The standout rowing exercise machine in the market is the Concept2 Model D.  It is by far the market leader for rowing machines by a country mile.  It is extensively used at gyms, rowing clubs, and homes.

This Concept2 Model D review looks at many different aspects of this quality product.  It is not to say it is the best one on the market, though it is by far the most popular and for a good reason.

The indoor rowing exercise equipment market has well over 200 different types of rowing machines models available. The Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine is a standout!

Read on to find out why

Rowing Machine-Workout 2 people
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Summary Review of Concept2 Model D

It is hard to spot any faults with the USA built Concept2 Model D rowing machine. It is built to take the worst of treatments by individuals, and is virtually indestructible! The rowing action is smooth and comfortable, giving a sensational low impact full-body workout to people with all levels of fitness.

The Concept2 Model D rowing machine has been around for many years and has been continued improvements. I must admit this was the first rowing machine I purchased some 25 years ago.

Even though it was initially aimed for elite rowers to get their fitness levels out of the water, it has become well accepted for all people who want to get fit.

The rowing machine is well priced for a home unit, as it equates to one coffee per day for a year or a few months of a gym membership. They do hold their value as can been seen in the second-hand market with typical resale values of 60-80% of the original price.

Price Range  Mid
Product Ratings
Overall Rating    4.9 / 5
Performance     5.0 / 5
Comfort              5.0 / 5
Monitor               4.5 / 5
Quality                 5.0 / 5
Warranty             5.0 / 5
Value                    5.0 / 5
One of the areas I would personally like to see improved is the screen size and screen visuals. As a person who needs glasses to read, a larger screen with larger lettering would be great. Being stationary, doing long sessions on the rowing machine is a little tedious. I usually have a TV going to keep me a little entertained. If they had a larger screen, say 15 inch, with some visuals programs, this would make the time go much faster.

You will not read a bad review on the Concept2 Model D Rowing machine on the web. And for a good reason, there is truly nothing to be disappointed with from the ease of assembly to performance to the warranty.
I hope you enjoy this article as much as I had in reviewing the unit.

Article Sections

click on the link

Summary Review
Key Features
General Description
Pros & Cons
Benefits of Exercising on a Rowing Machine
Overall Performance: Fun & Dreamy
Can the Concept 2 Model be Improved?
Concept2 Online Community
What about the Concept2 Model D alternatives
Final Say
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Concept2 Model D Key Features

  • Smooth, comfortable rowing movement & actions
  • Helpful rowing exercise monitoring, heart rate, stroke
  • Easy to adjust the resistance to individual levels
  • Extremely high-quality componentry
  • Ergonomic seat and handles
  • Adjustable firm foot straps
  • Adjustable monitor arm
  • Low noise for indoor use
  • Quick and easy  storage

What is included in the purchase

When you purchase a Concept2 Model D the following is included;

  • Concept2 Model D Unit
  • Model D User manual
  • Performance Monitor Quick Start Guide
  • Tools and illustrated assembly instructions

Concept2 Model D Product Description

The Concept2 Model D rowing machine features is an outstanding piece of engineering that provides what many would argue the best “full-body-workout” exercise machine. It uses virtually every group of body muscle in the rowing motion without having the heavy impact or sudden explosive muscle use.

The rowing exercise machine is a compact device that is used low to the ground, 14″, has an ergonomic moulded seat for comfort, a handle that can be easily held, a smooth rail to glide the seat up and down, a low noise factor with an air resistance flywheel and an integrated performance monitor system.

It has been designed and built by those who were exceptional rowers. They have emulated the on-water rowing experience as close as possible to land. Concept2 have engineered the product to be robust and extremely durable.

It is being used by not only the elite Olympic rowers but as well as some the world’s fitness sports. The rowing exercise machine has been designed and engineered to be used by people of any fitness as well as people who need to get rehabilitated., and intensive enough to be used by the world’s fittest athletes.

