Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower – Buyer’s Guide

Indoor Rowing is excellent exercise – full body but low-impact. And it can be used for steady state cardio or interval training such as HIIT.

To row indoors you will need an indoor rower.

Looking for Concept2 Rower Black Friday deals? Concept 2 equipment is rarely on sale at discounted prices – even on Black Friday – your best bet is to look to minimize sales tax, or to find free shipping. In fact, Rogue has the Concept2 Model D rower available as part of it’s “5 for $5” shipping deal right now – buy any 5 qualifying items and they all ship for only $5. This is the cheapest way to get a Concept2 rower.

And the Concept 2 Model D Rower ($900.00 at Rogue Fitness) is the best indoor rower for CrossFit style workouts, as well as rowing workouts.

An indoor rower such as the Concept2 Model D Rower is an excellent way to get a low-impact, full body workout. Concept2 rowers are very popular in CrossFit WODs.
An indoor rower such as the Concept2 Model D Rower is an excellent way to get a low-impact, full body workout. Concept2 rowers are very popular in CrossFit WODs.

Looking for Concept 2 Black Friday indoor rower deals? Check back here for our recommended best deals on indoor rowers for Black Friday. This is the best time of the year to buy fitness equipment. Just be aware that the Concept2 rower is rarely ever on sale at discounted prices – your best bet is buying in a way that minimizes sales tax, or provides free shipping.

Concept 2 is the gold standard for indoor rowing machines. They have over 40 years experience designing and building exercise equipment that can be used by the novice, a world-class athlete, or anybody in between. Therefore we think this is the best indoor rower – the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower. It’s our recommended model for use at your home or in the garage. It’s compact (requires only 9 x 4 feet of space), ergonomically designed, and works great.

Indoor rowing is an excellent full-body exercise.  It is low-impact.  It is popular in CrossFit style workouts, known as WODs (Workout of the Day).

Also – if you plan on doing the CrossFit Open 2019 workouts – The Concept 2 rower is the only acceptable type of rower – Xebex and others are not accepted.

In fact, the very first Open workout for 2019 (19.1) required a Concept 2 rower.

Click to See the Concept 2 Model D Rower price at Rogue Fitness

Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower - Excellent cardio and endurance training with this compact and efficient exercise machine

Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower - This indoor rowing machines has the PM5 Performance Monitor Unit - keep track of key stats while you work out, such as Stroke Rate, Power output, calories burned, distance, and time. Here’s some more features:

  • PM5 Performance Monitoring – The PM5 performance monitor tracks and displays all the key information you need for a great workout – Strokes Per Minute (SPM), Power Output, Time, Distance, Calories burned, and more.
  • Compact storage – The unit easily separates into two pieces for storage. Caster wheels make it mobile.
  • Ergonomics and Quality – Concept 2 models simply have the best ergonomics and a build quality that can’t be matched. In addition, there’s a 2 year total warranty and a 5 year frame warranty. This is well-designed, durable equipment.

The Concept 2 Online Logbook allows you to record your workouts on the Concept 2 indoor rower, and their other products (the SkiErg and BikeErg.) You can keep track of your total meters, analyze your progress, take part in challenges, and compare your results against others worldwide. You can even find a virtual (online) training partner.

Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rowing machine - Compact storage, with caster wheels for mobility
Need Even More Space? Hang It On The Wall Don’t run out of space in your home or garage gym – use the Rogue Rower Hanger to store your Model D rower in the most efficient way possible – on the wall. Free up floor space, and make sure your equipment is kept safely out of the way when not in use. The Rogue Rower Hanger is an efficient, wall-mounted storage option for any Concept 2 Model D indoor rowing machine.  Whether you use a single rowing machine in a small training space or have multiple units in a larger gym, the Rower Hanger can have a huge impact on opening up floor space while also keeping the machines themselves safely and securely stored—and easily accessible.

Concept 2 Indoor Rower

Here’s a video showing many of the robust features of the Concept 2 Model D indoor rower.

Want Expert Rowing Advice? Check out WHAT’S YOUR ROWING IQ? by Dark Horse Rowing to learn a few things.

Water Rower or Concept 2?

If you are looking for an indoor rower for your home or garage gym, you’re going to run across water rowers.

The water tank seems like a logical means of resistance since rowing is done on the water, but it does not scale in difficulty like air resistance.

You’ll also need to add water to add resistance.

And, water rowers are prone to messy failures – like the water tank breaking or otherwise leaking.

