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Thread: Going to buy a rowing machine - any tips?

  1. #1
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    Going to buy a rowing machine - any tips?

    Hi

    Seriously thinking of buying myself a rowing machine - a Concept2 Model D to be specific. In my gym going days this was the piece of equipment I probably used most often.

    Like the fact that it can be taken apart if needed and that it connects to a phone app - means that if a few of us at home use it we can have our own logs etc. Oh and the build quality.

    Question is really about where to buy it from? I can get a discount at Argos through a friend so that saves 10% on the (not inconsiderable) price. Any pros/cons buying from Argos for something like this?

    Also, any advice or experience about having a rowing machine at home would be useful.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    I've had a rowing machine, bike and treadmill. Out of all of them, my GP strongly advised against the rowing machine after I had spinal problems requiring fusion. Now it's just the treadmill as that gets my whole body moving.

  3. #3
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    Having an erg at home is a great advantage in terms of easy on/off compared with going to the gym. Do not underestimate however the size (in reality, most likely you will not take it apart ;-). Also the noise, even from a model D, is substantial.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JV View Post
    Having an erg at home is a great advantage in terms of easy on/off compared with going to the gym. Do not underestimate however the size (in reality, most likely you will not take it apart ;-). Also the noise, even from a model D, is substantial.


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    It's the ease of use compared to going to the gym that really appeals.
    I was looking at the recommended size and clearance earlier and it was a lot longer than I expected. Having said that, we have a large shed we could place it in and that will negate the noise issues. Different issue will be getting the shed warm!

  5. #5
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    Another tip to pass the boring long haul 60 minutes+ sessions: place an iPad with Netflix on a tripod next to the erg .


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  6. #6
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    Bought a model d 2.5 years ago when moved house. Have to confess it could have had more use but I like having it for the odd blast

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bambam View Post
    It's the ease of use compared to going to the gym that really appeals.
    I was looking at the recommended size and clearance earlier and it was a lot longer than I expected. Having said that, we have a large shed we could place it in and that will negate the noise issues. Different issue will be getting the shed warm!
    If you want to use it indoors look at a Waterrower: they are much quieter & can be stood on end to store them. There's a recent thread running about them.

  8. #8
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    Plenty on eBay so i am sure one will be close.
    Best way to get a very good price for one that has not been used

  9. #9
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    Going to buy a rowing machine - any tips?

    As documented in the waterrower thread I resurrected I wanted to get an erg recently and at first thought c2, but ended up going for a waterrower. Itís only been a week, but itís brilliant and worth considering.

    Been doing half an hour in front of netflix box sets each morning before work, tactic being Iím only allowed to watch them while rowing - it flies by.

    I should add that the info isnít as good, thereís no log like a c2 and if you want connectivity to an app it seems youíre spending £70 on a Bluetooth adapter. So thatís not great!
    Last edited by greenandblack; 22nd January 2020 at 23:23.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bambam View Post
    It's the ease of use compared to going to the gym that really appeals.
    I was looking at the recommended size and clearance earlier and it was a lot longer than I expected. Having said that, we have a large shed we could place it in and that will negate the noise issues. Different issue will be getting the shed warm!
    I don't think you'll have a problem getting the shed warm! Had one for many years at home and the best all round piece of equipment you can have at home I think. I'd probably look to get a lightly used one on eBay. Plenty of people buy them and don't use them.

    Got to say I don't understand the 'watching Netflix' box set brigade. Can only guess at the level of effort (or lack of it) that makes that a viable proposition!

  11. #11
    Master Harry Smith's Avatar
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    Get a secondhand one. Plenty around. Then when you sell it after A) not using it B) Mrs telling you it makes the place look untidy C) house-mates complain about the noise, you won't lose too much money.

  12. #12
    Grand Master 100thmonkey's Avatar
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    Donít take it on the water
    "When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
    For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

  13. #13
    Have had a concept 2 for three years now. Brilliant but if kit. It does take up quite a bit of room when down. You can split it for storage but Iíve never bothered and test against the garage/gym wall.

    Got mine of eBay refurbished for a steal. There are companies that provide this there or buy private.