Rowing on Water for review
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  • The best overall rowing machine in the market.
  • Gym industry standard
  • Sensational Rowing actions
  • Smooth gliding motion
  • The comfortable seat and handle.
  • Suitable for all fitness levels
  • Value for money
  • The monitor integrates to compatible PC software
  • Very high quality finish and build
  • Extremely robust and durable
  • Strong on-line community
  • Excellent Warranty and Customer Service
    (being the most popular rowing machine in the market it is easy to get spare parts)


  • The monitor can be larger to view especially when you are the furthest point
  • It can get noisy, especially in a small closed room. Louder than water resistance machines.
  • Some people found the seat a little hard

Concept2 Model  D Specification

For the supplier specification download the document

Resistance Type Flywheel- Airresistance
Overall Length 96 in /2.44 m
Overall Width 24 in /0.61 m
Rail Length 54 in /137 cm
For inseam of 38 in or 96.5 cm
Seat Height 14 in /36 cm
Pulley Chain material Nickel-plated steel chain
Monitor LCD computer
Monitor Arm Pivotal plastic arm that can be adjusted
Power 2 D Cell batteries
User Weight 500 lbs or 227 kg
Construction Material Aluminum front legs, steel rear legs
Finish/Color Powder Coated/ Light Grey or Black
Floor Space Recommended 10 ft x 5ft  3m x 1.5
Rowing Machine Weight 57kg / 26Kg
Storage Space Requirements 25 in x 33 in x 54 in

63.5 cm x 83.8 cm x 137.2 cm

Shipping Dimensions One box:
15 in x 21.5 in x 56 in
(38 cm x 55 cm x 142 cm)
Warranty 5 years on Frame

2 Years on parts and console

Concept2 Model D Monitor
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Rowing Exercise Tracking

Performance Monitoring device knows as PMR is feature-rich. It measures almost everything about strokes, including the rates, distance covered as well as some excellent design exercise programs.

It can connect via blue tooth heart rate monitors



Concept2 Model D Flywheel
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Exercise Maximus

The level of resistance will suit all level of fitness and strength.

With 10 adjustments available for resistance, this will cover all levels.

The noise of the unit is sufficient to hear that you know you are putting in an effort

Concept2 Model D Console Games
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Fitness Tracking

The Concept2 team have provided several ways to support you to keep motivated.

The data from PM5 cam connect to popular fitness apps.

There is Concept2 daily subscription available as well as on-line group






Concept2 Model D Storage
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Compact Storage

For most of us, finding space for storing fitness equipment is at a premium.

The Concept2 Model D is compact and easily stored ion vertical position with minimal floor space. 



Concept2 Company & Product History

The Concept2 Rowing machine (Model A)was first created in 1981 by Dick and Pete Dreissigacker. The product has evolved over the last 40 years to become the world leader in rowing machines.

The first of the rowing machines started using bicycle parts. The design quickly progressed, and by 1986 Model B arrived which hit the world market by storm. It first spread soon to the global rowing community then to gyms.

Concept2 have now progressed to Models D and E, with Model E seat and monorail seat being higher off the ground.

Concept 2 Model A Indoor Rowing Machine
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Benefits of Exercising on a Rowing Machine

I would argue it is one of the best all-body exercises you can do for your mental health as well as your physical. Here are some of my points:

  • Unlike most other forms of exercise, there is no impact and nob-weight bearing which one of the major causes of injury.
  • It works out the Quadriceps, Gluteals, Hamstrings, Peroneal, Soleus, Semimembranosus, Calves, and feet.  The motion of rowing strokes reduces stiffness and increases flexibility.
  • The ability to do either or both anaerobic or aerobic fitness training.
  • Rowing is a cardiovascular workout
  • Ability to do it anytime, unlike swimming and running.
  • One of the highest calorie burn rates at 1,200 calories per hour
  • The ability to do short multiple training sessions throughout the day significantly increases the metabolism rate helping to tone up and reduce weight.
  • Due to the repetitious nature of the exercise, it is possible to get into a meditative state. This is helped by the whooshing noise of the air resistance flywheel and chain going in and out.
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I would love to hear whether you think there is a better piece of exercise equipment.

Is a Rowing Machine the best fit for your fitness program?

