CONCEPT 2

This exercise machine has a damper that can add the feeling of more resistance to your workout if needed.
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Concept 2

Concept 2 D rower uses air as resistance.

MODEL E INDOOR ROWING MACHINE

chair height seat for easy use

Concept2 Model D

The weight capacity is 500 pounds

Concept2 BikeERG

Want top of the line quality and durability

Concept2 Dynamic

Concept2 Dynamic

BEST CONCEPT 2 ROWING MACHINES REVIEWS

HISTORY OF THE BRAND

The company began in 1976 and it was started with the design and manufacture of racing cars. In the past 40 years, the brand grew and is now selling some of the most popular rowers, an ergonomic bike and oars. Exercisers of all backgrounds use their rowing machines. They are dedicated to helping improve the customer’s experience and workouts.

CONCEPT 2 MODEL D INDOOR ROWING MACHINE

Air Resistance Type

Concept 2 D rower uses air as resistance. In other words, when you pull the rowing handle, the fan flywheel sucks in air. The flywheel then has to displace the air in front of it. This, in turn, causes the resistance you feel. Basically, if you row faster, you feel more resistance. In this way, it’s similar to water rowing.

This exercise machine has a damper that can add the feeling of more resistance to your workout if needed. You can choose between 10 levels. The flywheel responds to every rowing stroke you make right away. What you get in the end from this Concept two rower is a smooth feeling workout with almost no noise.

Concept 2 Model D PM5 computer is among the top in rowing machine monitors. It calculates a variety of data, among them time, distance, calories, strokes per minute and much more. You can adjust your exercise preferences too. The PM5 is an easy to read monitor that also has a USB drive for recording your workouts.

PROS

  • smooth air resistance
  • easy storage
  • PM5 computer monitor for easy data tracking
  • 10 resistance levels
  • durable and sturdy

CONS

  • Limited 5-year frame and 2-year parts warranty

CONCEPT 2 MODEL E INDOOR ROWING MACHINE

Air Resistance Technology

Model E uses the same type of resistance as Model D: air. It works the same with the fan flywheel taking in air and creating resistance this way. It feels like there’s more resistance the harder you row. It gives you a natural feel of rowing on actual water and the strokes are smooth

Damper Setting For Resistance

This is additional settings on the damper that make you feel as if there is more resistance. But the resistance is actually the same and you mainly influence it by rowing faster or slower. There are 10 damper levels to choose from so you can challenge yourself.

Longer Computer Monitor Arm

The monitor of this Concept 2 rower model E tracks all your important stats to help you progress in your workouts. It has a long arm of the monitor that helps you with readability and having everything within reach. The monitor is also the same PM5 one the model D has.

Seat Height And Technical Specifications

The seat is at a chair level and it’s a good alternative to lower seats if you have any health issues. If you have a disability or have painful knees, the higher seat will enable you to get on and off the rower with ease. The leg design is a solid one-piece for stability. Other technical specifications are the same.

Easy Storage And Dimensions

You can partially disassemble this Concept 2 rowing machine for easier storage. You can just use the quick-release mechanism and separate the rower into two parts. When in one piece, you wheel it on rollers. The dimensions are 96’’ L x 24’’ W x 20’’ H. The maximum weight it can carry is 500lbs.

PROS

  • chair height seat for easy use
  • longer monitor arm for better readability
  • one-piece leg design
  • black or light gray color

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Manual humidity control
  • Professional installation needed
  • Water panel needs to be changed once or twice a year by a professional

Concept2 Model D

Main Takeaways

  • The Concept 2 can handle users who weigh up to 500 pounds.
  • This rower is the same rower some Olympic and CrossFit athletes use for everyday training purposes. 
  • The Bluetooth connectivity will allow you to transfer your stats to your mobile device for easier viewing post-workout.

The Concept 2 was the first air rower that was created for indoor use, setting the standard for indoor rowers to come. It’s one of the more basic rowing machine options out there as many companies have built in more technological features off of the Concept 2’s base build, but it’s one of the most popular rowers you’ll find. You will probably see it in most gyms, and the majority of professional rowers work with the Concept 2. Of course, you’ll find most of them referring to it as an “erg” (or ergometer) rather than a rower or rowing machine.

PROS

  • Heavier users looking for a machine that can handle up to 500 pounds.
  • Consistent trainers who need a machine to withstand lots of daily usage. 
  • Athletes who don’t want to be distracted by technological frills.

CONS

  • Users who don’t want to use a loud machine for at-home workouts.
  • Rowers who need a wider seat — this one is pretty narrow.
  • Anyone who doesn’t want to deal with the noise and floppiness of a chain belt.

Concept2 BikeERG

  • Want top of the line quality and durability
  • Are looking for an air resistance bike that will strengthen and condition any athlete
  • Know how to use the damper
  • Appreciate the sleek design and compact footprint
  • Know how to use the PM5 Monitor
  • Desire to compete with other Concept2 owners
  • Want the benefits of air resistance even if it is a little noisier than magnetic resistance

The Concept2 BikeErg is the latest addition to Concept2’s lineup of sport-based ergometers. The BikeERG is an indoor cycling bike that features the same flywheel and Performance Monitor as the Concept2 Indoor Rowers and SkiErgs. Concept2 has long been an industry leader in air resistance machines for both rowing and cross-country skiing. The BikeERG brings all the benefits of cycling and air resistance in one machine that you can use in your own home.

