Concept 2 Rower Review: RowErg vs Dynamic RowErg (2023)

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Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or a professional athlete, the choice of an indoor rower can significantly impact your workout regimen. Among the myriad of options available, the Concept2 rower often stands out due to its cutting-edge design, impeccable functionality, and robust build. It has etched its name as a reliable choice for cardio workouts, full-body conditioning, and CrossFit WODs. However, like any fitness equipment, it has its strengths and limitations. Our in-depth Concept2 rower review aims to shed light on this top-tier indoor rowing machine, helping you make an informed decision.

Concept2 Rower Review Highlights

concept 2 square
9.3/10Our Score
  • Performance monitor for tracking progress
  • Air resistance for a smooth rowing experience
  • Separates into two for easy storage
  • No Frills Rowing Experience 
  • In Business Since 1981
  • Suitable for Home Gyms & Commercial Use
  • Join Their 1 Million Meter Club

Why You Can Trust Our Concept2 Rower Review

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Transparency, thoroughness, and integrity form the bedrock of our review process. Here’s why you can put your faith in our review of the Concept2 rower:

Unbiased Testing and Evaluation

We understand that each rower brings a unique set of strengths and weaknesses to the table. Our team ensures that each aspect of the Concept2 rower, from its design and functionality to its value for money, is critically analyzed. We put the rower through rigorous testing in multiple scenarios that imitate a variety of user experiences.

In-Depth Research

We delve into every piece of information available on the Concept2 rower. This involves not just relying on the information provided by the manufacturer, but also scrutinizing user manuals, product specifications, warranty details, and more. We make it our mission to understand the product inside and out.

User Feedback

Our review process is not confined to our own testing. We scan through countless user reviews and feedback to understand the common issues faced by users, their likes and dislikes, and overall user experience. This helps us bring a more practical perspective to our review.

Fitness Expertise

Our team is composed of fitness experts and enthusiasts who understand the intricacies of fitness equipment, specifically rowing machines. Their expertise allows us to assess the Concept2 rower from various angles, including ergonomics, efficiency, and effectiveness.

Comprehensive Approach

We don’t just test the machine. We also explore the available resources such as the ErgData App, delve into the different models, and understand how they cater to various user needs. We investigate not only the machine’s performance but also the company’s customer service and after-sales support.

RELATED: See Where Concept2 Ranks On Our Top Rowers List

In a nutshell, our Concept2 rower review is not just a brief assessment but a comprehensive study. We make every effort to present a balanced and fair analysis, enabling you to make an informed decision that best suits your fitness goals.

Concept2 Pros and Cons

Every product has its highs and lows. Here are the pros and cons we discovered about the Concept2 Rower.

  • High build quality ensuring longevity
  • Advanced PM5 performance monitor for detailed workout data
  • Comfortable and ergonomic design
  • Space-saving storage solution
  • Broad range of resistance levels
  • Wide online community and training support with the ErgData App
  • Higher price point than some competitors
  • The machine is relatively large and might not be ideal for small spaces
  • The noise level may be a bit high for some users

Concept2 Overview

a woman working out on the Concept2 rower

Concept2 has earned a global reputation as a leading manufacturer of high-quality indoor rowing machines. The company was founded in 1976 by Dick and Pete Dreissigacker, two brothers and former Olympic rowers, who started out by making composite racing oars. Concept2 rowers were designed with the same commitment to bringing high-quality equipment to dedicated athletes.

Concept2 rowers are recognized for their excellent build quality, superb functionality, and exceptional durability. These machines offer a near-silent rowing experience with a smooth, consistent feel throughout the stroke, thanks to the air resistance flywheel. The durable construction and robust materials make the machines suitable for users of all levels and provide long-lasting performance even under heavy use.

The rowers are fitted with the PM5 Performance Monitor, which provides a range of features such as real-time workout data, games, wireless connectivity, and the ability to store workout information. This allows for comprehensive tracking and analysis of workout performance.

Another key feature of Concept2 rowers is their ease of assembly and storage. The machines can be assembled quickly without the need for specialized tools, and they can be conveniently separated into two parts for easy storage. This makes them an excellent choice for home gyms where space may be limited.

