Comparison: Concept 2 Rowing Machine Vs Ski Erg Vs Bike erg?

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concept 2 exercise machine review

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You've identified that you're gonna buy some kind of Concept 2 Exercise Machine, most likely 'cause your friends are telling you or you read it in a magazine article somewhere, β€œHey rowing is a really great new thing! Everybody should be doing it!” 

It is perhaps the best thing I’ve seen in the last six months!

Look at all the things that are popping up that allow you to do rowing. But then you go down the rabbit hole and all of a sudden you see the concept 2 ski erg, concept 2 bike erg, and the rower and now you’re stuck.πŸ˜…

➑️ Hey, Which one do I buy? I can only afford one. Help, please!

Concept 2 equipment

I’ve gotten my butt whooped by all of them. If this is your first time here, welcome to MENSQUATS.COM where we build better humans by making them exercise with the right equipment. 

Ultimately, the decisions are gonna come up to you based on all of your factors for validating which pieces of equipment are needful to you.

πŸ‘ In today’s blog I’m going to break down the values of each of these concept 2 machines, why they do what they do, what they do, how they do it, and why you might make a decision on one over the other.

Just helping to give you the decision-making power so that you can ultimately make the right one for you.

➑️ But I do understand that all of you are gonna have different decision-making variables, so that part is pretty personal, and at the end, I’m gonna give you my personal favorite of the three!❀️

Concept 2 Exercise Machine Review


Concept 2 Rowing Machine

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Concept 2 Ski erg

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Concept 2 Bike erg

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#1 Concept 2 Rowing Machine Review

First up, the rower, the tride, the true, the machine we all know! 

Concept 2 Rower
hero SQ Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine 1 6e05ba899b67418cbea437666aacbae2


  • Overall Length: 96 in (244 cm)
  • Width: 24 in (61 cm)
  • Seat Height: With standard legs 14 in (36 cm) or with tall legs 20 in (51 cm)
  • Monorail Length: 54 in (137 cm)
  • Power Requirement: Takes two D cell batteries.
  • Maximum User Weight: 500 lb (227 kg) as tested by Concept2.*
  • Storage: Can be separated into two parts for easy storage
  • Machine Weight: With standard legs 57 lb (26 kg), with tall legs 68 lb (31 kg)

If you’re buying from India? Get Concept 2 Rowing Machine from WOD ARMOUR site here at Rs 125000 only.

(Get EXTRA 5% off, if you use code MENSQUATS on checkout)

As we stand now, the model D is Concept 2 latest rowing machine, it has gone through 4 major iterations, the A, the B, the C and the D! There’s also the E but it’s basically the D just taller, heavier and more cumbersome. 

concept 2 rower model D handles

Anyway, what we’re looking at now is the Model D rower.Β 

It was the first machine, other than ores, that was where Concept 2 exercise machine started but it was the first machine they made which means it’s been through the most iterations, the most testing, and really why it’s such an indestructible machine and why it really got its start is because it’s made out of very simple parts.😁

The Dreissigacker brothers built this thing to just be indestructible, they’re engineers, they’ve engineered it out of bicycle parts essentially to begin with, so on this machine you can rest assured that you’re getting something that will stand the test of time. 

πŸ‘‰ I don’t need to expand on why rowing is a great thing but what you’re looking at when you talk about rowing is

  1. Its lower extremity dominant, it’s primarily a leg push.
  2. It’s the posterior chain dominant, which means that your backside from your hamstring, your glutes, your back, and your scaps, all of that are working together to create the movement.
  3. You’re also working core to extremities, meaning from the midline, everything radiates out and you’re creating this chain of movement and it’s about as full-bodied as one can get!

So that would be the value behind choosing rowing over the ski erg or the bike erg, that would be primarily your reason for that.

As well as choosing the machine that’s been around the longest, it has the longest track record of movement, education, workouts, all of that.❀️ 

The depth around this machine is essentially better than the other two simply because it’s been around longer.

Concept 2 Rowing Machine

➑️ Now the other things to consider with this would be perhaps the size requirements, this Concept 2 rowing machine falls at about 93 inches from wheelbase to wheelbase, the front to the back. 

So, it’s also important to know that you can break it in two pieces for storage so it can possibly fit into a tighter space then you may be able to get with a skier for example, it does not break down, it only has its standing height requirement whereas this can essentially become smaller. 

