Last Updated: June 22nd, 2021

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Concept 2 Rower Model D Vs E. Should you really pay those extra 200 bucks for Model E? Are they so much different?

Well, let’s find out how Concept2 Model D is different than Concept2 Model E and how they are similar.

We have provided you with a very detailed comparison in the below sections.

So, without further ado let’s jump into Concept2 Model D Vs. Model E comparison.

Concelt2 Model D Vs Model E-min

What is the difference between Concept 2 Model D and E?

The difference between Concept2 Model D and E is the height of the rowing machines. Model D has a seat height of around 14 inches whereas Model E has a seat height of around 20 inches. Also, the front leg of Model D is made from aluminum, and the rear leg is made from steel. Whereas Model E has welded one-piece construction with a solid one-piece front leg.

These are not the only differences and if you want to know more, then read on…

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Last update on 2023-08-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Concept2 Model D

Why it is better?

  • Same functionality as Model E.
  • Cheaper than Model E.
  • As rugged as Model E.
  • Adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle.
  • 500-lbs user capacity.
  • Separates easily for storage.
  • Progress tracking with reliable real-time data.

When you should buy Concept2 Model E instead of Model D?

You should buy Concept2 Model E instead of Model D if you have any special needs like balance issues, aged people, people in a wheelchair, or people in crutches, or any other physical condition that makes it impossible to sit at a lower level and requires that extra height of Model E.

Concept2 Model D Vs. E – An Overview

Both Concept2 Model D and Model E rowing machines are excellent rowing machines and they are the choice of Olympic athletes.

Also, functionality-wise, both of these rowing machines are very close to each other. Then how are they different.

If you want to find out how these two rowing machines level up to each other then read on…

Concept2 Model D Vs E – Features at a glance

Concept2 Model D Concept2 Model E
Concept2 RowErg Indoor Rowing Machine - PM5 Monitor, Device Holder, Adjustable Air Resistance, Easy Storage Concept2 RowErg Indoor Rowing Machine with Tall Legs - PM5 Monitor, Device Holder, Adjustable Air Resistance, Easy Storage
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Seat Height 14 inches 20 inches
Monitor Arm Adjustable Fixed
Chain Nickel-plated steel chain Nickel-plated steel chain
Chain Housing Partially Enclosed Fully Enclosed
Paint Powder coat finish Glossy finish
Machine Weight 57 lb (26 kg) 65 lb (29 kg)
Construction Commercial Grade Welded Steel
Noise Level Minimal Minimal
Warranty Limited 2-year and 5-year warranty included. Limited 2-year and 5-year warranty included.
Editor’s Rating 4 and a half star-92X25-min 4 and a half star-92X25-min
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The major differentiation between Concept2 Model D Vs E

There are many differentiations between Concept2 Model D and Model E and we will cover all of them below:

  • If you are accustomed with the height of a chair, then you will find Model E more comfortable than Model D which is around 6.0 inches taller than Concept2 Model D. Seat height of Model D is around 14 inches and that of Model E is 20 inches.
  • Concept2 Model E weighs around 3kg/8lbs more than Model D although that doesn’t make Model D less stable.
  • The chain housing of Model E is fully closed and this protects the chain from dust and grim. Model D however has an open casing. However, this doesn’t make much of a difference in the long run and for both of them you need oiling after 40 hours of use.
  • The monitor arm for Model E is longer but fixed. However for Model D it is bendable and short and you can adjust it according to your viewing comfort.
  • Visibility of the data on the monitor is easier in Concept2 Model E than in Model D as the monitor is closed to the user due to the longer arm.
  • The finish of these two rowing machines are different with Model E having a glossy finish and Model D having a matt finish.
  • The leg of Model D at the front is commercial grade aluminum and the rear leag is steel. However, for Model E both the front and rear legs are made of steel and shaped more like a wedge than a strip.
  • Concept2 Model E will cost you around $200 more than Concept2 Model D.

Concept2 Model D Vs. Model E – A head to head comparison

In the above sections, we have provided you with all the required details of these two magnificent rowing machines.

However, there are many rowers who want to dive deep into this.

For them, we have done a more detailed comparison of these two rowing machines.

So, without further ado…let’s dive deep into the nitty-gritty…

Seat height

As mentioned earlier, the seat height of these two rowing machines is a bit different.

Concept2 Model D comes with a rowing seat height of around 14 inches or 36 cm and that of Concept2 Model E comes with a rowing seat height of around 20 inches or 51 cm.

