Concept 2’s Model E Rower – Ultimate Review

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Concept 2’s Model E Rower: A Luxury End Rower Worth The Expense

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When it comes to getting the best workout possible, the indoor rowing machine is often touted as one of the best pieces of workout equipment you can buy.

The reason for this is because it provides you with an excellent aerobic exercise while still allowing you to build up your muscular strength at the same time.

It is considered a low impact machine, has low risk of injury when used correctly, and involves all major muscle groups. Without a doubt, this is why, when we look at the market, we see a ton of indoor rowing machines from numerous brands.

The current “go-to” indoor rowing machine is the Concept 2 Model E Rower With PM5, a luxury-style rower that has a sleek, quiet, and durable build.

It’s also available in Black.

This review is going to take a look at why this is considered the best model on the market, the ins and outs of the new performance computer monitor, the overall build of the rower, how assembly and storage fairs, what the features of this machine are, and lastly, the positives and negatives. Finally, we will take a look at who this rowing machine is best suited for and what the final verdict is.

What Sets This Rower Apart From The Rest?

Although the aesthetic design of the Concept 2 Model E is quite basic when compared to other models out there, it is the sleek and durable commercial grade build quality that sets it far apart from others on the market.

Not only does it have one of the smoothest resistances out there but it comes with a nickel-plated steel chain that is enclosed, a higher seat for more flexibility, and a longer monitor arm for easier access.

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What Are The Main Features?

  • The PM5 Computer Monitor: this is by far the largest feature on the new Model E design. This is a feature rich, easy-to-use and durable computer monitoring system that displays multiple training attributes such as speed, pace, watts, distance, and calories. You can display all of this data in multiple forms including large print, as a bar chart form, as a force curve or as a “pacer”. The system comes with a “just row” mode, four different game choices, and USB storage and session transfers. Other than this, the computer supports machine-to-machine racing.
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  • Easy Storage: the machine comes with a “quick-release” frame lock so that it can be separated into two parts rather easily. The machine cuts its space footprint in about half when it is folded up which is a huge advantage due to how large it is. It comes with caster wheels to make it easier to move around and store.
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  • Is Extremely Adjustable: it comes with adjustable footrests, a 20-inch seat for easy on and off, and adjustable ergonomic handles for natural arm, hand, and foot positions. The flywheel airflow can be adjusted through the damper which minimizes noise and comes with ten different modes of operation.
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  • High-Quality Durability: the monorail is made out of aluminum, it comes with a stainless steel track, and the nickel-plated chain is enclosed to ensure that the mechanism stays clean and reduces how much maintenance is needed.
  • High Weight Capacity: maximum user weight is five hundred pounds.

Let’s Take a Look at the Build Quality: In-Depth Look at the Frame and Comfort

The Concept 2 Model E Rower was initially built for heavy-duty use in gyms and for training purposes on military bases, so the build quality is excellent. Here are some notable points that set this build quality apart from other rowers on the market.

  • It comes with an aluminum I-beam and a stainless steel track which is powder-coated with a topcoat.
  • The legs are all one piece of welded steel,
  • The flywheel is connected by a nickel-plated steel chain which is enclosed.

With regards to comfort, the rower glides effortlessly on the track, the flywheel is smooth in its operation, and the entire rowing motion feels fluid from beginning to end.

The only complaint has been about the contoured seat, which some users have found uncomfortable due to how thickly padded it is. Other than this, the handles do not put any stress on your wrists but new users may want to wear gloves as some have reported blisters from use.

The footrests are extremely comfortable as they can be adjusted to accommodate a large range of shoe sizes and many users report using the footrests barefoot without any issues.

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Does It Assemble Easily and How Does It Store?

The entire unit only takes about thirty minutes to assemble which is incredibly fast when you take a look at how massive this rower is. To fasten the major components together, the rower comes with two bolts, eight washers, and eight screws.

When it is fully assembled, the model will sit at about sixty-five pounds in weight with its dimensions being 96.0” by 24”.

Although the rower does come with a rather large space footprint, it can be folded up to save space as the flywheel can be separated from the seat rail. It takes less than a minute to fold the rower up and it only requires 27.0” x 33.0” x 54.0” for storage purposes.

Are There Any Notable Positives and Negatives?

  • The Positives Include:

    • The machine is manufactured by one of the best rowing companies currently on the market,
    • The machine has a high-quality, commercial-grade build that will withstand heavy use,
    • It comes with a large weight capacity of up to five hundred pounds,
    • It comes with 10 damper levels,
    • It is extremely easy to maintain,
    • There are no height limitations,
    • It is easy to store, assemble, and move around,
    • It has adjustable damper settings,
    • Its space footprint is cut in half when in storage,
    • It is extremely comfortable,
    • It is backed by a large community,
    • It comes with one of the most advanced computer monitors available,
    • It is manufactured in the United States,
    • It comes with optional slides, allowing the entire rower to move beneath you to simulate on-water floating sensations,
    • It comes with Bluetooth for heart rate data,
    • It comes with a quick-release mechanism,
    • The footrests are adjustable,
    • The handle is ergonomic and includes a 10-degree bend for natural positioning,
    • It comes with a limited five-year warranty for the frame and a two-year warranty on the PM5 computer and all moving parts. It also comes with a money back guarantee within the first thirty days.
  • The Negatives Include:

    • It is absolutely massive when it comes to its size. It measures at 96” long and 24” wide which gives it a massive space footprint. However, this can be cut down on as it can be folded up when not in use.
    • You need about 4 feet of clearance when rowing.
    • The seat is considered uncomfortable by many customers. The seat is thick and padded well but it has been reported that it is too hard thus making it uncomfortable.
    • To some, the fan noise may be a little loud.
    • If you are not used to rowing, you will get blisters from the handle.
    • Is considered to be “heavy” in weight.
    • Is expensive when compared to other rowers on the market.

Who Is This Rowing Machine Best Suited For?

The Concept 2 Model E Rower was built to withstand heavy use and is made out of commercial-grade materials, so those who are training athletes, individuals who are into CrossFit, or people who want to use it on a daily basis, will end up getting the most use out of this particular model.

It is recommended for rowers of the intermediate to advanced levels who are looking for a high level of intensity while training. It is not recommended for users who are beginners with rowing, for those who will not be using it on a regular basis, or for those who are on a budget.

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What’s Included

    • Performance Monitor 5 (PM5)
    • Model E Product Manual
    • Performance Monitor Quick Start Guide
    • Tools and illustrated assembly instructions

Our Final Verdict

Overall, the Concept 2 Model E Rower is definitely a step up from its Model D sister in that it offers additional features which may be necessary for those who are looking to up their training and workout regimen. The nickel-plated chain, fixed monitor arm, and the taller seat height are all welcome adjustments that make getting your training in that much better.


2-Year Limited Warranty

The indoor rowers are backed by a limited 2-year and 5-year warranty.

  • Overall Length: 96 in (244 cm)
  • Width: 24 in (61 cm)
  • Seat Height: 20 in (51 cm)
  • Monorail Length: 54 in (137 cm), fits inseams up to 38″
  • Chain: Nickel-plated steel chain
  • Maximum User Weight: 500 lb (227 kg)
  • Space Requirements (in use): Assembled 8 ft x 2 ft (244 cm x 61 cm)

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