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Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower Review (July 2024)

Looking for a high-quality indoor rowing machine that can stand the test of time? Look no further than the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower. This iconic machine has been a staple in gyms and homes for decades, and for good reason. Known for its durability, smooth rowing action, and versatility, the Model D is a top choice for both serious athletes and casual fitness enthusiasts.

In this review, we’ll delve into the features and benefits of the Concept2 Model D, exploring everything from its construction and performance to its ease of use and value for money. We’ll also touch on its pros and cons to help you decide if it’s the right fit for your fitness goals. Whether you’re looking to improve your cardiovascular health, build muscle, or simply add variety to your workout routine, the Concept2 Model D might be the perfect solution.

We’ll assess the Model D’s performance, taking into account factors such as its resistance system, smooth rowing motion, and ability to track your progress. We’ll also discuss its versatility, highlighting its suitability for a wide range of users, from beginners to seasoned athletes. And of course, we’ll factor in its price and compare it to other popular indoor rowing machines on the market to see if it offers good value for your investment.

So, if you’re ready to take your fitness to the next level, join us as we explore the world of the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower. Prepare to be impressed by this legendary machine and its ability to deliver a challenging and effective workout right in the comfort of your own home.

Name: Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower
Image: Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower
Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower: The Gold Standard in Rowing Machines

The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower is widely regarded as the gold standard in rowing machines, and for good reason. It boasts a robust design, exceptional performance, and a wealth of features that make it ideal for both beginners and seasoned athletes. From its smooth and realistic rowing experience to its comprehensive data tracking capabilities, the Model D offers a complete and engaging workout solution.

The rower’s construction is a testament to its durability. The aluminum frame and steel monorail are built to withstand years of intense use, making it a worthwhile investment for long-term training. The Model D’s performance is equally impressive. The flywheel’s smooth and consistent resistance provides a realistic rowing experience, mimicking the sensation of gliding through water. The quiet operation ensures a peaceful workout, perfect for home use.

The Concept2 Model D offers an array of features designed to elevate your training. You can customize your rowing experience by adjusting the damper setting, which controls the resistance level. The PM5 Performance Monitor displays detailed workout metrics, including distance, time, calories burned, and stroke rate, allowing you to track your progress and set new goals.

Furthermore, the rower offers a range of workout programs, including intervals, challenges, and customized routines, to keep your workouts engaging and effective. The Model D also prioritizes comfort. The adjustable foot straps and padded seat ensure a secure and comfortable fit, allowing you to focus on your workout without distractions.

The Concept2 Model D is a premium rowing machine with a price tag to match. However, its durability, performance, and feature-rich design make it a worthwhile investment for individuals who prioritize a high-quality workout experience. If you’re looking for a durable, reliable, and feature-packed rowing machine, the Concept2 Model D is a top contender.

Unboxing and Assembly: A Straightforward Experience

Unboxing the Concept2 Model D is a straightforward affair. The rower arrives in a large, well-packed box, with all components neatly organized. Assembly is surprisingly simple, requiring minimal tools and effort. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, even for someone who’s not familiar with putting together exercise equipment. The process involves attaching the seat, footrests, and monitor, which can be done within a few minutes. Once assembled, the rower is quite compact, but you’ll want to ensure you have ample space for a smooth rowing stroke. The overall design emphasizes functionality over flashy aesthetics, which is in line with Concept2’s focus on performance. You’ll find that the rower’s sturdy construction and well-chosen materials inspire confidence in its durability. The Model D is designed to withstand years of rigorous use, making it a worthwhile investment for any dedicated rower.

