Diamondback Fitness 910R Indoor Rower Review

Diamondback is a name to reckon with in the world of exercise bikes, recumbent cycles and outdoor sports equipment. While the reputation it has garnered in these fields makes one relatively confident of receiving a product of decent build quality, the value for money component in case of rowing machines is decided to a large extent by the features and their efficacy. For instance, the Proteus PAR-5500 Commercial Club Series offers excellent value for money through an innovative hybrid resistance system that combines with a host of other features to provide a satisfying workout. The Diamondback Fitness 910R Indoor Rower shares the price tag and the resistance type, and though it differs in some significant aspects from Proteus’ machine, it boasts of a range of useful features on its specs sheet. But does Diamondback have the expertise to claim for itself equality, if not superiority, against Proteus and other well known brands in this price bracket? This detailed review will seek to answer this question by analyzing the rowing machine’s various facets in detail.

Technical Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 70 x 18 x 26 inches
  • Product Weight: 88 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Storage: Foldable
  • Warranty: 3 years on frame and electrical parts, 90 days on parts suffering wear

Diamondback Fitness 910R Indoor Rower

Structure

Aircraft grade aluminum or very high quality steel is the norm in the $1,000+ price bracket, and the Diamondback Fitness 910R Indoor Rower chooses to go with a more dependable exuded aluminum frame. It does have steel – in the supports – and these by virtue of their build quality and design, ensure adequate stability and balance for the machine. Indeed, this combination of design and quality materials allows the product to offer a user weight capacity of 300 lbs, which is decent for this price range.

If we look at the design in greater detail, we find that the rowing machine contains a raised resistance assembly, unlike the Proteus product, whose resistance unit is proximate to the ground. Complementing this is a comparatively lower shaft and seat assembly, which helps maintain the balance of the machine at an adequate level from the ground. There are sturdy legs at the end of the device and a single triangular leg at the front which supports both the front end of the shaft and the resistance assembly itself.

The frame is covered by a 3 year warranty, as are the electrical components. Both the warranties on the frame and electronic components are decent and match that of many of the best rowing machines in this price bracket. Interestingly, while many manufacturers offer virtually no warranty on the wearable parts like straps and seat cushion, Diamondback offers a 90 day warranty on these as well.

Ease of Use

The Diamondback Fitness 910R Indoor Rower comes with a traditional ergonomic padded seat design that is well loved by users across all price categories. Coupled with an equally ergonomically designed curved handle with rubber cover, this provides excellent support and comfort to virtually every body part involved in the rowing action.

Further, the product utilizes a combination of air and magnetic resistance (see below) that allows for the benefits of air resistance without two of its major drawbacks – lack of precision resistance levels and the loud noise that the working of the flywheel produces. The result is an extremely quiet and comfortable rowing experience not unlike that offered by products priced at double that of the Diamondback Fitness 910R Indoor Rower.

Operation

The benefits of using a rowing machine increase in direct proportion to the simplicity and intuitiveness of the rowing experience. With this product, rowing is as simple as strapping the legs onto the footrests, placing oneself comfortably on the ergonomic seat and taking up the handle to begin rowing.

Since the display console is located atop the resistance mechanism unit, changing the resistance or simply noting the metrics never requires one to bend the neck or the hands at an angle that is not consonant with the rowing motion. Indeed, the strategic location of the display console completes the ergonomic excellence that is characteristic of this rowing machine.

Parts

The Diamondback Fitness 910R Indoor Rower uses a hybrid resistance unit. At the centre of this system is an air resistance unit that offers the basic levels of resistance. As the resistance is increased, magnets are steadily brought closer to the metal flywheel, thereby forcing the flywheel to go through a heavier magnetic field. As the flywheel cuts through the magnetic field, the momentum required rises significantly, and this is translated into higher resistance. Since the distance of the magnets can be precisely controlled, the increase in resistance at higher levels can be controlled with accuracy that pure air resistance units are not known for.

Furthermore, the innovative resistance mechanism allows the product to possess as many as 16 resistance levels, which is excellent considering the price bracket. The range of resistances is such that small children and elders can use this product with equal ease.

The seat carriage is the standard external type, which runs using a pair of well oiled ball bearings. Though this may not appear very innovative, it does ensure that the seat stays steady and moves quickly and smoothly during the workout.

Finally, the footrests are large and offer the important pivoting mechanism that offers the feet natural movement during rowing. With large and adjustable straps, these footrests provide sufficient comfort to the feet even during lengthy and intense workouts.

Display

The Diamondback Fitness 910R Indoor Rower is slightly different from the standard multi-layer display found on premium rowing machines. Diamondback has provided a LCD backlit display that contains two levels for metrics and a graph depicting level in between. Users who shifted to this product from others were initially disconcerted with this display system, but they eventually got used to it. Further, they noted that even during their confusion, the digits could be made out clearly and this in the long run helped clear their confusion. These metrics include time, speed, stroke count, heart rate and calories consumed, thus making the display an all encompassing real time companion for viewing one’s performance.

Further, there are 19 programs available that cater to all segments – racing (against a virtual computerized boat), heart rate based programs, realistic training programs and muscle capacity building programs. However, a few users wished Diamondback had included a heart rate measurement unit along with the product, though they qualified their complaint by noting that the heart rate receiver in the console worked well.

Storage

The Diamondback Fitness 910R Indoor Rower has a folding mechanism that allows the shaft and seat segment to be raised perpendicular to the resistance unit. In this shape, the Diamondback machine offers a very small footprint and can therefore be stowed away easily using the wheels that the manufacturer has provided at the base.

Advantages

  • Sturdy structure made of exuded aluminum and steel
  • Well balanced design with raised resistance unit and lowered seat and shaft
  • Comfortable seat with well oiled ball bearings beneath the carriage
  • Smooth and quiet air and magnetic resistance unit for comfortable rowing
  • Product offers 16 highly accurate resistance levels
  • Large pivoting footrests for comfortable rowing
  • Large backlit LCD display with all essential metrics easily viewable due to strategic positioning
  • 19 training programs available

Disadvantages

  • Display structure is slightly complex for beginners
  • Diamondback could have included a heart rate sensing instrument along with the product

Conclusion

While it may not be as famous in the market as say a Concept 2 or a WaterRower, Diamondback has made a strong statement of its seriousness in entering this market with the Diamondback Fitness 910R Indoor Rower. Offering the increasingly popular hybrid resistance system with a large number of ergonomic and well built parts, this feature filled product is an excellent answer to the challenge thrown down by market leaders in this segment.

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