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Last Updated: August 22, 2023
Aviron makes rowing fun! If you’ve ever hopped on an indoor rower, you know how tough they are. There’s no doubt you’ll be sweating within minutes of hopping on the Aviron Strong Series Rower, but I promise you’ll be enjoying every minute. Aviron takes subscription training content to a new level with their video gamified content, competitions, guided workouts, virtual rowing, and app streaming from Netflix, Spotify, and Hulu. I promise you won’t get bored on an Aviron Rower! In addition to the content, the Strong Series Rowing Machine is one of the best rowers on the market. It has impressive construction, as well as thoughtful features that make it appealing and comfortable for users of most sizes and all abilities. In our Aviron Strong Series Rower review, I’ll go over all the components, how it performed for us, and our team’s thoughts.
Why You Should Trust Our Review Of The Aviron Strong Series Rower
We work hard to test all of the latest fitness equipment on the market, or at least as many machines as we can get into our studio. This includes rowing machines. We’ve tested all kinds of rowers as well as the other Aviron Rower which is the Impact Series Rower. As for who we are, we’re personal trainers, fitness instructors, and product testers who have been reviewing fitness equipment for years. You can trust that we’ve spent an extensive amount of time using the Aviron Strong Series Rower, as well as other rowing machines before compiling this review.
Our Aviron Strong Series Video Review
- 22” Touch Screen that tilts and pivots for viewing on and off the rower.
- Metrics Monitor stats tracking and connectivity with friends without a subscription.
- Streaming from preloaded apps with a subscription: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, Youtube, and Spotify.
- Play video games and compete among yourself, friends, other members, and even professional athletes with a subscription.
- Follow along with guided workouts with and without an instructor with the subscription.
- Take virtual rowing routes all over the world with the subscription.
- Hardened glass touchscreen
- 2×5 watt speakers
- 2MP camera
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Phone holder
- Two transportation wheels
- Stores upright
- Fan from resistance points at you to cool you off while rowing.
- Footprint: 84” L x 27” W x 48” H
- Stored Upright: 35” L x 27” W x 83” H
- Reinforced Construction: Steel and Aluminum
- Weight Capacity: 507 lbs
- Rower Weight: 114 lbs
- Height Limit: 6’8”
- Four-Way Adjustable Foot Pedals
- Whisper Nylon Belt
- Dual Air and Adjustable Magnetic Resistance
- 16 Levels of Magnetic Resistance
- Round Rotating Handle
- Quick Adjust Resistance Remote Accessory (Sold Separately)
- Wide and Tall Seat
- Cloud Seat (Sold Separately)
- Lumbar Support Accessory (Sold Separately)
- Warranty: 10 years for the frame and 1 year for parts.
In-depth Review of Aviron Strong Series Rower
Alright, now I’m going to give you a rundown of what you can access on the touch screen.
Before I dive into what comes with an additional monthly cost, here’s what you get without a subscription membership.
Without a subscription, you have access to the Metrics Monitor under “Quick Start” on the home screen. This is a screen that shows all of your workout metrics while rowing. The metrics tracked are total meters rowed, watts, pace, time, calories, output (in kilojoules), total strokes, strokes per minute, resistance level, and heart rate. You just have to pair the rower with a compatible heart rate monitor to see your heart rate. Also without a subscription you can connect with friends who have an Aviron to see how you rank, as well as view your rankings among other Aviron users.
When you create a profile, you’ll be able to track and access your workout history and earn achievements and award badges. You can also use all of this with a subscription. So, even if you aren’t interested in paying an additional monthly fee, you’re still able to use the Aviron. I highly recommend subscribing though because the subscription content is one of my favorite things about this rower.
The video games are probably my favorite aspect. These games have great graphics and there’s a large variety to appeal to video game lovers of all ages. Some of the 2D games remind me of the Pac-Man days, while the 3D games resemble newer-aged video games of today.
In some of the games other members can jump in and start playing against you if you keep the public mode on. Aviron adds new games from time to time, so this library is growing and offers a wide range of games to choose from.