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Design and Build Quality: Durable and Well-Crafted

The Concept2 Model D is a testament to robust construction and thoughtful design. Built with a solid aluminum frame and durable fiberglass shell, it exudes an air of unwavering sturdiness. The frame is powder-coated for extra protection against wear and tear, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of intense workouts. The seat is comfortable and supportive, gliding smoothly along the monorail track thanks to its high-quality bearings. Even the footrests are well-built and adjustable, providing a secure and comfortable fit for a wide range of foot sizes. It’s evident that every component of the Model D is designed for long-lasting performance, reflecting a commitment to quality that’s rarely seen in other rowing machines. This focus on durability is reflected in Concept2’s generous warranty, offering a testament to their confidence in the machine’s longevity. The Model D is more than just a machine; it’s an investment in your fitness journey, built to withstand the test of time and provide years of reliable performance.

Performance: Smooth, Quiet, and Realistic Rowing Experience

The Concept2 Model D is renowned for its smooth and realistic rowing experience. The flywheel’s smooth, consistent resistance feels remarkably similar to rowing on water, providing a natural and challenging workout. You’ll feel the power of your stroke translate directly into the resistance, making every pull feel engaging and rewarding.

The rowing action is remarkably quiet, thanks to the well-engineered design and the use of high-quality materials. You can comfortably row without disturbing others, making it ideal for home workouts. The lack of excessive noise contributes to a more focused and immersive training experience.

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The Concept2 Model D’s focus on realistic rowing extends to its ergometer, which accurately measures your performance metrics. You can track your distance, time, strokes per minute, watts, and calories burned, providing valuable insights into your progress and helping you refine your technique. With this detailed feedback, you can truly maximize your workout and monitor your improvement over time.

Features and Adjustments: Customization for Every Rower

Features and Adjustments: Customization for Every Rower

The Concept2 Model D is designed to cater to rowers of all levels, and it achieves this through its extensive customization options. You can adjust the resistance, monitor your progress, and even personalize your workouts to suit your goals.

The resistance is controlled by a damper setting, which you can adjust from 1 to 10, with 1 being the easiest and 10 being the most challenging. This lets you control the intensity of your workout, allowing for a smooth progression as you get stronger.

The monitor provides a wealth of data, including your distance, stroke rate, time, and calories burned. You can also view your average and peak power outputs for a more detailed analysis of your performance. The monitor also offers various workout programs, ranging from interval training to simulated races, providing structure and variety to your training.

For personalized workouts, the Concept2 Model D offers optional accessories such as the Performance Monitor (PM5), which adds features like heart rate tracking, workout logging, and the ability to connect to your smartphone or tablet for even more detailed data and workout options.

With its adjustable foot straps, seat height, and handlebar position, the Concept2 Model D ensures a comfortable rowing experience for users of all heights and body types. The lightweight and ergonomic design also minimizes strain on your joints, making it suitable for even those with previous injuries.

The customization features of the Concept2 Model D cater to a wide range of rowers, making it a truly versatile and user-friendly machine. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete looking for a challenging workout or a beginner just starting your rowing journey, the Concept2 Model D has something to offer you.

Display and Data Tracking: Detailed Metrics for Performance Monitoring

The Concept2 Model D’s display is a clear and concise window into your workout data. It presents essential metrics like distance, time, strokes per minute (SPM), calories burned, and watts. You can choose from various display modes to focus on the information most relevant to your goals.

Beyond basic metrics, the Model D offers insightful data tracking features that elevate your training. You can record your workouts, analyze your progress over time, and even set specific goals. This data can help you identify areas for improvement, track your performance trends, and stay motivated.

Here’s a breakdown of the key data tracking features:

  • Workout Log: The Model D allows you to log your workouts, providing a detailed record of your performance. This data can be used to track progress, identify areas for improvement, and see how your training is affecting your fitness.
  • Performance Monitor: This feature lets you track your progress over time and analyze your performance trends. You can see how your speed, distance, calories burned, and other metrics have improved since you started using the rower.
  • Goal Setting: The Model D allows you to set specific goals for your workouts, such as distance, time, or calories burned. This feature can help you stay motivated and focused on your fitness objectives.
  • Data Transfer: The Model D can connect to your computer or smartphone via Bluetooth or ANT+ for data transfer. This allows you to view your workout data on your preferred device, analyze it further with fitness apps, and share it with your trainer or friends.
  • Online Training Log: The Concept2 online training log (accessible through the Concept2 website) lets you create a personalized account, track your workouts over time, and even compete with other rowers around the world. You can download the data from your Model D directly to your online account.

