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Last Updated: August 23, 2023
The Bells Of Steel Blitz Air Rower is a new rower to land on the market, but it shares a striking resemblance to a beloved rower: the Concept2 RowErg. This rower joins Bells Of Steel’s growing lineup of cardio equipment with the Blitz Air Bike 2.0 and the Blitz Manual Treadmill. We’ve tested and enjoyed using both of these machines, so we were excited and eager to try out the Blitz Air Rower. Being an air rower, it has unlimited resistance to row against, as well as a simple, battery-powered console so you can use this rower just about anywhere where noise isn’t an issue. Its seat, versatile handle, and velcro foot straps make it comfortable and easy to use. In this review of the Bells Of Steel Blitz Air Rower, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about this new rower.
Why You Should Trust Our Review Of The Bells Of Steel Blitz Air Rower
Our team consists of product testers who are personal trainers, fitness instructors, garage gym owners, and commercial gym goers who have been testing rowing machines for years. We test and use every rower that comes into our studio and we even compare them with rowers that we have on hand, so you know what to expect. Our goal is to help you make informed buying decisions.
When testing the Blitz Air Rower, we pulled out our Concept2 RowErg, Assault AirRower Elite, Hydrow Wave, and NordicTrack RW900 rowing machines. We mainly compared the Bells Of Steel to the Concept2, but you’ll see comparisons to some of these rowers in this review.
Our Bells of Steel Blitz Air Rower Review Video
- Battery-Powered Console
- Console Displays: time, time/500m, distance, calories, heart rate, SPM, watts, and total strokes
- Program Modes: manual, interval 10/20, interval 20/10, interval custom, target time, target distance, target calories, target strokes, and target pulse
- No Electricity Required
- Bluetooth Enabled
- Phone Rack
- Connects to Kinomap App
- Front Transportation Wheels
- Splits in half for better storage
- Footprint: 95” L x 24.25” W x 37.5” H
- Construction: Steel and Aluminum Rail
- Weight Capacity: 320 lbs
- Rower Weight: 90.4 lbs
- Adjustable Foot Pedals
- Chain Drive System
- Unlimited Air Resistance
- 10 Damper Levels
- Rounded Handle with Finger Webbing
- Well-Cushioned Seat
- Warranty: 5-year frame & 2-year parts
In-depth Review of Bells Of Steel Blitz Air Rower
What makes most air rowers really convenient to use is the fact that they don’t require electricity. The Bells Of Steel Blitz Air Rower has a battery-powered console like many other air rowers on the market.
It tracks important metrics like your time, time per 500m, distance, estimated calories, heart rate (when paired with a compatible monitor), strokes per minute, total strokes, and watt output, which is your power. You can also see the damper level on the screen.
There are also different settings to choose from. If you just start rowing, the console sets to manual mode where you can row for as long or as little as you want. There are also custom settings where you can do interval training, as well as set custom intervals. You can also set target time, distance, calories, stroke, and heart rate goals.
You can reset the settings by pushing the “Reset” button. The other two buttons on the console are “Set” and “Mode”. I wish there were a few more buttons to navigate and adjust the custom workout settings a little bit easier. Right now, the console isn’t the most streamlined or intuitive to use.
The iConsole is also Bluetooth-enabled to connect to compatible heart rate monitors and the Kinomap app. Compared to the PM5 Monitor on the Concept2, this console doesn’t offer as many features or connectivity.
Like other rowers, there isn’t storage to put your water bottle.
Although the Bells Of Steel Blitz Air Rower hasn’t been on the market for very long, it feels well-constructed and built. This rower is lightweight but feels durable and capable of handling a lot of use. It doesn’t hurt that it shares many similarities with the tried and tested Concept2. Even with so many similarities, Bells Of Steel didn’t cut any corners with this design, especially when it comes to comfort.
Bells Of Steel recommends separating the rower into 2 pieces for storage. On the rail at the bottom of the footboards and pedals, the Blitz Rower can be split in 2 with a tool. We don’t see why you couldn’t store it upright, too. We store ours upright. You just need to make sure you have a high enough ceiling to do this.
This is where the Bells Of Steel Blitz Air Rower most resembles the C2. From the monorail to the front and rear stabilizers, these rowers have the same design. The Blitz is around 90 lbs and handles up to 320 lbs – so not as much as the Concept2 which handles up to 500 lbs, but still a good amount of weight.
The Blitz Air Rower should work well for most people. The rail is about 12” high with the seat being around 15” high so it’s pretty easy to get on and off of. For most rowing machines, we like the seat to be around this high. Lower seats like those on water rowers tend to be more limited to people with mobility issues as far as being able to get on and off. They can also be harder to use if the seat and pedals are the same height because this requires more hip flexion.
- Footprint: 95” L x 24.25” W x 37.5” H
- Pedal Footboards: 11” L
- Pedal Width: 13.5”
- Monorail: 12” H
- Seat: 12” W x 10” D x 15” H
- Belt Drive: 26” from where the belt (or chain) appears from the flywheel
Footboard & Pedals
The footboards are 2 separate pieces that sit under each of the pedals on either side of the rail. As far as width, the footboards and pedals have a nice space between them to work better for most people. When testing home rowers, we like to see some space between the pedals. This helps to give larger users and beginners enough room to not feel constricted. Rowers with pedals that are close together resemble outdoor rowing shells more similarly, but they can also feel harder for most people to use.
