MaxKare Air Fan Rower review

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The MaxKare Air Fan Rower is one of the new rowing machines released in 2019. It’s definitely not a commercial-grade trainer, but it’s also considerably cheaper than one. So, if you’re looking for an affordable and decent alternative to a Concept2 or LifeCore rower, this MaxKare model is definitely one to put on your list.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 71.3L x 20.1W x 14.2H inches (181L x 51W x 36H cm)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Frame: Steel
  • Footrests: Pivoting, with straps
  • Resistance type: Air fan
  • Exercise meter: Time, distance, count, calories, scan
  • Extras: Tablet holder
  • Warranty: 1 year limited

Frame construction

The MaxKare Air Fan Rower features a frame made of steel tubing. It’s pretty sturdy for a home-use machine, being rated for a weight capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg).

The fully assembled machine is not as large as various other commercial air rowers, such as the LifeCore R100 for example, but still measures approx. 71″ (181 cm) in length, and 20″ (51 cm) in width, so it may not fit too well in a small room or apartment. Plus, it is recommended to leave at least two feet of clearance on each side and at the rear of the machine, and at least one foot at the front, for unhindered usage and ease of access.

The machine’s rail is approx. 40″ (102 cm) long, and provides around 36″ (91.4 cm) of travel for the seat. But considering the placement of the footrests, the machine should be able to accommodate users up to 6’2″ (188 cm) with no problem.

This MaxKare rower is foldable. The rail with the seat can fold up to save space. In folded position, the unit’s length is reduced to approx. 40″ (102 cm) and its height becomes approx. 42.5″ (108 cm).

The exact weight of this air resistance rower is not specified, but it is not an extremely heavy unit. This being said, it can be assembled by only one person. Also, its middle base is equipped with a set of transport wheels which facilitate its relocation.

The MaxKare Air Rower provides superior stability. Not only that it features two sturdy base stabilizers, they are also equipped with adjustable levelers, so you can perfectly stabilize the unit on any type of floor. All levelers have rubber pads which not only that improve the unit’s grip on the floor, they also prevent floor damage.

Last but not least, all the steel parts in the machine’s construction are coated with a rust-resistant paint finish. The color of the main rail is gray, while the rest of the steel parts are painted black, these being the only colors available for this trainer. The housing of the fan is also metallic and painted black, while the covers of the belts and other drive elements are ABS made, gray and silver in color.

Seat and other parts

The MaxKare Air Fan Rower is equipped with a seat designed for optimal comfort. It’s a seat similar to the one on the Sunny SF-RW5624 or the one on the Schwinn Crewmaster. Its top is polyurethane made; it’s firm but not hard, so it reduces some of the workout impact. Its surface is concave and textured to provide better positioning for the user and prevent them from sliding backward during the push phase of the rowing motion.

The machine’s rail is not horizontal; it has a few degrees of incline. This leads to a faster recovery motion and a slightly better workout for the legs during the push phase. When it is extended all the way to the back, the seat is at approx. 14.2″ (36 cm) above floor level.

The base of the seat is steel made; as we’ve mentioned above, the rail and the seat assembly are durable enough to support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg). The seat frame integrates three sets of rollers with sealed ball bearings and a noise-dampening coating on the outside to provide a smooth and quiet motion for the seat.

The rower’s footrests feature a pretty simple design. They are made of heavy-duty ABS material. Their surface is textured to provide better adherence to any type of athletic shoes. They also have heel guards and adjustable straps for maximum foot stability.

The footrests have a pivoting design. This means they’re not fixed; they can tilt forward and backward on their axis and cannot be locked into a fixed position unless you improvise. This pivoting design is meant to provide a natural positioning for your feet during each stroke.

The unit’s pulling handle consists of a short metallic bar with rubber-foam grips. It does not integrate any pulse sensors, and the machine does not have a pulse reading function. The handle is attached to a heavy-duty nylon mesh strap which is highly resistant to abrasion.

Resistance system

As its name suggests, the MaxKare Air Fan Rower is equipped with an air resistance system. Its main resistance-generating element is the large fan at the front. The machine does not have any additional magnetic brake for extra resistance control, such as the Conquer AR5600, for example. It also does not have a damper like the Concept2 models.

The lack of a resistance adjustment element shouldn’t matter too much, though, because any air rower provides a dynamic response anyway. In other words, the resistance generated by the fan depends on how hard you pull the handle (the harder you pull, the more resistance you will get). This can be a plus, as it simulates the sensation of rowing a real boat through water.

 MaxKare Air Fan Rower SysytemThe machine’s resistance is also improved by the dual belt transmission system. The two belt and pulley system not only that adds a bit of difficulty to the rowing motion, but it also adds stability.

Since it’s an air resistance rower, at high speeds, the fan does generate some noise. However, the level of noise is far from being loud or disturbing. As a general idea, it won’t cover the sound of your TV on a low volume setting. The noise generated can be compared to the noise of a large electric fan.

Exercise meter

The MaxKare Air Fan Rower is equipped with a basic fitness meter. It does not have any built-in programs, Bluetooth, and it does not connect online to any fitness apps. It features an LCD display which tracks time, distance, count (number of strokes), and calories burned. It does not have a pulse reading function, so in case you want to monitor your heart rate during your workouts, you will have to use a separate device.

The fitness meter unit is very easy to use. It only has one button which allows you to scroll through the workout metrics and select the one that interests you the most. Or, you can select the Scan mode which rotates all the metrics showing each one for a few seconds. The button also covers the unit’s reset function. You can press it and hold it for a few seconds to clear all the values on the meter to zero.

The unit is battery powered. It requires two AAA batteries. It starts up when you press the button or when it detects activity on the rower, and automatically turns off after a few minutes of inactivity. And finally, the top of the exercise meter can serve as a tablet holder. The tablet in the attached image is not included.

Assembly and Maintenance

This MaxKare rower is far from being difficult to assemble. In fact, most of it comes pre-assembled. The fan and all the other drive and resistance elements are already attached to the front part of the frame. Therefore, you only need to connect the front stabilizer, the rail, add the seat to the rail, connect the rear base stabilizer, the footrests, and the meter. This shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes. A basic toolkit is included and the manual provides step-by-step assembly instructions.

Maintenance requires dusting the trainer periodically, especially the rail and the housing of the fan. Also, the seat wheels may require lubrication after a while. Other than this, it is recommended to periodically check for loose bolts and parts.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction – supports users up to 300 lbs;
  • Folding design;
  • Transport wheels included;
  • Adjustable levelers on the front and rear bases;
  • Long rail – can accommodate users up to 6’2″;
  • PU contoured seat for optimal comfort;
  • Pivoting footrests with straps and heel guards;
  • Air resistance, providing a dynamic response during rowing;
  • Dual belt drive system for improved stability and resistance;
  • Exercise meter included – tracks count, time, distance, and calories burned;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Easy to handle and relocate;
  • Little maintenance required.

Cons

  • No pulse reading function;
  • No SPM function;
  • No backlight on the fitness meter.
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