What You Need to Know about the Concept 2 Model C Rowing Machine
What is it about the Concept 2 Model C rower that has made it a favorite of rowing enthusiasts since 1993?
Rowing is the perfect exercise for an all-around, low-impact workout. It can help build a strong back and increase your endurance. But of all the rowers on the market today, we wanted to look more closely at the longstanding popularity of the Concept 2 Model C rowing machine.
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What Is Concept 2 Model C Rowing Machine
Concept 2 is a longstanding name in the rowing machine business. For over forty years it has been a fixture at gyms and among rowing clubs. The Concept 2 comes in a series of models, including the Model D, Model E, Model C, and others.
Concept 2 began with two avid rowers in the 1970s who began making their own oars. By the early 80s they were producing indoor rowers.
As we take a look at the Model C, we go back to 1993 when it was first produced. It is hard to believe the Model C is 25 years old and still a favorite of many indoor rowers. It had wood handles representing the past and plastic pedals representing the future.
An enclosed flywheel could be adjusted for resistance with a lever. They continued to manufacture new Concept 2 Model Cs until 2003. The fact that it is still in demand speaks of its timeless quality and effectiveness. Concept 2 products are an industry standard for commercial gyms and competition forums.
They consistently last 20 years or more, and replacement parts are affordable when needed. This is a primary reason the Model C continues to be sought after. The machine's ability to measure distance rowed and calories burned is more accurate than many competitors.
It disassembles in two easy pieces for storage between workouts, and like all Concept 2 rowers, it has a feel that simulates moving through water.
The Concept 2 Model C has a length of 8 feet while measuring 24-inches wide. A designated area of 9x4-feet is needed to row the machine.
The user capacity for the Model C is 500 pounds. For heavier users seeking effective exercise, it is useful, because many of Concept 2's competitors come with a 250-pound weight limit.
Investigating the price of a Concept 2 Model C rower can be tricky, because they have not been produced in many years. However, their proven effectiveness and durability leave them in demand.
In some cases, the machines re-sell at almost 100 cents on the dollar; this is great for owners looking to buy, but it can work against seekers looking to buy new. New Concept 2 rowers, such as Model D and Model E sell for around $$$ or event more. The good news is the going rate was lower between 1993 and 2003 when the Model C was in manufacturing.
Even if a Model C holds much or its value, you can still be patient and find good, used Model Cs for around $$$. For many, even a used Concept 2 Model C can last longer than a cheaper rower bought new. And if it doesn't work out, you will have no problem reselling the Model C to get your investment back.
It is not uncommon for one Concept 2 rower, though pricey, to outlast multiple cheaper alternatives.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
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- Ease of Use
- Assembly Time
A simple lever easily changes the resistance from 1 to 10. While using the Model C, measurements of distance rowed and calories burned are easily visible and very accurate.
Using the Model C also produces a feeling of being on the water, and experienced rowers are consistently excited by the realistic feel. Using the machine is realistic and straightforward while providing a challenging workout.
The Concept 2 Model C, as well as its counterpart, the Model D, have quick release features to assemble and disassemble the machine quickly. It comes apart and two manageable pieces and can be quickly reconnected. Assembly time is literally seconds.
Despite a two- or five-year warranty, the Concept 2 Model Cs have consistently lasted over 20 years. Their design is simplistic, and even when parts do go bad they are easily and affordably replaced. Concept 2s consistently have up to five times the longevity of cheap rowers at big box stores.
Spending a little more on a Concept 2 can add up to money saved in the long run.
When bought new, Concept 2 rowers come with options for a two-year warranty or five-year warranty. Warranties for the Concept 2 Model C must be negotiated with the seller and for that reason receive only one star.
The Sunny Health and Fitness Full Motion Rowing Machine utilizes full-motion rowing to burn calories and increase strength. The resistance can be controlled with a turning knob, and an LCD monitor tracks your strokes, time, calories burned, and more.
The digital monitor helps keep rowers on track, and the functions continually repeat to let you monitor various individual goals as you exercise.
This rower uses a hydraulic cylinder with hydraulic fluid to create resistance. The cylinders are engaged when the rider pulls back on the handle.
Foot pedals keep your feet moving on non-slip surfaces. Straps are added to saddle your feet and provide a secure feeling during your workout. Non-slip handles provide support and a comfortable grip.
