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Concept2 Rowers

Concept2 produces the world’s best-selling rowing machine (the Model D Air Rower) and other solid air rowers for home or club use. More than any other air rowing machines, Concept2 rowers create an impressive on-the-water feel. They are made in the USA and are built to last. Resistance on Concept2 air rowers occurs naturally; the more vigorously the rider rows, the more air will be resisted. Further adjustments can be made with a damper, allowing for more adjustability than a standard air resistance rower. This makes a Concept2 indoor rower suitable for people of all ability levels.

Each Concept2 rower is sold with a computer monitor called the PM5. This performance monitor includes rowing games and preset workout routines. It is compatible with wireless heart rate transmitters too. Data from each session, such as calories burned and distance traveled, can be transferred to other devices wirelessly or via a flash drive.

Concept2 Model D Rower

Rating: 95%

Top Concept2 Rowing Machines

Model

Rating

Resistance Type

Weight Capacity

Folding

Resistance Levels

Pricing

Reviews

Concept2 Model D Rower
Concept2 Model D Rower
Concept2 Model E Rower
Concept2 Model E Rower
Concept2 Dynamic Rower
Concept2 Dynamic Rower

95%

Air

500 Lbs

Yes

10

92%

Air

500 Lbs

Yes

10

80%

Air

500 Lbs

No

10

Concept2 Rowing Machines

Concept2 currently makes a trio of air rowing machines. Each features a sturdy metal frame, a nickel plated chain, and a durable air resistance system. The Model D is the lowest priced Concept2 rowing machine on the market, but also their most popular. It sells for about $900 and is the world’s best-selling indoor rower. This is the best value for home gyms, although it’s hardy enough for commercial use. Measuring 96” long, it is one of the largest rowing machines on our review website.

By comparison, the Model E is a great option for high traffic gyms. It is a more robust version of the Model D but also measures 96” long. It sits higher from the ground (20” versus 14”) to allow easier access for people with limited mobility. You’ll note by looking more closely at its frame design, that the Model D is really built like a tank.

The most elite Concept2 machine is called the Dynamic Indoor Rower. Thanks to its floating footrests, the Dynamic model is best at reproducing the sensation of actually rowing on water. However, all Concept2 rowers can be lifted from the ground with a bungee slide (sold separately) for a floating sensation. The Dynamic is a relatively compact air rower. It is 76” long and 24” wide.

 

The Great:

  • Made in the USA: Concept2 air rowers are made in the USA. The company is headquartered in Vermont and proudly offers tours of its state-of-the-art factory.
  • Easy Assembly: Assembling Concept2 rowing machines is very simple. These units can be assembled within 20 or 30 minutes.
  • Air Resistance: Air resistance makes a rowing machine appropriate for any skill level. The more intensely a person rows, the more resistance is generated. Resistance on Concept2 rowers can be further tailored with a manual damper.
  • Performance Monitor: The backlit Performance Monitor 5 or PM5 distinguishes Concept2 rowers from cheaper competitors. It includes games, workouts and session progress. The PM5 is compatible with ATN and Bluetooth to show heart rate data too. Wireless connectivity lets trainees easily export their session feedback.
  • Optional Slide: Concept2 slides are an optional addition that enhance on-water simulation. The slides attach beneath the rowing machines with bungee cords and suspend them for a floating sensation. These slides can connect multiple machines for team training.
  • Ergonomic: Concept2 rowing handles have a 10-degree bend, which supports a natural rowing position. They also have adjustable footrests to promote comfort.
  • Easy to Store: Concept2 rowers can easily be divided into two sections for easy storing. No tools are required. Attached wheels make the machines easy to move.
  • High Capacity: The maximum user weight capacity of each machine is 500 pounds.
  • Good Warranty: The purchase price includes a limited five-year warranty on the frame and a two-year warranty on the parts and electronics.

 

The Not-So-Great:

  • Size: Measuring 96” long and 24” wide, the Model D and Model E require lots of space when in use. The Concept2 Dynamic measures just 76” long by 24” wide.
  • Some Maintenance Required: Customers report that the Model D works best if its chain is oiled after each use. The Model E has a covered chain to avoid the maintenance issue.

 

Our Conclusion

Concept2 is our favorite brand of air rower. It offers long-lasting rowing machines that feel great to use and can suit any skill level. The Concept2 PM5 computer system is among the best in the rowing industry, and no other brand lets riders connect their air rowers for team training. Concept2 provides top values for home gyms and commercial fitness centers.

1. Concept2 Model D Rower

The Concept2 Model D rower is a popular machine because it provides durability, unlimited resistance, and engaging programming at a manageable price point. It features an American-made steel frame and variable air resistance. The benefit of an air resistance system is that resistance increases with the rower’s intensity. This makes the Model D suitable for athletes at all training levels. The Model D makes our list of best rowing machines pretty much every year.

Read the Full Concept2 Model D Rower Review

Pros

Easy Assembly & Storage
Air Resistance
Wireless Heart-Rate Data

Cons

Size
Some Maintenance Needed
Plastic Monitor Arm

2. Concept2 Model E Rower

The Concept2 Model E rowing machine 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 on the market, 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. Instead, the focus is on quality construction, durability, and simulating a rowing feel that’s closer to that ‘out on the water’ experience. Believe it or not, most olympic rowers prefer the air resistance of a Concept2 over water resistance rowers.

Read the Full Concept2 Model E Rower Review

Pros

Easy Assembly & Storage
Air Resistance
Wireless Heart-Rate Data

Cons

Size

3. Concept2 Dynamic Rower

The Concept2 Dynamic rower is a bit of a niche unit. Unlike just about any other rowing machine on the market, the Dynamic is built to more closely replicate the movement of real-world rowing on water. This means your arms and legs move with each stroke, but your torso remains relatively fixed. It features the same sturdy American steel construction as its counterparts, however in a slightly different frame build. Its PM5 monitor displays all your necessary metrics. As an added perk, the machine is more compact in size than most conventional rowing machines, as its drive unit is located underneath the seat.

Read the Full Concept2 Dynamic Rower Review

Pros

Floating Footrest
Air Resistance
Wireless Heart-Rate Data

Cons

Storage
 
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