First Degree Fitness E-520 Fluid Rower Review
The First Degree Fitness E-520 Fluid Rower is everything we have come to expect from First Degree Fitness in terms of quality, construction, effectiveness, technology and comfort with a price tag to match.
Considering that the E-520 is designed with the gym-owner or any other commercial establishment in mind it can withstand heavy use. Best of all, however, is how the E-520 is virtually maintenance free. This is down to using a Dyneema Cable, which is the the world’s strongest fiber with 1,000 kg loading, and is 5 times stronger than steel.
The E-520 feautres 20 levels of variable resistance, allowing anyone from the first time exerciser to professional athlete to workout at a level that they are comfortable with. In fact, this particular rower is designed by rowing professionals, which explains why the E-520 has such a true-on-the-water feel to it (no slack, slippage or flat spots).
The way in which the resistance works is simple but effective. You can ether increase the resistance by rowing faster, or by adding more water to the polycarbonate tank, which happens to be constructed from the same materials used for jet airplane windshields.
The First Degree Fitness E-520 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to comfort either. The handle is contoured and ergonomically designed to prevent strain on the arms and wrists as you row. The footboard utilizes a unique heel support system, and features a one touch central adjustment for foot size while encouraging optimal foot placement. One complaint, though, is that the seat could do with a bit more padding, although this isn’t to say that it’s uncomfortable, because it isn’t, particularly as the rail smoothly glides along its rollers for continuous smooth operation.
The computer monitor provides you with feedback on time (elapsed or goal), distance, 500 m split time, calories burned, strokes per minute, watts, interval training, and heart rate, although we’re disappointed that an optional kit (heart rate belt) is required to measure your pulse.
At least the heart rate receiver is compatible with all main HR belts, though, and is much more accurate than contact heart rate grips. The computer monitor also gives you quick start and manual programs, and the USB port allows for interactive programming.
The E-520 is backed by a 10-year frame, 3-year tank and seals, and 2-year mechanical and all other parts warranty.
– Warranty: 10 Years Frame, 3 Years Polycarbonate Tank & Seals, 2 Years Mechanical & All Other Components
– Footprint: 75″ x 28″
– Vertical standing size: 22″ x 30″