Today we’re comparing the Concept2 Model D and E rowing machines.
I own the Model D, but have used the Model E extensively in studios and when training clients who own one. So, I have experience with the two models.
It’s important to note that while manufacturers still carry machines labeled Model D and Model E, machines made post 2021 have been merged into a single machine, the RowErg which is available with standard legs (Model D) and long legs (Model E).
In this review, I’ll use the terms Model D and E but know that the information will apply to the “RowErg” and “RowErg with Long Legs”, respectively.
In short, when comparing the Concept 2 Model D vs Model E, the most significant differences are the seat height (the Model E is higher), monitor arm, and price. Unless you care about seat height, choose the Model D since it wins in the other two categories.
Namely, the Model D rowing machine is much less expensive and has a flexible monitor arm making it easier to store. Of course, sales come and go and you may find the Model E for less. Make sure to check prices before making a decision.
Functionally, there aren’t any major differences.
For more subtle differences, make sure to read the whole review!
Concept2 Model D vs. E Indoor Rowers
The first thing that hits people when they first research the two models is, “Wow, these look pretty much the same. Why then is the Model E considered an upgrade?”
The first major difference is the biggest difference: price. The Model E cost about 20% more than the Model D.
It may not sound like much, but rowing machines aren’t cheap so 20% comes to about $200-$300 extra, which means any upgrades should be worth the additional cost.
Concept2 Model D
The Concept2 Model D is a commercial-grade air-resistance rowing machine made by Concept2. Concept2 is one of the most respected brands in the rowing industry.
Concept2 rowing machines are built tough and are commonly used in commercial gyms where they see and endure almost constant use, surviving for years.
Like all C2 machines, the Model D rowing machine can be used at any fitness level by children, beginners, athletes, and Olympians.
The Model D is ideal for home use because it has a storage feature that practically cuts its working footprint in half and has attached wheels that make it easy to move.
The rowing motion of Concept2 rowers mimics rowing outdoors on water and is as smooth as it gets (but don’t confuse smooth with easy!).
Like rowing on water, air rowing can be as difficult or easy as you’d like because the air resistance automatically adjusts to your rowing intensity.
This rower comes with a feature that allows you to adjust the feel of the rowing stroke by controlling the amount of air that goes into the flywheel housing (similar to adjusting gears on a bicycle).
It comes fully equipped with a top-notch performance monitor that not only tracks various fitness data but also tracks your heart rate, lets you play games, lets you upload your fitness data to an online logbook, and even teaches you how to row with proper form.
People of all shapes and sizes (up to 500 pounds) can use this machine with confidence and it’s backed by a solid warranty.
For more information read my in-depth review here. I go into great detail about all the pros and cons of the Concept2 Model D rowing machine.
Concept2 Model E
Ok, now for the Concept2 Model E quick review.
Looking at the above image and specs, notable differences between the two models include:
- Functional differences: the Model E has a longer monitor arm (non-flexible) and tall legs for additional seat height. The chain housing is a bit different, too, which we’ll discuss.
- Design differences: looks-wise, the two rowers are nearly identical. Sitting higher off the ground, the Model E legs are designed to support the extra weight, hence the different leg shape.
In looking at pictures online, most notice that Model E indoor rowers are more often seen in gray while the Model D is almost always black. In fact, both models are available in both colors.
Similarities Between the Concept2 D vs. E
NOTE: The items listed below are exactly the same on both machines.
Resistance Type: Air resistance.
Monitor: PM5 performance monitor and all computer features, wireless heart rate monitoring, etc. Monitor attachment to the machine does differ (see differences below).
Rowing Motion: mimics outdoor rowing.
Most Dimensions: Overall length (96.0”), width (24.0”), inseam length (48.0”), and machine weight (~57lbs).
Frame: Extruded aluminum I-beam monorail.
Noise Level: Fairly loud due to the spinning flywheel.
Handle: Ergonomic handle with a 10-degree angle.
Foot Rest: Flexfoot footboard system.
Seat: Padded-contoured seat.
Resistance Adjustability: Air resistance is adjusted via rowing intensity and damper setting.
Storage: Can be taken apart and stored.
Max User Height and Weight: Weight (500 pounds) and no height limit (longer monorail optional).
Both Provide the Same Warranty: 5 years for the frame and 2 years for the monitor and moving parts.
Key Differences Between the Model D vs E Indoor Rowers
|Concept2 Model D
|Concept2 Model E
|Flexible monitor arm; shorter than the Model E but the monitor height and viewing angle can be adjusted.
|Fixed, extended monitor arm. The monitor viewing angle can be adjusted.
|Front legs: Aluminum, Rear legs: Steel
|Powder coat (Matte finish - non glossy)
|Double powder coat plus clear top coat (looks glossy)
|Concept2 Model D Review
|Concept2 Model E Review
The seat height on the E is the same height as a basic chair and rests 6.0” higher than the D seat. It’s supposed to benefit those with balance issues, elderly people, people in a wheelchair, or people on crutches.
The chain and chain housing on the E are better and in the long run, will mean less maintenance. A nice upgrade but pretty insignificant.
Adjustable vs Fixed Monitor Arm
The Model E rowing machine has a longer monitor arm that’s non-adjustable. You can only adjust the viewing angle of the monitor. The Model D has a shorter arm but you can adjust the height and viewing angle of the monitor.
The finish on the Model E is better and provides additional durability to the machine. The Model D is still very durable and used in commercial gyms across the world.
The aluminum front legs on both machines do a great job of keeping the units stable while in use.
The primary reason the front legs on the Model E were redesigned was to provide additional support since the user is seated much higher. This allows the two models to have the same weight capacity.
As mentioned, expect to spend at least an extra $200 for the Model E.
For a video on the differences, below is a great video breaking down the Concept2 Model D vs. Concept2 Model E rowers.
Conclusion: Concept2 Model D vs. Concept2 Model E Rowing Machines
Whichever rowing machine you choose, you really can’t go wrong. Both machines provide an amazing workout (and all the health benefits that come with it) and last a lifetime.
Of the differences, NONE of them change the functionality of the rowing machines. You will get the exact same workout. Both provide the same conditioning and health
The most significant differences are price, seat height, and the mount for the monitor.
Both machines provide compact storage, but the Model D monitor arm provides a slight edge since it can fold back.
So, really you just have to ask yourself if you need the seat height. If you want a taller seat then buy the Model E.
I hope you enjoyed my comparison of the Concept2 Model D vs. Concept2 Model E. If you have any questions just drop them in the comment section below!
Rowing Machine King Founder and Author.