Review: Xebex Rower 2019 | Fitness Tech Pro | Rowing Machines Review: Xebex Rower 2019 | Fitness Tech Pro | Rowing Machines

Review: Xebex Rower

In this article, we will examine and review the Xebex Air Rower 3.0, a model of rowing machine or “ergometer.” We'll look at the basics of rowing machines, at what features make rowing machines desirable, and we will compare the Xebex Rower and its features to those of several other rowing machine brands to see which one may be the all-around better choice for most consumers.

What Is a Xebex Air Rower 3.0?

The Xebex Air Rower 3.0, designed and distributed by Houston-based Get RXd, is a rowing machine, built to supply both home users and gyms. This means this Xebex rower has to be flexible in its approach to features, so it is easy to use in a person's home, but also is rugged enough to withstand continuous use in a gym.

We will examine the Xebex rower’s features and product specs in just a moment. Before we do that, however, let’s look at rowers and their class of fitness equipment to see what features users — beginners to advanced — look for in a rower.

Rowing — From the Boat to the Home Gym

Rowing machines are intended to simulate an activity that, for thousands of years, people have accomplished in boats on the water. Competitive and recreational rowing, again in boats on the water, are still very popular activities and there are rowing clubs all over the United States and the world.

Rowing machines were invented decades ago as the answer to rowers needing to train and stay fit, even during times when rowing on the water is difficult or pretty much impossible due to winter conditions. One of the problems faced early on by these machines was accurately simulating the resistance of an oar pushing through water on the rowing stroke.

In the 1980s, the first air-resistance rowers were developed. These machines used a flywheel with vanes to push air driven by the rower’s stroke. While other forms of resistance, including an indoor water rower (as we shall see in our review) have been invented, the majority of home and professional gym rowing equipment still use the air-resistance method to simulate water rowing.

It’s in the Stroke

What most people are looking for in a good rower is its ease, power and efficiency of the rowing stroke it provides.

The ease of the stroke has to do with the naturalness or the smoothness of the feel of the rower's stroke. Nobody wants to use a rower whose construction is so poor the chain clatters and the drive of the stroke takes forever to engage the wheel properly and effectively.

The power and efficiency of the stroke also are affected by the smoothness of operation. Will the exertion the rower uses be translated efficiently to the flywheel and then will that be recorded accurately by the performance monitor (or the machine’s computer)? A poor design can mean wasted effort and a frustrated rower.

Other features athletes desire in their rowers:

  • Comfortable seat and foot rests
  • Sturdy, solid construction
  • Well-designed performance monitors
  • Easy storage between uses

Now, let’s take a closer look at the Xebex Air Rower 3.0, and its features and specs.

Xebex Rower — Product Specs

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The Xebex Air Rower 3.0 is a redesign of the earlier 2.0 model, and it includes changes that reflect the manufacturer listening to feedback from users.

For example, the newest Xebex rower provides a lower-height rail assembly — the long portion of the rower on which the seat slides back and forth. This lower height makes it easier to step over when getting on or off the machine.

In addition, and partly to adjust for the lowering of the rail, the seat has been raised to what Xebex calls “dining-room height” or 20 inches. This again ensures users can more easily get on and off the Xebex rower for use.

Also, the 3.0 model of the Xebex rower eliminated the folding design of the 2.0, so it now provides simplified movement and storage of the machine after use.

As with most better rowers, the Xebex 3.0’s performance monitor enables a user to ignore mode settings if they want and just get to using the machine. Once rowing begins, the monitor tracks performance for several basic metrics automatically. However, if a more personalized workout is desired, the Xebec 3.0 performance monitor enables quick access to pre-programmed routines that are all adjustable with user-specific parameters.

The Xebex Air Rower 3.0 weighs 95 pounds fully assembled, and it measures 20 inches wide and about 8 feet long.

Pricing

Pricing on the Xebex rower varies considerably from about $830 at the Xebex website (where it is discounted) to around $1,100 (which is the list price) at other sites. Consumers looking to maximize the value of their purchase will shop around to get the lowest price possible for the same product. We should also mention that the Xebex website offers special bundles along with price discounts.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they stand up against the Xebex rower.     

  • Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine
  • Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine
  • First Degree Fitness Apollo Pro II

Xebex Air Rower 3.0

XEBEX AIR ROWER 3.0

Price

Ease of Use

Assembly Time

Design Quality

Warranty

Where to buy?

$$

4.5 out of 5 Stars
4.5 out of 5 Stars
4.8 out of 5 Stars
4.5 out of 5 Stars

Price

From around $800 to $1,100, depending on where you purchase it.

Ease of Use

The Xebex rower is very easy to use, combining sturdy construction with a large comfortable seat, adjustable footrests and reliable, steel-chain connection between the flywheel and the handle. The Xebex performance monitor (or computer) allows users to program a workout according to several parameters (e.g. time and distance) and it is a pretty easy instrument to use.

Assembly Time

Most rowing machines in this comparison require only basic assembly. Tools and instructions are provided with the Xebex rower, and assembly should only take 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

Design Quality

This is a sturdy, durable rowing machine built to last and designed to deliver a challenging workout for even the most experienced rowers. Made primarily from steel parts and good-quality plastic, the Xebex rowers have been tested with 1,000,000 pulls from robotic arms without failure. The rower has a stainless-steel chain designed to last with minimal maintenance required.

Warranty

This product is covered by a 5-year warranty on its frame and a 2-year warranty on non-wear parts.

Pros

  • Sturdy, well-built rower
  • Easy to use
  • 3.0 offers an improved design

Cons

  • Elevated seat may feel strange to some users

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

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No products found.

