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This is the best investment that I've ever made in a piece of exercise equipment. It will literally last a lifetime.

I was looking for a high quality indoor rowing machine, as it's one of the best workouts for your entire body. I'm so glad that I not only purchased a Concept2, but that I opted to pay the extra cost for the Model E. Since the Model E is elevated to the same level as a regular chair, it's much easier to get in and out of than the Model D. This is of particular importance if you have any issues with mobility or if you're elderly. In my case, due to having had back surgery, it was essential that I purchased this model. It's absolutely worth the extra cost.

Since first using this rower on 04/13/2014 I've logged over 200,000 meters, which is close to 125 miles. The feel of the rower is exquisite. Since it's made of such high quality materials, using it is all but effortless. The seat slides along the monorail in near total silence and the fan noise is minimal. I listen to music while rowing and find that the noise of the machine isn't an issue at all. My routine is to use the rower for 1 hour a day, 5 days a week. It has an adjustable flywheel, however setting it to a higher number(between 1 & 10), does not necessarily mean that you're getting a better workout. The main factor in getting an effective workout is determined by how rapidly you row. So, you could set the flywheel to 10 and do a very slow workout, or set in to a lower number and actually get a better workout. Personally, I have mine set at 4 which enables me to get a tremendous workout without the risk of sustaining any injuries from overexertion.

I have my rower on top of a rubber mat, although the company says that this is unnecessary. I suppose that if you have wood floors or tile it would be unnecessary, but when used on carpet like I do, I think it's best to have a mat.

The rower comes with a chest belt hear rate monitor, but I opted to purchase the MIO Link wrist monitor as it works as well as the chest belt and is much easier to use. One thing you should be aware of when purchasing a Concept2 is that it's immense. I have it set up in my office and it takes up the vast majority of the room, at least in length. Thankfully, it takes only a few seconds to separate into 2 parts for easy storage.

The only area where I think the company could improve upon would be the assembly instructions. Most of the instructions are in the form of pictures without any accompanying text. For those who have problems interpreting pictures(like me), it would be helpful to have some text included as well. If you know what you're doing, you can easily assemble the rower in less than 30 minutes. If you don't know what you're doing, it can be slightly frustrating. Thankfully, it was during the week when I assembled mine, so help was just a phone call away.

I've heard a lot of complaints about the seat being uncomfortable. I purchased the optional adhesive seat pad with mine, and although it's extremely thin, I find that I'm comfortable throughout my entire workout. I also purchased a Skwoosh Master Row Gel Pad that I use on top of the adhesive seat pad. This combination makes for a very comfortable rowing experience.

The bottom line is that this rower is worth every cent that I paid. The quality is unquestionably the best that you'll find on any rower. I consider it to be like a fine tuned sports car. Listening to music while rowing on the Concept2 Model E is a very peaceful feeling.

Addendum: Unless you live in Vermont, you won't have to pay sales tax when purchasing this item directly from the manufacturer. I saved over $88 by ordering direct, as all Amazon orders sent to NYS are charged sales tax.

Update: 05/23/2014 ~ After doing significantly more rowing over the past 2 weeks, I've found that my seat solution no longer works. Since I'm currently doing very long work outs (over 1 hour), I'm developing extreme pain in my buttocks. I've had back surgery in the past, so this may be exasperating the problem. In other words, the seat issue may be a (sore) point for some and not for others. At any rate, since the seat has become so uncomfortable for me, I decided to purchase a EndureRow rowing machine seat to replace the one that came with my Concept2. At $149, this is an expensive and yet to be tested option. I'll provide an update on this seat in a week or two. The Concept2 rower still receives a solid 5 stars, as it's without question the best rower on the market. As stated, the seat issue is an individual thing, and not the fault of Concept2.

Update: 05/29/2014 ~ I tried out the EndureRow rowing machine seat for a few days, but didn't like it. Unfortunately, it provided no relief for my buttocks pain and for $149 is very costly.