    One recommendation is get on with the pm5 monitor if you can or factor buying separate. It allows you to connect to phone via Bluetooth. I use the LiveRowing app which allows you to creat workouts or use theirs and really helps on longer rows.

    I was training for a rowing marathon last year spent quite a bit of time on it!!


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  14. #14
    Grand Master Raffe's Avatar
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    Unless you have a dedicated room for it and plenty of dedication to go visit it there on a daily basis, I would advise to consider a Waterrower instead. The Concept2 is ugly and very noisy, zero chance you will (be allowed to) keep it in the living room over time. That's where the 'out of sight, out of mind' risk kicks in.

  15. #15
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    eBay or Facebook marketplace.Plenty their owners have got fed up with!.


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raffe View Post
    Unless you have a dedicated room for it and plenty of dedication to go visit it there on a daily basis, I would advise to consider a Waterrower instead. The Concept2 is ugly and very noisy, zero chance you will (be allowed to) keep it in the living room over time. That's where the 'out of sight, out of mind' risk kicks in.
    +1 to that

    I have/had both - the waterrower is far easier to store when not in use - you just stand it up in the corner

    I gave the concept 2 to my son after we moved to a smaller house

  17. #17
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    Iíve had both And while the waterrower aesthetics are better I like the Concept 2 far more to use (regardless of how much more like rowing the Waterrower allegedly is).

  18. #18
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    Thanks all.

    Some really useful insights and experiences shared. I was going to quote some of the responses, but decided there were too many so I'll try and cover them here.

    If we get one, it'll be a Concept2, with the PM5 monitor as its closest to what I've used before and I like the data and workouts you can get as standard and being able to link to an app. It might start off inside the house, but will find another home son after i'm sure.

    The used ones I've seen seem to be quite expensive, so if I can get the Argos discount then a new one seems a better option.

    The Waterrower undoubtedly looks better and the design is more appealing, but I like the Concept2 - mainly as I've used them before.

    I won't be using it on water.

  19. #19
    Master jukeboxs's Avatar
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    I bought the C2 Model E from new many years ago. I use it in the sitting room and store it upright between use, doesnít take up that much space for me (seat post hides behind the door). I wear headphones and watch TV when rowing so donít notice the noise. Never tried a water rower.

  20. #20
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    New to rowing, bought the concept E rower and well pleased, canít speak for other brands but quality is top notch

    Bought from Argos where daughter works when they had a 15% discount offer so if you have a family/friend connection then worth a consideration when offers come along

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LRB255 View Post
    New to rowing, bought the concept E rower and well pleased, canít speak for other brands but quality is top notch

    Bought from Argos where daughter works when they had a 15% discount offer so if you have a family/friend connection then worth a consideration when offers come along
    I do have a friend connection at Argos - I think standard discount is 10%? Do they sometimes run offers where you can get more F&F discount or was it in a sale? Just wondering if its worth waiting as they're not cheap!

  22. #22
    I went for a waterrower for all the reasons already stated. A rowing machine is probably unlikely to get huge use if kept in on I heated outbuilding...

  23. #23
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    I have only ever used two, a cheap £150 one from Argos and the proper Gym quality concept ones.

    I preferred the cheapo one except from the seat was much better on the expensive one.

    Maybe try and have a go on a few different types is my point to see what you like best.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bambam View Post
    I do have a friend connection at Argos - I think standard discount is 10%? Do they sometimes run offers where you can get more F&F discount or was it in a sale? Just wondering if its worth waiting as they're not cheap!
    They had an offer of 15% when I bought, however just in the run up to Christmas there was a 20% offer so guessing if prepared to wait then they do pop up, also note my daughter works for Sainsbury which is part of the Argos group

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LRB255 View Post
    They had an offer of 15% when I bought, however just in the run up to Christmas there was a 20% offer so guessing if prepared to wait then they do pop up, also note my daughter works for Sainsbury which is part of the Argos group
    Thanks Iíll keep an eye out while I also see what is available used.

