Marcy ME-1018RE Magnetic Rower

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Marcy ME-1018RE

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250 lbs66 lbsMagnetic,
8 levels

Although the Marcy ME-1018RE is not exactly one of the newest rowers, it still is available at the moment. It’s one of the machines in the same series as the Marcy ME-1016U upright bike, and the Marcy ME-1019R recumbent bike. It’s a full-magnetic rower designed for home use.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 72L x 20W x 32H inches (183L x 51W x 81H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 66 lbs (30 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs (113 kg)
  • Frame: Steel & aluminum
  • Resistance type: Magnetic, 8 levels
  • Console: Time, RPM, count, distance, calories, goals, scan
  • Warranty: Frame 2 years

Frame construction

The Marcy ME-1018RE magnetic rower combines steel, aluminum, and ABS plastic parts in its construction. Most of the structural frame parts are made of steel with the exception of the slide rail; the core of the slide rail is steel-made while its side sections are made of aluminum alloy for a smoother seat movement. The front unit of the machine which holds the drive and resistance elements features ABS covers.

All the steel parts of the structural frame are coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish black in color. The side aluminum beams of the main sliding rails don’t have any paint finish but they’re highly resistant to corrosion anyway.

The fully assembled machine is approx. 72″ (183 cm) long, and 20″ (51 cm) wide. This being said, it takes quite a bit of space, especially lengthwise, so it may not fit too well into a small room. Plus, it is recommended to allow at least two feet of clearance at the rear and on each side of it, for ease of access and unhindered usage.

On the other hand, the machine’s frame is foldable. The rail with the seat can be folded up. With the rail folded, the machine’s dimensions become approx. 37″L x 20″W x 46″H (94L x 51W x 117H cm).

The machine’s sliding rail is approx. 45″ (115 cm). This being said, the machine can accommodate users up to 6’4″ (193 cm) allowing a complete leg extension. It’s rated for a maximum user weight capacity of 250 lbs (113 kg). It’s also important to mention that the rail is not horizontal. It has an incline of a few degrees. This type of rail setup results in a slightly better workout for the legs and a faster recovery motion.

Last but not least, the rear stabilizer of the rower features rotating plastic caps which can serve as levelers. Also, the front base bar is equipped with small wheels that facilitate the rower’s relocation once it is assembled.

Seat and other parts

The Marcy ME-1018RE rower is equipped with a pretty standard seat. Its top is contoured and integrates a layer of high-density foam padding to reduce the impact on your tailbone. It’s also fairly large, 13.5″ (34.29 cm) wide, and 10″ (25.4 cm) long, so it provides plenty of contact surface.

The seat’s base frame is metallic, so it can support users up to 250 lbs (113 kg) with no problem. It is equipped with two sets of wheels that slide through the aluminum side grooves of the rail. The wheels integrate high-grade sealed ball bearings for a smooth motion, while their outer layer is rubberized to minimize noise.

This Marcy rower is equipped with pivoting footrests. This means they can tilt forward on their axis in order to adapt better to your movement during each stroke. Of course, they have heel stoppers so they won’t tilt past approx. 75°.

The two footrests are large enough to accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. They feature heel guards and adjustable straps for maximum foot stability.

The machine’s pulling handle consists of a short straight bar. It does not integrate any resistance controls or pulse sensors like the more expensive, commercial rowers. Its grips are rubberized, though, for improved comfort.

The pulling handle is attached to a heavy-duty, abrasion-resistant nylon strap. This being said, it generates less vibration during rowing than a chain. It also doesn’t require lubrication.

Resistance system

The Marcy ME-1018RE features a full-magnetic resistance system with manual action. This means it does not require a power adapter or an external power source. But on the other hand, its console does not have preset programs and cannot adjust the resistance automatically.

The machine’s resistance system consists of a magnetic brake which is attached to the tension knob on the front unit. By turning the knob to the right, the magnetic brake moves closer to the flywheel and increases the rowing difficulty.

The rower makes available 8 tension levels, similar to the Marcy NS-6002RE. The 8th tension level doesn’t deliver an extreme rowing load. However, it does provide a pretty consistent full-body cardio workout. Of course, the lowest tension levels provide a fairly light rowing difficulty.

It’s important to mention that since the machine’s resistance mechanism is magnetic and does not integrate any air resistance or water resistance elements, it doesn’t provide a dynamic response during rowing. Differently put, the resistance is generated only by the magnetic brake. It does not increase if you pull faster. This shouldn’t influence the consistency of the workout. However, the rowing feel is not as close to the rowing of a real boat, as it is the case for water resistance rowers or air rowers.


As we’ve mentioned above, the Marcy ME-1018RE rower has a manual magnetic resistance system. Therefore, the console cannot automatically adjust the resistance. It does not have preset programs, and it isn’t compatible with any online fitness apps. It features an LCD display (without backlight) that tracks time, count, total count, and calories burned. It does not have a pulse reading function.

The console features three buttons – Mode, Set, and Reset. The Set button allows you to enter setup mode and select a goal for time, count, and calories burned. If a goal is selected for any of these metrics, the console will show the remaining value until you reach zero and complete your goal.

The Mode button gives you the possibility to scroll through the workout values and select the one that you want to view on the display. You can also select the Scan Mode which rotates all the values, showing each one for 6 seconds. And finally, the Reset button clears all the values on the console to zero.

The unit requires 2 AA batteries as its power source, which are not included. It starts up when you begin rowing and also automatically shuts off if it doesn’t detect any activity on the machine for four minutes.

Two other notable features with regards to the console that we must mention here are the mount and the device holder. The mount allows angle-adjustment for the console. Therefore, you can set it to an appropriate position to your height so you can view the workout data better. The device holder consists of a small folding shelf integrated at the bottom of the unit which can support your tablet or your smartphone. The console does not have USB or other connection ports for your device.

Assembly and Maintenance

The front unit of the rower with all the drive and resistance elements comes pre-assembled. You only have to attach the front base bar, the footrests, connect the rail to the front unit, insert the seat on the rail, and close it with the rear stabilizers. The console also requires assembly and cable connection. The whole task shouldn’t take more than an hour. The manual offers pretty clear, step-by-step assembly instructions and illustrations. Also, all the necessary tools for the task are included.

For maintenance, it is recommended to keep the rail clean to prevent any damage to the wheels. Other than this, you only have to keep the machine clean and periodically check for loose parts. The internal parts don’t require any lubrication.

The Pros

  • Sturdy frame for a home-use machine – can hold users up to 250 lbs;
  • Folding rail and aesthetic design;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
  • Large, padded seat for improved comfort;
  • Fairly long rail – can accommodate users up to 6’4″;
  • Pivoting footrests with adjustable straps;
  • Quiet magnetic resistance with 8 distinct levels;
  • Exercise meter included – it tracks time, count, total count, and calories burned;
  • Goal settings for time, count, and calories;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • No pulse reading function;
  • No backlight on the fitness meter.


The Marcy ME-1018RE is a standard manual-magnetic rower made for home use. It features a sturdy rail with a user weight limit of 250 lbs, 8 levels of magnetic resistance, a fairly large and padded seat, and an exercise meter that tracks time, count, t-count, and calories burned. Also, its rail can be folded up to save space. It’s a fairly decent trainer for a full-body cardio workout, stamina development, muscle toning, and weight loss.

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