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Concept2 Model E Rower Review

Quick Take

The Concept2 Model E rower is one of two top-ranked rowers from the brand, known for their solid construction and great overall quality. These are the some of the most popular rowers in the marked, and odds are that if you’ve used a rowing machine in your local gym, it comes from Concept2. These rowers aren’t loaded with tech wizardry like we see in the exercise bike and treadmill markets, but instead the focus is quality construction, durability, and a rowing feel that’s closer to that ‘out on the water’ rowing experience. Believe it or not, most olympic rowers prefer the air resistance of a Concept2 over water resistance rowers.


Easy Assembly & Storage
Air Resistance
Wireless Heart-Rate Data



Our Review

The Concept2 Model E rowing machine is designed to withstand heavy use. It’s manufactured with an extra coat of gloss, a durable metal monitor arm, and steel legs that support an entry point of 20”. The relatively high seat positioning also allows the Model E to accommodate a wider range of trainees, including those who have limited mobility or need extra leg room.


The Model E features a steel frame that’s made in the USA and uses air resistance. Air resistance increases with the rower’s intensity and can also be adjusted with a damper, making the Model E suitable for users at all training levels.


A backlit computer called the PM5 displays preset workout programs and rowing games. It shows data such as distance traveled, calories burned, and pace. The data can be transferred to other devices wirelessly or via a flash drive. The PM5’s wireless capabilities also support heart rate monitoring and machine-to-machine racing.


The Concept2 Model E is light grey with blue-grey accents. It sells for $1,100 plus shipping and has a 30-day trial period, along with a strong warranty.



Here are some features that make the Model E rower enticing.

  • Made in the USA: While cheaper rowers are made in China, Concept2 rowers are proudly made in the USA. Expect greater quality control and stellar customer service. The company is headquartered in Morrisville, Vermont and invites the public to tour its factory.
  • Easy Assembly: Assembling the Model E is easy and takes just 30 minutes.
  • Air Resistance: Concept2’s air resistance system supports smooth motion and makes minimal noise. A damper lets you adjust airflow to change the feel of the strokes and the resistance also changes in response to rider effort. The more intensely you row, the more resistance is generated. This ensures that the Model E provides a challenge for novices and top rowers alike.
  • Performance Monitor: The backlit Performance Monitor 5 (PM5) sets Concept2 rowers apart from the competition. It includes games and workouts, along with plenty of session feedback. Wireless connectivity makes transferring workout data easy. You can also save the data to a flash drive for use with your own apps.
  • Optional Slide: Feel the entire rower move beneath you! Concept2 slides are an option for on-water simulation that lets you increase your paddling rate. The slides attach with bungee cords under the rowing machines to provide a floating sensation. For team training, the slides can connect multiple Concept2 rowing machines together.
  • Ergonomic Handle: The Model E’s ergonomic rowing handle has a 10-degree bend to support a natural rowing position.
  • Wireless Heart Rate Data: The Performance Monitor 5 can sync with ATN and Bluetooth to show heart rate data.
  • Higher Profile: The seat is 20” from the ground, which is the height of a typical chair and easier to use for trainees with mobility issues.
  • Adjustable Footrests: Footrests on the Concept2 Model E rower are adjustable to fit many shoe sizes.
  • Extendable: This rower is comfortable for users with up to 38” inseams. Rail extensions are available for those who need more room to stretch out.
  • Easy to Store: The Concept2 rower easily divides into two sections for storage.
  • Transport Wheels: The rower features wheels attached for added mobility.
  • High Capacity: The maximum user weight capacity is 500 pounds.
  • Good Warranty:  The Concept2 Model E is covered by a limited five-year warranty on the frame and two-year warranty on the computer and moving parts.



  • Size: The main drawback of this rowing machine is its size. Measuring 96” long and 24” wide, this rower has a relatively large footprint. The Concept2 Dynamic measures just 76” long by 24” wide in comparison.


Our Conclusion

The Concept2 Model E is a strong choice for shared workout rooms. This unit is a slightly upgraded version of the world’s most popular rower (the Model D), so the $200 difference is justified. The Model E is built to withstand a light commercial or commercial environment and is backed by a customer-friendly warranty. This machine certainly isn’t an affordable option for home gyms, but is well suited to a commercial setting where it will hold up well under sustained use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the folded dimensions of the Concept2 Model E rower?
A: The Concept2 Model E indoor rowing machine can be separated into two parts, making it 27" x 47" x 54" for storage.
Q: How many workout programs does the Concept2 Model E indoor rower have?
A: The Concept2 Model E rowing machine has 10 workout programs built into the PM5: 5 standard workouts and 5 custom workouts.
Q: What are the assembled dimensions of the Concept2 Model E rower?
A: The Concept2 Model E rower with PM5 is 8 ft x 2 ft when assembled. It needs 9 ft x 4 ft of space when in use.

Rating: 92%

Resistance Type


Resistance Level






Dimensions (inches)

96" L x 24" W x 20" H



Maximum User Weight Capacity

500 lbs

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