Need a good indoor rowing machine and got a budget of $500? Here are the best options for you.
Under $500 you can find many water resistance rowers but also some air and many magnetic resistance ones. An air rower is the best option since they provide a natural feel, plenty of resistance and low maintenance. Water rowers feel more natural but require more upkeep and can leak.
Let’s dive into what the three best indoor rowing machines in this price range are and what you can expect. Below, you can also find a list of all the available rowers in this price range.
3 Best Indoor Rowers Under $500
Here are the three best rowers for your money under $500. I’ve also written an article on the best rowers under $400. So if you want to spend a bit less, check that post out. That means that this article focuses on indoor rowing machines between $400 and $500.
1. Stamina X-AIR
Below you can also find a magnetic and water rower. However, in this budget you can also get an air rower. The benefit of an air rower is that it feels more natural than a magnetic one although not quite on the level as a water rower. But it is much lower maintenance than a water rower. Water rowers can leak and you have to keep the reservoir clean. Air rowers don’t have those issues.
For that reason an air rower is the best option for most home gyms in my opinion. The most popular rower in the world (Concept2), is an air rower and that one is used by many athletes to train. That one is a lot more expensive than $500 though.
However, with the X-Air you get all the basics you need; Sturdy frame, foldable, adjustable air resistance, chain drive. The performance monitor is not and looks like an 80’s Casio watch but it works and is what you can expect in this price range.
- Air resistance rower
- Sturdy frame
- Basic performance monitor
2. MOBIFIT Water Rower
There are plenty of water rowers in this price range. Not all of them are great though. This one is a very good water rower, especially for the price. It is smooth, sturdy and probably the best looking piece of workout equipment for under $500.
Yes, it’s design is a rip-off of a much, much more expensive rowing machine but who cares? That just means you’re getting the expensive design for cheaper. So what’s the catch? Well, you’re not getting the same quality wood and components (although the quality of the components is really not far behind) as the expensive models. Also, there is no performance monitor.
The lack of performance monitor isn’t the biggest problem though. You can install a free app on your phone or tablet that shows you more and better workout info than any performance monitor in this class.
Short on time and are wondering if a 10 minute workout is enough on a rower? Click here to find out more.
It’s also easy to fill the reservoir with a little electric pump and it’s easy to store. While it doesn’t fold like many other rowers, there are two wheels in the front and you can just put it against the wall vertically. Do keep in mind water rowers are usually bigger than air rowers.
- Beautiful rowing machine
- Smooth movement and natural feel
- No performance monitor but comes with free app and tablet/phone holder
- 300 lbs. max user weight rating
- Can be stored vertica
3. YOSUDA Magnetic PRO
If quietness is important to you, this YOSUDA magnetic rower is the way to go. It’s very quiet and smooth. It’s just a bit over $400 so you don’t have to spend your whole budget. You’ll even have plenty of money for a good equipment mat for under the rower.
It’s smooth, sturdy and folds up for compact storage when you’re done. It can be used by people up to 350lbs. And 6’6 tall. The performance monitor is very basic but can show; time, strokes, distance and calories which is all you really need.
The Pro version has a 12 lbs. flywheel and 16 magnets which means the movement is smooth and the resistance is consistent throughout the stroke which is not always the case with magnetic rowers. There are 16 levels of resistance so you can always find the right setting.
- Low maintenance magnetic rowing machine
- 12 lbs. flywheel with 16 magnets leading to smooth and consistent movements
- 16 levels of resistance
- Very quiet, produces under 30 dB in use.
- Supports up to 350 lbs. and 66 us
List Of Indoor Rowers Under $500
For completeness, let’s take a look at which options there are in this budget. Below you can find a list of the rowers currently available under $500. This is the price without shipping, handling and/or extended warranty.
All these options are between $400 and $500. As said above, I’ve got a separate article on the best rowing machines under $400. So if you want to spend less, check that one out.
|Sunny-Health||Obsidian Surge 500||Water|
As you can see, they are mostly water rowers. That means there is a reservoir on the front of the machine you can fill with water. Rowing spins a fan blade in the reservoir and so creates resistance.
With water rowers, you do have to be a bit more careful than air or magnetic ones. That’s because water can sometimes leak out if the reservoir breaks and you have to make sure no algae and other organisms start growing in there. For that reason air and magnetic rowers are better for most people. However, water rowers feel (and sound) more like ‘real’ rowing.
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Air rowers are close in feel to water rowers while magnetic ones feel a bit different. If you’re not training for actual rowing, it really doesn’t matter that much.
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For $500 you can’t expect the best rowing machine in the world. The best rowers are $1000+. However, for this budget, a rower is a much better choice than a treadmill or elliptical trainer.