Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Review

The Concept2 Model D is a machine designed for the professionals, and it comes with the bells and whistles of a rower that make you jump.  Besides, a former Olympic rower engineered it.

With the Concept2 Model D, you can work several muscle groups, including the arms, legs, back, and stomach. Perhaps the only muscles you may find it hard to work are the triceps and pectoral muscles. But that’s no problem because you can do some pushups to make up for that.

This machine will sure make you work and lose those extra pounds. That’s because you are competing on a speed basis, where you have to speed up your heart rate.

Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing Machine Black
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Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor Indoor Rower Rowing Machine Black
  • Low impact workout that engages all major muscle groups; work legs, core and arms with a smooth, high calorie-burning motion
  • Track your progress with real-time reliable data; the Performance Monitor 5 (included) self-calibrates for comparable results; connect wirelessly to heart rate belts and apps (not included)
  • Designed to fit most users: 14-inch seat height, adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle
  • Separates easily into two pieces for storage; caster wheels make it mobile; easy to assemble with only eight screws
  • Space recommended for use is 9 x 4 feet; 500-pound user capacity; 5-year frame warranty included.Seat Height:14 inches

Dimensions & capacity and Weight

The Model D rower will fit even in small rooms because its footprint covers minimal space. Its footprint measures 96 inches in length and 24 inches in width.  So, an area measuring 9-ft by 4-ft will be enough to fit this beast.

The monorail where the seat glides has a length of at least 50 inches; so, even if you are a tall person with an inseam of 36” or 38”, you will still be able to extend your legs fully.

Compared to the Model E, this rower’s seat is set lower; it’s positioned at 14 inches from the ground. It will be easier to get on and off the seat if you have mobility issues.

Unless you weigh more than 500 pounds, this machine will adequately handle you.  It’s lightweight, weighing around 57 pounds, yet it has a rigid frame construction. When assembled, it does not slide although you may need to place a mat underneath it, particularly when on wooden floors – this will protect your floors and make it sturdier.

Air resistance

Some people find magnetic rowing machines boring – that’s because, throughout the stroke, the resistance force is constant. Now, because the Concept2 is an air rower that uses a flywheel with a damper setting, you can adjust the resistance level to your liking. The resistance level ranges from 1 to 10.  

Also, you as you pull, the chain on the flywheel moves smoothly without making an overly loud noise. You can still listen to the TV or a Stereo player placed in the same room with rower although you may need to turn the volume up.

Advanced backlit monitor

The Model D uses an advanced monitor with all the features to die for.  First, the monitor comes with an adjustable arm that allows you to fix the screen at different positions.  You can adjust the arm such that the monitor is fixed right in front you when at the start position with knees bent. It will record each stroke with details like burn rate, calories burned, distance, and pace – plus, the readings are accurate and instant.

Then, the backlit feature enhances visibility, such that you will have a difficult time reading data on the screen because it’s ever on – the big flywheel is capable of generating electricity that keeps the monitor powered, which saves the batteries' energy.

Another cool thing about the PM5 is that it’s compatible with RowPro software, a program developed by for indoor rowers to keep track of their progress. You can project the data on your monitor to a Smart TV; compete against your previous rowing data; or compete with other rowers online. 

With the PM5, you will get to compare your progress with hundreds of thousands of other people like you from across the globe. You will get to see not only their stats but also their profile pictures – it’s like attending an international YMCA gym, only that it’s virtual.

Then, with the wireless connectivity, you can monitor your heart rate using other pulse rate devices. Also, because it’s compatible with removable disks, you can easily transport your workout data to an external USB flash drive.


You are not paying almost $1,000 for a piece of metal; the Model D sure makes rowing feel comfortable and rejuvenating. It will keep your heart racing, and it does not strain the knees – that’s like a miracle to many people. Unless you push too hard to the point getting strained, this machine is soft on the knees. Even someone who has severe arthritis in the knees can still hit their workouts without feeling the strain on the knees.

Its foot pedals are of superior quality although they are narrower compared to footrests from other rowers. Because the foot placements are adjustable, this machine can accommodate different foot sizes. Also, the foot pedals have straps to secure you when on board.

Some people find the seat tough on the buttocks even though it’s padded. Well, it’s not hard on the butt; neither is it too so soft; but, it’s hard enough to work your gluteus maximus muscle. If you find the seat tough, probably, you are new to rowing, and your glutes are yet to toughen. For someone who has been rowing, you should find the seat comfortable. 

Storage and mobility

This is a cool workout equipment to have. If you want to move it because you have limited space, you can quickly and safely deconstruct it into two pieces – it takes less than 10 seconds to dismantle it. Once in upright position, it will be easy to move it across the room because it has caster wheels attached to the front side.


You don’t need a professional to set it up. You will be ready to row in less than hour from the time of opening the package. When solo, you just need like 30 minutes, an hour at most if you are having a slow day.


•    Easy to set up.

•    Brilliantly designed.

•    Super solid construction. 

•    Smooth, less noisy chain.

•    Accurate monitor with calorie burn rate readings.

•    The frame has a warranty of five years.

•    Wireless connectivity enables you to pair with other heart rate monitor.


•    Its high priced.

•    The seat can be uncomfortable for beginners.


Is the Concept2 Model D too expensive? Probably not, given the value and satisfaction it delivers. Low-ticket rowing machines have nothing on this beast.  For a professional or someone who has been rowing, the Concept2 provides enough resistance to challenge you, unlike low-priced rowers that you can max out the resistance.  The Model D is the machine you need if you want to do some serious rowing.