We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.

Editor’s Note: The Schwinn Crewmaster Rower is no longer in production. We suggest viewing the Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Magnetic Rower RW5801 as the best alternative, or view our Best Rowing Machines or Best Budget Rowing Machine guides for more options.

You probably know Schwinn for its road bikes and indoor exercise bikes. But did you know that Schwinn also makes rowing machines? Er, at least, they did. Once upon a time, Schwinn manufactured the Schwinn Crewmaster Rower (which, as far as I can tell, is the only rower the brand ever produced). And apparently, it was pretty popular! 

Lots of consumers still search for the Schwinn Crewmaster Rower, so naturally, we thought we’d put our collective fitness equipment genius to work and provide you with the best alternative. In our Schwinn Crewmaster Rower review, we’ll explain the good and the bad about this machine and offer you our top alternative pick. 

Thousands of Meters Rowed

Our product testers have rowed on dozens of different rowing machines, from bottom-of-the-barrel budget-friendly models to the highest-end smart rowers à la Hydrow and Aviron. This is to say, we know the ins and outs of rowing machines and understand how various features can make or break the experience. 

Looking for an Alternative to the Schwinn Crewmaster Rower?

schwinn crewmaster 2

If you’re looking for the Schwinn Crewmaster rowing machine, you’ll probably be disappointed to learn that it’s no longer in production. 

However, we think the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5801 is a fantastic alternative. It hovers around the same price range, functions on a magnetic resistance system, sports a similar LCD monitor, and has similar overall construction. 

The rest of this Schwinn Crewmaster rowing machine review will focus on the discontinued model so you can learn about the positives and negatives, and then apply that information to your search for an alternative product. 

Best Alternative to Schwinn Crewmaster Rower

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5801 Magnetic Rower

GGR Score: 3.8 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Costs less than $300
  • Weighs just 50 lbs
  • Easy to store
  • Good entry-level purchase to find out if you enjoy rowing for exercise

Pros & Cons


  • Costs less than $300
  • Weighs just 50 lbs
  • Easy to store
  • Good entry-level purchase
  • Folds for storage


  • Shorter seat rail
  • No preset workouts
  • Lots of plastic parts

Bottom Line

The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5801 is an inexpensive magnetic rower and a good "starter" rowing machine to find out if you enjoy it for exercise.

A Quick Look at the Schwinn Crewmaster Rower

schwinn crewmaster 3

The Schwinn Crewmaster Rower is a basic magnetic rowing machine with an eddy current flywheel and a foldable frame. 

It features a steel rail, transport wheels, adjustable footrests and foot straps, textured foot pedals, 10 levels of magnetic resistance, an angled handle, and a relatively large LCD display for its class.

All of this came at a very reasonable price point of about $500, so we’re bummed to see the Crewmaster out of production.


  • Great for beginners 
  • Adjustable resistance 
  • Steel seat rail 
  • LCD display tracks time and other metrics 
  • Foldable frame 
  • Fits in small home gyms
  • Console adjusts/tilts 
  • 10-year frame warranty


  • No Bluetooth or ANT+ connectivity
  • No heart rate monitor compatibility (chest strap, wrist watch, or otherwise) 
  • No built-in workout programs

Schwinn Crewmaster Rower Specs

Footprint89.1” L x 21.1” W x 31.7” H
Folded Dimensions51” L x 21.1” W x 57” H
WeightNot listed 
Weight capacity300 lbs
Drive SystemNylon transmission
ConsoleTilting LCD display
ProgrammingNone built-in
SeatOversized contoured seat
PedalsAdjustable with straps
Warranty10-year frame, 3-year parts, 1-year labor

Key Features of the Schwinn Crewmaster Rower

schwinn crewmaster 4

To be honest, there aren’t any real standout features of the Schwinn Crewmaster Rower. Although it’s a good cardio machine that can provide a decent full-body workout, it’s not exactly what I’d call a high-quality, unique machine. In fact, there are several on the market just like this rower. We think the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5801 is the best alternative, but there are countless similar options you can choose from. 

