BodyCraft VR400 Folding Rower Review

The BodyCraft VR400 Rower is centered on a sleek aluminum track that complements any workout room. It offers several preset workouts and supports wireless heart rate monitoring. The seat level is 18”, which is a bit lower than regular desk chair height. Overall this is a large rowing machine that commands a lot of space. It can be folded for compact storage though. Resistance for the VR400 is generated by a fan -- which also cools the rider -- and magnetism. The first challenge level uses ...
8 Total Score
BodyCraft VR400 Folding Rowing Machine

Comfort
9
Console
7
Stability
9
Value
7
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BodyCraft VR400 Folding Rower Review
BodyCraft VR400 Rower Review

BodyCraft’s VR400 Rowing Machine is similar to the top-of-the-line VR500, but it uses manual resistance controls and is lighter on programming. It features a sturdy extruded aluminum track and can support up to five hours of use per day. Trainees choose from several program profiles and six levels of resistance (air and magnetic). The VR400 is Polar compatible.

The BodyCraft VR400 Rower is centered on a sleek aluminum track that complements any workout room. It offers several preset workouts and supports wireless heart rate monitoring.

The seat level is 18”, which is a bit lower than regular desk chair height. Overall this is a large rowing machine that commands a lot of space. It can be folded for compact storage though.

Resistance for the VR400 is generated by a fan — which also cools the rider — and magnetism. The first challenge level uses air or wind resistance only, and the others combine air with eddy current magnetic resistance.

This rower originally cost $1,499 but now sells for $1,299. BodyCraft sells the VR400 with two warranties:

  • The residential warranty protection is lifetime for the frame, five years for parts, one year for wear items and one year of labor.
  • The light commercial warranty (up to five hours/day) provides ten years for the frame, two years for parts, and 90 days for the wear items and labor.

Is this the best rowing machine for your workout room? Here are some factors to consider.


Positives:
  • Monitor: The BodyCraft monitor is a backlit LCD. It has an adjustable arm and can pivot for a perfect view.
  • Data: The monitor fields are: Time, Date, Distance (Meters), Calories, Pulse, Time (500 m), Strokes, Strokes Per Minute, Total Strokes, Watts, Resistance, and Recovery Profile.
  • Program Profiles: The VR400’s most eye-catching program is a motivational boat race. You can also choose from goal programs for distance, time and pulse. A fifth option is manual mode. A recovery program gives a 60-second test for pulse recovery.
  • Energy Saving Mode: To save energy, this plug-in rowing machine powers off after four minutes of inactivity.
  • Comfort: The lightweight aluminum handlebar has an ergonomically correct grip. The seat is contoured and can travel up to 38” from the pedals.
  • Folds: The rowing machine can be folded and wheeled away for compact storage. Its folded dimensions are 43.25″ L x 21.25” W x 69.25″ H.
  • High Seat: The seat height of 18” is comfortable for most trainees to access. Outdoor rowers might prefer a lower profile though.
  • Strong Frame: The seat glides along a strong aluminum beam.
  • High Capacity: The maximum user weight capacity is 350 pounds. That’s the highest of any BodyCraft rowing machine.
  • Warranty: As described above, the residential and light commercial warranties are pretty good. Parts protection is for five years and two years, respectively. We’re only disappointed by the short labor warranty for light commercial customers. It’s just 90 days.


Negatives:

The BodyCraft VR400 Rower uses manual resistance controls, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea; electronic adjustments like those on the VR500 can be much more convenient. Here are some other possible drawbacks.

  • Large Size: This is one of the largest rowing machines on our review site. Its unfolded dimensions are 98.5” long x 20” wide. It is 38.5” high.
  • Short Labor Warranty: Residential customers get free labor for one year, but light commercial customers only get free repairs for 90 days. That’s not so comforting considering the $1299 price tag.


Our Conclusion

The BodyCraft VR400 Rower is most appropriate for light commercial fitness rooms, although the short labor warranty is a cause for concern.

For home use the VR400 is priced too high considering its limited programming and its manual resistance controls. You could treat yourself to more machine for the money.

See our other rowing machine reviews for products with longer labor warranties and more program variety. The BodyCraft VR500 is a big improvement over this model, and the brand Concept2 has some great options in the same price category.

BodyCraft VR400 Folding Rower Specifications:

Overall Score:8
Resistance:Magnetic
Monitor:Basic
Upright Storage:Yes
Programs:Yes
Weight Capacity:350 LBS

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