Schwinn Crewmaster Magnetic Rowing Machine

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Schwinn Crewmaster

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300 lbs90Manual
10 lvls

The Crewmaster is the first rowing machine model from Schwinn, released in 2017. It’s a mid-range rower with manual magnetic resistance, similar to the Kettler R220 or the XTERRA ERG200, but has a sturdier construction than these models, and a longer rail. Differently put, its frame construction is similar to the durability of a commercial grade machine. However, this rower costs quite a few $100s less than a commercial model.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 93.1L x 21.1W x 37.1H inches (236.5L x 53.5W x 80.5H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 90 lbs (40.8 kg)
  • Supported weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Frame: Steel
  • Resistance: Magnetic, 10 levels
  • Exercise meter: Time, count, total count, distance, calories, RPM, heart rate
  • Warranty: Frame 10 years / Parts 3 years / Labor 1 year

Frame construction and parts

As opposed to many other magnetic rowers, the Schwinn Crewmaster features an all-steel frame, the rail of the seat also being steel made, not aluminum. It’s also considerably larger than other magnetic rowers, such as the Goplus Mag Rower or ASUNA 4500. With the frame fully assembled and unfolded, the machine’s length is approx. 91″ (236 cm) long, and 21″ (53 cm) wide. On top of that it is recommended to leave at least two feet of clearance on the sides and at the rear to avoid any hindrance during exercises. So, these being said, it’s not exactly a machine that fits in a small room or apartment.

But on the other hand, the Schwinn Crewmaster has a folding design. The rail with the seat folds up, featuring a telescopic bar with a pop-pin at the bottom which locks it vertically. With the rail folded up, the machine’s dimensions become 51″L x 21.1″W x 61″H (129.5 x 53.5 x 155 cm).

Also, due to the rather large size and steel construction, this Schwinn rowing machine weighs quite a bit more than other models. The weight of the fully assembled unit is ~90 lbs (40.8 kg). However, relocating it once you have finished your workout and folded it, shouldn’t be a problem. The front base of the machine is equipped with transport wheels.

As we’ve mentioned above, this rowing machine is equipped with a heavy-duty steel rail, rated for a load capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg). This rail is slightly wider than for other rowing machines, which means that it provides extra stability for the seat. It’s approx. 60″ long (152 cm) so that the rower can accommodate users of all sizes, promoting a healthy, complete leg extension.

This rower is equipped with a large seat. Its top is contoured and rubberized in order to deliver superior adherence. It’s also cushioned to provide protection for your lower back. It’s equipped with two large sets of wheels which integrate stainless steel ball bearings, delivering a very smooth and quiet seat glide. They’re also concealed for extra protection.

The Schwinn Crewmaster rowing machine features a set of metallic footrests. They’re length-adjustable so they can accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. They’re equipped with adjustable straps and feature heel guards in order to provide maximum foot stability. However, they do not pivot on their axis as for other trainers, such as the Sunny Obsidian SF-RW5713, for example. They’re set at an angle of approx. 60°, providing an optimal foot positioning. Also, in case you’re wondering, the spacing between the two footrests it 5.5″ (~14 cm), so you shouldn’t experience any lateral stress on the knees or ankles.

The rowing bar is slightly curved; therefore, it ensures a comfortable positioning of the hands during rowing, without generating any stress on the wrists. It’s rubberized to provide a comfortable and secure grip. It doesn’t integrate any pulse sensors, as other, more expensive machines, but the meter unit of rower is telemetric.

One last aspect to mention here regards the machine’s paint finish. The sustaining frame of the drive system, as well as the footrests and the front stabilizing bar, feature a dark gray paint finish. The finish of the rail is light gray, though. Both types of finish are long-lasting, corrosion-resistant and abrasion-resistant.

Resistance and drive

As the title suggests, the Schwinn Crewmaster features a magnetic resistance system. The resistance adjustment is done manually from the knob on top of the front unit. The resistance system consists of a small magnetic brake attached to a steel wire to the tension knob; by turning the knob clockwise, the brake comes closer to the flywheel increasing the overall resistance.