The weight capacity of the Sunny Health and Fitness Full Motion Rowing Machine is 350 pounds with a fully padded seat. The slide rail on the Sunny Health and Fitness product is 40 inches.
- Ease of Use
- Assembly Time
The frame of the rowing machine does not fold and come into multiple pieces, so storage is possible because of its narrow size but not convenient. However, the design boasts a rail that is not parallel to the floor in order to provide a better leg workout and faster return to your original position.
The rail is long enough to fit users up to six-feet tall. A large seat nearly 15 inches is comfortable for multiple body types, and a layer of padding
adds extra cushion.
The design supports feet of all sizes with nylon straps and heel guards for extra stability.
The purchase of a Sunny Health and Fitness Full Motion Rowing Machine comes with an option for expert assemble. You can purchase the assembly package for around $90. Typical assembly time is four hours. The expert assemblers will move package leftovers to your trash when finished.
The sturdy frame can support users up to 350 pounds. Unlike aluminum frames, this frame is made of steel, including the seat rail.
The footrests made of heavy PVC mounted on steel rods. For its price, the Sunny Health and Fitness Full Motion Rowing Machine is a very sturdy product.
Sunny Health and Fitness offers a three-year warranty on the rowing machine's frame with a 90-day warranty on parts and components.
The Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms offers a low-impact workout for your entire body, including quads leg muscles, back, shoulders, and arm muscles.
Stamina is a well-known producer of rowing machines, each of their products has a perk or a unique offering. In the case of the Stamina 35-1215, the machine is compact while still offering a full range of motion.
It uses a hydraulic cylinder for resistance with adjustable tension controls. The rower offers a full range of motion with a natural rowing motion. A thick, comfortable seat compliments pivoting footrests.
The single-button monitor shows your distance, speed, rows, calories burned, miles rowed, and more. When assembled, the machine is 48x32.5x27.75 inches.
- Ease of Use
- Assembly Time
The machine is small enough to live in an office or at home. Its deluxe ball-bearing roller system is smooth, and its padded seat and pivoting footrests provide a comfortable workout.
The arm motions are natural, and execution is straight forward
The assembly time for the Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rower is advertised at four hours. Users seem to agree with that time on the average. Like the Sunny Health and Fitness Full Motion Rowing Machine, an expert assembly option can be purchased on Amazon for around $90.
It should be noted the roller wheels under the seat are a plastic construction. With only a 90-day warranty on parts, they are worth monitoring. Multiple buyers also report sloppy welding on the construction.
On a positive note, the frame is made of 2-inch tubular steel. Many competitors go with 1.5-inch tubular steel, so the extra size on the steel is appreciated and adds durability.
The frame features a five-year warranty with a 90-day warranty on parts and accessories.
The Velocity CHR-2001 Rower uses a Drum Magnetic Control with electronic tension to create resistance and build muscle strength and stamina. The machine is made with an aluminum frame with an ergonomic seat.
The seat features molded foam padding that eases lower-back stress. Non-slip foot pedals provide secure footing.
An LCD display provides pulse rate, time, rows, calories burned, and more. A heart-rate monitor is a useful bonus feature with a chest strap to monitor your heart while exercising.
- Ease of Use
- Assembly Time
The rowing motion on the Velocity CHR-2001 is smooth and makes very little noise. It offers large footrests and padded handles for comfort.
When done, the unit is easy to fold and store. The magnetic resistance does not vary during the stroke and cannot mimic a true rowing stroke that has points of greater and less resistance.
Because most of the mechanisms are enclosed in a stylish housing, the Velocity product is easy to install within 30 minutes.
The beam is made of an anodized aluminum with rectangular tubing. The maximum weight capacity is 275 pounds.
This weight capacity is less than other competitors we compared, and with only a one-year warranty, the durability does not seem in line with the price tag.
The Velocity CHR-2001 Rower features a one-year warranty.
Conclusion on the Concept 2 Model C
After all these years, the Concept 2 Model C is still a champion among rowing machines and one of the all-time greats. With the only concerns being its availability-as it is no longer produced-and the warranty options available for a used purchase.
Rowing is a low-impact activity for rowing enthusiasts and weekend calorie-burners alike, so why not use one of the best machines available for all rowers?
Concept 2 continues to be a primary producer of quality products in the rowing arena, but if you are not willing or able to spend around $$$ for their Model E or similar prices for the Model D, you should truly consider returning to the Model C for one of the best, longest-lasting rowers ever marketed.