  26. #26
    ive owned a few rowing machines -if you really want one (and think you will use it on a regular basis ) then the only ones worth buying are the concept 2 rowers (and maybe a few high end water rowers) - in the past ive killed 2 cheap rowers (£300/500 each ) - parts break and you cant fix them, concept 2 rowers you can get any parts that break.
    my real advise would be to join a gym - where they will have multiple machines for you to play on so you dont get bored - most rowers people buy for home end up as expensive clothes hangers.

  27. #27
    Master wildheart's Avatar
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    I row 4 /5 times a week, used a concept 2 for 10 years but now use the a rower, so much smoother and quieter. Love it

  28. #28
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    OK, the rowing machine has now landed - a Concept2.

    Will be unpacking it this evening. Already have the ERG app from Concept2 downloaded.

    Now, what to use as the first workout? Thinking of a flat 2000m to get a gauge of where I am? My son is also keen to get stuck in so we will have a little competition going I reckon.

  29. #29
    Craftsman boris9's Avatar
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    Brutal, but I love mine. I take a cycle for a day off. Good luck!


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  30. #30
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    Picked up a waterrower Monday not bad especially given it was less than half the price that s/h concept 2ís are going for on the bay. But given Iíve used the concept 2 for years in the gym it feels very very different and the monitor is pants.
    And its leaking so have to re-seal it tomorrow.

  31. #31
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bambam View Post
    OK, the rowing machine has now landed - a Concept2.

    Will be unpacking it this evening. Already have the ERG app from Concept2 downloaded.

    Now, what to use as the first workout? Thinking of a flat 2000m to get a gauge of where I am? My son is also keen to get stuck in so we will have a little competition going I reckon.
    Check Concept2's website; there's a forum, training schedules and a ranking competition you can use to determine your fitness-level.

    When you're new to rowing, I would advise you to look at videos explaining and demonstrating the correct rowing postion and movement! It's the difference between trouble free training and (back, wrist or knee) injuries. (E.g.: Stop sliding forward when your knees are straight above your ankles).

    Menno

    EDIT: this is a good one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ82RYIFLN8 May I suggest that you mount a camera on a tripod 'en profile'. Hook the camera to a screen in front of you so that you can check your movement against the movement on this video.

    The lady on the vid lowers her hands during the recovery. That has to do with 'normal rowing': this is the way you dan lift the oars out of the water and keep the tips free from the water during the recovery. When rowing indoors, you do not have to adopt that technique.
    Last edited by thieuster; 27th March 2020 at 07:41.

  32. #32
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    Variety of YouTube to row to:

    Eric Murray kiwi pair - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLT...RTHW18AIntfTJw
    Dark horse rowing - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsh...Pyxu0U2iwhhBZg
    Push don’t pull rowing - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGY...TJriM9jZkXxoPg

    ... and if you download asensei they have a load of free workouts now (iOS only for the app).

    al


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    Last edited by alslater; 27th March 2020 at 10:06.

  33. #33
    Thanks for the heads up on a Asensei I've never seen that before and I thought I'd already got all of the rowing apps!!

    Can echo what other people said about getting the correct form and technique sorted first, otherwise you can end up get too exuberant and doing yourself a whole heap of damage.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjedwardz View Post
    Thanks for the heads up on a Asensei I've never seen that before and I thought I'd already got all of the rowing apps!!

    Can echo what other people said about getting the correct form and technique sorted first, otherwise you can end up get too exuberant and doing yourself a whole heap of damage.
    .. if you do the Eric Murray (re)commit workouts in asensei, there's a particularly unpleasant one - think it's called 'empty the tank' - 10x intervals as fast as you can go, with not nearly enough of a rest between... and asensei gives you some split target ('aha - 1:46/500 for you... ')... Ouch.

    al

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by bambam View Post
    Hi

    Seriously thinking of buying myself a rowing machine - a Concept2 Model D to be specific. In my gym going days this was the piece of equipment I probably used most often.

    Like the fact that it can be taken apart if needed and that it connects to a phone app - means that if a few of us at home use it we can have our own logs etc. Oh and the build quality.

    Question is really about where to buy it from? I can get a discount at Argos through a friend so that saves 10% on the (not inconsiderable) price. Any pros/cons buying from Argos for something like this?

