Concept2 Model D Rower Review

The Concept2 Model D is popular machine because it provides durability, unlimited resistance, and engaging programming at a manageable price point. It features a steel frame (made in the USA!) and uses air resistance against every stroke. Because the air resistance increases with the rower’s intensity, the Model D is suitable for athletes at all training levels. The Model D makes our list of best rowing machines almost every year. A backlit performance monitor called the PM5 provides preset ...
9.5 Total Score
Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine

Comfort
9.5
Console
9.5
Stability
9
Value
10
User Rating: Be the first one!
Concept2 Model D Rower Review
Concept2 Model D Rower Review

The Concept2 Model D is the world’s best-selling indoor rowing machine. It has gained considerable popularity within the Crossfit community, where it emerged as the cardio machine of choice. It’s ideal for rowing team training since several units can be linked together. The Model D uses air resistance to meet all fitness levels and can be used with a slide to simulate water training. This product is built to last a lifetime and is priced under $1000.

The Concept2 Model D is popular machine because it provides durability, unlimited resistance, and engaging programming at a manageable price point. It features a steel frame (made in the USA!) and uses air resistance against every stroke. Because the air resistance increases with the rower’s intensity, the Model D is suitable for athletes at all training levels. The Model D makes our list of best rowing machines almost every year.

A backlit performance monitor called the PM5 provides preset workout programs and rowing games. It tracks data such as distance, calories burned, and pace. This data can be transferred to other devices wirelessly or with a USB flash drive. The PM5’s wireless capabilities even support heart rate monitoring and machine-to-machine racing.

The Concept2 Model D is available in two powdercoat colors: light gray and black. It sells for $900 plus shipping.


Positives:

Is this the best rowing machine for you? Here are some features that make it a top seller.

  • Easy Assembly: Assembling the Model D only takes about 20-30 minutes.
  • Air Resistance: The air resistance system produces minimal noise while sending out a nice breeze. A damper lets you adjust the airflow to alter the feel of the strokes and the resistance changes in response to rider effort. The more intensely you row, the more resistance is generated. This makes the Model D appropriate for novices through top rowers.
  • Performance Monitor: The backlit Performance Monitor 5 (PM5) sets Concept2 rowers apart from competitors. It is sophisticated, yet easy to use. It includes games, workouts, and session feedback. Wireless connectivity makes transferring the workout data very easy.
  • Optional Slide: Concept2 slides (sold separately) are an option for on-water simulation. The slides attach to the rower machines with bungee cords and suspend them for a floating sensation. For team training, the slides can connect multiple Concept2 rowing machines.
  • Ergonomic Handle: The machine’s ergonomic rowing handle has a 10-degree bend, which supports a natural rowing position.
  • Wireless Heart Rate Data: The PM5 works with ATN and Bluetooth to show heart rate data.
  • Low Profile: The seat is just 14″ from the ground.
  • Adjustable Footrests: Footrests are adjustable to fit a wide range of shoe sizes.
  • Easy to Store: The Concept2 rower divides into two sections for easy storage. No tools are required.
  • Transport Wheels: Caster wheels at the front of the rower make it easy to roll into position.
  • High Capacity: The maximum user weight capacity is 500 pounds.
  • Good Warranty:  The Concept2 Model D is covered by a limited five-year warranty on the frame and two-year warranty on the computer and moving parts.


Negatives:

Why wouldn’t you choose this popular ride? When considering the Concept2 collection, some people choose the Model E or the Dynamic instead because they are more durable for heavier use. Here are a few potential drawbacks of the Model D.

  • Size: Measuring 96” long (244 cm) and 24” wide, this rower has a large footprint compared with others. For example, the Concept2 Dynamic measures just 76” long by 24” wide.
  • Some Maintenance Required: This rower has a good quality nickel-plated chain. It is partly exposed and requires occasional oiling. Some riders report that they need to oil the chain every time for the smoothest ride.
  • Plastic Monitor Arm: We like the monitor arm feature because it lets you bring the monitor close to the machine or keep it out of the way. On other rowers, the screen is fixed too far away to be useful. However, the arm is plastic and therefore not particularly durable. Metal arms are used on the Model E and the Concept2 Dynamic rowers.


Our Conclusion

The Concept2 Model D is a smart choice for home use. It’s understandably the best-selling rower in the world because it provides great value, durability, high quality engineering, and a useful computer monitor. It’s our favorite rower that costs less than $1,000. Sure, there are more impressive rowers out there, but nothing in this price range comes close.

Concept2 Model D Rower Specifications:

Overall Score:9.5
Resistance:Air
Monitor:PM5
Upright Storage:Yes
Programs:Yes
Weight Capacity:300 LBS

1 Comment
  1. Reply Margaret Bradley January 16, 2019 at 2:45 pm Location: Chicago
    I bought the Concept2 model D about a year ago and I've been really happy with it. My husband and I both use it regularly and we haven't had any maintenance or performance issues. The footprint is big, but I think all decent rowers are and we are tall (6' and 6'6" so we didn't want something flimsy). The monitor isn't anything too special but we just use it for basic time trials and fast full-body workouts. It has been a good piece of workout equipment. I bought an extra gel pad for the seat because all these plastic seats are a bit uncomfortable at the beginning. It was really simple to setup so I wouldn't pay for the expert assembly unless you don't have someone to help you set it up and carry it up or down stairs. The box was really large so it would be awkward to move yourself.

Leave a reply

By submitting your comment you agree to our Privacy Policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.