NordicTrack RW200 Review (Is This Rower Worth The Money?)

The rowing machine is one of the most underrated pieces of gym equipment around; it's a low impact way of improving the efficiency of your cardiovascular system, building up overall fitness, and strengthening the heart.  

When selecting a rowing machine for your home gym, you don’t get much better than the NordicTrack RW200. It has a sleek, foldable design and will look brilliant in any home garage gym without taking up too much space. 

In this NordicTrack RW200 review, I'll be discussing everything you need to know about buying this product. 

The NordicTrack RW200 isn’t your standard rower; it comes with 20 built-in workout programs that world-class personal trainers have designed. These programs make this rowing machine the ideal rower for beginners, as it will guide you through the start of your fitness journey.  

Below are some of the key features I feel give the NordicTrack rower the edge over its competitors. 

Adjustable Console Angles 

The NordicTrack RW200 comes with a fully adjustable console that allows you to move the screen to an angle that suits you.  

It also allows you to secure your device using the built-in tablet holder, which can be used with any of your tablet or smartphone devices. 

Silent Flywheel 

Gone are the days where your rowing machine sounds like it will take off mid-session. This Nordictrack model utilizes SMR (Silent Magnetic Resistance), allowing you to use the RW200 rower quieter than ever.  

NordicTrack RW200 Rower foldable

The resistance is relatively smooth and moves with a comfortable gliding motion, making it a pleasure to use. Magnetic rowing machines are typically the quietest on the market compared to other types of rowers, so that's another bonus of the RW200.

Space Saver & Comfortable Design 

The RW200 has a space-saving design that allows you to fold up the rower so that it can be easily stored away or put in the corner of your home gym. This will not only save you space, but it'll look great in the corner of the room.  

Although this rower is suitable for taller users, its longer beam design will take up a few inches more than other systems (not necessarily a bad thing).  

Performance Monitor 

The built-in performance monitor provides you with all of the information you need while you’re working out. You can see your time, speed, distance, calories, resistance levels, and more. You can also connect the displayer information to any of your smart devices (tablets or phones) to work in conjunction with the iFit app.  

NordicTrack RW200 Rower performance monitor

20 Built-In Workout Programs 

The 20 built-in workout programs set the NordicTrack RW200 rower apart from other rowing systems.  

Each program has been specifically designed by leading personal trainers so that you can always have a brilliant workout.  


NordicTrack RW200 Review

NordicTrack RW200 Rower Includes 1-Year iFit...
  • Interactive Personal Training at Home powered...
  • Adjustable Console Angle; Connect with your...
  • Silent Flywheel; Powered by SMR Silent...
  • SpaceSaver Design; An innovative SpaceSaver...
Specifications 

Assembled Dimensions

(L x W x H)

86.5 x 22 x 42.8 inches

Folded Dimensions

(L x W x H)

16 x 24 x 46 inches

Machine Weight 

105 lbs 

Max Weight Capacity 

250 lbs 

Resistance Levels

10 air resistance + 24 digital resistance levels 

Warranty 

10-year frame, 2-year parts, and 1-year labor

Assembling & Maintenance 

To start the NordicTrack RW200 rower review, I will discuss the assembly of the machine itself.  

The user manual provides you with excellent building instructions and covers everything you need to get the machine up and running (I should say up and rowing).  

Building the machine isn’t too tricky but will require two people for the assembly process. You’ll also need a Phillips screwdriver and an adjustable wrench.  

Maintenance of the RW200 rower is simple; a damp cloth can be used to wipe down the machine itself, and WD40 will help keep the seat moving smoothly.  

You can read more about maintenance on page 18 of the RW200 manual. 

Workouts & Performance 

Due to the RW200’s silent flywheel design, the rowing machine is a pleasure to use. Its combined air and magnetic resistance provide you with a quieter than normal rowing experience.  

However, some people might find that the resistance isn’t enough, so I’d suggest looking at another NordicTrack model, such as the NordicTrack RW500, which will provide a greater resistance range. 

I particularly love the 20+ built-in programs that come with the RW200 rower. Each one has a different target, whether it’s to increase your wattage or calorie burn. Having iFit support is another major bonus for the rowing machines by NordicTrack.  

The NordicTrack RW200 workouts being both preset and live makes it the perfect rowing machine for those of you at the beginning of your fitness journey.   

Health Benefits/Exercises

When it comes to the health benefits of rowing, a few thoughts come to mind. Not only will the RW200 rower help increase your cardiovascular fitness, but it’s also beneficial for those of you who require a low impact exercise.  

In 2014 a study conducted showed a 30% improvement in joints of 24 people over 8 weeks. While another study also showed that the fat mass of participants significantly decreased over 6 weeks, indicating that the rowing machine is a great low-impact way to burn body fat compared to running.

