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Top 10 Concept2 Accessories

The most important accessories for the Concept2 rower

Looking to add some top Concept2 accessories to your  rowing collection?

I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 items you need to make the most of your Concept2 rowing experience.

A few people may buy some recommended accessories with their Concept2 Rower but most just start rowing with gear they have lying around their house.

After rowing for a few sessions, they may realize they need a few items to make their sessions more comfortable, like a Concept2 seat pad or rowing machine gloves.

As users get more experience, they may want to add some more advanced accessories like a Concept2 heart rate monitor or Concept2 slides.

Some of these Concept2 accessories are required, while others are just used to enhance the rowing experience.

Below is my list of the top 10 most recommended Concept2 accessories. You can scroll down to read the entire article or click a link to jump ahead to your desired section.

Concept2 Chain Oil

Buying a container of Concept2 chain oil is going to be the most important purchase with your rowing machine. The Concept2 Rowing Machine requires very little maintenance, with the only real requirements being to wipe the entire machine down after use (especially the seat rail) and oiling the chain.

Concept2 recommends lubricating the chain every 50 hours of use with 1 teaspoon of 20 weight oil. You can then wipe off any excess and repeat if you did not oil the entire chain.

You may have some 20 weight oil in your garage or you can buy some very cheap online. There is a company named TreadLife Fitness that sells a 4 oz bottle of “Rowing Machine Chain Oil“.

You can also buy a 3 oz bottle of “3-in-One brand SAE 20 Oil” which is a popular seller.

Rowing Machine Chain Oil

Concept2 Chain Oil

I had some 3-in-One SAE 20 oil in my garage, so that is what I am currently using and it works great.

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Concept2 Seat Pad

2K Fit Rowing Machine Seat Cushion

Fits the Concept2, WaterRower, crew boat, sculling, kayak, canoe, and others.

04/15/2024 01:12 pm GMT

Getting a sore butt from rowing has been a rowing problem for a very long time. One of the main complaints people have about their rowing machine is it having an uncomfortable seat!

I am fortunate enough to not experience this issue unless I am rowing for very long sessions (1.5 – 2 hours). Luckily, there is a Concept2 seat pad for people who do experience this discomfort.

Depending on the severity of your issue will determine what type of Concept2 seat pad you need. Rowing seat cushions range from very thin to almost 3.0″ thick.

My very own “Rowing Machine King” Concept2 seat pad is currently for sale on Amazon. Check out the Rowing Machine King Seat Pad Reviews & Pricing here.

Rowing machine seat pads are such a popular topic that I wrote an entire post explaining what causes rowing butt pain, how to pick a seat cushion, and the top rowing seat pads on the market.

Check out my full seat pad article here.

You can also read my article on how to prevent rowing butt pain.

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Concept2 Mat

Concept2 Mat

There are a lot of reasons to use a Concept2 mat underneath your rowing machine. It will help protect your floor/carpet, minimize any slippage of the machine, absorb vibrations & sound, and best of all it will make cleaning up that puddle of sweat a lot easier!

There are a few options when choosing a Concept2 mat but the main thing to remember is it must be at least 8 feet x 3 feet (L x W).  The Concept2 rowing machine is 8 feet long by 2 feet wide, so you will want a little more width to collect any sweat that may fall as you are rowing.

The most popular option is the SuperMats Solid P.V.C. Rowing Machine Mat. There are other exercise equipment mats available but with the high overall length of the Concept2, the SuperMats option is a perfect fit.

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Concept2 USB

I use the SanDisk Cruzer Blade CZ50 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive and have not had any issues so far.

Having a Concept2 USB handy is great for people who use different Concept2 rowing machines or share a machine with other users.

When I first got my Concept2 I didn’t use a USB because I was the only person using my rowing machine and I didn’t really use one anywhere else besides my house. I could just finish a workout and go to the “memory” screen and review old workouts. Soon I had family and friends using my rowing machine and it became difficult to distinguish their workouts from mine! That is when I switched to a Concept2 USB.

