Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5864 Magnetic Rower

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Sunny SF-RW5864

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265 lbs94.8 lbsMagnetic,
8 levels

The Sunny SF-RW5864 is one of the rowing machines released by Sunny Health & Fitness in 2018. It’s a dual oar action magnetic rower similar in terms of features to the older Sunny SF-RW5624 model. However, it has a slightly lower user weight limit and comes with a long tube mount for the fitness monitor.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 73L x 24W x 42H inches (185L x 61W x 107H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 94.8 lbs (43 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 265 lbs (120 kg)
  • Footrests: Pivoting, with straps
  • Resistance type: Magnetic, 8 levels
  • Fitness meter: Time, count, total count, calories, SCAN
  • Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 180 days

Frame construction

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5864 rowing machine features a frame made of steel tubing. It combines rectangular, oval, and cylindrical tubes in its construction, for improved aesthetics and sturdiness. All the steel tubes have a durable paint finish, gray in color, this being the only color available for this rower, at least for the moment.

Of course, this Sunny rower also has several non-metallic parts in its construction. The most notable ones are the covers of the drive and resistance elements, the covers of the rear stabilizer, and the footrests. These are made from a tough ABS polymer.

The rower is fairly large. With all the parts assembled, it is approx. 73″ (185 cm) long, and 24″ (61 cm) wide. It’s also recommended to leave at least two feet of clearance on each side of it so you can operate the oars properly, as well as another two feet of clearance at the rear of the unit, to be sure you can execute the rowing motion properly, without any hindrance.

The rower’s frame is foldable. The rail with the seat can be folded up to save some space. With the rail folded, the unit’s footprint is reduced to 38″L x 24″W (96.5 x 61 cm), while its height reaches 65″ (165 cm). The machine is fairly heavy as well. However, it can easily be moved once it is assembled as its front base has transport wheels.

The unit’s rail is fairly long and the applicable user inseam length for this machine is 40″ (101 cm). This being said, the rower should be able to accommodate users up to 6’5″ (196 cm) with no problem.

Seat and other parts

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5864 rower is equipped with a pretty standard seat. Its top is made of high-density foam and has a contoured surface for improved comfort. It is approx. 12″ (30.4 cm) wide and 10″ (25.4 cm) deep. It also stands pretty high above the floor; its highest point (at the rear of the rail) is 22″ (56 cm) which makes entry and exit considerably easier.

The base of the seat is steel-made, just like the rest of the frame. It is equipped with three sets of wheels. Two of them slide on top of the rail while the other one closes the seat at the bottom for improved stability. The wheels integrate high-grade ball bearings and have a rubber outer layer for a smooth motion and for reduced noise.

The Sunny SF-RW5864 rower features a dual-action oar rowing system. Its oars are made of tubular steel. They attach to the unit’s drive system. They have rubberized grips with ball grips at the top. They do not have any pulse sensors or other controls.

The machine’s footrests are a bit larger than the ones of the older SF-RW5624 model. They’re made from a durable thermoplastic material. They have a textured surface, heel guards, and adjustable straps, so you can perfectly secure your feet on them.

The footrests are not size-adjustable, but they are large enough to accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. They have a pivoting design. In other words, they can tilt back and forth on their axis in order to adapt better to the positioning of your feet during rowing. They do have stoppers at the heels, though, so they won’t tilt backward past an angle of approx. 50°.

Resistance and drive

The Sunny SF-RW5864 rower is equipped with a manual magnetic resistance system. This means you don’t need an adapter or an external power source for it. But it also means that the machine cannot adjust the resistance automatically.

The rower integrates a magnetic brake that is connected to the tension knob on top of the front unit via a steel cable. Thus, when you turn the knob left or right, the magnets change their position in relation to the internal flywheel which decreases or increases the workout load.

The rower makes available 8 difficulty settings. The first one delivers a fairly light resistance, great for a warm-up or for recovery training. Conversely, the 8th tension level provides considerably more resistance, offering quite a bit of a challenge even for a seasoned user.

The machine does not offer a dynamic response during rowing. In other words, you won’t meet more resistance if you pull faster, as is the case for a water resistance rower, or an air rower. However, it does offer the dual-action oar drive system which simulates the use of oars on a real boat. The oars can be moved independently, so you can row using only one oar. They can also move laterally so you can engage more muscles and diversify your workouts.

One last aspect to mention here regards the rower’s drive system. The machine integrates three pulleys, a chain, and a belt. This type of drive system adds stability to the rowing motion. It also adds resistance and consistency to the ride.

Fitness monitor

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5864 rower is equipped with a pretty basic fitness monitor. It does not have Bluetooth or online connectivity. It also does not have pre-set workout programs. It features an LCD display that tracks time, count (strokes performed during the current workout), total count (strokes performed since the first use), and calories burned. It does not show time/500m and distance. It also doesn’t have a pulse reading function.

Although the monitor unit does not have pre-set programs, it does offer the possibility to set goals time, count, and calories. If a goal is selected, it will count down from the selected value until it reaches zero. This function can be useful if you want to keep track of your progress and push your limits with every training session.

The monitor unit is pretty easy to use. It has three buttons: Set, Mode, and Reset. The Set button covers the goal-setting function. The Mode button allows you to scroll through the workout metrics and select the one that you want to view. You can also select the Scan Mode this way, which automatically rotates all the metrics showing each one for 6 seconds. The Reset button clears the time, count, and calorie values to zero.

The monitor unit is battery-powered. It requires two AAA batteries which are included. It begins recording your data when it detects oar movement. It also automatically turns off after four minutes of inactivity on the rower.

Assembly and Maintenance

The main drive and resistance unit of the rower comes pre-assembled with the fitness monitor arm and the monitor unit already attached. The rest of the parts require user assembly. You will basically have to attach the front base stabilizer, the footrests, the oar support plate, the oars, the seat with the rail, and the rear stabilizer. This shouldn’t take more than one hour of your time. All the necessary tools are included and the manual provides step-by-step assembly instructions with attached schematics.

For maintenance, you only have to keep the rower clean, especially the rail, to prevent any damage to the seat’s wheels. Although the internal drive system integrates a chain, it is pre-lubricated and shouldn’t need any further lubrication for many years of use. Other than this, it is also recommended to periodically check for loose bolts and parts.

The Pros

  • Sturdy construction – can support users up to 265 lbs;
  • Dual oar action;
  • Independent oar movement;
  • Space-saving, folding design;
  • Adjustable levelers;
  • Transport wheels included;
  • Contoured seat with a 22″ height for easy entry and exit;
  • Long rail (40″) – for users up to 6’5″;
  • Pivoting footrests with heel guards and adjustable straps;
  • Manual magnetic resistance with 8 distinct levels;
  • Dual drive system (chain and belt) for extra motion stability and added resistance;
  • Fitness monitor included – it tracks time, count, t-count, and calories burned;
  • Goal settings for time, count, and calories;
  • Device holder integrated into the fitness monitor;
  • Long arm for the fitness monitor with angle adjustability;
  • Quiet operation;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • No backlight on the fitness monitor;
  • No 500/time, distance, or pulse readings;
  • No workout programs;
  • No online connectivity.


The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5864 is a rowing machine made for home use. It features an 8-level magnetic resistance, a dual oar action drive system, a comfortable seat, and a fitness monitor that tracks time, count, total count, and calories burned. It also has a high seat (22″) with a contoured saddle and a 40″ long rail. It’s a great machine for users of all levels, for a full-body cardio workout, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss.

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