So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and invest in an indoor rower. But where do you start?
Most likely with a google search: “indoor rowing machines”.
You scroll through the options at the top and… it’s like buying a bottle of wine at a restaurant. You ignore the most expensive- because you don’t fancy a second mortgage- and you ignore the cheap ones because they look like they’d fall apart in your hands, your feet still in the stirrups, somewhere towards the end of your second kilometre.
You look towards the top-end of the middle, and there you see it: the Concept2 RowErg.
It probably looks familiar. As well it might: the RowErg are the most popular indoor rower for gym and health clubs around the world. And with good reason.
So how does it perform?
You feel Concept2’s 40 years of experience with every stroke. Even as my 200lbs *ahem* ramped up the stroke-rate I was mightily impressed with how smooth it was and how durable it felt. Especially when I look back to some of its competition at the cheaper end of the price range. It’s a different ball game. You can see where the money is going. You can feel it.
But aside from the performance, it’s the bells and whistles that really give this rower it’s shine. And the PM5 Performance Monitor is the jewel in the crown.
It’s just a lovely piece of kit. It displays distance, speed, pace, calories and watts. It records every stroke you make. You can store your data internally or on a USB. Compare your performance against what you’ve did before or against other people (their online-logbook has a host of challenges and awards). There’s a selection of workouts built-in or you can Just Row. And if you like your online classes it has an integrated device holder for your phone as well as Bluetooth capability (the Concept2’s PM5 is open-platform so you can hook up to any number of apps, online classes or training programs).
Finally to the less glamorous….the practicalities. How much space is it going to take up in the spare room and how easily can I move the bugger if I need to?
It’s 96 inches by 24, so it’s no kettlebell, but it’s no unsightly brute either. You can separate it in two very easily though if you do need to move it or store it. The monitor takes two Cell D batteries, but it draws power from the spinning flywheel, so these get eked out nicely. 300lbs is the maximum weight; as I say, it handled my 200 with a smile.
No surprises on my scorecards: I’m a big fan! The Concept2 RowErg has old-school, no-nonsense durability with a twenty-first century twist. It’s not cheap, but if you want to take your home workout options up a notch, it’s an investment you won’t regret.