The Concept 2 is the rower used by rowing clubs, commercial gyms, etc.

The Concept 2 is easy to store, some of the water rowers are not.

We do not recommend water rowers, unless your budget is severely constrained.

And, in that case you are probably better off with a used Concept 2 rower.

Lastly, remember that the Concept 2 is the gold standard used in CrossFit competitions and the Open.

Scores from non-Concept2 rowers are not accepted.

Where To Buy A Rowing Machine

Many vendors sell the Concept 2 Model D and Model E Rowers. And you are going to get the same product no matter where you buy it. So what should you look for in the best rowing machine for sale? The best price, and ideally look for free shipping or reduced cost shipping.

Buying a used rowing machine is also a good option. The Concept 2 is a tough piece of equipment – and any unit in use for light duty, such as in a home or garage gym is going to be a good deal. Keep an eye on your local classified ads or craigslist – these rowers come up occasionally – but they go fast, sometimes selling in as little as 2 hours.

Finding a used Concept 2 rower for sale isn’t easy – but it’s not impossible and can be a great deal.

Buying a Concept 2 Rower used? Here’s some tips for checking out a used rower:

  • Make sure the monitor works. Bring a battery with you – just in case the owner claims “dead batteries”.
  • Look at the chain for rust
  • Check the track for dents
  • Check total kilometers to see how much “mileage” is on the unit. From the PM5 monitor you can access this under Information > Utilities > Next
  • Jump on it and row! Does the seat glide well on the rails?
You might be able to negotiate a better bargain on a used rower with these hints.

What’s the lifespan of a Concept 2 Indoor Rower?

This is hard to answer in specifics – but the Concept 2 rowers are known to last for years in heavy use commercial facilities, and hundreds of thousands of meters rowed.

This is the rower used by collegiate rowing teams, CrossFit gyms, and commercial facilities. It will stand up to daily use by dozens or hundreds of people with minimal issue.

And, if something does break or wear out – replacement parts are available directly from Concept 2 – for everything.

All this means that these rowers hold their value very well. It’s not uncommon to see a 5 year old used rower for sale for only $200 less than cost of new – they are that rugged.

Additionally, this drives down the price of other brands of used rower – because EVERYONE wants a Concept 2.

Indoor Rowing Machine Accessories

A rower is a heavy piece of equipment, and you can use it indoors, but make sure to protect your flooring. The E-Z Kleen Vinyl Rower Mat is just the product you need. It’s affordable enough for home gym use, but also tough enough for pro and collegiate facilities. Sized at 3 ft. x 8-½ ft. cut (⅛” thick) it is perfect for the Concept 2 line of rowers. The industrial-strength vinyl mat protects vulnerable hardwood and laminate flooring without permanently trapping dirt and debris in the process. A unique 100% Koroseal vinyl material, combined with round rib corrugations, make the E-Z Kleen resistant to oils and easy to clean with simple soap and water. A non-slip, skid-resistant backing also ensures a stable foundation as you use your rowing machine or other comparable equipment.

Available here in a specially sized 3 ft. x 8-½ ft. cut (⅛” thick), the E-Z Kleen Vinyl Rower Mat is ideally suited for home gyms, but versatile and durable enough for pro/collegiate training facilities. Mount any iphone or android smartphone securely on the Performance Monitor on a Concept 2 Rower

Here’s another nice piece of kit that any regular indoor rower user is going to need – a Concept 2 Rower Smartphone Cradle from Rogue Fitness. It provides a convenient, safe way to keep your mobile device accessible while training. The cradle slides securely onto the top of the performance monitor (works with the PM5, PM4, or PM3), and is sized to accommodate smartphones of various lengths. The adjustable arm can hold phones as narrow as 2.25 inches in width and can stretch open to 3.5 inches in width for oversized devices such as the iPhone Plus sizes.

Photo showing a smart phone in the smartphone cradle on a Concept 2 rower For owners of any Concept 2 Rower (models A through E), this Rower Seat Pad accessory—produced by Concept 2 and available here through Rogue—offers a nice extra bit of cushion for your workout. The pad is die-cut out of ⅜” foam, and includes a self-adhesive backing for easy installation.

For an increase in comfort, check out the Rower Seat Pad. It’s die-cut ⅜” foam and uses self-adhesive backing for a quick and secure install. It offers a nice extra bit of cushion for your workout, and works with any Concept 2 rower model (A through E).

