Sole Fitness is a long-established exercise equipment company with international distribution. Their brand is best known for its high quality treadmills, which are made for commercial and residential customers. Sole Fitness also makes durable elliptical trainers, rowing machines and stationary bikes. The company is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah and has factories in Taiwan.
Sole Fitness makes just one rowing machine, the Sole SR500 Rower, and packages it with a long residential warranty. This $899 hybrid air-magnetic rower is the world’s first to use Bluetooth for wireless resistance control; riders can quickly alternate between 16 levels. The SR500 also has 12 program modes, heart rate control and a complete wireless heart rate system. The rowing machine is sized to fit most family members and can easily be folded for storage.
- Easy Assembly: According to customer reviews, new owners can typically assemble this machine in about 30 minutes.
- Smooth Resistance: The Sole SR500 uses a combination of magnetic resistance and air resistance to support quiet, smooth rowing at 16 challenge levels. Air is used at the simpler levels and magnetic force is used at the higher levels.
- Monitor with Preset Programs: Sole’s rowing machine monitor is well backlit for nighttime viewing. It has 12 program modes including 10 presets, heart rate control mode and one self-designed program. There’s also a recovery feature to assess heart health after each workout.
- Bluetooth Controls: Wireless resistance controls help make the Sole rower stand out. Resistance can be adjusted from the handlebars during workouts. It can also be altered more traditionally with controls on the computer monitor.
- Sized for All: The Sole indoor rower has an extra long beam to accommodate all heights, and it can hold more than 500 pounds. The footrests are adjustable for size and angle too.
- High Seat: The SR500 rower has a raised seat, making it easier to access than rowers without high legs. This is especially important to people with arthritis or other limitations on movement. The seat is about the height of an office chair. It’s tilted and measures 19” from the ground at one end, 21” at the other.
- Heart Rate Monitoring: A chest strap and wireless receiver are included.
- High Capacity: The Sole rowing machine has a maximum user weight capacity of 515 pounds.
- Folding: A folding design and caster wheels make the Sole indoor rower easy to store.
- Price: This rower is priced well. The advertised price includes delivery and a wireless chest strap. (Typically those would be extra charges in the rowing machine business.) The SR500 also has a generous warranty.
- Warranty: This purchase is backed by a great warranty. Buyers get lifetime coverage for the frame and three years for parts. Labor costs are waived during the first year, and all repairs are performed in-home.
- Size: Sole Fitness was wise to make this rowing machine foldable. Unfolded, it demands a lot of floor space: 94” L x 18” W.
- Not Silent: Owing to the air resistance, this rower isn’t as quiet as purely magnetic rowing machines.
- Not for Elite Athletes: Any trainee can get an effective cardio workout with the SR500, but not everybody will feel a muscle challenge at the highest resistance level.
Sole Fitness makes just one rowing machine, but this model is easily a best buy in the magnetic-air category for residential use. The Sole SR500 has very good ergonomics, helpful workout programs and impressive durability. It’s also backed by a long warranty and US-based customer service. We highly recommend the Sole Fitness brand of rower to new and intermediate trainees.