Concept 2 Model D Rower Review: Row Your Way to Health!

One of the earliest home fitness machines was the indoor rower. For more than 30 years, Concept2 has been producing some of the industry’s most popular and highest awarding winning rowers on the market. The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is one of their premium rowers that is a “go-to” machine for professional athletes and amateur trainers alike.

concept 2 model d rower reviewIn this Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine review, we will cover all the ins and outs of this rowing machine for you.

There are many things to consider when purchasing a piece of home fitness equipment. With our overview, you will have all the information you need to decide if this is the right rower for you.

But first, if you are pressed for time…

Take a look at Amazon’s competitive pricing on this Concept2 Model D now.

How to Use the Concept 2 Rower Model D?

concept2 model d rowerbuy1

The Model D rowing machine works by utilizing a rowing motion with resistance created by an air flywheel.

This simulated rowing motion is extremely low-impact and provides a great whole body workout.

The Model D is composed of a stainless steel and aluminum frame that is solid and durable. The foot plate comes with straps that keep your feet firmly in place so that they do not slip out while pressing hard in motion. The foot rests are also adjustable so that they can fit your unique body.

The seat rolls over the steel frame in a smooth and fluid motion. The rollers provide stability while you pull on the handlebars against the flywheel.concept 2 model d rower

The flywheel comes with a damper that can be adjusted to create more resistance and increase the difficulty of your workout. By slowly increasing the damper resistance, you can build up your muscles and cardio output for a healthier body.

The rowing motion is simulated by pulling on ergonomically designed handlebars which are attached to the flywheel by a nickel-plated steel chain. The steel chain works well with the flywheel to provide a strong mechanism for fluid and rapid motions.

What Features Come with the Concept 2 Model D Console?

The new Model D rowers come with the PM5 (Performance Monitor 5) to track and oversee your workouts. The PM5 is mounted on an adjustable arm so that you can position it to fit your specific body. It runs on two “D” batteries, but will also be supplied with power by the rower itself when you are working out.

The display is backlit so you will be able to see the readout of the metrics even in lower light settings. The PM5 is also compatible with Bluetooth technology so that you can sync a chest strap to the console to monitor your heart rate. You will have to purchase the chest strap separately, but this can be a great way to ensure you are reaching your target heart rate.

Quick Select Workouts

The PM5 comes with several workout types that are easy to select and program so that you can customize your workout however you like.

You can select from two basic kinds of workouts – ones where you set a goal and work towards it and ones that are pre-programmed.

concept 2 model d rower pm5buy1

The quick select programs allow you to work towards a goal based on one of three metrics or a combination. First, you can set the PM5 for a particular distance (in meters) that you want to row and the monitor will count down until you reach your goal.

Second, you can set the monitor for a particular time and the PM5 will count down towards your finish. Third, you can program the monitor to calculate an estimated calorie count.

Finally, you can program any of these metrics with intervals where the monitor will allow for periods of rest at predetermined points.

Or, you can just start the monitor up and let it calculate your various metrics.

Preset Workouts

The PM5 also comes with five preset workouts that will combine periods of working with periods of rest. Four of these workouts will give you intense training for either a certain period of time or a certain distance before it gives you a period of rest. The fifth workout sets a marathon distance of 42,195 meters for those brave souls really wanting a challenge!

USB Flash Drive

Another great feature of the PM5 is the ability to store all of your workouts. This is an incredible way to track your progress, manage your workouts, and share them with the rowing community. This is a great way to see your lifetime figures over the course of using the machine. It also creates a good set of data that you can study over time and analyze to see if you are getting the most out of your workouts and making the kind of progress you want.


If workouts are tedious for you, Concept2 also includes four games you can play with the PM5 to make your exercise time more enjoyable.

concept 2 model d rower The “Fish Game” features you as a large fish which needs to eat smaller fish while avoiding poison fish. You control the fish’s up and down motion by increasing and decreasing the intensity of your pull against the flywheel.

concept 2 model d rowerThe “Darts Game” requires you to maintain a consistent tempo and intensity to guide a dart to a target. The more consistent you are, the truer the dart will fly. You get 300 darts so that you can attempt to get the highest score possible.

concept 2 model d rowerThe “Target Game” is similar to the Dart Game except that it comes with advanced functions like coaches and athletes.

concept 2 model d rowerThe “Biathlon Game” simulates a race. It will alternate between intervals of workout and resting from 3 to 5 laps. This can be a fun way to race against your best times and set your goals for ranges and times.

