48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Good value for money,
This review is from: V-fit AR1 Artemis 2 Air Rowing Machine (Sports)
I bought the forerunner of this machine some 8 or 9 years ago, when it was sold as the Delta Airmaster. It looks identical to the current offering, although it cost around £200 at the time. Potential purchasers might be interested in the durability of the machine, so here are my experiences of using one.
The rower has been used for about 1.5 hours a week since new. It has held up remarkably well, despite being subjected to a fairly vigorous exercise regime. The steel frame is rather rusty, it having being used in an unheated garage over the years; the quality of the paintwork probably wasn't that high, but then it is a budget machine.
The first problem encountered was the display unit; although it is designed to switch off after a few minutes to conserve battery power, I found that in cold weather, it would often stay on continually, flattening the batteries. This would probably not occur if you used your machine in the house, instead of a cold garage.
The foam hand grips deteriorated and fell apart after about four years. I didn't know where to obtain spares, so I improvised with lengths of pipe insulation. The seat runs on four ball-bearing nylon wheels. Two of these have now disintegrated. However, there are a further two non-load bearing wheels fitted to the seat carriage, which run in the top channel of the rowing rail. By swapping these with the broken wheels, the machine's life was extended a little.
The foot rests pivot on a long steel spindle. Recently, this snapped, probably as a result of metal fatigue. I was able to repair this by welding the broken bits together. Also, the pivot holes through the plastic foot rests themselves have worn oval with use, making them somewhat wobbly. I was able to improve the situation by drilling out the worn holes and inserting metal tubes. The foot straps are wide and comfortable, being secured by velcro. They do tear after a while, perhaps as a result of the strap buckle being made of thin steel wire. This eventually rusts and becomes abrasive, so damaging the fabric strap.
Unfortunately, the machine has now come to the end of its life, as the aluminium rowing rail has actually worn through. However, the fan and associated pulleys, cords etc. are still going strong. For the money, this is an excellent choice for those looking for a budget machine. Although V-Fit confirm that spares are available, with a little ingenuity you should be able to coax quite a few years of use from the machine for little extra cost.