BodyCraft was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in central Ohio. This company is known for producing affordable yet good quality fitness products for light commercial and residential use. In addition to several hybrid air/magnetic rowing machines, the BodyCraft brand features treadmills, stationary bikes, free weights and other fitness equipment. Their customer service department is based in the USA. In our experience BodyCraft’s customer service representatives have been friendly and easy to reach.
BodyCraft designs four rowing machine models for light commercial fitness centers and home workout rooms. Each rower uses fan wind plus magnetism for resistance, and each has a dependable heart rate receiver. The most expensive BodyCraft indoor rower is the light commercial VR500, which has a sale price of $1499. The cheapest model is the residential VR100, which sells for $599 when discounts are applied.
- VR500: The light commercial BodyCraft VR500 Rower is tops in its series. It can support up to five hours of use per day. Trainees choose from 12 program profiles and 32 levels of electronically controlled resistance. The VR500 includes heart rate controlled workout programs.
- VR400: The VR400 Rowing Machine can support up to five hours of use per day. This unit is similar to BodyCraft’s top-of-the-line model, but it uses manual resistance (six levels only) and is rather light on preset workout programming.
- VR200: The BodyCraft VR200 is a compact rowing machine with residential and light commercial warranties. Despite its small size it can accommodate most riders up to 6’2”. The VR200 can only be used in manual mode; there are no preset workouts.
- VR100: The sleek aluminum VR100 is BodyCraft’s entry-level rowing machine. It is intended for residential use only. It has six preset levels of resistance that can be selected via handlebar controls. The VR100 has manual mode only (no preset workouts). This rower is sized to fit almost anybody, yet it can be folded for compact storage.
- Energy-Conscious Monitor: The BodyCraft monitor is a backlit LCD. It has an adjustable arm and can pivot for a perfect view at any user’s height. Data readouts are: Time, Time per 500 Meters, Date, Distance, Calories, Pulse, Strokes, Strokes Per Minute, Total Strokes, Watts, Resistance, and Recovery Profile. To save power the monitor automatically shuts off after 75 seconds of inactivity.
- Program Profiles: The VR400 and VR500 have the most engaging workouts, including a motivational boat race. Trainees can also choose from goal programs for distance, time and pulse. A recovery program assesses heart rate change over 60 seconds. (The cheaper models, however, are limited to manual mode.)
- Quiet Operation: Hybrid rowers are designed to operate especially quietly.
- Durable Components: These indoor rowers feature long-lasting parts such as extruded aluminum beams and sealed ball bearings.
- Comfort: BodyCraft rowers have lightweight aluminum handlebars with ergonomically correct grips. Their seats are contoured and can travel up to 38” from the pedals, depending on the model. The footrests pivot to support natural movement.
- Frame Warranty & Parts Warranty: Parts protection on BodyCraft rowers is for up to five years. The frame warranties range from 10 years to lifetime coverage.
- Large Size: Some but not all BodyCraft indoor rowers are very large. The unfolded dimensions of the VR400 and VR500 are 98.5” long x 20” wide x 38.5” high. Still, a saving grace is that BodyCraft rowing machines can be folded very quickly and easily roll into place for storage.
- Short Labor Warranty: Residential BodyCraft customers get free labor for one year, but light commercial customers only get free repairs for 90 days.
BodyCraft offers some good values on quiet hybrid (air/magnetic) rowers. The light commercial VR500 is a favorite by far, offering many advantages over the less expensive models. BodyCraft’s cheaper units aren’t as exciting — they have limited programming and use manual resistance controls — but might be a good fit for shoppers who prefer simplicity.