You’ll find more games under the Competition category on the home screen. These include gamified competitions for you to compete against yourself or other members. The competitions feature a leaderboard and are racing games to test out your rowing skills.
The last category for gaming content is Power Play. These are my favorite because I can select a game and it is structured as a complete workout. There are a large number of these games available in different durations depending on how long you want to work out. In each game, a car driving down 5 lanes is shown. You are the car and you must hit targets in the lanes in order to get points for your total score. You change lanes by changing your strokes per minute (spm), so these are great for working on rowing at specific paces.
From the subscription content home screen, you can log into your Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Youtube accounts. I really appreciate this inclusion on the Aviron. We are often asked if fitness equipment with attached touch screens works like televisions, and the Aviron is close with these included apps. You can also now log into your Spotify account and listen to music of your choosing in the background of the video games and other workouts.
Pros vs Joes
Various professional boxers, football players, sprinters, and rowing athletes are available to row against to see how you do in a head-to-head competition. The screen sometimes displays a small video of the rower in the top right corner rowing and shows workout metrics for you both. A display of two pace boats, one for you and one for them, is shown on the screen.
The Coached Programs category is where you’ll find trainer-led content. Aviron recommends these workouts for beginners and I think this is pretty accurate. The majority of the videos feature Training Tall, a Youtube fitness coach, who guides you through different workouts on and off the rower. Austin is really great with providing form corrections, so if you’re a beginner who is new to rowing, I definitely recommend checking these out. The other categories don’t include form correction and since rowing is such a technical exercise, it is nice to have some guidance.
The Guided Programs also offer guidance while you’re rowing. These feature different workouts that take place on and off the rower. On the screen is a graphic of someone rowing to demonstrate how to do each exercise in the workout. You even get form feedback as well as a score for how you perform each exercise and even the rest periods. These allow you to compete with multiple people, too.
These are similar to what other brands offer for outdoor-filmed content. A camera on a rowing shell points at the water to give you the same point-of-view as if you were on the water rowing. There are several different videos filmed in different locations. To make it even more realistic, the camera speeds up and slows down depending on your pace. I will say that the video quality of these videos isn’t as crystal-clear as the other features, but it is nice to have such a wide variety of content to choose from on the Aviron.
Most of the functionality of the rower is built into the screen. This is consistent with the Aviron Impact Series Rower, and other machines with touch screens. This touch screen is plenty large and my favorite size on fitness equipment. It’s also highly adjustable. You can tilt it up and down really easily and pivot it to either side for workouts off of the rower. As far as adjustable screens found on other machines, the Aviron is one of the top because the arm allows it to be adjusted almost any way.
The screen is also clear and easy to see. I’m about 5’1” and I can angle and pull the screen a little closer to me when I’m picking a game, workout, or show to watch. On other rowers, I usually have to unstrap one foot to reach the screen better.
The screen is also easy to use and navigate within the subscription content. There’s a navigation bar on the left side of the screen and a search bar with filters at the top. All of the categories are clearly labeled and feature images so you know exactly what is what, too.
There is a camera built into the screen for taking sweaty selfies to send to your friends or to take a photo for your profile. It would be nice to see more functionality in the camera in the future. For profiles, there is an unlimited number you can create which is perfect if you have multiple users in your household planning on using the Strong Series Rower.
The speakers are on the back of the screen so they project away from you. They have a good amount of volume so you can hear them over the sound of the resistance on the rower. You can adjust the resistance on the screen or on the handles if you purchase the Quick Adjust Resistance Remote that’s sold separately. This is a handle with two adjustment buttons in the middle so you can adjust the resistance midstroke without having to lean forward to touch the screen.
It’s essentially a small plastic ridge in between the pedals to put your phone on to keep it nearby. I really like how Aviron utilized extra space to include this feature and I think more rowers should have storage like this.
We’re really impressed and pleased with the construction of the Aviron Strong Series Rower. It is more compact and quieter than the Impact Rower from Aviron, and it doesn’t weigh too much more at 114 lbs versus 97 lbs. It is a bit hardier than Aviron’s other rower in its design, yet still pretty lightweight. It handles up to 507 lbs of user weight which is typically the most we see on rowers. The Concept2 has a 500 lb weight limit in comparison.
