnetic resistance.
As users felt this rower has high build quality, I won’t go into to much detail around the nuances. Just know you are buying something that won’t break in a few months!
Check out the Xterra Fitness Erg700 Rower in action below:
Whether it’s a bed, couch, or car – we all love and care about comfort. Your rowing machine shouldn’t be any different and it should be comfortable to use! Ok, maybe a bit painful since you are exercising :)
The Erg700 comes with many features to provide a comfortable rowing experience. Firstly, its air/magnetic resistance provides a smooth, even rowing stroke which users love. It’s also a bit quieter than other resistance types so you can enjoy listening to TV while rowing or not worry about waking up your downstairs neighbor.
The contoured seat sits on top of the rail at around 20.0″ off the floor. This allows users to get on and off the rower easily. This is great for larger users or people who have knee or back issues.
Rowing machines are known for having uncomfortable seats so if you feel this may be an issue, you can always check out the top rowing machine seat pads.
The ball bearing rollers provide a smooth gliding seat so you should have no issues feeling a bumpy or squeaky glide.
The foot-pedals will fit any shoe size and can easily be adjusted for a proper fit. The strap adjusts nicely across the balls of your feet and the sturdy platform allows for a strong “drive” during the rowing stroke.
A contoured and padded rowing handle is used for additional comfort. Some users mentioned it was not wide enough but it’s on par with the width of other rowing machine handles. The Xterra Erg700 does use a ‘rowing strap’ to connect the handle to the flywheel, which helps reduce the noise (as opposed to using a chain). There were no issues with the strap wearing or fraying.
Overall, users felt the Erg700 Rower had a smooth, comfortable rowing stroke that rivaled the other high-end rowers in this price range!
A lot of people want a solidly built rower that has a large capacity and can store well! This can be difficult since a large, sturdy rower usually takes up a lot of space.
Luckily, a lot of companies are coming up with new ways to store a rowing machine after it’s done being used.
The Erg700 Rowing Machine can fold up easily after you’re done using it and then be rolled away on its built-in wheels.
The folded dimensions are approximately 52.5″ x 18.0″ x 62.0″ (LxWxH).
I did manage to find one video (not great quality and not in English) but it does show how the unit is folded and a good representation of the size. You won’t be storing this rower under your bed or in a closet!
If you are a larger user, you’ll be glad to hear the Xterra Fitness Erg700 has a fairly good user capacity.
The rowing machine is rated for users up to 350 lbs and users up to 6’4″ according to the Xterra Fitness website (39.4″ of seat travel).
Typically, manufacturers are conservative with these numbers because anyone using the rower over the recommended capacity technically voids the warranty.
Some users who were 6’3″ said the rower had some extra space on the seat rail and should be good for users up to 6’6″ tall.
The handle enters the flywheel well in front of a user’s feet so taller users will have no issue performing a full rowing stroke. Some rowing machines have the housing right near a user’s feet to conserve space but this doesn’t allow for a full extension forward. That’s not an issue on this rower!
There are no lower-end capacity restrictions so anyone under 350 lbs and 6’6″ should be fine to use this rowing machine!
Keep in mind, there are other models in this price range with 500 lb capacities and can fit users over 6’6″ tall. Check these models out in my final section.
- Assembled Dimensions:
- 97.0” x 18.0″ x 38.0″ (L x W x H)
- Folded Dimensions:
- 52.5” x 18.0” x 62.0” (L x W x H)
- Assembled Weight:
- 80.9 lbs
Assembling fitness equipment is never fun but luckily it only needs to be done once!
The Erg700 Rower is fairly easy to assemble and has 4 mains steps:
- Attach the front stabilizer/leg (3 bolts)
- Attach the rear stabilizer/leg (2 bolts)
- Connect the seat rail to the front housing (6 bolts)
- Attach the seat and pedals (about 10 different bolts & screws)
It’s definitely not a 10-minute job but it does seem straightforward from the instructions. There are a lot of small washers and end-caps that need to go on the bolts, which can make it seem like a lot of parts.
