Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine Review

There are a lot of rowing machines out there in the market and Concept2 Model D rowing machine is one of the highest rated. You might think that this is just an ordinary machine that is of high value compared to the others but the truth will surprise you.

This machine which is dubbed as commercial grade is tough enough and virtual indestructible to handle boathouses, health club franchise chains and numerous training facilities in different parts of the world. It is also a great machine that can be used at home, perfect when setting up a home gym. Professionals and beginners alike will be satisfied with its durability and use.

Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine Pros and Cons:

Resistance Type

This machine is air-resistance type. There is resistance because of the flywheel of the machine which is spinning that is attached to the fan blades. The fan blades create wind when the rower’s handle is pulled. As you pull harder, more wind will be created thus increasing resistance.

According to some people who have tried the product, this air rower is a bit noisy compared to the others. It is also quite big which might not be suitable if you do not have the space to fit it into your home.

If you are a beginner, you will love the fact that the speed and resistance of your pull changes the level settings and not the other way around. You do not have to set a definite resistance level when you use this rower. You dictate what you want to see on the resistance level.

Aside from being able to control the resistance of your workout, you can adjust the damper setting of the rower from numbers 1 to 10. Think of them as the air entering the flywheel.

The gears that you will see here just like bicycles will give you a different experience every time you workout. The higher the settings, the heavier the pulling motion gets whereas when you choose the lower settings, the easier it will be to pull for you. You can experiment to get a feel of what you want to get out of your workout.

Control/Monitor Panel

There is a PM5 also known as Performance Monitor 5 that also comes with Concept 2 Model D machine rower. A fitness company is technologically advanced enough to create a mini computer that has a lot of data in store but is easy to use. Many users love this feature the most.

Also called a training a partner by the people who have used it, it tracks pace, speed, calories, watts and distance. The calorie tracker is an important function, particularly for individuals that are looking to lose weight quickly. If you want to just start rowing, you may do so without pressing any button. The machine will automatically start without the need to set up the mini computer.

You can also customize your workout routine or select from a list of pre-programmed workouts. There is also a game installed for those people who are just starting out with animation that will help them understand the proper technique in using the rowing machine.

The display is big enough to see even when your eyes are near the monitor or far away from it. It shows you what you want to know. The top area has your total time, monitors your strokes per minute, distance and a 500m split time. You can choose the graphic display that you want at the bottom area namely all data, force curve, pace boat, bar char and large print.

Aside from the numerous display options, you can opt to buy a heart rate and chest strap that is compatible from Concept2. You will be able to see your heart rate on the monitor along with your workout data. PM5 accepts Bluetooth smart and ANT +.


The unit feels and looks durable. The buttons are perfect for those people who like to work out because it is made of tough rubber and can take abuse. It doesn’t like it will fade anytime soon. You can move the monitor because it is connected to an adjustable arm. You need to put 2 D batteries in order for it to function. One of the best things about owning this machine is the power generation feature. The batteries are recharged every time you workout. It will help lengthen the battery life of the mini computer.

Another great feature of this rowing machine is its compatibility with a USB Drive. You can store and save your workout data. It is very beneficial if you tend to use multiple concept2 Model D rower.

If you want a thorough analysis, you can do so by transferring your workout data and putting it on Concept 2 utility, the online logbook. Many users also love the online forum called Concept2 community where they can meet fellow rowers and get insights and tips on how to get the best work out of their rowers.


This rowing machine is quite expensive so expect that it is durable. Also the manufacturer’s reputation is known to release tough and of excellent quality products. This machine is created with a commercial grade and matte finish materials so it can withstand continuous usage in prominent health clubs and gyms. All the parts of the machine is not made of cheap parts; the base leg is made of steel rear, aluminum monorail and front with a seat track that is made of stainless steel.

Some users said that there are few issues with the rower when they first open the box. There are issues with the screen where they had to correct the screen where the flywheel cover is located. However, they said it was not a big deal and it is an easy fix.

They like that Concept2 has a great customer service staff. They quickly answer questions via phone/ emails. They are not concerned about issues that they encounter and they are knowledgeable with the ins and outs of the machine.


It is important that you feel comfortable in the rowing machine that you will buy. If you are going to spend a lot of time on it, you need to feel at ease with it.


The seat of the Concept 2 Model D is padded, contoured and comfortable for many people depending upon several factors such as working out time and preference to the seat adjustment. Some users mentioned that they have use the machine or numerous years and they notice that over the years, the seat gets stiffer so you might need to adjust based on your comfort ability level as years go by.

Many users place a towel over the seat to support their buttocks. Other have used removable seat and they like the end result. The slight upright position enables them to sit comfortably rather than a flat seat.


The handles are also designed for comfort because of its molded rubber grips. If you are worried about issues when it comes to pulling the handle where your wrists are hurt, so far no user has complained in that department. However, some people as well as the manufacturer reported that you might get blisters in the first weeks. They recommend that you wear workout gloves so that the handle will be a lot gentler to your hands.


The footrest that comes with the machine has a unique design and is flexible. Users can extend their ankles without putting it in a weird position. There will be no issues of your feet suddenly slipping out while you row.

Life-Like Feel:

The rowing machine that you will experience when you use this rower is like being on a rowboat and training in the water. Professional rowers like to use this machine for land training. The seat moves as the user glides and the chain that interacts with the flywheel creates a smooth drive, catch, finish and recovery action. Put in mind that you still need to maintain this machine by putting lubrication in the chain and cleaning the monorail as needed.


There are a lot of rowing machines out there in the market but Concept2 model D is one of the best. Aside from the fact that it is durable, it is build for comfort and functionality. Many people like the way it is built and its functions make it a suitable machine for professionals and beginners alike.




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