At Fitness Brain we thought it was about time we got our hands, feet and rear ends on this best-selling rower, and so we did. We spent 4 weeks testing this rower and here we are to bring you our verdict in our full JLL R200 rowing machine review.
JLL have developed a fierce reputation for creating budget-friendly fitness equipment that manages to keep costs down without compromising on quality and functionality. The JLL R200 rowing machine is one such example that fits the JLL product mould perfectly. In fact, it is one of the best-selling budget rowers to be found online and what’s more it has a whole host of positive reviews.
Headlines aside, let’s check out the reality of the JLL R200 Rowing Machine.
JLL R200 Rowing Machine First Impressions
The latest model of the JLL R200 still maintains its basic looks but the black and silver detailing works well and means it will fit in well with most other home gym equipment that you have.
If you prefer to keep it stored away, it is foldable and also pretty lightweight at just 23kg which means this is one of the best rowing machines for easy storage.
Assembling the R200 didn’t cause too many headaches and the instructions are both clear and concise. All in all you should expect to spend around 30 to 60 minutes assembling the R200, which is minimal compared to some rowing machines.
The R200 has a solid metal and plastic construction and feels incredibly stable to sit on and when in use considering the overall light weight of the machine.
There is an LCD display that is well positioned if not a little on the small side, and the resistance can be adjusted via the knob that sits just below the screen. Upon first inspection everything seems fairly well proportioned, well made and in line with expectations based on previous experience of JLL products.
JLL R200 Specifications
The R200 rowing machine is one of the most lightweight rowers on the market and is also pretty compact without becoming unusable for anyone over 6ft. In fact, our tester was 6′ 2″ and found the seat rail length of 115.5cm to be more than ample for a comfortable workout.
The R200 measures up at 180cm in total length when unfolded and has a width of 52cm. The height of this rower is 49cm unfolded and 127cm when folded, but the length reduces down to just 71cm when folded which means it can be stood up in a corner of a room and take up very little floor space. There are also some transport wheels which make it very easy to move the JLL R200 from one place to another.
With 10 levels of magnetic resistance the R200 does not offer a challenging workout for experienced rowers, but for beginner and intermediate users looking to use it for a good solid cardio workout the levels of resistance are more than enough to get the heart rate up. There is a good range of difficulty between setting 1 and setting 10 and this is easily adjusted by twisting the dial on the centre console. Thanks to the convenient placement it is even possible to change this without demounting from the machine.
The R200 is belt-driven and this works particularly well on this model thanks to the recent upgrade. The belt system is quiet and means you won’t upset everyone in your house or the neighbours each time you work out.
The handle and seat are well padded and comfortable to use for long periods of time, and the seat motion is comfortable thanks to some cleverly designed wheels that allow it to run back and forth smoothly which only adds to the comfort and overall feel of this rower.
The maximum user weight is 100kg which may seem a little on the low side, but for most people this will be adequate. This is one limitation with cheaper rowing machines, but if you are under 100kg then this is not going to cause you a problem.
The LCD monitor is well positioned and despite its diminutive size the information displayed is easy to read thanks to the size of the displayed data. You can easily cycle through the data at the touch of a button and choose which data you want displayed during your workout.
Using The R200 Rowing Machine
We used the R200 for almost one month and in that time we managed 8 workouts that lasted between 15 and 30 minutes. Although the R200 is not going to set the rowing world alight, if you are looking for a good cardio workout then you will get it with this rowing machine. Considering the low price point we were pretty impressed with the overall workout quality and comfort levels that the R200 afforded us and it is fair to say it actually offers incredible value for money.
As already mentioned, the display is on the small side but is completely readable, and despite pretty basic functionality the workouts are intense when using the higher levels of resistance and really pushing yourself.
We would have liked to have seen some form of media device holder to allow us to conveniently place a tablet or smartphone in our direct line of view while working out, but this feature is sadly omitted. That being said, you can easily move the rower to a location where you can see a screen or use a laptop placed nearby to either watch your favourite motivational video or your latest Netflix binge.
Where the R200 really excels is in its high levels of comfort and excellent storage options. The folding mechanism is easy to use and the spring-loaded mechanism means you can set up your rower in seconds when it is time to workout.
The seat is well padded and the seat rail is a good size and offers a very smooth ride indeed. The handles are equally comfortable and the feet pads are a good size and feature adjustable straps.
We saw no degradation in usage over the month of workouts we enjoyed with the R200, and there appeared to be no slackening in the resistance levels. Consumer reviews are very positive online for the R200 and it is easy to see why it is one of the best-selling rowing machines at its price point.
Yes there are cheaper models, but in our experience they are not worth the investment if you plan to use your rower for years to come – which should be no problem for the JLL R200.
JLL R200 Verdict
The JLL R200 rowing machine is a good-quality budget rower. It isn’t going to win any awards for design or advanced functionality, but if you are looking for a good-quality rowing machine that is comfortable to use, easy to store and that is going to last for years to come then the R200 has to be a top consideration – especially if your budget is tight.
For us, it is hard to beat the R200 in terms of value for money and if you are looking to take your home-based cardio to a challenging level without breaking the bank then this has to be on your shortlist.