Differences Between The Concept 2 Model E & D Indoor Rowing Machine.

The Concept 2 Indoor Rowing Machine comes in a model D and Model E. It is the top-selling rowing machine in the world. The Concept 2 Model D is known for being the rowing machine for Olympic, college, and high-school athletes. It is also found in many fitness and home gyms.

Click here to buy the Concept 2 Model E from Amazon.com

When you thought they couldn’t get any better, they made the Concept 2 Model E. This model has the same quality with a few differences. The Concept 2 Model E has a higher seat, a nickel-plated steel chain, and a longer monitor arm. These improvements do come with a higher price.

The main difference is the height of the machine off the ground. The Model E is 6” higher than the Model D. It is the same height as a basic chair. This significant feature is a must have for those who are extremely tall, have balance or mobility issues, and simply have difficulty getting up and down from low places.

Is it easy to assemble?

It is very easy to put together. The installation requires putting together the front and rear legs with 10 screws and attaching the monorail end with the flywheel end. You also need to install the pickup cable and Performance Monitor. The necessary tools are included with detailed instructions. It should take about 30-45 min. There are also videos on the Concept 2 website to help. Here is a link to the Assembly Instructions.

What type of resistance is the Concept 2?

The Concept 2 Model E is an air resistance rowing machine, just like the Model D. The spinning flywheel attached to fan blades creates the resistance. Pulling the handle of the rower spins the fan blades to make wind. Creating more wind makes the handle harder to pull. Air resistance rowers provide a smooth resistance and are the preferred rowing machines among athletes.

What does adjusting the dampers do?

The dampers adjust from 1-10 on the Model D and E. The damper setting controls the amount of air going into the flywheel. This changes the feel of rowing. Dampers are like gears on a bicycle. The higher settings (6-10) give you the feel of a slower, heavier boat. It feels like rowing with passengers. The lower settings (1-5) give you the feel of a sleeker, faster boat like rowing by yourself. You will be able to experiment using the different settings once you purchase your own Concept 2.

What parts of the body does it work out?

Rowing is a low-impact whole body workout. For more information go to my previous article on “9 reasons to choose rowing for your workout routine."

Does the Concept 2 Model E fit all height and weight ranges?

The weight capacity for the Concept 2 Model E is 500 pounds. There aren’t any height limitations. The monorail length is 54.0″ (137cm) and can fit an inseam length up to 38.0″. They also have the option to buy a long monorail for extra-tall users. Both the Model D and E have the same user capacity.

Is the Concept 2 Model E comfortable to use?

The benefit of the Concept 2 Model E is that is it 20” off the ground. It is 6” higher than the Model D. This makes it more comfortable for taller users or those with balance or mobility issues. Otherwise, the other features are the same.


Is the Concept 2 noisy?

Due to the resistance type of the Concept 2 Model D and E, they can be noisy. The harder you row, the louder the sound of the fan gets. You will also hear the sounds of the seat rolling, the pulling of the handle and the fan. Most people were able to hear the TV over the rowing sounds. If the sounds are too loud you can use ear buds to block out some noise.

Does it fold up, and is it easy to store?

The Concept 2 Model E can be taken apart for easy storage and folds up to 27” x47”x54.5”. You can separate it into two parts and store it standing up. It is very easy to do and takes only seconds to put away. It also has wheels and weighs 65 pounds, so it is easy to move. The monitor arm on the Model E does not fold back for storage.

How much space is needed to use?

In use, the Concept 2 Model E is 95”x24”x30”. You will need 9x4 square feet. Both rowing machine models use about the same space.

What does the fitness monitor track?

The Concept 2 Model D and E both come with a standard PM5 (performance monitor 5). It tracks distance, speed, pace, calories, and watts. The difference is that theConcept 2 Model E monitor arm is longer and fixed. Only the viewing angle is adjustable. The model D has a shorter arm and the height and viewing angle can be adjusted. The monitor is easier to see on the Concept 2 Model E because it is closer but, it does not fold for storage.

The PM5 comes with the Model E Indoor Rowers from October 2014 to the present. If you have an older Model E, you can retrofit the PM5 to it. The PM5 offers wireless heart rate monitoring, workout storage to USB flash drive, and a backlight. 

