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HouseFit Skyline R50 Magnetic Rower

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UnitSizeSupported
weight
WeightResistancePerformance
monitor
HouseFit R50

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L:64.4"
W:21.3"
H:31.3"
300 lbs61.7Magnetic,
15 levels
Time,
Distance,
Count,
Total
count,
Calories,
Scan

The Skyline R50 is one of the HouseFit rowers released in 2020. It’s a full-magnetic rower and as opposed to many other models with a magnetic resistance system, it makes available 15 difficulty levels rather than 8. It also has a different design than the average rower in this feature range.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 64.4L x 21.3W x 31.3H inches (164L x 54W x 79H cm)
  • Shipping weight: 61.7 lbs (28 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Frame: Steel & aluminum
  • Resistance type: Manual magnetic, 15 levels
  • Console: Time, count, total count, distance, calories, scan
  • Extras: Device holder
  • Warranty: 1 year limited

Frame construction

The HouseFit Skyline R50 rowing machine combines aluminum, steel, and ABS plastic material in its construction. Its main sliding rail is made of extruded aluminum, the base frame, the stabilizers, and the console arms are made of steel tubing, while the covers of the resistance system are made of durable plastic material. All the steel parts in the machine’s construction feature a durable, corrosion-resistant paint finish, black in color. The rail is not painted; it has its natural aluminum polish. The covers of the drive system are black and light gray to match the rest of the machine.

The HouseFit R50 magnetic rower is slightly smaller than other models. It is only 64.4″ (164 cm) long, and 21.3″ (54 cm) wide. However, its rail is long enough to accommodate users with an inseam up to 43″ (109 cm), or differently put, users up to 6’5″ (196 cm). Also, the machine’s rail system and base frame are rated for a maximum user weight capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg) which is quite great for a home-use rower.

The fully assembled machine is not too heavy either. It weighs less than 61 lbs. (27.6 kg). Therefore, it can be carried and assembled by only one person.

Two important features to mention here which are pretty specific to this rower, are the shock absorption element at the front of the rail and the large rear stabilizer system. The shock absorption element is similar to the ones on treadmills. It is designed to reduce the impact on the lower back during rowing. The large rear base system provides superior stability for the machine featuring four anti-slip rubber pads. Plus, the rower also has a small adjustable leveler under the resistance unit, while its front base integrates small transport wheels.

The rower does not have a folding frame, like the Women’s Health Men’s Health 1638 model, for example. However, it can be stored vertically. In storage position, its footprint becomes 29″L x 21.3″W (74 x 54 cm).

One last aspect to mention here regards the position of the rail. The HouseFit R50 features a slightly inclined rail. This design comes with two main advantages. One, the rower provides a better workout for the legs. And two, the recovery part from the rowing motion is a bit faster.

Seat and other parts

The HouseFit Skyline R50 is equipped with a pretty standard seat. It’s top is made of high-density foam featuring a contoured surface for optimal comfort. It is approx. 12.5″ (32 cm) wide so it provides plenty of contact surface. Its base is steel-made and integrates two sets of wheels. The wheels are guarded by the sides of the seat frame and slide through the grooves of the rail for improved safety. They are equipped with high-grade ball bearings and have an outer rubber layer to minimize noise.

As we’ve mentioned above, the rower’s rail is inclined forward. Therefore, the seat is higher from the floor when extended all the way to the rear. The maximum height of the seat is approx. 14″ (~35 cm).

The HouseFit R50 rower is equipped with a set of large footrests, made of durable thermoplastic material. They have a non-slip surface, heel guards, and adjustable straps for maximum foot stability. They have a pivoting design. This means they can swivel on their axis so you can slightly adjust the position of your feet during each stroke. They also have stoppers at the rear so they won’t incline backward more than an angle of approx. 70°.

The machine’s pulling handle is attached to a durable, abrasion-resistant nylon strap. This being said, it generates less vibration during rowing than a chain. It also doesn’t require lubrication. Since it’s a pretty basic machine, the handle doesn’t integrate pulse sensors or resistance controls. Its grips are covered by a layer of urethane material and are also textured for an improved grip.

