Anyone who buys a rower does so with the hope of getting long term value out of it. You hope to enjoy years of use without breakdowns and part failures. Like any machine with moving parts, your rowing machine requires maintenance to protect it from wearing out prematurely.
While a rower’s frame may normally have several years or even a lifetime warranty, you’ll never find the same long term guarantee for moving parts. These normally have a warranty that’s limited to a couple of months or just few years. Why, you wonder? These parts are subject to wear and tear. And the good news is that you can prolong their health by good maintenance. Here are some tips to guide you.
Reduce impact on the floor
Rowing machines are built with heavy durable metal frames designed to withstand the intense weight of a rowing workout. without proper protection for the floor beneath the machine, the metal can damage the floor surface. While that may appear acceptable for a workout room, the damaged floor can in turn damage the wheels of the rower when you move it around for storage. It’s therefore important that you take the necessary precaution and place a shock-absorbent mat under the machine.
Wipe your rower after use
You don’t want dust to accumulate and stain the surfaces on your rowing machine. Notice that rowing can be a very intense workout and it can make you sweat a lot. Your sweat can trap dust on the rower and become stubborn stains with time. The sweat will also often eat away at coating used on the rower.
If the paint or powder coat comes off completely, the sweat can reach the metal and cause rusting, which can significantly weaken the frame. You can avoid these problems by wiping any sweat off the surfaces after each workout.
Clean and lubricate the chain with a recommended mineral oil
Rowing machines have a chain that attaches the rowing handle to the flywheel. This chain is supposed to move smoothly and spin the flywheel each time you pull the handle. This smooth motion is only possible when the chain is free of buildup and is well oiled. Accumulated debris can however affect the working of the chain and in turn affect the quality of your workout.
Be sure therefore to apply a light film of oil on the chain about two to three times a year. First pull out the chain to its full length, then use a clean paper towel to apply the oil while holding the handle. You may need to have someone hold the handle for you as you grease the chain.
Ensure you also check for buildup from time to time and before greasing it. Remove any dirt using paper towel and automotive degreaser.
Check for loose screws and tighten them
Rowing machines have a lot of separable parts. These are often joined together with screws. While using the machine, some of these screws may become loose. If not tightened in time, the loose screws may fall off.
Consider using the assembly tools that come with the machine to tighten any screws that are coming off. To avoid losing important screws and washers, ensure you check these screws frequently to ensure they are in good working condition.
Pay attention to any clunking noises
Your machine may produce such noises if something is either loose or broken. Incidents of broken parts are few with rowing machines. However, even the best rowing machine can have some screws come off leaving some of its parts loose. Paying attention to clunking noises while you row can help you spot the loose parts before they fall off or get damaged. You won’t need the help of a technician with any of these. Just grab the tools that come with the machine and tighten the screws.
Not all rowing machines are created equal. Different manufacturers build their products differently, and this may often create minor variations in the kind of maintenance required. Aside from looking up relevant rowing machine reviews therefore, it’s important to refer to the original instructions that come with the rower to see specific maintenance requirements to help you make the best of your machine.