Concept 2 Rower Models Guide
The Concept range of rowers provides a great deal of choice to suit many budgets. Let RBR guide you through the different Concept 2 Rower Models and their price ranges to see where you fit in!
The range is currently at the Model E version and you will only be able to buy the model D & E new. The first 3 models are however still available second hand and the B & C models especially can represent very good value. Let’s start at the beginning!
Concept 2 Model A
Rare, turning into a collector’s item!
This version dates all the way back to 1985! In many ways they have turned into a collector’s item with some of the more ‘well preserved’ models fetching decent money. One to look out for if collecting exercise memorabilia is your thing but if you just want a good rowing workout then probably best looking elsewhere!
Concept 2 Model B
This is where we start to get a bit more modern. Although still released in the late 80’s, the model B was probably slightly ahead of its time in terms of design. The flywheel cage took on an appearance not that different to what we see today and the strength & stability of the rower increased significantly over the model A.
These can be a good find on the second hand market (eBay, local ads) but they can be hard to source. If you do manage to find one give it a thorough work over. Stress points include the handle and footboards which are made of wood, check for splitting.
Concept 2 Model C
Price: $500 – $900
Anyone who has spent time in a decent gym will recognise the Model C. First released in 1993 and retired from production in 2003 they were still around in major fitness centres as recent as a couple of years ago, probably still find them about now!
We think this is when Concept really started to introduce a professional rower. The only remaining wood is on the handle and this complements the machine brilliantly. The flywheel is protected more from dust ingress than the B model and the foot stretchers are now plastic, a decent hard wearing plastic at that!
With this model comes a choice in monitors. The PM2 which really is a basic display, although it does do the job well, came with the C model. The PM3 monitor is the one that gets our vote and you do see this rower with the PM3’s retrofitted. Worth keeping a look out for these, they add much more to the rowing experience. The Concept 2 website has more great information on this range.
Concept 2 Model D
The Concept Model D replaced the C in 2003 and continued with improvements to the range. The C model didn’t have many complaints but two of these were:
- The frame lock mechanism could be difficult to operate.
- The foot straps would lose their effectiveness over time (loosens during rowing).
Both of these were addressed in the model D along with a redesign of the monorail artwork and the PM3 monitor as standard. A great rower which seems to be holding its value well on the second-hand market, hence $900+.
Concept 2 Model E
Introduced in 2006, the Concept 2 Model E, like the model D is still in production (as of early 2013). Very similar to the D but with a few design adjustments. The rowing position is higher than that of the D and the monitor arm is fixed. The artwork on the rower is different and it seems a little more steady than its predecessor. No great changes though unless we’re missing something?
Concept 2 Rower Models Summary
Dating all the way back to 1985! The Concept series of rowers certainly carry a bit of history with them.
At RBR we have regularly used the C model and occasional used the D. Seen the E and not immediately noticed any big differences but there are a few changes. If you’re in the market for one of these rowers, then your budget is of course the driving factor.
If the budget is good enough for a model C with a PM3 monitor then we believe you can’t go wrong. This is an excellent well-built machine which will look after you, if you look after it!
For the more modest pocket you can pick up the older B model, these need a bit more scrutiny because of the age and slightly inferior build quality when compared with its replacement model but we would rather buy an old machine like this, get it serviced and working properly as opposed to buying a lesser brand.
Good luck with your search.
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