Concept2 Model E review

Concept2 rowers are known to be the best indoor air rowers on the market. Concept2 rowers are used worldwide in large box gyms, professional training facilities, CrossFit boxes, studios and home gyms. Concept2 rowers are commercial grade and designed to withstand the repetitive use of powerful, heavy competitors. The Model D is the most popular Concept2 rower, but the Model E is designed for larger users who want more substance and higher seat height underneath them. Identical to the Model D in almost every way, the Model E is just the bigger brother. This premium rower is perfect for larger athletes or people with mobility issues who may prefer to sit higher off the ground. While the Model D seat is only 14 inches tall, the Model E seat is 20 inches taller, which makes getting on and off easier. Because of the all-welded steel frame, the Model D weighs 57 pounds and the Model E weighs 65 pounds. The E-Rower will support weights up to 500 pounds (as tested by Concept2), making it a great training tool for athletes of any size and novice users.

The Console/ Monitor

The Concept2 E comes standard with a PM5 monitor. The LCD screen is fully functional, if not fancy, and will display all the information you need to know about your workout, including strokes per minute, distance rowed, calories and training time. You can choose the display format to suit the type of workout you’re doing.

PM5 includes three games that help bring some competition to your workout – these games aren’t to everyone’s taste, so you can take them or leave them. A popular program is “Rowing”.

With this option, you can compete against another rower (shown on the screen) and set the speed or race against your previous race – nothing motivates you more than losing to your past self!

The PM5 is compatible with wireless Garmin heart rate monitors and comes with a chest strap. This means you can train in the optimal heart rate zone to get the most out of your gains. It can also be used with the Polar heart monitor, but you’ll need to purchase an additional receiver first.

Also worth considering is the Slide accessory, which lets you experience what it’s like to paddle on water. You put the machine on the slide and when you pull you slide back, it’s like you’re on the water – great!


If I had to have one word to describe the Concept2, it would be logical. The machine works like a top-of-the-line indoor rower, and it’s suitable for all levels of users: novices, experienced athletes, and everyone in between. My personal trainer husband (who is also an athletic director and Crossfit coach), a few fitness enthusiast friends, and I took turns testing it out and we were pleased to find that each of us could use it without much of a learning curve.

We all agreed that the system felt strong and smooth with every pull, from the catch to the kickoff to the finish. Thanks in part to the flywheel, it also moderated the noise, making this machine much quieter than other rowing machines we’ve used in the past. The resistance level is easily adjusted with the screw dampers, as are the seat, pedals and monitor angle, so we were able to customize it for each user.

We especially like the PM5 display, which is the computer brain of a rower. Powered by a flywheel, it can be used when not rowing on 2 D batteries, thanks to the long aluminum arms, and the display quality is much higher than on lower-end machines.

In addition to the automatic “Just Row” mode, the display features five pre-set standard rowing workouts and five custom workouts to suit all fitness levels. It also displays data – we were able to track our distance, speed (stroke rate per minute), pace, time and calories – and offers connection options.

Concept2 tested this rower for people weighing up to 500 pounds, but the European standard for testing stationary fitness equipment, EN 20957-7, sets the limit at 300 pounds. The monorail is 54 inches long, so please note that if your inner seam is 38 inches or more long, you may need an extra-long monorail.


The rowing machines you see here are not what we would call compact, but what exactly are they? One of the main advantages of rowing machines is that they require less space than fitness equipment (think treadmill), and with an average length of 96 inches and a width of 24 inches, it makes no difference. The Concept2’s frame is a quick release, and it can be divided into two parts for easy storage.

The front wheels with casters make the machine easy to maneuver. We like the fact that it’s light enough to even be fully assembled to be able to roll outdoors on a sunny day and enjoy an alternative workout environment.

Its one drawback is that it’s not waterproof, which means it shouldn’t be placed in areas where there are leaks. A small amount of water from sweat or a water-filled body will not harm the device if it is properly maintained.

The Concept2 E indoor rowing machine offers many other great features such as ergonomic handlebar grips, smooth movement of the seat track making it easier to row, and an easy assembly process that is completed in minutes.


The Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine has a commercial-grade construction that supports gym and home use.

It is for everyone that wishes to engage in serious rowing, weight loss, and the attainment of overall physical fitness.

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