The Concept2 rowers come in two main models: the RowErg and the Dynamic Erg. The RowErg is designed to suit most users, offering an excellent balance of comfort and practicality. The Dynamic Erg, on the other hand, aims to replicate on-the-water rowing more closely, making it an ideal choice for those who are seeking a more challenging and authentic rowing experience.

In addition to producing top-notch rowers, Concept2 also offers a supportive community for its users. The free ErgData app allows users to connect with the global Concept2 community, participate in challenges, track progress, and share their achievements.

Overall, Concept2 stands as a testament to quality and innovation in the world of indoor rowing. Whether you’re a novice rower or a professional athlete, Concept2 rowers offer an unparalleled indoor rowing experience that can help you reach your fitness goals.

Key Features and Highlights

The Concept2 rower is lauded as one of the top choices for indoor rowers, thanks to its stellar blend of design, functionality, and durability. The following are key features and highlights that make it stand out in the market:

Performance Monitor 5 (PM5)

Concept2 rowers come equipped with the advanced PM5 performance monitor. This interactive display shows you real-time data such as stroke rate, distance rowed, duration of workout, heart rate, and calories burned. It can store workout data, connect wirelessly to heart rate monitors, and has the ability to connect to apps like ErgData.

Air Resistance Flywheel and Damper

The air resistance flywheel design makes for a smooth, natural rowing stroke. The damper setting allows you to adjust the feel of each stroke, giving you control over your workout intensity.

Adjustable Footrests and Ergonomic Handle

The footrests can be adjusted to fit a wide range of shoe sizes, ensuring comfort and stability during workouts. The handle is designed with an ergonomic grip that reduces strain on your hands and wrists during intense rowing sessions.

Easy Storage

Despite being a large piece of fitness equipment, the Concept2 rower is designed for easy storage. It can be quickly separated into two parts without any tools, making it easier to move and store.

Durable Construction

The Concept2 rower is built to last. It has a robust aluminum and steel construction that’s capable of supporting users up to 500 lbs. This durability makes the rower suitable for heavy, regular use, whether in a home gym, fitness center, or professional training facility.

Online Community and Challenges

Concept2 has a large online community, and with the ErgData App, you can participate in online rankings, join challenges, and compare your results with other rowers around the globe. This provides a source of motivation and camaraderie, making your workouts more enjoyable and engaging.

These are just a few of the key features and highlights of the Concept2 rower. With its user-friendly design, advanced tracking capabilities, and robust build, it truly offers a comprehensive rowing experience.

Models to Pick From

Concept2 offers two main models of indoor rowers, each designed to meet different training needs:


the concept2 rowerg in black

  • Delivers a realistic rowing experience
  • Flywheel design minimizes noise and maximizes smoothness
  • Can be separated into two parts for easy storage
  • Adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle for enhanced comfort
  • PM5 Performance Monitor for detailed workout tracking
  • Available in two options: standard and tall legs

Dynamic Erg

a side shot of the concept2 Dynamic Erg

  • Designed to replicate on-the-water rowing more closely
  • Minimal movement of body mass throughout the stroke reduces off-the-seat feel
  • Free-standing design does not require a separate stand or anchoring
  • PM5 Performance Monitor for comprehensive workout tracking
  • Does not separate into two for storage, but has caster wheels for easy mobility

The RowErg is Concept2’s standard model and is popular due to its balance of comfort, practicality, and effectiveness. This machine uses air resistance to provide a realistic rowing stroke, making it suitable for all fitness levels. Its flywheel design ensures a smooth, quiet operation, and the machine can be easily separated into two parts for compact storage. The adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle promote comfort during longer workouts. The RowErg comes with the advanced PM5 Performance Monitor, which provides extensive workout data and connectivity options. It is available in two options: one with standard legs and one with taller legs for easier access.

