Octane Fitness Ro Rowing Machine

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Octane Fitness Ro

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350 lbs129Air &
10 levels
6 programs,

The Octane Fitness Ro is one of the rowing machines released in 2019. It’s a commercial-grade rower featuring a dual resistance system (air & magnetic). In terms of features, it can be compared with the ASUNA Windmill 8570 from Sunny Health & Fitness, but its magnetic brake is manual, even though its console is self-powered.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 94L x 24W x 47H inches (239L x 61W x 119H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 129 lbs (58 kg)
  • Supported weight: 350 lbs (159 kg)
  • Footrests: Adjustable, non-pivoting
  • Resistance: Air & magnetic, 10 resistance levels
  • Console: Time, time/500m, distance, calories, watts, strokes, strokes/min, pulse, digital tachometer, 6 programs, Bluetooth
  • Warranty: Frame 10 years / Parts 3 years / Labor 1 year

Frame construction

The Octane Fitness Ro rower combines steel and ABS plastic parts in its construction. Needless to say, its main frame is made of heavy-duty steel tubing. The casing of the fan and the other drive and resistance elements is made from ABS plastic. The unit’s rail features a thick stainless steel plate on top for a smooth seat motion and for overall reinforcement.

All the steel parts in the machine’s construction feature a durable, corrosion-resistant paint finish. The stainless steel cover of the rail is not painted. The main color used for the frame is black, this being the only color available for this rower. The ABS covers of the resistance system are also black, with an orange circle on each side for an extra aesthetic touch.

The machine is pretty large, similar to the Concept2 rowers. With all the parts assembled, it is approx. 94″ (239 cm) long, and 24″ (61 cm) wide. It is also recommended to allow at least two feet of clearance on each side and at the rear of the rail for easy access and correct usage. The rail itself is 53″ (135 cm) long, so the machine should be able to accommodate users up to 6’5″ (196 cm) with no problem.

The rail does not fold as is the case for other similar machines. However, you can store the rower vertically, resting on its front base. In its vertical, storage position, its height is approx. 93″ (237 cm), so it won’t fit in a room with a 7-foot ceiling.

The rower is also pretty heavy. Its net weight is 129 lbs (58 kg). Therefore, the packaged unit requires two people or at least a box trolley. However, once it is assembled, it can easily be moved by only one person as its front frame bars are equipped with transport wheels. Also, the rear stabilizer features two adjustable levelers.

Seat and other parts

The Octane Ro rowing machine is equipped with a large seat, designed for superior comfort. It is approx. 14″ (38 cm) wide, so it provides plenty of contact surface. Its top integrates a layer of padding and it is also contoured. Its height is approx. 17″ (43 cm) for easy entry and exit.

The base of the seat is steel made with ABS side covers. It integrates three sets of wheels. Two of them slide on top of the rail, while the third slides under the edges of the stainless steel plate cover for extra stability. The wheels are rubberized and have internal ball bearings for a smooth motion.

It’s also important to mention here that the rail not perfectly horizontal. It is inclined by 1-2 degrees. Therefore, the machine provides a slightly better workout for the legs, during the push phase. Also, both the seat and the rail are pretty sturdy, rated for a maximum user weight limit of 350 lbs (159 kg).

The rower is equipped with an ergonomic pulling handle featuring a multi-grip design with swivelling side grips. These offer the possibility to execute a side rowing motion similar to rowing a single oar canoe. The pulling handle comes already attached to a heavy-duty maintenance-free nylon strap highly resistant to abrasion.

The rower is equipped with a set of large footrests. They’re made mostly from ABS material with metallic hardware. They feature a textured surface and adjustable straps with quick-release clips. They are also size-adjustable and large enough to accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes.

The angle of the footrests is non-adjustable. They’re set at an angle of approx. 45° in order to provide a comfortable foot positioning and consistent support.

Resistance system

The Octane Fitness Ro rowing machine combines air resistance with magnetic resistance. First of all, its front unit integrates a large flywheel-fan which spins inside its casing when you pull the handle. However, its casing does not have a damper like the Concept2 rowers, so you cannot adjust the air resistance.

But nonetheless, the air resistance provides a dynamic response. In other words, if you stroke at a faster rate, the flywheel-fan also spins faster and generates more resistance. This leads to a rowing sensation similar to rowing a real boat.

