The Stamina 35-1405 ATS possibly has the most baffling model name for a rowing machine :0) We couldn't work out where the numbers come from. But never mind the name - what about the rower? We've tried a few Stamina rowers and some are good value for money, but we're not so impressed with this one. It does have some good features but they are over-shadowed by the negatives.
Let's get the big one out of the way first - the chain. Full marks to Stamina for using a chain (attached to the handle) in the first place. Many budget rowers use a fabric belt that often wear down too quickly. But the good intentions are undone by the poor fixings that means the chain has a habit of getting stuck around 15 minutes into the workout. The model we tried was over one year old and it's owner reported it started to happen after only a month.
Stamina may have fixed this fault by now, but we can only report on what we've found and it can be very frustrating when you're getting stuck into your workout.
Moving on to the rowing position. It's actually quite a comfortable machine to use. The molded seat supports well, and the angled rail makes for a good action - you practically slide back once you've reached the finish of the stroke and return for the recovery. The adjustable foot plates should suit all but the very largest size feet. The nylon straps were sufficient to secure our feet - some models have the annoying tendency of coming loose - not a problem with this model.
This is an air rower - the clue is in the name :0) Your muscles work against the resistance of the large spinning fan. You can read about the different types of rower and the advantages/ disadvantages here. Air rowers are usually noisier than the other types, and this one doesn't disappoint in that it's noisy for even an air machine. But this isn't really a problem unless you live in an apartment where you could annoy the neighbors.
If you have limited living space, this model folds up into a compact size and is easy to move around to store away when you're not using it.
The Console/ Monitor
The positive point is that it's easy to use and displays the usual workout data such as time, distance and stroke rate. You can select the mode to display one set of data, and also use the scan mode that displays each set at around 6 second intervals. But it's a small display and some may find it difficult to read when rowing fast. It also looks cheap - even on a machine costing under $400.
Update: (December 2013) We've had more users complaining of the problem with the chain jamming. We've raised this with Stamina and they say that a re-designed housing will be released soon - although they didn't say when.
Also see - What's in a name? Here....
The Stamina ATS rower has some good points. It's quite a comfortable rowing position, helped by the angled rail. It has a solid feel, even at higher speeds. But the sticking chain is a pain in the 'well you know what'.