This is a height similar to the chair and is 6 inches more than the Concept2 Model D.

Also, this height is much more comfortable for rowers with special needs and who are elderly.

However, the seat that is attached to the monorail of these rowing machines is essentially the same.

The seat is decently padded and contoured to support your buttocks. However, if you require additional cushioning, that is also available and will cost you only a couple of dollars.


Both Concept2 Model D and E are fitted with the PM5 performance monitor. This is the most advanced performance monitor from Concept2 and provides you with a lot of data to measure your progress.

You will get repeatable and comparable data for every ride. It also offers your automatic “Just Row” mode or you can set up a workout routine all by yourself.

This monitor will help you to measure a wide range of data including pace, watts, strokes per minute (spm), and calories.

It will also store this data in its internal memory or an optional USB flash drive.

However, this monitor uses 2 D-Cell when not in use and draws its energy during the workout from the flywheel and thus saves your battery life.

It has a backlit LCD which will not strain your eyes and also has Wireless Bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility for heart rate monitoring and apps.

Also, the free Concept2 ErgData app helps you track your workouts and can sync them with the Concept2 Online Logbook.

There are also games included so that your workout doesn’t become boring and you will be able to get the most out of your sessions.

Flywheel And Damper

Concept2 Model E and Model D machines are air rowers. In other words, both of them use air as resistance to your workout.

However, this also means that you are in control of your workout and the amount of effort you put in is the amount of result you get out of these machines.

The spiral damper allows you to easily adjust the airflow to the flywheel, so you can change the feel of the stroke to suit your preference.

Also, the flywheel design minimizes noise while maximizing the smooth feel.


In either of these two rowing machines, you will get a nickel-plated steel chain.

This requires very little maintenance and you have to oil it after every 40 hours of use.

This little maintenance is because of this nickel-plating which gives you more time before oiling.

However, there is one major difference in how the chain is housed in Model D and Model E.

In Model D the chain is not fully housed whereas in Model E, it is fully housed and provides the chain extra protection from dust and grime.

However, that doesn’t hugely impact the longevity of the chains and you can enjoy your workouts on either of these rowing machines for a long period of time.

Footrests and Handles

Adjustable footrests are present, whether it is Concept2 Model D or Model E. This helps to keep your foot secure during rowing, no matter the size.

Also, the handles are ergonomically designed. This makes it feel comfortable in your hand. Also, the handle features a 10-degree bend that allows you to row with a natural arm and hand position.


Both of these rowing machines are great to look at and are majestically beautiful.

However, the finish is a bit different in both of them.

In Concept2 Model D, you will have a powder coat finish, that will provide it with a matt finish look.

For Concept2 Model E, you will have a glossy finish that is very aesthetically pleasing.

Also, both the models are available in Black and Grey colors. However, I find, the black colored models to be more attractive than the grey.


Concept2 Model D and Model E may seem to be very big machines with a lot of complications to put them together. However, this is not the case.

Both of these rowing machines are very easy to assemble and you only need to figure out the placement of 8 screws and that’s it. You are ready to go.

In total, you may take only 20-30 mins to put it all together. If you still cannot figure out, here is a little video that will surely help you out:

Space required & storage

Concept2 Model D and Model E are one of the best rowing machines out there.

However, in no way are small rowing machines. Their footprint is large and you will have a lot of space to accommodate it and get rowing.

For Model D, you need 9 feet X 4 feet or 274 cm X 122 cm. This is the total amount of space that you need when you are in the 3rd step of rowing.

In this step, your inclined height gets added to the overall length of the rowing machine, and having that 9 ft space seems to be ideal. Also, when you fold your arms the effective width of the rowing machine increases.

The space requirement increases if you have an inseam of more than 38 inches and you add extra length to the monorail.

Apart from the vertical seat height of Model E, the space requirement is the same as Model D. In other words, Model E requires, 9 feet X 4 feet or 274 cm X 122 cm.

However, the actual assembled size of these machines is lesser and is 8 ft X 2 ft or 244 cm X 61 cm.

If you are intimidated by the size, worry not. You can easily separate the machine into two pieces for easy storage and can transport it to the storage location using built-in castor wheels.

For storage, the size of the folded rowing machines is 25 inches X 33 inches X 54 inches or 63.5 cm X 83.8 cm X 137.2 cm.


Maintenance is very minimal with both of these rowing machines.

You just need to oil them after every 40 hours of use. So, even if you are not a maintenance king, you can get away with it.

What else?