Having a USB to use in your PM5 will allow you to easily store all your workouts and update PM5 firmware. Concept2 recommends using FAT and FAT32 USB formats only. To ensure you are using the best Concept2 USB make sure to use one with lower memory storage (under 32 gb) and not use a “USB 3.0” drive. Lower memory USB drives will provide the best formatting for use with the PM5 monitor.

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Concept2 Heart Rate Monitor

The best and easiest Concept2 heart rate monitor is the Polar H7 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor & Fitness Tracker.

It will sync to the PM5 monitor and can also be used during other activities. When using during other activities you can use the Polar Beat app on your smartphone to record heart rate and analyze other useful data.

One of the first items I purchased for my rowing machine was a compatible Concept2 heart rate monitor. Being able to track my heart rate to effectively workout in different target zones was extremely beneficial.

Training without knowing your heart rate can almost be like running blind. It is one of the most useful pieces of data you can use and analyze. Luckily, the PM5 monitor will display your heart rate as you are rowing and will store it in your memory or USB drive after each workout.

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Concept2 Shoes

One of the most important Concept2 accessories, but one that is often not thought about, is what type of shoe to wear?

Most people just wear whatever trainers they have and begin rowing without giving it a second thought. However, your shoes are specifically designed for walking or running, not for the leg drive of a rowing machine.

Having a raised heel that is cushioned to reduce impact on your knees while running is not ideal for rowing. When rowing you want to have a strong connection with the foot boards, so having a hard, flat soled shoe like Converse All-Stars is ideal. Companies like “BAT Logic” even make specific shoes for more advanced rowers.

Purchasing the right Concept2 shoes is such a detailed topic that I wrote an entire article describing how to select the best rowing machine shoe and my top choices. You can read my full rowing machine shoe article here.

There are a lot of inexpensive options to choose from and you may already own a pair that is perfect for rowing (or just go barefoot!).

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Concept2 Cover

Concept2 Cover

While not one of the most important Concept2 accessories, having a Concept2 cover can be beneficial when storing your rowing machine in a less than sterile environment.

Many people use their Concept2 in their garage or basement where there is a lot more dirt and dust that gets kicked up in the air. Having a Concept2 cover can help keep your rowing machine clean and functioning for a lifetime.

It is also great for people who use their rowing machine a lot more during the winter months and let it sit more idle during the summer when they can be outside jogging, biking, or swimming.

After spending a good amount of money on a Concept2 Rower, buying a protective cover might be a good move. You can learn more about Concept2 covers by visiting the C2 Indoor Rower Covers page.

There is now a Rowing Machine Cover by COXnCREW on Amazon that fits over the Concept2 Rowers.

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Rowing Machine Poster

A rowing machine poster is a great addition to any exercise room where you row. It is a helpful reminder for key items associated with rowing, like the stages of the rowing stroke, muscles worked, and target heart rate zones.

Having this information right in front of you when you first start rowing is extremely helpful. It’s also cool to have exercise themed decor where you like to workout!

The best option is the Rowing Machine Poster by Mike Jespersen.

If you know someone who enjoys using their rower, then a rowing machine poster is a perfect gift. It is less expensive than other Concept2 accessories but is personal and thoughtful enough to show how much you care.

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Rowing Machine Gloves

Rowing Machine Gloves

Wearing a pair of rowing machine gloves is a bit of a controversial topic in the rowing community.

On one side you have the die hard rowers who think blisters and callouses are battle scars that show your toughness and dedication. On the other side you have people who say, “the heck with that! I don’t want blisters on my hand and they prevent me from rowing hard!”

I really don’t care either way and you won’t see me complaining about people wearing a pair of rowing machine gloves! :)

However, I do care if you are getting blisters in the wrong places due to an improper grip. This means you can be rowing incorrectly and exerting unnecessary energy.