    Also, any advice or experience about having a rowing machine at home would be useful.

    Cheers
    This thread is a few weeks old I know, but - I used a Concept rower on a cruise ship for a few days and was very impressed by the general solidity and quality. However I bought a fairly cheap one (£145) from Amazon two years ago, and it's been fine for my purposes. Certainly not in the same league quality-wise but it does work.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Morgan View Post
    Picked up a waterrower Monday not bad especially given it was less than half the price that s/h concept 2ís are going for on the bay. But given Iíve used the concept 2 for years in the gym it feels very very different and the monitor is pants.
    And its leaking so have to re-seal it tomorrow.
    Which monitor do you have? If it's an S3 then you can upgrade to the later S4 model:
    https://www.waterrower.co.uk/uk/shop...r-upgrade.html

    They have also brought out a much more comprehensive monitoring system which links to a smartphone app:
    https://www.waterrower.co.uk/uk/cata...ow/category/5/

    It's a bit pricey though.

  37. #37
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    Looks like my current rower is on it's last legs - it's NOT a C2.

    tbh I don't think sat in an unheated/damp barn has done it much good. There was water dripping from the inside of the roof this morning as the frost thawed out! It's done well lasting 7 or 8 years but it's starting to play up now. The calories/watts thingy packed up about 18 months ago and started giving daft readings. Then, last summer (before the heart attack), it started being intermittent selecting the correct effort/force level. You select, for example, level 10 and it would sometimes feel like it was really a level 4 and, other times, feel like a level 14! It's now doing this more and more... I can sort it each time by ramping up and down a few times until it gets it right but it's not good.

    So I'm starting to think about a replacement and I thought I'd put down my current thinking about what to go for.

    Since I've been going to the gym due to the cardio-rehab sessions I've been forced to use a C2 so I'm now quite used to it's foibles and I can directly compare to my R200.

    Obviously a C2 has to be considered but it's not perfect with niggling omissions and, for the money, I think it should be better. The R200 I have has now been superseded by the R100 which is a combined air/magnetic rower; the R200 is magnetic only.

    C2 Pros
    Ready availability of spares
    All the gyms use the C2 so easy to compare workouts.
    air-rower

    C2 Cons
    Price.
    £150 extra for a heart rate monitor! Come on this should be included!
    Manual effort setting so it can't do things like ramping style workouts or workout based upon heart rate
    Highest effort setting is too low

    R100 Pros
    Price
    Does everything you want 'out-of-the-box'
    air/magnetic rower (so it switches between the modes depending upon effort)

    R100 Cons
    Know one knows it so you're on your own
    Not used at the gym so you can't compare
    No spare parts so if it goes wrong (outside warranty) it's in the bin


    Despite the above, which would seem to say go for the R100, I'm still leaning towards a C2 purely because of the spares issue. I prefer products where you can purchase replacement parts and repair them. Mind you it looks like an extra £260 for the C2 (E) with PM5 for heart rate monitoring. :-(

    Actually, I could go for the D model with PM5 and that's £200 cheaper than the E so the price issue isn't... an issue I mean :-)

    Either way I'm going to hold out as long as I can on this purchase: There aren't so many deals on home gym equipment at the moment ;-)
    Last edited by solwisesteve; 27th March 2020 at 12:39.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by solwisesteve View Post
    Looks like my current rower is on it's last legs - it's NOT a C2.

    tbh I don't think sat in an unheated/damp barn has done it much good. There was water dripping from the inside of the roof this morning as the frost thawed out! It's done well lasting 7 or 8 years but it's starting to play up now. The calories/watts thingy packed up about 18 months ago and started giving daft readings. Then, last summer (before the heart attack), it started being intermittent selecting the correct effort/force level. You select, for example, level 10 and it would sometimes feel like it was really a level 4 and, other times, feel like a level 14! It's now doing this more and more... I can sort it each time by ramping up and down a few times until it gets it right but it's not good.

    So I'm starting to think about a replacement and I thought I'd put down my current thinking about what to go for.

