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Concept2 Review

Saturday, March 2nd

2024 Rowing Machine Reviews

Concept2 Review 4.5 Star Rating


4.5 Star Rating
  • Rower Type: Air resistance
  • Price Range: $990 to $1,375
  • Different Models: 3
  • Financing Available: No
  • Return Policy: 30 days, shipping not included
  • Warranty: 5 years for frame, 2 years for parts
  • Shipping: $55-105 in lower 48 United States, higher elsewhere

Concept2 is a well-known brand in the indoor rowing industry, having been around since 1981. Initially developed for competitive rowers, the machines soon became popular with athletes across various disciplines because of the comprehensive workout they provide. Over the years, Concept2 has become a global leader in rowing machines, known for blending quality with affordability.

Try a rower near you

The widespread popularity of Concept2 is undeniable, with clubs, teams, and home gym enthusiasts vouching for the machines' exceptional workouts, reliability, and durability. If you're considering adding a rowing machine to your collection, Concept2's RowErg Finder lets you try before you buy. This handy tool allows you to input your location and discover nearby Concept2 equipment. When we tried it, we found Concept2 machines in local facilities like Anytime Fitness, Gold's Gym, YMCA, Crossfit, as well as some medical clinics and schools.

Performance monitor connects to your apps

The Performance Monitor on the Concept2 rowing machine offers practical features for users. The monitor provides real-time feedback on your performance and accumulates data over multiple sessions. Its self-calibrating feature ensures accurate stroke, interval, and workout comparisons, which can be valuable for tracking your progress. The Performance Monitor also connects via Bluetooth to a range of apps, so it can be integrated with other tools and platforms, including Zwift, ansensei, imersU Row, FIIT, Regatta, and Kinomap, and Concept2's own app, ErgData.

Nitty-gritty performance breakdowns

The ErgData app by Concept2 is a comprehensive training and analysis tool. At the heart of its features is the "Workout of the Day," which not only challenges you daily but also lets you see your rank on a global leaderboard. Setting up your workout is a breeze: create your regimen on your phone, and it appears on the Performance Monitor like magic. ErgData doesn't stop at workout creation. It allows users to dive deep into their performance, offering detailed post-workout analyses, showcasing interval and split data, pace and stroke graphs, and even insights into time spent in each heart rate zone.

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Compete against other athletes

For those who thrive on community, ErgData lets you row side-by-side with peers on a virtual course known as the Real Time Loop. Syncing your progress is effortless, as the app integrates smoothly with popular platforms like Strava, Garmin Connect, and even the Apple Watch. The adjustable device holder on the rower ensures your phone or tablet remains within easy reach while participating in its ErgRace Online feature, where you can either craft your own race or dive into someone else's, effectively racing with enthusiasts from anywhere in the world. And for the meticulous planner, the app even lets you store favorite workouts.

3 flywheel-damper rowers

Concept2 offers three models of air resistance rowing machines. You can adjust the airflow by using the damper on the side of the flywheel - the higher the setting, the more air gets in, and the harder you'll need to row.

Standard model is affordable and popular

RowErg with Standard Legs: The go-to choice for indoor rowing competitions, this model, priced at $990, is standard for indoor rowing competitions and is often used by clubs and teams. Its seat height is 14" , so it sits low to the ground.

Model with higher seat available

RowErg with Tall Legs: Ideal for those who might find the standard seat height challenging due to mobility constraints, this model, priced at $1,155, provides a 20" seat height but otherwise shares the same features of its standard sibling.

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Dynamic model offers true-to-life rowing feel

Dynamic RowErg: Geared towards on-water athletes, this $1,375 model will provide a different rowing feel. Unlike traditional rowing machines, this model mimics the sensation of rowing in a lightweight boat by allowing the feet to slide instead of the seat. One satisfied rower wrote, "It is easier to identify and correct bad technique, because I am staying in the same spot, not sliding back and forth." Its compact footprint is a bonus for those short on floor space.

Easy assembly & storage

Setting up the first two RowErg models is simple. You just need to attach the front legs, and the package comes with all the tools you need and a helpful video guide. Most people can get it done in 20 to 30 minutes. Once your rower is put together, if you need to store it away, the quick-release framelock allows it to split easily into two parts. Plus, it has wheels on the front, so it's easy to maneuver. The Dynamic model has a smaller footprint than the RowErg models, but it does not separate in the middle for storage.

2 year warranty for RowEg rowers

Concept2's RowErg machines, both standard and tall, come with a two-year warranty that covers part failures, excluding monitor batteries. This warranty is transferable and mandates routine maintenance for validity, including chain lubrication every 50 hours of use and monorail cleaning. Cosmetic damage, shipping, and installation labor aren't covered. An extended five-year warranty also covers numerous parts from the rear leg to all screws and bolts.

5 year warranty for Dynamic model

For the Dynamic model, a five-year limited warranty protects frame parts from material or craftsmanship defects. This is also transferable, and, like the RowErg, requires regular maintenance for chain and monorail. Cosmetic damage and associated fees are outside the coverage scope, with all machine parts (excluding monitor batteries and handle drive cord) safeguarded for the first two years.

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Ships to Alaska and Hawaii

Should you decide to bring a Concept2 into your home, the company offers robust shipping options covering the US, Canada, Alaska, and Hawaii. Prices for shipping vary based on the model and location: for those residing in the lower 48 US states, RowErg shipping costs range from $55 to $105. Meanwhile, Canadian shipments fall between $100 and $180. Good news for Alaska and Hawaii residents: while many rower retailers don't serve these locations, shipping is available at rates between $175 and $355. A quick tip: the RowErg with Standard Legs tends to be the most cost-effective for shipping as it's packaged in a single box, whereas the Dynamic, being housed in two boxes, incurs a slightly higher shipping fee. For international customers outside these regions, Concept2 provides a list of contacts.

