NordicTrack RW500 Rower Review

The NordicTrack RW500 is a good rowing machine for beginner or intermediate fitness levels and well suited for a home gym. One of the best features about the RW500 is the 10” tablet; it syncs with the iFit Coach app (without a subscription) which streams countless numbers of programs. Nordictrack iFit Coach is an app with a subscription that offers online video, or live cast workouts from expert  fitness coaches in studios or on location around the world. Your purchase also includes a ...
8 Total Score
NordicTrack RW500 Rower

The NordicTrack RW500 rower is a good option for a home gym if you are a beginner or intermediate in your fitness level.

Comfort
7
Console
8
Stability
8
Value
8
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NordicTrack RW500 Rower Review
NordicTrack RW500 Rower Review

The NordicTrack RW500 rower is a good option for a home gym if you are a beginner or intermediate in your fitness level. One of the best features is the 10” tablet that syncs with Nordictrack’s iFit Coach app. The size of the tablet and the myriad of workout scenarios offered through the app will make for exciting, motivating and fun workouts. The inertia enhanced flywheel with the silent magnetic resistance makes for quiet workouts, but the digitally amplified speakers enhances the sounds (music, workout videos) you want to hear. Oversized foot pedals lend to a comfortable and focused workout as your intensity increases. It’s made with the space saver design that allows you to fold it up and store in a corner or out of the way. It comes with a great warranty that shows Nordictrack stands behind the RW500 rower.

The NordicTrack RW500 is a good rowing machine for beginner or intermediate fitness levels and well suited for a home gym. One of the best features about the RW500 is the 10” tablet; it syncs with the iFit Coach app (without a subscription) which streams countless numbers of programs.

Nordictrack iFit Coach is an app with a subscription that offers online video, or live cast workouts from expert  fitness coaches in studios or on location around the world. Your purchase also includes a one-year Nordictrack iFit membership. Separate from the iFit subscription, the rower comes with 30 preselected built in programs.  

The tablet fits just under the 5” display screen where you can also monitor your speed, time, heart rate, resistance and calories burned. It’s equipped with 26 digital resistance levels, enough to increase the strength and endurance of any beginner and intermediate fitness levels. The transitions between the levels are smooth and quiet because of the inertia-enhanced flywheel with SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance; or use the air resistance method to add more intensity. Early morning workout sounds won’t be an issue for the rest of your household. But if loud sounds are not an issue, music and video led workouts are enhanced through two 2” digitally amplified speakers.

In addition, the extra features to consider:

  • The console is adjustable to suit your size and view.
  • Adjustable nylon straps are a good safety feature to keep you secure as you increase in speed and resistance.  
  • Oversized pedals, keep you comfortable in your positions as you move around and increase the intensity of your workout.
  • Molded seat; ergonomically designed to keep you sitting comfortably and properly.

As for the footprint, the NordicTrack RW500 doesn’t take up much space, as it is specifically designed for home use, with the dimensions of  86.5” L x 22.0” W x 42.8”. The space saving feature means it can be folded up and transported on front mounted wheels to a corner if needed.

The warranty is decent. 10 years on frame, three years on parts and one year on labor. The length of the warranty shows that Nordictrack believes in the quality of the product.


Positives:
  • 10” Portal 10i Tablet: Included in your purchase is the large, high definition tablet. It sits perfectly below the 5” backlit display. Sync with your iFit app and you will have a beautiful front row seat of motivating instructor lead videos, or google map views.
  • 5” backlit display: Monitor your progress on your speed, calories burned, time, heart rate resistance and distance.
  • Two 2” digitally amplified speakers: Listen through enhanced sound to your favorite instructor or music.
  • 26 levels of resistance: 26 levels of resistance is a good start for beginners and intermediate users. There are two ways to adjust resistance: digital SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance or adjust air flow to add more intensity to your workout.
  • One year NordicTrack iFit membership; iFit wireless technology is built in.
  • 30 built in workouts: If you decide not to continue the subscription to iFit or you want to go straight to it, you have access to 30 preset programs that come with the RW500.
  • Oversized pedals: Makes for a more comfortable workout.
  • Adjustable foot straps: Secure your feet in place, as you increase your speed and intensity.
  • Warranty: Reasonable warranty; it covers for a long period.
  • Spacesaver design: After use, it folds up and is easy to store with a relatively small footprint.  


Negatives:
  • It is best suited to a beginner, a more advanced rower may not find it as challenging.
  • 250 lbs. user capacity: The norm is generally 300 lbs.


Our Conclusion

The RW500 is a great rower for home use and is best suited for beginner to intermediate rowers. The 10” tablet, syncs with iFit app to deliver a myriad of expert created instructor videos – enough that you probably will never try them all. But you don’t have to use the app to access the 30 programs that come built in with the rower. The silent magnetic resistance system makes sure it’s quiet, perfect for early morning or late night workouts that won’t disturb the rest of your household. And once you’re finished, you can fold it up and tuck it away in a corner. Overall, it’s a good value purchase.

NordicTrack RW500 Rower Specifications:

Overall Score:8
Resistance:Silent Magnetic Resistance
Monitor:5” backlit display
Upright Storage:Yes
Programs:30 built-in workouts
Weight Capacity:250 LBS

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