It doesn’t fold, but it can be stored upright. It has a nice stabilizer support to rest it upright on. Plus, there are two front transportation wheels on the front so when you lift up the back end of the rail, you can move it around fairly easily.
It is made of steel and aluminum with two stabilizers that keep it in place while you’re rowing. The reinforced rail and industrial grade seat wheel bearings back the Strong Rower feel very smooth to use.
What makes the frame and design of this Aviron Rower is its lower rail and tall seat. This lower monorail is also shorter than Aviron’s other rower so it takes up less space in your home. Even though it’s shorter, it still accommodates users up to 6’8”, which is impressive, and safe to say the Aviron Strong Series can fit most people.
- Footprint: 84” L x 27” W x 48” H
- Stored Upright: 35” L x 27” W x 83” H
- Pedal Footboards: 11” L
- Pedal Width Adjustment: 17” (Widest) 13” (Narrowest)
- Monorail: 47” L x 10” H
- Seat: 15” W x 10” D x 20” H
- Belt Drive: 30” from where the belt appears from the flywheel
Footboard & Pedals
The footboards and pedals are very impressive and frankly, innovative. There is a crank on the side of the right pedal that lets you adjust the pedals to be close together or wider apart. This is an AWESOME feature that I think more brands so incorporate. In our testing, water rowers like the Ergatta, tend to have narrow pedals that can feel constricting to some, especially larger users.
Rowing is a total body workout that primarily works your lower body. Having proper alignment between your hips, knees, and feet is important to help prevent discomfort and to allow you to push through your legs and feet through the drive of the stroke. Since the Aviron can handle users of various heights and weights, it makes sense to adjust the space of the pedals since people vary in hip width and build. I really love the innovation here. Great job, Aviron.
The pedals also adjust vertically to accommodate various shoe sizes. This is standard for rowers. This way the foot strap can be placed across the widest part of the foot. They adjust pretty easily. The nylon foot straps are adjustable to keep your feet in place, too. They’re velcro, which I prefer. I think velcro straps make the most sense on rowers because they’re quick to strap in and out of.
The pedals are compatible to use with athletic shoes and the bottom fits around your shoe. It’s flexible to allow for some ankle flexion when you’re in the catch, too.
The only thing we noticed is that the footboards aren’t as long as other rowers. Those with larger feet will notice that their heels hang off the bottoms of the footboard below the pedals. Considering that the footboards are designed to push off of, we would like to see longer footboards on the Strong Series in the future. As it is, you can still push off in the drive to work your legs, but the bottom part of the pedals might break over time since they don’t have support underneath them.
The handle is round and nicely padded. It feels comfortable to hold. I prefer rounded handles like this one. What is nice about this handle is that it rotates, so if you start breaking at the wrist during your stroke, the handle will rotate to realign your wrists so you keep a neutral grip. There’s nothing worse than getting floppy wrists while rowing.
The only aspect that is missing is the ability to do single-arm rowing, like the Concept2 RowErg, which has finger webbing. Considering you can purchase a handle with resistance buttons, I don’t miss this on the Strong Series Rower.
Like the Impact Series, the Strong Series Rower has a wide, lightly padded seat. This seat isn’t our favorite because it has minimal padding, but you can purchase the Cloud Seat at an additional price with more forgiving padding. Rowers in general don’t have the most comfortable seats, but I like that Aviron gives the option of purchasing a more cushioned seat if that suits your liking better.
As I mentioned about the monorail earlier, it sits fairly low to the ground, yet the seat is still 20” high. Because the seat is much wider than other Rowers like the NordicTrack RW900, Ergatta, and Concept2, Aviron was able to get away with this design. Sometimes rower seats can feel a little unstable laterally if you shift your weight to either side. Because the seat is so wide, it feels supportive and stable to sit on. I think the large piece that fastens the seat onto the rail serves as a great base to keep the seat feeling sturdy and smooth.
