The FDF E-316 Fluid Rower is a premium quality commercial rowing machine designed to accommodate all fitness levels and heavy use facilities. Featuring FDF’s variable fluid resistance technology, this water rowing machine accurately simulates propelling a boat through the water with the rower experiencing an instant catch and continuous resistance.
Delivering a massive range of adjustable resistance, the E-316 Fluid Rower has an angled tank with a straight-line configuration for an unrivaled stroke profile. The convenience of this water resistance technology means you can change the intensity mid-workout to meet individual fitness goals, as well as accommodate multi-user training.
The E-316 Fluid Rower by First Degree Fitness has a small footprint with complete mobility and compact vertical storage option, making it ideal for group classes, cardio areas, and quality home gyms. Designed with commercial-grade quality, the E-316 fits perfectly in a semi- or full commercial or home environment.
The E-316 is standard with an Interactive Performance Monitor. This displays all-important workout feedback, such as time, speed, and distance. The integrated Heart Rate receiver also measures your HR using an HR chest strap. However, the HR chest strap is (sold) separately.
Learn more in my complete review below
Product: FDF E-316 Fluid Rower
Warranty: Frame 10 years / Tank and seals 3 years / Console 2 years / Wear items 2 years
My rating: 9/10
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Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 83L x 31.8W x 40H (211L x 80W x 102H cm)
- Assembled weight: 121 lbs (55 kg)
- Supported weight: 330 lbs (150 kg)
- Frame: Aluminum / steel
- Footrests: Adjustable, with straps
- Resistance type: Water, adjustable (16 levels)
- Fitness console: Quickstart, manual programs, interval training, six previous workout memory, unique pacer system, USB port, online connectivity
- Warranty: Frame 10 years / Tank and seals 3 years / Ergometer 2 years / Wear items 2 years
E-316 Frame construction
The first aspect to mention here is that the FDF Evolution E-316 features sturdy construction, combining steel and aluminum elements. The front part of the frame, which hosts the water tank is made of steel tubing, while the gliding rail of the seat comes with anodized aluminum for a smooth glide. The rear stabilizer is also steel-made.
The E-316 weighs approx. 121 lbs (55 kg). The front part of the frame features three adjustable stabilizers with rubber pads, while the rear base also has rubber pads for an excellent grip onto the floor. The frame does not fold; however, it stores vertically, resting on the water tank base. The front part also comes with two transport wheels which facilitate the relocation of the machine. In case you’re wondering, water can remain in the tank while the machine is stored vertically.
The First Degree Fitness E-316 fluid rowER takes quite a bit of usable space. When fully assembled, it is 83″ (211 cm) long and 31.8″ (80 cm) wide. You’ll also have to keep at least two feet of clearance on each side and at the rear for safe operation. On the other hand, when stored vertically, its footprint is reduced to approx. 31″ x 40″ (80 x 102 cm).
The E-316’s main rail is made of anodized aluminum, providing an exceptionally smooth glide for the seat. It’s long enough to accommodate users above 6’5″ (196 cm). It’s also durable enough to support users up to 330 lbs (150 kg).
Finally, with regards to the overall frame finish, the steel parts feature a gray, corrosion-resistant paint finish, while the aluminum rail has its natural polish, having only the machine’s number and logo painted on it.
Seat, Footrest, and Pulling Handle
The seat features a contoured and textured finish to prevent slippage. It integrates a layer of padding to adapt to the shape of the user. It slides on a set of high-grade wheels with top-quality ball bearings designed to last a lifetime. The construction of the rail and seat conceals the wheels for maximum safety.
Also, the seat is set up pretty high, to the average height of an office chair, to provide easy entry and exit, an excellent feature for users with specific disabilities.
The FDF E-316 rower comes with a set of large, adjustable footrests, with heel guards and straps for maximum foot stability. Their angle is not adjustable. They’re attached to a fixed metallic plate at an average 45° angle.
The pulling handle is a simple, slightly curved bar with rubber foam grips for improved ergonomics. It’s attached to a heavy-duty nylon mesh strap, not a chain as for the Concept 2 Model E, so it doesn’t require maintenance.
E-316 Water tank and resistance system
The FDF E-316 fluid rower has a slightly smaller water tank. This tank has a capacity of only two gals (7.6 liters). It’s made of durable polycarbonate material and integrates a metallic, multi-blade flywheel.
