Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5634 Magnetic Rower

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Sunny SF-RW5634

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220 lbs45.5 lbsMagnetic,
8 levels

If you’re looking for a magnetic rower under the price mark of $200, there only are a few options available. The Sunny SF-RW5634 is one of them.

This is a full-magnetic rowing machine without any air resistance elements. It has a similar construction to the Sunny SF-RW5801, but it integrates a more basic fitness meter with fewer readings and without the goal setting function. It is also comparable with the Harvil RM-M rower model.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 74.5L x 23.5W x 24H inches (189L x 59.4W x 61H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 45.5 lbs (20.6 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 220 lbs (100 kg)
  • Frame: Steel
  • Resistance type: Magnetic, 8 levels
  • Console: Time, SPM, count, calories, scan
  • Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 180 days

Frame construction

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5634 rower features a steel frame construction, with the exception of the flywheel guards which are made of ABS material. Its rail is also made of steel, not aluminum, as for other rowers. But nonetheless, despite its full steel construction, the machine is fairly light. With the frame fully set up, it weighs approx. 45.5 lbs (20.6 kg). This being said, it can easily be assembled by only one person.

All the steel frame parts are coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish. The color used is light gray, this being the only color available for this model.

Compared to other units in this feature range, this Sunny rower is slightly larger. It is approx. 74.5″ (189 cm) long, and 23.5″ (59 cm) wide. Its rail measures 48″ (122 cm) and offers a movement span for the seat of approx. 40″ (101 cm). This being said, the unit can accommodate users up to 6’5″ (196 cm) with no problem, promoting a complete leg extension.

The rail is not completely horizontal; it is inclined forward by a few degrees. This being said, the machine provides a slightly faster recovery motion and a bit of extra workout for the legs.

The machine’s frame is foldable, though. Its rail with the seat can be folded and locked in an upright position. Therefore, its length can be reduced to approx. 40″ (101 cm).

Last but not least, the unit’s front base is equipped with a set of transport wheels. Therefore, even though it is not too heavy, these wheels considerably ease its relocation.

Seat and other parts

The Sunny SF-RW5634 features a seat designed for comfort. It is similar to the seat on the Stamina 1402 ATS air rower. Its top integrates a 1.5″ layer of foam cushioning which considerably alleviates the impact on your tailbone during rowing. Also, its upholstery is made of durable, double-stitched vinyl material.

The seat is fairly large. It is approx. 10″ (25 cm) deep, and 14″ (35.5 cm) wide. Therefore, it provides plenty of contact surface. Its top is situated at approx. 12″ (31 cm) above floor level at its highest point at the rear.

The base of the seat is steel-made, just as the rest of the frame. It integrates three sets of wheels, two on top of the rail, the third under the rail for stability. All the wheels have inner ball bearings in order to deliver a smooth motion for the seat. Both the seat and the rail are rated for a user weight capacity of 220 lbs (100 kg).

This Sunny rowing machine has a set of pivoting footrests. This gives you the possibility to slightly adjust the position of your feet with each stroke, resulting in a more comfortable experience. They feature a non-slip surface, heel-guards, and adjustable straps in order to keep your feet secured during your workout.

The machine’s pulling handle is a short straight bar. It has rubberized grips for extra comfort and is attached to an abrasion-resistant nylon mesh strap. It does not integrate any pulse sensors or resistance controls as for other, more advanced rowers. Also, given the fact that the handle is attached to a strap, not a chain, the rowing motion is considerably quieter and the strap does not require lubrication.

Resistance system

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5634 rowing machine uses a mechanical magnetic resistance system. Its resistance system involves a small magnetic brake attached to the tension dial through a steel cable. As you turn the dial, the magnetic element changes its position in relation to the internal flywheel which results in a higher or lesser difficulty.

These being said, the rower does not need to be connected to a power source. Also, the exercise meter does not have any programs and plays no role in the resistance adjustment.

The unit’s resistance system makes available 8 distinct tension levels. The lowest level provides a fairly low resistance, great for anyone who wants to regain their stamina, or for recovery training. Conversely, 8th tension level gives you the possibility to burn more calories and achieve a high cardio rate in a shorter period of time.

Like most other full-magnetic rowers, the Sunny SF-RW5634 does not provide a dynamic response during rowing. In other words, you won’t get more resistance if you put more strength behind each stroke. The resistance remains constant, given by the selected tension level. The rowing feel is not completely “natural”, so the machine may not be the best choice for a user who wants to train on a professional level. However, the machine still provides a very consistent, full-body cardio workout and will definitely help you tone your muscles, burn some pounds, and keep a healthy cardio-vascular shape.

Last but not least, the usage of this rowing machine generates very little noise. This makes it quite suitable for apartment use. The internal flywheel is not extremely heavy, but this weight is just enough to deliver a consistent momentum for rowing.

Exercise meter

This Sunny rower integrates a basic fitness meter. It does not have any built-in programs, not it has any online capabilities. It features an LCD display which tracks time, strokes per minute, total strokes, and calories burned. It does not have a pulse reading function. In other words, it is not telemetric and cannot communicate with any wireless HR transmitters.

The unit is very easy to use. It only has one (MODE) button. You can press the button to select the functions you want to be shown on the display, or you can select the Scan Mode, which rotates the metrics on the display, showing each one for 4 seconds. The Mode button also covers the unit’s reset function. You can press and hold it for a few seconds to clear all the values on it to zero.

The meter unit does not have any goal settings. It requires one AAA battery as its power source (which is included). It automatically starts up when you begin rowing, and also automatically shuts down after 4 minutes of inactivity on the machine.

Assembly and Maintenance

The front section of the machine with the resistance and drive elements comes pre-assembled. Therefore, you only have to attach the front base bar, the footrests, insert the seat onto the rail, and finally add the rear stabilizer. This shouldn’t take more than 20-30 minutes. The manual provides step-by-step assembly instructions and a basic toolkit is also included.

For maintenance, you don’t really have to do much. The internal are pre-lubricated. The main aspect to have in mind for maintenance is keeping the machine’s rail clean, free of dust, textile fibers or small objects that may damage the wheels of the seat, or cause nicks into the rail. Also, a periodic check for loose parts and bolts is recommended.

The Pros

  • Folding frame;
  • Transport wheels integrated into the front base;
  • Cushioned seat for superior comfort;
  • Pivoting footrests for a perfect foot position with each stroke;
  • Fairly long rail – can accommodate users up to 6’5″;
  • Smooth magnetic resistance system;
  • 8 levels of resistance, for light to medium workouts; 
  • Exercise meter included – it can track time, count, SPM, and calories burned;
  • Quiet operation;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.
  • Decent warranty.

The Cons

  • No pulse reading function;
  • No backlight on the meter display.


The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5634 is a light-capacity rower featuring a mechanical magnetic resistance system with 8 tension levels. It has a folding frame with a weight capacity of 220 lbs, and a basic fitness meter which tracks time, count, spm, and calories burned. It’s also one of the most affordable magnetic rowers that you can find at the moment, currently priced for less than $200.

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