Concept 2 Rower Review – Do NOT Buy Before Reading This!

Last updated: May 29th 2017.

With hundreds of different rowers available in the market, Concept 2 Rowing Machine outranks all of them with its incredible features.

Being a commercial-grade rowing machine which is being used in health clubs, boathouses, and various training facilities across the globe – Concept 2 ‘Model D’ has a lot to offer. And finest performance is what attracted us most.


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Concept 2 Rower Review – Row Like a Pro

Today we have reviewed various aspects of Concept 2 Model D rowing machine in our labs. Let’s take a look at detailed review of Concept 2 Rower.

Quality of Build

Without any doubt, Concept 2 Model D is one of the best-built rowing machines in market. We had expected the same, because it was from Concept 2. As it turned out, our expectations were right.

You can purchase Concept 2 Model D rower in Black or Matte finishes. The premium quality is present with these 2 finishes. That’s why it’s being used in homes as well as health clubs.

In the case of legs, front and monorail, everything gives a premium feel of touch. We tried different levels of workload and the machine handled all of it well.

Summing up, there isn’t anything wrong or complain-able about Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine. It does work well with different levels of workload. We hadn’t found any negative reviews on the same.

Never expect the machine to break or hang while you are rowing with maximum power. That’s an assurance from the manufacturer and our side.

Resistance in Concept 2 Model D

It’s powered by Air-Resistance System. Wind is created when you pull the rower-handle. That is, if you create more wind, you will feel it hard to pull the rower.

In practice, we can say that Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine Resistance is your choice. You will feel more resistance if you pull the handle harder. Or, you can pull the harder fast.

This type of resistance is good for consistency of your rowing exercise. The same is used for popular athletes, including the Rowing Teams of Olympics. We can say the resistance of the machine is similar to that of water.

How It Feels and Benefits

As we said, rowing with Concept 2 Model D is more or less like you are rowing on water. The even distribution of resistance is good for the smoothness of rowing session.

The resistance level is optimized according to the input effort. If you row harder, you get high resistance. Its automatic adjustment is a worthwhile feature for sure.

One benefit you have is that you don’t have to change the resistance levels so often. It adjusts according to your requirements. This is great if you want to have intensive training sessions ahead.

In short, you put a certain amount of rowing power, you get the right amount of resistance. It’s as simple as that.

Damper Settings in Concept 2 Model D

concept2-model-d-damperDespite having variable resistance, Damper Settings is an effective way for changing the rowing intensity. Damper Settings has to deal with the amount of air that goes into flywheel. You can select the desired one from 1 to 10.

The same can be classified into Higher Settings of 6 to 10 and Lower Settings of 1 to 5. In the Higher Setting, you feel like you’re rowing a heavy boat. Lower Settings are there when you need fast but sleek boat for rowing.

Summing up, resistance settings of Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine are just superb. It can adjust according to your requirement and the effort you put into it.

In the end, you can have an effective resistance setting for best performance. You have to tolerate normalcy of noise, though.

Monitor/Control Panel

Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine has one of the best fitness monitors we’ve seen. It’s using PM5 Monitor. In case if you did not know, it’s the best to be used in rowing machines.

pm5-300x293In other words, the PM5 is a minimal-sized computer. It offers a bunch of options for enhanced training.

Data Tracking Options

This is where Concept 2 Model D gets the job done. You can easily track factors of effect such as calorie burn, watts, speed, distance and your pace. In addition, there are extra features as well.

  • Instant Start of Rowing — it’s not necessary to select the mode before rowing.
  • You can create customized routine for your rowing sessions.
  • There are different in-built rowing games.
  • You can choose from pre-programmed set of workouts.
  • The PM5 Monitor Display is huge-enough for all users.
Because the PM5 Display is backlit, we have no trouble in finding information even in low-light scenarios.
Every bit of information is shown with ultimate accuracy. That’s why Concept 2 Model D is used by Olympic rowing team as well.

From the menu, you can select the suitable display options too. If you don’t want all the data, you have four options left.

  • In Paceboat, your rowing data is compared with another pre-set boat for better analysis. We tried setting a past rowing session as counterpart. That was quite challenging.
  • In Large Print, all information is shown in larger fonts.
  • Bar Chart was helpful for better analysis. All data was shown in form of Bar Chart.
  • Force Curve was useful for analyzing the smoothness of your rowing session.