Update: 06/06/2014 ~ I finally found a solution that works to eliminate buttocks pain for me. Available from Concept2 is an aftermarket padded tractor seat. The seat is significantly larger than the standard seat and comes with a 6" slanted back support. The seat itself measures approximately 12" x 16". Note: When using proper rowing technique, range of motion is limited when leaning back on the Tractor Seat at the end of the drive. I have not found this to be a problem, as I'm still able to lean back adequately. I suppose if you're a competitive rower this could be an issue, but for the average person who mainly uses the rower for aerobic exercise, I don't see it as a problem. I've been using the tractor seat for a week and am no longer experiencing any buttocks pain at all. Please note that I already had a Skwoosh rowing seat pad which I place on top of the tractor seat. The only reason why I'm using the Skwoosh is because I already had one. It's probably unnecessary, as I experienced no pain when using the tractor seat alone. As mentioned, I row an hour a day, 5 days a week, so finding a solution to the buttocks problem is wonderful.

If you purchase the tractor seat, please note that the instructions call for you to remove the standard seat and install the tractor seat from underneath the monorail. I found it much easier to separate the rower into 2 pieces, than flip the monorail over. This enables you to remove the standard seat and install the tractor seat from above, which is significantly easier. Also, the standard seat comes with 4 screws that are all but impossible to remove with a screwdriver. I found it much easier to loosen them with a small wrench, than complete the job with the screwdriver. The tractor seat comes with 4 screws and washers and is extremely easy to install.

Update: 06/23/2014 ~ I've been using the tractor seat for several weeks now and it's the real deal. I can row for over an hour without experiencing the slightest amount of buttocks pain. For competitive rowers, this should be sold without a back support. For average rowers like me, it should be included as standard equipment, not a $79 option. As previously mentioned, my range of motion isn't limited at all at the end of the drive. Concept2 doesn't advertise this seat because they feel that it will impede you from leaning back at the end of the drive. Such is not the case, as the only difference between this seat and the one that comes standard with the rower, is that this one is extremely comfortable when used for very long rowing sessions. The standard seat is just the opposite.

Update: 12/05/2014 ~ I've now been using my Concept2 Model E rower on a near daily basis for eight months. The tractor seat continues to work perfectly and I experience absolutely no pain whatsoever. I can honestly say that this is the best purchase of ANY product that I've EVER made. This machine is absolutely astounding and the Concept2 customer service is second to none. This is the best indoor rowing machine available anywhere, for any price. If you're like me, you'll be ecstatic with this rower and overwhelmingly happy that you didn't settle for anything less.

Update: 12/12/2014 ~ "Please note, this review is for a Model E with PM4 monitor, which included a chest belt for wireless heart rate monitoring. This listing is for the Model E with PM5, which is the current and updated Performance Monitor. It has additional wireless options but does not include the chest belt. The price has been reduced ($1260 for the Model E with PM4 vs. $1100 for the Model E with PM5) to reflect these changes."

Update: 01/02/2015 ~ Since purchasing the Concept2, I've now rowed the equivalent of half way across the United States. What I find surprising is that according to what I've read on the Internet, rowing machines are the least popular exercise machine in gyms, supposedly because people are intimidated by them and become bored with their use. From my experience, I can tell you that there's nothing intimidating about the Concept2 rower. Not only is it easy to use, but it's fun. In the past, I've used every conceivable type of exercise machine, such as treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, etc. I became bored with and lost my motivation to use all of these machines. Such is not the case, nor will it ever be with the Concept2. Using this rower is the highlight of my day. I sit down, row, listen to my music and am transported to a different world. It's a world of inner peace, a calm feeling that I've never experienced prior to owning this gem. When I say that the Concept2 Model E rower has changed my life, I mean it. It's unquestionably the best investment that I've ever made.

