Reviews of the best rowing machines

Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine Review

Concept 2 make the most popular rowing machines in the world and have been doing so for 40 years. Their rowers are the choice of CrossFit, most indoor rowing competitions including the world championships, and are also the machine that most competitive rowers use for their indoor training.

Simple to use, hardwearing and supplied with a two-year warranty, a rowing machine from Concept 2 is a good purchase for anyone from an Olympian to a keen at-home exerciser.

Type and Model

Available in matt black or grey, the Model D indoor rower is Concept 2’s bestselling rowing machine and can be found in commercial gyms, rowing clubs, high schools, spare bedrooms, and garages all over the globe.

Using a large semi-open fan for resistance, a simple but effective variable damper allows you to quickly and easily adjust the drag to customize your workout to suit your fitness levels and workout needs.

A strong (actually, pretty much unbreakable!) nickel-plated chain connects the rowing handle to the fan and provides a smooth rowing action. The contoured seat, which is on duel rollers, glides forward and back with very little resistance while flexible footplates and straps make sure your feet are optimally positioned for comfort and rowing efficiency.

The Model D has a relatively small footprint (96” x 24”) and weighs 57 lbs. It can be stood on its end when not in use or broken down very easily into two parts which can then be reconnected in a matter of seconds when you next want to use your rower.

Constructed from hardwearing materials like aluminium and ABS plastic, the Model D rower is built to last and requires minimal servicing to keep it running smoothly year after year.

Features and Functions

The Model D rower is fitted with Concept 2’s PM5 performance monitor. This easy to use monitor measures distance, speed, stroke rate, pace, calories, and watts for each workout you do and you can choose between five different display options:

  • All data
  • Force curve
  • Bar chart
  • Large print
  • Pace boat/pacer

The PM5 is compatible with most heart rate monitors and also has blue tooth and USB flash drive options drive so you can record your workout performance and download for analysis later.

The PM5 monitor comes pre-loaded with several workouts and games, and can also be linked to other PM5 monitors for head-to-head racing.

Price and Value

The Model D indoor rowing machine with PM5 performance monitor isn´t exactly the cheapest rower available, but Concept 2 rowers can last a lifetime and it’s not uncommon to see ancient Concept 2 rowers still in heavy use in commercial settings.

Most major parts are easily replaceable should they malfunction and the standard two-year manufacturers’ warranty should provide complete peace of mind. Despite the initial cost, the Model D rower represents very good value for money as it’s probably the last rowing machine you’ll ever have to buy.

Final Thoughts on the Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine

Concept 2’s Model D indoor rowing is a serious piece of exercise equipment that delivers an effective, comfortable workout every time you use it. Once you have tried one, you’ll soon see why these rowing machines are the choice of Olympic athletes and professional rowers.