πŸ‘ You can perhaps store it in a closet, and find an easier way of keeping the machine around.

Pm 5 monitor Concept 2

Another note, and this falls across all the platforms, you’re getting the PM5 monitor on each of the machines if you were to buy them today, it’s just reworded for the ski erg or the bike erg, and that’s an important note to make as well, the data screen that you’re going to get will be the same across all machines.

All right, that covers the rower, that's the first and oldest machine. 
Next up would be our second oldest machine, this was not a latecomer, it's been around for quite a while, in many iterations in fact the first one, just took the rower and put it up right against a wall, the ski erg. ⬇️

#2 Concept 2 Ski erg Review

This guy. Right, here! 

Concept 2 Skierg
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  • Power Requirement: Takes two D cell batteries. SkiErg provides operating power when machine is in use.
  • Wall Mounted: Width at bottom: 19 in (48.3 cm), Width at top: 20.5 in (52 cm), Depth: 16 in (40.6 cm), Height: 85 in (216 cm)
  • Mounted on Floor Stand:Β 23.5 in x 50 in x 85 in
  • (60 cm x 127 cm x 216 cm)
  • Machine Weight SkiErg: 46 lb (20.9 kg), Floor stand: 35 lb (16 kg)
  • Frame: Aluminum

If you’re buying from India? Get Concept 2 Skierg from WOD ARMOUR site here at Rs 115000 only.

(Get EXTRA 5% off, if you use code MENSQUATS on checkout)

This thing is tall and cumbersome in space, because we can’t break it down. 

πŸ‘‰ So, the rower, yes, it’s taller but you can break it in two parts for a little bit easier storage, with this machine. It’s essentially 7 feet tall, the pad is 4 feet, 7 feet by 4 feet, if you go with this rolling stand, you need that ’cause you don’t wanna attach it to your wall. 

Maybe it’s a beautiful piece of art, maybe you have a beautiful Danish modern home, white walls and leather furniture, rugs on the ground and you want that simple, black statement piece, square on your wall. This could be that! 

πŸ˜… However, if you have a cluttered home like I do and I’m sure all of us do. I’m not about to put this on the wall in my house, maybe in my garage but I like the flexibility of having the rolling floor stand because it just makes my life a little bit easier.

So I just have to accept that I’ve got a 7 by 4 foot footprint that is going to always be here, that’s an important note and just something to be thinking about. 

πŸ‘ Now another similarity about these Concept 2 machines is they all share the same flywheel so you’re going to get essentially the same noise factor out of each machine. Whether you think that it’s loud or quiet, that’s your decision, but the point is, each of these flywheels is the same as what you will find on every other machine, all machines are equal on the flywheel. 

➑️ Now the thing you will see for example, on the ski erg is that there’s a plastic sheet over part of the flywheel and that plastic sheet is there to change or restrict airflow because we’re using an upper extremity which is not nearly as strong as lower extremity, you’re going to find that they lighten the drag factor by putting that plastic plate on there. 

concept 2 skierg review

If you were to take that off, it would get very heavy, very fast which puts a lot of load and demand on your shoulders. 

Things that you need to take into consideration, obviously I don’t advise taking that plastic sheet off, it’s there for a reason and then understands that again, upper extremity dominant, anterior chain dominant, and still core to extremity as with the rower. 

That covers the ski erg, that would be option number 2 that you could buy from the Concept 2 machine lineup. 

About the same price point on these things, we're not seeing this massive price jumps so if you're saving for one of these machines, odds are you're gonna be spending about the same amount of money so it's not really a money decision here, it's more of what you're trying to accomplish. 

But next! 

Let’s get to the newest, the latest, option in Concept 2 equipment! ⬇️

#3 Concept 2 Bike Erg Review

πŸ‘‰ The new kid on the block, the bike erg! 

View this YouTube Video by Garage Gym Reviews For its review.

