Concept2 Rower Review 2022 – A Class Rower Brand

What do you expect when buying a workout machine? For it to last and benefit you for as long as you want. That’s the primary focus of almost every buyer because getting a workout machine is a big deal and who wouldn’t want it to be a success. These massive machines do affect not only your body, but also your wallet, residing space, and time. When one utilizes such precious resources, they expect the best outcomes. Therefore, in this article, I’ll take you through the most reliable indoor rowing machine brand, Concept 2.  

About Concept2

Established in 1976, Concept2 has been the best rowing machine manufacturer in the USA. Its indoor rowers are the most sought after product, and you can spot them in seconds in almost every gym or established workout space. You might be wondering what makes these rowers extraordinary. Well, it’s their quality performance and durability, the two key aspects of a reliable workout machine. Besides these key factors, comfort, conveniently available spare parts, sturdy outlook, smooth controls, an advanced display, and active customer service are the additional features that make concept 2 rowers the best option for rowing sessions. The occupancy of these factors together grants the brand the top position among its competitors.

These machines are also easy to store as they can be divided into two sections and put them in a corner. Moreover, concept2 rowers also have wheels that allow for easy transportation. Concept 2 uses better technology for display options, making them suitable for cardio along with a full-body workout session.

Along with these benefits, let me mention the downsides too. They aren’t even close to the benefits in number neither in impact, but they must be known. Concept2 rowing machines have limited weight capacity than some of their competitors. Also, since they are air rowers, they are noisy, which makes it difficult to keep them in home gyms or a shared residence. 

  • Unmatched durability that lasts a lifetime
  • Super active and cooperative customer service
  • Easily available spare parts
  • High resell value
  • Easy to store
  • Better resistance control
  • Accurate readings of burned calories, heart rate, and distance rowed
  • Expensive
  • Noisier than magnetic or water resistance rowers
  • Takes more space than a few other rowers

Concept2 Models

To keep up with technological advancement and to provide its users with more efficient equipment, Concept2 tends to launch new models over time. It equips each model with better technology and improved performance. Till now, it has released five models A, B, C, D, and E. Models A, B, and C have become obsolete and are not sold by the brand anymore. However, you may find their refurbished or used models from different sources. Getting model A or B would be pretty useless as they aren’t up to the current standards of a rower, but an old C still makes a good bargain.

However, it is quite challenging to find them, and what’s even more fortuitous is to find one at the right time and a reachable location. There are a lot of people waiting and wishing for a used or worked model to pop up in their feeds that it’s tough to get your hands on one. Let’s have a look at each model and find out how they differ from one another.

Concept2 Model A Review 

Concept2 produced this model between 1981 and 1986, but not anymore. Since it was the first model and was according to the then prevalent technologies, it was sufficient only for the era. Even at that time, it was nowhere near an ordinary rower as it was luxurious equipment. It had wooden footboards and handles that could easily cope with whatever pressure was put on them. The handles also had firm black grips for better control. For the flywheel, it utilized a bicycle wheel by placing black flaps between the spokes. Moreover, it had an electronic display that ran on batteries.

Concept2 Model B Review  

Model B came out between 1986 and 1993. Like model A, it had wooden handles and footboards. The flywheel has a cage-like black cover that gives it the look of a ceiling fan. With large, sturdy flaps, model B offered better performance. The flywheel axle had two sprockets, one has thirteen teeth, and the other has fifteen. The former sprocket offers heavier resistance, while the larger one is for lighter resistance range. The user had to change between the two sprockets manually. The rower also had a damper to further control resistance.

It had a simple and easy electronic performance monitor, which displayed elapsed time, stroke rate, stroke output, and total workout. The monitor didn’t have an ‘on’ or ‘off’ switch. The monitor would automatically turn on once the user has started rowing and would shut down after three minutes of idleness.

Concept2 Model C Review 

With model C, Concept2 entered an enhanced technological era. This model dons some significant differences from the previous models. It has a classic appearance with a grey and black finish. Its handles are also made up of wood with foam grips. However, the footboard is made up of plastic, but that does not make it cheap or less durable in any way. Instead, it allows for flexibility and comfort. Therefore, if the user wants more leg flexion, he should lower the footboards.

The thick rail is quite sturdy and reliable, which is one significant improvement from the previous models. The gliding seat on the rail is also smoother and more comfortable. One of the most amazing factors is the ease of storage. You can detach the monorail from the flywheel section by unlocking them to keep them separately in a corner. This feature is supremely helpful for people with shared residences as you do not have to give away your precious space to the rower. Also, it allows for easy transport as you can keep it in parts and do not need a separate carrier.

Unlike model B, you do not have to change the sprockets manually. Instead, there is a lever attached to the side of the flywheel with numbers marked from 1 to 10, enabling you to set the resistance anywhere between that count. Although air rowers are noisy, this model is a little less noisy than its predecessors.

With PM2, the second-generation performance monitor, the brand offers an easier and advanced digital encounter. It is simple to use with automatic on-off function like its elder brothers. However, it allows the user not only to determine but also set the target beforehand. That allows focusing more on the session than on exceeding your workout limit. You can use the recall button to check your performance after each session. There are some extra features for more advanced users as well.

Overall this model is the milestone in the company’s history. It set the backbone of the modern models that do not seem to have any functionality difference from this one. So if there is any way you can get model C, do not miss the chance. 

Concept2 Model D Review  

Concept2 started manufacturing this model in 2003, and it’s been in production since then. It was updated in 2006 with an appealing rail artwork, new foot stretchers, and improved lock mechanism.