Retrofitting a PM5 to a Model E is as easy as switching out the monitors; no extra hardware is needed.

Learn More About Retrofits


How do I maintain my Concept 2? How to lubricate the chain?

These instructions come from the Concept 2 website:

Wipe the monorail after use with a non-abrasive cloth. You should also use non-abrasive cleaners. Do not use acids, bleach, or coarse abrasives.

Weekly: Every 50 Hours of Use

Lubricate the chain with a teaspoon of purified mineral oil, 3-IN-ONE® oil, or 20W motor oil. Apply oil to a paper towel, and rub the paper towel along the entire length of chain. Wipe off the excess. Repeat if needed. Only use chain lubricant oil.

Monthly: Every 250 Hours of Use

Inspect the chain for stiff links. If stiff links are found, and if lubrication does not help, replace the chain.

  • Check the connection of the chain to the handle for wear. If the hole has become elongated, or the U-bolt is worn halfway through, replace the entire connection.
  • Tighten the shock cord if the handle does not return all the way to the fan enclosure. See Shock Cord Adjustment.
  • Check screws for tightness, including those used for assembly.
  • Loosen or tighten the nuts on the PM5 arm joints as necessary. See Performance Monitor Arm Tension Adjustment.
  • Check for dust inside flywheel with a flashlight. Vacuum if needed. See the Flywheel Opening and Cleaning instructions.

Is the durability comparable for the price?

The Concept 2 Model D and E are both commercial grade. This means that is built to withstand all the use it will get at a fitness gym. The machine is made well with a steel base and rear legs. The legs on the Model E were redesigned to support the higher seat. The finish on the Model E provides more durability. The chain is nickel-plated steel and has a fully closed chain housing that will lead to less maintenance. If there are any problems with the machine, contact their helpful customer service. They also provide a troubleshooting section in the instruction manual.

Where do you buy replacement parts?

Replacement parts are available for the Concept 2 Model Eon the Concept 2 website or by calling 800-245-5676.

What kind of warranty does the Concept 2 have?

The Concept 2 model D and E have a limited 5-year warranty on the frame and two-year warranty on the Performance Monitor and moving parts. The complete warranty information is here. They also offer a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. You will only pay for the shipping and the cost of the machine will be refunded. Here is the warranty information.

Concept 2 Inc. does not recommend purchasing additional warranties through Amazon because they are not familiar with the companies selling the services. They have built a product that is easy to repair for the at-home user, so if any issues come up after the warranty expires, spare parts are both affordable and easy to install.

What is the Price?

The price for the Concept 2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 is more expensive than the Model D. Here is the current price on Amazon. I recommend you purchase from Amazon. Make sure you are looking at the correct model when buying the Concept 2. You want to make sure it is the model you want. Make sure the Model E is in stock before ordering. I recommend purchasing an exercise mat to protect your floor from sweat and scuffs.



The Concept 2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 has a 20” seat height, which is the same as a standard chair. This is the best feature for you if you have mobility problems. The nickel-plated steel chain and covered chain house that will lead to less maintenance, and a longer monitor arm will make the fitness monitor easier to see.

It is easy to assemble and made by one of the best brands in rowing. It is also easy to store away. It is built specifically for commercial use so it is high quality and will last. The rowing motion is very smooth, so much so that Olympic, high school and college athletes use them to practice. The PM5 monitor is one of the best fitness monitors on the market.


The Concept 2 has a great website and online presence and makes it easy to find workouts and apps. The popularity of the Concept 2 makes it easy to find and share information. It also has a great warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. It is ranked as one of the best rowing machines on the market.

The Model D and E are amazing rowing machines. The biggest decision you need to make is if the seat height is right for you. Is the price worth comfortably getting on and off the machine?

If you have medical issues, back pain, joint pain, I’m sure you answer is yes. Hopefully, using this rowing machine will help make your body stronger to alleviate the pain. Of course, contact your doctor for advice.

If the Concept 2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 is right for you, I recommend purchasing from Amazon. Amazon is a reputable site and they offer free shipping and special deals when you pay with an Amazon store card.

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