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Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

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Sunny SF-RW5515
sunny health and fitness sunny sf-rw5515 rower
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250 lbs59 lbsMagneticFrame: 1 year
Parts: 90 days

In terms of fitness equipment, Sunny Health & Fitness has really come a long way. They no longer offer “cheap” products, the quality standards considerably increased over the past few years. However, their products continue to remain some of the most affordable on the market. And when it comes to rowers, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine does not make an exception.

This is one of the newest magnetic rowers for 2016. It’s definitely not a rower for professional athletes, but for anyone who wants to undertake a consistent aerobic training at home, it’s quite an excellent choice.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 82L x 19W x 23H inches (208L x 48W x 58H cm)
  • Product weight: 59 lbs (26.7 kg)
  • Supported weight: 250 lbs (113.3 kg)
  • Frame: Steel
  • Footrests: With straps
  • Resistance type: Magnetic, 8 levels
  • Performance monitor: Basic
  • Warranty: Frame 1 years / Parts 90 days

Resistance system

This Sunny rowing machine features a manual magnetic resistance system. This means you don’t have to connect it to a power circuit. The resistance system is somewhat similar to the ones used in magnetic upright bikes, such as the Exerpeutic 1200, sunny sf-rw5515 - magnetic resistanceinvolving a balanced flywheel and a magnetic pad. As you turn the resistance knob, the magnetic pad is moved closer or farther in relation to the flywheel, thus resistance being adjusted. The flywheel in this rower is slightly bigger in diameter and a bit heavier though, than the ones used in folding magnetic bikes, such as the mentioned Exerpeutic 1200.

The resistance system of this rower features 8 distinctive levels. As a general idea, the first levels offer little resistance, intended for light cardio, and for users with disabilities, beginners, or users who require recovery training. But the 7-8 levels will offer quite a challenge to a beginner. However, as we’ve mentioned above, this machine is not exactly one recommended for a professional athlete rower, and one of the reasons is that it has magnetic resistance. In other words, it doesn’t generate the “natural” feel of a WaterRower or an air rower such as the Concept2, as the resistance remains constant, doesn’t intensify if you pull harder. But nonetheless, the machine provides an excellent aerobic training, focusing multiple groups of muscles.

Since this Sunny rower features a magnetic resistance system, its operation is really smooth and quiet. There’s not drag, no air current generated and almost no sound, as you workout on the machine. Thus, it’s a great choice for apartment use, as you can be sure you won’t disturb the neighbors.

Frame construction and other parts

Most parts in the frame construction of this rowing machine are made of steel tubing, including the main rail, the bases, and the parts on which the flywheel and other internal parts are attached. All steel parts a dyed silver, the paint being corrosion sunny health and fitness sf-rw5515 - folding frameresistant. The only major plastic part is the casing of the flywheel and resistance system.

The rail of the rower is sturdy enough to support users up to 250 lbs (113 kg). The rail is placed at an angle not fully horizontal, which means you will benefit from a better workout for your leg muscles, and a slightly faster recovery motion.

The frame’s bases are also made of steel. They’re finished with plastic caps and rubberized, adjustable stabilizers. These not only ensure the maximum stability of the machine, even on irregular flooring, they will also prevent the floors from sustaining scratches. Also, the front base integrates caster wheels for easy relocation. The machine however, is not extremely heavy. At 59 lbs, almost anyone should be able to fold it and carry it to its storage place.

As you can see in the attached photo here, this rowing machine features a folding frame. The rail folds up, reducing the length of the rower to more than half. When fully extended the rower is approx 82″ (208 cm) long, and 19″ (48 cm) wide. By folding the rail up, the length remains approx. 38″ (96 cm), offering better storage possibilities. Also, due to its dimensions, this rowing machine can be used by persons up to 6’7″ (201 cm), or even taller, depending on their inseam length. The rail and pull-strap are long enough to supply a full leg extension and rowing motion even for taller users.

One of the main advantages regarding this rowing machine, is its seat. It features quite a wide, contoured seat, with consistent cushioning, offering excellent comfort for rowing, and diminishing the impact on the lower back. The seat glides on a set of four, high-grade rollers, integrating sealed ball bearings for prolonged use. In case you’re wondering, the seat’s highest point above floor level is approx. 8″ (20 cm), and will give you a total elevation at the rear, of approx. 10″ (25.4 cm).

The footplates supplied with this machine are large enough to accommodate sports shoes of all sizes, and to offer the required stability. They’re made of heavy-duty nylon material, and feature heel guards, in order to prevent feet from sliding off.

Last but not least, the strap connected to the handlebar is made of reinforced nylon material. It’s quite durable, similar to a car’s seat belt. The handlebar consists of a simple, straight steel bar, 15″ long (38 cm), covered by a sheet of rubber foam, for extra comfort to the hands.


The console unit supplied with the Sunny SF-RW5515 rowing machine is completely integrated within the flywheel case. It’s a basic console which keeps track of your fitness meter - sunny sf-rw5515workout time, number or strokes per session (count), total number of strokes (total count) and calories. Distance is not covered by this fitness meter. However, as a general idea, it’s considered that 1 stroke is equal to 1 and 1/2 meters. You can select one of these values to be displayed on screen at all time, or you can use the SCAN function which will show each value for a couple of seconds, then moving to the next, and so on.

The console features 3 keys: SET, RESET and MODE. With the MODE key you can scroll through the values of the console, the SET key gives you the possibility to select one, while RESET is evidently used to delete all workout data to 0. The console is powered on when pulling the strap, or when pressing one of the buttons. It uses 2-AA batteries.

Assembly and Maintenance

There are actually only four steps for the assembly of this Sunny rowing machine: connecting the rail to the main frame, adding the seat, then the rear stabilizer and finally the pedals. The whole task shouldn’t take more than 20 min. Manual and tools for assembly are supplied.

When it comes to maintenance, you don’t actually have to worry about the “insides” of the machine. They come pre-lubricated from the factory, and should remain that way for a long period of use. The main aspect to have in mind for maintenance and prolonging the life of the machine, is keeping the gliding rail free of sand, dirt or small objects that may cause nicks in it, or damage the rollers.

The Pros

  • Sturdy and stable construction;
  • Folding frame, offering space-saving possibilities when the machine is not in use;
  • Elegant design;
  • Cushioned, contoured seat;
  • Pedals with heel guards and straps, offering excellent possibilities to secure your feet for your exercise;
  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance;
  • Fitness meter included;
  • Smooth and quiet operation, great for apartment use;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Easy to handle and relocate;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • Takes quite a bit of space, length-wise, when fully extended, which may be a problem for a small room.


Final Word

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 rower is one of the most affordable magnetic rowers that you can find at the moment. It’s well-constructed and can support users up to 250 lbs. It’s an excellent machine for cardio exercises, as rowing involves multiple groups of muscles, such as deltoids, rhomboids, biceps, paraspinals, hamstrings, quads and glutes. You can be sure that all these muscle groups will benefit from a consistent toning if you workout daily on this fitness machine. Other than that, it’s great for anyone who wants to build stamina and lose weight. Finally, considering that it currently costs less than $300, while other similar rowers are $400-$500, this machine is quite a bargain, and offers an excellent value for the price. So far, it benefits mostly from positive reviews from users all over the world.

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