The detailed data tracking features of the Concept2 Model D make it an excellent tool for serious rowers who want to monitor their progress, track their performance, and achieve their fitness goals.

Workout Programs: Variety and Challenge to Enhance Your Training

The Concept2 Model D comes equipped with a variety of workout programs designed to challenge you and keep your training fresh. You can choose from pre-programmed workouts like intervals, pyramids, and steady-state rows. These programs are great for targeting specific fitness goals, whether you want to build strength, improve endurance, or simply break up your routine.

The Model D also allows you to create and customize your own workouts. This lets you design sessions that perfectly match your training goals and preferences. With the ability to set distance, time, resistance, and more, you can truly personalize each workout to fit your needs.

Beyond the built-in programs, the Concept2 Model D is compatible with various fitness apps and platforms. This opens up a whole new world of training possibilities. You can connect your rower to apps like ErgData, Kinomap, and the Concept2 Logbook, allowing you to track your progress, compete with others, and even participate in virtual races. These apps offer a huge library of workouts and training plans, from beginner-friendly to advanced levels.

With the Model D’s versatility and the wealth of available workout programs, you’ll never be bored with your training. You can always find new ways to challenge yourself and push your limits. This makes the Concept2 Model D an excellent choice for both casual rowers and serious athletes looking to take their training to the next level.

Ergonomics and Comfort: A Comfortable Ride for Long Sessions

The Concept2 Model D is renowned for its comfort, making it a pleasure to use for extended sessions. The seat is adjustable to suit your height, ensuring a comfortable position. It’s designed with a contoured shape and a smooth gliding motion, minimizing pressure points and reducing the risk of discomfort during long workouts. The footrests are also adjustable, accommodating various foot sizes and allowing for a secure and comfortable fit. The rower’s overall design promotes proper posture, reducing strain on your back, shoulders, and wrists. You can easily maintain a comfortable rowing position thanks to the adjustable foot straps and the well-designed handle. This focus on ergonomics ensures a smooth and comfortable experience, even during intense workouts.

Noise Level: Remarkably Quiet for an Indoor Rower

One of the standout features of the Concept2 Model D is its remarkably quiet operation. Unlike some other indoor rowers that can produce a considerable amount of noise, the Model D glides smoothly and silently. This is due to its high-quality construction and the use of a precision-engineered magnetic resistance system. You can enjoy a peaceful workout without disturbing others in your home or apartment. Whether you’re rowing early in the morning or late at night, the Model D won’t disrupt your family’s sleep or your neighbors’ peace and quiet. This quiet operation is a major advantage, especially for those who live in shared spaces or prefer to exercise in a tranquil environment.

Maintenance: Simple and Straightforward for Long-Term Use

The Concept2 Model D is known for its durability and low-maintenance design. It’s built to last, requiring minimal upkeep to keep it running smoothly. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Simple Cleaning: The rower’s frame and parts are easily cleaned with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Simply wipe down the seat, rails, and handle after each use to remove sweat and dust.
  • Chain Lubrication: The chain is the only moving part that needs regular lubrication. Concept2 recommends using their specific chain lubricant, which can be purchased from their website or from authorized retailers. Apply a few drops to the chain every few weeks or as needed, ensuring even distribution.
  • Monitor Battery: The PM5 monitor uses a single AA battery. Replace it every 6 to 12 months, depending on usage.
  • Fan Maintenance: The fan is designed to operate smoothly with minimal maintenance. If you notice any unusual noises, you can remove the fan shroud and check for dust buildup.
  • Storage: The Model D can be stored vertically to save space. However, it’s recommended to avoid storing it in damp environments to prevent rust.

With minimal maintenance, you can expect years of reliable performance from your Concept2 Model D, making it a sound investment for your fitness journey.