What Are the Dimensions of the Model D Rower?

You will need a good amount of space for the Model D rower. It measures 8 feet long and 1.2 feet wide. You should make sure you have enough space for the rower before you decide to purchase it. It can be separated into two pieces for easy storage (see below).concept 2 model d for sale

The seat of the rower sits around 14 inches above the floor. This might be difficult for those who have some trouble with mobility. It is a bit lower than the Model E, but should still be comfortable enough for most people.

One of the great advantages of the Model D that other fitness equipment just cannot match is that it has a maximum recommended weight allowance of 500 lbs. This makes the Model D a great option for those with obesity issues looking for an in-home machine to lose weight. Few in home fitness machines have a maximum user weight this high.

Why Use the Concept 2 Model D Rower?

If you are still not sure whether the Model D is right for you, there are some good reasons you should consider using this rower.

First, it provides a full body workout that burns lots of calories. With a consistent rowing exercise regimen, you will improve your cardiovascular fitness and core strength. The rowing motion works your upper body to tone both your arms and your abdominal muscles.

When you add the movement of your legs against the foot plates, you gain the benefits of a lower body workout as well. With as little as 15 to 20 minutes a day on the Model D, you can see a great improvement in your health if you combine it with a good diet.

Second, many people choose rowing as a form of exercise when they want to rehabilitate from an injury, manage an illness, or reduce their weight. The Model D is extremely low impact so there is no added stress on your knees, joints, or back.

concept 2 model d rower reviewThird, a rowing machine is extremely easy to use. With some exercise machines, you have to master some complicated coordination techniques. But with the Model D, it is as easy as pushing back with your feet and pulling with your arms. With this simple motion, you will get a great workout.

Fourth, Concept 2 has been producing excellent equipment for more than 40 years and has an outstanding reputation for customer service. With their online tools and supportive community, you will be able to measure and track your result. This can greatly increase the chance that you will follow through with your workout program. You do not have to do it alone with Concept2.

Finally, you should consider that, in the long run, the Model D will likely save you money. Many people throw away a lot of money on gym memberships that they never use because of the inconvenience of having to go to the gym. It can be somewhat awkward to go to a public gym and workout. With the Model D rower, you can work out in the privacy of your own home and save yourself any awkward situations.

How to Assemble the Concept 2 Model D?

Assembly of the Model D is surprisingly simple. Concept2 has designed this rower so that most of the components already come assembled. The most you will have to do is put together the supporting legs to both the monorail and the flywheel body. Concept 2 includes all the bolts and tools you will need to do this.

The instructions are simple and easy to follow. If you are familiar with putting together basic furniture, you should have no problem assembling the Model D. Unlike other home fitness equipment, the Model D should be able to be assembled by a single individual. There is no need to have a crew of people there to get the machine up and running.

How to Store the Concept 2 Model D?

While the Model D is designed to be a stationary unit, Concept2 has included a few features that make it easy to move and store if need be. This can be quite useful if your Model D is in a spare bedroom and you have guests coming over.

concept 2 model d for salebuy1

The Model D comes in two basic pieces: the monorail and the flywheel body. These two parts can be detached by disengaging a locking mechanism and sliding the monorail off the flywheel body.

Once removed, both pieces can easily be stacked vertically (much like a treadmill that folds up into itself) so that it takes up very little space.

The removal and assembly of these two pieces are easy enough that one person can accomplish the task. And the two pieces are also light enough that a single individual should be able to move and lift them without trouble.

What Maintenance Is Required on the Model D?

You should be aware of the kind of maintenance that is required on the Model D so that you can know beforehand whether or not you are up to the task. Fortunately, the maintenance on the Model D is minimal. However, keeping up with the proper maintenance regimen is necessary for several reasons.

First, proper maintenance will make sure that the rower functions properly for many years. Like a car, it needs a little care every now and again to work well. Second, proper maintenance is necessary to ensure that you do not void the warranty. If you fail to perform regular maintenance on the Model D and the rower becomes damaged as a result, Concept2 may not honor your warranty.

concept 2 model d rowerLuckily, you do not have to do much to keep the Model D functioning well. First, you will need to wipe down the monorail with simple glass cleaner after each use. This will keep the seat moving smoothly up and down the rail.

Second, you will need to oil the chain every 50 hours of use. Concept2 has included oil for this or you can use regular 20W motor oil. You will want to read through the owner’s manual for exact instructions on how to oil the chain properly. It is a fairly simple process.