Air resistance is created as air is conducted through the flywheel to create literally unlimited resistance. As you pedal harder, more air is sucked into the flywheel which then generates more resistance. This means stronger riders will naturally produce air resistance responsive to the power in their pedal stroke. The BikeERG also includes a damper similar to the Concept2 rower, the damper changes the amount of air allowed into the flywheel. The damper on the BikeERG works like a gearing system on an outdoor bike — you can adjust the resistance via the damper lever and/or your pedal stroke. Concept2 first designed their rower ERG which has been durable and provided consistent results for years. Then came the SkiERG with similar functionality. As the indoor cycling industry has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, Concept2 has now added the BikeERG to provide the most responsive indoor cycle on the market.

Pros
  • Sleek and lightweight, you can place this bike anywhere
  • Preferred by CrossFit athletes and others familiar with Concept2 machines
  • Offers unlimited resistance with both damper and cadence control
  • PM5 Console is backlit, battery powered and easy to use
  • Console has 5 screen options
  • Priced under $1000, this is an excellent bike for the price
  • Sturdy design will support up to 300 pounds
  • Looks good in any home or garage gym
  • Easy to move
Cons
  • Limited 5-year frame and 2-year parts warranty
  • Newer machine; not as familiar to many riders
  • Flywheel resistance is noisier than magnetic resistance

Concept2 Dynamic

Equipment overview:

  • Rower Type: Air
  • Price Range: $900 – $1,250
  • Different Models: 3
  • Financing Available: No
  • Return Policy: 30 days, customer pays return shipping
  • Warranty: Frame – 5 years, Parts – 2 years
  • Shipping: $45-$85 (higher outside of the lower 48 United States)

They’re everywhere

If you really want to know just how popular Concept2 rowers are, use their Indoor Rower Finder to see where they are near you. Our results list showed Concept2 machines at our local CrossFit, YMCA, Gold’s Gym, F45, and even some schools! If you’re looking to equip your home gym and are already comfortable on the Concept2, this is a great choice to reduce the learning curve and get right to your workouts.

Rowing challenges

The Concept2 series is also a good fit if you’re the competitive type. The company offers rowing challenges, distance awards, and the ability to compare yourself with indoor rowing fanatics around the world. Your Online Logbook gives you the chance to connect with training partners, join a team (“affiliation”), and even use the open-platform Performance Monitor to connect with a wide variety of smartphone apps.

PROS

  • Contoured seat
    Display automatically turns on when you start to row
    Can be stored in vertical position to save floor space
    Air resistance correlates with rower power
    Very affordable for such a quality machine

CONS

  • Newer machine; not as familiar to many riders
    Flywheel resistance is noisier than magnetic resistancenal

Filtrete Air Concept2

Compact

The Dynamic takes a very different approach, with a seat that is mostly stationary while the feet slide back and forth. Because more of the stroke length and coordination winds up under the control of the athlete, this model is particularly well-suited for those who want to more closely mimic the feel of a rowing shell. The Dynamic is also more compact than the D and E (76″ vs. 96″), but it doesn’t let you separate it for storage purposes.

Air-based resistance

Concept2 rowing machines provide air-based resistance through a flywheel and damper system. As you adjust the airflow to the flywheel, you control the feel of the stroke and add or decrease resistance. Plus, the Performance Monitor lets you decide between the automatic “Just Row” mode or to set up a range of workouts. You’ll always be able to see your pace, watts, stroke rate and calories burned; data is stored in internal memory and can also be kept on an optional USB flash drive. All you’ll need are two D batteries – just used as power backup when the monitor isn’t being powered by the flywheel itself.

Easy to assemble

Another really positive thing about these rowing machines is how easy they are to assemble. With easy-to-follow instructions and just a few screws to put in place, you won’t need to spend money on professional assembly. Plus, Concept2 has helpful reps at the ready via phone if you have any questions during the process.

5 year frame warranty

With all of Concept2’s indoor rowers, you’ll have 5 years of warranty coverage on most of the frame and its parts (flywheel axle, rails, seat and seat frame). The rest of the rower’s parts are covered for 2 years. To keep the warranty in effect, you must lubricate the chain after every 50 hours of use, and daily cleaning of the monorail is recommended for reduced wear on the seat rollers.

Shipping costs vary

Your shipping costs will depend on the rowing machine you select and where you live. For example, the Model D costs $45 via UPS Ground within the lower 48 United States, or $130 if you live in Alaska or Hawaii (and kudos to Concept2 for being one of just a few rower retailers that actually ships there!). The Dynamic costs the most to ship, because it comes in two boxes; you’ll pay anywhere from $85 to $355 for delivery.

Good return policy

Concept2 offers a good return policy. If you don’t love your rowing machine for any reason, you can return it within 30 days of shipment. You’ll be responsible for the return shipping costs, but the company won’t deduct any restocking fees from your refund.

You might fall in love

Whether you choose the D, E, or Dynamic rowing machine, you might just fall in love. There’s something really attractive about a rower that can stand up to day in, day out use by world-class athletes – but that is simple enough for a brand-new user to figure out too. Although they’re not the least expensive in the industry, these rowing machines offer the features people want and are backed by decades of expertise. Especially for exercisers who are already used to this brand from use in fitness centers and rowing studios, Concept2 rowers are a perfect fit.