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Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

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Concept2 Model D
concept2 model d rowing machine
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500 lbs57 lbsAirFrame: 5 years
Parts: 2 years
Console: 2 years

Concept2 is a sports equipment company that specializes almost exclusively on indoor rowers. So far, they’ve done a great job providing some of the best indoor rowing machines, especially when it comes to air rowers.

The Concept2 Model D is one of their best sellers. Actually, if you’re looking for an air rowing machine, this particular model should be one to put on your list, or at least one to have a good look at. So, here’s what this air resistance rower can do for you.

Main Specs and Other Details

  • Assembled dimensions: 96L x 24W x 14H inches (244L x 61W x 36H cm)
  • Product weight: 57 lbs (26 kg)
  • Supported weight: 500 lbs (227 kg)
  • Frame: Steel / aluminium, foldable
  • Footrests: Adjustable, with straps
  • Resistance type: Air
  • Progress tracking computer: PM5
  • Warranty: Frame parts 5 years


The frame of this rower is made of a combination of aluminium and steel parts. The front base and legs are aluminium-made, while the monorail and back legs are steel-made, to support the concept2 d rower seat and footrestsuser’s weight better. All metallic parts are finished with corrosion resistant powder coating.

The machine features a 2-piece frame, which can easily be “broken” in two, ensuring its folding, to offer better storage possibilities. It should be stored vertically. When folded, it requires a storage space of 25 x 33 x 54 inches (W x L x H). In other words, it should fit in your average closet. The frame is easy to fold. You simply pull it up by the junction at the middle, in between the footplates, and it will fold in half.

When fully assembled, this Concept2 rowing machine is not extremely heavy. Plus, the front base also has transportation wheels, to facilitate the easy handling and moving of the rower, when fully assembled and non-folded.The rower’s bases are finished with levelers, ensuring maximum stability, even for heavier users undergoing intensive training sessions. The frame is also very solid, being able to support users up to 500 lbs (227 kg).

Just as any rowing machine, the Concept2 Model D is 8′ (244 cm) long, requiring a space of 9′ (274 cm). Since the majority of rowers are pretty tall people, the monorail is long enough to accommodate users up to 6’8″ (203 cm), or users with an inseam of 38″ (96.5 cm). Anyway, if you’re taller, and you require a longer monorail, you can opt for an extra-long one. Width-wise, the rower requires about 4′ (122 cm) for proper use.

This air-based rower comes with a pretty basic, standard seat. The seat is not completely flat, it features a bit of contouring, in order to ensure a better positioning of the user. It’s not a consistently padded seat, as too much padding for rowing may result in numbness or cramping, due to generalized distribution of pressure. Additional padding is available optionally though.

The footrests of this rower are angle-adjustable. They’re long and wide enough to accommodate basically any foot size. Footrests have straps for securing your feet in place. This is actually an important feature for beginners, who may encounter difficulties in keeping legs at full stretch and in the correct position for rowing. Also, users who have sustained an injury or suffer from certain disabilities may require feet secured in place when rowing.

Resistance system

First of all, if I haven’t repeated enough, the Concept2 Model D indoor rowing machine is an air resistance model. This means the machine produces the resistance via air flowing over an internal flywheel. This flywheel is not a solid disc, just as the ones in spin bikes for example. It’s more likeconcept2 d rower resistance system a fan. The flywheel is connected in this machine’s case, to a nickel-plated, steel chain. As you pull the chain by the handle, the flywheel will start to rotate, and the faster you row, the faster the flywheel will spin through the air, resulting in higher resistance.

The resistance mechanism features a damper, in other words the lever placed on the side of the flywheel’s case. The damper controls the air flow into the case. The more air is allowed in, the more effort is required to spin the flywheel. There are values from 1-10 on the damper. An optimal aerobic training is typically achieved while working on the 3-5 settings. On higher damper settings you can achieve a strength-oriented workout.

In case you’re wondering, the air current generated by the fan doesn’t come directly at you as you row. In other words it won’t specifically cool you out during your workout. However, with a C-Breeze accessory, you can redirect the fan’s current at you, if you want. This accessory isn’t included with the box though.

