Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5854 Magnetic Rower

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Sunny SF-RW5854

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300 lbs79.5 lbsMotorized
16 levels
7 preset
1 HR
1 Race
1 User

The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5854 rowing machine is a larger and more inclusive version of the SF-RW5856 model. Not only that it has a longer rail and sturdier rail, it also features an eddy current resistance system with digital control. It’s a machine made for home use but does offer outstanding durability and functionality.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 92L x 20.5W x 32H inches (234L x 52W x 81H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 79.5 lbs (36 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Frame: Steel & aluminum
  • Footrests: Pivoting, with straps
  • Resistance type: Eddy current, 16 levels
  • Console: 10 programs, Recovery function, goals
  • Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 180 days

Frame construction

The Sunny SF-RW5854 rower features a heavy-duty frame, combining steel, aluminum, and ABS parts in its construction. Its slide rail is made of aluminum alloy, the rest of the frame is steel-made for extra sturdiness, while the covers of the resistance system and several other small covers are made of durable ABS plastic.

Compared to other similar rowers made for home use, such as the Kettler R220 for example, this Sunny rowing machine is considerably larger. With all the parts assembled, it is approx. 92″ (234 cm) long, and 20.5″ (52 cm) wide. It also has a longer rail which provides 45″ (114 cm) of travel for the seat. This being said, the machine can accommodate users up to 6’7″ (201 cm) as long as they don’t exceed the 300 lbs (136 kg) weight capacity.

Considering its length, this magnetic rower may not be the best choice for a small room or apartment. It is recommended to leave at least one foot of clearance at the front of the machine, and at least two feet of clearance on each side and at the rear, for safe usage and access. But on the other hand, the unit has a folding design. The sliding rail can be folded and locked in an upright position. And with the rail folded up, the machine’s length is reduced to 43″ (109 cm), while its height becomes approx. 60.5″ (154 cm).

The rower is fairly heavy as well. It weighs approx. 79.5 lbs (36 kg) with all the parts assembled. However, this weight can be considered a plus because it provides extra stability. Also, once the machine is assembled, it is fairly easy to relocate as its front base is equipped with a set of small wheels.

Seat and other parts

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5854 rower basically has the same type of seat as the Sunny SF-RW5856 model. The top of the seat is made of high-density foam; it is firm, but not extremely hard. Its surface is contoured and textured in order to provide extra comfort and adherence.

The seat is fairly large as well. It is 14″ (35.5 cm) wide, and 11″ (28 cm) deep, providing plenty of contact surface. In case you’re wondering, the seat is placed at approx. 10″ (25.4 cm) above floor level.

The base of the seat is highly durable, made of steel just like the front of the frame. As we’ve mentioned above, both the rail and the seat are rated for a weight capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg). Also, considering that the machine’s rail is quite a bit wider than for other rowers, it provides extra stability for the seat.

The seat base features three sets of wheels which have internal, sealed ball bearings for a smooth motion. They also have an outer rubberized layer which considerably reduces the noise generated by the movement of the seat on the rail.

The rower’s pulling handle consists of a slightly curved bar with rubber foam grips for maximum comfort. It’s attached to a heavy-duty nylon mesh strap which provides a smooth operation. The pulling handle does not integrate any pulse sensors or resistance adjustment controls.

The Sunny SF-RW5854 is equipped with two pivoting footrests. This type of design allows them to slightly tilt as you apply pressure on them during each rowing motion, adopting the most suitable angle. They cannot be locked, so in case you’re looking for a machine with completely fixed footrests, you might want to have a look at the JOROTO MR30.

The unit’s footrests are made of durable ABS material. Their surface is textured for extra adherence. They also have heel guards and adjustable straps, so you can perfectly secure your feet on them if needed.

Resistance system

The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5854 is a full-magnetic rower. In other words, it does not have air resistance or water resistance elements. Its resistance system is automatic. This means you will have to connect the rower to a power source to be able to use the resistance settings (a power adapter is included). Also, the resistance control is done exclusively from the console. Also, the console has its own preset workout programs, so if one is in use, it will auto-adjust the rower’s resistance.