There are many ways of getting or staying fit and healthy. Most of us are time-poor, and we need to carefully allocate our time between many different parts of our lives. Exercise for most of us becomes an afterthought because of the inconvenience and time constraints. For example, going for a swim, it takes time to get to the pool and home, some inefficient time us. If it is an outdoor pool, in the colder months, it is hard to get motivated to get wet.

For running, it’s hard to run in the dark as the risk of injury is significantly higher, that I can undoubtedly concur.  If you do run,make sure you wear the right runners. I recently step into a small pot-hole and have been unable to exercise for 8 weeks.

Notwithstanding this, we all need to answer some personal questions to make sure we have made a good investment.

Here are some questions I asked myself;

  • Would I use a home rowing machine and how often?
  • Where would I use it?
  • Would I use it instead of running or swimming? Or as an alternative?
  • Would I want all the additional computer add-ons?
  • Is noise an issue?
  • It looks boring to sit on it countless hours, will I get bored?
  • Is it complicated to use?
  • Will I get value for money?
  • Should I try a cheaper one before buying a more expensive one?
  • Should I hire one before buying?
  • Is the Concept2 Model D the right one for me?
  • Will I be storing it?
Concept2 Girl training
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These are all individual questions to be answered. For me personally, I would go for the Concept2 Model D rowing machine for the following principal reasons;

  • Extremely high resales value, if I didn’t use it enough in 6 months, it would only cost me around $200.
  • I would integrate the rowing exercise into my fitness program to enable me to exercise twice a day. The rowing will be a 15-20 minutes routine.
  • Reduces the amount of high impact exercise I do now
  • It’s a bad weather alternative

You will need to come up with your own conclusion

Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine Review

We asked physios and gym instructors and rowers to help review the Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine. We have obtained their ratings, thoughts, assessment and feedback to include it in the analysis and commentary.

This review intends to support your decision making to which is the best rowing exercise machine that is right for yourself.

We have asked everyone to provide an assessment and evaluation on the following areas of the rowing machine:


  • Quality
  • Material & Texture
  • Performance
  • Ease of Storage
  • Monitor

  • Seat comfort
  • Handle
  • Foot straps
  • Noise Level
  • Unit Stability

  • Balance
  • Useability
  • Value for money
  • Aesthetics
  • Useability
So, let’s get cracking!
Concept 2 People Rowing indoors
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Detailed Product Review

There are over 20 attributes of the Concept2 Model D Rowing machine that has been reviewed. Our commentary is included in each of the topics below. Just click the orange toggle on the right of the heading to get read the discussion

Overall Performance: Fun & Dreamy 4.9 / 5
The experience of using any exercise equipment is the most crucial aspect.  If the experience of using the equipment is poor, it is more than likely, and the exercise equipment will start gathering dust and eventually be thrown out.

If the equipment operates smoothly, there are no technical issues, no equipment malfunctions, limited setup, it’s inviting to use, it’s a pleasure to use, and you physically get benefits, then it’s worth every cent.

The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is a “real” pleasure to use.  It is inviting to use.  This was one unanimously agreed by all the reviewer.  In our on-line research, the was the typical response.  We could not find a negative response.

Even the getting onto the ergonomic seat, placing my feet into the footrests and strapping them in, and sliding forward to grab the handles was a beautiful experience.   Doing a workout on the indoor Concept 2 Model D rowing machine was very satisfying.  I felt like the whole body was used without any injuries.

The Performance Monitor, PM5, there were more than enough setting and information to keep you amused.  The using of the functions of the monitor was very intuitive, and it didn’t take long work out which one I preferred.  I found the on-line club provided heaps of useful tips and insight. 

The only two real areas of comment are the viewing of the monitor and the seat comfort.   But with the accessories, these can be negated.

  • With my aging eyes and sweat going down my forward, at times it was difficult to see the screen. With the tablet mount, I was able to secure a tablet to the machine as it helps to provide some entertainment and do some fitness monitoring during the workout
  • Some people found the seat a little hard after a while. Concept2 have a seat pad for added cushioning.

