The Concept 2 rowers have always been regarded as some of the best rowing machines on the market, but the new Sole SR500 Rower, which first went on sale in 2014, looks to be every bit as impressive.
This new model costs roughly the same as the Concept 2 rowers and is clearly designed for serious rowers because it is quite a large machine that is exceptionally well-made, and offers a really effective workout that works the whole body.
So let’s take a closer look at this particular rowing machine and see how it stacks up against some of the top rowing machines currently on the market.
Features And Benefits Of The Sole SR500 Rower
- ultra smooth combination of air and magnetic resistance
- realistic rowing sensation
- strong durable frame
- 16 resistance levels
- 10 individual workout programs
- 5.5” LCD display
- track time, strokes, speed, distance, calories, pulse, etc
- high seated position for easy access
- offers full-body workout
- suitable for people of all heights
- can accommodate users up to 515 lbs
- can be folded away when not being used
- lifetime warranty on frame
- 3-year warranty on parts and electronics
This particular rowing machine weighs 115 lbs when fully assembled, and has dimensions (in inches) of 46 (H) x 94 (L) x 18 (W).
So this is clearly a strong, heavy duty machine that will take up quite a lot of room in your home, although it can be folded away when it is not being used.
There are several reasons why you should consider buying this Sole SR500 Rowing Machine.
To begin with, this is a very well-made machine that should last you many years without any kind of problems because it has a very strong aluminium rail that can handle anyone up to 515 lbs (and can accommodate people of all heights), and it has a durable belt drive that requires no maintenance at all.
Furthermore this belt drive system uses a combination of air and magnetic resistance, which ensures that the workout itself is smooth and reasonably quiet, and provides a very realistic rowing sensation.
It is also worth mentioning the display unit because this Sole SR500 comes with a 5.5” two-color LCD display that is positioned right in front of you so that you can read it very easily when you are working out, and displays lots of useful data.
For instance, you can monitor your 500m time, total time, strokes per minute, total strokes, speed, distance and calories burned. Plus you can also track your pulse rate because this machine comes with a free wireless chest strap.
With regards to the actual workout, you will get a really effective workout when you use this machine because it will work all of your main muscle groups, such as your abs, arms, back and legs, for example, and you should find that with 16 resistance levels and 10 pre-set workout programs (including interval and heart training programs), it will provide you with more than enough workout options.
In addition, the seat is quite high off the ground, which means that it is very easy to get on and off, and is particularly beneficial if you have any kind of mobility problems.
Finally, it is worth pointing out that this Sole SR500 machine is very easy to assemble, with many people reporting that it took them about 25-30 minutes on average, and comes with a generous lifetime warranty on the frame and a 3-year warranty on parts and electronics should anything go wrong.
I guess the biggest drawback is the price because at the time of writing, this model is slightly more expensive than the Concept 2 Model D Rower, which is the one that you are most likely to find in your local gym, and is the one favored by many professional rowers because it really is an exceptional machine.
Plus one or two people have complained that they were unable to fold it away, and even if you do manage to figure out how the fold design works, it still appears to take up quite a lot of space judging by the photo to the right.
On the whole, though, if you read some of the customer reviews on Amazon, you will see that this Sole SR500 rower has received a lot of positive reviews so far, and appears to be a top quality machine based on build quality and performance.
If you are looking to buy a high performance rowing machine for your home, then the Sole SR500 Rower is definitely worth considering because as I have already mentioned, it provides you with a great full-body workout, offers 16 resistance levels to challenge people of all fitness levels, and has 10 workout programs to give you targets to aim for during your workouts.
Plus it is also a heavy duty rower that should withstand regular use without any problems thanks to its solid construction and maintenance-free drive belt, and is very easy to get on and off thanks to its high seat height.
If you are torn between this one and the Concept 2 machines, for example, I personally would suggest that you buy the Concept 2 Model D rower, or consider paying a little extra for the Concept 2 Model E if you want the extra seat height that this one provides, simply because I have used both of these machines myself and would recommend them to anyone, whereas I haven’t yet had the chance to test this one out myself.
However I’m sure the Sole SR500 would still be a great investment because it has received a lot of positive customer feedback so far.