We've received quite a few emails requesting a review of the Harvil Magnetic, so here we go. This is not a brand we've come across before so we were keen to take a look. So what did we make of it?
First of all, it was pretty easy to assemble taking around 20 minutes with nothing too difficult to challenge those who aren't too handy with a spanner. So then you step back and take a look, and... did not like the color. Of course, it's a personal thing but a turquoise sort of light blue is not a color that make me want to get on and train - I apologize if that's the same color as your team.
Appearances aside, what does it feel like to sit on? Well the seat is not padded but seems adequate for a long session. The handle is padded and feels good in the hands as it's thick enough to get a good grip. The foot rests are very wide and should suit even the largest foot, however, they lack shape and some with smaller feet may find they slip around a little when rowing.
The seat rollers are quiet on the beam, and combined with the magnetic resistance mechanism makes this a very quiet rowing machine to use - maybe a factor if you share your accommodation with others, or you live in an apartment. The handle is attached to a nylon strap which means no maintenance, but other models using the same type of trap have been know to fray, or even snap with heavy use.
The Harvil has eight levels of resistance supplied by magnets and a flywheel. As mentioned above, this does make for a quiet machine when compared to air resistance. The level of resistance is selected by a knurled knob (don't you just love that word) beneath the monitor. However, the difference between level 1 and level 8 isn't really that great. But do bear in mind, the level of resistance isn't the most important factor in the effectiveness of a workout - read more on this here...
The suppliers of the Harvil, Dazadi, offer a very reasonable six month warranty on this budget model, plus they offer to ' ship new replacement parts or an entire item for free in the event of defect or damage. If you still aren’t satisfied, you’ll get a full refund.' If they are happy to put their money where they mouth is, then they must be confident in its durability.
For the price you get a neat, compact rowing machine that should help you on the road to fitness and it won't annoy the neighbors. But if you're already fit and need something more challenging, move along, but you'll need to be prepared to spend double.