Overall, the Concept 2 Model D indoor rowing machine will give you an incredible experience not only from a physical aspect but by also your mind where you will go into a meditational state by the repetitive smooth sliding motion with the whooshing sound of the equipment

Price: Value for Money 5 / 5
On the initial response, the cost of the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine seems to be on the expensive side at around US$1000.  Yes, the upfront cost is a lot to take out of our pockets at once.  We need to place this into context.

  • It is only about 5-12 months of gyms fees
  • 1 coffee per day for a couple of years.
  • The depreciation value is extremely low, with people getting 70-80% of the purchase after 24 months.
  • Assuming a life span of at least 10 years, it’s less than$2 per week

Taking everything into consideration, from a financial perspective, it is value for money even if you buy it on credit.

Assembly: Super Easy 5 / 5
Being a male, I quickly opened the box, Being a male, I quickly opened the box, placed these instructions to the side and started assembling the unit. It took me longer to unwrap the packaging than screwing the legs to the unit and connect the pieces together. The whole process took me no longer than 10 minutes. I had more trouble with compressing the packaging and placing in the recycling bin.

Everything was included to assemble the unit. Just to clarify, I hadn’t set up the details in the monitor in the 20 minutes.

I had started using the rowing machine within 20 minutes

Quality: Supberb 5 / 5
On inspection of the Concept2 Model D indoor rowing machine, it is evident that the parts and workmanship is of a very high level. They have used high-quality material on all parts of the unit.

Even the basic, the rubber feet are robust and felt quality. The powder coating finish of the product was second-to-none with the look impressive as well as the touch. There were no flaky parts of the powder coating.

As part of our review, our reviewers inspected a number gyms where the Concept2 Model D where it is being used as part of the fitness equipment. The specifics they examined were:

  • Flywheel housing and resistance handle-Still worked very smooth, and it didn’t feel cheap or fragile.
  • Footrests- all were in great working conditions
  • Handles – a little worn in many gyms though still in excellent working order
  • Chain Pulley-Very limited wear and tear on the chain, no concerns at all
  • Powder coating finish- All reported like it was straight from the packaging.
  • Seat Rails– Excellent working order
  • Monorail- Obvious usage with the wheel making a slight mark but was still silky smooth
  • Monitor- All were in operation.
  • Noises- there was no creaking, squeaking, annoying sounds or other unexpected noises.
  • Caster Wheels- All were still intact and working well.

The main areas of concern were the wheels on the seat, the chain and foot straps. These all were all in good working condition with virtually no deterioration after thousands of hours of use.

Reviewers reported that even after a few years of extensive use, the equipment looks in excellent condition.

Aesthetic: Very Pleasing 5 / 5
The look and feel of a product is a very personal thing.  For me, it is aesthetically pleasing when the exercise equipment

  • It looks like it built to high quality,
  • The colors are not too bright, overpowering dazzling,
  • Not oversized for its use,
  • Looks fit for purpose,
  • With not many of add-ons.

Then it will be rated very high.  And for the above reasons, it is rated 5 out of 5

Rowing Pull indoor
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Rowing Actions - Very Real 5 / 5
The original intent of the Concept2 Rowing Machines is to simulate as close as possible the actions and feel on training on the water.

They have come very close as it you really cannot have the equipment to do catch and feathering aspect. This rowing equipment has the feel of the leg drive and pulling actions as it would feel rowing in a rowing boat.

The unit has undoubtedly the initial feeling of the catch of the stroke going into the water all the way to the exit where it exits out of the water. The rollers on the seat glided smoothly over the rails in both the pull and recovery motions, giving the same sensation as in the water.

The reviewers gave a perfect score for comfort.

Stability: Safe 5 / 5
Using the indoor rowing machine under high velocity and power input has the ability for the unit to become unstable and rock from side to side. The Concept2 Model D is only 14” off the ground making the centre of gravity very low reducing the risk of toppling.

The design of the unit legs makes the overall stability, “topplenous” almost impossible. It is more likely you to fall sideways than the unit going onto the side.

All our reviewers found the stability of the unit extremely stable. We had some very large people use the machine they felt safe, though the seat could have been larger.