Third, you will probably need to adjust the shock cord every 250 hours of use. This procedure is a bit more complicated, but will only be necessary when the handle does not completely return to the fan enclosure. Concept2 provides clear instructions to help you through the process.

Finally, you will want to inspect the leg screws and the monitor arm for looseness, and the flywheel for dust every 250 hours. These can be slowly jarred loose after a lot of workouts, so double-checking that everything is tight and secure will safeguard that your rower performs without any flaws.

What Kind of Warranty is Offered on the Concept 2 Model D Rower?

Making sure you are covered by a thorough warranty is important to ensure that you are covered in case anything might happen to your rowing machine. Concept2 offers a two-tier warranty depending on the parts of the machine.

For parts related to the frame of the rower, Concept2 will warranty the machine for five years against any faults related to manufacturing errors or parts defects. This part of the warranty includes such parts as the seat frame, the monorail, the rear leg assembly, and other parts. You should consult the owner’s manual to see a full list of which frame components are covered under this portion concept 2 model d rower reviewof the warranty.

All other parts not covered under the frame warranty (with the exception of the batteries for the monitor) are covered for two years against parts defects and manufacturing errors.

This covers both defective parts and any part that wears out due to use (provided you have performed the proper maintenance on the machine).

One of the great bonuses to the warranty on the Model D is that Concept2 has made it fully transferable. If you should sell or give away your Model, the warranty will transfer to the new owner. It will still only be good from the date of the original purchase, but this is a great marketing point if you should ever need to sell your rower.

Are There Any Downsides to the Model D?

First, we should note that there are no real design flaws with the Model D. For the price, this is one of the best rowers on the market.

However, there are a couple of things that could be better. For example, the flywheel only uses air resistance. Some people would prefer greater electromagnetic resistance so that they do not have to do as many reps for the same workout.

Furthermore, the plastic rollers will wear on the stainless steel monorail fairly quickly. You will probably find that the steel will be marked up after only a few uses. This is only cosmetic, but some people may not like it.

Also, the monitor uses two “D” batteries. While you won’t have to change these very often, a power adapter would be more convenient.

Lastly, you should be aware that the warranty does not include in-home service. If Concept2 determines a part needs to be repaired, they may require you to ship it to them (at your own cost). This would also be the same in case they decide to ship you a replacement part. In-home service is a perk that some companies are starting to offer, and maybe Concept2 will eventually offer this.

Who Is Concept 2?

Unless you have been in the world of rowing, you’ve probably not heard of Concept2. But if you have been into rowing for any amount of time, it would be hard to believe you have not heard of them! That’s how influential and popular this company is for professional and amateur rowers.

The company was founded in 1976 in Morrisville, Vermont by two brothers, Dick and Pete Dreissigacker. The brothers were training for the 1976 Summer Olympics and began modifying their oars so that they could go faster. From there, they began designing training equipment to be used by rowers while indoors rather than on the water.

To date, Concept2 has introduced six different models of rowers, which have become the most popular and sought after on the market. They sell their equipment internationally, with distributionconcept2 model d all across the globe.

In addition to their equipment, they have also fostered a community of indoor rowing enthusiasts. In 1999, they began offering online logbooks where people could compete with one another through various ranking systems.

The Virtual Team Challenge occurs every January and involves thousands of people from all over the world who group together with schools, clubs, or families to compete with one another.

The Concept 2 rowers are also the official rowers of the CRASH-B Sprints (an indoor rowing tournament in Boston, MA) and the British Indoor Rowing Championships.

In addition to the line of rower, Concept2 also makes the SkiErg, and ergonomically designed cross-country skiing training similar to the NordicTrack. And, of course, they still make an impressive line of oars with unique designs that are highly sought after.

Our Verdict

The Concept 2 Model D is certainly one of the more reliable rowing machines on the market. The steel frame and aluminum supports means that you will not have to worry about the machine giving out on you.

concept 2 model d rowerbuy1

There are few models on the market of comparable quality for the same price. The Model D gives you a very safe exercise routine that is low-impact, which works specific muscles and will not strain your back, joints, or knees.

Simulating a natural and fluid motion of rowing means that anyone can learn to use this machine without much difficulty. You can expect to get a full body workout on most of your upper and lower body muscles and your cardiovascular system.

With the added features of the PM5 monitor, you are able to effectively track, monitor, and plan your workouts. In addition, you can share your workouts with others and join the Concept2 Rowing Community.

Click here to see today’s price for this Concept2 Model D on Amazon…

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment: