Concept2 Model E Review | The Best Air Rower Ever

They say the best kind of rowing machine are the Concept 2 rowing machines and we agree with them one hundred percent. To buy concept 2 rowing machine means investing in your health for today and decades to come.

Without any doubt, Concept2 rowers are the best air rowing machines that money can buy. After the success of the Model D rower, the company released a new version called Concept2 E rower.

Concept2 Model E air rowing machine with PM5 features improved frame design, glossy paint, Nickel-plated steel, and fully enclosed chain housing. While this indoor rowing machine is a bit more expensive, it has proven to worth every single Dollar, both for home use and commercial use.

This Concept 2 rowing machine review will help you better understand the Concept 2 Model E rower and why it’s our most favorite rower on the market.

After years of indoor rowing and looking for a rowing machine that can best offer the physical and physiological workout or rowers, we are certain that Concept E rowing machine is the best value ergonomic rowing machine not only in the U.S. but worldwide. It’s solid, sturdy, feature rich and has hundreds of real consumer reviews that confirm it’s durability.

How Concept 2 Model E Was Evolved (Model E vs Model D)

Concept 2 Model E vs Concept 2 Model D

The Concept2 Model E indoor rowing machine is an evolution of its predecessor, the Concept2 Model D, as it offers several improvements and addresses certain issues to enhance the user experience. Here’s how the Concept2 Model E stands out from Concept2 Model D:

Height: The Model E has a height of 20″ (50.8cm), making it easier for users to get on the seat without needing to bend too far down. This elevated height is advantageous because it provides added convenience and accessibility compared to the Model D’s 14” (35cm) tall frame.

Chain Housing: The Model E features a fully enclosed chain housing, which is better than Model D’s partial enclosed chain house. It provides better protection against dust and weather elements and ultimately reduces the need for extra upkeep and maintenance, as there is less exposure to external factors that could affect the machine’s performance. Therefore, users can enjoy a more hassle-free experience with the Model E.

Chain: Unlike the Model D’s basic steel chain, the Model E utilizes a nickel-plated steel chain. This choice offers several advantages, such as improved corrosion resistance, heat resistance, increased strength, and resistance to wear. Consequently, the Model E’s chain is not only aesthetically appealing but also highly durable and reliable. Moreover, it requires minimal maintenance, ensuring a longer lifespan.

Frame: The Model E boasts sturdier front and rear legs, with 7″ front legs and 8″ rear legs, compared to the Model D’s 5″ front legs and 4″ rear legs. This design enhancement contributes to enhanced stability and support during rowing sessions. Users can row with confidence, as the Model E’s robust frame provides a solid and secure platform for their workouts.

Monitor Holder/Arm: The Model D’s monitor arm/holder is 3″x1″ thick while the Model E’s holder/arm is a 3″x3″ steel. Although it doesn’t offer folding functionality, the Model E’s monitor holder excels in terms of durability and longevity.

Overall Weight: Weighing 65 lbs, the Model E is slightly heavier than the Model D, which weighs 57 lbs. This additional weight contributes to the overall stability and robustness of the Model E. Users can enjoy a more solid and reliable rowing experience, even during demanding workouts.

Everything else from folding, to seat, and monitor is pretty much similar between the Model E and Model D. The company has only changed what needed to be improved.

Split Design: Both the Model E and Model D can be split into two pieces for easy storage and transportation. This feature is advantageous for users who have limited space and need to store the machine when not in use.

Quality Seats and Rollers: Both Concept2 rowing machine models feature high-quality erogonomic seats and rollers, ensuring smooth and comfortable rowing motions. Users can enjoy a comfortable and efficient rowing experience, regardless of the model they choose.

P5 Monitors: The Model E and Model D are equipped with P5 monitors, which offer Bluetooth and ANT/+ for indoor rowing apps. These monitors enable users to track their performance comprehensively, including metrics like distance, time, pace, and calories burned. With these monitors, users can monitor their progress and effectively work towards their fitness goals.

Damper/Resistance Levels: Both models offer a range of damper/resistance levels, from 1 to 10. You can adjust how much air hits the fan and customize your workouts to match their desired intensity.