They’re compatible to wear with athletic shoes. The bottom heel clips fit around your heels to help hold your feet in place. One thing we did notice is that when the pedals are extended to the largest settings, the heel clips hang off the bottom of the footboards. So, users with larger feet will have their heels hanging off the bottom. Over time this could cause some damage to the heel clips since they don’t have a complete area to push off from in the drive, and they’re just made out of plastic. We would like to see the footboards lengthened by just a few inches on a future upgrade. For most though, they work just fine.
One aspect that I really like about the pedals is the velcro straps. They’re thick so they hold your feet in place well, and the velcro makes strapping in and out of the rower really fast and easy. We prefer velcro straps on rowers.
Right above the pedals, is the handle. This handle is rounded, light-padded, and versatile. I like the texture of the handle, it is gritty and grippy so it doesn’t feel slippery in your hands.
The middle also has finger-webbing, like the C2, so you can do single-arm rowing. I think the finger-webbing design works for most people, but if you have larger hands and fingers you might prefer the open design on the Assault AirRower Elite’s handle for single-arm rowing.
The Blitz Rower handle is long enough for rowers of various sizes. It doesn’t rotate and isn’t as padded as the Aviron Rowers’ handle, but the texture is nice. It also is designed to keep your hands and wrists in alignment so they stay in a neutral position throughout the stroke.
It seems to be the same one that is on the AssaultRower Elite. It is one of the most comfortable seats we’ve used on rowers. It has contouring in the back for your tailbone and contouring in the front for your thighs. The cushioning is forgiving to provide a good amount of comfort. On firm seats, my glutes tend to hurt and sometimes go numb when I’m rowing for long periods of time, but I don’t have those problems with this seat. The seat has some texture so it doesn’t feel slippery, especially when we’re wearing slippery shorts or leggings.
Unlike the Assault, the seat doesn’t lock into place when you’re not using it, so use caution when storing and moving the Bells Of Steel Rower.
It is the same size as the Concept2’s fan. The Blitz also has a chain drive system. So, a chain connects the handle to the flywheel. This does make the Blitz a little louder to use, in addition to the fan which creates noise, too. It also makes each stroke feel a little grittier than belt drives. It really comes down to personal preference between the two drive systems. Some folks prefer chains while others prefer quiet and smoother belts. I say, if noise is an issue for you, you might want a magnetic or water rower with a belt drive, but if noise isn’t a factor then look into the air rower like the Bells Of Steel.
They often need to be tightened and lubricated occasionally, while belts don’t. The chain on the Blitz, however, feels really tight. This is nice to give you a good amount of contact on the resistance and it helps to encourage you into the recovery from the finish a little more naturally.
The Bells Of Steel Blitz Air Rower uses air as resistance. There are vents in the fan that allow air inside. Once you start rowing, the fan blades in the flywheel start moving and pushing against the air that gets sucked into the vents.
Air rowers are known for providing an unlimited amount of tension to pull against. The harder and faster you row (increasing your intensity) the more resistance you get. While there aren’t set resistance levels like on magnetic rowers like the Hydrow Wave, there isn’t a maximum level that the resistance tops out at.
This gives you a little more range to work with when rowing, versus just changing up your effort levels. Level 1 lets in the least amount of air which gives you less resistance, while level 10 lets in the most amount of air to give you the most amount of resistance to pull against.
Performance & Functionality
The Bells Of Steel Blitz Air Rower is a really quality rower that’s comfortable and functional to use. Between the simple, lightweight design, well-cushioned seat, and versatile handle, this rower is more than just a copycat of the Concept2 RowErg. It’s also priced a little lower so it’s a good alternative if you’re looking to save but still bring home a quality rowing machine. The console doesn’t compare to the PM5, but if you aren’t concerned about competing or utilizing the connectivity that the C2 provides, the Blitz console works just fine.
It has nice geometry and a thoughtful design that helps to encourage good rowing form. Not only is the chain drive tight to keep nice tension in the handle, but the monorail has a 1” slope forward so you can more easily shift into the recovery and actually use that portion of the stroke to actively recover.
I did notice that when you first start rowing, during the first stroke, the fan blades can feel a little harder to get moving than other rowers. I’m not sure if they’re a little heavier than other fan blades, but once you’re rowing and the blades are moving the tension feels consistent.
Something to keep in mind is that the damper can’t be changed when you’re sitting on the rower. Like the C2, you have to get up to adjust the setting, or at the very least unstrap one foot. The damper does feel easier to adjust, but it feels so much easier that it can be harder to set to a specific setting.
The Blitz Air Rower might not be best to use in all homes because it is loud to use. It sounds very similar to other air rowers like the C2. With how well-built it is, this rower can be used for personal use as well as in commercial gyms like many other air rowers. We think it should hold up well after a lot of use.
I definitely prefer the seat on the Blitz and I think this air rower is a great option to add to not only Bells Of Steel’s cardio machine lineup but to other air rowers on the market.
Bells Of Steel includes a 5-year warranty for the frame and a 2-year warranty for parts with the purchase of the Blitz Air Rower. We also found that this rower is pretty simple to assemble. It is shipped in two separate packages.