Update: 04/30/2015 ~ I'm still going strong after using this for more than a year. The only maintenance I've had to do is to oil the chain every 50 hours of use. It simply doesn't get any better than this; it's the best purchase I've ever made.
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on December 28, 2015
Amazing machine. Quiet, smooth, and easy to use. Fitness monitor is large and easy to read. The workout is great and I do not seem to have some of the after-effects from other regimens such as jogging or aerobic routines. I am older so the "E" version is better for me because it is easier to mount/dismount. It is a bit on the expensive side - $1200, but this thing should last for years. Over the years, I have purchased many pieces of exercise equipment and buying the higher-quality definitely pays off in the long run.
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on April 24, 2017
I'm no expert on rowing machines but considering the cost I had to do my homework before making a decision as to what one to purchase. I looked at cheaper and even one feature of a TV show that I was seriously considering that had the hydro system and was made of wood. In the end I believed that this one was the better choice. First, the Elites extra height is well worth the extra cost. The next thing on my mind was, air or water. The drawback with water is it can leak and require some maintenance. My concern with noise had me wondering which one would be the winner. I don't own that other water rower but I can say this one is smooth and much quieter than expected and doesn't creat any problems in our household. I was concern about wood wearing or being made from wood stock that was not as strong or straight (warping from new growth wood) but since this rower is metal I have nothing to worry about there. The next thing that concern me was the difference in material that was used in the pulley system, one was made from synthetic webbing which could have been nylon to polyester which is the stronger. This rower uses a chain and is much heavier duty. In the TV show as the frustrated character rows really hard the strap breaks. I don't believe that will happen with this rowers chain and maybe that is why you don't see wooden rowers in gyms. The assembly was easy and you can find the right video on their site to do what you need, even disassembling it, something you might want to do when moving. This rower separates into two long sections for storage but I wouldn't want to be doing that too often, maybe during a holiday. The reason is this rower is big and when they say to allocate 9 feet for length, believe them. You can get away with less in the width in my opinion. Because of the length I had few places to set it up, the garage was out of the question. This is too good a machine for that and besides things tend to be forgotten more when out of site. In the end I had only one place that made sense but which most people would not consider, my living room. I had a person come in and remark about the size and probably hold his tongue until he got home about having it where I put it but that doesn't bother me since I am not spending this much money for a piece of furniture. The goal for me is health and being able to control my sugar and muscle levels better as I grow older. I have used other exercise equipment before but this is the best for me because it gets use almost daily by me and other family members. After using for six months now I can honestly say I look forward to it and haven't felt better. My body is thanking me everyday and the only regrets is not purchasing one much earlier in my life. I use this as a supplement to bicycling which doesn't exercise many of my muscles and because it rains much where I live. In this way I am able to keep up exercising no matter what the weather is. I work from home and getting some form of exercise whiteout having to leave house is what works for me. Yes it was an investment but considering the cost of not exercising and the effects it has on your heath, I would do it again and again, if I had to.
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on February 6, 2017
I'm an above knee amputee. Turns out that rowing tears up the skin on my stump. But I called Concept 2 and spoke with a guy who told me what to do (row without my prosthetic leg). He even referred me to you tube videos of amputees rowing. I followed his advice and got a great workout! This is going to be a great form of exercise for me.

Anyone who is interested in indoor rowing should go to Concept 2's website. They have a wealth of information!
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on October 12, 2017
I purchased the Concept 2 Model E. I read it sits higher than the Model D so I'm actually very happy I chose this over the Model D because I really like this being higher up. This product is 1) Easy to put together - It took me about 40 minutes working real slow. Instructions could be better but it was still pretty easy 2) It works as advertised 3) I've used it for about 3 weeks daily and it's still working great. I will update later on durability. So this is the product description part of review.

I used it for 3 weeks straight and while it looks simple and the workout seems easy and low intensity, I actually felt sore in places I didn't think this would work out like my thighs and gluts. Use proper form and the faster you go the more resistance you will get. It gave me a great work out each time.

I give this 5-stars and strongly do so because after 3 weeks of use I have slightly better endurance when I play basketball and also I've had a lingering lower back pain that wouldn't go away for years and years. I've been to chiropractors, physical therapists, etc., and while the PT was very useful it didn't work as well as this machine did for me. There is still some discomfort but it's so much more manageable to the point I often don't even realize there is any pain at all.

