The Horizon Oxford 3 Rower is a solid improvement over its predecessor from years past.
Looking for a well-built rowing machine on a budget? The Horizon Oxford 3 Rower
Priced under $1,000, the Horizon Oxford 3 Rower is a welcome entry into the growing field of affordable rowing machines. While by no means the core category of Horizon Fitness, this isn’t the brand’s first foray into the category. The original Oxford Rower came out a good 5+ years ago and wound up in the middle of the pack. It was also relatively affordable, but lost some points on account of a lack of programming and slightly less sturdy construction. Both of those concerns were addressed with the Oxford 3, which is the lower tier of two new Horizon rowing machines (see also the Oxford 6). Though its design and construction have improved, Horizon also managed to lower its price of entry, with the current sale price of the Horizon Oxford 3 Rower coming in at $749.
Unlike its predecessors, right through to the discontinued Oxford 5, Horizon has switched to magnetic resistance on the Oxford 3 Rower, which gives the machine a different feel, but also quiets it down when compared to using air or water resistance. The brand also opted to use a high-strength belt rather than a chain to connect its flat-grip handlebar to the drive system, further reducing potential noise output. Both its seat and footrests are well padded to ensure you will remain (relatively) comfortable throughout your workouts.
One of the bigger changes in terms of construction is how the machine gets stowed away when it’s not being used. In the original Oxford Rower, a pivot point was found at the front of the rail, allowing the rail to be folded up and out of the way. Practical, yes, but that break point in the structure is precisely what led the Oxford Rower to feel less sturdy.
Enter the Oxford 3 Rower, and that problem is solved. to store away, the entire machine tips upright. The whole rig is 80.7 inches long, so when stood upright you’ll need about six and a half feet of clearance to tuck it away, which is entirely manageable unless you had thoughts of stuffing the machine into a closet.
- 5.4″ Adjustable Position LCD Screen: While not massive or high in resolution, the no frills screen/console of the Oxford 3 Rower can be tilted and adjusted to suit each rower.
- 10 Resistance Levels: While not as many as some top-end rowers, 10 resistance levels is a good amount to give your workouts a bit of range and variety.
- SMR (Silent Magnetic Resistance): Unlike the alternatives, the use of magnetic resistance allows for precise control over your rowing machine. It also lets you row away much more quietly than other configurations.
- 5 On-Board Workouts: Unlike its predecessor, the Oxford 3 Rower has a selection of training programs to help you mix things up a bit.
- Adjustable Cushioned Footrests: Whether you’re a size 6 or a size 12 shoe, the footrests on the Horizon Oxford 3 Rower will easily adjust as needed.
- Space Saver: Rowers although thin are long and can take up much space, but with the space saver design, you can fold it up and store out of the way once you are finished your workout. It won’t fit in a closet, as we noted above, but when standing its footprint is fairly compact.
- Sturdy Construction: With its new non-folding design, the Oxford 3 feel much more solid when compared to the original Oxford rower it replaces.
- Ergonomic molded seat: Made to fit your form – this makes for comfortable movements.
- Warranty: For an affordable rower its warranty is at least reasonable, including lifetime on frame, 2 years on electronics, and 1 year on parts and labor.
- High Weight Capacity: Max user weight on the Horizon Oxford 3 Rower is 350 lbs, which is 50 lbs higher than the industry standard.
- Programming Still Limited: While 5 workout programs is better than its predecessor, more options wouldn’t be a bad thing.
- Basic Console: This is another split. Its console earns points for adjustability, but loses them on account of the LCD display being a bit dated.
Plain and simple, if you’re on a budget the Horizon Oxford 3 Rower is a smart buy. It’s not as technically advanced as things like the NordicTrack RW900, which will set you back nearly $1,700, but it’s sturdy, quiet, and will get the job done.