FAQ – Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower

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  • 1. Unpacking and assembly of the Model D indoor rower
     

    It is easy to assemble the rowing machine

    The Concept 2 Model D indoor rower is shipped all in one box. Shipping dimensions are 15 in x 21.5 in x 56 in / 38 cm x 55 cm x 142 cm. The shipping box needs neutral wrap if used as a gift. See unboxing video.

    The box contains the two separated main parts – the monorail and the front part with flywheel. Only the supporting front leg must be mounted with 8 screws onto the flywheel part. The needed screwdriver is in the box too. An illustrated mounting guide is included.

    You are now ready to assemble the rower by attaching the monorail to the flywheel part by the special locking connection. In the shipping box you will find a product manual and a quick start guide to the PM5 performance monitor.

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  • 2. Is the Model D a full body workout machine?
     

    A low-impact full-body workout

    The Concept 2 Model D is good for both general fitness and elite level training. Rowing is for men and women at all ages and abilities. It is a low-impact training that works all your major muscle groups in legs, core and upper body. You get improved fitness because rowing engages many muscle groups simultaneously and puts a healthy demand on your heart and lungs.

    Rowing is great cardio-respiratory training and a potential high calorie-burning activity depending on your training intensity. You can exercise in different heart rate zones by using a wireless heart rate belt.

    By pulling hard or less hard with your legs, upper body and arms you control the intensity of your training. Please remember, that the resistance you feel in the chain and handle is dependant on how hard you pull. The harder you pull the more resistance the flywheel will generate. Damper setting is NOT the same as resistance. A damper setting between 3 to 5 is best for the average user.

     

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  • 3. Loosing weight by rowing
     

    Fitness_by_rowing

    Weight loss can be achieved by exercise and intake of less calories than you burn

    This simple formula is implemented by actively selecting a healthy lifestyle. To reach your weight loss goals is dependant on making good choices every day. Permanent weight loss comes from consistency and hard work. Patience and achievable incremental steps is a must to preserve your motivation and results. Try start by finding healthy inspiration to change your eating habits or consult a qualified nutritionist.

    Workouts in the Concept 2 rowing machine is a good choice because rowing is low-impact exercising and engaging many muscle groups. The seated training takes the pressure of your joints, and the rowing machine accommodates body sizes up to 500 pounds. You can easily control and adapt the intensity of your training to your actual fitness level.

    For more information about weight loss by rowing please visit the website of Concept 2.

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  • 4. Tall people on the rowing machine
     

    Rowing machines for tall people

    The standard monorail of the Concept 2 Model D indoor rower handles people with an inseam up to 36 inches. Users with a height of up to  6’8” normally fits the standard monorail.

    With fully extended legs the seat rollers should not hit the end of the monorail. An extended version of the monorail is offered by Concept 2 and it adds 5 inches. On the Model D you can reach well in front of the footrests when in the catch position without hitting the PM5 performance monitor or the flywheel housing.

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  • 5. Short people on the rowing machine
     

    Best rowing machine for short people

    Rowing on the Concept 2 Model D is no problem for short people. The footrests have 7 height positions and adjustable footstraps. The seat slides on the monorail and thereby adapts to your legs length. Seat height is 14’ above ground. The handle is attached to the chain and fits all body sizes. The monitor arm is adjustable so that the monitor fits your eye height.

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  • 6. Resistance & damper settings
     

    Damper Setting Explained

    The Concept 2 Model D indoor rower has a lever on the flywheel housing. The lever settings 1–10 indicates the damper levels. Damper setting is NOT the same as resistance setting.

    A flywheel is spinning inside the housing and the lever controls how much air is let into the housing on each stroke. More air slows the flywheel down faster on the recovery, requiring more work to accelerate it on the next stroke. The air friction builds up when the flywheel spins faster. The perceived resistance in the handle is controlled by your rowing intensity which means how hard / fast you pull.