Decreasing body fat, improving joints, better heart health, and increasing your cardiovascular output are just a few of the main benefits of using the NordicTrack RW200 rowing machine.  

Design and Features 

I think this NordicTrack rower looks fantastic. This is something that the company is brilliant at, making machines that look the part.  

I love that both the footrests and the digital screen are fully adjustable so that they can be adjusted to suit almost anyone, no matter how tall or small you may be.  

woman using a NordicTrack RW200 Rower

When you're not using the rower, you can easily fold it away, saving you a ton of space in your home gym. If you're conscious about space, then the NordicTrack RW200 is a perfect rowing machine for you.  

I found that the built-in 20 programs were a nice touch; it made using this machine easy, and I could row without overthinking what I was doing.  

Overall, I think its innovative design trumps what many other rowers offer, especially for a mid-range rowing machine.  

Using The Console

The console provided with the NordicTrack RW200 is quite basic but extremely easy to use. Even though the screens functionality is basic, it comes with built-in speakers which you can connect to your tablet or phone. It also has an integrated holder so you can attach your smart devices.  

Speaking of smart devices, the NordicTrack RW200 rowing machine is fully compatible with most smart devices, allowing you to receive feedback from the rower to the iFit app. In addition, the iFit app will allow you to join thousands of people worldwide as you join specially designed trainer lead workouts. 

One possible upgrade would be for it to monitor your heart rate during your workout, but at the moment, it doesn’t.  

Price & Warranty

If you’re looking for a rowing machine that sits in the mid-range market, then the NordicTrack RW200 should be considered. As it stands, it’s one of the best offerings for the price and has some great features that many others in the same price range don’t offer.  

The rower costs around $700, which isn’t too high, but isn’t the cheapest rowing machine around either. But what you are getting is a high-quality product for a middle-of-the-table price.  

The RW200 comes with a 10-year frame warranty and a 2-year parts warranty. While this may seem significant, you only get a 1-year labor warranty to cover a faulty monitor or tension cord. These are expensive parts to replace, so it’s something to consider when purchasing. It would be nice to see this part of the warranty extended.  

However, they do offer a preventative measure extended service plan, which includes home repairs, so this could be worth looking at.  


Pros & Cons Of The NordicTrack RW200 Rower 

The NordicTrack RW200 is an excellent rowing machine for most home gym users. As the machine has an exceptionally long beam, it’s suitable for taller users. Most rowers aren’t ideal for taller individuals, so if you happen to be on the taller side, then the NordicTrack RW200 rower is an excellent option for you.  

Plus, the rower is excellent value for the money, so if you don’t want to spend thousands, then the NordicTrack RW200 price won’t break the bank. I also love that this rower can be easily folded away to make space in your garage gym.

The Good 

  • Easily folds away 
  • Works with the iFit app 
  • Quieter than most other rowers 
  • Suitable for tall users 
  • Built-in speakers for smartphones or tablets 

The Bad 

  • Small resistance range
  • Lacks heart rate data 
  • The warranty could be longer 

Comparing RW200 With Other NordicTrack Rowers 

RW 200 Vs RW900 

NordicTrack RW900 Rowing Machine with 22”...
819 Reviews
NordicTrack RW900 Rowing Machine with 22”...
  • 30-Day iFIT Family Membership Included;...
  • 22” HD Interactive Touchscreen Display...
  • 26 Digital Resistance Levels; Your iFIT...
  • Innovative SpaceSaver Design; Your rower...

The NordicTrack RW900 is the most expensive out of all the RW models. Coming in at around $1600, it’s almost $1000 more expensive than the RW200. So if you’re on a budget, then the RW200 is the rower for you.  

However, the significant difference is the inclusion of a 22 inch smart HD touch screen, which delivers all of the information about your workout. In my opinion, it looks incredible and blows the NordicTrack RW200’s screen out of the water.  

Both machines work brilliantly, but if you have the budget go for the RW900. The screen sets it apart from any other RW model. 

NordicTrack RW200 Vs RW500 

NordicTrack RW500 Rower Includes 1-Year iFit...
  • Interactive Personal Training at Home powered...
  • Integrated Tablet Holder; Connect with your...
  • Silent Flywheel; Powered by SMR Silent...
  • SpaceSaver Design; An innovative SpaceSaver...

When comparing the NordicTrack RW200 vs RW500, they virtually look like the same machine, except the integrated display is more advanced on the RW500 model.  

The RW500 comes with a built-in display like the RW200, except the RW500 can provide heart rate readings, which the RW200 doesn’t do. While this isn’t huge problem, it’s nice to have.  

The NordicTrack RW500 comes with a free 10” tablet which is a nice touch, and it sits in the tablet holder, which the RW200 and RW500 both have.  

