Amazon product: Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5
I purchased this product from Amazon along with a Polar H7 Bluetooth heart monitor. I also purchased the Rowpro software to use with it at home and a 15′ USB cable to connect the machine to my computer (max length for USB standard). The price on Amazon was great when I bought, at least $300 less than my local fitness store for the same product and cheaper than any other store I could find in Canada except one. Amazon is always easy to deal with so I went with them. I was worried at that price there would be a duty or customs charge but the item shipped from within Canada and there was not. | This is the gold standard machine for most countries in the world, Concept2 has been making rowers for years and even the older models are very similar in design. My wife and I decided to go with the Model D for a few reasons after much research and after trying out the models at a local fitness store. I’ve used the older hydraulic rowers in the past and there is no comparison with this great product. | I prefer the static Model D over Dynamic because the D uses a chain instead of a cord (lots of mentions of broken cords on the internet and seat bungee cords becoming loose over time, more maintenance needed) and my wife preferred seat height of the lower machine (easier for her to rest her feet on the ground, she’s short) and liked the movement of the Model D vs Dynamic (check the videos on the Concept2 website to see the motion), it was easier to figure out as a new rower and even experienced rowers seem to say that it’s harder to row well on the Dynamic as it requires more concentration on technique. As we purchased for general fitness and aren’t planning on rowing on the water in the future we opted for the static model since we like to listen to music or perhaps watch a movie or use the Rowpro software and it’s just easier to get into a rhythm without having to focus so much on technique on the Model D. I was concerned about some mentions that the Dynamic is easier on the back since I do have back pain from a past car accident, but I’ve had no issues or discomfort at all after rowing on the Model D. The seat is a bit hard but not hard enough to cause me discomfort. I read that if it is too soft it might impede blood flow during the workout so perhaps that is why the harder material. | The machine is built like a rock (my local fitness store still has a Model A made from 1981-1986 in great condition and the staff have older models like C and are still going strong) and very easy to assemble only needing 8 screws to attach the front legs and to join the two halves together simply by fitting them together without tools. The individual pieces are very light for the size of them. Concept2 even includes the screwdriver for you. Unfortunately they have stopped including the bottle of chain oil they used to include but after some research I found that they have tested and found 3-in-1 multipurpose oil works just as well so I’ll just pick up a bottle of that from a local store. Maintenance is super easy, just wipe the rail every use and oil about every 50 hours, do a full check of parts every 250 hours for a home user. For two people that is very little work. It took me about 10 minutes to set up in my basement. | The PM5 monitor is very easy to use and connects to both my heart rate belt and Rowpro easily. I believe I have to connect the belt with each rowing session but it’s only about 4 button presses to do so. Be careful because some of the cheap prices you will find will be for the rower with an older monitor like a PM4 or PM3 and it can cost hundreds to fit a new monitor on an older design. I prefer the PM5 compared to the older model PM4 because it can store many more workouts, has a backlight and supports Bluetooth technology for connecting to my heart monitor and also phone apps. Unfortunately still need a USB cable to interface with my PC though. The option to use the Rowpro software makes a huge difference compared to other rowers, with Rowpro you can get a custom training plan made for you and also row with others online which is great for motivation. Other rowers don’t seem to have a similar option. | We also considered the Model E but my wife found the Model D easier to sit on at the lower height and personally I didn’t find any discomfort on either so we decided to save the money. The Model D now comes with the nickel plated chain that the E has and also comes in the same color so I’d only recommend the E for people with mobility issues who need the 6″ higher seat height. My local fitness store said they sell about 15 Model D units to 1 Model E (which they mainly sell to seniors and hospitals), and the Dynamic model they had still had a PM4 on it and the only one they carried was the store demo so they probably don’t sell many of those at all, if any. | I considered other types of rowers like magnetic resistance (heavy, artificial feeling and sluggish due to constant resistance) and water rowers which were very expensive and not any better as far as I could see. This machine is the one to go for, you won’t be disappointed. | Overall this is an excellent product and I look forward to many many years of use out of it. Happy rowing!