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Merax Indoor Magnetic Rower MS037153BAA

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Merax MS037153BAA

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L:73"
W:16"
H:21"
264 lbs68 lbsMagnetic,
8 levels
Frame: 3 years
Parts: 180 days

The Merax MS037153BAA is a magnetic rower within the same price and feature range as the XTERRA ERG200 or the Efitment RW025. It’s an entry-level rower made for home use, but does have an excellent construction, an aesthetic design, and does offer the possibility to perform a decent, full-body cardio workout. It’s also one of the most affordable rowing machines with a magnetic resistance system. So, if you’re on a budget and looking for a well-built rower for your home gym setting, this Merax model is definitely worth to put on your list.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 73L x 16W x 21H (185L x 41W x 53H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 68 lbs (30.8 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 264 lbs (120 kg)
  • Frame: Steel
  • Resistance type: Magnetic, 8 levels
  • Console: Time, count, total count, calories, SCAN
  • Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 180 days

Frame construction and parts

The Merax rower MS037153BAA features a steel frame with a seat rail rated for a user weight capacity of 264 lbs (120 kg). All the steel parts in its construction feature a durable, corrosion-resistant powder finish. The covers of the flywheel, the footrests, and several other covers are made of ABS material.

This rowing machine is not extremely large compared to other models such as the LifeCore R90 or the Conquer AR5600, for example. With the frame fully assembled, it’s 73″ (185 cm) long, and approx. 16″ (41 cm) wide. Its rail is long enough, though, so the unit can accommodate users between 4’10” and 6’2″ (147 – 188 cm).

Like many other rowing machines for home use, this Merax model features a folding frame. Its rail can be folded and locked in vertical position. With the rail folded up the unit’s length is reduced to approx. 26″ (66 cm) while its height becomes 49″ (125 cm).

Although it features a steel construction, it’s not an extremely heavy fitness machine. It weighs approx. 68 lbs (30.8 kg), we weight that provides enough stability but it’s also not very difficult to move or handle. Plus, the unit’s front base integrates transport wheels which facilitate its relocation. Also, its rear base features two adjustable stabilizers, offering the possibility to perfectly level the unit on any type of flooring.

As opposed to other magnetic rowing machines, the rail of Merax MS037153BAA is not horizontal; it’s set at an angle of approx. 15°, a feature that comes with two main advantages. One, the recovery phase of the rowing motion is completed slightly faster, while during the “leg drive” motion you have to beat a little bit of gravity which results in a slightly more consistent workout for the legs.

The machine’s seat features a padded and contoured top, with a non-slip surface, which provides an excellent level of comfort. The seat’s frame is equipped with three sets of wheels which integrate ball bearings for a smooth operation. They’re also concealed to maximize safety during usage.

The footrests feature a pivoting design. In other words, they’re not directly welded onto the frame. They can tilt forward or backward on their main axis in order to provide the perfect position for your feed during each part of the rowing motion. They’re also equipped with adjustable velcro straps and heel guards, delivering maximum foot stability.

Last but not least, the unit’s pulling handle consists of a straight steel bar with rubberized grips for optimal comfort and hand adherence. The handle is attached to a heavy-duty nylon strap, so it doesn’t require any lubrication as a chain drive. Also, another one of the advantages of a strap over a chain is that you can perform side twists during rowing without any problem. A rower chain drive may jump off its gears if twisted.

Resistance system

The Merax MS037153BAA is a full magnetic rower. In other words, it doesn’t have any air resistance or water resistance elements. Its resistance system consists of a small magnetic brake attached to the tension dial on top of the front part of the machine through a steel cable. As you turn the dial, the brake element changes its position in relation the internal flywheel which results in a magnetic field intensity shift, and more or less resistance during rowing.

The machine’s resistance system is fully manual. This being said, you don’t have to connect the machine to a power circuit. Also, the unit’s console doesn’t play any role in the rower’s resistance adjustment.

The rower offers 8 distinct resistance levels. In case you’re wondering, the highest resistance level doesn’t supply the resistance required by a professional athlete. However, it does deliver light to medium cardio workout possibilities, great for anyone who wants a full body workout.

Since the unit doesn’t have any air resistance elements, its operation generates almost no noise. This makes the machine suitable for apartment use. The internal flywheel is not extremely heavy, but this weight is just enough to deliver a consistent momentum for rowing. It is also perimeter weighted, which results in very smooth and steady motion.

One last aspect to mention here regards the rowing feel provided by the machine. Since it’s a full-magnetic rower, the resistance doesn’t vary with how hard you pull as for an air resistance rower or water resistance rower. It remains constant, given by the selected tension level. So, this being said, the rowing feel is not completely “natural”. But nonetheless, the machine does provide quite a consistent cardio workout.

Exercise meter

This Merax rowing machine is equipped with a fitness meter that offers an extra feature over the average basic unit. This is the “Set” function which allows you to set up a countdown value for time, count, and calories burned. It features a fairly large LCD display which tracks time, count, (number of strokes), total count (total number of strokes), and calories burned.

The unit is not telemetric. It cannot track your pulse. Therefore, in case you need to keep an eye on your heart rate during exercising, you will have to use a separate device.

The meter unit is very easy to use. It has a Start/Stop button which allows you to pause your workout and resume it if necessary. The Set button is for selecting values for the time, count or calories. The Mode button allows you to toggle the unit’s SCAN function On & Off. With the SCAN function ON, the workout metrics are shown for several seconds each on the display. By pressing Mode, you can select any of the metrics to remain on the display all the time.

The unit is battery-powered. It also has a sleep mode to which will enter after a few minutes of inactivity on the machine. To start it up you can either begin rowing or press the Start/Stop button.

Assembly and Maintenance

The machine’s drive system comes pre-assembled and attached to the front part of the base frame. Therefore, you only need to attach the seat to its rail, connect the rail to the front part of the frame, and add the footrests and the base stabilizers. This shouldn’t take more than 30 min. The included manual provides very clear assembly instructions and a basic toolkit is included.

Maintenance doesn’t require much. It’s recommended to keep the unit’s rail clean, and periodically check for loose bolts and parts.

The Pros

  • Sturdy frame for a light rower – can support users up to 264 lbs;
  • Aesthetic and space-saving design;
  • Transport wheels integrated into the front base;
  • Rear adjustable stabilizers;
  • Quiet and smooth magnetic resistance system;
  • 8 levels of resistance, for light to medium workouts;
  • Ergonomic, padded seat for optimal comfort;
  • Pivoting footrests for a perfect foot position with each stroke;
  • The sliding beam can accommodate users up to 6’2″;
  • Exercise meter included – it can track time, count, total count, calories;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • No pulse tracking function;
  • No LED backlight on the meter.

Summary

The Merax MS037153BAA is an entry-level, full-magnetic rowing machine, featuring a basic fitness meter. It has a sturdy frame construction which can support users up to 264 lbs. Its frame is also foldable, offering better storage possibilities if necessary. Even though it’s not a professional rowing machine, it can still provide a very consistent full-body cardio workout. It’s a great trainer for muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss. And finally, it’s one of the most affordable magnetic rowers at the moment.

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