The Concept 2 Model D unit can handle people unit to 500lbs. I personally would not recommend for people this size to use this equipment and would suggest other forms of exercise and diets before commencing using rowing equipment.

Noise: Unintrusive 5 / 5
The Concept2 Model D is a wind resistance rowing machine.  The movement of air through the flywheel blades creates a whooshing noise.  As you increase the intensity, speed and power, the volume of whooshing becomes lounder.

Provided you are not in a very small environment you will notice it but will more than likely not bother you.  I found it stimulating and motivating as it showed I was placing effort into my exercise routine.

When I used the rowing machine for endurance exercise in a 30 to 40 minutes workout, it helped me get into the meditation ‘zone’,

What I particularly liked, and very important, is that there was no creaking or machine straining noises no matter how hard I pushed.  All the reviewers also identified this as a positive aspect of the unit.

When comparing to other resistant type rowing machines, the resistance noise is marginally louder than the others.  It certainly didn’t drown out the TV when I was watching a show.

Comfort: Good Feel 5 / 5
In assessing the Concept2 Model D for comfort, we looked at the ease of getting into position and starting a workout.  We also looked at the feel of using the equipment.

The rowing machine is relatively close to the ground, 14” in fact, we found most people who had reasonable agility having no real issue in sitting down on the seat.   For those larger people and extremely tall people found it a bit awkward getting down so low.  If you are over 6ft 6” it may be better to go for the Model E as it is 20in off the ground.

Most people found the ergonomically designed seat suitable in using it the workout.  Some people with less padding in the buttocks found a little hard, but with the 3/8” foam-filled seating, accessory resolved this issue.

We found no one had any issues in reaching the monitor and placing their preferred settings nor with the viewing distance.

The location of the handles and height of the pulling action was good for everyone.   The footrests were comfortable in using the equipment.  There was also no unpleasant sounds, that is no creaking or straining noises, from the equipment

The general consensus was the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machines was very comfortable with minimal room for improvement.

Monitor: Very Informative 4 / 5
As expected, the monitoring systems on the Concept2 Model D rowing exercise equipment has all the necessary monitoring interpretations plus more. It measures time, speed, stroke rate, stroke length, force generation, and does heaps of calculations to see the calorie burn, distance cover, power Watts and few more.

The Performance Monitor 5 is the fifth generation of monitoring devices Concept2 have released. It is packed with added features including ANT+, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth Smart for the use of third-party heart rate monitors, like Polar and Garmin.

It also has a USB port so you can download data to be used in other fitness applications.
For readability, the screen is large enough to easily read and made so much easier with the screen being backlit. A great idea is the adjustable monitor arm so you can adjust to be the right distance for each person using the unit.

The physical monitor feels robust and durable. It has sturdy well-labelled buttons made out of high-quality rubber. Our reviewer found limited ware and tear of the buttons and monitors they inspected in gyms. This was an area of concern as this would be one of the first things to get damaged.

The designers and engineers at Concept2 have thought of everything. They supplemented the power required by the monitor by using the power generated by the flywheel.

In using the monitor, there are five well thought out screens.

  • All Data provides all available data.
  • Force Curve a graphical representation of mow much force varies between your legs, back, and arms during the rowing workout
  • Paceboat A useful program that allows you to work out against your previous workout or a preprogrammed activity. This would be great in video format on a larger screen
  • Bar Chart a graphical display of the power general in watts during the workout
  • Large Print- For the visually impaired larger font

All our reviewer’s genuinely liked the Paceboat function of the PM5. They love it as it provided a guideline on how to be able to do the best workout possible. Either with the preprogrammed training or one against yourself on a previously recorded generated workout.

There are Concept2 indoor rowing competitions that use the monitors to work out winners. The online community also likes participants to add data to see how everyone is going.

I would like a larger color screen, 14” or 16”, as the monitor to allow easier viewing during a workout. As well, I would be cool to have video’s being displayed during the workouts to help you keep focused in the longer sessions.

I would like to have the monitor to have audio that can be connected with BlueTooth so you can have earbuds to hear how you are tracking rather than just purely visual.

