NordicTrack Rowing Machine vs a Sole Spin Machine

NordicTrack Rowing Machine vs a Sole Spin Machine

NordicTrack Rowing Machine Pros and Cons


  • It is very easy to dismantle and assemble.
  • It has got damper settings that can be adjusted as per your choice.
  • This rowing machine is backed by a 30 days (no questions asked) full money back guarantee.
  • The overall build quality is worthy of a ‘five star’ rating.
  • This machine can be easily folded and stored in tight corners.
  • The overall experience while using this machine is incredibly satisfying. It operates in a smooth and hassle free manner.


  • The NordicTrack Rowing Machine cannot withstand excessive weight.
  • Intermediate to advance level exercise enthusiasts may find its resistance levels fairly easy to achieve.
  • The price of this machine has the uncanny ability to fluctuate. When the price rises, users are miffed but when the price falls, users are happy.

What is NordicTrack Rowing Machine?

This is a rowing machine that uses optimal air resistance to function. This is an ‘air-rower’ that sucks air into its flywheel, forcing it to spin, thereby creating resistance. In order to initiate the resistance, you need to simply pull the handle and spin the flywheel. The faster you pull the handle, the quicker the flywheel spins, sucking in more air and increasing the level of resistance. The energy created by this process is also termed as ‘variable resistance’. More on Nordictrack Rowing Machine here.

Who Uses a Rowing Machine and Why?

I began using a rowing machine after my thigh muscle was ruptured during a marathon race. Even after my injury healed, I was cautioned by the doctor to never attempt running long distances. Unfortunately, I had added a couple of inches to my waistline during the recovery period. This is when I opted for a ‘safe’ exercise machine – the rowing machine by NordicTrack. After a three month trial, some new rowing workout ideas, and some new workout clothes, I found that this machine had the following advantages.

  • It helped me lose weight and inches from my waist.
  • My lungs and heart felt stronger.
  • It helped me burn extra calories and improved my energy levels.
  • I felt less stressed and could sleep peacefully at night.
  • I certainly became more cheerful when I found out that the rowing exercise improves the overall heart functionality and reduces the risk of contracting certain kind of cancers.
  • When I got my bone density test done after three months of exercising, I was glad to find that it had increased from 2.5 SD to 1 SD.
  • I felt absolutely no pain on my ankles, knees, thigh or hips, while using this machine.


The NordicTrack RW200 Rowing Machine is 85 inches in length, 22 inches in width and 43.5 inches in height. It weighs 140 pounds. This machine can be folded in half and then clipped. This space saving machine is also equipped with a pair of caster wheels that can allow you to shift it from one location to another fairly easily. The folded machine can be easily stored in a closet.


The price of this rowing machine tends to fluctuate. It can be available for as low as $599 and as high as $1299.

Main Features

1) Variable Resistance Levels – The high and low resistance levels available in this rowing machine allow you perform high interval intensity training workouts very easily.

2) Damper Settings – This machine has ‘built-in’ damper settings (from 1 to 10) that allow you to control the airflow into the flywheel.

3) Control Monitor – The backlit display control monitor is i-pod compatible and it allows you choose from as many as 20 workout applications (pre-sets). When you exercise, this monitor displays the total calories burnt, total distance covered, total power consumed (in watts), total strokes per minute and the total time spent to complete a workout session.

4) Visual Display – The visual display is sub-divided into three sections. The upper section displays strokes per minute, watts meter and watts. The central section displays strokes, distance and time. The lower section displays calories burnt. There are three modes of viewing the data – manual, priority and scan mode.

5) Sound Quality – A 3.5mm jack can be fixed to the machine using an audio jack. Volumes can be either increased or decreased with the help of buttons positioned on the console. You can even listen to podcasts without using a headphone.

6) Sturdy Build – The frame is made of steel and it is welded to perfection. The seat rail too is made from steel. This company has been manufacturing fitness equipment for the past 40 years and they have a solid reputation in the market. I personally felt the handles as well as the rowing strap and they felt quite sturdy.