    The damper settings is more like a bicycle gearing that affects how your rowing feels. A higher setting feels like a big slow rowing boat. A lower setting feels like you are rowing a fast racing boat. A damper setting between 3–5 is recommended for most workouts. A too high setting may cause risk of injuries on your lower back.

    Vary your damper setting to achieve different types of workouts. In general, lower damper settings are best for aerobic workouts, while higher damper settings make rowing more of a strength workout.

    Damper setting is also called Drag Factor and the PM5 performance monitor measures this rate of deceleration of the flywheel. The measurements are self-calibrated so the monitor can read out the accurate numbers for the Drag Factor. See how to use the PM5 performance monitor.

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  • 7. Tracking your workouts
     

    Your training logbook

    Your workout results are stored automatically in the memory of the PM5 performance monitor. If you attach a properly formatted USB stick in the USB flash drive port on the back of the monitor during your training, the results are also stored on the USB stick for external use.

    The PM5 can store over 1,000 workouts in its internal memory. You access the workout data via the monitors menu system. You can view Summary, Monthly Totals, List by Date and List by Type. The monitor records your Duration, Distance, Stroke Rate, Split Time and Heart Rate (if wireless belt used).

    The ErgData is a free IOS and Android app (see ErgData FAQs) that connects to the PM5 performance monitor. The application records your workout data and can upload them to the free Concept2 Online LogBook.

    The monitor also have a standard USB port for connecting a computer or phone/tablet. There are third party apps and software available that connects to the PM5.

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  • 8. Padding the seat
     

    Getting comfortable on the rowers seat

    The seat on the Concept 2 Model D indoor rower is tested and designed to support both the rower’s weight and allow adequate blood circulation.

    If you are rowing and feeling pain in your butt then the best thing to do is experiment with padding the seat. Try with a little folded towel, different shorts, a piece of bubble wrap or a special seat pad. If you are feeling numb during your rows try reduce the padding. You should also try adjusting the height of the footrests to test if it helps. Stretching and proper warm up might also help feeling more comfortable on the seat.

    Leaning too far back at the finish of the stroke and you may be increasing pressure on your tailbone. Sliding some inches forward or backward on the seat during your workout can relieve the pressure on the problem area. Over time your rowing technique will be refined and you will get used to the seat.

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  • 9. Blisters in hands
     

    How to avoid blisters in your hands

    When exercising in the rowing machine some people experiences the palm of their hands getting blisters. Over time the blisters will form into calluses and reduce the problem. If the problem is severe try to experiment with ultra thin palm coated gloves ( paid link ).

    Remember to keep the handle clean after use to avoid skin problems. You could spray a mixture of 4 parts water and 1 part methylated spirits on the handle and wipe over with a paper towel to disinfect the surface.

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  • 1. Cleaning tips for seat, rollers and monorail
     

    Keep your rower clean for your comfort and safety

    You could spray a mixture of 4 parts water and 1 part methylated spirits on the seat and monorail and wipe over with a paper towel to disinfect the surfaces.

    The seat must slide smooth on the track. Sometimes after use you will see black spots on the monorail and the white rollers. It is residues from the rollers and the stainless steel track mixed with sweat. If not removed these black spots will build up and feel like bumps on the monorail when rowing.

    Use the same spray mixture to remove the spots. Wipe over with a cloth or non-abrasive scouring pad. Be careful not to get your fingers between the seat rollers and the monorail track.

    If the seat surface gets very dirty try to apply a mild solid hand soap with your hands. Let is rest a minute and wipe over with a damp cloth to remove the soap. Now the non-slip surface should be as new.

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  • 2. Oiling the chain
     

    Oiling for a smooth ride

    The chain must be oiled at regular intervals of every 50 hours of use to prevent stiff links. You can lubricate the chain with a teaspoon of purified mineral oil applied to a paper towel. Rub the entire length of the chain and wipe off the excess oil, so it does not stain your flooring.

