Is the Concept 2 Rower Really the Best Rowing Machine Money Can Buy?

There have been hundreds of rowers or rowing machines that are developed and sold in the market over the years for fitness buffs and gym enthusiasts to use. However, there are only a few that are considered the best rowers in the world, and one of those is the Concept 2 rowing machine. What is this piece of exercise equipment? And why is it considered the best? We will find out more as we take a look at the details and the reasons why the Concept 2 rower is the best rowing machine that money can buy.

What is the Concept 2 Rower?

rowing machine seat

The Concept 2 rower is an exercise machine developed and sold by the company of the same name in 1981 as a training tool for athletes, particularly those that are participating in the sport called rowing. There are many variations of the Concept 2 Rower that are available in the market, but the most popular variant is the Model D, which was released in 2003 and had a 14-inch seat height, adjustable footrests, and a comfortable handle. The seat of the Model D is supposedly designed to fit most users, although there are some that would like a much higher seat for better ergonomics.

In addition, the Model D is also one of the less expensive rowing machines that Concept 2 offers, but even though it is cheaper than most models, it is still packed with great features that make it high-quality and high-performance. One of the high-quality features of the Model D is the Performance Monitor 5 (PM5) trackers that track your progress and lets you see pieces of data for you to know where and what you need to improve in your rowing motion and speed.

In terms of storage, the Concept 2 Model D is easy to assemble and disassemble because it only has eight screws. Then, the Model D can be separated into two pieces, which makes it fit easily inside a cabinet or store beside a wall. If it is time to separate the two pieces of the machine, you will be able to release the parts quickly without the use of tools, thanks to its framelock mechanism.

If you are going to buy the Model D in 2021 and beyond, it is important to note that Concept 2 changed the name of the model to the “RowErg.” Moreover, the Model E was also renamed as the “Elevated RowErg,” which is supposed to signify that it has a much higher seat height compared to the Model D.

What is Rowing?

Rowing is a sport wherein people have to propel a boat using their arms. The arms would then need to follow a specific motion to move the oars and thus propel the boat forward. The required motion for rowing is made by first placing the arms forward while holding the ends of the oars and then bending and moving them towards the body. Because of the force of the oars and the water below the boat, the rowing motion would force your body to lean back a little bit as well.

The same motion also applies to the indoor rowing machine, although the machine remains stationary instead of actually moving. Instead of the machine itself, there is an air-resistance flywheel built into the Concept 2 rower that moves and responds to every stroke or movement produced by your arms.

Who Created the Concept 2 Rower?

rowing sport

Concept 2, which is often stylized as “Concept2,” is a manufacturer of rowing equipment that was founded in the state of Vermont in the United States in 1976 by Dick and Pete Dreissigacker.

The brothers Dick and Pete Dreissigacker were professional rowers who tried for the USA rowing team that will be participating in the 1976 Summer Olympics. In order to make their boat faster, the brothers modified their oars to contain a lighter material called carbon fiber. Unfortunately, the brothers were not selected to be part of the team, but their carbon fiber invention inspired them to create a company that could sell carbon fiber oars.

The carbon fiber oars made and sold by Concept2 became very successful, and in 1992, most of the rowers from different Olympic teams were using them. Several studies have even shown that the performance of rowing teams improves by 1% to 2% when they are using the Concept2 carbon fiber oars. By the end of the 90s, Concept2’s carbon-fiber oars became one of the two most popular models of oars, with the other one made by Croker.

In 1981, the brothers then developed an idea to make and sell indoor rowing machines, and in the same year, they were able to launch Concept2’s first rowing machine, the Model A. Although indoor rowing machines were already sold by other companies during that time, Concept2’s exercise machine became more popular since they are selling the Model A for $600, while other companies are selling theirs for $3,000. From then on, Concept2 released more models, and these are:

  • Model B – released in 1986
  • Model C – launched in 1993
  • Model D – released in 2003
  • Model E – introduced in 2006
  • Dynamic – launched in 2010

Concept2 would constantly replace models and wouldn’t sell older models. But, in 2006, they changed that concept with the rerelease of the Model D in 2006 alongside the new Model E. In 2014, the Performance Monitor 5 or PM5 tracker was added to all the models that are available in Concept2’s catalog.

Is the Concept 2 Rowing Machine Worth It to Buy?

using a rowing machine

Based on many reviews that you can read and watch online, the Concept 2 rower, particularly the Model D, is a great indoor rowing machine to buy. Most reviewers would even consider it as a better option compared to many rowing machines available in the market today. If you get the chance to try out the Concept 2 Model D, you can test it first to see if the seat height and the ergonomics of the rowing machine suit you.