Concept 2 Rowing Machines

Concept 2 Model E Rowing Machine

The Gold Standard Rower

The Development of Rowing Machines from the Early Years and Now

Exercise plays an integral role in keeping our bodies healthy and fit. Many individuals often go to the gym on a regular basis to burn their excess fats and stored calories away. There are many health programs that offer a variety of exercise activities to their members. With that said, not every physical activity or regimen can fit perfectly for every individual since people have different capacities, needs as well as preferences. What works for someone, may not work for another individual. Moreover, the body is an amazing piece of machinery because it will adapt and become accustomed to a workout if you continually do the same type of program.  This makes it essential to have a variety of exercise tools and equipments available at any given time with regards to physical activities. Rowing machines (especially Concept 2 Rowing Machines) are growing in popularity particularly because of the intense calorie burning exercise that they provide to their users.

An indoor rower is a machine that is used to simulate the action of watercraft rowing which is mainly used for exercise. People who enjoy navigating the open seas or waterways with boats will feel pretty much at home when they make use of rower machines once they decide to hit the gym. This can be a very good workout activity, as well as, provide the necessary training for those who are planning on joining several boats and rowing competitions in the future. You will find an abundance of rowing machines as they are widely available and regularly used today.

It is good to hear that for those who prefer do intense workout activities at home are able to find the necessary equipment and tools to help them with their regimen. One can purchase rowing machines for their own which allows them to work out when and where they want. Before planning on purchasing rowing machines, it is ideal to know their specifications, models as well as their respective price range to give one an overview of what to expect.

When looking at indoor rowing machines, there are plenty of different manufacturers that can be found.  It can be confusing when trying to find the right one that fits your needs.  There are different types of rowing machines including air resistance, piston resistance, water resistance and magnetic resistance.  That is not difficult enough to try and figure out but then you have to analyze the different advantages and disadvantages of each type of rower.

Oh wait it gets better!  Next you will be introduced to numerous models which each manufacturer makes to satisfy their different customers.  If you want a more simplistic way of thinking about this, let’s just say you decided you wanted to find a healthy cereal and head to a local supermarket.  Now go ahead and make your decision among the hundreds of boxes that line the six shelves and a hundred yard stretch of aisle.  In this article, we have focused on one particular manufacturer that has produced superior quality products for numerous years.

Concept 2 Rowing Machines – In the beginning

The journey starts back in the late 70s when two brothers were trying out for 1976 Olympic team.  They designed oars made from carbon fiber.  After failing to make the grade, they decided to start their own company producing these oars named Concept 2.   While continuing to innovate in the market of oars they decided to make an indoor rowing machine that was going to be just as great as their oars.

They started out with Model A which was made from mostly bicycle parts in 1981.  They started making gains and changed designs to make several different versions including the B, C, D, and E built in 1986, 1993, 2003, and 2006 respectively.  Strangely, Concept2 only sold one model at any one time until the release of Model E.

Concept 2 is quite popular brand with regards to their rower models. They have proven their excellence and worth through the years and their models are sought after by many individuals including rowing enthusiasts today. Listed below are Rower Models and their specifications and characteristics.

Concept 2 Model A

Concept 2 Model A Rowing MachineYou can see how old the Concept 2 brand actually is especially when the look at their manufacturing date with regards to their earlier rower models. Concept 2 Model A was made and manufactured during the years 1981-1986. This model is no longer in production making it quite a rare find and a must have item for rowing memorabilia collectors.  Its handle is made of wood with black grips and the footboards are also composed of wood.  Additionally, the wheel looked like a bicycle tire with metal flaps which resulted in air resistance and created a good workout.  Because of its age, using it for exercise activity is definitely not advisable. This is now mostly used for display purposes.

Concept 2 Model B

Model B was in production from 1986-1993 and the design got a more modern facelift.  Just like Concept 2’s model A, this one is also no longer in production. Its noteworthy feature is the black wire cage which resembles a household fan enclosure giving more strength and stability compared to the previous model. It continued to have the wooden handle and wooden footboards.  While not as collectible as the Model A, they are still in demand for people that would like to have a small (not so small) piece of rowing history.  Luckily, you can find them online with ease.   This can stress points because of the material that was used.

