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.

concept2 model d review

Concept 2 Rowing Machine 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 the customized routine for your rowing sessions.
  • There are different in-built rowing games.
  • You can choose from a 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 the counterpart. That was quite challenging.
  • In Large Print, all information is shown in larger fonts.
  • Bar Chart was helpful for better analysis. All data were shown in form of Bar Chart.
  • Force Curve was used 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 microform 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 Rowing Machine

  • 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 Rower

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 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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Matt Williamson
My name is Matt - fitness freak by choice. I intensively study and write about nutrition and health related topics. After reading and researching intensively on human health, I aspire to proliferate the wisdom that I acquired in a simple way.

This post has 21 Comments

  1. I loved my Concept 2 Rowing machine but it was always a hustle when it comes to storing it. How can you store this model especially if you do not have a lot of space?

  2. This rower can be stored in two positions. You can stand it up as they do in the gyms or split it. Either option saves you on space. When raised, the machine can fit in most houses and does not need your ceiling to be a special kind of height. The normal ceiling height works just fine.

    However, each has its drawback. For starters, standing it up always poses a serious threat of falling over and causing injuries to you. It is even indicated in some concept 2 machines. A warning many people chose to ignore.

    On the other hand, this model can give you a headache when trying to split it. Unlike its Model E counterpart, this does not easily split. Giving you a hard time constantly having to work on it after every workout.

    My advice for this particular brand would be to stand it up if you are sure no one will interfere with it. If you can get something to secure it when it is hoisted up, the better.

  3. Where is this machine manufactured from? Is it up to standards? Also, how hard is it to assemble this machine? Do I need to pay an expert to do it for me?

  4. The Concept 2 Rowing machine is quite up to standards and will provide you an effective workout. At least this is my experience and that of most customers who have used it. It is manufactured from Vermont.

    As you would expect, this machine comes dissembled into pieces contained in a storage box. Assembling is usually quite easy and I find paying (usually over $ 90) is a waste. You will need your ordinary home tools. To break it down, you will require a special screw driver for the screws which is provided in the package and fastener. The bolts and nuts are all the same size so you will have an even easier time assembling this machine.

    The same goes for installing the legs. It requires a bit more work but nothing you cannot do by yourself. I’d advice you to try assembling on your own before thinking of calling an expert.

  5. Does the package come with a chain oil or do I get that myself? Also, do I need to use a rowing mat at my place?

  6. The package usually consists of the machine parts and the special screw driver for assembling. No chain oil is included. The chain is often already oiled and you will not be needing any more oiling for a long time. Just some simple assembling.

    A rowing mat too is not part of the package but depending on your floor or to avoid scratching your floor surface, a mat is a good investment.

  7. Can this machine accommodate tall people? To what point exactly. Also, what is the difference between this model (D) and the model E?

  8. The model D Concept two machine can very well fit tall individuals. According to my observation, it can accommodate people who are 6’5 “or even 6’7 “tall. Any taller than this is going to be a real hassle fitting in the machine. Luckily, you can easily increase the size of our monorail in case you do not fit. For a price of about $100, you can purchase an add-on monorail. This is advised for people who are 7 ft. tall. The safest bet would be to try out the machine before buying. This way, you will have no regrets whatsoever.

    The main difference between the two models is the height. You can also check out more differences before purchasing.

  9. I don’t expect a rowing machine to be totally quiet in operation but how loud is it while in use? Can I put on a movie while rowing and still be able to hear? Will it bug my neighbors?

  10. The Concept 2Model D machine is not loud to the extent of causing a nuisance. In fact, it can be compared to the sound made by a fan in low setting.so, to answer the question, yes, you can watch movies and listen to music as you row and it will still be audible. And No, it will not disturb your neighbors.

    If you live on an upper floor, placing a mat under the machine will definitely dull done the noise for those living below you.

  11. Can this machine be used by people with joint problems such as arthritis and knee replacements? Will this make the problem worse? Also, can the conditions stand the pressures of the workouts?

  12. Truth be told, rowing can be a bit vigorous than most workouts using the equipment. I would not advise anyone recently out of surgery or with mobility issues to use this equipment without consulting a doctor.
    This is because movement used engages your knees, calves, and arms. This is pretty much your entire body as you will have to keep your back and neck well positioned to avoid injury.

    However, I have seen many comments from users who have had surgery and have mobility issues claiming to use this for their workouts. Well and good. But if you are going to follow suit, at least do it in the correct form to avoid further injuries. Also, go slow and ease into it focusing on motion rather than resistance and intensity of your workouts. Be sure to strap your feet correctly as it is part of maintaining correct form during your workouts.

    The main point is consulting your doctor first and easing into the process.

  13. Can the console really track more than one users? If so, how? Also, I heard you can get it to display on your TV set. How do you do this? Finally, I want to use a heart rate monitor with this machine. Is it compatible?

  14. Yes, the Concept 2 Model D rowing machine can track two or more users. To allow this, simply get the Concept 2 app which allows different users to log in and access their information separately.

    Again, yes, you can connect the console to your television if you are into that. To do this, you can run the RowPro software in your machine and depending on your TV set, you can use the Wi-Fi HDMI option to display on your telly. You can also opt to use the mini display port to screencast on your TV.

    You can use heart rate monitors with this machine some popular straps that work well on the Concept 2 Ruing machine are the Polar H5 and H7. Garmin chest straps are another brand that is compatible with this machine.

  15. How much maintenance does this machine need? Is it too taxing? Also, what measures should I take when storing it to increase its life?

  16. Little work is required when it comes to maintenance. What you need to be mindful of is regular cleaning of the rail and keeping it water and dust free. The best thing to use is a stainless steel spray as it will not corrode your machinewhile keeping it clean. If you live in a humid area, oiling it up will definitely keep it around for long. You don’t even need to maintain it daily just keep it clean and greased every other week and you are good to go.

  17. Is there a warranty cover if I purchase this machine as a second-hand equipment? What about buying from a less recognized store? Do I still get the same cover as online buyers?

  18. As long as your machine is genuine concept 2 machine, the warranty is the same no matter where you got it from. The same applies to second-hand equipment. Just make sure that it is genuine and that it still has a valid warranty cover.

    By contacting concept 2 and giving them the serial number of your machine, you can be sorted out within minutes no matter your location in the world.

  19. Does this model have an adjustable resistance? Also, I notice that it has a fan. Is this for cooling you off as you work out?

  20. Yes, the resistance can be adjusted to whatever level is comfortable to you. The fan you see is part of the flywheel and contributes to the resistance of your workout. It, therefore, does not serve any cooling purposes as you exercise. If anything, the air does not even blow towards you. It goes up and outward.

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