Overall, the PM5 is an exceptional monitor for tracking progress during the workout and extracting data to place in fitness apps

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Handle and Grips: 5 / 5
The designers at Concept2 have indeed thought of everything.  They have designed the handles with a 10% bend on to make to help avoid any wrist injuries and makes it a more natural position.

The size of the mould rubber handles allow for easy and comfortable grip from all hand sizes.  The rubber grips can also soak up some sweat when doing a workout.

For anyone who has ‘soft’ hands, there is high probably if you don’t wear gloves you will get blisters.  The rubber grips on the handle is a bit grippy, which can lead to blisters.   It is recommended that if you have soft hands, use rowing gloves to start.  If you do short spells, eventually your hands will harden up a bit.  Just be aware.  No one likes blisters.

Footrests - Strapping: Suits All 5 / 5
One of the most critical parts of the rowing machine is to have reliable, comfortable footrests.  When on the rowing machines, your legs, knees, ankles and heels are a big part.  In the compressed position, your knees are close to your chest, and ankles lose to your buttocks.  Your ankles are continuously rotating.

Another aspect of the footrests is the stapping as you don’t want for it to loosen or unlock when going into the contract position.

Another essential part of the footrest/pedal.  It is footrest has been ergonomically designed with a contour for foot comfort. The footrests can of the pedals is the ability to have size 6 fit and be held comfortable as well as size 20.  It can be adjusted to suit individuals feet

We found the footrests and strapping comfortable for either shoes or barefoot. No one had their feet become loose when they did an intensive workout.

Awesome work Concept2.

Chain: Highest Quality 5 / 5
An essential safety aspect of any rowing machine is the pulley material used to move the flywheels.   It takes enormous stress, and heaven forbid what would happen if it stapped during a workout. Concept2 have taken no risk, like many other rowing machines, and used a high-quality nickel-plated chain.

It requires little maintenance, with the occasional light lubricate rub across the chain.

We have not come across anyone or gym who has issues with the chain breaking or seizing.

Seat Wheels Glide: Robust 5 / 5
A fundamental aspect of the Concept2 Model D is seat wheels.  Along with the chain are the components that are placed under heavy stress, wear and tear.  It was evident from all the inspections completed, and there were no comments about seating wheels failure, not even any issues with the seat and wheel connection.

It indeed passed with flying colours.

Seat: Well designed 5 / 5
The Concept2 Model D has a rubber ergonomically designed moulded seat.   It fits comfortable to most people buttocks no matter what size.  All our reviewers found it comfortable straight away.   Though some of the reviewers, the very lean, found the seat got a little uncomfortable on the longer workout sessions.

They tried the foam-filled badding that you can purchase from Concept2 found it made a positive difference.  We noticed some people in gyms using a small towel.   Be careful with the towel as it may get caught under the wheels.  The seat on the Model D is contoured and padded, making it comfortable for most users.

Indoor Seat
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Damper or Resistance Control: Sufficient 5 / 5
The Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine uses air as its resistance mechanism.  It works by the blades on the flywheel moving against air.  The faster the flywheel spins, the more energy is required to make it a spin.  That is, harder/faster pull you the more resistance.  Air rowers have variable resistance as compared to magnetic and hydraulic-piston, where it is a constant resistance.

Olympic rowers use the air rowers to training as it more closely simulates actual rowing on water.

The air rower is my preference as well as during a workout. I personally like to break into anaerobic periods (going very hard for a couple of minutes) and then slow down to aerobic periods.  This is possible due to the ‘variable’ resistance of air rowers.   I also like the smooth actions of the air rowers.  Many cross-fit gyms like to use air rowers as they use it as part of the HIIT program for this particular reason.

On the flywheel covering, there is a sliding cover that adjusts the airflow around the flywheel.  It is referred, to as the Damper control.   There are 10 adjustment spots, air dampening,  for you to work out which spot feels best for you most.

By adjusting the airflow, it simulates the ease or level of difficulty of the stroke-like the difference is rowing a heavy, slow wooden scull to a carbon fibre lightweight scull.

