When it comes to home cardio workouts there are few better options than a home rowing machine. But if you are looking for something of good quality that isn’t going to cost a small fortune then your choices are limited. That is until you come across the JLL R200 rower.
The JLL R200 rowing machine is a budget priced rower that has enough bells and whistles to give a good workout but leaves out the unnecessary stuff to remain at an affordable low price. We had seen and heard some excellent reviews about the R200 so we thought it was about time we got our hands on one – so we did – and we tested it for a full 30 days.
Here is our full JLL R200 rowing machine review to help you decide whether or not it’s for you.
JLL R200 Specs
The R200 rowing machine is manufactured in the UK by West Midlands based JLL. They have a solid reputation for making dependable fitness equipment and back up their extensive product range with excellent customer service. If you are near to Birmingham you can visit their showroom just like we did, but for the best prices you should buy online.
The R200 rower features 10 levels of magnetic resistance, all of which is powered by an advanced drive belt system that offers a smooth and quiet experience. The unit can be folded up when not in use and also has transport wheels to allow you to easily move it in to a different position when you are working out.
Measuring up at just 71cm (l) x 52cm (w) x 127cm (h) when folded this is an exceptionally compact rowing machine. When in use the length is 180cm in total with the width remaining the same and the total height becoming 58cm.
The seat rail measures up at an impressive 115.5cm which means taller users will be more than comfortable when using this rower. The rail features a double wheel sliding mechanism that creates a very smooth ride and when combined with the foam padded seat and foam padded handlebars the comfort levels are surprisingly high for such an affordable piece of equipment.
The R200 weighs just 23kg and can hold a maximum user weight of 100kg comfortably.
There is a 7 function LCD monitor which displays all the key information you might need during your workout such as time, number of strokes, distance, calories and more.
JLL R200 Rower 30 Day Review
Rowing machines are excellent for cardio workouts that utilise the upper and lower body and the JLL R200 rowing machine is no exception. Undertaking a 30 day review of the R200 meant that we could really get to grips with it and push ourselves and the machine to its full as well as finding out if it had any funny little quirks that might become annoying over time.
On the whole, we only have good things to say about the R200 but of course you have to consider the level of competition at this price point is pretty minimal and most £200-ish rowing machines generally disappoint – thankfully, the R200 did not disappoint and has taken the mantle of best budget rower in the FP office.
The 10 levels of magnetic resistance were what concerned us more than anything before we started using the R200 but this concern was unfounded as the resistance levels are actually pretty impressive and have a good difficulty range from 1 to 10. The motion of the rail is smooth and general operation is one of the quietest we have seen. Compared to an air based resistance rowing machine you will find this is much quieter but the compromise is less room for high intensity challenge as air rowers are virtually limitless. The magnetic resistance is controlled by the dial on the main body and this is conveniently located just below the LCD monitor and is easy to change without having to get out of your seat.
It seems that JLL have spent the budget wisely when it comes to the design and manufacture of the R200. The basic mechanics of the rower work really well, with the seat motion and pulling action both feeling secure but fluid. The handles are very comfortable and feature a good amount of soft padding. The handle bars are apparently ergonomically designed but to us they just look and feel straight – to be fair, this is how we would want them but to describe a straight bar as economically designed feels a bit of a stretch. The seat is also very well padded and features a soft foam beneath the Polyurethane outer layer.
When it comes to workouts that last 20 minutes or more we have to say the JLL R200 stood up to the test well. It was not uncomfortable to use for that period of time and even longer sessions of 30-45 minutes were more than do-able. It really does provide a high intensity and energy sapping workout that will have you burning calories as efficiently as any other home workout machine.
The LCD display is pretty basic but does the job well. It is worth pointing out that the seat has to travel at least 75cm along the rail for the stroke to count on the display so users with particularly short legs or arms might run in to issues with tracking their progress if they don’t utilise at least that much of the space on the rail. For most users upwards of 5ft this is not going to be an issue. At the other end of the spectrum we found that taller users were well accommodated with the R200 thanks to the generous track length of 115.5cm.
The LCD is a little on the small side which does make it difficult to read when rowing full tilt but it is well positioned and displays well even in brightly lit spaces. This is a minor gripe of ours and certainly isn’t a deal breaker. Don’t expect much in the way of device connectivity as there isn’t any but to be honest it isn’t needed and if you are looking for a good quality rower that just works and is low cost then this is it.
User reviews from various online sources and retailers look very good with mainly 5 star reviews across the board – we would agree that at this price point it doesn’t get much better than the R200. We didn’t notice any degradation over the month that we tested this rower.
JLL R200 Rower Verdict
Value for money
Ease of use
The JLL R200 rowing machine does exactly what it sets out to – that is to deliver a high quality rowing machine at a budget price. It isn’t fancy in any way but it provides a good level of cardio and an upper and lower body workout at a very reasonable cost. The levels of comfort are impressive and the longer than average seat rail means that taller users will also enjoy a comfortable experience.
The R200 folds away to a really compact size and is easy to move and store. This could quite possibly be the king of budget cardio for the home and we have no hesitation in recommending it as a top buy.
Excellent value for money
Excellent fold away design
Smooth seat rail and comfortable padding
Good range of resistance levels
Small LCD screen size
Not ideal for anyone under 5ft