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Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW520008 Air + Magnetic Smart Rower

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UnitSizeSupported
weight
Assembled
weight
ResistanceFitness
meter
Sunny SF-RW520008

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L:72.6"
W:25.1"
H:31.3"
300 lbs58.1 lbsAir and
magnetic
Time,
Count,
T-count,
Calories,
Scan,
Bluetooth,
SunnyFit
compatible

The Sunny SF-RW520008 is one of the rowing machines released by Sunny Health & Fitness in 2022. Although it’s not part of the Elite Interactive series, like the Sunny SF-B220045 upright bike, it still has Bluetooth connectivity and can be paired with the SunnyFit app. It’s a pretty basic rower, though; its integrated fitness monitor doesn’t show much data and does not have programs.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 72.6L x 25.1W x 31.3H inches (184L x 64W x 79H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 58.1 lbs (26 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Frame: Steel
  • Resistance type: Air & magnetic, 16 levels
  • Fitness monitor: Time, count, total count, calories, scan
  • Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 180 days

Frame construction

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW520008 rower has a steel frame combining rectangular and oval tubes in its construction. The front unit that encases the fan and the magnetic resistance system, the footrests, and several other small parts, are made of ABS plastic. All the steel tubes in the machine’s construction are coated with a durable paint finish. The color used is gray, this being the only color available for this rower, at least for the moment.

The unit is not too large compared with other models, such as the ASUNA Windmill 8570 for example. It is approx. 72.6″ (184 cm) long, and 25.1″ (64 cm) wide, while the top of its front unit reaches approx. 31.3″ (79 cm) above the floor level. Its rail is 44.7″ (113 cm) long, while the machine can accommodate users with an inseam up to 38.5″ (97 cm). In other words, it should fit users up to 6’5″ (196 cm) with no problem.

The rower’s rail doesn’t fold as is the case for the older model, the Sunny SF-RW5730. Instead, it can be stored vertically. Its front unit features a small stabilizer for this purpose. If stored vertically, the unit’s footprint becomes 31.3″L x 25.1″W (79 x 64 cm), while its height reaches 72.6″ (184 cm).

The machine is fairly light, as well. Its assembled weight is approx. 58.1 lbs (26 kg), so it can be carried and assembled by only one person. Once it is assembled, it can be relocated even easier as its front base bar has transport wheels. Also, both its base bars have adjustable levelers, which is a plus.

Seat and other parts

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW520008 rower is equipped with a seat similar to the Stamina EasyRow 35-1315 model. Its top is made of high-density closed-cell foam; it’s pretty firm, but not entirely hard. It is textured and contoured in order to provide a better positioning for the user and prevent slippage. It is also fairly large, approx. 14″ (35.5 cm) wide.

The base of the seat is made of steel. Both the seat and the rail are pretty durable; the machine is rated for a maximum user weight limit of 300 lbs (136 kg), which pretty much applies to both these parts. Also, the rail is not perfectly horizontal; it is slightly slanted forward, so at its highest point all the way at the back of the rail, the seat is at approx. 15″ (39 cm) above the floor.

The base frame of the seat is made of steel. It integrates three sets of wheels. They have internal ball bearings for a smooth motion, while on the outside, they have a thick layer of silicone rubber for reduced noise. Two wheelsets slide on top of the rail while the third slides underneath it for extra stability.

The rower’s handle has an ergonomic design with slightly curved grips for comfortable hand positioning. It is covered by a layer of rubber foam material for a secure grip. It does not have pulse sensors or other controls for the machine. It attaches to a heavy-duty nylon strap which is highly resistant to abrasion.

The machine is equipped with a set of pivoting footrests. They are non-adjustable, but they tilt on their supporting rods in order to adapt better to the position of your feet throughout the rowing motion. They have stoppers at the heel, though, so they won’t tilt backward past an angle of approx. 45°.

As we’ve mentioned above, the rower’s footrests are made of a durable thermoplastic material. They have heel guards and adjustable straps, so you can perfectly secure your feet on them. They also have a textured surface.

Resistance system

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW520008 rowing machine combines an air resistance system with a magnetic resistance system. It is not motorized, though, so you don’t need a power adapter for it. But this also means that the integrated monitor cannot adjust the resistance automatically.

