Velocity Fitness CHR-2001 Rowing Machine Review

Magnetic rowing machines are popular mainly due to the smooth motion and the noiseless working they offer. The Velocity Fitness CHR-2001 Magnetic Rowing Machine not only offers these, but also brings interesting features like extensive training programs. However, before you decide to go in for it, it would be advisable to analyze the pros and cons of the device in detail, as we have done below.

Technical Specifications

  • Resistance Type: Magnetic
  • Dimensions:  80.3 x 20 x 25.2 inches
  • Machine Weight:  75 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 275 pounds
  • Storage:  Foldable
  • Warranty : 1 year on frame/parts

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Velocity has provided the device with a solid build, with hardly any plastic parts. The body is made of aluminum while the beam is made from anodized aluminum coupled with tubing that is rectangular. Combined, these make the Velocity Fitness CHR-2001 Programmable Rowing Machine a long lasting device. Further, though it is not certified as capable of being used for commercial use, retailers do mention that it is built for “intensive home use”. This is not a mere marketing strategy since other rowing machines on the same sites are described as meant simply for “home use”.

Being a magnetic rowing machine, the Velocity Fitness CHR-2001 Programmable Rowing Machine uses a Drum Magnetic Control (DRM) type of magnetic resistance, which is not to be found on other machines. However, it is not clear exactly what this type of magnetic resistance brings to the instrument. That said, we should mention that most users who have used this device for a long time have not complained of any major problems, so whatever DRM does, you do not have to worry about the performance of the machine.

Finally, we should mention that unlike a lot of magnetic rowing machines, this one comes with double bearings which provide not only additional comfort, but also ensures the longevity of the rowing mechanism.

Ease of Use

One of the major benefits of the magnetic resistance rowing machine is that it can be programmed to exact resistances. This rowing machine makes full use of this feature by providing users with 8 levels of resistance. Families having children and two adults have mentioned that despite massive differences in strength levels, all of them could use the machine with equal ease.


The motion of rowing itself is very smooth and fluid, with even the creaking reduced to a bare minimum. While die-hard fans of actual rowing may find this fluidity a bit annoying at times, it is perfect for the fitness enthusiast who prefers an uniform motion during workout to the actual motion of a boat.

The machine is far quieter when it comes to the noise produced by the motion of the pull mechanism. While this is something to be expected from a magnetic rowing machine, the Velocity Fitness CHR-2001 Programmable Rowing Machine is in fact better than most magnetic rowing machines in this regard, since users commented that they did not have to raise their television and music system volumes even when working out at full speed.

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Velocity has provided the Velocity Fitness CHR-2001 Programmable Rowing Machine with a polyurethane leather seat which is well padded and encounters no problems when moving up and down the rail at a high speed. The handles are padded and holding onto them is comfortable. This means that the machine is especially useful for those who are unused to rowing machines and can develop blisters on their hands when gripping the handles hard.


The machine, which mentions ‘Programmable’ in its title, lives up to this tag well. As we mentioned before there are 8 levels of resistance. These can be creatively used to chart one’s own custom exercise plans, with the machine’s memory having provision for the storage of four such routines. There are 6 pre-programmed routines as well, with an option of choosing the exercise programme which matches your target heart rate.

The LCD display is conveniently placed near the bottom of the machine near the footrests. It displays virtually all important information, including time, distance covered, calories burnt, etc. in large fonts. Using the heart belt which is provided with  the machine, one can measure one’s heart rate as well. To make the deal even more sweet, the  Velocity Fitness CHR-2001 Programmable Rowing Machine can actually monitor your exact motions and show it on the screen.

An equally interesting feature of the device is to measure your pulse recovery rate. It runs the check for one minute, and tries to make out how fast your pulse rate recovers. The slower the rate, the worse your pulse recovery.

Ease of Storage

Storing the  Velocity Fitness CHR-2001 Programmable Rowing Machine is quite easy, involving removal of a bolt which holds the monorail in position, moving the rail and seat into a standing position and re-attaching the bolt.

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  • Can be programmed to an extent not possible on most rowing machine
  • Excellent build quality and comfortable seats and handles ensure a perfect rowing experience
  • Quietest among all types of rowing machines, with no creaking/cracking sounds


  • Requires a power source to run

Who is the Velocity Fitness CHR-2001 best for?

The rowing machine has a decent length monorail to ensure that even the tall can fit in well, though if you’re above 6’2”, there may be some issues. The machine also allows the height of the seat to be adjusted to your convenience. Regarding capacity, the official capacity of the device is 295 pounds which is decent by any standards.  The footrests are decent sized and do not allow your feet to slip off when working out.


The Velocity Fitness CHR-2001 Programmable Rowing Machine comes with not only the standard noiselessness and smoothness one expects from a magnetic rowing machine, but also provides excellent programmability options which one is not likely to find on any other device. In terms of build and comfort, the machine scores well. It is well known that magnetic rowing machines need a power supply to run, so if you’re planning on using it somewhere which does not have a power supply, you may have to carry a power bank. However, this is rather unlikely, and other than this, the Velocity Fitness CHR-2001 Programmable Rowing Machine can be considered one of the best magnetic rowing machines available out there.

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