Concept 2 Model C

Concept 2 - Model C Rowing MachineInnovation and several changes were made when the Model C was introduced in 1999.  It continued in production until 2003.  In this model, the fan came in more of a closed environment and provided for a more intense workout.  The electronics were increased for the display unit.  Just like its predecessors, this model is also no longer in production. Model C’s can be recognized with its gray and black color scheme. The handle is made from wood with black grips though the plastic foot stretchers were quite revolutionary from that time and many companies and brands have followed suit. The price can range from $500 – $900.

Fitness enthusiasts and those who spend a considerable amount of time in a gym will recognize Concept 2’s model C. Even though their production was already stopped, a few of these models are still around in major fitness centers and are fully functional even as we speak. An ergometer is attached and comes with a choice in monitors which is the PM2 and PM3. PM2 gets the job done with is basic display. However, PM3 offers much option as their display is retrofitted making the rowing experience much more complete. Ergometer is quite important with the overall exercise activity as this measures the amount of work performed giving users an overview of much work they’ve invested in with these rower machines. You can easily view these numbers with model C of Concept 2.

Modern Concept 2 Rower Models

Listed here are Concept 2 Rower Models that are still in production. Those who are planning on getting their very own rower machines will most likely see these models displayed in several stores. Prices have increased as the overall design and complexity have increased.  Prospective buyers should expect to budget between $900 and $1200 (or more) depending on their specifications.

Concept 2 Model D

Model D was introduced in the year 2003, replacing model C in the process. The Concept 2 Model D is like its predecessors.  It is air resistance machine that becomes more difficult (more air resistance) as you pull harder.  The continued efforts of Concept 2 brand allowed for continued improvements with the machine itself. Common issues and concerns with the older model were addressed during the development of Model D. The underlying problem of the frame lock mechanism caused to become a struggle to operate. The foot straps also become less effective over time.   Both of these issues were corrected in the Model D.

Concept 2’s Model D gained much recognition and praise, making it the best selling indoor rower not just in several countries but in the world. This why Concept 2 is now a very recognizable brand particularly because of Model D’s effectiveness with regards to cardiovascular workout as it increase the user’s fitness level while at the same time and tone their physique. Model D offers variety as they are offered in two different colors: light gray and black.

Model D Features and Characteristics

This model allows their user to have a choice with regards to Performance Monitor that best suits their preference and interest. The PM3 or PM4 can be modified before the purchase. These monitors are also adjustable allowing one to position it to a location that they desire.

Model D also boast their portability and storage capability. Their easy quick-release mechanism lets users assemble and disassemble these rowing machines with ease. Setting it up will only take a few seconds of your time. If you decide to bring your rowers with you during your travels, folding them up and taking them in your car is quite a breeze.

A Stainless Steel Track along with its Nickel Plated Chain is also one of Model D’s noteworthy features, giving owners little to no worries about rust and corrosion from ever happening to their rower machines. This makes the maintenance work a much easier task to handle.   No more late nights with a flashlight and screwdrivers to fix the issue before a workout.

The Concept 2 brand is known for its durability and sturdiness with regards to their products. Their old rower device that is still functional even after a decade is a living proof of their outstanding excellence. The same can be said with their newer models as they are built to last.