The main resistance-generating element is a flywheel fan which is connected to the rower’s internal pulley system. When you pull the handle, the fan spins inside its casing generating air resistance. The casing does not have a damper or any type of adjustment for the air resistance. However, the machine also has the magnetic resistance for overall workout load adjustment.

The rower’s magnetic resistance system consists of a small magnetic brake which is connected to the tension knob on the front unit of the rower. When you turn the knob clockwise, the brake moves closer to the flywheel which increases the rowing difficulty. Conversely, when you turn the knob to the left, the magnets move away from the flywheel which reduces the rowing difficulty.

The magnetic brake has 16 tension levels. On the 1st difficulty level, you basically work only with the resistance generated by the fan. Conversely, the 16th tension level adds quite a bit of load to the rowing motion, great for anyone who wants to improve strength and stamina.

Since the Sunny SF-RW520008 rower is equipped with an air resistance system, it generates a dynamic response during rowing. In other words, if you row faster, the fan also spins faster inside its casing and provides more resistance. This is similar, up to a point, to the sensation of rowing a real boat through the water, and can be a plus for users who want to train on a professional level.

Like most other fitness machines with an air resistance system, this Sunny Health & Fitness rower is not completely quiet. The higher the speed of the fan, the more noise it will generate. But as a general idea, even if you row at a fast pace, the noise shouldn’t cover the sound of a TV on a moderate volume level.

Fitness monitor and other accessories

The Sunny SF-RW520008 air + magnetic rower is equipped with a pretty basic fitness monitor. It has an LCDdisplay that tracks time, count, total count, and calories burned. It does not have a split-time function or a pulse reading function. Also, the calorie reading isn’t too accurate, since it’s based only on the rotations of the flywheel, without taking the selected magnetic resistance into account.

The monitor unit is very easy to use. It only has one button. By pressing the button, you can select one of the workout metrics, or you can select its scan mode. In scan mode, it automatically rotates all four metrics, showing each one for 6 seconds. Also, if you press and hold the button, you can reset the data on it.

Although the monitor unit is pretty basic, the machine has Bluetooth connectivity and you can sync it with your phone via the SunnyFit app. This app is free, without any in-app purchases (at least for now), and it’s available for both Apple and Android systems. A scannable QR code is included with the machine so you can easily install it. The app offers the possibility to track your workout record online, view different workout videos, set workout goals, and even row in a virtual setup based on various locations around the world.

The monitor unit is battery-powered. It requires two AAA batteries as a power source. It starts up when it detects activity on the rower and also automatically turns off after four minutes of inactivity on the machine. And finally, the machine has a phone holder. This accessory is placed above the unit’s tension knob and should be able to accommodate most phones.

Assembly and Maintenance

The machine’s resistance unit comes pre-assembled and attached to the front frame section. You only need to connect the front base stabilizer, the rail, the seat, the rear stabilizer, and the footrests. The manual provides clear assembly instructions accompanied by detailed schematics. A basic set of tools for the task is also included.

For maintenance, it is recommended to keep the machine clean, especially the rail, to prevent any damage to the seat wheels. If the front unit accumulates dust, you can vacuum it from the outside. It’s also recommended to periodically inspect your rower, to make sure that all the parts are still functional and there are no loose bolts.

The Pros

  • Sturdy steel frame – can support users up to 300 lbs;
  • Can be stored vertically;
  • Adjustable levelers on both base bars;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Long rail – the rower can accommodate users up to 6’5″;
  • Contoured, non-slip seat with 3 sets of wheels for extra stability;
  • Pivoting footrests with adjustable straps;
  • Air resistance for a dynamic response;
  • Magnetic resistance with 16 levels for overall workout load adjustment;
  • Fitness monitor included – it tracks time, count, total count, and calories burned;
  • Bluetooth connectivity – the machine syncs with the SunnyFit app;
  • Device holder included;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • All the tools required for the assembly are included;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • No pulse reading function;
  • No distance reading function;
  • No split time/500m function;
  • No workout programs.

Summary

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW520008 is a rowing machine designed for home use. It is equipped with an air resistance system and a 16-level magnetic resistance system. It has a long rail (38.5″) and is rated for a maximum user weight limit of 300 lbs. It includes a basic monitor but it can sync with the SunnyFit app via Bluetooth. In all, it’s a fairly decent fitness machine for cardio training, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss, offering excellent value for the price.

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