7) The Comfort Factor – This rowing machine is made for comfortable exercising. The handle, the seat, as well as the footrest is ergonomically designed to offer comfort during lengthy rowing sessions. The seat is padded and oversized to accommodate people of all shapes and sizes. People who suffer from joint pains have the comfort of sitting high while exercising.

8) Height and Weight Restrictions – The NordicTrack Rowing Machine does not permit people taller than six feet six inches in height and those that weigh more than 250 pounds.

9) Easy Assembly – It is very easy to assemble this rowing machine. All it takes is an adjustable wrench, a screwdriver (preferably a Philips model) and 4-D batteries. In 30 minutes this machine is ready for use.

Consumer Reviews

Overall, the rating of this machine is positive. I collected reviews from people all over the world that had used NordicTrack Rowing Machine. They seemed a happy lot. The only problem a few of them faced was in the ‘the low resistance levels’ offered by this machine. The other issue that users cited was the price variation on this model. Apart from these two factors, users were quite satisfied with the machine. This product has received an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 points.

more on nordictrack rower

Sole Spin Machine Pros and Cons


1) The riding momentum is consistent because of a heavy flywheel.

2) Leavers are positioned near the feet to keep the machine steady even on uneven floors.

3) This machine is capable of accommodating users of all shapes and sizes.

4) There is a lifetime warranty on the frame, 3 years on all electronic parts and 1 year on labor.

5) This machine is fortified with a feedback console.

6) If you have a heart-rate strap, you can easily attach it to the machine and monitor your heart rate.

7) The build quality of this machine is very good. Its a sturdy and robust design that is meant to last a lifetime.

8) Switching from high to low resistance is smooth, owing to its super-refined magnetic machinery. Even the belt drive is very smooth to operate.


1) Heart rate monitoring strap needs to be purchased separately.

2) Wheels are slightly stiff and can get stuck on uneven surfaces.

3) MP3 players cannot be plugged to this machine.

4) Workout numbers between exercises need to be tracked by you, as there is no automated section that highlights your progress.

5) Workout plans are non-existent. Besides the ones I found here.

Should You Use this Bike?

In my opinion, those individuals who do not have ample time to visit the gym or are suffering from knee/ankle injuries should ideally use this exercise machine. I suffered from a torn thigh muscle, after which, I decided to get back in shape using this exercise bike. I used this exercise machine for a period of three months and was quite impressed with its capability to improve my cardiovascular functionality. After a three month trial, I experienced the following:

  • I lost 2 inches from my waistline.
  • My heart and lungs felt strong.
  • My bone density improved considerably.
  • I felt happy, energetic and motivated throughout the day.
  • I felt no pain in my thigh, knees or ankles.
  • I was completely free from stress and I managed to sleep like a baby at night.

The Price

The price of this bike is approximately $1000. It is available at Amazon at a discounted price and free shipping facility. Different models have different prices attached.


It is quite easy to store this exercise bike because of its compact dimensions (40 inches in length, 42 inches in height and 21 inches in width). The bike weighs 72 kg, so it is quite difficult to lift (especially for a girl). Two recessed wheels are placed on the front stabilizing bar to assist in transporting this bike from one location to another. Simply tip the bike forward onto its wheels and store it under the stairway or an empty cupboard.

Main Features of Sole Spin Machine

1) Strong Built – This exercise bike is built to last a lifetime. The base of this machine is fortified with pipe tubing that is made from oval steel. The bike is heavy and it does not rock from side to side when used. In fact, it’s fit and finish is flawless, which makes it a relatively maintenance free exercise machine.

2) Made to Accommodate all Shapes and Sizes – This exercise machine can accommodate right from a five foot girl to a six feet two inch man. Even if you weigh 300 pounds, you can use this machine without any fuss.The handlebars and the seat position can be adjusted vertically as per your height and convenience. You can even move the handlebars in a horizontal manner to avail more comfort.

