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Ergatta Rower vs Concept 2 (2023): Which Rowing Machine is Right for You

When it comes to at-home rowing machines, the Ergatta Rower and Concept 2 RowErg are two of the most popular options available. The Ergatta Rower is known for its innovative gaming-inspired interface and personalized training programs, while the Concept 2 RowErg is celebrated for its durability and performance monitor. Below, we’ll explore the key features of each machine to help you determine which one suits your fitness needs.

Ergatta Rower vs Concept 2 Comparison Chart

ModelErgatta RowerConcept 2 RowErg
 
Price
TypeWater resistanceFlywheel roller
Dimensions (L x W x H)86″ x 23″ x 40″96″ x 24″
Stored Dimensions86″ x 23″ x 22.5″Can be separated into two parts
Weight76.5 lbs (without water); 103 lbs (filled)57 lb standard legs (Model D)
User Weight Limit500 lbs500 lbs
User Height Limit40″38″
Seat Height12″14″
Display17.3โ€ณ touchscreen; 1920 x 1080 full HDPM5 backlit display monitor
Built-In SpeakersYesโ€”
Workout TypeGame-basedโ€”
Warranty5 years2 years

Design

The Ergatta Rower brandishes a unique aesthetic with its wooden construction while the Concept 2 emphasizes mobility with its lightweight design.

Ergatta Rower vs Concept 2 Design
Ergatta’s rower (left) is made of locally-sourced wood while the Concept 2 (right) is constructed from steel and aluminum

If you’re in the market for a visually stunning piece of fitness equipment, look no further than the Ergatta Rower. Unlike other rowing machines, the Ergatta’s frame is crafted from locally-sourced cherry wood, giving it the appearance of a high-end piece of furniture rather than a standard piece of gym equipment.

The Ergatta features a dual-track design with a seat that slides smoothly across four rollers. However, the centerpiece of this water-resistant machine is its transparent water tank, which offers a unique and attractive design element. The front of the unit features a 17-inch full HD touchscreen display, providing access to Ergatta’s innovative gamified content.

In contrast, the Concept 2 RowErg follows the typical design of flywheel rowing machines, with a seat that slides over a stainless steel rack on an aluminum rail. This design results in a longer machine with a narrow profile. The Concept 2 also includes a simple but effective PM5 monitor attached to the top of the flywheel.

When fully assembled and filled with water, the Ergatta weighs 103 lbs, considerably heavier than the Concept 2’s 57 lbs. The Ergatta’s seat is also shallower than the Concept 2 unit, which may make it slightly less comfortable for users to get up and down from the floor.

Click here to read our list of the best rowing machines.

Resistance

For resistance, the Ergatta Rower relies on water while the Concept 2 uses air.

Ergatta Rower vs Concept 2 Resistance Comparison
Here’s a look at the water tank on the Ergatta (left) and the flywheel with variable resistance on the Concept 2 (right)

While both the Ergatta Rower and Concept2 are rowing machines, they approach resistance differently. The Ergatta Rower relies on water resistance through paddles attached to its tank, which may sound old-fashioned but is a reliable system.

Water moves constantly inside the Ergatta Rower’s tank, providing a stable resistance level that adjusts based on the user’s exertion level. The more you pull, the greater the resistance will be. You can also add or remove water from the tank, but the adjustments mainly alter the feel of the resistance rather than the level.

On the other hand, Concept2 uses air resistance, limiting the unit to a pull mechanism that never runs out of resistance. The use of air resistance also means you have full control of your exertion and resistance. Concept2’s rower features a spiral damper that adjusts the airflow to the flywheel, allowing you to change the feel of your stroke.

One downside of both water and air resistance is noise. The water sloshing around in the Ergatta Rower’s tank provides a realistic paddling experience but can be noisy. In contrast, the Concept2 operates loudly, although the company states it should not be any louder than a washer or dryer.

Interface

Ergatta’s rower comes with a touchscreen display for game-based content, while the Concept 2 uses a powerful performance monitor and device holder.