Now let's be clear, I'm not advocating its use for medical purposes or anything like that, I'm only speaking to my own personal experience. While I count my blessing that it worked well for me, it may or may not be other people's experience.
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on March 24, 2015
I really love this machine. I was hesitant to spend the coin but after reading reviews all over the internet and looking at the forums of ardent fans who have been concept2 users forever I pulled the trigger. Rowing in general is a great total body exercise and is low impact so it is great for everyone. The item cam in the 2 factory boxes placed into one larger box by amazon with extra packing. It was delivered by a company called ceva to my garage within the first 30 minutes of the delivery window. I'm not sure about the added height over the Model D as I am 29 now but as I age i am guessing I will be glad I did that move up front. There is no footprint difference except when it is broken apart it takes slightly more but i don't ever put it up. assembly was easy you basically put the monitor arm and the 2 legs on. something like 8 screws and they actually provide a fairly legitimate screw driver to do it. I'd put it at 20 minutes or less. The action is extremely smooth and the monitor great. The wireless feature is awesome. I use it with a great app called boatcoach to track my workouts but concept2 also offers a great online logbook for free. Its worth noting that concept2 still supports their very first model from the 80's with parts and the parts are very reasonable. I am expecting this to last years and years because it is built with quality but with the price it is nice to know that if something breaks years down the road you can get the part for a reasonable price and be back on your way.
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on February 5, 2018
I've used the model D at the gym, so I know how well Concept rowers are built. I got the model E for my home, and I have to say it's a step up. The quality is amazing, and I think the model E looks even better. I like the higher seat also. Can't wait to use it each day.
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on May 30, 2018
What an amazing machine!! I had been using the Concept II model D in a gym and decided I needed one for my home. After reading the reviews and thinking about the long term use of the rower I decided to spend an extra $200.00 and buy the model E. I am glad I purchased the model E but quality wise I am sure the model D is equal. Here’s my impression of this incredible machine.

1. I ordered from Amazon on a Saturday and received it the following Tuesday with Monday being a holiday. So- Free two business day
Shipping in a box that weighed 100 pounds. I still cant believe or understand how Amazon does it.

2. The machine arrived in perfect condition, was extremely well packaged with clear, easy, to understand assembly instructions. Total time to unpack, assemble and start rowimg was around 30 minutes. I did not rush and read all the instructions. There were 8 threaded bolts needed to assemble with an included star wrench. Piece of cake.

3. What I love about this machine. The quality is workmanship is unquestionably some of the finest I have seen. I am an artist and have a pretty critical eye for details. This piece of work is flawless from the welds, to heavy duty lock-tite coated bolts that will never come loose. The fit and finish and paint looks like that done on high-end car.. I would call ot the Mercedes of rowing machines. It is substantially solid with no wiggles, squeaky parts, or give anywhere. The chain is super smooth and quiet with adjustable resistance and built to last. The seat is very comfortable without a pad even though it is a composite material. It slides on the rail with absolutely no
Resistance. The straps for your feet are adjustable up and down with inserts that cup your shoes. I actually tried it with sandles at first without tightening the straps and my feet stayed in place. This is one problem I had with an older model D but I am sure it has been upgraded. The handle grip is very comfortable with enough mass to prevent hand cramps. I ride a motorcyle and small grips do cause cramps. The machine turbine is smooth and quiet. The electronic display is easy to use and very adaptable.

4. The machine does have a large foot print which is a consideration if you live in a small apartment or house. Make sure you have the 9 x4 foot area. The machine can be separated in about 5 seconds for storage. Nice. I had no trouble admusting the electronic monitor. It does adjust up and down to suit your taste. I am sure I left something out but covered in other reviews. I cannot believe concept can sell these machines for the price and still make a profit. For the money you cant find a better machine and I doubt you could find one of such quality double the price.
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on April 18, 2016
Purchased based on all of the reviews I read. They are all true. Easy to set up, built like a tank, easy to put away, and smooth as silk. My wife and I really love this thing. I had recent shoulder surgery and this has been great for rehab. My wife can crank up the setting and with a turn of the dial get a great workout. This is also very easy to put away. It literally comes apart by pulling up one latch. and it goes together just as simple.

I have back issues so I purposely bought the E model instead of the D model. They are identical except for the height of the seat. I am very happy I went with the E model. Much easier to get in and out of. Great product!
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on June 10, 2018
Excellent product. Appreciate the 20" seat height which helps those with limited ability to sit down lower on other machines. However, considering that I bought this machine because of its 20" seat height, it would be nice if the company realized that those individuals that require assistance getting on and off of the machine, would have designed some sort of handle to use when you mount our dismount the machine. I am 6'1" and even I have to swing my leg over the seat to sit and then get off. Without some sort of handle to grab onto when sitting or getting off, you can easily catch your leg on the seat/frame and potentially falling. I try fyi grab onto the frame holding the screen but it's not easy. Please consider adding a small handle to help those get on or off.
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