Velocity Fitness Magnetic Rower – Real Value for Money?

The Velocity Fitness CHR-2001 is one of the recent products released by Velocity Fitness, a company well known for manufacturing a variety of fitness machines. If you are looking for a machine that will help you slim down and stay in great shape from your own home gym, a rower is a great choice. But there are many different rowing machines on the market; how can you know which is the best investment for your personal health and fitness? This review can help you decide if the Velocity Fitness CHR-2001 offers real value for your money at $631.77.

Programmable Magnetic Rowing Machine

The Velocity Fitness Magnetic Rower (CHR-2001) is  designed with obviously, a magnetic resistance system. This sets it apart from other manufacturers that use water or air to produce resistance. While other rowers may offer a slightly more realistic rowing experience, this magnetic rower has one key feature that the others cannot compete with: versatility.

Generally speaking, this is a pretty useful feature if you are used to other programmable machines such as a cross-trainer, where you can set a program such as a hill climb or interval training. In addition, the machine should be able to more accurately measure how much energy has to be put out to pull against its magnetic resistance.  In practice, the computer on the concept2 is far more accurate.  This particular machine features 8 levels of resistance, giving you the opportunity to determine what intensity level you want to set each workout at.

If you will be sharing your machine with other family members, this adjustable feature is especially beneficial. Each person using the rowing machine can set the resistance to their desired level and get the ideal workout with interfering with anyone else’s workout routine.

On the other hand, magnetic resistance does not vary during the stroke. This means that it is as hard to pull at the catch as it is at the finish, which is nothing at all like rowing on water. However, if you have never rowed on water, you are unlikely to find this irritating.

Fitness Monitor and Resistance Control

While some rowing machine exercise monitors can be awkward to check while rowing or hard to see, the CHR-2001’s LCD display is conveniently placed between your feet. The display is large enough to see and has a blue backlight in case you prefer to workout in dim conditions. It features 5 buttons that allow you to track your exercise and make adjustments to the rower’s resistance level.

The fitness monitor tracks exercise data including:

  • TimeCHR-2001 Monitor
  • Row count
  • Distance
  • Calories
  • Strokes per minute
  • Heart rate

The last of these – your heart rate – is calculated with the help of a chest belt that comes with the rower. The system is wireless and comes pre-connected so there is no need to fuss with trying to link your own heart rate monitor with the rower’s fitness tracking monitor.

If you want to get as much helpful data as possible related to your heart rate, you can use the rower’s pulse recovery button. This function will help you determine how long it takes you to return to a resting heart rate after finishing your rowing machine workout.

Comfort and Design

Your good rowing machine technique depends on the machine itself allowing for smooth, natural movements. Some home fitness enthusiasts prefer the motion of air or water resistance rowers, but the Velocity Fitness CHR-2001 Programmable Magnetic Rowing Machine is extremely smooth and comfortable. Its key design features include:

  • Oversized Footrests.

    Large, non-slip footrests with Velcro straps make it easy and comfortable for anyone to use this rower. Most average shoe sizes will fit fine and users over six feet tall should not have any issues during their workouts.

  • Padded Handles.

    Sensitive hands can blister quickly on machines with no padding. Velocity Fitness wisely included padded grip handles for ease of use and to prevent blistering.

  • Smooth Seat.

    The slightest friction or discomfort in the seat can make any rowing machine workout into a torture session. This seat, however, is well padded and glides smoothly along the main rail.

  • Quiet Motion.

    The CHR-2001’s double bearings make for a fluid motion that is basically silent. You can get in your workout in front of the TV or with your music on without having to turn them way up. If you are worried about your rowing exercise machine bothering friends or family, you can be confident that this model is nice and quiet.

Velocity CHR-2001 Magnetic Rowing Machine


Some people forget to consider home storage when shopping for their ergometer. If you have limited space and will need to fold up your rower several times a week, you need to be sure you choose one that can be moved easily and quickly.

This fitness rower is a winner in the storage department. You simply remove the seat rail knob, fold it up, and then screw the knob in again to secure the machine in its standing position. You can fit the standing rower in most closets – a fantastic solution if you do not have a lot of space to lose to your workout equipment.

  • 8 different resistance levels allows for a variety of exercises
  • Large, easy to use fitness monitor includes a heart rate belt
  • Smooth, silent rowing motion
  • Comfortable design with big footrests and padded handles
  • Easy to fold and store
  • Magnetic resistance is not as true to life as air or water
  • 1 year warranty is not as extensive as some other brands
  • Adjusting the resistance is not as easy as it could be

At the time of writing, the CHR-2001 was running at around $631.77 on Amazon. I find this a pretty good deal for the quality of machine you are getting.

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