One last aspect to mention regarding the resistance mechanism is the handle attached to the chain. This particular rowing machine is equipped with a hard plastic handle, with an ergonomic design, featuring a 10° curve, which results in a more natural grip. This actually reduces some of the stress on your wrists and forearms when rowing.


The console, or the performance monitor that comes with this Concept2 rower, is a PM5, quite a bit more advanced than the consoles available with the previous models, PM4 and PM3. It’s pretty easy and straightforward to operate. It provides data regarding rowing speed, distanceconcept2 d PM5 monitor traveled, pace, watts and calories burned. It can display multiple values simultaneously, and you can actually choose between five display options, such as all data, bar chart, force curve, large print and pace/paceboat.

The PM5 can also monitor heart rate, via a wireles heart rate chest strap. Some of the staps that you can use with this monitor are Polar H7 and Garmin.

There are several games available through the PM5 console. There’s a Fish Game, a Darts Game, Target Training and Biathlon. Evidently, these are included to make long row sessions less of a boredom.

However, one of the most important aspects about this console is that it supports competition. It has a USB port which makes available the export of your workout data into your computer, and its upload onto your online logbook, via the Concept2 Utility software. This way you can compete with other rowers, or compare it with your previous workout data. The console also supports wired machine-to-machine racing, so you can compete with other rowers using similar Concept2 machines.

The PM5 requires two D-type batteries, but this console type is battery saving. As you workout on your machine, it will draw power from the spinning of the flywheel.

Assembly and Maintenance

The assembly process of this rowing machine is far from being difficult. Seat, flywheel, footrests, and handlebar, are already attached to the main pieces of the frame. Basically, all you have to attach are the support legs of the machine, its bases, and then connect the performance monitor. The box includes the assembly manual and tools required for this task.

The maintenance of this indoor rower is not really demanding. The chain should be lubricated around every 50 hours of use with 20W motor oil, 3-in-1 oil or purified mineral oil. The seat rail should be kept free of any dirt or particles that might impair the smooth movement of the seat. Also, make sure you keep the console free from moisture, so make sure to wipe the sweat or water droplets that might fall on it.

The machine is stable enough as it is. It doesn’t require to be placed on a mat. But, in case you place it directly on a hardwood floor, it’s for the best to use a mat, to prevent the floor from sustaining any damage.

The Pros

Basically, everything we’ve covered about this exercising machine so far, is pretty much a plus. But in case you’ve missed any of this Concept2 model’s pluses, here they are, in a more distinctive manner:

  • Air resistance – which simulates the rowing on an actual boat, the resistance being proportional with the strength you put into rowing. A lower damper setting will give you the feel of rowing a sleek racing boat, while a higher damper setting will render the feel of rowing a heavier boat.
  • Solid, stable and durable frame, designed to support heavy users.
  • Easy to store, as the frame is foldable.
  • Ergonomic handle for reducing stress on wrists and forearms.
  • Adjustable footrests.
  • Advanced performance tracking console, covering all the important values, including games, offering online connectivity, workout data export, and the possibility to compete with others, or analyze your data in a different manner.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Excellent warranty package, 5 years for most of the parts.

The Cons

Although they’re not many, this rowing machine comes with its share of drawbacks.

  • The first one to put on the list is noise. Although it’s not a very noisy machine, the flywheel being designed to attenuate the noise effect, there’s still a wooshing noise accompanying each rowing stroke.concept2 d rower
  • Another drawback regarding this Concept2 rower is that it takes a lot of space length-wise, and it might not be easy to fit in a small apartment.


The Concept2 Model D rowing machine has all the qualities to be classified as a commercial-grade rower. It’s a machine that fits the needs of users of all levels, from beginner to pro. Whether you want it as an alternative for your aerobic training, or to train as a professional rower during off-season, it can surely help you achieve or maintain your desired physical shape. In terms of weight loss, you can actually lose 2-3 pounds per week, depending on how long your sessions are. Finally, it comes an excellent price quality ratio, and unmatched durability.

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