Ergatta Rower vs Concept 2 Interface Comparison
A closer look at the Ergatta Rower’s display (left) and Concept 2’s PM5 monitoring with a smartphone using the ErgData app placed on a device holder

Most rowing machines offer classes, but the Ergatta Rower takes a different approach with game-based training that is perfect for users who enjoy quick and competitive workouts. The machine’s 17-inch display and water sound effects create an immersive workout experience. 

However, the touchscreen is not only for gamified content, as it also displays instant metrics and can adjust the difficulty of your training program on the spot. Moreover, the Ergatta offers a range of workout formats that cater to different goals, including Push Programs, Interval Training, Races, Open Row, and Challenges.

In contrast, Concept 2’s rowing machine does not have a touchscreen but comes with the PM5 monitor, which provides comprehensive data on your performance. It even works with several third-party apps, including those that offer on-demand live classes, training programs, and virtual races. Just place your phone or tablet on the device holder and you can enjoy these programs immediately.

To have a more visually appealing interface, you can download Concept 2’s ErgData app, available on both iOS and Android. The app provides additional statistics, connects with fitness apps like Garmin Connect and Strava, and is compatible with the Apple Watch. You can even customize your workout display to show only the metrics that matter to you.

Ease of Use

The Concept 2 is easier to assemble and maintain than the Ergatta Rower.

Ergatta Rower vs Concept 2 Ease of Use
Here’s a look at the Ergatta Rower and Concept 2 RowErga machines when being stored

While the Ergatta Rower may look sophisticated, it is actually easy to assemble. According to the company, self-assembly takes between 30 to 45 minutes. If you prefer, you can also opt for professional assembly and installation for an additional $199.

Despite being made of wood, the rower is surprisingly lightweight. Additionally, it features wheels that make it easy to maneuver and can be tipped and stored vertically to save on space. However, maintaining the water inside the tank can be a bit challenging as you need to use municipal water to prevent algae growth.

Concept 2’s rowing machine is even easier to assemble. Out of the box, you only need to install the legs to the unit. Concept 2 provides all the necessary tools for self-assembly, along with illustrated instructions and an assembly video available online.

The RowErg is also designed for convenient transportation during workouts and can be swiftly disassembled into two pieces, without requiring any tools, for compact storage. This makes it perfect for homes or gyms that require adaptable space, especially if you opt for the Model D with standard legs.

Alternatively, the elevated version of RowErg comes with taller legs that have larger caster wheels, making it even easier to move around.

Verdict

If you’re a competitive fitness enthusiast with a budget, opt for the Ergatta Rower. But if you prioritize performance metrics and sustained resistance, opt for the Concept 2 RowErg.

The Ergatta Rower and Concept 2 RowErg couldn’t be more different โ€” from their design, type of resistance, and interface. As such, it’s easier to recommend one or the other for the type of fitness enthusiast you are.

Buy the Ergatta Rower if:

  • You prefer game-based rowing challenges.
  • You like the constant resistance offered by a water-resistance rower.
  • You want a built-in display with your machine.
  • You prefer a wooden-style rowing machine.

Opt for the Concept 2 RowErg if:

  • You don’t want to spend more than $1000 for a rowing machine.
  • You want comprehensive performance metrics.
  • You want an easy-to-store and easy-to-maintain unit.
  • You like control over exertion afforded by a rower using air resistance.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the unique feature of the Ergatta Rower?

The Ergatta Rower offers a unique and engaging rowing experience through its gamified workouts that simulate outdoor rowing and compete with other users.

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the price of the Concept 2 RowErg?

The price of the Concept 2 RowErg varies depending on the model and accessories, but it typically ranges from $900 to $1,500.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can the Ergatta Rower be connected to the internet?

Yes, the Ergatta Rower can be connected to the internet to access gamified workouts, track progress, and compete with other users.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can the Concept 2 RowErg be connected to a heart rate monitor?

Yes, the Concept 2 RowErg can be connected to a heart rate monitor using Bluetooth or ANT+ technology.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.