Rowing machine - does it have to be a Concept 2?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by NickM, 1 Nov 2007.

  1. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    I quite fancy getting an indoor rowing machine to while away the long winter nights (I find the rowing action soothing, whereas the turbo trainer these days instils an awful dread).

    But "quite fancy" does not add up to the £900-odd a Concept 2 machine costs new, and not really to the £600ish that they seem to fetch on eBay.

    Are there other makes worth considering? I'm not the kind of gorilla who will destroy a lesser machine, but I do want decent build quality for my money.
  2. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    If you have the space, get one, they're brill.
    I couldn't afford a top of the range one, so I got one very similar to this: it wasn't this actual one (which is much cheaper) but looks v. similar, and I can't remember off-hand the make of mine at home.
    Cost me about 170 squid 3 yrs ago and stil going strong (though my nephew managed to smash the LCD display :blush:)
    Make sure (if not getting a water one) to get a magnetic resistance one, which are good. Don't get one with "wings" (2 arms sticking out.) In my experience, they're a pile of poo.
    Gives a really good workout for legs and arms, and if you get the action right, good for the tum too. Switch on some music or telly and off you go!
  3. OP

    NickM Veteran

    Ta, Fnaar - if you could have a look at yours when you get home and let me know the make, I'd be grateful. There's nothing like a personal recommendation :blush:
  4. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    Will do....
  5. Trembler49

    Trembler49 Veteran

    Portimao, Portugal
    Water rowers are great, but no cheaper than a concept 2.
  6. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    A note of caution....much as i hate to knock your enthusiasm :blush:

    Several years ago, i felt the need to be doing something about my fitness.
    A rowing machine :biggrin: Yes...that sounds great...i can exercise at home....

    A friend offered me his for a good price....'but beware, you'll use it for a short while....then get bored with it...i know, i did, thats why i'm selling it'

    Nooooo, not me i thought......

    6 months later, i sold it....I used it for maybe 1 month, on an ever decreasing scale...till i just couldnt be bothered with it.

    To be fair, this was a simple machine, but i found it as stimulating as a turn on the turbo...maybe even less so.
  7. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    Horses for courses, I guess....
    Mrs F calls me Mr. Asperger, and repetition/monotony are the things which make me tick! :blush:
  8. Cycling Naturalist

    Cycling Naturalist Legendary Member

    They are boring beyond belief and I only ever use one for warming up in the gym.
  9. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    A cross-country skiing machine s(t;))imulator thingy might be more enjoyable; unless you specifically wanted to be sitting down whilst exercising! :blush:
    If so, get a comfortable armchair, and just think about exercising instead. It is, after all, the thought that counts.
  10. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    V-Fit MR2

    Hi NickM
    My mo-chine revels in the name of a BENY V-Fit MR2
    I ordered it off the net (er...can't actually remember where from :biggrin: Somewhere in still had the wheels on, happily!) :blush:
    Don't listen to the cynics xx( above, they just can't do it properly.
    It prob'ly helps that I do my rowing in a room overlooking a river, and with the constant sound of ducks for accompaniment! :biggrin:
  11. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member


  12. sheddy

    sheddy Guru

    Can it drive a generator which will power your TV ? That should give a good 1/2 hr session
  13. HarryB

    HarryB New Member

    Nick, there's really only one choice to make if you want a rowing machine and that's to go with Concept2. I'm sure you don't need me to tell yoou they are used by Olympians, club rowers and in gyms around the world. That's because theyare the best. Bombproof, incredibly well engineered and with great customer service should you ever need it.As you've already discovered on ebay the C2 rower holds its price really well. I suggest you look at all of the other rowers for sale on ebay as well and you'll see that they sell for buttons if they sell at all.Because of the way the C2 holds its price you can use this to your advantage. If you buy an 2nd hand but almost new Model D you'll get the machine for between £750 and £800. If you like it then it will be money well spent. If you don't like it after say a year then you can sell it and you'll get almost the same as you paid for it (hard to believe I know but absolutely true). Look at it this way: even if you sell it after a year and lose £100 on the deal (and that's the most you would lose) the machine will have cost you £2 a week.Should you buy another type of machine you'll undoubtedly end up disappointed and when you try to sell it you'll find it was a costly mistake.It may be that you decide you want to compete in indoor rowing (I've done the World Championships and other big events) in which case you HAVE to have a C2.In termms of getting really fit there's nothing to beat a rowing machine and cycling and rowing comlement each other very well.Hope that helps.PS If you decide to go down the C2 route I have a almost brand new Model D machine (been used for one day) It comes with all of the usual stuff plus a non-slip mat, HR interface and Polar chest strap. It's £800 and has full warranty.
  14. red_tom

    red_tom New Member

    East London
    I'd go with a Concept 2. The clever bit is that the monitor on a C2 uses the deceleration of the flywheel as the measure of the resistance of the machine. At high altitude, the flywheel decelerates slowly so the machine calculates a lower resistance. If you then open the vent of the machine, more air enters the housing, the flywheel decelrates faster and the montior adjusts it's calculations again. The upshot of this is that all results from a C2 are comparable whatever the state of you machine and wherever you are in the world. This has lead to the setting up of some great online communities (e.g. Freespirits), monthly competitions (CTC and Nonathlon) and online racing. All of this helps to keep you using the machine which you just wouldn't get with one of the other brands.

    Workouts are only boring if you just get on the machine and row at a steady rate. There's plenty of more interesting stuff (intervals, rate changes, half or quater sliding etc) to keep you entertained whilst you erg. It's also great cross training for cycling - I think Greg Lemond used to use one in the off season and a huge number of the guys on the C2 forum are cyclists

    The concept 2 hasn't really changed much internally since the introduction of the Model 'B'. The B is a lot more industrial than the current D/E models but the monitor still produces results that are comparable with the rest of the world so you can join in the fun. (You can always upgrade the monitor at a later point if you want USB connectivity for online racing and a prettier display, you can also upgrade the handle, seat and footplates also). I have a Model B in my garage and it gets used about 3 times a week whilst the cross country skiiing machine hasn't been unpacked in over a year.

    I've just checked and there's a model B on ebay at the moment at the moment.
  15. OP

    NickM Veteran

    This is all good stuff, chaps - thanks.

    At the moment I'm tending towards a Beny AR2 Super Air Rower.

    Relatively inexpensive, but seemingly solidly built like Fnaar's magnetic version. A Concept 2 would, I'm sure, be a cracking machine, but there are bikes (and trikes) to be budgeted for too ;)

    Fnaar, you have a river with ducks in Ladywell? I thought that was a South London suburb!
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