Review: Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

Rowing Machine with PM5

The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 is one of the most highly-rated rowing machines on the market. But is the price worth the product? We’ll be breaking down whether or not this rowing machine deserves a place in your home gym.

Rowing machines aren’t simple to shop for, and much of that has to do with its simplistic nature. With only a seat, bar, flywheel, and strap, there are only so many ways to design a rowing machine. What makes a product distinct in this category comes from the quality of materials chosen or the design aesthetics.

With so many options available, it’s common for certain manufacturers to add superfluous features to draw in crowds and shoppers. While novel, these features distract from what’s truly important with a rowing machine. Also, the ability to work out the entire body in a fluid and cyclical motion.

The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 attempts to accomplish just that.

Concept2, with few exceptions, focuses almost exclusively on rowing machines. That level of specialization has earned the company a distinguished reputation for quality products at a price that remains competitive. Their Model D rowing machine especially remains an Amazon bestseller for the reputation and quality alone.

However, a rowing machine is no frivolous investment. One should justify the amount any rowing machine costs with a product that lasts for years and workouts to come. Does the Concept2 Model D’s reputation live up the hype, or are you better served by a different machine?w

We’ll be taking a look at what makes the Model D stand out from the crowd. What people have been saying about it. And try to uncover whether or not this rowing machine is right for you.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine With PM5: Features and Specifications

Men in the gym using the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

A full breakdown of the features and specifications of the Model D is there at the Concept2 website. However, for simplicity’s sake, here’s a brief overview:

The Concept2 Model D is an aluminum and steel construction. Users up to 500 pounds can easily operate the machine, which one can fold in half for better storage maneuverability. When fully expended, you’ll need a 9x4 footprint in your home to place the unit within.

The PM5 which is often marketed alongside the Model D is the key selling feature for the company. The PM5 itself is a performance monitor, which tracks a wide range of metrics automatically.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Performance Monitor

One can track the stoke, calories burned, time usage using the PM5 system. The Design also comes with built-in Bluetooth capability, which allows users to access their metrics from within an application. This simple transfer of information makes it easy to work hard and read through performance after you’ve ended your workout.

Flywheel system
Woman using Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

Most rowing machines run with a water resistance system or a flywheel. In Model D, a flywheel system both provides resistance for your stroke and helps to power the PM5 system.

A dampener is also included and remains perhaps the least-understood section of any rowing machine. The dampener allows users to adjust their machines to match their level of skill. A new rower with little experience may experience back pain due to the usage of the machine at higher settings.

Tips for beginners

For those just starting out, we strongly recommend taking the time to learn the proper technique. Also, practicing on the lowest setting the dampener can adjust to will help. Afterward, raising up in increments will allow you to most effectively use your investment.

Aside from the flywheel and PM5 system, the Model D comes with the usual features associated with a rowing machine. This includes a monorail and seat, handle, footrests, and feet to support the structure.

Overall, the specifications for the Model 5 is average to above average for other rowing machines in this price range. The steel and aluminum build last for a long time. However, the moving parts in the flywheel require periodic lubrication and maintenance.

For that sort of adjustment, Concept2 provides various options for repairs and includes a warranty with each machine.

Pros & Cons

Man in a  Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

Many of the pros and cons of the Model D align with the pros and cons of a rowing machine in and of itself. However, we will still be assembling a concise list of features and detriments one will find when purchasing the Model D.

Like we’ve mentioned before, the warranty’s ability to transfer renders the Model D far more valuable than other rowing machines. If you decide that rowing machines or the Model D aren’t right for you for any reason, your resale value remains high so long as the warranty remains in effect.

The steel and aluminum design of the Model D also ensures that the warranty will not need to be often used, and the ability to transfer metrics onto other devices allows for the few metrics offered one can use in applications far more powerful than the PM5’s internal hardware.

The PM5 finds itself in a particular position, as remaining as both a strength and a detriment to the Model D as a whole. Since the PM5 only measures a few metrics, users may cite the price tag when complaining about the lack of advanced features, or a lack of music playback.

Similarly, the price of the Model D is on the higher end of the rowing machine market, and while justified in many ways, keeps the machine from being popular as an introductory machine. If you’re unsure of whether or not a rowing machine is right for you, perhaps it is best not to start with the most expensive option.

The noise may also distract others, and for those living in tight quarters or an apartment, the rattling sounds may pose an issue to your dedicated workout routine.


  • ​Warranty transfer
  • ​Quality Design
  • ​Bluetooth compatibility


  • ​Technologically underdeveloped
  • ​Expensive
  • ​Noisy

Pricing and Warranty Information

Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing...
  • Low impact workout that engages all major muscle groups; work legs, core and arms with a smooth, high calorie-burning...
  • Track your progress with real-time reliable data; the Performance Monitor 5 (included) self-calibrates for comparable...
  • Designed to fit most users: 14-inch seat height, adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Price

The pricing for the Model D can depend on a variety of factors. This isn’t always limited to where you purchase the machine from. The company offers a few ways you can manipulate and adapt the machine for certain environments. Also, depending upon which version you purchase; the price can range greatly.

