Concept 2 Model E Review

Now there is an upgrade of the famous Model D Rower – the Concept 2 Model E Rowing Machine. Just like its ancestor, it boasts an excellent build and efficiency. Thanks to the highly realistic feel and user-friendliness, these machines sell like hot cakes around professional rowers (including Olympic Rowers) and gyms.

The Model E retains basic features of the Model D. However, it has a longer monitor arm, nickel-coated chain, and higher seat. And a higher price tag!

All Concept 2 rowers are renowned for their exceptional air resistance, and the Model E is no exception. It quite lives up to the long-established Concept 2 air-resistance standard, as it almost perfectly mimics the natural resistance of water.

As a user pulls the handle and, thus, puts the flywheel on a spin, it displaces the air in front of it. The harder he or she pulls, the thicker the air in front of the flywheel gets, and, consequently, the more resistance the boat meets. As he or she slows down, resistance diminishes. With a rower at hand, one can create any level of resistance and, thus, get oneself ready to row a true boat. This is thanks to the highly realistic feel, which comes with the Concept 2 Model E. For this reason, this model is considered to be the best in class in terms of resistance.

This is the most important thing about any indoor rowing training tool, and this is the reason why professionals and gym owners around the world are queueing for these machines.

It takes high quality and reliable mechanism to achieve this effect. The Model E does have such a mechanism, and it provides a whole pack of ‘feels’, which mimic different atmospheric conditions. The machine features a ‘damper’, which works according to the principle described below.

How Do I Set the Damper?

Resistance of air is not the only thing that this new model mimics. It also simulates the feel of the rowing stroke as the ‘oars’ hit the water. In a way, this is like shifting gears, and actually, it has no big influence on resistance. The damper is located on the flywheel, and you can change the feel by choosing between different damper levels.

The Model E comes with 10 ‘damper gears’. If you choose between 6 and 10, you will feel like you are driving a larger and heavier boat; vice versa, settings between 1 and 5 will make your ‘boat trip’ feel more effortless.

The choice of the gear will affect your effort and intensity of exercise. If you choose 6-10, you will feel like there is a group of passengers in your boat, and you are the only one rowing; with 1-5, you will feel like you are traveling alone. According to the manufacturer, 3-5 is the most optimal configuration, as it continuously proves to be healthier for the cardiovascular system.

In any event, the choice of a setting is individual. It is advisable to try several settings starting with the middle (5). It takes some time and effort to define the most appropriate setting for a particular person.

There are tons of information on rowers online, and there are videos explaining the process of finding appropriate settings.

How Do I Achieve Optimal Noise Level?

The whooshing sound, which comes with every stroke, adds quite a bit of reality to any indoor rowing experience. It can be adjusted individually as well.

Use the Monitor/Control Panel

The Concept2 Model E “PM5” Monitor featured in this new machine is fairly considered to be the best one in the market. This is thanks to the compact and powerful mini-computer and robust interface. It is more sophisticated than it looks!

It enables you to track the following data, which makes up a workout:

  • Distance covered;
  • Duration of exercise;
  • Strokes per minute;
  • Heart rate;
  • Calories;
  • Watts.

This data is reflected in the presets between which you can choose according to your current physical condition and potential. Also, you can create your own presets using different configurations.

What Do I See on the Display?

In the top part of the screen you will see:

  • Duration of your ‘boat trip’;
  • Strokes per minute;
  • 500m split time;
  • Distance covered.

The monitor features an ANT+ tool, which uses some kind of a Bluetooth technology to read your heart rate device and display your heart rate on the screen. It is turned on with a push of a button. If idle for more than 4 minutes, it shuts off automatically.

The device boasts a degree of impact resistance: it has a hard plastic body and hard rubber buttons, which won’t break over time.

The Model E is powered by two D-cell batteries, and the PM5 monitor – by the flywheel (when in use).

High Quality Design

Both Model E and D meet the highest quality standards within the Concept 2 segment and, therefore, remain increasingly popular.

Thanks to the robust design, these machines withstand months and years of heavy use in gyms. Home-used ones last even longer.

This commercial-grade model is quite resistant to tough external influences: the frame has a I-beam monorail made of extruded aluminum. It is covered with a clear topcoat and has a stainless-steel seat track.

The legs are a solid steel construction, so the device will stand firmly regardless of workload.

The flywheel is driven by a low maintenance (compared to that of the Model D) nickel-plated steel chain, which is connected to the handle and enclosed in a protective housing.

All parts that are subject to heavy loads (the seat, foot-straps, footrest, etc.) are made from durable materials.

Is It Comfortable?

So far, no complaints about The Concept2 Model E have been noticed. Many users confess that this rower hardly has a match on earth in mimicking the feelings, which one gets as he or she rows. This is why even professional athletes choose this kind of machine.

The rowing is smooth and stable. As you start rowing, the seat slides along the seat rail, the chain goes without a hitch and rotates the flywheel.

Adjustable Seat

In the Model E, the seat is 6.0” higher than in the Model D (20.0” off the ground). The engineers used the height of a chair as a basis when designing the machine. The goal was to ensure maximum comfort for users.

People are different, and each person has individual standards: some prefer to row higher off the ground. Those who have knee problems tend to sit higher. Also, this height is more convenient to use wheelchairs. Finally, some users believe it is safer for pets.

The seat is padded and contoured in such a way as to give a user maximal comfort. Those who do not feel comfortable enough can buy a seat pad or use a towel. In fact, most people are satisfied with the shape and feel of the seat and do not need to use any additions.

This is not a lounge chair, so those who seek physical activity (most rower machine users do!) find it to be ok. In any event, this is not a plastic seat. Even if you do not feel comfortable enough, there are dozens of cheap and effective solutions.

Comfortable Handle

The handle is bent at a 10-degree angle and, therefore, rules out stress on the forearms and wrists. This makes the movements maximally smooth and natural. So far, no negative feedback on the handle has been detected.

The Concept2 Model E has folding footprint, so you can choose your preferred position to save space. The entire machine can be assembled and disassembled in less than 30 seconds. Many users find this hard to believe until they try it themselves. Once you have taken it apart, you can put it in a closet or a remote corner for storage.

Weight Capacity

The machine can withstand weight of as much as 500 lbs. Thus, there is hardly a man or a woman who cannot handle this device. There are reports from users weighing more than 300 lbs who have been using their machines for years, and still there are no issues.

Is It Easy to Assemble?

Users of all ages say that it does not take a lot of expertise to assemble the Concept2 Model E Rowing Machine.

Along with the main components, you will find but a few spare parts: 2 bolts, 8 screws, and 8 washers. Also, there will be several wrenches.

It will not take more than 30-40 minutes to put it together.

The Concept2 Model E is in the high-price category of rowing machines, but once you get it in possession, you will see that the game is really worth the candle. The high quality and reliability are the fairest compensation imaginable. By buying such a machine, you invest in your health and comfort for years to come.