Adjustable Foot Pedals: The Model E and Model D both come with adjustable foot pedals, accommodating users of different foot sizes. This feature ensures a secure and comfortable fit, enhancing the overall rowing experience.

User Height and Weight: Both models can accommodate users weighing up to 500 lbs and with inseams of up to 38″. These specifications make the machines suitable for a wide range of individuals, regardless of their height and weight.

Regarding pricing, the Concept2 Model E is priced at $1499, while the Model D is priced at $1299. If you can’t afford the Concept 2 Model E, you can buy the Concept 2 Model D.

Concept2 Model E vs Concept2 Model DHow Concept2 Rowers Evolved (Differences and similarities)
Rowing machine nameModel
Concept2 Model E
Concept2 Model D
Frame heightTaller and shorter
20” (50.8cm)
14” (35cm)
Chain HousingLess dirty to clean
Fully enclosed
Partially enclosed
Chain MaterialDurability
Nickel-plated steel
Flight TimeAverage flight time
Monitor ArmThick and thine (durability)
Front and Rear FeetThick and thine (durability)
PM5 (Bluetooth & ANT+)
PM5 (Bluetooth & ANT+)
Performance seat
Performance seat
CapacityWeight and height
500 lbs & up to 38″ inseam
500 lbs & up to 38″ inseam
ResistanceAdjustment and type
1-10 level air resistance
1-10 level air resistance
AccessoriesHeart rate monitor, dust cover, floor mat, or media tray
All sold separately
All sold separately



Unlike the old rowing machines with short frame height, exercise on the concept 2 E rowing machine is easier. You no longer need to reach the floor level to set on the rower, the E rower is designed with 20-inch frame height.

Therefore, you can easily access the seat. Quick on and off the seat feature is useful when you are recovering from accidents and surgeries or struggling with aging. Concept 2 Model E has double powder coat with a glossy finish which makes it nice and extremely durable against wears, scratches, and corrosion.

This sleek and solid rowing machine comes in black or light gray. The materials and construction are sturdy welded steel and can support up to 500 pounds user weight. E model Concept 2 rowing machine frame also has a quick release system that allows for easy foldability in case you don’t have much space for storage.

When assembled the Concept 2 rowing machine dimensions are 8-feet Length and 2-feet Width. It can accommodate users with 36-inch inseam which equals to 6.6 feet tall. So, pretty much all your family members can use the E rower by Concept2. There are also two solid wheels in front of the frame that make portability a breeze.


Concept 2 Model E Flywheel

Despite featuring air resistance system, the Concept 2 indoor rowing machine E model is relatively a quiet rowing machine. The fan/flywheel design prevents the crazy loud noise that you can hear on cheap air rowers.

This home gym rowing machine allows you to change the resistance by adjusting the airflow to the flywheel. But what is really special about Concept2 E model is that you don’t need to manually adjust the resistance every time.

The rower responds to your effort on every stroke. That means the faster you pull, the harder it gets and vice versa so you are in full control of your resistance level.

Model E Concept indoor rowing machine has Nickel Plated chain and enclosed chain housing. The nickel plating requires way less maintenance, oiling and it doesn’t freeze.

So, you don’t have to worry about maintenance issues. the enclosed chain housing prevents the dust from ruining your machine and keeps the chain clean.


Concept2 Model E Performance Monitor - PM5

Concept 2 E Model rowing machine monitor has the best home rower computers in its price range. It’s the PM5 also known as Performance Monitor which is the most advanced computer by Concept 2.

This LCD provides all the feedback that you need to improve performance. On this Ergo Concept 2 rowing machine, you can track your pace, watts, stroke rate/SPM, calories and heart rate (using wireless chest strap).

With this monitor, you have the option to click “Just Row” Mode and start burning calories or set up a variety of workouts. The monitor is self-powered using the energy created on the flywheel during exercise. When you are not rowing, the monitor draws power from 2 D-cell batteries.

Features of the Performance Monitor is not over yet, the E model Concept 2 rowing machine monitor has internal memory to store all the data of daily progress. It also has a USB port so you can connect your portable flash-drive and transfer the data.