Pros and Cons: Weighing the Benefits and Drawbacks

The Concept2 Model D is widely regarded as the gold standard in indoor rowing machines, and for good reason. Its robust construction, smooth operation, and comprehensive features make it a top choice for serious athletes and casual users alike. However, its premium price point might be a deterrent for some.


  • Unmatched Durability: The Model D is built to last, with a solid aluminum frame and a high-quality construction that can withstand years of intense use.
  • Realistic Rowing Experience: The smooth and consistent resistance, coupled with the natural rowing motion, provides a truly authentic rowing experience that feels like you’re on the water.
  • Comprehensive Data Tracking: The large LCD display provides detailed metrics like distance, time, strokes per minute (SPM), calories burned, and more. You can track your progress and see how you’re improving.
  • Versatile Workouts: The Model D offers a range of workout programs, including interval training, target heart rate training, and customizable workouts. You can personalize your training to reach your fitness goals.
  • Quiet Operation: Compared to other indoor rowing machines, the Model D is surprisingly quiet, making it suitable for home use without disturbing others.
  • Easy Maintenance: The Model D requires minimal maintenance. Simply wipe down the frame and monitor the chain tension for a smooth and enjoyable rowing experience.


  • Price: The Concept2 Model D is a significant investment compared to other indoor rowing machines. However, its durability and long-term value justify the price for many.
  • Limited Features: While the Model D offers a comprehensive set of features, it lacks some advanced features found in more expensive rowing machines, such as Bluetooth connectivity and app integration.
  • Bulky Size: The Model D is a large piece of equipment that takes up considerable space. If you have limited space, consider a more compact rowing machine.
  • Lack of Resistance Adjustment: The Model D uses air resistance, which provides a consistent and challenging workout, but does not offer adjustable resistance levels like some magnetic rowing machines.

Price and Value: A Premium Investment with Lasting Benefits

The Concept2 Model D indoor rower is a significant investment, but it’s one that pays dividends in terms of both performance and longevity. Its premium price tag reflects its robust construction, advanced features, and exceptional reliability. While it might seem expensive compared to some entry-level rowers, consider it an investment in your fitness journey.

The Model D is built to withstand years of intense use, making it a worthwhile purchase for serious athletes and those seeking a durable and long-lasting machine. Unlike cheaper alternatives that might require frequent repairs or replacements, the Concept2 rower is designed to remain a reliable training companion for years to come.

Beyond its durability, the Model D delivers a high-quality rowing experience that rivals traditional on-water rowing. Its smooth and quiet operation provides a realistic and enjoyable workout, while its advanced features allow for personalized training and detailed performance tracking.

Ultimately, the value of the Concept2 Model D lies in its ability to empower you to achieve your fitness goals. Its premium price tag is justified by its exceptional build quality, performance, and longevity, ensuring you get the most out of your investment for years to come.

Comparisons to Other Rowing Machines: Standing Out from the Competition

The Concept2 Model D stands out as the gold standard in indoor rowing machines for a reason. It offers unmatched realism, durability, and customization compared to other rowing machines on the market. While some competitors like the WaterRower offer a more natural water resistance, the Concept2 excels in its smooth, consistent performance, quiet operation, and data-rich display. It also boasts a wider range of resistance levels than the WaterRower, allowing for a more challenging workout.

Other entry-level options like the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5803 offer a more budget-friendly alternative, but they often lack the precision, durability, and advanced features found in the Concept2. Similarly, the NordicTrack RW900 offers a more connected experience with iFit integration, but it comes at a higher price point and relies on a subscription service.

For serious rowers seeking the best performance, accuracy, and longevity, the Concept2 Model D remains the top choice. Its reputation for quality and reliability, coupled with its user-friendly design and comprehensive features, makes it a worthy investment for any fitness enthusiast.