Plus, for people with lower back and mobility issues, there is a Lumbar Support accessory available at an additional price. This is essentially a backrest for the seat, but it’s a great addition if you need extra support.
The flywheel is attached to the front of the rower under the screen. The Aviron Strong Series Rower is a hybrid rower so it uses both air and magnetic resistance. This means that the harder you row, the harder the tension gets to pull against thanks to the air resistance. From there, it can be adjusted up and down with the magnetic resistance.
The vents in the front are there to “cool you off”. They provide a small breeze as you row. This is nice and the breeze isn’t overpowering.
What attaches the handle to the flywheel is a nylon belt. I prefer belt drive systems because they make for quiet, smooth strokes. Chain drives, like on the Concept2, can require a bit of maintenance. Chains are also louder and can change the feeling of the stroke.
So, as I mentioned, this is a hybrid rower that uses both air and magnetic resistance. The air makes the stroke feel more realistic, while the magnetic resistance allows it to be adjustable.
Aviron says that levels 1-10 are best for cardio and 11-16 are best for strength training. I don’t think rowing on the Aviron, or on any other rower, is the equivalent of lifting weights, but the resistance offers a great amount of tension to pull against. It is said to offer 100 lbs of resistance which is a large amount.
Air rowers provide unlimited resistance to pull against, so even though the Aviron has a max level with magnetic resistance when you row harder you’ll still feel more tension. I like that the Aviron is a hybrid rower that utilizes resistance well, but something to keep in mind is that this rower isn’t silent to use. Magnetic rowers tend to be best for most homes, especially shared spaces like apartments, because they’re very quiet. The Strong Series is quieter than the Impact Series, but it still makes noise. It’s certainly quieter than the Concept2 though.
Performance & Functionality
Overall, we really like Aviron Rowers and recommend them both. I especially appreciate how accessible the Strong Series Rower is for a larger range of people. Not only is the adjustable pedal width very thoughtful, but so is the lower rail and tall seat. It’s also nice to have the choice of purchasing a softer seat and handle to adjust the resistance. We really like the Impact Rower, so the Strong Series is a great step-up model with all of its features and functionality.
Getting in and out of the seat feels similar to sitting down and standing up from a chair, so I definitely recommend this rower to people with balance and mobility issues. Plus, having the rail lower makes it easier to lift your legs over when you sit down and stand up. We like seeing tall seats on rowers, so it is nice to have the tall seat, yet a lower monorail. It is also appreciated that the Aviron has such a high weight limit and height range. I think users of most sizes will find the Aviron Strong Rower to be comfortable. We did and our team ranges from around 5 feet up to 6 feet 5 inches in height.
All abilities should enjoy this rower, too. The games make rowing fun, which is a feat in itself! I do strongly encourage beginners to check out the guided workouts though because once you get into the games and competitions, your form can go right out the window if you don’t have a good grasp of the fundamentals.
I really like this design because it helps promote good form and a natural position throughout the stroke. It also helps your back so you don’t feel forced from the finish into the recovery.
The Aviron isn’t best for people who like an unplugged rowing experience, however, there are plenty of other rowers on the market that will fit your needs like the Concept2, AssaultRower, or WaterRower. The Aviron is for people (like me) who like to be distracted when they row. I often get bored on rowers and the Aviron definitely prevents that!
I think my only gripe with the gaming content is that there isn’t a pause button for the games. So, if you just need to take a quick break, answer a text, or even just collect your thoughts, you have to quit the game entirely. It’s disappointing to have to do this, especially if I’ve collected a lot of points in a game. Since Aviron is so award-focused with its badges and levels, it appeals to those who are competitive for sure, but not having a pause button is a little discouraging.
Overall, I think the Aviron Strong Series Rower is a great choice for people looking for a great cardio workout in their home – they’ll also most likely have some fun, too. We need more of that.
Aviron includes a pretty nice warranty with the purchase of the Strong Series Rowing Machine. The warranty covers 10 years for the frame and 1 year for parts. Setting up the rower is pretty straightforward, but I recommend 2 people for attaching the touch screen, especially.