The Concept2 Model D, regarded by many (including olympic champions) as one of the best commercial-grade indoor rowing machines money can buy. Concept2 rowers are known all around the world as the leading rowing machine.
Concept2 rowing machines are used by most professional athletes to train and compare results(RowPro app connects Concept2 users worldwide).
Use the Quick Navigation Menu:
Build and Design
First of all, the shipping for this rowing machine is very fast for next to nothing. It’s very well packaged and it’s so easy to set up.
It literally took me 10 to 15 minutes to put this thing together. There are just 8 screws and they also include a screwdriver so you don’t have to hunt for the right size. The two main pieces are the flywheel and the seat frame are locked together through practically designed quick-release mechanism. It doesn’t take you more than 20 seconds to fold up the rower and roll it into a corner when you’ve finished your training session.
The Concept2 Model D is built to last you a lifetime. You can really tell the manufacturers do not cut any corners with this machine.
Although there have been users complaining about the seat being a bit hard, I can assure that the sit is comfortable. It’s hard enough so that your circulation doesn’t get cut off like it would from a soft style seat.
The Concept2 rowing machine comes in 2 versions, the Model D(the one we talk about in this review) and the Model E. Here’s a comparison chart with the major differences between the 2 models.
Model D vs Model E Comparison Chart
|Concept2 Model||Model D||Model E|
|Weight||57 pounds||65 pounds|
|Dimensions||96″ long, 24″ wide, 14″ seat height||96″ long, 24″ wide, 20″ seat height|
|Chain Housing||Partially enclosed||Fully enclosed|
|Weight Capacity||500 pounds||500 pounds|
|Storage||Can be separated in 2 parts to take up less space||Can be separated in 2 parts to take up less space|
|Performance Monitor||PM 5||PM 5|
|Warranty||frame – 5 years, PM & moving parts – 2 years||frame – 5 years, PM & moving parts – 2 years|
|Price||Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon|
The Model E is a little more expensive and the seat is higher which makes it easier to get on and off of the machine.
The Resistance Unit
The Concept2 rower features an air resistance system – fan blades attached to a flywheel. The resistance level of the machine is determined by your rowing speed. The faster you row, the harder the machine fights back.
There is also an adjustable damper on the side of the flywheel encasing which let’s you control how much air flows inside the cage. The damper lever can be set from 1 to 10.
Most new users confuse the damper level setting with intensity or resistance. The best way to describe it is by comparing it to the gears on your bicycle. It affects the way rowing feels but it doesn’t affect resistance directly.
A lower damper setting is very similar to the easier gears on your bicycle.
If you’re new to rowing start with a damper setting of 3-5. The lower settings (1-5) feel like you’re rowing on a small, sleek boat, while the higher settings (6-10) feel like you’re rowing a slower, heavy boat. Like I said, the damper doesn’t affect the resistance, just the way the rowing feels.
The Performance Monitor
Both Concept2 Model D and Model E rowing machines come with the PM5 performance monitor, which in my humble oppinion, when it comes to providing competitive motivation can’t be beat.
The PM5 is the latest version of Concept2’s performance monitors and it uses a USB stick to store data. It comes with Bluetooth technology so you can easily download all your data to your smartphone or your computer using a free Concept2 utility software(very easy to use).
The performance monitor powers up as soon as you start rowing. It requires 2 D cell batteries, but while you’re working out it draws power from the spinning flywheel, extending battery life.
The display is backlit, meaning better visibility. The data it shows includes distance, speed, calories burned and watts. The PM5 also supports ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart connectivity. This allows you to pair the performance monitor with a compatible wireless heart rate monitor.
PM5’s wireless capabilities also support machine to machine racing.
First of all let me tell you that I’ve been rowing on the Concept2 Model D for a week and this machine is literally kicking my butt.
Because the Concept2 is an air resistance rowing machine, the motion is smooth and controlled. You can feel how the machine fights back when you’re pulling harder. It’s the same thing you would feel if you were rowing on water – one of the main reasons this machine is used by professional athletes. This does not happen with a magnetic resistance rower where the resistance is constant.
If you’re worried about the noise, well don’t be. The Concept2 is not that noisy, I’ve been able to hear the TV from across the room.
Rowing is perfect if you want a high intensity exercise that’s easy on the joints.
The Concept2 Model D is the rowing machine that is comfortable, it gets your heart going and it doesn’t hurt your knees or hips.
I’ve also noticed that knee pain begins to fade once your quad muscles strenghten and you start to feel more flexible.
If you want an extra motivation for your workouts you can check out Concept2’s online challenges here.
Overall the Concept2 rowing machine provides a great full-body workout with lots of adjustments to fit every person’s need.
Customer Support and Warranty
There is not too much to say about Concept2’s customer support except that you can call and talk, or chat with real people who are helpful, kind professionals. There isn’t something that they cannot help you with or give you clear and simple instructions for.
As for the warranty:
- Frame: 5 years
- PM and moving parts: 2 years
- built to last forever
- smooth, natural motion
- the PM5 comparison and competitive motivation features
- lots of free software utilities
- professional costumer support
- challenging, low-impact workout
- used by olympiq rowing teams
- it gets a little noisy
- it takes up a lot of space