This model shares a lot of features with the previous model, like dimensions, weight, build, etc. It is large and heavy, with a weight of about 57 lbs. Its sturdy construction, featuring aluminum, steel, and nickel-plated parts, makes it the most long-lasting rowing partner. The manufacturer has used black and grey powdered coating to protect the machine from chips and scratches, which adds to its attractive look.

The rubber seats are super comfortable and smooth. With the solid wheels, you can easily move the machine and take it to any desired spot. It can be separated for easy storage and better portability. You can also take out to your favorite spots for a more refreshing rowing experience. The adjustable footrest allows you to choose your level of leg flexion. You can easily adjust the monitor arm according to your height so that you can view the readings on the screen easily.  

Concept2 model d initially featured PM3, which was later updated with PM5. PM3 turns on and off automatically and does not need you to play with switches and buttons for that function. You can create your own library of pre-set sessions that you can instantly select from each time you plan on doing it.

You can use the LogCard to transfer data from your PM3 monitor to your PC. With internet connectivity, you can quickly access different software for enhanced rowing sessions. PM5 is even more advanced than PM3. Concept 2 PM3 vs. PM5 has compatibility differences along with a few others, yet a lot of people prefer PM3 over PM5 due to its simplicity.

Concept2 Model E Review 

This model came out in 2006 and was once updated in late 2015. Like all its predecessors, Concept 2 Model E is sturdy, durable, large, and heavy. The two new features in this model include increased seat height and an even higher price tag. Mentioning of the seat height, several users had trouble with the previous models due to their close-to-ground seat placement. However, model E has adjusted its seat 6 inches higher than model D.

It offers ten resistance levels that can be easily adjusted with the provided control. Moreover, it has an adjustable footboard, comfortably padded handles, and better seat design. With its convenient locking mechanism, you can quickly attach or detach the flywheel section and the monorail, which allows for easy storage and use. You can also transport it to your favorite outdoor spots, using the robust wheels and locking mechanism.

The backlit PM5 offers clear readings and let you transfer your workout data to other devices through a USB. You can also directly connect your smartphone or computers to the machine through the ErgData app.

Comparison: Concept 2 model C vs. D vs. E 

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Where To Buy Concept 2 Rower Machines? 

Getting a Concept2 rowing machine isn’t much difficult only if you are looking for the models recently in production by the brand, model D, and E. From the obsolete models, C is the most in-demand piece. It’s competitive with newer models, with efficient performance, exceptional durability, and other primary features. However, since it is not in production, getting your hands on one is very difficult, though you can have a used or a refurbished model.

For new Concept2 models

  • Visit the brand’s official website for the most reliable purchase. They offer excellent service, but deals or discounts are usually not on their list.
  • Check out Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, and other such sites that can offer a secure deal.
  • Take a look at Facebook Marketplace.  
  • Check out online or physical workout equipment stores as they might offer deals and discounts.

For refurbished Concept2 models

  • Concept2 itself offers refurbished models at certain locations. They work on a first-come-first-served basis, and most importantly, you have to pick up the machine from their manufacturing unit yourself.
  • Connect with individuals with Concept 2 refurbishing stories as they might lead you to your destination
  • Refurbish one yourself if you can
  • Check online workout equipment websites like and Origin Fitness.

For Used Concept2 Models:

  • For used concept2 rowing machine check out Amazon, Craigslist, eBay and other such sites that offer reliable products with good customer service.
  • Facebook Marketplace is a trending trade center that may frequently list such machines.

Concept 2 Rower Black Friday And Cyber Monday Deals

Concept2 might put up a sale once in a blue moon. Therefore, if you are hoping to encounter one, you need to have strong luck. However, if you want to save yourself from waiting for a lifetime, then you can check out Black Friday deals or Cyber Monday deals. They are a good way out though finding a deal on them is still not easy. Nevertheless, here are a few steps you can follow to increase your chances of finding deals and discounts on Concept2 machines.

Concept2 Rower Black Friday Deals

  • Check out Amazon Black Friday deals page or Amazon Coupon Homepage. Try out as many filters as you can like “rowing machine for sale,” “concept2 discounts,” “concept2 rowers,” etc.
  • Visit Rouge Fitness Black Friday sale as Rouge is a famous Concept2 retailer.

Concept2 Rower Cyber Monday Deals   

  • You can search Amazon cyber Monday deals for concept2 rowers.
  • Another option is Rouge Fitness. Search Concept2 Rouge Cyber Monday deals
  • Hayneedle is also a Cocnept2 retailer, but it isn’t much known and is currently not selling rowers. However, I’d recommend you to check it out its deals thoroughly and try your luck.

When checking out these sites, you’ll have to be very patient and quick. Thoroughly check each deal page using as many filters and key phrases as you can. You can also search based on wider categories like ‘sports’ or ‘workout’. Try not to delay your search once the sale has been announced.


There is nothing to dislike about Concept2. The brand is a top rowing manufacturer with the best quality products and services. Be it model A or model E, the company never failed to appeal to fitness enthusiasts and has maintained an excellent reputation. You can easily find its new models from the official website as well as from retailers. However, getting the used or refurbished versions is super difficult, but not impossible.

From the five models, the best one to get for now is model D. It is adequately advanced and easy-to-acquire. You do not have to spend hours or wait for months to have it appear on your screen. Getting a used model C is also a great option. It is more affordable, but not easily available. Since the Concept2 provides spare parts for its machines, the used or refurbished models are also quite durable. So you can certainly invest in them without questioning their durability.

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