BodyCraft VR500 Rowing Machine Review

BodyCraft VR500 Overview

Are you looking for one of the latest air-mag high-end home fitness rowing machines that guarantees a smooth and silent workout? Look no further than the BodyCraft VR500 Rower, the top-of-the-line home rowing machine from one of the leaders in the home fitness machine industry. The heavy-duty I-Beam Mono-Rail frame is constructed with high strength, industrial grade T13 aluminum, and provides incredible stability as you row. The strength of the T13 aluminum is reflected in the impressive 350 lb maximum suggested weight capacity, and the seat travel distance accommodates users of up to 6’8” tall. Even with the solid frame, the BodyCraft VR500 is completely foldable with a nice child safety lock that ensures tiny hands will not get pinched if they get a hold of the machine.

Like most home rowing machines, the BodyCraft VR500 creates quite a long footprint, which makes the foldability so much more important. The dimensions of the VR500 home rower measure at 98.5″L x 20″W x 38.5″H, so you can reasonably expect this to require over eight feet of space to operate. When folded, the VR500 measures 58.5″L x 20″W x 77″H. As far as home rowing machines go, the VR500 is actually on the lighter side of things weighing in at 101 lbs or 116 lbs inside the box. Since 101 lbs may still be considered heavy for some users, BodyCraft has installed some convenient wheels to allow easy transportation of the folded rowing machine around the house.

The BodyCraft VR500 is equipped with a silent magnetic flywheel which makes rowing indoors peaceful and leaves your neighbors undisturbed. The VR500 actually comes with a dual magnetic and air resistance system, so users can fully customize the difficulty of their workouts with 32 levels of magnetic resistance utilizing Bodycraft’s patented Eddy Current Technology, as well as unlimited air resistance. One thing to note is that to make the machine even more silent, BodyCraft has used a nylon belt as opposed to a metal chain, which simply is not as durable and may need to be replaced sooner. The VR500 comes with 12 different preset programs for users to try, as well as up to four different user profiles for every member of your family.

One area where the BodyCraft VR500 does not excel is its monitor. In an age where connected fitness machines are gaining popularity, BodyCraft provides a fairly basic LCD with backlit LED display and keys, but unfortunately it does not come equipped with any Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity. The screen does provide users with the basic specs like time, distance, calories burned, and strokes per minute, but those looking to watch or listen to entertainment will have to add on BodyCraft’s optional tablet or smartphone holder. The adjustable monitor arm can pivot to a wide range of angles to allow users to view the screen during nearly every workout. Finally, the BodyCraft VR500 does come with a helpful energy saving mode which turns the machine off after four minutes of inactivity.

The assembly for the BodyCraft VR500 is straightforward and should take the average user about an hour to complete. The tools are provided, and the easy to follow instructions will walk you through the ten or so steps it takes to construct the exercise rowing machine. It always helps to have a second person assisting with the assembly, as well as moving the machine to where it will ultimately be placed in your home. Shipping is fairly standard, especially when ordering from the BodyCraft site or a reputable site like Amazon, as the shipping instructions will clearly be provided. Shipping is free from the BodyCraft site within the continental United States, and normally takes between 1-7 business days after the order has been processed. Additional fees and time may apply for customers outside of the continental United States.

In the end, one of the most important pieces of information for people is going to be the price tag, and the VR500 comes with a fairly hefty one. At $1,599.00 on the BodyCraft website, you are definitely looking at a premium price for a home rowing machine that does not come with much technology or extra features. BodyCraft does allow users to finance the VR500 using Affirm, but you will need to prequalify before being given this option. One good thing about BodyCraft is that they provide a warranty that is better than most in the industry. For the VR500 magnetic rowing machine, users will receive a lifetime warranty on the frame, seven years for the parts, one year for wear and tear parts, and two years for the labor.

BodyCraft VR500 Rower Pros

  • Heavy duty I-Beam Mono-Rail constructed with T13 aluminum
  • Ergonomically designed aluminum handlebar with comfort grip and built-in remote control
  • Specially designed contoured seat with heavy duty roller bearings for added comfort and mobility
  • Maximum suggested user weight capacity of 350 lbs
  • Maximum suggested user height of 6’8”
  • Dual-resistance system allows up to 32 levels of magnetic resistance and unlimited air resistance
  • Magnetic resistance with nylon strap allows for a smooth and silent workout
  • Up to four customizable user profiles for every member of your family
  • Energy-Saving mode saves on power when machine is not in use
  • Foldable frame allows for easy storage and a child lock keeps things safe
  • 12 preset programs to challenge users
  • Lightweight machine is made even easier to move with convenient transport wheels
  • Easy to assemble
  • Free shipping within 1-7 business days within the continental United States
  • Excellent warranty gives you peace of mind

BodyCraft VR500 Rower Cons

  • LCD monitor is lacking especially compared to some of its peers
  • The nylon belt is not as durable as a metal chain (but is is less noisy)
  • At 98.5” long, it takes up a lot of space that some smaller living spaces may not be able to accommodate
  • No Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity
  • Users have to purchase optional tablet or smartphone holder

BodyCraft VR500 Rower Final Verdict

The VR500 is one of BodyCraft’s top home rowing machine options and provides an excellent product made with high quality materials and a smooth and silent rowing experience. The dual resistance system means users can use either the 32 levels of magnetic resistance or unlimited levels of air resistance to reach the challenging workout they crave. The BodyCraft VR500 exercise rower has incredible user reviews all across the internet, and is consistently one of the highest rated indoor rowing machines. Here’s the thing, the VR500 is an incredibly high-performing magnetic rowing machine, and the rowing experience and quality is up there amongst the best in the industry. The foldable frame makes storing the VR500 home rower easy and the child lock is a nice feature for those with kids. But without any sort of connected technology and a nylon belt that is widely known as a less durable resistance mechanism, it is difficult to justify the $1,600 price tag that BodyCraft is asking for. At just $100 more, the NordicTrack RW900 provides you with cutting edge technology, a wonderful rowing experience, and 1-year of iFit family membership.

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, my name is Sayed Hamed Hosseiny. I am a professional health and fitness trainer with nearly 20 years of experience using ellipticals, rowing machines, and spin bikes. I also have my own EU-based Rock Fitness Pro fitness brand where I design, import and sell exercise equipment such as rowing machines and spin bikes. I and writers on my team also often receive fitness equipment to review and evaluate their functionalities and performance from tens of different exercise machines manufacturers. Fitness equipment tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on this website are my opinion (and opinions of my fitness expert colleagues) based on tens of criteria. I never accept payment to write reviews of products or say positive things about fitness equipment products. If brands are interested to have me review their rowers, ellipticals, or spin bikes, they can get in touch with me via email provided on the contact page and send a sample of their product.