Just do some amount of dusting and check for any kind of lack of smoothness of the sliding of the seat on the monorail.

In other words, the seat roller performance needs to be adequate. If you just wipe the monorail after use, this will increase the longevity of the roller. 

Also, observe if the rowing machine is a bit wobbly or not. You may fix it by folding a small newspaper. This generally some up, if the floor level is not even and is not a problem with the actual rowing machine.


In terms of warranty also, there is no benefit of choosing Model E over Concept2 Model D:

They come with a limited 2-year warranty. This means you get a limited 2-year and 5-year warranty.

5-Year Limited Warranty applies to Frame Parts. Below is the list of parts included which are subject to change:

  • Rear Leg & Foot Assembly (excludes plastic foot caps)
  • Seat & Seat Frames
  • Foot Stretcher Assemblies
  • Chain Guide Metal Brackets
  • Front Leg(s) & Foot (excludes casters)
  • Flywheel Assembly including Hub & Bearings
  • Flywheel Axle
  • Flywheel Enclosure, including Inner & Outer Housing,
  • Stainless Steel Outlet Perf, & Damper
  • Monorail (excludes stainless steel seat track)
  • Frame Lock components
  • Metal Box Frame
  • Monitor Mount Arm
  • All screws, bolts & nuts

All other parts are covered under a 2-year limited warranty.

Above we have put together, all the differences between Concept2 Model D vs. Model E.

With this information, you will be able to easily choose between Concept2 Model D and Concept2 Model E.

Since this is a post where we are comparing the Concept2 Model E vs Concept2 Model, it will not be complete if we don’t summarize the similarities as well.

Below are all the similarities between Concept2 Model E vs D.

Similarities Between Concept2 Model D and Model E

Concept2 Model D Concept2 Model E
Concept2 RowErg Indoor Rowing Machine - PM5 Monitor, Device Holder, Adjustable Air Resistance, Easy Storage Concept2 RowErg Indoor Rowing Machine with Tall Legs - PM5 Monitor, Device Holder, Adjustable Air Resistance, Easy Storage
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Resistance Air Air
Monitor Advanced PM5 Monitor Advanced PM5 Monitor
Chain Nickel-plated steel chain Nickel-plated steel chain
Dimensions Assembled: 8 ft X 2 ft (244 cm X 61 cm)
Folded: 25 in X 33 in X 54 in (63.5 cm X 83.8 cm X 137.2 cm)
Assembled: 8 ft X 2 ft (244 cm X 61 cm)
Folded: 25 in X 33 in X 54 in (63.5 cm X 83.8 cm X 137.2 cm)
User Cpacity Upto 500 lbs. Upto 500 lbs.
Inseam Length Lesser than 38 inches. Lesser than 38 inches.
Frame Aluminum I-Beam Monorail Aluminum I-Beam Monorail
Resistance Control Force provided by users
Damper Settings
Force provided by users
Damper Settings
Caster Wheels Present Present
Footrests Flexfoot footboard system Flexfoot footboard system
Seat Padded and contoured. Padded and contoured.
Handles Ergonomic handles with 10 degrees angle. Ergonomic handles with 10 degrees angle.
Foldable Yes Yes
Assembly Takes 20-30 mins. Takes 20-30 mins.
Warranty Limited 2-year and 5-year warranty included. Limited 2-year and 5-year warranty included.
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What type of resistance is the Concept 2?

Both Concept2 Model D and Concept2 Model E are air rowing machine. These air rowing machines produce resistance using air flowing over their flywheel. The wheel is connected to a chain to the ergonomically created rowing handle and when you pull the handle the flywheel starts spinning. This creates resistance. Hence, the faster you row, the greater is the resistance. Concept 2 Model D and E are smooth resistance air rowers and are preferred by the Olympic athletes. 

How long does a Concept 2 rower last?

A Concept 2 Rower like Model D or Model E is meant to last for tens of millions of meters. Also, if you take good care of your rowing machine and do regular maintenance as suggested by Concept2 in this guide, then both the models will last for more than 50 million meters.

Does the concept 2 ever go on sale?

No, Concept 2 Rowing Machines doesn’t go on sale ever and this is true for all the models along with Model E and Model D. Concept2 Rowing

Machines are excellent quality rowing machines, and manufacturing them isn’t cheap. So, Concept2 sells them factory-direct to keep the pricing as affordable as possible.

Hence, they don’t put the machines on sale as their policy is to offer the lowest, business-sustainable pricing possible all the time.