Since the resistance system is manual-magnetic, the unit doesn’t need to be connected to a power circuit. Also, the console plays no role in the resistance adjustment and is battery powered.

The machine provides 10 distinct levels of resistance. The first 1-3 levels are lighter, providing a training setting more appropriate for beginners. Conversely, the top setting delivers quite an aggressive resistance, offering the possibility to undergo a more intense burn and cardio workout.

An important aspect with regards to the resistance of this machine, and to any rower with magnetic resistance in general, is that it doesn’t generate a dynamic response, such as water resistance rowers or air rowers. In other words, the resistance is strictly related to the selected level and does not vary if you pull harder or faster. For air rowers or water rowers for example, if you pull faster, you will get more resistance, and the consistency of your workout will proportionally increase. This being said, the Schwinn Crewmaster may not be the best choice for a professional athlete who may want to benefit from a more natural rowing feel. But nonetheless, it definitely offers the possibility to perform a very consistent, full-body cardio workout.

The machine’s drive system features a heavy-duty nylon strap attached to the rowing handle. As opposed to a chain drive, it doesn’t require lubrication. It’s also highly durable, designed to last for many years of use.

Exercise meter

The meter included with the Schwinn Crewmaster rower doesn’t have any pre-set workout programs, but does offer quite a few extra features than the average basic unit. To begin with, it is telemetric and can monitor your heart rate via an HR chest strap transmitter that operates in the 4.5kHz – 5.5kHz range. The heart rate chest strap must be an uncoded heart rate strap from Polar Electro or an uncoded POLAR® compatible model. This accessory is not included, though.

The unit features a large LCD display which keeps track of your strokes (count), total strokes (total count), distance, calories, time, RPM, and pulse. It has a SCAN function which rotates these values showing each one for 6 seconds. The SCAN function is by default set ON, but you can toggle it off by pressing the MODE button. This way you can also select only one of the values to be shown on the display at all time, or manually scroll through the values.

The unit’s SET button gives you the possibility to set up countdown values for time, count, distance, and calories. This way you can select goals for each workout and the unit will count down from each value until it reaches zero. The unit’s 3rd button covers the RESET function and allows you to clear all the values to zero.

The meter unit is battery powered. It requires two AA batteries. It has a sleep mode to which will enter after 4 minutes of inactivity on the rower, to save battery. It starts up when you push any of the buttons, or when it receives a signal from the RPM sensor when you pull the handle.

Assembly and Maintenance

The resistance mechanism of the rower comes pre-assembled and attached to the front part of the frame. Therefore, the machine’s assembly isn’t too difficult. You only need to attach the front base bar with the transport wheels, attach the footrests, place the seat onto the rail then attach the rail to the front part of the frame, and finally mount the console. This shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes. All the tools required for the assembly are included, while the manual provides very clear assembly instructions.

Since it’s a magnetic rower, its maintenance doesn’t require much. Basically, you only have to keep the unit clean, especially the rail, to prevent any damage to it and to its wheels.

The Pros

  • Solid and sturdy frame, able to support users up to 300 lbs;
  • Aesthetic design;
  • Folding frame;
  • Transport wheels;
  • Extra-long seat rail which can accommodate tall users, over 6’7″, promoting a complete leg extension;
  • Adjustable footrests with straps and heel guards for maximum foot stability;
  • Contoured, foam-padded seat, for optimal comfort;
  • Manual magnetic resistance with 10 levels available;
  • Telemetric, Polar compatible console with a large LCD display;
  • The console can track time, distance, count, total count, calories, RPM, and pulse;
  • Countdown settings for time, distance, count, and calories;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Very quiet operation;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • The meter doesn’t have backlight;
  • HR chest strap is not included.


The Schwinn Crewmaster is a magnetic rower featuring a full-steel construction, with a folding design, a large and cushioned seat, and an extra-long seat rail. It comes with a telemetric console which tracks time, distance, count, total count, RPM, calories, and pulse. It has a pretty sturdy frame which can hold users up to 300 lbs. Its seat is foam-padded and contoured for optimal comfort. It’s a machine for users of all levels, great for light to intense cardio workouts, interval training, muscle toning and weight loss. In all, it’s a pretty decent trainer offering an excellent value for the price.

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