This way, you and your partner can save and track your workout stats on separate USBs and compare your progress at the end of the month. The very special feature of the E Model Concept2 monitor is its Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless connectivity.

It allows you to connect your phone/tablet to the rower and to the fitness rowing Apps so you can compete with other rowers online. The Apps also allow to save your progress in your account online or share your progress on social media.

In addition to the Concept2 app, some other compatible apps include the popular and interesting Zwift, the Sufferfest, Simway XC Ski, ROWViGOR, RowPro, LiveRowing, Float, Ergometer Space, BoatCoach, Erg IQ, ErgMate and many more. Some features of these apps are free to use but some are paid.

Seat and Handlebar

concept 2 rowing machines model E and D

Perhaps one of the most ergonomic design and comfortable seats is found on Concept 2 air rowing machine model E. It the right curves and padding to comfortably accommodate male and female users during long indoor rowing exercise routines.

The seat is 20-inch above the ground level which is the same height as a chair. This design makes it easy to get on and off the machine. The seat on Model E Concept2 slides all the way forward to allow for a correct form for rowing machine. So, you can get the most out of your rowing workout.

The selling Concept 2 rowing machine factor is the detailed work and design which can be seen on all the parts. Featuring a comfortable ergonomic handle with 10-degree bend allows you to exercise with a natural hand and arm position.

The padding used on the handle prevent blisters. To find out our recommended gloves and the Concept 2 model E rowing machine best price, scroll to the bottom of this E model review.

Footrests, Shipping and Assembly


As we mentioned before the Concept 2 rowing machine accessories/parts feature ergonomic design to accommodate all users. Small or big, the Concept2 model E footrests can be adjusted to fit your feet.

The process of adjusting pedals is pretty quick and easy and wouldn’t require tools. The non-slip surface and the adjustable straps on the footrest ensures your shoes don’t slide forward and reverse.

One of the cheapest Concept 2 rowing machine E model retailers is Amazon. They offer fast free shipping along with the best price Concept 2 rowing machine for the E model. The cost of the rowing machine for the E model is slightly above $1150 when buying from Amazon.

As far as the assembly goes, the Concept2 rowers are easy and straight-forward. You will need to install the front and rear legs along with monitor arms, pickup cable, and the PM5 Performance Monitor.

There are 10 screws to tighten so we are sure even if you are not good with tools, you will still be able to assemble the Concept2 rowing machine Model E. The Concept 2 E Model rowing machine manual and assembly tools are also included to help you along the way.

Maintenance and warranty

Concept 2 Model E and D carry out some of the best warranty among the competitors on the market. When buying Concept2 Model E rowing machine, you receive 5-year of frame replace and repair warranty.

And 2-year warranty on all parts excluding the monitor batteries. However, if you neglect or fail to follow the rower maintenance requirement, the warranty may not cover the damage.

You will need to lubricate the chain after every 50 hours of use and keep the monorail clean. You are recommended to clean the seat rollers/monorails on daily bases to reduce wear and friction.

Accessories to consider with a Concept2 Model E Rower

  1. Chest strap monitor: This heart rate monitor used Bluetooth to connect to your PM5 Concept 2 E rowing machine to display HR feedback.
  2. Rowing gloves: can absorb the sweat for a tight grip and also prevent blisters during at-home rowing cardio exercise. You can also use them for weightlifting in the gym.
  3. Phone holder: You are going to need this in order to have your smartphone while Working out on your Erg machine, Concept2 Rowing Machine smartphone holder can fit most iPhone and iPad.
  4. Rowing Mat: Exercise equipment can scratch your floor. So, to protect your floor and for a smoother exercise, we suggest purchasing the mat.
  5. LiveRowing Connector: To connect your device to Concept2 rowing machine monitor without using Bluetooth/ANT+, you will need this cable. It works for IOS devices and PM5 monitors.
  6. Rowing shoes: To avoid your clothes getting in the way during exercise, we recommend you use tight clothing and correct shoes for indoor rowing workouts.
  7. Seat Cushion: For some users, the concept2 seat is a bit hard and the best solution to that is to buy a rowing machine seat cushion.
  8. Extra rowing clothing and accessories: These are optional Concept2 model e accessories that can enhance your performance and comfort.

