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04 Aug

WaterRower Oxbridge Machine Review

The WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine is a perfect mix of style and functionality and is handcrafted from solid cherry wood with a Danish oil finish and has been constructed out of premium quality materials.

Just so you know, one might have a tough time deciding if you just want to stare at it or use it for exercise, it  just looks too good. And what better, it provides one of the most realistic rowing experiences you will ever experience outside of a boat in the water.  The rowing machine is well-built, easy to store. A perfect aerobic equipment for fitness enthusiasts of all sizesand levels.

The WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine in Cherry with S4 Monitor is a water resistance rower that uses a “water flywheel” or paddles suspended in a tank of water to provide resistance for the rower.  When a rower pulls the handle on the Oxbridge, it causes the paddles in the water tank to spin. 

The resistance on the WaterRower functions very similarly to resistance on an air rower; resistance level is determined by the rower’s rowing intensity level.  The main differences are:

•    The Oxbridge uses water rather than air
•    Noise level is much less
•    Rowing motion is smoother
•    From people that row/ workout more than five times a week to people just getting started with working out, the WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine can accommodate everyone.

Monitor/Control Panel

The WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine comes with a S4 (series 4) multifunctional performance monitor. The monitor tracks the following fitness data:

•    Workout Intensity
•    Stroke Rate
•    Heart Rate
•    Duration
•    Target Fitness Zone
•    Distance

All of the tracked fitness data can be seen on the home screen of the monitor simultaneously in separate “windows”.   Here’s a quick rundown of what’s in each window on the main screen:

Intensity window:
•    Displays rowing speed in meters per second, miles per hour, minutes per 500 meters, and minutes per 2 kilometers
•    Also displays power and calories burnt per hour

Stroke rate window:

•    Displays number of strokes per minute

Heart rate window:

•    Option is available when optional heart rate monitoring equipment (Cardio Sport ANT Digital) is used with the fitness monitor (not included)
•    Displays beats per minute

Target zone [bar] window:
•    Displays target zone readings for intensity, heart rate, and stroke rate

Duration window:
•    Displays time rowed in hours, minutes, seconds, and decimal seconds
•    Can also display time remaining in current workout (if a predetermined time for workout has been established)

Distance window:

•    Displays distance rowed in meters, miles, kilometres, or strokes
•    Can also display distance remaining in current workout (if a predetermined distance for workout has been established)

Program window:

•    This window is used to help the user navigate through the monitor’s advanced functions
•    There are 9 total buttons on the face of the monitor, 6 shortcut buttons and 3 navigation buttons.  It’s not backlit so you will need some light to see the workout data while you’re working out.  It’s powered by 4 AA batteries, which are included.
•    With an optional monitor cable, the S4 can connect with your computer to upload workout data.  In addition, this option allows you to train and race against other WaterRower owners from around the world!  Popular S4 computer software includes We-Row (WaterRower’s own software), NetAthlon, UltraCoach, and Rowyo.
•    The S4 monitor is simple to use, contrary to what you assume given it has 9 different buttons!  Users had nothing to say but good things about the S4 monitor on the WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine.  Some said it lacks some of the advanced features but for an average regular daily user of this rowing machine, the features of the S4 monitor are more than sufficient and it didn’t affect their user experience on the WaterRower Oxbridge.


Build Quality
The WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine is handcrafted from solid Cherry wood and finished with 3 coats of Danish oil. 

The wood is very durable and the frame is rock solid. 

The water tank is made out of polycarbonate, which is a virtually indestructible plastic.  You definitely will not have to worry about it breaking.

The WaterRower Oxbridge doesn’t have any moving parts that can wear out over time.  Even the recoil belt and pulleys don’t require any lubrication or maintenance. 

Comfort
The WaterRower Oxbridge’s moulded seat is heavily padded and comes with dual rails with four corner wheels that keep the seat stable, not to mention it reduces sweat build-up.

The handle is light, durable, and is ergonomically shaped to fit comfortably in your hands.  No complaints were made about the handles, which is a good thing!

The heel rests hold your heels firmly and the footboards can be adjusted in a matter of seconds to accommodate users with different shoe sizes.  Nylon straps are used to secure users’ feet when they row.  The footrests don’t rotate, but your feet are still able to move naturally as you row.  Overall, the footrests are comfortable.

The rowing motion on the WaterRower Oxbridge rowing machine is a thing of beauty.  The nylon strap doesn’t snag or give you the feeling of ‘herky jerkiness’ when you pull the handle because of its sprag clutch, the seat glides up and down the dual rails effortlessly, the footrests allow your feet to move naturally as you row, the faint sound of water splashing in the water tank is soothing and not intrusive, it’s a wonderful experience rowing on this machine and it’s one of the Oxbridge’s biggest selling points in my opinion.


Storage
Even though the WaterRower Oxbridge rower has a fairly large footprint, it can be stood up easily in seconds to save plenty of floor space.  A combination of the water flywheel being close to the wheels, the light wooden frame, and some slick engineering make standing up the rower effortless (and this is no exaggeration).  While in “storage mode”, the rower’s footprint is equivalent to a dining room chair!
The dual caster wheels make it simple to move the rower, very similar to pushing a shopping cart or stroller.

Capacity
According to Amazon, the maximum weight capacity is 1,000 pounds (454 kg).
The seat rail is fairly long, making it ideal for taller rowers. The Oxbridge has a solid weight capacity and can accommodate users’ short and tall, it can practically be used by anyone.
Dimensions
(Back to Top)
83” X 24” X 21” (211 cm X 61 cm X 53 cm)
21” X 24” X 83” (53 cm X 61 cm X 211 cm) (storage mode; standing up on its base)
Weight: 117 pounds (53 kg) (with full water tank; 73 pounds [33 kg] with an empty water tank)
 
Assembly
Users unanimously agreed that assembling the WaterRower Oxbridge was easy. 

Pros and Cons
Pros:
•    Beautiful cherry wood construction
•    Solidly built
•    Smooth and realistic rowing motion
•    Easy to assemble
•    Dual caster wheels
•    Easy “flip over” storage
•    Comfortable seat
•    Comfortable handle
•    Variable resistance adjustment determined by rowing intensity
•    Can further adjust rowing experience by adding/ subtracting water from the water tank
•    Can link S4 monitor to computer to race others, train, and upload workout data for further analysis


Cons:
•    The S4 Performance monitor lacksome of the advanced features, however, users also mentioned that the features that are available on the S4 monitor are more than adequate for a regular daily user of this rowing machine. User experience is not said to be affected by this on the WaterRower Oxbridge.