Monitoring Your Heart-Rate

This is a great way of workout analysis, if you have a compatible accessory.

Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine is using Bluetooth Smart technology for advanced analysis. This one is better when you want accurate tracking of heart-rate and other micro-form data.

When you purchase the strap, it should be a compatible one. If that’s set, you are good to go.

As we said, the PM5 Monitor has options for showing heart-rate info, as bar chart. This one was good when we wanted an overview of the heart-rate data during and post workouts.

Managing Your Workout Data via USB Drive

You can connect the USB drive and transfer data smoothly. You will need a tool named Concept 2 Utility to do that, though. This way, you can use the rowing data for a better level of analysis.

Plus, you can find many compatible third-party apps for Concept 2 Model D PM5 Monitor data.

Extra Noteworthy Features

It’s easy to adjust the PM5 Monitor according to your comfort. It start automatically upon rowing. The best part is that the monitor will be powered while you are working out, through the energy you put. It is good for longer life of battery.

Considering all these, the MP5 Monitor is just right for data management and accurate tracking. We’d found it ultimately accurate for all needs.

Capacity of Handling

Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine claims a weight capacity of 500lbs.

We had tried the rowing machine for people with 300lbs to 400lbs. And, it handled everything very well.

The best part is that even children and shorter users find it easy to row using Concept 2 Model D. Talking of the height, it has been built considering high-height people as well. Sam, who is around 6’ 7” had no trouble in rowing with this machine.

Keeping it Home — Storage

Storing Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine in your home is an easy task. Despite the higher footprint while expanded, it becomes too small for storage needs.

For storage, you can disconnect the top portion and monorail. It does not take more than 20 seconds to keep it safe.
This is good when you have less space at your room. If you have space for running it, storage will not be an issue.

Consumer Support from Concept 2

We had received the best level of customer support from the manufacturer.The team is quite professional and had gave us on-time replies. We had to contact them as a part of review.

We also asked some customers of Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine. They too had positive opinion about the customer-support team.

In addition, Concept 2 boasts an online community. There, you can find various information about Concept 2 rowing machines as well as other general info.


While using, its dimensions are 96” x 24” x 14”
If you want to store Concept 2 Model D, it becomes 25” x 33” x 54”.
The product weighs just 57lbs, and is easier to manage.
In short, the dimensions of Concept 2 Model D are just suitable for most homes.

Notable Pros of Concept 2 Model D

  • It comes from Concept 2, one of the trustworthy brands in the world of rowing machines.
  • When compared, you get the best-quality build and lower maintenance.
  • Assembling can be done in a few seconds
  • The Online Community and Consumer Support are good source of knowledge.
  • The PM5 Monitor is very accurate and versatile.
  • You get 30-day Money Back Guarantee from Concept 2
Concept 2 Model D offers 5-Year, 2-Year Warranties for Frame and All Parts respectively.

These are the reasons why most people found to purchase Concept 2 Model D for their professional/personal needs. Despite all these, Concept 2 Model D pricing isn’t that high. When compared to the features, the pricing is quite reasonable. We think that’s all you would want to know about a rowing machine.

Assembling the Concept 2 Rowing Machine

Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine does not require any professional experience for assembly. Everything will be up and running in a few minutes.

The package consists of washers, screws that you need for assembling. Plus, the included wrench made the process easier. When we asked other customers, they too told the same about assembling process.

In our case, we had to spend around 20 minutes for completely setting up Concept 2 Model D.

The Final Word on Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine

Above, we have discussed the different aspects of the Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine. In short, it’s a perfect rowing machine for all needs, both personal and preferences. We know people as well as health clubs that use Concept 2 Model D.

According to our experience, the machine is sturdy and durable. At the least, the product will last for 5 to 7 years. At the same time, the manufacturer’s PM5 Monitor is accurate and performance-friendly.

When compared to all these features, pricing of Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine is quite reasonable as well. You are getting a lot for what you are paying.

At the end of the day, judging by my 10 years of rowing, I’d love to recommend Concep t2 Model D Rowing Machine for all our readers. If you are still confused about choosing the right rowing machine, you can check out the list of all recommended rowing machines here.

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