I wrote an article describing why we get blisters from rowing, where they should form, and the best rowing machine gloves to prevent them. Check out my full rowing machine gloves article here.

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Concept2 Slides

Concept2 Slides

The most advanced Concept2 accessory is a pair of Concept2 slides. This accessory allows a standard Concept2 static rowing machine to turn into a dynamic rower.

In layman’s terms, it allows a regular Concept2 Rower to “float” on top of two tracks and more closely mimic the feeling of rowing on water. While rowing, the machine will move underneath the user instead of the user moving back and forth on the seat rail.

Since Concept2 slides are a more expensive purchase and require a larger explanation than one paragraph, I wrote an article outlining everything you need to know about them. You can read my full Concept2 slides article here.

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Concept2 Accessories- Final Thoughts

This is not a complete list of Concept2 accessories but they are my top 10 choices.  There are a lot more accessories out there but these are geared more specifically towards Concept2 rowing machines.

The four most popular Concept2 accessories I have seen purchased are the chain oil, heart rate monitor, rowing machine gloves, and seat pad. The two I feel are the most necessary are the chain oil and heart rate monitor, although for some people with comfort issues I can see the gloves and seat pad moving up on the list!

There are many other rowing machine accessories that can be purchased to get the most out of your rowing experience. Having a good water bottle, the correct clothing, good headphones, a smartphone cradle, etc. can all be very useful items.

Hopefully in the future I can expand this article with another list of top 10 general rowing machine accessories!

I hope you enjoyed my Top 10 Concept2 Accessories list! If you have any comments please leave them in the section below :)

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  1. I row in bare feet and I would love some padding or a cover to improve comfort. The plastic foot rsts are very hard and unforgiving.

    1. Hi Peter – thank you for reaching out! What about a waterfin boot or some of the rubber water “socks”?

      I feel they would add some comfort and protect the back of the heal. Here are some examples of what I am referring to:

      Hevto Neoprene Diving Socks
      Body Glove Men’s 3T Barefoot Cinch Water Shoe
      IMARI Womens and Mens Water Shoes

      This is obviously not barefoot but probably a bit more “free” than shoes. You could also try adding some “foam tape” to areas that are causing discomfort.

  2. why don’t you list all rowing machines when I ask for rowing equipment comparisons’ like life fitness and so on!!!

    1. Hi Joe – Sorry, it’s more of a time issue! I just don’t have the time to research, look for the models locally, find a reader who’s used one, etc. and then write all the reviews. Some reviews take 10+ hours to write!

      Is there any model specifically that you would like me to review?

  3. I have misplaced the lubricant provided when I purchased the concept 2. Can you provide the name? It was in a very small jar? Than you

    1. Hi John – I’m not sure of the name but you can buy the 3-In-1 MultiPurpose Oil from Home Depot or Lowe’s for like $4. It’s the same stuff. It’s really just lubricant to protect the chain from getting dry and rusting.

  4. I have a Concept 2 Model C, but cannot find the serial no anywhere – despite also looking where it’s meant to be, I think! I bought it off my GP/doc back in 2002 ish.

    The display unit is dead. New batts don’t solve it. The cable seems snugly fitted into the display box, and I don’t know how to access the other end to check, but have no reason to believe its loose/damaged etc). Can you advise so I can check.

    Could it be I need a replacement display unit? Do you sell them? Cost pls?

    With many thanks,


    1. I should add that t6he unit has been working fine until now. I’d also like some chain cleaning agent (it’s never been cleaned or oiled – my bad) if such a thing exists and some chain oil. With thanks again, Pen

    2. Hi Pen – thanks for reaching out! This is just a blog so we do not sell products. I would visit the Concept2 website and ask their customer support about the replacement monitor. You can also just buy some 3-in-1 multi-purpose oil for the chain. That’ll do the trick!

  5. Hi,

    When it comes to the mat, do you think those pieces of exercise foam floor (they kind of look like puzzle pieces) would work well?

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