    Beware that oil soaked clothes can burst in flames – take your precautions. Never clean the chain with any kind of cleaner or solvent like WD-40.

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  • 3. Do I need a mat for the Concept 2 Model D?
     

    A mat can protect against sweat and slippage

    The Model D rowers supporting legs have black rubber feets as standard. Personally I think a mat is most needed to protect your flooring or carpets against dripping sweat during very intensive rowing. There are no vibrations from the rowing machine if it is working properly.

    Normally you do not need a mat under your indoor rower ( paid link ). A mat can eliminate slippage if this problem occur during extreme intensive rowing.

     

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  • 4. Outside usage of the Concept 2 Model D Rower
     

    You can use the rower outside in dry weather conditions. The Concept 2 indoor rower is a solid construction with a powder coated frame structure, a stainless steel seat track and a nickel-plated chain. The PM5 performance monitor has delicate electronics and should be protected against water / high humidity.

    Storage of the rower should is done best inside in dry conditions. You can buy a cover for extra protection against dust and dirt. The cover is not designed to provide full weather or heat protection.

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  • 1. PM5 compatible heart rate equipment
     

    Heart rate is an indicator of your fitness

    The PM5 performance monitor can display your heart rate during training if used with compatible equipment. It is not necessary to use a separate heart rate watch monitor if you just want to view your heart rate on the PM5. You simply pair your heart rate belt with the monitor.

    Bluetooth Smart, ANT+ and Suunto ANT will work and transmit data to the PM5 monitor. Beware that Bluetooth Smart is another technology than ordinary Bluetooth.

    The Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart Chest Belt ( paid link ) is compatible with the PM5 and a good option if you plan to monitor your heart rate with a compatible smart phone app too during other activities.

    Knowing your heart rate and training zones will allow you to work to a training program that specifies what heart rate you should aim for, ensuring you achieve optimal improvement.

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  • 2. Concept 2 Model D and Model E – the differences?
     

    Almost the same but higher

    On this site I decided to focus solely on the Model D indoor rower, because it is the most popular model. The Concept 2 Model E indoor rower ( paid link ) is essentially the same rowing machine as the Model D.

    The Model E has a higher seat height – 20 inch (50.8 cm) approx. the same height of a normal chair. The higher frame height means easier on-and-off and it might be helpful if your mobility / flexibility is reduced. It features the same quick-release frame lock connection but has slightly bigger storage dimensions. The monitor arm is fixed and can not pivot. The monitor angle can be adjusted.

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  • 3. How much noise from the rower?
     

    The noise level should not be a problem for you or your neighbors

    I think that Concept 2 have not specified noise levels in dB because rowing intensity vary. When rowing the chain and sliding seat feels smooth and makes very little to no noise. It is mainly the damper fan inside the housing you can hear. You hear a rhythmic sough from the spinning fan.

    The flywheel noise level is relatively low depending on training intensity. The spinning fan is not cooling you while rowing. The air is only felt if you stand in front of the rower.

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  • 4. USB flash drive and battery life
     

    I’ve got this clever question from Shannon:

    Is it okay to leave the thumb / flash drive in the PM5 always? I'm assuming that when the PM5 goes dark after non-use – the flash drive won't ”drain” the battery or anything – correct?

     

    Dear Shannon

    I can not answer you directly because you did not give me your e-mail address. I am currently investigating your technical question and will post the correct answer, when I have cleared it out. I expect to have an exact answer with in a few days. Happy rowing until then…

    Best regards,
    Kim 🙂

    Today I got this answer for you from Ben Hickory, Customer Service at Concept2:
    It is fine to leave the flash drive in the PM5 when not in use. The batteries will not be drained because of leaving the flash drive in the PM5.

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Kim, active indoor rower | www.RowingConcept.com

If you have questions that are not answered in this FAQ – please contact me and I will try to answer and add it to this page.

Best regards,

Kim 🙂

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