WaterRower M1 HiRise Rowing Machine

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WaterRower M1 HiRise
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700 lbs120 lbsWaterFrame: 5 years
Parts: 3 years

The rowing machines of the M1 series from WaterRower cost quite a bit more than the Natural or Designer models. However, M1 models offer a sturdier frame, made of pressed, tubular steel.

The M1 HiRise model that we’re about to present here, offers a higher entry point, making a better choice for users with impaired movement. It’s also a commercial quality rower, supplying just about everything that you would expect from a top-class rowing machine.

Evidently, since it’s an inclusive fitness machine, there’s quite a lot to be said regarding its features and functions. Therefore, let’s see what this model can actually do for you.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 88L x 22.25W x 27.6H inches (223.5L x 56.5W x 70H cm)
  • Product weight: 120 lbs (54.4 kg) w/o water; 157 lb (71.5 kg) w/ water
  • Supported weight: 700 lbs (317 kg)
  • Frame: Steel
  • Footrests: Size-adjustable, with straps
  • Resistance type: Water
  • Performance monitor: S4
  • Warranty: Frame 5 years / Parts 3 years

Frame and parts

The frame of the M1 HiRise WaterRower is steel-made, offering an extremely sturdy construction, being able to support users up to 700 lbs. Evidently, this is one of the aspects that puts this rower into the commercial grade class. The frame’s metallic parts are double-coated with corrosion resistant paint, for a sleek, rust-free finish. There are several PVC parts within the construction of the frame, including the rear and front end pads, or the feet caps.

Like most rowing machines, the M1 HiRise model is not extremely large width wise, but does take some space when it comes to its length. At full setup its footprint is 82.25″L x 22.25″W (209L x 57W cm), the water tank giving its widest point. However, just like the Natural models, it can be stored vertically.

The frame doesn’t have a folding design, it’s meant to be stored resting on the water tank guard, which also features two small feet, and on its front end pad. In vertical position, its footprint is rather small, 20″L x 22.25″W x 82.25″H (51 x 57 x 209 cm). Handling and storing the rower isn’t difficult, as you can easily lean it on its front wheels. Water can remain in the tank for storage, but before storing the machine in vertical position, it’s a good idea to check if the tank is properly sealed.

The rower’s bases are non-adjustable, and even though the machine is pretty heavy and won’t wobble as you row, you will still need to place it on a plane surface, or on a mat. The taller feet of the HiRise rower place the user at about 20″ (51 cm) above floor level, offering much easier mounting / dismounting possibilities, making it a better choice for users who are physically impaired.

The seat supplied with this water resistance rower features a contoured, synthetic leather top. It incorporates a thin layer of foam cushioning, which helps with the dispersion of the user’s hirise m1 waterrower seatweight for a more comfortable seating. However, the cushioning is not extreme, the seat being rather firm.

The seat is equipped with four wheels, offering a lot of stability when using the rower. The wheels use high-grade stainless steel ball bearings. But their exterior coating is made of PVC material. The rail extrusions (the slides of the rails) are also made of industrial grade, tested plastic material. This is actually a plus, because this material is more tolerant to any small particles that may fall onto the glides, without generating any knocks as you row, while on the other hand, on a metallic rail slide, you will feel anything right away. Also, the gliding of the seat is much smoother, and emits much less noise. Both seat rollers and extrusions are quite durable, and won’t wear out so easily. After all, the machine is rated for users of 700 lbs. With intense, daily use, the rail extrusions should last for more than a few years, and a new set costs cca $10.

The rower’s rails are long enough to accommodate users with an inseam of 40″ (cca 102 cm). This being said, users up to 6’7″ (201 cm) or even taller, should benefit from a full leg stretch while using this rower.

The footrests are not angle-adjustable, but they do feature adjustable straps. They’re wide enough to accommodate feet of all sizes.