If you take your time, it should take around 30-45 min to complete. Most people felt it was easy to do and just planned for a slow hour of assembly.
The only issues I read about were people who received a broken part, which is pretty annoying. It happens on all rowing machines and it’s just luck of the draw. A very large majority of buyers had no issues.
Oh yeah, the monitor must be plugged in using an included power brick. The plug is underneath the front flywheel housing which took some users a while to find!
Pros and Cons
- Combination air/magnetic resistance
- 16 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance
- 10 built-in workout programs
- Seat height 20″ off the floor
- Solid build structure (350 lb weight capacity)
- Good warranty
- Basic monitor
- Monitor must be plugged into an outlet
- Lower capacity than similar priced rowers
- Assembly takes 30-45 min
- Poor customer service
- Overall features not as good as similar priced rowers
Overall, the Xterra Fitness Erg700 Rower reviews were decent but not great. Many users felt the rowing machine was good but fell a bit short of other rowers in this price range.
While the rowing machine did provide great resistance and a smooth rowing stroke, some features like the monitor and lower quality/capacity just didn’t live up to the competitors.
Other consumer reviews that came as a surprise were the poor customer service complaints. Many consumers left reviews about customer service not getting back to them on questions or not helping out with warranty claims. This is definitely not something I’d want to hear when purchasing an expensive piece of fitness equipment. Some people mentioned waiting months for a reply! I can understand the pandemic caused a lot of people to buy fitness equipment and business was booming but that’s just unacceptable!
In general, people were happy with their purchase but you may want to check out some alternative options I mention in my final section.
Average Rating: 4.5
There’s always a nice ‘peace of mind’ that comes with a good warranty. If I buy something and know I will get “X” amount of years out of it by being covered by a warranty – it really helps me make that purchasing decision.
The warranty on the Erg700 Rowing Machine is good, as long as their customer service makes it a pleasant experience.
- Frame: Lifetime
- Parts: 5-Years
- Labor: 1-Year
According to the manual, you must register your rower to be eligible for the warranty.
Xterra Erg700 Rower Rower Price
The Erg700 is considered to be in the high-end rowing machine bracket based on its price compared to the rowing machine market.
Most users felt it was priced fairly in regards to its quality and resistance offered. However, you need to compare it to other similar rowing machine models in its price range.
While I don’t think anyone would be upset if they purchased this rowing machine, I do think there are other options in this price range that may be a better fit for consumers.
If you do like the Xterra Erg700 Rower or it goes on sale, then by all means I think it’s a good purchase. Typically, the best price is found on Amazon but it can change from time to time. I also think Amazon is a good place to buy rowing machines because they offer free shipping on qualified orders and they act as a layer of protection between the buyer and the manufacturer.
Basically, Amazon tells Xterra if they need to refund someone based on a malfunctioning rower (Amazon does not play around when it comes to great customer service!).
If you’ve read this entire review then I’m sure you can sense where I stand on the Xterra Erg700. It’s a great rower but it just doesn’t stack up to some of its competitors, in my opinion.
As I said, you will not be unhappy with your purchase but I think you will be getting a better deal by looking at some other options (or at least I think you should weigh your options first).
First off, if you are set on a combination air/magnetic rower then this is a good purchase. The only other option I would recommend is the Sole SR500 (and to purchase it directly from the manufacturer). It is more expensive but I think it’s worth it. You can read my full review here. It is rated the same due to the higher cost but overall I think it’s a better rower. You’ll just need to weigh the price difference.
If you aren’t sold on the air/magnetic resistance, then I would highly suggest spending a little more money and going with the Concept2 Model D. It’s the #1 rated rowing machine and has very few flaws. Overall, the highest resistance will be slightly lower than the Erg700 but that’s the only downside. Check out my full review here.
Another great air-only option is the Xebex Rower. It’s very similar to the Concept2 and is usually priced slightly lower, so normally around what the Erg700 will cost. You can check that review out here.
I really hope you enjoyed my Xterra Erg700 Rower review. I know this is a tough choice so please leave any questions in the comment section below!