Return policy is fair

Concept2's return policy is very reasonable. If for any reason you aren't satisfied with your purchase, you can return it and get your money back, although the customer covers the shipping costs. You won't have to pay a restocking fee, though.

Sail into a new lifestyle

Whether you're an elite athlete or just starting your fitness journey, Concept2 has solidified its place as a dependable choice in the world of indoor rowing. With its long history and diverse machine options, it's clear why many are smitten with this brand. These rowers might not be the most budget-friendly, but they undoubtedly deliver in terms of quality and performance, all thanks to the brand's years of expertise. And for those familiar with the Concept2 experience from their local gyms or studios, these rowers can feel like a comfortable extension of their workout routine. Indeed, with Concept2, you're not just getting a machine - you're joining a community dedicated to the joy of rowing. Concept2 earns our top rating.

Where Can You Find the Best Rowing Machines?

Rowing machines, or "rowers," have swiftly sailed into the mainstream fitness world, gaining traction as a one-stop solution for a comprehensive workout. They're not just about the sport of rowing anymore; they're about sculpting your body, boosting your cardio, and getting fit in a fun way. Rowing machines provide an all-in-one workout, working the legs, back, arms, and core.

So it should come as no surprise that rowing machines have become so popular. With rowing, you can elevate your heart rate and improve endurance without stepping outside. What's more, rowing is gentle on your knees and joints, thanks to the smooth motion and the seated position. The resistance can be adjusted to tailor the session - amp up the intensity for a challenge or keep it light and steady.

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Rowing Machine FAQ

There are four basic types, all classified by the type of resistance they provide. The rowers you may have seen at your local gym, CrossFit box or Orangetheory studio probably used flywheel or water resistance. Other rowing machines use magnetic or piston/cylinder resistance mechanisms.
Absolutely! Rowing machines use up to 85% of your body, from the effort it takes to push backwards to the core strength needed to go back and forth and, of course, all of the upper body in the pull. Like any new exercise routine, you may find there's a learning curve to developing proper form, but it's one of the best low-impact workouts you can get.
Yes! There are many workouts designed for all levels of fitness, including yours. You can also find communities that share rowing challenges -even worldwide! This is especially true if you use a Concept2 rower, which is considered as the "gold standard" when entering competitive times for races and recruiting.
Sometimes, depending on the model you select and how many features it offers. You'll see rowers ranging from under $300 to over $2500. You might be able to get low-interest financing from the retailer of the rowing machine you select.
Most styles will have a certain minimum floor space when in use: you're pushing yourself back and forth along a track, so think about how long your legs extend from a bent position to a fully-extended one. However, if space is an issue, there are rowing machines that can be folded up when not in use (usually by placing the track in a vertical position).
Most retailers of Rowing Machines offer a return period of at least 30 days. But, keep in mind that you're usually going to be on the hook for return shipping fees, which can get expensive.
Some rowers are delivered for free. Don't be surprised to see shipping costs upwards of $130, though: rowing machines are oversized and heavy.
Generally speaking, you'll be the one setting up your rower. A few retailers might be able to connect you with a local professional who can do it for you, but you might want to try it yourself first. These machines are typically straightforward to get up and rowing.
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Continued from above...

What are the different styles of rowing machines? Rowers come equipped with a variety of resistance types, each offering a distinct rowing experience. Each type caters to different preferences in terms of workout dynamics, noise levels, and maintenance needs.

  • Air (flywheel) resistance uses a spinning fan, and the intensity grows as you row harder, although it can be a tad noisy.
  • Magnetic resistance, on the other hand, employs magnets, allowing for a quieter, smoother row where resistance is manually adjusted and stays consistent regardless of how fast you row.
  • Machines with pistons or hydraulic cylinders create resistance through air or fluid-filled components, making them more compact and often more affordable, but they might not mimic the traditional rowing feel as closely.
  • Finally, water resistance models, featuring paddles moving through a water tank, will give you an experience closest to actual rowing, including the calming sound of water, but they're typically heavier due to the water component.

Are you seeking the ideal rowing machine for your personal gym space? Here's what you should consider as you shop:

  • Budget. Rower prices span a broad spectrum. While the high-end models (exceeding $2,500) boast state-of-the-art features, you can snag a reliable machine for under $300. No need to splurge to ensure a solid workout session.
  • Features. Think about what you really want in a rower. Is space-saving important? Do you want the ability to join real-time classes, akin to Peloton? Or maybe the aesthetic matters, with the machine's look needing to mesh with your existing gym equipment?
  • Return policy and warranty. Be future-ready. If your chosen rower isn't the right fit for your space or if you end up wanting a different resistance type, can you send it back? Beware of potential hidden costs like restocking or return shipping charges. Moreover, get clarity on the warranty - what's covered, from the frame to electronics?
  • Company credibility. Dig into user feedback. What's the buzz about the brand? Will they step up if challenges arise during shipment, setup, or regular use? Given that a rowing machine isn't a trivial expense, you want to ensure you're placing your trust in the right hands.

If you're looking for a comprehensive breakdown of the top machines on the market, Top Consumer Reviews is the right place to be. We hope these ranked reviews will help steer you toward a rowing machine that aligns with your fitness aspirations!

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