For instance, the Concept2 offers what they’ve dubbed a slide. A slide takes one end of the rowing machine and mounts it to a shifting floor piece. This is rather than directly onto the floor itself.

When working out, the slide or slides transfer your natural side-to-side adjustments and shift the rowing machine accordingly. The effect is similar to the rocking motion you would experience when rowing in the water. For those practicing for rowing, this may be beneficial. However, for those only interested in a good workout, the effect could be nauseating.

Regardless, the base model of the Concept2 Model D with PM5 can cost around nine hundred dollars. This also depends on your purchasing location. Each Model D comes with Concept2’s standard trial and warranty for all rowing machines.

Upon receipt of the Model 2, each user gets a thirty-day risk-free trial. Much like any trial, if you're disappointed in the quality of the unit, you may return the product to them. Free of charge and you'll also receive a full refund.

2 warranties

After the trial ends, two warranties begin. One of two years and one of five. In the first two years, Concept2 promises to replace worn out parts due to negligence. This warranty, interestingly enough, transfers between owner to owner. Thus if you happen to sell the unit, the next owner would also have access to this warranty.

After two years, the parts replaced by Concept2 reduces somewhat. Alongside other parts, you can replace most of the mechanical parts, and only a handful of the aesthetic design features.

For your warranty to remain active, the Concept2 site explains that you must lubricate your chain regularly. In some cases, once every fifty hours. That number may seem excessive. However,  it is true that the long-term integrity of your rowing machine is dependent upon the functionality of the chain. Without it, the machine becomes useless.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine With PM5: Public Perception

Public Perception Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

Public perception of the Concept2 Model D is nowhere less than critical acclaim. For almost every user, the Model D provides a smooth, effective session and aids in the definition of several muscle groups.

More specifically, several users are complimentary of the warranty features. The ability to transfer the unit to another person without the need to notify the company made the Model D carve out a significant portion of the used rowing machine market.

While purchasing a pre-owned machine of any type comes with its own associated risk, the lower cost and transferable royalty make buying a pre-owned Model D certainly worth considering.

Users are also quick to laud the low-impact nature of the Model D, even when compared to other rowing machines of this type. With a simplistic design, the assembly is easy and will not require outside help. In general, there’s little to complain about when looking at the machine.

However, this has not stopped a few notable complaints from rising above the frivolous issues with the aesthetic design. One of the most recognized issues with the Model D is the noise the chain and flywheel generate during operation. While not overbearing, the noise is louder than most machines at this price range.

The other complaint lies in the PM5, which is significantly less complex than the price tag of the total machine would have them believe. While the Bluetooth capability adds to the expandable nature of the PM5, it is true that the metrics leave much to be desired.

Still, public perception is well beyond positive, and even when considering the above complaints, nothing inherently critical seems to be afoot with the Model D.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine With PM5: Is It Right For Me? 

Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing...
  • Low impact workout that engages all major muscle groups; work legs, core and arms with a smooth, high calorie-burning...
  • Track your progress with real-time reliable data; the Performance Monitor 5 (included) self-calibrates for comparable...
  • Designed to fit most users: 14-inch seat height, adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle
Rowing machine Model D Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5
Our Rating

If money were not a factor, Concept2’s Model D with PM5 would remain the most efficient and effective rowing machine on the market. Few other exercise machines in any market receive the level of acclaim that the Model D has achieved, and the trusted quality of any Concept2 market only serves to bolster these claims.

However, whether or not the Model D is right for you depends upon what you’re hoping to get out of the machine.

If you’re a dedicated rower, row for sport, or know that rowing machines are the direction you want to take your fitness into, the Model D is perfect for you. With the adjustable dampener and ability to export metrics, you can utilize the full potential of the Model D and inform your workouts for years to come.

If you’re new to rowing or are only passingly interested in the benefits of a rowing machine, the answer is more nebulous. Other rowing machines come in at a third the price of the Model D, and for many people, the premium build quality is not necessary.

Overall, we would say that—if you can afford it—the Model D is the first and only rowing machine you may ever need. With the ability to purchase slides separately, long time users can add another level of authenticity to their workouts and further enjoy the quality of the Concept2 brand.

If the Model D seems high in price, perhaps utilize the local gym to make sure that a rowing machine is right for you. If so, waiting and saving up enough money for a Model D is sure to pay off, for the warranty or otherwise.

Rowing machines may be simple in design, but the best rowing machines focus on making that simplicity as durable and reliable as possible. For the Concept2 Model D, there is no question that the machine is for sessions now and in the years to come.

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