Overall,  the resistance control is more than adequate for all people using the machine.

Storage: Small Footprint 5 / 5

Not all of us a dedicated room for fitness equipment, if you are one of them, read on.  The Concept2 Model D can be easily stored in the corner of any room. The footprint of the unit is relatively small,  25.0″ x 33.0″ to be precise and stands 54.0″ tall.   If it’s stored in a common area of the home,  just throw a rug over the top to disguise it a bit.

With no real surprise, the unit is very easy to move as it is on caster wheels and it doesn’t weight too much as  60 lbs.  There is no need for any tools to fold the unit and takes less than 1 minute to put away.

Personally,  I use the rowing equipment in my garage where I store it upright position against the wall.

Concept 2 Model Storage Upright
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Small-Big People Fitting: For All 5 / 5
For people shorter than 6ft 8in and weighing less than 500lbs,  the standard Concept2 Model D can accommodate your size.  Even if you are 4ft 10” it is fine.

Should you be taller than 6ft 8in, or have legs longer than 38” (inside measurement), you can always chat to Concept2 to ask for an extended monorail which they will be more than complaint to supply at a slightly higher cost.

Concept2 Model D Accessories: 5 / 5
Concept 2 has several accessories that can make the experience of using indoor rowing machines much more enjoyable.

The accessories include the:

  • “Slide” –  It provides the added movement of a rowing boat during the pul pack motion.  This is a cool feature to have for those who desire to have the on-water experience
    Concept2 Model D Slides
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  • Cover for the rowing machine – Great to have if you store it in a dusty exposed environment helps to keep the dust off the chain and monorail.
  • Tablet mount – an excellent accessory to proved a larger screen to keep you entertained.
  • Seat Pad – A die-cast 3/8” foam with an adhesive – Smart idea
    Concept2 Seat foam Pad
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  • Heart Rate Monitor – connects to either a Polar or Garmin Chest Heart Rate monitors.
  • Android Connection Kit/Smartphone Cradle– The Android Connection Kit is  cradle and wire to connect between the monitor and android, whereas the Smartphone Cradle is only the cradle without the wires
Warranty: Top Marks, Confidence 5 / 5
With a 5-year warranty on the frame, 2 -years on parts, and a 30-Day money-back guarantee, it shows the confidence by Concept2 in their quality of workmanship in their product.

Yes, there are not many moving parts that can go wrong, though, under heavy, consistent usage parts and the frame can quickly disintegrate. The moving parts the chain, seat, the flywheel cover are all placed under severe strain and has the opportunity for failure. I am sure you know what I am talking about.

With a little maintenance and care of the product, there is no reason why the product can last 10-plus years. The first one I purchased was close to 15 years, and I had no issues over this time.

Notwithstanding this, from all accounts and my limited exposures, the Customer Service is sensational.

Ease of Maintenance Simple 5 / 5
The Concept2 Model D requires little maintenance.    The chain will need occasional lubrication, depending on the usage, suggest every 100 hours or so.

The monorail will need to be wiped down, before every use to remove dust and grit off to allow the wheels to run smoothly over the monorail.

Depending on the environment, the filter around the flywheel will need to cleaned, to remove dust build-up on the wire mesh filter.   This is not too difficult and takes around 20 minutes.

Concept2 has two excellent videos on how to maintain.  Suggest you watch it

Can the Concept 2 Model be Improved?

Concept 2 Model D is one of the best indoor rowing machines available even compared to some of water rowing machines double its price. It is tough to go past purchasing this unit, even comparing them to the water resistance rowing machines. A few of them may be aesthetically more pleasing, though not necessarily for rowing workouts.

One area that I believe can be improved is the monitor. There are many additional features can be added in the make the experience a little better. In particular, I would like to see a larger screen that has WiFi connectivity that would allow you to join into group on-line fitness classes.


Did you know?

Ergometer -“erg” for short, derived from the Greek words ergon and metron,  is an instrument or device that measures a workout.

Many rowers refer to the Concept2 Indoor rower as the “Erg” 

What about the Concept2 Model D alternatives

Indoor exercise equipment has exploded over the last 10 years, with more companies making new equipment. I have written a review on some of the more popular rowing machines and provide ratings.

