The Nordictrack RW700 and a review of the things that will frustrate you owning the machine.
We will be giving a true Nordictrack rower review so you have a great look at what you are getting into with the RW700 rower. After owning a variety of high end exercise equipment from a variety of companies, let’s take a look at Nordictracks latest entry into rowing machine category.
- Super Quiet
- Bluetooth Compatible with Headphone
- iFit Integration and Workout Control
- Price Can Be Brought Down (more on that later)
- Poor Quality Control
- Unique Tools Needed for Repair
- Expensive Warranty Extension That You Will Need
- Large Price Jump for Increase in Screen Size to the RX900
Nordictrack Rower Review
If you have spent anytime online researching Nordictrack fitness equipment you have seen negative post in social media. A quick search will result in a good collection of threads on Facebook and inside Reddit groups. You’ll find a good amount of individuals expressing frustration with the machines. Which goes against the high rating you see from most publications and the actual Nordictrack website.
Before we get too far though, I want to tell you about myself so you know I am familiar to fitness equipment. As an endurance coach and former bike shop manager I have seen my fair share of fitness equipment and repaired more of it than I would have liked to in the past. So let’s take a look at the Nordictrack rower review.
Opening and Assembly
The RW700 rower came within a week but when they dropped it off it was immediately noticeable the box had been opened before. While concerning, took a picture to document it before continuing, a good idea to make sure the if an issue came up there was proof. Everything inside was still unopened so continued on.
The rower goes together quickly and can be put together easily by one person. The Nordictrack rower comes in a surprisingly small box thanks to its ability to be stored away so neatly. Assembly won’t take you much more than 15 minutes. Most of that time will be spent finding the correct size socket to install the last two bolts for the stabilization legs.
First Use of the Rower
Once the unit was setup and ready to go it didn’t take but 2 minutes of use to discover it had serious issues immediately. The rower was making a terrible metal on metal grinding noise. Immediately thoughts of the Nordictrack X22i that came last year broken out of the box came to mind. Within a year that unit has gone through two mother boards and needed the fans replaced. History appeared to be repeating itself already.
At this point it was time to disassemble the entire shields covering the fans to see what was happening inside. As you start to remove the screws it will become apparent that the screws are not all the same. Keep them organized while removing them. If you do not, it will not go back together properly. There are also more screws holding it together than you think, so keep looking for more if the cover doesn’t easy come off. With the covers off it didn’t take long to diagnose the right fan wheel was dragging on the resistance magnet. The issue was the fan wheel was warped and not “true.”
To remove that fan wheels you will need a “crank puller” from a bike shop. The chances of someone owning this tool are zero and finding a bike shop that has one in stock for sell are probably the same. So be prepared to order one or have your local bike shop get you one on order.
Once in contact with the support staff, the replacement fan wheel shipped out but not before video proof had to be sent to them. Even with “expedited” shipping it took around 7 days for the part to show up. Once here got it installed and immediately the exact same problem! They had sent another warped fan wheel. So we had to repeat the process over again to get another one coming. Call, wait on hold, send proof of serial number, and then send a video proving the issue. Another week later another fan wheel at the door. This time it actually worked.
Once the machine was operational, after weeks of sitting around broken, we were shocked at how quiet the machine is. The ability to pair your headphones to the machine make getting in a morning workout a breeze without waking the rest of the house. You can also rotate the monitor around to easily see the screen for off the rower workouts. However, you are going to pay a premium for the larger screen on the RX900 just for a few more inches on the screen.
Getting a Deal on the Rower
Before making a purchase from Nordictrack you should automatically chat with the sales staff and ask for a discount. They will immediately offer 3-5% off, free shipping and usually a deal on the extended warranty. Have them create a cart for you and send the link to your email. Once you have that in your inbox it is time to go on the hunt. They will try to tell you how in demand the item is and you need to check out quickly but ignore that. If you take your time you can find 30% off promo codes on Reddit and other forums. They are easiest to find after the Boston Marathon as they are an official sponsor of the event and hand them out then. You can also simply ask in forums if anyone has one they are willing to give away. I was able to secure one by finding a mega thread that including 100+ codes and just worked my way down the list until one worked.
Then apply that discount code to the cart from the sales rep. This brought the machines price down to $920 compared to the normal $1300 price. So if you are patient you can save hundreds of dollars if you are still interested after reading this Nordictrack rower review.
Overall Nordictrack Rower Review
Our overall view of the RW700 is much like that of many other Nordictrack machines, it’s great when it works! However, be prepared to have down time and spend evenings repairing it. If you can get it 20-30% off the Nordictrack rower is worth it but we would give it a hard pass at full price!