The Dynamic Erg, on the other hand, is designed to bring the feel of on-the-water rowing into your workout space. This model offers a slightly different rowing mechanism, where the footrest and the seat move independently, thereby demanding more precise technique from the user. This design means that there’s less body mass movement throughout the stroke, providing a very stable workout and reducing any off-the-seat sensation. Like the RowErg, the Dynamic Erg features the PM5 Performance Monitor for tracking workout data and connecting to fitness apps. However, unlike the RowErg, the Dynamic Erg doesn’t separate for storage but includes caster wheels to easily move the machine when not in use.

Choosing between the RowErg and the Dynamic Erg will depend on your personal fitness goals, rowing experience, and space considerations. Both models offer the quality, durability, and workout effectiveness that Concept2 is renowned for.

ErgData App – Row with the Concept 2 Community

choosing a workout on the Concept2 app

How it Works

ErgData is a free app developed by Concept2 that provides a richer, more in-depth workout experience. It connects to your rower via Bluetooth and records all your workout data.

What Tablets is it Compatible With?

ErgData is compatible with iOS (10.0 and up) and Android (5.0 and up) devices.

Real Time Look

The app provides a real-time look at your workout stats, including stroke rate, heart rate, pace, and more.

Set Your Performance Monitor

With ErgData, you can set your PM5 and save your workout results to the Concept2 Online Logbook.

Track Progress

ErgData tracks your progress over time and provides graphs of your workout data.

Workout of the Day

ErgData provides a daily workout suggestion to keep your regimen fresh and challenging.

RowErg vs Dynamic Erg: Deciding Which is Best for You

Choosing between the RowErg and the Dynamic Erg largely depends on your fitness goals, rowing experience, space considerations, and personal preference for rowing feel. Here’s an in-depth comparison to help you decide:

Fitness Goals and Rowing Experience

The RowErg offers a versatile workout suitable for all fitness levels and goals, from general fitness and weight loss to strength training and endurance building. Its air resistance flywheel provides a smooth, natural rowing stroke, making it a great choice for beginners and experienced rowers alike.

On the other hand, the Dynamic Erg is designed to replicate the feel of rowing on water more closely, making it an excellent choice for competitive rowers or those who wish to refine their technique for on-water rowing. It demands a more precise technique from the user, making it more suitable for experienced rowers.

Space Considerations

In terms of storage, the RowErg has the upper hand. It can be quickly separated into two pieces for easy storage and the caster wheels make it simple to move around. This makes it a suitable choice if you have limited workout space.

The Dynamic Erg, while it does not separate into two pieces, has a built-in caster wheels system which makes it easy to relocate within your workout space. However, it requires a bit more storage space than the RowErg.

Personal Preference for Rowing Feel

This is where the damper setting on the RowErg and the different movement of the Dynamic Erg come into play. The damper setting on the RowErg allows you to adjust the feel of the rowing stroke to your preference. Lower settings feel like a sleek racing boat while higher settings give the feel of a slower-moving boat.

In contrast, the Dynamic Erg offers a different rowing experience, where the footrest and the seat move independently, making the stroke feel very close to on-the-water rowing.

Cost Consideration

Typically, the RowErg is less expensive than the Dynamic Erg, making it a more budget-friendly option. However, it’s essential to consider that both models offer durability and longevity, representing a good long-term investment.

Both the RowErg and Dynamic Erg are excellent choices, and your decision should be based on what you hope to get out of your rowing experience. As always, it’s also important to consult with a fitness professional or a doctor before starting any new exercise regimen.

How Much Does Concept2 Cost?

These prices are subject to change at any time, but here were the prices for the Concept 2 rowers at the time of publication:

  • Concept2 RowErg Price: $990
  • Concept 2 DynamicErg Price: $1,375

See the most up-to-date pricing for the Concept 2 rowers below:

Insider Tips for Getting the Most from Your Concept2

Concept2 rowers are popular because of their ability to deliver a comprehensive, full-body workout that targets all major muscle groups. However, to maximize the benefits of your Concept2 rower, consider these expert tips:

Perfect Your Technique

Like any exercise, the effectiveness of a rowing workout depends significantly on your technique. The rowing stroke is a continuous cycle of the ‘catch’, ‘drive’, ‘finish’, and ‘recovery’. By learning and practicing the correct sequence, you will increase the effectiveness of your workout and minimize the risk of injury.

