Concept 2 has to be one of the most revolutionary home cardio machines to ever hit the market.
That being said, it’s also one of the only rowing machines that I would ever say is worth your time to buy refurbished. These are made with such a high level of quality and attention to detail that they live long beyond their warranty’s means.
But it isn’t enough to just say “They last a lifetime.”
I want to go over some of the main features you have to look out for, and the signs of wear and tear that could either point to a well-maintained machine, or something that isn’t worth your money to invest in.
What is the Average Lifetime of a Concept2 Rowing Machine?
It all depends on use, but if you get 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise every single day, you can usually see a Concept2 rowing machine last for 20 to 30 years.
Obviously, this is insanely longer than the warranty, and you are expected to have to maintain and possibly replace a few parts on your Concept2 over the years as well.
When parts break on one of these machines, they’re usually minor enough that you can purchase a replacement straight from the manufacturer, and do it yourself without spending even 50% of the cost of a new machine.
If you treat them well and ensure everything is running smoothly, you have 20 years on a single machine.
There’s a reason that Concept2 is constantly revered, by both reviewers and individual users, to be the longest-lasting rowing machine that money can buy. Given the longevity, Concept2 is an investment, whether it’s brand new or refurbished.
What Should You Consider When Buying the Actual Rower Machine?
There are six main things to look at before really sinking your teeth into a deal on a refurbished Concept2. These are going to be different if you’re buying individually from a user (Craigslists or want ads), versus a workout equipment store that deals in refurbishing them.
By going through a few menus here and there, you’re able to find the mileage (sometimes displayed in meters, which you will need to calculate on your own) that displays how much use a rowing machine has gotten.
Now, if it’s in meters, don’t panic when you see it in the millions. You can easily rack up 6,000,000 meters of use in a single year. These don’t work like the mileage on your car.
Anything under 10,000,000 on mileage would be ideal, meaning that it might have been used for two to three years. If you’re getting this from a store, they will have accounted for the cost. If you’re going through an individual owner, you need to bring up the facts and haggle based on the mileage.
If a Concept2 is 10 years old and it’s never been used, it’s basically new.
A little grease here, some dusting there, and you’re good to go. If there’s a moderately-used Concept2 that was purchased five years ago, that’s a lot of time on the total lifespan for things to go wrong. Keep age in mind along with usage.
Wear and Tear
Scratches in the metal, divots in track, things of that nature. You want to inspect the plastic boots on the stands for cracks and splits, the resistance for whirring or stalling, the seat for damages, rowing handles, as well as the general zeal of the entire unit.
While you shouldn’t turn your nose up at a deal over some scratches, the exterior damage (or lack thereof) will tell you a lot about the person who owned this Concept2 rowing machine. It’s indicative of how well they took care of it, or if they beat it up and never cared to maintain it. There’s pride in ownership.
LCD and LED screens bleed and fade over time. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just from use. If you’re rowing for 30 minutes a day, then the screen will eventually burn out and slip into a fade.
I will say that Concept2 puts a lot of quality into their screens, but it’s going to happen to every LED/LCD screen eventually, whether it’s a TV or a rowing machine monitor. Just pay attention to its vibrancy and brightness before you commit to a purchase.
A new Concept2 rowing machine has two years on the parts, and a five-year warranty on the frame. If it’s a refurbished model, I doubt that it only got two weeks of use—you’re going to want to look for a preexisting warranty, but understand that it might not be there.
Check how many repairs were made, when they were made, and what parts were used to replace it. Concept2 sells their own spare parts, but many people tend to cheap-out and use third-party parts, which are not designed to promote the longevity that the Concept2 generally offers.
Is it scratched up? What shape is the resistance in? Is the seat damaged or torn-up? Are there any replacement parts currently in this unit that you need to be aware of? General condition refers to the basic state that the Concept2 is in, whether that’s good or bad.
You Can Exercise and Save Money
If the Concept2 that you’re looking at, whether in-person or online, is in good condition, then I say go for it.
I would say to disinfect the hell out of it, because you never know how much someone used it or how much they cleaned it, but if it operates properly, then there’s no reason to let the offer pass you by.