The magnetic resistance comes to double-down the air resistance. The rower is equipped with a magnetic brake and a small internal metallic flywheel. The brake is connected to the tension lever at the base of the pulling handle rack. If you press it down (forward), the magnetic brake moves closer to the metallic flywheel which increases the rowing difficulty.

It’s important to mention, though, that the magnetic resistance is not motorized. Therefore, the console cannot automatically adjust the resistance. However, the console does detect the resistance level and will adjust the calorie consumption accordingly.

The unit’s magnetic brake offers 10 difficulty settings. With the brake at the lowest difficulty level, you will basically work only with the resistance provided by the fan. This is great especially if you want to undergo a fast-paced training session. Conversely, with the brake set to its maximum level, the machine provides quite a challenge even to the most seasoned user.


The Octane Fitness Ro rower includes a multi-function console. To begin with, it features a 7-inch display with LED backlight. Its display is divided into multiple sub-sections in order to show as many workout metrics as possible at once. It tracks time, time/500m, strokes, strokes per minute, calories, distance, pulse, and watts. Its top section features a digital tachometer that indicates calories burned per minute. Under this section, the display also shows the interval counter and the resistance level; as we’ve mentioned above, the console detects the selected resistance level on the magnetic brake.

Distance is shown in meters and cannot be set to yards or miles. The pulse reading function requires you to wear a Bluetooth heart rate chest strap (ANT+ or Polar work as well). This accessory is not included, though, and without it, the console cannot read your pulse as the machine does not have any grip sensors.

The console offers 6 workout programs. These are Quick Start, Max 14 Interval, Interval, Calorie Goal, Distance Goal, and Max Circuit. The Quick Start program is the standard program; if in use, the console simply tracks your data. The Max 14 Interval program is set for 25 / 80 seconds. Its default duration is 14 min, but you can also set it to 3.5 min, 7 min, 21 min, or 28 min. The Interval program allows you to customize the work/rest intervals, with a default time of 0:30 min.

The Calorie Goal and Distance Goal programs are similar. They allow you to set a target for calories or distance to complete during your workout. Once a target is set, the console counts down from the selected value as you exercise. And finally, the Max Circuit program is an instructor-led program, without user-defined intervals or goals.

It’s also important to mention here that the console does not connect to the Octane Fitness app via Bluetooth. It is also not compatible with any fitness apps.

As we’ve mentioned above, the machine’s console is self-powered. The rower integrates a small generator that provides sufficient energy from your rowing to power up the console. However, the unit also works with an optional power supply with an Input: 100-240V AC, 50/60 Hz / Output: 15V DC, 0.4A Maximum.

Assembly and Maintenance

The machine’s front unit with all the drive and resistance elements comes pre-assembled. However, you will still have to attach the two front base stabilizers, the rail, the rear stabilizer, the seat, the footrests, the console, and several small covers. This may take more than one hour, but the process is pretty straightforward and the manual provides clear assembly instructions. You can also find assembly videos online for this particular Octane rower.

Once the machine is assembled, you don’t have to worry too much about maintenance. The internal parts shouldn’t require any maintenance or lubrication. So, basically, you only have to keep the unit clean, especially the rail, and periodically check for loose parts.

The Pros

  • Sturdy frame – can support users up to 350 lbs;
  • Aesthetic design;
  • Can be stored vertically;
  • Transport wheels for easy relocation;
  • Adjustable levelers on the rear base stabilizer;
  • Large, padded, and contoured seat;
  • Adjustable footrests with quick release clips;
  • Air resistance for a dynamic response;
  • 10 levels of magnetic resistance for overall tension adjustability;
  • Self-generating mechanism for powering the console;
  • Advanced console unit – it tracks time, time/500m, SPM, total strokes, watts, distance, calories, and pulse;
  • The console detects the magnetic resistance setting and adjusts the calorie reading accordingly;
  • Digital tachometer function;
  • 6 workout programs;
  • The console is compatible with Bluetooth and ANT+ heart rate transmitters;
  • Smooth and quiet operation;
  • Tools for assembly are included;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • Only metric units for distance;
  • An HR chest strap or armband is not included.


The Octane Fitness Ro is a commercial-grade rowing machine. It is equipped with an air and magnetic resistance system with 10 levels. It features a long and sturdy rail, a comfortable seat, adjustable footrests, and an advanced console with 6 workout programs. In all, it’s a heavy-duty machine, great for a full-body cardio workout, and for users of all levels.

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