Verdict: The Concept2 Model D: A Worthy Investment for Serious Rowers

The Concept2 Model D is a worthy investment for serious rowers, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts. Its robust build, smooth performance, and comprehensive features make it an excellent choice for both seasoned rowers and those new to the sport. The Model D offers a realistic rowing experience that simulates the feel of rowing on water, providing a full-body workout that engages major muscle groups. Its adjustable features allow for customization to accommodate different heights and fitness levels, ensuring a comfortable and effective workout. The detailed data tracking and workout programs add an extra layer of engagement and allow you to monitor your progress and set new goals. While the price point is higher than some other rowing machines, the Concept2 Model D’s durability, functionality, and overall value make it a worthwhile investment for those seeking a high-quality rowing experience. If you’re serious about your fitness and want to experience the benefits of rowing, the Concept2 Model D is a top-tier choice that will last for years to come.

FAQs: Answers to Your Burning Questions

FAQs: Answers to Your Burning Questions

Q: Is the Concept2 Model D suitable for all fitness levels?

A: Absolutely! The Concept2 Model D is designed to be user-friendly for beginners and experienced rowers alike. Its adjustable resistance allows you to customize the intensity, ensuring a challenging yet safe workout regardless of your fitness level.

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Q: How much space does the Model D require?

A: The Model D takes up a relatively small footprint, especially compared to other exercise equipment. It measures 8′ long when fully extended and can be folded for storage. You’ll need a space that’s roughly 8′ x 2.5′ to accommodate the rower.

Q: Is it easy to assemble?

A: Assembly is straightforward and shouldn’t require any special tools. The instructions are clear and concise, and most people can put it together within an hour or two. If you need assistance, you can find helpful videos online.

Q: Can I use the Concept2 Model D for different workouts?

A: Yes! The Model D offers a variety of workout options, from simple interval training to more challenging programs like the “Concept2 Online Logbook.” You can use it for strength training, cardio, or even rehabilitation.

Q: How does the Model D compare to other rowing machines?

A: The Concept2 Model D is often considered the gold standard in indoor rowing due to its durability, realistic rowing experience, and extensive features. It surpasses many other rowing machines in terms of build quality, precision, and longevity.

Q: Does the Model D come with any accessories?

A: While it doesn’t come with any bells and whistles, you can purchase optional accessories like a heart rate monitor, a performance monitor, or a fan to enhance your workouts.

Q: What’s the best way to maintain the Concept2 Model D?

A: Maintenance is simple. You’ll need to lubricate the chain and rails periodically, and clean the seat and footrests regularly. Consult the user manual for specific instructions and recommended cleaning solutions.

Q: How loud is the Concept2 Model D?

A: While no rowing machine is completely silent, the Concept2 Model D is remarkably quiet for its high-quality performance. The smooth operation and the use of high-quality materials minimize noise levels, making it suitable for use in most home settings.

Q: Is the Concept2 Model D a good investment?

A: If you’re serious about rowing and want a high-quality machine that will last for years, the Concept2 Model D is definitely a worthy investment. Its durability, versatility, and value for money make it a top choice for both serious athletes and casual fitness enthusiasts.

The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower is a high-quality, durable, and versatile rowing machine that provides an excellent full-body workout. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner, the Model D offers a smooth and efficient rowing experience with adjustable resistance and a user-friendly monitor. While it’s a significant investment, the Model D’s build quality and longevity make it a worthwhile purchase for anyone serious about rowing fitness.

The Model D’s versatility shines in its ability to accommodate various fitness levels and goals. From interval training to endurance workouts, the machine caters to diverse needs. Its compact design also makes it suitable for home gyms with limited space.

However, the Model D comes with a steep price tag compared to other indoor rowers on the market. Additionally, the lack of built-in entertainment features might be a drawback for some users. Nevertheless, the machine’s performance, durability, and versatility outweigh these drawbacks, solidifying its position as a top contender in the indoor rowing market.

In conclusion, the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower is a premium product that delivers a comprehensive rowing experience. Its robust construction, adjustable resistance, and user-friendly design make it a valuable investment for individuals seeking a challenging and effective workout. While its price might be a barrier for some, the Model D’s overall quality and longevity make it an excellent choice for serious rowers and fitness enthusiasts.

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