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WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine

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WaterRower Oxbridge
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700 lbs66.5 lbsWaterFrame: 5 years
Parts: 3 years

The Oxbridge model is another 5-star rowing machine from WaterRower. It features the same constructions and specs as the WaterRower Natural model. The only difference between these two models is the wood used within the construction of the frame. The Natural model is made of Ash wood, finished with Honey Oak Stain and Danish Oil, while the WaterRower Oxbridge is made of Cherry wood, treated only with Danish oil. Anyway, they’re both top-quality rowers, designed for gym use, and being able to take quite a beating.

Therefore, in case you’re looking for a solid rowing machine with an elegant design, here’s what the Oxbridge rower can offer.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 82.25L x 22.25W x 20H inches (209L x 57W x 51H cm)
  • Product weight: 66.5 lbs (30.5 kg) w/o water; 103.5 lb (47 kg) w/ water
  • Supported weight: 700 lbs (317 kg)
  • Frame: Wood (Cherry)
  • Footrests: Size-adjustable, with straps
  • Resistance type: Water
  • Progress tracking computer: S4
  • Warranty: Frame 5 years / Parts 3 years

Water tank and resistance system

This rower is equipped with a 5 gal (19 liter) water tank, made from highly durable polycarbonate material. It has a gray hue, and there aren’t different colors available for the water tank. However, you can obtain a different color by adding water dye into the water.oxbridge waterrower resistance tank

Although the tank’s maximum capacity is 5 gal (19 l), 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. Also, the box should come with a siphon which facilitates the filling / emptying of the tank.

Like most water-based rowing machines, the WaterRower Oxbridge offers a smooth, natural rowing feel, as it uses the same principles of rowing a real boat in water. 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.

As the Oxbridge model is a rower with a fluid resistance system, 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 feel. The overall resistance of the rower can only be adjusted by tightening the straps, or adding / removing some of the water in the tank. Evidently, this cannot be done when using the rower. In case you’re looking for a rowing machine that allows the automatic adjustment of the water in its water tank, for overall resistance adjustment, one of our recommendations is the First Degree Fitness Newport water rowing machine.

Frame and parts

As we’ve mentioned above, the frame of this rower is made of Cherry wood, without any stain color, only coated with Danish oil. This oil gives the wood a water-resistant, satin finish. Since it’s Cherry wood, it will slowly darken over time, due to exposure to light, gaining a nice, reddish hue. But as you receive the rower, it should have a light hue, as all parts are stored in light-free rooms.oxbridge waterrower gliding seat Also, another positive aspect of this type of wood is that it absorbs vibration well, supplying a really smooth usage of the machine. Overall, the machine has an elegant, warm and welcoming aspect.

Like most rowing machines, the WaterRower Oxbridge model takes quite a bit of space length-wise, but not very much in width. Its fully assembled footprint is 82.25″L x 22.25″W (209L x 57W cm), the water tank giving its widest point. However, this fitness machine can be stored vertically. The frame doesn’t have a folding design, meant to be stored resting on the water tank guard and its small caster wheels. When stored in upright position, its footprint is rather small, 20″L x 22.25″W x 82.25″H (51 x 57 x 209 cm). Water can remain in the tank when the machine is stored.

The machine is not extremely heavy when fully assembled, and pretty easy to handle and store. It weighs 66.5 lbs (30.5 kg) without the water in tank, and 103.5 lbs (47 kg) with the tank filled up with water.

When in use position, the rower rests on four small stabilizers, made of PVC material. Normally, they shouldn’t damage your floors, but regardless the floor type, it’s for the best to place the machine on a mat. Not only it will prevent any damage to the floors, it will also enhance the machine’s stability and prevent perspiration from reaching the floor.

The rails of the Oxbridge rower are made of stainless steel, and this also goes for the rollers on the seat. The rower’s seat has a pretty simple design. It’s not cushioned, featuring a rather hard surface, but it’s padded with a softer material than just the simple wood, and has a molded design, supplying a comfortable positioning of the user. The top part of the seat is covered withfootplates on oxbridge waterrower synthetic leather, offering superior adherence, which is also enhanced by the slightly elevated front edge of the seat.

The Oxbridge water rower has a really high user capacity, being rated for a maximum user weight of 700 lbs (317 kg). It can also accommodate users with an inseam of 37″ comfortably. In other words, the user height limit is 6’6″ – 6’7″ (198 – 201 cm).

The rower’s pulling handle is rather simple, with rubber foam grips, to prevent any damage to the hands during prolonged rowing sessions. The footrests are size adjustable, being able to accommodate feet of all sizes. The footbed is not angle adjustable though, giving the footrests a slope of approximately 45°.

Performance monitor

The WaterRower S4 performance monitor is supplied with the Oxbridge rowing machine. For a rowing machine computer, this is actually quite an advanced one. To begin with, it can indicate distance, time, intensity (speed), KCalories, watts, strokes per minute, and heart rate. It displays oxbridge waterrower s4 consoleintensity 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.

For heart rate it requires a chest strap transmitter, which unfortunately is not supplied with the unit. Polar and ANT+ offer these accessories.

The console unit has 9 built-in advanced rowing programs. Interval workout settings for distance and intensity are avialable as well. But most importantly, the S4 performance monitor is PC interface capable, via a monitor cable. There are several commercially available software products such as We-Row, WebRacing, and WaterCoach Fit, that allow you to join online rowing communities, compete with others, or customize your own workout.

The console requires 4 AA-type batteries.

Assembly and Maintenance

When it comes to assembly, it’s safe to say that putting together this rower is much easier than a piece of furniture from Ikea. All you need to do is attach the two rail parts and the rear spacer together, then mount the seat and the water tank. Next, you will need to add the transport wheels, the footbed and footrests, connect the cords and the console, and finally add water into the tank. This shouldn’t take longer than one hour. The manual with the assembly instructions, and the tools for it are supplied.

Maintenance doesn’t require much either. Water doesn’t really need replacing, if you treat it with a chlorine pill every six months as the manual instructs. The bungee cords are also pretty resistant, and should take a long while until they wear out. The only important aspect regarding the maintenance of the unit that you should really consider, is cleaning the rails thoroughly before each use. Any dirt or other particles can lead to damage to the seat wheels or rails.

One last important aspect that we should mention here regards the unit’s warranty. The WaterRower Oxbridge rowing machine has 1 year warranty by default. But if you register it with WaterRower as you receive it, you will get 5 years of warranty 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, Cherry wood frame;
  • Storable in upright position;
  • Easy to handle and transport;
  • Water resistance system, providing the most natural rowing feel that you can get;
  • Contoured, ergonomically designed seat;
  • Advanced performance monitor, PC compatible and HR strap compatible;
  • Smooth and quiet operation;
  • Rower for users of all levels;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Easy to assemble;oxbridge water resistance rower with cherry wood frame
  • Excellent warranty package.

The Cons

  • No angle adjustability for the footrests;
  • Heart rate chest strap transmitter not included.


The WaterRower Oxbridge is a commercial grade water rowing machine, with an excellent price and quality ratio. It offers a high user capacity weight and height wise, and the rowing training setting for users of all levels. It’s an excellent machine for a full body workout, as it engages more than 80% of the user’s muscle mass, also rendering a consistent cardio workout. Needless to say, it’s a machine great for building stamina and losing weight. You can actually lose up to 3-4 pounds per week by working out daily on this machine. Even though it’s not the most affordable rower out there, it’s safe to say it’s a machine worth every penny.

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