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Marcy NS-40503RW Rowing Machine

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Marcy NS-40503RW
marcy ns-40503rw - magnetic resistance rowing machine
Check Discounted Price
300 lbs66 lbsMagnetic,
8 levels
2 years

The Marcy NS-40503RW is one of the rowing machines in the budget category. It does not have a wide range of fancy features, it’s equipped with a basic console, and has a manual magnetic resistance system. However, it’s also priced under $300. Therefore, if you’re looking for an affordable cardio training fitness machine, this Marcy rower is definitely worth to put on your list.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 74.5L x 20W x 32H inches (189L x 51W x 81H cm)
  • Product weight: 66 lbs (30 kg)
  • Max. user weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Frame: Steel / aluminum
  • Footrests: With straps
  • Resistance type: Magnetic, 8 levels
  • Fitness computer: Basic
  • Warranty: 2 years limited

Frame and parts

Since it’s a machine with a magnetic resistance system, its whole frame is shorter than most other similar rowers with air resistance, such as the BodyCraft VR500 PRO or Sunny marcy ns-40503rw - folding rowerSF-RW5623. However, it still has a rather large footprint. When fully assembled, it’s 74.5″ (189 cm) long, and 20″ (51 cm) wide. On top of that, it requires at least two feet of clearance on each side and at the rear, for safe and unhindered operation.

On the other hand, the frame features a folding design. The gliding rail with the seat folds up at the connection point to the resistance mechanism, reducing the machine’s size by more than half. Also, this Marcy rowing machine is not too heavy, weighing only 66 lbs (30 kg) being easy to assemble and transport. But nonetheless, its front base integrates a set of plastic wheels, to facilitate its transport. The rear base is equipped with rotating polygonal caps, which serve as stabilizers.

The elements in the construction of the frame are a combination of steel and aluminum. The three base tubes along with the part of the frame on which the resistance mechanism is mounted, are made of steel. The beam on which the seat glides is made of aluminum, though. The construction of the machine also includes several PVC parts, which are the top of the seat, the pedals, base caps and the covers of the flywheel. However, most of the user’s weight is supported by the seat and the gliding beam, which are rated for a maximum capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg).

The aluminum beam of the seat is set at a slight angle, not completely horizontal. This marcy ns-40503rw - rower padded seatmeans the recovery part from the rowing motion is done a bit faster while pulling part offers a slightly higher burn for the leg muscles. The beam is long enough to accommodate users up to 6’5″ (195 cm).

The top of the rower’s seat is foam-padded and contoured, to provide maximum comfort. It’s approx. 16″ (40.6 cm) wide, offering excellent stability and adherence. It’s mounted on a steel frame which integrates 4 wheels with sealed ball bearings for smooth operation and a long lifespan.

The machine’s footrests are made of heavy-duty PVC material, featuring an anti-slip surface, and a heel guard for superior foot stability and positioning. On top of that, they’re equipped with adjustable foot straps. They’re large enough to accommodate sports shoes of all sizes.

Finally, the rower’s pulling handle is a short bar, covered by a sheet of rubber foam material, to provide a secure and comfortable grip. Since the machine features a magnetic resistance system, the pulling handle is attached to a durable nylon strap, not a chain.

Resistance system

As we’ve mentioned above, the Marcy NS-40503RW rowing machine features a manual magnetic resistance system. It consists of a metallic flywheel and a magnetic pad which is connected to the tension knob on top of the PVC casing via a steel wire. Therefore, whenns-40503rw marcy rowing machine - magnetic resistance you turn the knob clockwise, the magnetic element will come closer to the flywheel, increasing resistance. However, since the machine’s resistance is magnetic only, without any air resistance elements, such as the Marcy NS-6050RE or the SOLE SR500, the resistance delivered is constant, given by the selected tension level. It does not depend on how fast or how hard you pull.

This rowing machine offers 8 tension levels. It’s highest resistance levels don’t offer the resistance required by a professional rower. However, the machine does supply light to medium cardio workout possibilities, great for anyone who wants a full body workout.

The machine’s operation is smooth and quiet, suitable for apartment use. The flywheel is perimeter weighted, delivering a consistent momentum. Also, the machine features a belt transmission, integrating a heavy-duty, rubber v-belt.

Exercise meter

The fitness meter unit supplied with this rowing machine is somewhat similar to the one on the Marcy NS-40504U upright bike. It’s a basic unit which can track time, count, total count, and calories burned. It has a SCAN function which rotates these values, showing rower console - marcy ns-40503rw modeleach one on-screen for 4 seconds. It also offers goal setting functions for time, distance and calories. However, since it’s a basic unit and does not offer the possibility to input user data such as age, weight or height, the readings of calories are only estimative, not 100% accurate.

The fitness meter is quite easy to operate. It features three main buttons: SET, RESET, and MODE. MODE is the “navigation” button through the workout values, SET is used to set up goals for time, distance and calories, and RESET clears all the values to zero. The unit is automatically powered on when it detects seat movement, and will also automatically shut-down after 4 minutes of inactivity. It uses two 1.5V (AA) batteries, which are not included.

The console unit is mounted on an angle-adjustable support. It also integrates a tablet holder or reading rack.

Assembly and Maintenance

The most problematic parts of the machine, such as the flywheel, resistance elements, belt, and pulling handle come already assembled. All you have to do is add the front base tube, connect the gliding beam and the seat, the rear base stabilizer, the pedals and the console. This shouldn’t take more than an hour; it’s a simple and straightforward task, and the supplied manual provides pretty clear assembly instructions. All tools required for assembly are also included.

The internal parts of the machine shouldn’t require any maintenance for at least a few years of use. They come pre-lubricated from the factory. Therefore, the only maintenance recommended for this machine is keeping the gliding beam clear of any small objects or textile fibers that may cause damage to the wheels or the beam itself. Also, it’s recommended to check the bolts of the machine periodically and re-tighten them if it’s the case.

The Pros

  • Sturdy construction, able to support users up to 300 lbs;
  • Folding, space saving design;
  • Transport wheels integrated into the front base;
  • Extremely quiet and smooth magnetic resistance system;
  • 8 levels of resistance, for light to medium workouts;
  • Contoured, wide and foam-padded seat supplying excellent comfort;
  • Long gliding beam, which can accommodate users up to 6’5″;
  • Anti-slip footrests, with adjustable straps, for maximum foot stability;
  • Exercise meter included;
  • Tablet holder integrated into the console;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required. marcy ns-40503rw - magnetic rower

The Cons

  • A tablet placed on the media holder may cover the console display;
  • The console display doesn’t have backlight, so it may be harder to read in a darker room;
  • Batteries for the console not included;
  • The pulling strap will wear over time and may require replacement. However, it’s an inexpensive part and easy to replace.


The Marcy NS-40503RW is a magnetic rower, featuring a steel-aluminum construction, with a space-saving, folding design. Its construction is quite sturdy, being able to support users up to 300 lbs. Even though it’s an inexpensive rower, it does come with a fitness meter which keeps track of your strokes, workout time, and calories burned. It’s a rower for beginners and intermediate users, great for light to medium cardio workouts, recovery training, muscle toning and weight loss. In all, it’s an excellent rower for home use, offering decent value for the price.

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