Circuit Fitness AMZ-986RW-BT Magnetic Rower

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Circuit Fitness

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300 lbs20 lbsMagnetic,
8 levels

The Circuit Fitness AMZ-986RW-BT is the newer version of the AMZ-986RW. Although these two magnetic rowers basically have the same design and construction, the “BT” model features a different fitness monitor with fewer built-in features but with Bluetooth connectivity and compatible with the Kinomap fitness app.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 91L x 20.5W x 36H inches (231L x 52W x 91.4H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 93 lbs (42.1 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 20 lbs (9 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Footrests: Pivoting, with straps
  • Resistance type: Magnetic, 8 levels
  • Fitness monitor: Time, count, distance, RPM, calories, goals, Bluetooth
  • Warranty: 2 years limited

Frame construction

The Circuit Fitness AMZ-986RW-BT rowing machine features a steel frame with side aluminum covers for its main rail, and thermoplastic covers for the drive and resistance elements. All the steel parts are coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish, black in color. The covers of the drive system are also mostly black to match the rest of the rower.

The fully assembled machine is fairly large, especially lengthwise. It is approx. 91″ (231 cm) long, and 20.5″ (52 cm) wide, while its highest point is 36″ (91.4 cm). It is recommended, though, to allow at least two feet of clearance on each side of the unit and at its rear for ease of access and correct usage. The rail is long enough to accommodate users up to 6’5″ (196 cm) allowing a complete leg extension. It is also rated for a maximum user weight limit of 300 lbs (136 kg).

The rower is foldable. Its rail with the seat can be folded up to save some space. With the rail folded up, the machine’s length is reduced to 49″ (124 cm) while its height reaches 56.5 (143 cm).

The AMZ-986RW-BT rower is fairly heavy. With all the parts assembled, it weighs approx. 93 lbs (42.1 kg). This being said, the packaged unit may require two people. However, once it is assembled, it can easily be moved by only one person. Its front base stabilizer integrates a set of wheels that facilitate its relocation. Also, the rear stabilizer is equipped with two adjustable levelers.

Seat and other parts

The Circuit Fitness AMZ-986RW-BT rower is equipped with a mould-injected seat with a contoured top for improved comfort and breathability. It is also pretty large, approx. 16″ (40.6 cm) wide, and 10.5″ (26.6 cm) deep so it provides plenty of stability and contact surface.

The base of the seat is made of steel. It integrates three sets of wheels that slide through the grooves of the rail’s aluminum side tracks. They integrate sealed bearings for a smooth seat motion while their outer layer is made of high-density silicone rubber to reduce noise.

The machine’s rail is slanted forward. Therefore, the seat is slightly higher when it’s closer to the rear part of the rail. Its highest point is 16″ (40.6 cm) above floor level, and at its lowest point, it is approx. 12″ (30.5 cm) above floor level.

As opposed to the older AMZ-986RW rower, the Circuit Fitness AMZ-986RW-BT model features a set of fixed footrests. They do not pivot on their axis and are set at an angle of approx. 70°. Their base plates are steel-made while their top trays are made of durable thermoplastic material. They are adjustable, they feature heel guards and straps to keep your feet secured.

The rower’s pulling handle consists of a simple straight bar with rubber foam grips for maximum comfort. It’s attached to a heavy-duty nylon mesh strap which provides a smooth operation. The pulling handle does not integrate any controls or pulse sensors. However, the console of the machine does have a pulse reading function.

Drive and resistance

The Circuit Fitness AMZ-986RW-BT is a manual magnetic rower. This means you don’t need an adapter for it or an external power source. It also means that the resistance elements do not touch so the usage of the machine generates very little noise, as opposed to air resistance rowers or water resistance rowers.

The machine’s resistance system consists of a magnetic brake connected to the tension lever situated between the two footrests through a steel cable. If you pull the lever towards you (from the seated position), the brake will move closer to the flywheel which will increase the rowing difficulty. Conversely, if you press the lever forward, the magnets will move away from the flywheel which will decrease the workout load.

The brake has 8 tension levels. The first level delivers a fairly low rowing difficulty. The 8th level, although it provides distinguishably more resistance, it still doesn’t offer a super tough workout load. The internal flywheel is perimeter-weighted for improved motion stability. It is also fairly heavy; it weighs 20 lbs (9 kg) while for the previous model it only weighed 11 lbs (5 kg).

Since it does not have any air resistance or water resistance elements, the machine provides a constant rowing difficulty. In other words, the machine does not provide a dynamic response. This means that the rowing difficulty won’t increase if you row faster as its the case with a real boat or a water resistance rower, for example. But nonetheless, the machine still provides a pretty consistent, full-body workout.

Fitness monitor

As we’ve mentioned above, the Circuit Fitness AMZ-986RW-BT includes a fitness monitor with fewer built-in features than the older AMZ-986RW. However, it has Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with the Kinomap app. This app offers the possibility to track your workout history, offers various coaching videos, pre-set interval workouts, and more.

The unit itself features a fairly simple construction. It has an LCD display that tracks time, distance, RPM, stroke count, and calories burned. The distance is shown in miles and cannot be set to meters. There is no split time/500m function as is available on the older model. The unit can also track your pulse but the machine does not have any sensors, so in order for it to track your pulse, you will need to wear a wireless HR chest strap which is not included.

The monitor unit does not have pre-set workout programs but does have goal settings for time, distance, count, and calories. If a goal is selected, it will count down from the selected value until it reaches zero. It also has a Scan Mode which rotates all the workout metrics on the display, showing each one for 6 seconds.

The unit is very easy to use. It has three buttons – Mode, Set, and Reset. The Mode button allows you to select the workout metric that you want to view on the display or the Scan Mode. The Set button offers the possibility to select workout goals, and the Reset button clears all the values on the unit to zero. The monitor is battery-powered. It requires 2 AAA batteries which are not included. It also integrates a device holder.

Assembly and Maintenance

The front unit of the rower with the drive and resistance elements comes pre-assembled. However, you still have to assemble the rest of the parts. In other words, you will have to connect the rail to the front part of the rower, insert the seat onto the rail, add the rear stabilizer, the front stabilizer, the footrests, and the fitness monitor. This shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes of your time. All the necessary tools are included and the manual provides clear assembly instruction.

For maintenance, it is recommended to keep the machine clean, especially the aluminum tracks to prevent any damage to the seat wheels. The internal parts do not need any lubrication. It’s also recommended to periodically check for loose bolts and parts.

The Pros

  • Sturdy rail rated for a maximum user weight limit of 300 lbs;
  • Folding frame, space-saving design;
  • Transport wheels integrated into the front base;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
  • Mould-injected, large seat for optimal comfort;
  • Large, adjustable footrests with rear guards and straps;
  • Extremely quiet and smooth magnetic resistance system;
  • 8 levels of resistance, for light to medium workouts;
  • Fitness monitor included – it tracks time, distance, count, RPM, and calories burned;
  • Goal setting for time, distance, count, and calories;
  • Bluetooth connectivity and compatibility to the Kinomap app;
  • Device holder included;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • An HR chest strap for pulse monitoring is not included;
  • No pre-set programs;
  • No time/500m;
  • No backlight on the fitness monitor.


The Circuit Fitness AMZ-986RW-BT is a full-magnetic rower designed for home use. It is equipped with an 8-level manual magnetic resistance system, an extra-long rail, a large seat, and a fitness monitor with Bluetooth connectivity that is compatible with the Kinomap app. It’s a fitness machine that offers the possibility to perform a full-body cardio workout, tone muscles, develop stamina, and lose weight. It’s also considerably more affordable than a commercial-grade rower.

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