However, there are a few ways in which you may be able to pick up the machines for cheap:

  • Put an alert on Craiglist. You may have to wait for a couple of months but you may be able to pick it up for under $500.
  • Visit a post-gym equipment center. You can buy the machine for cheap but you may have to fix it up a bit.
  • Post in your local forums to check if anyone has a Concept2 Model D or Concept2 Model E available. But make sure to inspect them before purchasing.
  • Follow C.R.A.S.H.-B SPRINTS. They generally sell Concept2 Model D machines at a heavy discount after the championship.

Does the Concept 2 rower fold up?

Yes, a Concept 2 rower fold up, be it Model D or Model E. They get separated easily into two pieces and then can be conveniently put aside in a corner or a closet easily. The frame locking mechanism on the Model D and Model E makes storing them very easy and safe.

Here is how you can separate your Concept2 Indoor Rowing Machine for storage:

Where do you buy replacement parts for Concept 2 Rower? 

You can buy replacement parts for Concept 2 Rowers like Concept 2 Model D and Concept 2 Model E from Concept 2 website itself or by calling 800-245-5676. You may be able to source these parts from elsewhere, but, since these machines themselves are expensive, you should always go for genuine parts. Otherwise, you may end up breaking down the whole machine and the whole experience is not worth it.

Is the durability comparable to the price?

Yes, the durability of Concept2 Model E and Model D is comparable to the price. Both Model D and E are commercial-grade rowing machines and have commercial-grade aluminum and steel. They have sturdy front and rear legs. The powder coating of Model D and the glossy coating of Model E is meant to enhance the durability of these two rowing machines. However, the glossy finish of Model E makes it more durable. The chains of both of these models are nickel-plated steel which makes the chain more durable. Some say that both Model D and Model E are virtually indestructible with the minimal maintenance that the Concept2 website details. Even after that if you run into trouble, please take the help of the customer support which is very helpful and will try to solve your problem as soon as possible.

Is the Concept 2 noisy?

Yes, both Concept2 Model D and Model E are noisy. This is due to the fact that they are air rowers. Air rowers, by the very nature, are noisy as it whirls through the air making that loud swooshing sound. However, it is not so loud that you cannot listen to the TV. If the noise bugs you too much, then use some earplugs to dampen the noise.

Is the Concept 2 Model E comfortable to use?

Yes, Concept 2 Model E is comfortable to use especially for the taller users and users with balance or mobility issues. This is due to the 6 inches added height than Model D. Also, the stability of Model E is exceptional and you will not feel any wobbling during using even at high speed. Also, the rest of the features are the same and as exceptional as Model D.

Does the Concept 2 Model E fit all height and weight ranges?

Yes, the Concept 2 Model E fits all height and weight range up to 500lbs. Since Model E is taller than Model D it is especially suitable for rowers of height more than 6 ft. However, there is a limitation in terms of the inseam. Concept2 Model E can fit an inseam up to 38.0 inches. However, since the monorail is around 54 inches (137 cm) in length, that is not sufficient. If you have an inseam that is more than 38.0 inches, go for an extra-long monorail. Otherwise, the weight capacity of both Model E and Model D is the same.

What parts of the body does it work out?

Concept2 Model D and Model E will give you a full-body workout and is also great for cardio. The muscles group that it will work on are rhomboids or upper back, latissimus dorsi or the midback at either side of the torso, quadriceps or the front of the thigh, your core muscles, and your biceps and forearms. Also, due to the sliding motion of the seat, it works on calves, hamstrings, glutes, obliques, pecs, triceps, deltoids, and lats to engage in the activity.

What does adjusting the damper do?

Adjusting the damper in Concept2 Model D and E is another way to control the resistance of the rowing machine. The damper controls the amount of air flowing through the flywheel and will change the complete feel of the rowing. In Model D and E, the damper can be adjusted from 1-10. If the setting is higher (6-10) the feel of rowing will be heavier and if the setting is lower (1-5) the feel of rowing will be lighter. You should experiment with your Concept2’s damper settings and stick to the one comfortable for you right now and then gradually build from there.


In the above guide, we have provided all the required information about “Concept2 Model D Vs E“.

You will be surely able to pick-up the right one for your needs.

However, we found that Concept2 Model D is not that different from Model E and it doesn’t make any sense to pay those extra $200 unless you have any special needs.

This is the reason we chose Concept2 Model D over Concept2 Model E.

Let us know your views in the comment section below…

Madhusree Basu

Madhusree Basu

Author, Admin

Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.

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