Concept 2 Bike
Concept 2 Bike


  • Overall Length: 48 in (122 cm)
  • Width: 24 in (61 cm)
  • Seat Height: Seat to Pedal range (approximately): 31–40.5 in (79–103 cm)
  • Crank Length: 170 mm
  • Maximum User Weight: 300 lb (136 kg)
  • Construction: Welded aluminum frame. Steel feet.
  • Finish: Black powder coat frame; grey anodized posts
  • Assembled:Β 48 in x 24 in (122 cm x 61 cm)
  • Machine Weight: 68 lb (31 kg)

If you’re buying from India? Get Concept 2 Bike erg from WOD ARMOUR site here at Rs 135000 only.

(Get EXTRA 5% off, if you use code MENSQUATS on checkout)

What you’ve got with the bike erg is essentially the same components as with every other machine that Concept 2 has made, the difference, is you’re on a bike instead of ski or rowing. 

It doesn’t do anything different than any other bike would whether you took a standard road bike and put it on rollers, or if you bought another spin bike. What is different though is that patented Concept 2 fly wheel feel and that’s often what people love is the flywheel feel, because it’s almost unforgiving but dependable. It’s reliable and torturous. 

➑️ You get the flywheel, you get the PM5 in a bike format that’s adjustable, you can swap out the handlebars, you can move the handlebars forward and back, up and down.

The seat can go up and down, and you can replace the saddle, you can replace the pedals to whatever you want, so this is very customizable! 

Unlike the other two concept 2 equipment, the rower and concept 2 ski erg where you don't have an opportunity to really customize it the way you want. 

With this, you can change up all of the pieces. In fact, I’ve already swapped the pedals for clipless on mine here and what you get is with the PM5. πŸ˜…

You can now connect to apps like Zwift and if you have some kind of indoor cycling app.

It will most likely connect to this monitor, you are getting an indoor spin or cycling experience but on a Concept 2 machine which is often going to put your price point lower than something like a Peloton and you can even work on the Peloton app with this machine if you wanted to!! 

I don’t know about actual direct connection but I do know that you can follow along on the Peloton app! 

concept 2 bike

➑️ There’s really nothing fancy here, the cycling movement is going to be very quad dominant if you were to switch to clipless pedals, then you can get some hamstring activation because you’re pulling up on the pedals at the same time. 

But other than that, you’re not getting much midline work, you’re not getting a lot of back strengthening, not much happens from the waist up, all happening from the waist down, which is going to prioritize just that system, that leg drive down. ✨


πŸ‘ What I like about the Concept 2 rower and what I like about the ski erg is it contains a full body element which is missing when it comes to a Concept 2 erg bike

➑️ Each of these machines offers it’s very own benefit from cycling where you get very quad dominant and really, a lot of power production out of the legs to rowing where it’s a full body, still lower extremity dominant but a little bit more posterior chain activation or the ski erg, where you’re getting an anterior chain and upper extremity dominant work. 

Which is the best?

All of them are great machines, it just depends on what’s the biggest value to you and making sure that as you choose it.

You are picking out the thing that you value most and that you’re gonna get the most use out of because at the end of the day, that’s what matters most!✨

So what’s my favorite machine?

  • Concept 2 Rowing Machine
  • Concept 2 Ski Erg
  • Concept 2 Bike Erg


I know, you want me to say the Concept 2 rower model D and yes; I love the rower because there’s so much value to it. However, for my own personal edification, what I really love, right now, it’s the bike erg! πŸ‘

I like that I can sit on the machine and get some good spin out of it, it’s a little more mindless because I’ve spent so much time over my life on the rower, on the ski erg.Β 

I’m enjoying the bike for the time being ’cause it’s new and it’s fun but like I said, it’s the new kid on the block so I’m having some fun with it.Β 

πŸ‘ That’s my personal favorite at this moment in time.

After you pick the machine that makes the absolute most sense to you, make sure that you go to our website to check out our workout programs in which we have programs that help you on every single one of these machines! 😁

And subscribe to our newsletter, so that you can become a MEMBER and join our community and make yourself a better human! 

If you want more, check out our latest blog on Flexnest Flexrower Review

I love you all, go do great things, I’ll see you on the other side!

Thanks for reading. 

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Rishabh Shrivastava

Hi, I'm Rishabh I take pride in making 'The Most Trusted Home Gym Equipment' blog for India. We are known for delivering unbiased and practical advice on fitness equipment for people with different age groups, sports, and budgets. If we recommend a product it's our trust in it, that it would serve you the best, or nothing.Please join our cause.πŸ™Œ

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