Merax 330 lbs Capacity Magnetic Rower

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Merax MS194970BAA

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330 lbs65 lbsMagnetic,
8 levels

So far, Merax has released several magnetic rowers. In this post, we’re going to address the one with the part number MS194970BAA. This is one of the rowing machines released in the second part of 2020, and as the title suggests, it has a weight capacity of 330 lbs (150 kg).

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 74L x 18.7W x 29.5H inches (188L x 47W x 75H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 65 lbs (29.4 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 330 lbs (150 kg)
  • Frame: Steel and aluminum
  • Footrests: Pivoting
  • Resistance type: Manual magnetic, 8 levels
  • Performance monitor: Time, count, total count, calories burned

Frame construction

The Merax MS194970BAA rower combines steel, aluminum, and thermoplastic parts in its construction. Most of the frame is made of steel tubing but the sliding rail has two sheets of extruded aluminum on the sides for a smoother seat motion. The covers of the drive system and several other small parts are made of durable thermoplastic material.

All the steel parts in the rower’s construction are coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish. The colors used are gray and black, these being the only colors available for this version. The plastic covers of the resistance mechanism combine gray, yellow, and black panels for improved overall aesthetics.

The fully assembled rower is fairly large, especially lengthwise. It is approx. 74″ (188 cm) long, and 18.7″ (47 cm) wide. Also, its highest point from the floor reaches approx. 29.5″ (75 cm). It is recommended, though, to leave at least two feet of clearance all around the rower for ease of access.

This Merax magnetic rower is also foldable. The rail with the seat can be folded and locked in upright position. With the rail folded up, the machine’s footprint remains at 31.3″ x 18.7″ (79 x 47 cm), while its height reaches approx. 57″ (145 cm).

The machine’s rail is approx. 43.3″ (110 cm) long. The exact movement length of the seat is not specified, but since the footrests are placed a few inches in front of the rail, the machine should accommodate users with an inseam of at least 40″ (101 cm), or at least up to 6’6″ (198 cm). Also, the rail is solid enough to support users up to 330 lbs (150 kg).

The rower is not too heavy. Its net weight is approx. 65 lbs (29.4 kg). It is very easy to move as its front stabilizer features a set of transport wheels. Also, the rear stabilizer integrates two adjustable levelers.

Seat and other parts

The Merax MS194970BAA magnetic rower is equipped with a pretty standard seat, similar to the one included with the XTERRA ERG160, or the Circuit Fitness AMZ-167RW. It features a contoured top made of high-density foam material. It is not too hard but not too soft either. It is approx. 12″ (30 cm) wide, and 11″ (27 cm) long so it provides plenty of contact surface.

The base frame of the seat is made of steel for improved sturdiness. It integrates three sets of wheels. Two sets slide on top of the rail, the other underneath it for extra stability. They are all partially concealed by the side panels of the seat frame. The wheels features sealed ball bearings for a smooth seat motion while their outer coating is made of a material that reduces noise.

The rail is almost perfectly horizontal so the seat is basically at the same level at the rear and at the front. Its top is at approx. 14″ (35.5 cm) above floor level for easier entry and exit.

The machine’s footrests are made of durable thermoplastic material. They are not size-adjustable, but they’re pretty large so they can accommodate athletic footwear of all sizes. They have a textured surface, heel guards, and adjustable straps for improved foot stability.

The footrests have a pivoting design. This means they can slightly tilt on their axis in order to adapt to your foot motion throughout each stroke. They do have heel stoppers, though, so they won’t tilt backward part approx. 45° – 50°.

The rower’s pulling handle consists of a short straight bar with rubber foam grips for extra comfort. It’s attached to a heavy-duty nylon mesh strap which provides a smooth operation. The pulling handle does not integrate any pulse sensors or resistance adjustment controls.

Resistance system

The Merax MS194970BAA rower is equipped with a full-magnetic resistance system with manual action. Since the resistance adjustment is manual, the rower does not require an external power source; you don’t need an adapter for it. But on the other hand, it cannot adjust the resistance automatically and the integrated performance monitor does not have pre-set programs.

The resistance system is similar up to a point to the one of a magnetic upright exercise bike. It consists of a magnetic brake connected to the tension knob on the front unit of the machine through a steel wire. By turning the knob clockwise, the brake moves closer to the internal flywheel which adds resistance to the rowing motion.

The rower makes available 8 levels of resistance. The first level delivers a fairly light workout load, great for stamina development, muscle toning, and a prolonged workout. Conversely, the 8th level of resistance provides considerably more resistance, great for anyone who wants to push their limits or reach a high cardio rate in a very short period of time.

Since the machine’s resistance is full-magnetic and does not integrate any air resistance or water resistance elements, it does not provide a dynamic response. This means that the resistance does not depend on your stroke rate. For example, for an air resistance rower, the faster you pull, the more resistance you get. This is not the case for a magnetic rower. But nonetheless, this shouldn’t be an inconvenience. The machine provides a pretty consistent full-body cardio workout. It’s just that the rowing feel is not as close to rowing a real boat as it is for an air or water rower.

Last but not least, the machine generates almost no noise whatsoever during usage. Also, since the resistance elements do not touch, the brake should last for a time as it suffers virtually no wear and tear.

Performance monitor

This Merax rower is equipped with a basic performance monitor. It features an LCD display (without backlight) that tracks time, distance, strokes per minute, total strokes, and calories burned. Pulse is also specified on it, but the machine does not have any pulse sensors and so far no one has tested it with a wireless HR chest strap. If it can track pulse, it should sync with any telemetric 5.3 kHz HR chest strap (this accessory is not included).

The monitor unit is very easy to use. It only has one button. By pressing this button repeatedly, you can scroll through the workout metrics in order to select the ones that you want to view on the display. In the same way, you can select the Scan Mode which automatically rotates all the metrics showing each one for a few seconds. The button also has a Reset function. You can press it and hold it for a few seconds to clear all the values to zero.

The monitor unit is battery powered. It should start up when you press the button or when you begin rowing. It should also automatically turn off after a few minutes of inactivity on the machine.

Assembly and Maintenance

The front section of the rower with all the drive and resistance elements comes pre-assembled. However, there still are a few parts that require user assembly. You will have to attach the front stabilizing bar, insert the seat on the rail, connect the rail to the front part of the rower, connect the rear stabilizers, and attach the two footrests. The task is straightforward, it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes of your time, and the manual provides fairly clear assembly instructions. Also, all the necessary tools for assembly are included

For maintenance, it is recommended to keep the unit’s rail clean to prevent any damage to it or to the seat wheels. The internal parts do not require any lubrication. Other than this, you only have the periodically check for loose bolts and parts.

The Pros

  • Light-weight construction, easy to carry and handle;
  • Fairly sturdy rail – can support users up to 330 lbs (150 kg);
  • Fairly long rail – can accommodate users up to 6’6″;
  • Folding frame;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
  • Sturdy metallic seat frame with a contoured foam top for optimal comfort;
  • Pivoting footrests with straps and heel guards;
  • Smooth magnetic resistance system with 8 distinct levels;
  • Exercise meter included – it can track time, distance, count, strokes per minute, and calories burned;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • No device holder;
  • No goal setting function;
  • No backlight on the performance monitor.


The Merax MS194970BAA is a rowing machine designed for home use. It features an 8-level manual magnetic resistance system, a 43.3″ rail, a folding design, and basic performance monitor. It is also a fairly sturdy rower; can accommodate users up to 330 lbs. In all, it’s a fairly decent cardio trainer, offering the possibility to perform a full-body cardio workout, interval workouts, lose weight, and improve stamina.

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