    Since I've been going to the gym due to the cardio-rehab sessions I've been forced to use a C2 so I'm now quite used to it's foibles and I can directly compare to my R200.

    Obviously a C2 has to be considered but it's not perfect with niggling omissions and, for the money, I think it should be better. The R200 I have has now been superseded by the R100 which is a combined air/magnetic rower; the R200 is magnetic only.

    C2 Pros
    Ready availability of spares
    All the gyms use the C2 so easy to compare workouts.
    air-rower

    C2 Cons
    Price.
    £150 extra for a heart rate monitor! Come on this should be included!
    Manual effort setting so it can't do things like ramping style workouts or workout based upon heart rate
    Highest effort setting is too low

    R100 Pros
    Price
    Does everything you want 'out-of-the-box'
    air/magnetic rower (so it switches between the modes depending upon effort)

    R100 Cons
    Know one knows it so you're on your own
    Not used at the gym so you can't compare
    No spare parts so if it goes wrong (outside warranty) it's in the bin


    Despite the above, which would seem to say go for the R100, I'm still leaning towards a C2 purely because of the spares issue. I prefer products where you can purchase replacement parts and repair them. Mind you it looks like an extra £260 for the C2 (E) with PM5 for heart rate monitoring. :-(

    Actually, I could go for the D model with PM5 and that's £200 cheaper than the E so the price issue isn't... an issue I mean :-)

    Either way I'm going to hold out as long as I can on this purchase: There aren't so many deals on home gym equipment at the moment ;-)
    Steve,

    Not sure where you get the £150 for a hrm from?
    Any of the current Concept2's using the PM5 monitor will pair with almost any hrm be it bluetooth or ant+ you can pick these up for peanuts.
    If you don't want a chest strap then the polar or wahoo optical arm based hrms are good I use the wahoo one myself.

    Not that this helps at the moment as there is no new stock available direct and no eta atm.

    I'm sure you know this but the only difference between D & E rowers is hight, if you don't need the extra hight its an easy way to save a few quid.
    Re the resistance not being hard enough, how new are the machines you're using in the gym? they do have a tendency to lose some top end resistance in a commercial setting and even if well serviced they can sometimes feel weaker, we have five in the gym I use and two are noticeably older and weaker.

    Id say also consider a water rowerer but they don't like unheated buildings as the water can freeze and then they blow the seal and leak.

    Have you seen the prices being achieved for the second hand C2's on ebay atm? Mental, wait for this to blow through if you can and pick up a virtually new one for half price

  39. #39
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    Steve,

    Not sure where you get the £150 for a hrm from?

    I was looking on the concept web site though I notice that nearly all sellers show it with the PM5 module installed so the 'extra' £150 is included so to speak.

    Any of the current Concept2's using the PM5 monitor will pair with almost any hrm be it bluetooth or ant+ you can pick these up for peanuts.
    If you don't want a chest strap then the polar or wahoo optical arm based hrms are good I use the wahoo one myself.

    I have a chest strap already that uses ANT+.


    Not that this helps at the moment as there is no new stock available direct and no eta atm.

    Yes I've noticed this!

    I'm sure you know this but the only difference between D & E rowers is hight, if you don't need the extra hight its an easy way to save a few quid.

    Right... something about an extra special chain etc... but not important, I'll keep some 3-in-1 handy ;-)

    Re the resistance not being hard enough, how new are the machines you're using in the gym?

    Can't say.... a few years but I really don't know. I last tried a C2 about 5 years ago at a different gym and I noticed then that the maximum resistance was less than I was used to.


    they do have a tendency to lose some top end resistance in a commercial setting and even if well serviced they can sometimes feel weaker, we have five in the gym I use and two are noticeably older and weaker.

    Id say also consider a water rowerer but they don't like unheated buildings as the water can freeze and then they blow the seal and leak.

    Yes I went through looking at a water rower before I got the R200 and, after waiting several weeks for a reply from the seller, the info was maybe you could add anti-freeze but they couldn't be sure if this was okay. At that stage I gave in and purchased something different.

    Have you seen the prices being achieved for the second hand C2's on ebay atm? Mental, wait for this to blow through if you can and pick up a virtually new one for half price

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