3) Magnetic Resistance – The magnetic resistance to propel the flywheel allows you to perform intense cardiovascular workouts. In order to reduce or increase the resistance, you can use the knob positioned on top of the bike’s frame. If you want to stop the bike in a jiffy, you can do so courtesy the felt wool pad that is present on the bike. There is a special lever for enabling sudden breaking. It is located right next to the resistance button.

4) Smooth Belt Drive and Assembly – The Sole Spin Machine uses a belt drive to enable a silent and smooth riding experience. This sturdy belt may require replacement after a few years of constant usage. The entire bike can be assembled in as less as 30 minutes.

5) Dual Pedals – This bike uses dual pedals. One side has an adjustable strap and a plastic toe cup. This helps to slide your feet in and clasp it via the adjustable strap. The other side has SPD pedals that are used only if you have special cycling shoes.

6) Complete Comfort for Longer Rides – First of all, the magnetic resistance and the belt drive make this machine almost noiseless. The seat too is comfortable (not too hard or soft).

Secondly, The bike’s handlebars are neatly wrapped in rubber, which ensures that you are able to get a firm grip.

Thirdly, the flywheel of this exercise bike weighs 22 kg, which helps you enjoy a smooth ride.

Fourthly, the seating position is upright and leaning forwards, which is very comfortable for long rides.

Lastly, when you use this machine, negligible amounts of lubricants are released onto the floor. This keeps your floor clean.

7) The User Console – The digital display is 3×4 inches in size. It allows you to gauge the distance, speed, heart rate (if you have a heart strap), revolutions per minute and the calories burnt. You need one AAA batteries to power the console and one AAA battery to power the transmitter.

8) The Accessories – This exercise bike has bottle holders to accommodate two water bottles. There is no provision to plug in an MP3 player.

Consumer Reviews

I have searched the internet extensively to find how customers felt about the product. A vast majority of them were more than satisfied with the product. Many even stated that this bike was comparable with ones found in high tech gyms. There was hardly any negative review pertaining to this exercise bike,apart from one or two odd cases who complained about a delayed delivery. This product has received a 4.3 star rating from consumers.

NordicTrack Rower Vs Sole Spin Machine Final Thoughts

Both products are good in their own distinct way and both of them are used to help you improve your cardiovascular functionality. Nonetheless, when you have to choose between these two machines, you would have to determine the ‘type of workout’ you seek. Let me rate these two machines on the basis of these 3 parameters- ‘accessories’, ‘value for money’ and ‘complete body workout’.

1) The Accessory Section:

The NordicTrack Rower has its own distinct advantages such as great comfort, user friendly console, excellent stability and great value for money. It could have had a better resistance level.The Sole Spin Machine is sturdy and offers great resistance. It lacks in accessories and could have done with the addition of a few exercise applications.

The Verdict: Undoubtedly, NordicTrack Rower scores above Sole Spin Machine in this category.

2) Value for Money

The price of NordicTrack Rower starts from $599 and goes all the way up to $1299. The price is known to fluctuate, which is quite a bother for the budget conscious exercise enthusiasts. On the contrary, the price of Sole Spin Machine is approximately $1000 or less.

The Verdict: Sole Spin Machine scores above NordicTrack Rower in this category.

3) Overall Body Exercise

NordicTrack Rower is ideal for exercising both our upper as well as your lower body. It works on your thigh, calves, ankles, abdominal, chest, shoulder, back and arm muscles.

Sole Spin Machine engages your lower body and abdominal muscles.

The Verdict: Undoubtedly, NordicTrack Rower scores above Sole Spin Machine in this category.

Which Machine is Best for You?

On the basis of the above-mentioned comparisons, we can confidently conclude by declaring NordicTrack Rower as the preferred exercise machine for me. Nonetheless, the choice lies completely in your own hands and you may have a different outlook depending on your workout or health goals. After a while, when your body adapts to a particular exercise machine, it is a good idea to include a different type of exercise equipment to mix things up. So if you ever get bored of rowing, spinning is a great second choice. You could even consider a stepper, treadclimber, or strider.

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