Another difference I noticed is that the RW500 has two extra magnetic resistance levels; this helps solve the problem of the RW200 not providing enough resistance for some users. 

Overall, both machines are great but are pretty much the same except for the free 10” tablet and the extra two resistance levels. But with around $400 price difference, you have to ask yourself if you need the RW500 or will the NordicTrack RW200 suffice.  


Comparisons With Other Rowing Machine Brands 

NordicTrack RW 200 Rower Vs Concept2 Model D 

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with...
  • Space Recommendations: Assembled: 8 ft x 2 ft...
  • Designed to fit most users: 14-inch seat...
  • Low impact workout that engages all major...
  • Track your progress with real-time reliable...

The Concept2 Model D is the standard rowing machine that you’ll see in most gyms. It has wireless connectivity that can link to your smartphone. However, it does lack the built-in workout programs that the NordicTrack RW200 provides.  

The Concept2 also comes with a smartphone cradle but no holder for anything larger such as tablets. This is something that the RW200 provides, which is excellent as you can use the larger screen to see your progress.  

While the resistance levels are better on the Concept2, at roughly $1000, the Concept2 is more expensive than the RW200 and seems rather basic in comparison. While it might suit some users, I’d prefer to use the NordicTrack RW200 rower. 

NordicTrack RW 200 Rower Vs BodyCraft VR500Rower 

BodyCraft VR500 Rower
  • Easy to Read Black Mask LCD w/LED Backlit...
  • Electronically Controlled Air and Eddy...
  • Ergonomically Correct Comfort Grip Aluminum...
  • Deluxe Adjustable Heel Rest with Quick Adjust...

The BodyCraft VR500 is a great looking machine and has nice features such as the LCD and LED-backlit display which looks much more appealing than the RW200 display. Both devices have built-in tablet holders that come in extremely useful during a workout.  

Both the RW200 and VR500 accommodate taller users, which is excellent news as many rowing machines don’t. 

However, one thing that lets the VR500 down is the lack of built-in workout programs or fitness app integration which the RW200 has.  

With a $1000 price difference, I feel the RW200 would be a more worthwhile investment.  

NordicTrack RW 200 Rower Vs Echelon Smart Rower 

Echelon Row S, black
  • Enjoy a FREE 30-day trial of the Echelon...
  • DESIGN: Enjoy a full-body, low-impact workout...
  • FEATURES & PERFORMANCE: 22” rotating HD...
  • CONTENT: With a membership, you’ll get...

The Echelon Smart Rower is one great looking rowing machine. When it comes to the display, it has the RW200 beaten. The Echelon comes with a 22-inch built-in display that allows you to switch between workout classes or free-rowing seamlessly.  

Both the RW200 and Echelon have fitness class/app memberships which come at an additional cost. While with the Echelon, you must pay right away; the NordicTrack RW200 comes with 12 months of free membership to iFit.  

If you’ve got the budget and can afford an additional $400 (approx), the Echelon is well worth the money. However, if you want to have a great rowing machine that comes with 1 year of iFit for free, then the NordicTrack RW200 is a worthwhile investment for any home gym. 


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is the NordicTrack RW200 quiet? 

Yes, the RW200 is extremely quiet. There is some noise from the air resistance, but this produces a nice cool breeze that is welcome during a workout. Plus, the magnetic resistances help keep the machine quiet.  

Can you watch TV on NordicTrack RW200 rower? 

Unfortunately, the NordicTrack RW200 screen doesn’t have video capability. However, the RW200 is fully compatible with your smartphones and tablets, so you can stream video on those while using the integrated tablet holder the RW200 has.  

Is NordicTrack RW200 magnetic?  

Yes, the NordicTrack RW200 uses magnetic resistance along with air resistance. This combination allows you to max out the air resistance and then further increase the difficulty of the machine using the digitally adjusted magnetic resistance. Magnetic rowers are much quieter compared to air rowers.

Can I use the NordicTrack rower RW200 without iFit? 

You sure can. If you feel like disconnecting from the world and want to row, you can leave your phones, tablets, etc., in another room and row freely without iFit.  


Conclusion

During the NordicTrack rowing machine RW200 review, I found that overall the machine performed exceptionally well. Not only did it impress with its smooth functionality, but the built-in programs and iFit connectivity set it apart from the competition.  

It has a few drawbacks, such as the short labor warranty and the resistance feeling too easy for some users. However, considering that the RW200 is a mid-range rowing machine, it offers a hell of a lot.  

I feel it’s best suited for those of you who’re at the beginning of your fitness journey, so if you’re looking to add a rowing machine to your home gym, then you can’t go wrong with the NordicTrack RW200.  

Paul J