Even though it’s smaller than for other models, it still has a dual-chamber, offering 16 levels of resistance. The two-chamber system allows the water to transfer quickly from the active chamber to the storage chamber, and vice-versa, facilitated by the dial on the top of the tank.
Therefore, if you have all the water in the “active” chamber, the machine will generate the maximum resistance level possible, providing the training set required by pro athletes. Conversely, if you set the dial to the minimum level, most of the water will be transferred back into the storage chamber so you will benefit from a light resistance.
Regardless of the resistance system, though, since it’s a fluid rower, it means it generates a dynamic response. In other words, the resistance also depends on the strength you put behind each stroke. The harder of, the faster you pull, the more resistance you will get.
Therefore, the rowing feel is similar to rowing a real boat. Also, the operation of the machine is quiet, and most users have described the sound generated by the spin of the flywheel in the water tank as “soothing.”
The E-316 fluid rower from First Degree Fitness comes with the same fitness console as the E-520 model. It’s an advanced unit, featuring an LCD with multiple panels, showing various workout metrics simultaneously, so you won’t have to use a SCAN function.
The displayed data includes time, distance, speed, heart rate, watts, calories, revolutions per minute, strokes per minute, and 500/m units. You can select either imperial or metric units for speed and distance. The fitness console also integrates a heart rate receiver so it can communicate with various HR chest strap transmitters. However, an HR chest strap is not (included) with this rower.
As I’ve mentioned above, the machine’s water tank offers 16 distinctive levels of resistance, so the console allows you to also adjust the level of intensity depending on the resistance setting selected on the water tank. In other words, you have to correlate the level on the console with the selected water level on the tank, to benefit from a correct reading of calories, watts, and other parameters.
The fitness console offers several onboard, interval-based workout programs, and goal setting functions for time and distance. It has six previous workout memory and a unique pacer system. It also has online connectivity.
The unit has a USB port which makes available its connection to a computer. You can connect it to your PC or laptop via USB cable, use various compatible online apps, such as the NetAthlon 2 XF for Rowers, to compete with others or train solo in a virtual 3D environment, record your progress, and access web-based logging and ranking systems.
E-316 Assembly and Maintenance
The water tank comes pre-assembled and attached to the front part of the frame. However, the rest of the structure does require assembly. So, differently put, you will have to connect the front steel base to the tank part, the rail, the seat, the rear stabilizer, the transport wheels, and the footrests.
This may take over an hour. The provided manual provides clear assembly instructions, and all the necessary tools are (included).
For maintenance, you will have to treat the water in the tank with one of the chlorine pills supplied, one every six months, to prevent the formation of algae and keep the water clear. You should also keep the rails of the machine clean. Also, it’s advisable to check the integrity of the frame periodically, and if there are any loose bolts and parts, you should re-tighten them.
- Sturdy construction, commercial grade build;
- High user capacity, up to 330 lbs (150 kg);
- Dual aluminum rail for extra stability;
- It stores vertically, and the water doesn’t require removal for storage;
- Easy to handle and transport;
- Adjustable stabilizers with large rubber caps at the front;
- Water-resistance system, providing the most natural rowing feel that you can get;
- Dual-chamber water tank, with 16 distinctive water resistance levels, from feather-light to Olympic level;
- Ergonomic seat with a contoured and textured surface to prevent slippage;
- Optional backrest for extra lumbar support;
- High seat placement, for easy entry and exit;
- Advanced, multi-panel fitness console which tracks time, 500m time, pulse, distance, strokes per minute, watts, RPMs, and calories;
- The USB connection, for online workout data tracking, or competing with other rowers;
- The fitness console is telemetric and works with most wireless HR chest straps;
- Smooth and quiet operation;
- Rower for users of all levels;
- Little maintenance required;
- Easy to assemble;
- Tools for assembly included;
- Excellent warranty.
- No LED backlight on the console;
- An HR chest strap not (included).
FDF E-316 Fluid Rower Summary
The First Degree Fitness E-316 Fluid Rower is a commercial-grade fluid rower featuring a dual-chamber water tank with 16 levels of resistance. It comes with a versatile, telemetric, and online capable ergometer. It features very sturdy construction with a steel/aluminum combo frame, and a high seat for easy entry and exit.
It’s an excellent machine for users of all levels, from beginners to Olympic level athletes. It is perfect for a full-body cardio workout, interval training, endurance building, weight loss, and also for rehab training. Since it’s a commercial machine, it’s not exactly cheap; however, it does offer excellent value for the price.
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