What is the Difference Between the Concept 2 Model C and Model D Rower?

Concept 2’s previous model of rower is the Model C. It was manufactured from 1993 to 2003, and is therefore no longer for sale as new equipment.

Concept 2 Model C rower - made from 1993 to 2003 by Concept 2.  A great bargain and good piece of equipment - provided the PM2 electronic monitor still works!

However, it’s possible you will run across a used Model C rower for sale.

Like the Model D, the mechanical aspects are quite good.

If you should find one for sale, the biggest question will be: Does the PM2 electronic monitor still work?

Upgrading a Model C to Model D specs isn’t really feasible (the monitor, handle, chain, and sprocket are all improved on the Model D), but if you find a used Model C for sale and the monitor works, it’ll probably be a solid piece of equipment.

What is the Difference Between The Model D and Model E Rower?

Also for comfort getting on and off the device check out the Model E rower.

What’s the difference between the Model D and the Model E? The Model E’s raised 20″ seat height is 6″ above the Model D position.

This allows people with balance or mobility concerns to get on and off the machine with less effort.

The chain housing on the Model E Rower is fully enclosed, helping to keep the nickel-plated chain clean and out of harm’s way.

Model D Rower vs Model E Rower - What is the difference between the Concept 2 Model D and Model E Rower? The Model E seat hight is 20" - which is 6" higher than the Model D - so it is easier to get on and off.  Its also got a fully enclosed chain.

Concept 2 Model D Rower Assembly Instructions

You might be wondering, is the Concept 2 Model D rower hard to assemble?

No, it’s quite easy. The only tool necessary is the included screwdriver, and there are only 8 screws that need to be used.

You should be able to assemble it in 15 minutes or less. Here’s a rough overview of the steps.

The Model D Rower ships in a compact but robust shipping container. It’s quite light-weight and can be moved by one person.

The Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower is shipped in a compact and light-weight shipping container.  It has built in hand holds and can easily be moved by a single person.

Inside, you can see that the rower comes mostly assembled – and the key components are packed in a robust fashion with styrofoam.

Concept 2 Model D Rower comes packed securely in styrofoam.

Complete and detailed assembly instructions (in multiple languages) are included. You can also see the high quality screwdriver (branded with the Concept 2 logo) and the small number of screws to be used. This is going to be a piece of cake.

A small number of screws, screwdriver, and assembly instructions - all that you need to assemble a Concept 2 Model D indoor rower for your home or garage gym.

The main steps require piecing together the support leg from 3 different pieces. This is quick and easy.

The Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower uses a support leg that comes in 3 pieces.  Assemble with 4 of the included screws.

Once fully assembled, the support leg will be attached to the underside of the rower (which is why the components are upside down in the shipping styrofoam).

Support Leg of the Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower - fully assembled and ready to be attached to the underside of the rower. The 3 major components of the Concept 2 Model D Rower.

After attaching the support leg, the remaining task is to simply connect the seat rail to the fan housing. This is done with a simple latch.

The unit can easily be broken back down into 2 pieces for space efficient storage.

Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower fully assembled.

How long does this take? Assuming you aren’t stopping to take pictures – you should be able to assemble the rower in less than 15 minutes. It’s really easy.

Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower - from the shipping carton to fully assembled in less than 15 minutes.

Here’s an up close shot of the PM5 Electronic Monitor – batteries were already installed and the unit was already mounted, so there were no assembly steps for this part.

PM5 Electronic monitor of the Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower - batteries are pre-installed and it comes mounted to the unit - for hassle free assembly.

In Summary – Indoor Rowing with Concept 2

Indoor rowing is a fabulous fitness method to have in your arsenal. There is a little bit of a technique learning curve to deal with, and you need the equipment, but we think you’ll quickly grow to love this exercise.

The Concept 2 Model D Rower is the world-class standard for rowing exercise.

You may also want to read our guide to air bikes, which are also an excellent cardio training tool.


Photo and Image Credits

  • The Rogue Fitness logo and some product imagery on this page is property of Rogue Fitness and provided by Rogue Fitness.
  • Some additional product imagery is courtesy of Concept 2, Inc.
  • This website is not affiliated or associated with CrossFit, Inc. CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.

Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower - Excellent cardio and endurance training with this compact and efficient exercise machine
Concept 2 Rowers are the gold standard for CrossFit training and competitions.
Concept 2 Rowers are the gold standard for CrossFit training and competitions.

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