Advantages of the Model D

  • Respected Brand – The Model D is one of the most respected brands in the rowing industry.  This means that you will not have the issues that you are likely to see in the cheaper less known brands on the market.  This reliability factor leads to a high resale value if you decide that it is no longer for you.  Additionally, Concept 2 stands behind its product arguably with the best warranty on the market.
  • Change level of training – The Model D has the ability to change the level of resistance by changing the damper setting (range of 1 to 10).  It relates to the level of air going into the flywheel.  The higher the level of resistance the more difficult to row the machine.  You can say that level 1 is rowing a personal rowboat and the level 10 is moving a personal yacht!
  • Well Respected Forum – Looking for answers to any of your rowing questions because you are a noob?  Not a problem when you are part of the Concept2 family.  You will have access to their forum with sometimes over-dedicated individuals that are similar to a genie in a bottle.
  • Fluid Motion – The Model D has a very clean movement mechanism and feels smooth during operation.  Moreover, whether you are 100 lbs. or 500 lbs. you notice little change in the way it works and flows.
  • PM3 monitor – The performance monitor takes you workout to the next level.  It keeps copious details of your workouts and allows you to choose a workout which best suits your needs.  Additionally, you have the ability to play games on it or even race yourself.
  • 30 day money back guarantee – Not surprisingly, Concept 2 provides a no question asked 30-day money back guarantee on their Model D and Model E.  This should give most people relief knowing that the company wants to make sure that your new rower is the right fit for you and your home.

Disadvantages with the Model D

  • Noisy Operation – As stated above, the Concept 2 rowers work off of wind resistance.  The harder you pull the more resistance is created.  Along with the air resistance comes more noise.  Many people complain that they would like the machine to have some sort of buffer on it to diminish the noise during workouts.
  • Footprint Size – The Model D comes in at about nine feet in length so it requires some extra consideration for placement in confined spaces so that you can get the most out of your workout.
  • Wooden Handle – Some folks complain about the wooden handle.  They say that it is uncomfortable on their hands when they were starting off.  Some have corrected the problem by purchasing a pair of gloves for their hands.
  • Uncomfortable Seat – Some users and purchasers have complained about how uncomfortable the seat was.  Allegedly, it also becomes more uncomfortable as you use it.

Concept 2 Model E

In as early as 2006, a new model was introduced to further improve upon the achievements the model D had earned. Concept 2 Model E is quite similar to the previous model but had few design overhauls with regards to their features. Both of them are still in production though and preference or taste as well as the budget allocation will only be the deciding factor between these two models. A budget of between $1200 and $1500 should be expected on the Model E.

As the saying goes, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it and this saying directly applies with Concept 2’s Model E rowing machine. Nothing was substantially altered or removed. Subtle little changes that improve the overall user experience was implement such as a higher rowing positioning, fixing the monitor arm and making it steadier compared to its predecessor.

Model E Features and Characteristics

With regards to performance monitor, every Model E is equipped with the latest and most advance performance monitor which is the PM4 that monitors your heart rate without the need for extra wires. Seat height which is now 20 inch is adjusted to give you a more natural and healthy sitting position which reduces the stress from your knees during the workout activity. With that said, to support the 20 inch frame height, a more stable and solid feel is made possible with a one-piece leg design for both the front and rear legs.

Pros and Cons of the Model E

As you can clearly see, the Model D and E are very similar in nature.  All the disadvantages as listed for the Model D would still apply; however, there would be two additional advantages for the user of the Model E.  The first is the higher seat which provides for a more natural rowing fluidity during workout.  The second is the PM4 which is the state of the art for all rowing machines on the market.

The Value of Rower Machines Today

Even with their relatively huge cost, active individuals will in reality save a considerable amount of time and resources when they plan to purchase a rower machine for their own. The cost of yearly gym memberships accumulate as time passes and one might be surprised to see how much resources they have already spent in the gym in the process. On the other hand, rower machines are one time purchase only, making it a very worthwhile deal in the years to come. Little maintenance is also done giving owners more time for workout activities. These machines as mentioned earlier are also built to last. Your kids as well as your grandchildren will be able to make good use of these machines especially if they are handled properly and is well taken care of. People who also prefer a more private and quite workout can do so with a solid piece of exercise equipment through indoor rowers at the comfort of their very home.


Rowing machines can add a whole new dimension to your workout.  They provide for an intense workout and workout the entire body with a focus on the upper body.  People have enjoyed the Concept 2 products for years and to high acclaims.  The Concept 2 product line is an excellent addition to any one’s workout regiment because of all that was discussed above.  It would behoove people to seriously consider purchasing or renting one of the Concept 2 rowing machines and making it a staple of their households.