Sole SR500 Rower 2016 Review: Great Cardio Workout on Sale

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For those who are looking for an excellent cardio workout, rowing machines work your body hard, and are suitable for just about anyone.  The Sole SR500 Rower works your core, abs, lower back and legs, and requires equal effort to both upper and lower body, which means you get a full-body workout.

Sole realizes that working out should be a pleasurable experience.  The user should be able to determine where, when and how they work out, in order to achieve maximum results without burning out.  The portable Sole SR500 can be set up anywhere and provides a full workout that is fully customizable to your specifications, meaning you will always get the workout that’s right for you.

Sole SR500 Rower Review

Amazing Features and Benefits

  • Two-color LCD display.  Multiple programs include heart-rate monitoring, strokes-per-minute and total strokes, calories, distance, speed (500m time and total time) and pulse (wireless chest strap included), all designed to help users achieve their workout goals in a timely and efficient manner.
  • High sitting position: allows easy “on and off” access for users of all heights.
  • Wireless resistance functionality (Available starting with 2015 model)
  • Bluetooth technology: allows user to adjust the resistance levels from the handlebar, providing the advantage of adjusting levels during a workout without interruption.  This technology is exclusive to the SR500 rowing machine.
  • Smooth air and magnetic resistance motion: creates an “on the water” sensation and a natural pull sensation that mimics a true rowing experience.
  • Adjustable oversized pedals and aluminum rail construction can accommodate users of all heights.
  • Easy-fold design: allows you to workout anywhere and then fold and store the machine quickly once you are done.  Includes a quick-release frame-lock design and built-in rollers on the front for easy portability.
  • 16 resistance levels:  provides an intense workout that distributes force evenly along targeted areas.
  • Weight capacity:  515 pounds
  • Quiet, maintenance-free belt drive
  • 47% off – Huge Discount and 4.5 Star Customer Reviews

SR500 vs. Concept2 Model D

The Concept2 Model D is currently the best selling indoor rowing machine in the world.  It is the same price as the SR500 (as of this posting), however the SR500 is currently eligible for free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime, while the Model D carries a $45 shipping cost.  While the SR500 weighs in at a modest 115 pounds, the Model D seriously undercuts this with just a 69-pound shipping weight.

Both machines offer Bluetooth technology and the ability to track workout data, however the Model D allows the user to transfer the information to a PC or Mac with a USB flash drive–the SR500 does not.  The Model D also supports machine-to-machine racing and can be connected to both computers and smartphones.  In addition, the Model D offers a multi-language interface as well as preset workouts and games.

Sole SR500 Pros:

  • High sitting position allows the rower to get on and off the machine easily.
  • Aluminum rail construction can accommodate almost all users of any height.
  • Easy-fold design and built in wheels means it is fully portable and easy to store.
  • Two-color LCD display for easy readability.
  • Smooth air and magnetic resistance motion creates a true “on the water” experience.


  • Shipping weight of 115 pounds means it is on the heavy side and may be difficult for some users to manage.
  • Users report difficulty in folding the machine for storage.
  • Machine operation is a little loud, making it difficult to watch TV or listen to music while working out.


Q:  I am looking at this machine for my father, who is in his 70’s.  Would he be able to manage it by himself?

A:  As the machine weighs in at 115 pounds, it may be a little heavy for an older adult.  If it could be set up and left in one place (instead of storing it) it would be fine.

Q: Can I transfer my workout data to my computer?

A:  The SR500 does not currently offer this feature.

Q:  Can I watch TV while I work out?

A:  The machine is somewhat loud, so while you can definitely watch TV you’ll need to turn the volume up pretty loud to do so.

Q:  Is there a warranty on this machine?

A:  Sole offers a lifetime warranty on the frame, 3 years on the parts and 1 year on the labor for the SR500.


The SR500 provides a cardio workout that challenges your core, abs, legs and lower back.  It is fully portable, meaning you can set it up anywhere and move it if you need to.  The aluminum rail construction can accommodate users of all heights, and the high sitting position lets the user get on and off of the machine easily.

The SR500 does not offer as many features as the Model D, such as the ability to transfer workout data to a computer or connect to a cellular device however for the casual user this should not be a problem.  The ergonomic design, adjustable pedals and realistic feel provide an overall enjoyable exercise experience, whether you prefer a rigorous exercise session or a more relaxed, slower paced workout. Also you can compare with other rowing machines and pick the best fit your budget and requirements.

The SR500 is a mid-range machine in terms of price, it does have the advantage of being eligible for free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime, which is a $45 savings over other models.  This feature alone may be enough to sway the casual user who is not looking for an Olympic training session but rather a machine that is easy to use, well-built and sturdy, and fully portable.

Overall, the SR500 is a quality machine for the average user.  It is competitively priced, relatively easy to transport and store, fairly quiet to operate and provides a good cardio workout.  Users will appreciate being able to adjust the machine for height, and the 515 pound weight limit is somewhat higher.  It is easy to assemble, with most users completing assembly in under 3o minutes and reporting no significant problems.  It is the opinion of this writer that, for the money, the SR500 is a quality machine that is definitely worth the investment.

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