There are a few alternative air resistant, including BodyWorx and IronEdge Xebex. They are both a little more expensive than the Concept2 Model D rowing machine.

Even discounting the cost aspect, the Concept2 Model D has the customer service support that is second to none. There will never be any issues with spare parts or being easily and quickly reselling the unit as it is so well recognized and respected.

In comparing the Concept2 Model unit an air resistance rowing machine to a high-quality water rower, like the Nordic Track RW Rower, there is a couple of key differences.

Firstly it is significantly more expensive, up to 70% more. Thie Nordic is a very good looking unit, at least I think so, is a little quieter. It does have a very different feel while using in the unit, neither better or worse, just different. As well it provides, as good, in a workout. It will become a ‘preference’ choice.

Concept2 Online Community

The people at Concept2 have a real understanding of how people think and feel about exercise. They understand the people like to have support from other Concept2 users.

Concept2 have built an online Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and e-mail community. They have many thousands of members that contribute to how to get the most out of the training machine. Concept 2 are significant contributors to the group by running competitions, having giveaways, prizes, as well as doing promotions.

This is unique and well-received by all.

Is an indoor rowing machine for everyone?

The indoor rowing machine is one of the first exercise equipment a household should have.  Simply but it one of the best full-body workout equipment without the impact.

It was my first exercise equipment I had. I found it a worthwhile investment and good time management activity. 

Rowing Support Trainer
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Consumer Reviews

After trawling on the web for comments about the Concept2 Model D indoor rowing machine, it was near impossible to find anything negative about this exercise equipment.

Amazon has over 5,000 ratings with an average of 5 stars. This is a testament to the quality and popularity of this product.

In reading through all the reviews, it was evident that there was a sensational after-sales service, not only for maintenance support but as well as growing and educating the on-line community.

My personal experience in obtaining both e-mail and phone support has been outstanding and prompt.

Read for some of the glowing reviews and responses.

Final Say

The Concept 2 Model D, is one of the very best indoor rowing machines on the market. This ergometer is evident by the virtual domination of rowing machines in gyms around the globe. Virtually all aspects of the magnificently engineered product has “quality” written over it.

From the thousands of on-line reviews, there was less than 0.1% of negatives reviews to this indoor rowing machine. What a great testament!

This Erg, as commonly known around the rowing fraternity, is the complete package. It is used by rowers who are training for the Olympics to those who are undertaking physical rehabilitation. It suits to all levels. It does feel different to water and magnetic types though I cannot see that being an issue at all.

The Concept2 Model D has a nice feel about the rowing actions is robust enough for the most vigorous workout. The lifespan of the unit will last for over a decade.

The unit can take lots knocking around without showing much damage or wear and tear, to which I can personally testify. I had mine in the garage for years without missing a day.

The ergonomics of the complete unit is sensational. The rowing motions closely simulates to that of a rowing boat. Very importantly, it allows for a good workout.

I believe it is an intelligent investment in your health and fitness no matter if you are starting out or a seasoned rowing enthusiast. It will help you start losing weight, getting and maintaining your fitness. This indoor rower you can do HIIT anaerobic, aerobic, low impact, whole-of-body fitness training sessions that very few other exercises equipment can accomplish.

It is a complete product for fitness.  Though you may want to include in you fitness pack a good fitness monitor that allows you monitor your activity throughout the day.  There are many on the market.  Here is an article comparing a range of fitness monitors.  

Early Morning Indoor Rowing
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One of the things like about having one at home is that I can do short 15-20 minutes sessions throughout the day, keeping my metabolism up and healthy blood flow through the body. This is especially convenient for me, as I am working from home most days.

Should you decide it wasn’t for you, the resale value is very high.

Should you decide to purchase the Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine, you absolutely not regret it. For this is the reason, we have given it an overall rating of 4.9 out of 5.

If you are still unsure read the rowing machine comparison review.

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 Did you know?  The average person sweats between 0.8 litre (28 oz) to 1.4 litres (43oz)  per hour  of exercise


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