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Xterra Fitness ERG500 Air Turbine Rower Review

Last Updated on February 12, 2021 by Jeff

Xterra Fitness ERG500 Air Turbine Rower Overview:

The Xterra Fitness ERG500 Air Turbine Rower is designed to give trainees the feel of real rowing. This is achieved via the additional resistance generated by the air turbine as they row. With eight levels of lever-adjusted resistance and four preset programs for various goals, this rower gives a full strength and cardio workout and then folds for storage when you are done.

A multi-window LCD monitor displays information related to your goals and is compatible with optional heart rate monitors. The seat is large and contoured for comfort while the foot pedals are adjustable for size and angle and include a foot strap for added safety and security while rowing.

Click here to see the price on the Xterra Fitness ERG500 Air Turbine Rowing Machine on Amazon.

Technical Info:


  • Height: 33” unfolded, 57” folded
  • Width: 19” unfolded, 20” folded
  • Length: 72” unfolded, 45” folded
  • Item weight: 59.4 lbs
  • Max user weight: 300 lbs


  • 8 levels of resistance, easily adjusted with a large, easily accessed lever.
  • Air turbine gives additional resistance and feels like real rowing.
  • Multi-window, full function LCD monitor has an adjustable angle for the best viewing during rowing.
  • 4 preset programs allow trainee to set different motivational goals.
  • Aluminum side rails for smooth gliding.
  • Folds for easy storage.

Monitor Features:

  • LCD monitor has multiple views so that you can track several things at one time.
  • Works with 2 AAA batteries.
  • Shows stroke count, time, calories burned, distance as well as 4 programs for time, calories, distance and stroke count goals.
  • Can monitor heart rate but will need a heart rate monitor strap, purchased separately.


  • Frame: 5 years
  • Parts: 2 years
  • Labor: 90 days

Shipping and Assembly:

For standard time and service shipping, it is free in most cases. Expedited shipping will cost extra as will special services.

Assembly is simple and everything that you need from manuals, diagrams and tools is included in the package. The average person can expect to be able to assemble this rowing machine in one hour or less.

What We Love About the Xterra Fitness ERG 500 Air Turbine Rower:

Sleek Design

While we know you don’t buy a rowing machine purely based on appearance, this one has the added benefit of looking sleek in any space. Built with aluminum and finished in silver and black, this is a rowing machine that looks like it would fit in at the local gym.

Multiple Monitor Viewing Screens

From showing us the actual distance rowed to the actual stroke count, we like that this monitor not only lets us see the important metrics we are tracking but lets us do it with multi-window views. We also like that the monitor will let us add our heart rate monitor for more personalized information.

Folding For Easy Storage

As great as this rower looks while out, it is also great to be able to fold it when we are done for the day. Despite the ability to fold, it is still sturdy and stable when in use.

Related:  The NordicTrack RW200 Rowing Machine Review

What Isn’t so Great:

Limited Preset Programs

While the available programs are good for motivation, they are limited. There are only four goal programs, and while you can always increase your personal goals, there is little else that you can do to make them different from one workout to another.

Limited Resistance Adjustments

Eight levels of resistance is not a lot, especially for a trainee that is starting at the intermediate or advanced level of fitness. If there is no way to increase the level of resistance, the rowing workout loses its appeal as not only a cardio tool, but also a strength-training tool.

How the Xterra Fitness ERG500 Compares to the ERG400

There are several models in the Xterra Fitness ERG line. The ERG400 and ERG500 are both in the middle in terms of price and benefits. The ERG400 is the slightly smaller of the two and is lighter but also has a lower user weight tolerance than the ERG500. Both have magnetic resistance, but the ERG400 does have an additional flywheel and air resistance. This model has two more preset programs than the ERG500. The ERG400 uses electric power both for part of the resistance and for the monitor which may limit where it can be located. This monitor does not do anything differently than the one with the ERG500. Price wise, they are very similar with only around $30 separating them.

Final Word on the Xterra Fitness ERG500 Air Turbine Rower:

With its sleek design and basic capabilities, the ERG500 is a contradiction, but a delightful one. For a beginner looking to build some strength or a more experienced trainee looking to add interesting cardio to their overall training program, this is a great option to consider. Not only does it have a higher weight capacity than others on the market at or near the same price point, but it also has a better LCD monitor, which may help boost motivation while working out.

The preset programs provide even more motivation as you work to hit the set goals for the day. People who are serious about tracking their fitness improvements can use a heart rate monitor strap for additional tracking.

Solidly built, this machine has a good warranty backing the frame and parts and is easy to put together with basic knowledge plus the provided tools and step by step diagrams. This is an ideal rowing machine for both the beginner and intermediate trainee.

Click here to check the price on the Xterra Fitness ERG500 Air Turbine Rower on Amazon now.