The Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine Review – Best Under £1000

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Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine – Overview

The Concept 2 Model D indoor rowing machine is a market leading indoor rower for a number of reasons. We’ll cover them in this review, as well as sharing the technical details of this fantastic piece of exercise equipment.

The biggest selling point of the Concept 2 Model D is the durability of it’s construction. This is a major reason why it is such a popular choice for commercial use. Many gyms, hotels and health and fitness centres have the Concept 2 Model D as their go to rowing machine.

The frame is very sturdy, but at the same time can be separated into two sections, making storage and transport far easier. It is designed to last a lifetime, taking a heavy workload on a daily basis with ease. It is for this reason it used by Olympic and elite level rowers when they train indoors.

The console/display comes in the form of the PM5 performance monitor, which covers everything you would need from a rowing workout. It also has the ability to store your workout information with a USB device which can download info onto your computer.

There is a great warranty, as you would expect from such a well built machine. It comes easy to assemble, in two sections, with tools, a manual and a performance monitor quick start guide. This YouTube guide demonstrates how easy it is to put together:

Purchasing a Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine

If you are looking for a rowing machine for your home, serving as a great one-off fitness investment, then you need look no further than the Concept 2 Model D. For more information on what factors to consider when purchasing a rowing machine for use at home check out our rowing machine review article. This covers the features to consider when making a selection as well as some advice on the difference types of rowing machines available. Plus a guide to how rowing compares to other similar forms of exercise machine, such as treadmills and exercise bikes.


Here is a link with latest price of the Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine from Amazon.


Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine – Specifications

Overall Length96 in (244 cm)
Width24 in (61 cm)
Seat Height14 in (36 cm)
Monorail Length54 in (137 cm)
Chain or CordNickel-plated steel chain
Chain/Cord HousingPartially enclosed
Power RequirementTakes two D cell batteries. During your workout, the monitor draws power from the spinning flywheel to extend battery life.
Maximum User Weight300 lb (135 kg) as tested per European Stationary Fitness Equipment Testing Standard EN 20957-7.
ConstructionAluminum front legs, steel rear legs
Monitor ArmABS plastic. Pivots for storage and to adjust monitor height. Monitor angle can also be adjusted.
FinishPowder coat
Color SchemeLight grey or black
StorageCan be separated into two parts for easy storage
Space Assembled8 ft x 2 ft (244 cm x 61 cm)
Space With Use Clearance9 ft x 4 ft (274 cm x 122 cm)
Space For Storage25 in x 33 in x 54 in (63.5 cm x 83.8 cm x 137.2 cm)
Machine Weight57 lb (26 kg)
Shipping Weight70 lb (32 kg)
Shipping Dimensions15 in x 21.5 in x 56 in (38 cm x 55 cm x 142 cm)

Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine – Features

Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine

Construction and maintenance

Incredibly durable, these are built to last. For this reason these are the most popular rowing machines likely to be found in gyms, health clubs and hotels. The frame is made from a combination of aluminium and steel, meaning the weight limit is towards the top end for rowing machines at 300 lbs (135 kg). The chain is nickel-plated steel, making it extremely hard-wearing.

Maintenance is straight forward, this video tells you all you need to know.

This solid construction is reflected in the warranty, with 2 years all parts covered and 5 years frame covered. A 30 day money back guarantee is also included.

Performance monitor


PM5 performance monitor

If you have used a rowing machine at the gym before, you may well be familiar with the PM5 monitor. It includes measurement of :

  • Distance covered
  • Strokes per minute
  • Calories burned
  • Heart rate (with compatible wireless monitor)

It is compatible with a USB flash drive, meaning workout data can be transferred and stored on your computer. The monitor arm can be adjusted, allowing you to position the monitor where you want as you train. This also comes in handy should you store or transfer the machine at any point.

Flywheel and damper

You are in control of the resistance at all times, allowing you to adjust your level of exertion. The spiral damper allows you to adjust the airflow to the flywheel. This means you can change the feel of the stroke to suit your preference. The flywheel is designed to be quiet, minimising noise levels, while also maximising a smooth feel.


Concept 2 Model D allows for easy storage

The Concept 2 Model D rower features a quick release frame lock mechanism. This requires no tools and allows the machine to be separated into two pieces for storage.

There are castor wheels situated on the front foot. This allows you to easily move the rowing machine into position, even when it is fully assembled.

Footrests and handle

The footrests on this indoor rower are fully adjustable, allowing for quick and easy sizing. They are suitable for, and can accommodate a wide range of shoes and sizes.

The ergonomic handle has a 10 degree bend, which allows you to row with a natural hand, wrist and arm position.

Nickel plated chain

The nickel plated chain looks great and is very hard-wearing. It allows for longer period between oiling, so is lower maintenance. It means that the rowing action feels smoother for longer.

Also in the box

When you unpack the box it will also include a Model D user manual, a PM5 performance monitor quick start guide and easy assembly instructions with the necessary tools.

Top features of the Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine

The two features that make this rowing machine really stand out as an excellent piece of exercise equipment are the frame and the PM5 performance monitor.

The design of the frame means that the Concept 2 Model D rower is compact, stores easily and yet delivers class leading durability that requires low levels of maintenance. It will stand up to regular demanding workouts and last for many years. This means it is an investment that will help you workout at home without having to be replaced for a long time, if ever.

The PM5 performance monitor provides all of the data you require to measure your progress and understand your performance. Attaching it to a heart rate monitor is straight forward, plus the in built workout programs allow you to target different measures. For those wishing to lose weight you can track calories, whereas those focusing on specific rowing training can measure pace and distance.

Final Thoughts

As far as rowing machines go, the Concept 2 Model D has few peers in it’s price range. The design makes it as realistic and comparable to rowing on water as possible. The action is quiet and smooth, making it ideal for home use, while the price is not dissimilar to an annual gym subscription. It is easy to set up and use, with assembly instructions and tools supplied with it. The PM5 performance monitor provides all of the information you need to stay on top of your workout goals.

As well as the practical elements the warranty is top class, giving extra piece of mind. Even if it unlikely you will ever have to invoke it. There is plenty of information online advising on how to maintain this machine.

For more information on the benefits of regular exercise on a rowing machine we have composed our own Pro Fitness Review guide on the link highlighted. Also, if you are unsure how to get the most from a rowing machine please read our guide to rowing machine workouts.


Here is a link with latest price of the Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine from Amazon.


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