Resistance system

The HouseFit Skyline R50 rower is equipped with a full-magnetic resistance system similar up to a point to the resistance systems of upright bikes. The resistance system is manual. Therefore, you don’t need to connect your rower to a power source. But on the other hand, the included performance monitor cannot automatically change the resistance and does not have pre-set workout programs.

The machine’s resistance system consists of a magnetic brake connected to the tension dial on the main unit casing. By turning this tension dial, the brake changes its position in relation to the internal flywheel which adds or reduces the overall rowing difficulty.

There are 15 difficulty levels on the rower’s tension dial. The first three levels are great for a workout warm-up or for stress relief. The middle tension levels (4-10) are great to use during a prolonged and constant cardio workout, while the top 13-15 tension levels offer a pretty high resistance output, perfect for high-intensity workouts.

Similar to other full-magnetic rowers, the HouseFit Skyline R50 does not offer a dynamic response during rowing. This means that the resistance remains constant throughout the rowing motion; it only depends on the selected resistance level and not on how fast or hard you pull the handle as it is the case for water resistance rowers or air resistance rowers. This detail may only matter for a professional athlete, though, as they may need a stationary rowing experience as close as possible to rowing a real boat. But even without the dynamic response, this rower does provide a pretty consistent cardio workout.

Since the rower does not have any air resistance elements or water resistance elements, it generates almost no noise during rowing. Also, since its internal brake is magnetic, the resistance elements do not touch so the wear-and-tear of the brake is almost non-existent.

Performance monitor

As we’ve mentioned above, the HouseFit R50 does not have any pre-set workout programs and cannot adjust the resistance automatically. Differently put, it is equipped with a pretty basic performance monitor.

The unit features a large LCD display (without backlight). It tracks the most important workout metrics, including time, distance, stroke count, total strokes, and calories burned. The unit does not have a pulse reading function. Therefore, you cannot sync it with a wireless HR chest strap.

The monitor unit is fairly easy to use. Its MODE button gives you the possibility to scroll through the workout metrics and select the one that you want to view on the display. It also has a scan mode; when the scan function is selected, the monitor rotates all the values showing each one for a few seconds. The MODE button also has a reset function. You can press and hold it for a few seconds to clear all the values to zero.

The monitor unit is battery-powered and the batteries are included. It starts up when you press the button or when you pull the handle. It also automatically turns off after a few minutes of inactivity on the rower to save battery.

Assembly and Maintenance

Although the machine’s functioning mechanism comes pre-assembled and attached to the front part of the frame, the rest of the parts do require user assembly. You will have to attach the seat to the main rail, connect the rail to the frame, add the base stabilizers, the footrests, the performance monitor, and several small covers. The task is pretty straightforward and shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes of your time. Also, all the necessary tools for the assembly are included.

The machine’s maintenance doesn’t require much. You only have to keep it clean, especially the rail, to prevent any damage to the seat rollers. The internal parts shouldn’t require any maintenance or lubrication for a long period of time.

The Pros

  • Sturdy frame for home-use machine – can support users up to 300 lbs;
  • Aesthetic design;
  • Can be stored vertically;
  • Thick aluminum rail with a front shock absorption element;
  • Large rear stabilizer with 4 non-slip pads;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Padded and contoured seat for optimal comfort;
  • Pivoting footrests for a perfect foot position with each stroke;
  • Fairly long rail – can accommodate users up to 6’6″;
  • Quiet and smooth magnetic resistance system;
  • 15 levels of resistance (many other magnetic rowers only offer 8);
  • Performance monitor included – it tracks time, distance, stroke count, total strokes, and calories burned;
  • Device holder included;
  • Batteries for the console are included;
  • Tools for the assembly are included;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • No pulse reading function;
  • No backlight on the performance monitor.

Summary

The HouseFit Skyline R50 is a magnetic rower made for home use. It offers 15 tension settings, it features a long aluminum rail with a front shock absorption element and includes a large, ergonomic seat. It is also equipped with a performance monitor that tracks time, distance, strokes, total strokes, and calories. It’s an excellent machine for a full-body cardio workout, stamina development, and weight loss.

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