Concept2 invented the air-resistant rowing ergometer (rowing machine) in 1981. Consistently since that time, Concept2 rowers have been the highest-rated rowing machines in the world. The Model D, the world’s most popular rowing machine, is no exception.

Price

Ease of Use

Assembly Time

Design Quality

Warranty

Where to buy?

$$

4.5 out of 5 Stars
5 out of 5 Stars
5 out of 5 Stars
5 out of 5 Stars

No products found.

Price

Available for a price of around $900 to around $1,300, depending on point of purchase.

Ease of Use

The Model D stresses performance as it strives to provide a rower with a maximum of training options. This is especially true in the multi-functional performance monitor, and in the accessibility of the rower’s metrics to be used by a variety of performance apps — so one can monitor and assess performance from a smartphone or a tablet. However, this additional capability does require a user to learn more about their machine and monitoring device than they would be required to do when using a simpler design.

Assembly Time

The Model D requires basic assembly using a total of eight screws and it should take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete. Tools and instructions are provided.

 

Design Quality

The Concept2 Model D consistently receives high ratings from rowers and rowing organizations all over the world. One reason for this is the Concept2 Model D is designed to provide years of reliable use, whether in a one-person home gym or in rowing clubs and even Olympic training facilities. 

An example of the quality of construction featured in this rower is the nickel plating used on the rowing chain. This not only improves chain function, because it moves more easily, but it also means the chain can go for longer periods between oiling. So, the Model D maintains a long period of smooth operation with less required maintenance.

 

Warranty

This rower is backed by a 2-year limited warranty on all parts, and a 5-year warranty on its frame.

Pros

  • Advanced design
  • Moderately priced
  • Built for performance
  • Reputable, trusted brand

Cons

  • More options mean more to learn
  • Some users might find it too difficult to use and learn

Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine

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No products found.

The Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine delivers a rowing experience that will be adequate for beginners and some average rowers. And it is definitely the least expensive rower in this comparison.


Price

Ease of Use

Assembly Time

Design Quality

Warranty

Where to buy?

$

4.5 out of 5 Stars
5 out of 5 Stars
3.5 out of 5 Stars
5 out of 5 Stars

No products found.

Price

This rower is priced from $450 to $500, depending on where you purchase it.

Ease of Use

Yes, this rower is probably the easiest to use of the rowers we are comparing here. But the question you have to ask yourself is, will you be satisfied if the rower is easy to use but also rather basic? There is something to be said for the quality in more expensive machines that you may have to work a little longer to fully appreciate.

Assembly Time

This rower is extremely easy to assemble. It has only two parts and takes no time to put together. 

Design Quality

Probably the most glaring issue in the design of the economy model Schwinn Crewmaster is its choice of using magnetic resistance instead of air resistance. This likely helps the cost stay lower, but one loses an important characteristic in the stroke with this change. For one thing, while you can adjust the basic resistance, it remains constant per stroke — it doesn’t get harder the harder you drive as it does with air resistance. So, it cannot simulate an oar driving through the water.

Warranty

Schwinn provides a generous warranty: 10-year warranty on the frame, a 3-year limited warranty on all parts and a 1-year warranty on labor.

Pros

  • Affordably priced
  • Adequate rower for beginners
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not as rugged or durable as other rowers
  • Construction choices is inexpensive (or cheap)
  • Not suitable for novice to expert rowers

First Degree Fitness Apollo Pro II

No products found.

No products found.

What you are paying for with the First Degree Fitness Apollo Pro II is quality — quality of construction and quality of rowing experience. This rower employs water resistance, allegedly to give the rower the experience and even the sound of rowing in water. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the best training experience, but you’ll get the best aesthetics with this rower.

Price

Ease of Use

Assembly Time

Design Quality

Warranty

Where to buy?

$$$

4.5 out of 5 Stars
4.0 out of 5 Stars
4.5 out of 5 Stars
5 out of 5 Stars

No products found.

Price

This water resistance rower is available from around $1,200 to $1,600, depending on point of purchase.

Ease of Use

While the basic operation of the rower is simple enough, of course you do have to apply water to the system. And you have to maintain the water. That isn’t particularly difficult, but it’s something you do not have to do with non-water-resistance rowers.

Assembly Time

Again, this rower adds an extra dimension of a water container to the system. And the water has to be treated! In addition, the assembly is a little more challenging, in general, although if you’re into assembling furniture and things, it should not be too hard.

Design Quality

Supposedly, the design quality of this rower is what you are paying for, and what should be the obvious benefit for users. 

In truth, the construction of this rower is top-notch, including building most of it out of hardwood, which is not only incredibly durable but also is more attractive than most exercise-oriented metal finishes. 

The water resistance does sound a lot like you’re rowing through water, but many still insist air-resistance rowers simulate the feel of oaring more closely. The belt drive is quiet, but it does have to be adjusted occasionally.


Warranty

This product is backed by a 10-year warranty on its frame, a 3-year warranty on the tank and seals, a 2-year warranty on mechanical components and a 1-year warranty on all other components.

Pros

  • Aesthetically, it's top of the line!
  • Very durable construction

Cons

  • Maybe a little pricey for aesthetics
  • Belt-drive and water maintenance might annoy some users

Conclusion

All of the rowers in this comparison will enable a person to get at least an adequate workout. One rower does this while providing less rugged and durable construction at a more affordable price, and one rower does this by providing great construction standards and memorable aesthetics.

The Xebex Rower, the machine we examined in this article, was certainly an excellent rower and rated highly in our comparison.But the rower we rated highest was the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine, which earned an average of 4.875 stars.
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