Concept2 Model E Rower Spec:

Nickel Plated chain
2-D Cell Battries
96L x 24W

Alternative Rowing Machine to Concept2 Model E

Comparing the Concept2 Model E to other rowing machines, there are a few notable options to consider. If you’re a budget shopper looking for a cost-effective alternative, the Marcy NS-6050RE Rower is a suitable choice. While it costs only a third of the price of the Concept2 Model E, it still provides adjustable air resistance and a foldable frame.

Although it lacks Bluetooth or rowing app compatibility, the monitor offers essential workout feedback, including speed, distance, time, calories burned, and RPM. It’s worth noting that the seat may not be the most comfortable, but this can be easily resolved with a cushion. Additionally, if you weigh under 300 lbs and are shorter than 6.5 feet tall, this rower can be an excellent budget-friendly alternative.

For a strong runner-up option, the Assault Elite Rower deserves attention. Weighing 125 pounds, it is nearly twice as heavy as the Concept2 Model E, indicating the use of high-quality, durable steel in its construction. While it lacks foldability and manual adjustment of resistance or dumper settings, it compensates by offering various features similar to the Concept2 Model E. This includes Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity, built-in programs, and a comfortable seat. With these features, the Assault Elite Rower provides a compelling alternative to the Concept2 Model E.

In summary, the Marcy NS-6050RE Rower stands out as a budget-friendly option, offering adjustable air resistance and a foldable frame, although lacking some advanced connectivity features. On the other hand, the Assault Elite Rower serves as a solid runner-up, providing comparable features to the Concept2 Model E, albeit without foldability and manual resistance adjustment.

-13% Marcy NS-6050RE
$379.00 $439.99
-9% Assault Rower Elite
$1,362.03 $1,499.00
Concept2 Model E
Last update was on: June 14, 2024 3:58 am
9.8Expert Score
Concept 2 Model E Rower is The Best

With no doubt, the Concept2 model E indoor rowing machine is your best choice on the entire market if you want to buy an air rower. Following the correct technique for rowing machine, you can use the E model for years without having to deal with technicians or broken parts. This self-powered rower requires very little maintenance and feature sturdy ergonomic design. Concept 2 E model can provide the physical and the physiological benefits of rowing machines for beginners and elite athletes. It’s designed with an easy accessible 20-inch tall frame to offer rowing machine workout for all users. including those on rehab and recovery. Featuring commercial frame/parts, generous warranty, 500 pounds max user weight capacity, and 36-inch max inseam, the Concept2 model E can accommodate all your family members. It’s also compatible with the Sliding Single which makes it perfect for team boat slide workout. Bottom line is that if you know how to use concept 2 rowing machine correctly, it will last generations. The sleek design will match with any living room, hotel or health club’s decoration.

  • Chest strap connectivity
  • Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity
  • Enclosed chain housing
  • Nickel Plated chain
  • Compatible with many indoor rowing Apps
  • Adjustable air resistance
  • Durable commercial quality frame and parts
  • Comfortable seat and good warranty
  • Ergonomic handlebars and footrests
  • Designed for ease of getting off and on
  • Compatible with phone holder
  • Loud operation noise
  • Not the easiest to fold away
  • Screen is not backlit
  • Tablet and phone holder is not included

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, my name is Sayed Hamed Hosseiny. I am a professional health and fitness trainer with nearly 20 years of experience using ellipticals, rowing machines, and spin bikes. I also have my own EU-based Rock Fitness Pro fitness brand where I design, import and sell exercise equipment such as rowing machines and spin bikes. I and writers on my team also often receive fitness equipment to review and evaluate their functionalities and performance from tens of different exercise machines manufacturers. Fitness equipment tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on this website are my opinion (and opinions of my fitness expert colleagues) based on tens of criteria. I never accept payment to write reviews of products or say positive things about fitness equipment products. If brands are interested to have me review their rowers, ellipticals, or spin bikes, they can get in touch with me via email provided on the contact page and send a sample of their product.