  1. Catch: The starting position where you’re closest to the machine. Your knees should be bent, arms straight, and back leaning slightly forward.
  2. Drive: This is the work phase where you push with your legs, hinge your back backwards, and finally pull with your arms, bringing the handle into your lower chest.
  3. Finish: The end of the drive phase. Your legs are fully extended, the handle is held against your lower chest, and you’re leaning slightly back.
  4. Recovery: This is the rest phase. Extend your arms, lean your body forward from the hips, and finally bend your knees to glide back into the catch position.

Understand the Damper Setting

The damper setting on a Concept2 rower adjusts the airflow to the flywheel, changing the feel of the stroke. It doesn’t equate to difficulty level, but rather how the rowing stroke feels. Lower settings will feel like a sleek racing boat, while higher settings emulate a slow-moving boat. A damper setting between 3 and 5 is generally suitable for most workouts, but feel free to experiment and find what suits you best.

Mix Up Your Workouts

Varying your workouts will prevent boredom and continue to challenge your body. Try different workout programs, adjust the resistance levels, or aim to beat your personal best time for a certain distance.

RELATED READING: Peloton Row Review: Is it Worth it?

The Concept2 rower also has pre-set workouts and games on the PM5 monitor to help mix things up.

Regular Maintenance

To ensure the longevity of your Concept2 rower, regular maintenance is essential. This includes cleaning the monorail, lubricating the chain, and checking all screws and bolts are tight. Regular maintenance will also ensure a smoother and quieter row.

Utilize the ErgData App

To track progress, set new goals, and maintain motivation, take full advantage of the ErgData app. It can help track and analyze your workouts, participate in challenges, and connect with the Concept2 community.

By adopting these tips, you can increase the efficacy of your workouts, enhance the durability of your rower, and ultimately, get the most out of your Concept2 rowing machine.

How to Store Your Concept2

The Concept2 RowErg stored in the upright position

Despite its size, the Concept2 rower is relatively easy to store. It disassembles into two pieces that can be nested together, reducing its footprint significantly.

Specs and Footprint

The Concept2 rower is approximately 8 feet by 2 feet when assembled, and approximately 25 inches by 33 inches when stored.

It has a maximum user weight limit of 500 pounds.

Who Should Consider a Concept2?

The Concept2 rower is a versatile piece of equipment that suits a wide range of individuals, from fitness novices to professional athletes, and here’s why:

Fitness Enthusiasts

If you’re looking for a total body workout that combines cardio and strength training, the Concept2 rower is an excellent choice. It engages multiple muscle groups, boosting your endurance, building strength, and aiding in weight loss.

Professional Athletes and Rowers

For professional athletes and rowers, the Concept2 rower offers a reliable and effective indoor training tool. Its accurate data tracking, coupled with the capacity to mimic real on-water rowing dynamics (especially with the Dynamic Erg), makes it an ideal machine for serious training.

Home Gym Owners

The Concept2’s ease of assembly and storage features make it perfect for home gym owners, especially those with limited space. Moreover, the machine’s robust construction ensures it can handle regular, intensive workouts over the long haul.

Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Patients

Rowing is a low-impact exercise that puts minimal strain on the joints, making it suitable for individuals in rehabilitation or those with certain physical limitations. However, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any exercise regimen in such circumstances.

Fitness Centers and Commercial Gyms

The Concept2 rower’s durability and ability to withstand heavy use make it a staple in many fitness centers and commercial gyms. Additionally, its user-friendly design and advanced workout tracking capabilities make it appealing to a broad spectrum of gym-goers.

Those Seeking a Community

With the ErgData app and Concept2’s active online community, you’re not just getting a rower, but also a community. If you enjoy comparing stats, participating in global challenges, or just like the idea of being part of a fitness community, Concept2 is a great choice.

In conclusion, anyone looking for a high-quality, durable, and effective piece of fitness equipment should consider the Concept2. It’s a comprehensive fitness solution that offers value for beginners and seasoned fitness enthusiasts alike.