The unit’s resistance system consists of an internal servo motor and a magnetic brake integrated into the flywheel. As you select a certain tension level from the console, the motor will adjust the magnetic pull of the brake, increasing or decreasing the rowing difficulty. There are 16 resistance levels available. The lowest one delivers a fairly light resistance, great for beginners or for users who require recovery training. Conversely, the top resistance settings deliver a pretty high difficulty level, great for anyone who wants to improve strength or train at a professional level.

Like most other full-magnetic rowers, the Sunny SF-RW5854 does not provide a dynamic response during rowing. In other words, the resistance is not determined by how hard you pull the handle, as it is the case for air rowers or water rowers. It is strictly determined by the selected tension level, so it remains constant, regardless of the strength you put behind each stroke. But nonetheless, the machine does provide quite a consistent, full-body workout.

On the other hand, since the unit’s resistance system is full-magnetic, the tension-generating elements do not touch. There is no friction, and no generated air current inside the mechanism housing of the machine. Thus, the rowing motion is extremely quiet.


The Sunny SF-RW5854 features an advanced console. To begin with, it is attached to an adjustable mount, so you can tilt it at the desired angle. It has a multi-window LCD display with LED backlight, providing excellent readability. It tracks all the important workout metrics, including time, distance, count (total strokes), strokes per minute, calories, and pulse. The distance is indicated in miles. There is no time/500m function. Also, in order to benefit from a pulse reading, you will have to use a wireless HR chest strap with a transmission frequency range between 4.5 kHz and 5.5 kHz.

The console unit has 10 workout programs. The first 7 programs have preset resistance settings, but you can always set targets for time, distance, calories, and pulse. The 8th program the Race Mode. This gives you the possibility to compete against the computer. The 9th program is the Heart Rate program. This program allows you to select a certain heart rate value, and the console will auto-adjust the resistance in order to keep you within the selected heart rate target. The 10th program is the User Program. There are actually four user profiles available. For each one, you can save a custom program which you can quickly select every time you want.

The console also has a Recovery function which measures the amount of time your heart takes to return to a normal BPM after the workout and based on this measurement, the console will give you a fitness rating between F1 (excellent) and F6 (poor). Of course, in order to use this function, you will need a heart rate chest strap.

Assembly and Maintenance

The machine’s drive and resistance unit comes pre-assembled. You only need to attach the front base stabilizer, the footrests, connect the rail to the main unit, add the seat, the rear stabilizer, and finally the console. This shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes. The manual provides very clear assembly instructions and a basic toolkit is also included.

The internal components of this rower do not require any maintenance. You only have to keep the sliding rail clean to prevent any damage to the seat or its rollers. It’s also recommended to periodically check for loose parts, and re-tighten them if necessary.

The Pros

  • Solid frame – can support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg);
  • Extra-long sliding rail – provides 45″ (114 cm) of travel for the seat;
  • Folding design;
  • Transport wheels integrated into the front base;
  • Padded and contoured seat for optimal comfort;
  • Pivoting footrests for a perfect foot position with each stroke;
  • Quiet and smooth magnetic resistance system;
  • 16 levels of resistance, for light to medium workouts;
  • Automatic resistance adjustment;
  • Exercise meter included – it can track time, distance, count, SPM, calories, and pulse;
  • Goal setting functions for time, distance, calories, and pulse;
  • 7 preset programs;
  • 1 race program;
  • 1 HR program;
  • 1 user program with 4 user settings;
  • Recovery function;
  • The console display has LED backlight for superior reading possibilities;
  • Angle-adjustable mount for the console;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • No adjustable stabilizers;
  • An HR chest strap is not included.


The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5854 is a full-magnetic rower made for home use. It offers 16 levels of automatic resistance and a console with 10 workout programs and goal functions. It has a long rail, offering approx. 45″ of travel for the seat, but it is also foldable. It’s a great machine for a full-body cardio workout, stamina development, interval training, and weight loss. In all, it’s a well-made rowing machine, offering excellent value for the price.

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