Water tank and resistance system

The WaterRower M1 HiRise is equipped with a water tank made from highly durable polycarbonate material. The walls of the tank have a gray hue. The water in the tank can be colored blue, or just about any color, by adding the required colorant.hirise m1 waterrower - water tank

The machine’s resistance system involves a 2-paddle water flywheel, connected to a system of heavy-duty bungee cords and pulleys. As you pull the handle, the flywheel begins to spin into the water tank, generating resistance.

The tank’s maximum capacity is 5 gal (19 l), but the maximum amount of water to be introduced within the tank is 4.5 gal (17 liters). There are markings on the tank which indicate the water level.

Evidently, since this rower uses a water-based resistance principle, the rowing feel is smooth and natural. The resistance level is basically given by the strength you put behind each pull. In other words, the harder you pull, the more resistance you should obtain. Also, as opposed from rowing machines with air resistance, such as Concept2 Model E, or Stamina ATS for example, the resistance picks up right away after the catch.

The rower’s overall resistance is given by the amount of water inside the tank. In other words, if you want the maximum overall resistance, intended for professional use, fill up the tank at its maximum allowed capacity. Obviously, the water level inside the tank can’t be adjusted as you use the rower. In case you’re looking for a machine that actually allows you to do that, you should have a look at the FDF Newport model. However, this FDF model doesn’t have an elevated base.

Performance monitor

The M1 HiRise rower comes with the S4 monitor, which is battery powered, requiring 4-AA batteries. This unit features 9 built-in advanced rowing programs. Interval workout settings for distance and intensity are available as well. But one of the best aspects about is that it’s PC waterrower s4 consoleinterface capable, via a monitor cable. There are several commercially available software products such as WaterCoach Fit, We-Row, and WebRacing, that allow you to join online rowing communities, compete with others, track your progress, or customize your own workout.

The S4 monitor can indicate time, distance, intensity, strokes per minute, KCalories, watts and heart rate. It can read intensity in meters per second (m/s), miles per hour (mph), time per 500 meters (t/500m), and time per 2 km (t/2km). Needless to day, you can setup distance to be displayed in meters, kilometers and miles.

The rower does not have any pulse sensors built in the handle, therefore the S4 monitor can only read pulse via a heart rate chest strap transmitter, such as ANT+ or Polar. This accessory is not included though.

Assembly and Maintenance

This WaterRower model doesn’t come assembled. Its assembly is far from being complicated, but it may take up to an hour. As a general idea, you will need to connect the two rails with the rear end cap, then connect the water tank, add the seat, footrests, connect the bungee cord, console and finally add water in the tank. Tools and assembly manual are supplied.

For maintenance, the frequent cleaning of the seat slides is required, as any dirt, sand, pebbles or other small particles can damage them, as well as the seat’s wheels. Also, a chlorine pill should be added into the tank every few months, to prevent the formation of algae.

One important aspect to mention here regards the machine’s warranty. Initially, the rower comes with a full, 1-year warranty. But once you register your unit with WaterRower, your warranty should be extended to 5 years for the frame, and 3 years for parts.

The Pros

  • Extreme user capacity, being able to hold up users up to 700 lbs;
  • Superior aesthetics, solid steel frame;
  • 20″ elevation from floor level, easy to mount and dismount;
  • Storable in upright position;
  • Easy to handle and transport;
  • Water resistance system, providing the most natural rowing feel that you can get;
  • Contoured, padded and ergonomically designed seat;
  • Advanced performance monitor, PC compatible and
    HR strap compatible;
  • Smooth and quiet operation;
  • Rowing machine for users of all levels;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Easy to put together;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • HR chest strap not included;hirise m1 water resistance rower
  • Footpad if fixed, without offering the possibility to adjust its angle.

Bottom Line

The WaterRower M1 HiRise is a high-capacity rowing machine, with a solid construction, offering a rowing feel as close as it gets to the rowing of a real boat. It’s a great choice for elderly users, physically impaired users, as it stands taller from the ground, making mounting and dismounting more convenient. But nonetheless, it’s a professional rower that supplies the training setting for users of all levels. Even though it’s not exactly a cheap rowing machine, its quality stands up to the price. Therefore, it’s safe to say that this particular fitness machine comes with a great price / quality ratio.

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