Who Should Consider a Different Rower?

While the Concept2 rowers are undoubtedly top-tier machines, they might not be the perfect fit for everyone. Here are a few situations where you might want to consider a different rower:

Budget-Conscious Buyers

Concept2 rowers are high-end machines with a price tag to match. If you’re on a tight budget, you might find other rowers in the market that offer decent functionality at a lower price point. Keep in mind, though, that investing in a high-quality rower like Concept2 can save you money in the long run due to its durability and longevity.

Those Seeking a Quiet Rower

While Concept2 rowers are designed to minimize noise, they do produce some sound due to the air resistance flywheel. If you live in an apartment or a shared space where noise could be a concern, you might want to consider magnetic resistance or hydraulic piston rowers, which tend to operate more quietly.

Users Seeking a Water Rowing Experience

If you prefer the feel and sound of water rowing, you might want to consider a water rower. Water rowers use water resistance for a more authentic on-the-water rowing experience. They create a soothing sound of water with each stroke, which some users find more appealing.

Those with Limited Space

While the Concept2 rowers do separate for easy storage, they still require a fair amount of space for use. If you’re particularly constrained by space, you might consider a compact or foldable rower.

Users Looking for a Fully Connected Experience

While Concept2 does offer connectivity through the PM5 monitor and ErgData app, some rowers in the market offer more integrated smart features. If you’re looking for an immersive, fully connected workout experience with live classes and leaderboards, brands like Hydrow or Peloton might be more suitable.

RELATED READING: ProForm Rower Reviews

Ultimately, the choice of rower will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. It’s always a good idea to try out different types of rowers if possible and do thorough research before making a decision. A rowing machine is a significant investment, and making the right choice can significantly impact your fitness journey.

Customer Reviews and Feedback

Concept2 rowers have received overwhelmingly positive reviews from users. They have praised its durability, performance, and data tracking capabilities. However, some users found it to be a bit noisy and larger than expected.

Here’s what some verified reviewers had to say about their Concept2 experience…

“Would highly recommend the Concept 2 Model D Rower. Not only do you get the rower but you can sign up to challenges online and download all your data to an online logbook via your app and the computer monitor on your rower. Concept 2 also send you daily workouts to your email. It’s an easy rower to store (you can split it in half easily) and a fantastic workout!”

Bought my Concept2 model D indoor rower 5 years ago. With time the chain needed replacing, and some of the varnish came off etc. A quick email to customer services, and promptly received the required parts with detailed instructions (usually without a charge, even after 4 years!). The quality of the rower is exceptional and it has been a joy every time I have used it. I wish more companies would put such effort into perfecting their service!”

Purchased an ERG Rower this summer, there was a short waiting list for the order due to wanting the longer legged version. Communication from the comany was good (via email) keeping me informed of order time and delivery. Was contacted by their specialist courier to arrange a delivery date and time, all went to plan.
The product is great quality, as expected. No issues so far.”

Final Verdict

Concept2 rowers are a benchmark in indoor rowing. Their build quality, advanced features, and community support make them an outstanding choice for a diverse range of users. They provide an excellent full-body workout and can withstand intense, long-term use. Despite the relatively higher price point and size, they offer tremendous value for the money.

Concept2 FAQs

  1. Is assembly required for Concept2 rowers? Yes, but it is straightforward, with detailed instructions provided.
  2. Can the Concept2 rower cater to all fitness levels? Absolutely, the resistance can be adjusted according to the user’s comfort and fitness level.
  3. What is the warranty for the Concept2 rower? The Concept2 rower comes with a limited 2-year and 5-year warranty.
  4. Can I connect my heart rate monitor with the Concept2 rower? Yes, the PM5 monitor can connect with ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart heart rate sensors.
  5. Does the Concept2 rower require a power source? The PM5 Performance Monitor is powered by the spinning flywheel during workouts, but can also operate with two D cell batteries when not in use.

We hope this detailed review assists you in your quest to find the perfect rowing machine. Remember, the best rower is the one that meets your unique fitness needs and lifestyle.