However, the Crewmaster is equipped with a few things we’d like to call out: 

  • 10 resistance levels: This is on the high end of available levels at this price point. Some similar rowers have up to 16 levels, but often, you’ll see machines with just five to six levels. 
  • Foldable frame: The monorail folds up to save space when not in use. 
  • Adjustable console: This isn’t something you’ll normally find on a rowing machine at this price. The console on the Crewmaster tilts up and down to improve ergonomics for your height. 
  • Oversized seat and pedals: Comfort shouldn’t be an issue with the large, cushioned seat and adjustable footrests. 

Footprint, Portability, and Durability

schwinn crewmaster 5

Thanks to the steel slide rail and large flywheel, the Schwinn Crewmaster Rower is stable during use. My main concern with this rower is the three-legged design: The back of the slide rail doesn’t feature two feet or a widened base, so it’s not as stable as something that does. Some customer reviews also complain that the nylon cord fails to retract after a few months of use. 

While you’ll need a good amount of space to use the Crewmaster Rower (almost 90 inches), it does fold up to eliminate the need for so much space when you’re not using it. It also has front-mounted transport wheels, so you can easily move it into another room or into an adequately sized closet. 

The product weight isn’t in the product description, but in the Q&A section on the Schwinn website, a customer service representative stated that the Crewmaster weighs 90 pounds. 


The Schwinn Crewmaster Rower has a maximum user weight of 300 pounds, which is standard for a rowing machine in this class. 

This rower features an oversized, contoured seat and oversized, adjustable foot pedals. Schwinn doesn’t specify how long the slide rail is, so I’m unable to say for sure what the user height maximum is. 

Technology Benefits and Conveniences

The Schwinn Crewmaster Rower has basic tech features only, meaning it has an LCD display that can read out a few metrics: time, count, distance, strokes, calories, recovery, pulse. I’m unsure how the machine tracks pulse, because I don’t see any listings that claim the Crewmaster has Bluetooth connectivity. It’s possible that there are optical sensors in the handles. 

Final Verdict of Our Schwinn Crewmaster Rower Review

The Schwinn Crewmaster Rower was a decent rower at a fair price. However, it’s currently not in production and we recommend the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5801 as a great (and much less expensive!) alternative. 

Full Rating

Schwinn Crewmaster Rower

This rower has been discontinued, but our Schwinn Crewmaster Rower review reveals the best alternative.

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 249.98

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:

Schwinn Crewmaster Rower

Footprint & Portability – 3.5
Delivery & Setup – 3
Durability & Construction – 3
Customizations – 2.5
Ergonomics – 3
Workout Experience – 3
Tech Capabilities – 2
Customer Reviews – 4
Warranty, Financing, Returns – 4
Customer Service – 4
Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Magnetic Rower RW5801

Schwinn Crewmaster Rower FAQs

Does Schwinn make rowing machines? 

Schwinn does not currently make any rowing machines, but the brand did previously. 

What are the types of rowing machines? 

There are four main types of rowing machines: air rowers, magnetic rowers, water rowers, and hydraulic rowers.

How much does the Schwinn Crewmaster Rower weigh? 

According to a Schwinn customer representative on the product listing page for the Schwinn Crewmaster rower, the product weighs 90 pounds. 

Further reading

6 Best Compact Ellipticals (2024): Big Value in Small Packages Cover Image
6 Best Compact Ellipticals (2024): Big Value in Small Packages

In a small space but want a great cardio machine? We have you covered with a list of the best compact ellipticals on the market today. Read more

Working on a Treadmill Desk: The Hack To Better Health? Cover Image
Working on a Treadmill Desk: The Hack To Better Health?

Trying to decide if working on a treadmill desk is right for you? Check out what the experts have to say about this popular piece of equipment. Read more

The Dumbbell Bench Press: A Great Variation to Incorporate in Your Routine Cover Image
The Dumbbell Bench Press: A Great Variation to Incorporate in Your Routine

Follow our easy guide on how to do a dumbbell bench press, plus reasons why you should incorporate this exercise into your routine. Read more

Aerobic vs Anaerobic Metabolism: What’s The Difference? Cover Image
Aerobic vs Anaerobic Metabolism: What’s The Difference?

While both give you energy, there are some major differences between aerobic vs anaerobic metabolism. We break it down for you in this guide. Read more