When you think of Concept2, you might immediately think of rowing equipment.
That’s understandable because of its success with its rower machines, but the company has launched two interesting pieces of cardio equipment that everyone serious about getting fit should own: the SkiErg and BikeErg.
What are these machines?
The SkiErg is a machine that enables you to engage in Nordic Skiing, but in the comfort of your own home The BikeErg, on the other hand, gives you rowing benefits on a stationary bike.
If that sounds exciting, then chances are you’re interested to know more about these cardio machines. Let’s dive right in, starting with a bit of information pertaining to how they came about in the first place.
- 1 A Brief History Of Concept2 Alternative Cardio Machines
- 2 Detailed Review Of Concept2 SkiErg
- 3 Detailed Review Of Concept2 BikeErg
- 4 SkiErg vs BikeErg: How Do They Compare?
- 5 Comparing The SkiErg And BikeErg With The Concept2 Rower
- 6 Conclusion
A Brief History Of Concept2 Alternative Cardio Machines
Concept2 was established in 1981, and although the company started out by manufacturing racing oars and rowing machines, they soon moved on to adding other machines to their product line: the SkiErg and BikeErg.
In 2009, the SkiErg was launched to make winter cross-training accessible to anyone.
By 2014, the SkiErg design was updated – it was now black in color, and had an internal drive mechanism to improve cord wear and which enabled double-pole and single-stick techniques, as the Concept2 website explains.
It also boasted a PM5 monitor, which has become a staple in the company’s training equipment, as it allows one to track their progress and connect to fitness apps.
Then, in 2017, the BikeErg was released. The exciting things about this piece of equipment is that it’s loaded with the same performance monitor and flywheel as both the SkiErg and indoor rower, and it brings the best parts of rowing and skiing to the bike, a sure sign of the company’s innovative streak.
Both the SkiErg and BikeErg have amazing attention to detail to make your workouts that much more successful and comfortable. With that in mind, let’s take a deeper look at the SkiErg and BikeErg. What follows is a review of both.
Detailed Review Of Concept2 SkiErg
At first glance, the SkiErg looks quite similar to a rowing machine that’s been flipped around.
If that’s how you’d describe it, you’re not far off: the SkiErg is a piece of gym equipment that’s in the shape of a “V” because it’s basically a rowing machine that’s in a standing position.
However, it’s a cardio machine that’s meant to mimic the motion of Nordic skiing, hence its name. While it might sound very easy to use, it’s a machine that can give you a fantastic workout.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at its benefits, extra features, and drawbacks.
- The SkiErg provides you with an excellent workout if you’re looking for low-impact cardio because it targets all the muscles in the body. How it works is that you pull down the handles that are connected to the flywheel.
- If you want a workout that’s a little more intense, you can increase resistance by pulling the handles harder. What makes the SkiErg so versatile as a cardio machine is that it has a spiral damper that enables you to adjust the airflow into the flywheel. So, you can make the pull feel harder, as if you were climbing uphill, or a little less intense.
- Since its first SkiErg model, Concept2 has made some positive changes to this cardio machine, which is why the latest model comes with strapless handles. These ensure you can grip them securely without them absorbing your sweat so they stay nice and dry during intense workouts.
- In addition to being sweat-proof, the handles have also been ergonomically designed to keep your hands free of pain. Best of all, you don’t have to adjust the handles based on your hand size – they’re comfortable for all hand sizes.
- The SkiErg is a great alternative to gym equipment such as the treadmill or stationary bike because it gives your upper body a workout, which is where some other pieces of gym equipment tend to fall short.
- It’s also gentler on your joints than activities such as running, so it’s great if you’ve had previous injuries and want to get a workout without risking new ones.
- As with other Concept2 machines, the SkiErg comes with a performance monitor. What’s so great about this is that it helps you monitor your progress while also connecting to fitness devices and apps, thanks to its ANT+ wireless connectivity and Bluetooth connectivity.
- With some gym equipment, it’s not always easy to control the monitor while exercising, but the SkiErg’s performance monitor doesn’t require you to give it any attention. It’s user-friendly because it switches itself on when you start pulling the handles of the machine and will stay on for some time after you’ve stopped using the machine, so you can get on with your workout while it monitors you, without having to do anything to track your progress.
- The performance monitor provides you with all the important data you need, such as how many calories you’re burning, what distance you’re covering, and what your pace and speed are.
- You can easily store the machine without a hassle, thanks to how you can choose between mounting it on the wall or keeping it on a floor stand. The floor stand setup is great if you want to move the machine around, and this is even easier because it’s on caster wheels.
- Some people who’ve purchased the product claim that it’s not as noisy as other gym equipment, even rowing machines, so it’s great for use if you live in a small apartment or with other people.
- Although you have the choice between storing the SkiErg on the wall or floor, when you purchase the SkiErg from Amazon you only receive hardware included in the pack for mounting it to the wall. If you want to use a floor stand, you’ll have to purchase it separately.
- Some users who have purchased the SkiErg have stated that it offers a strenuous exercise that people shouldn’t take lightly. So, be prepared for using the machine to feel a little uncomfortable until you get used to it. If you’re not the type to commit to a difficult workout, or workouts in general, then it’s worth considering if the SkiErg will really fit into your lifestyle.
The SkiErg costs $815 on Amazon, so it’s not a gym equipment purchase that will break the bank.
It’s perfect for you if you’re on a budget as it’s less expensive than if you had to purchase some other cardio machines.
One of the best reasons to purchase the SkiErg is that it’s a piece of equipment that you can use in combination with other machines, as it gives you a strong upper back, arm, shoulder, and ab workout.
However, it’s also great if you’re looking for an all-body workout, which makes it versatile.
Detailed Review Of Concept2 BikeErg
Concept2 has previously released the indoor rower and SkiErg machines, but the BikeErg is its most-recent creation that makes use of the same performance monitor and durability, with some nice extra features.
At first glance it’s clear to see that the Concept 2 BikeErg is a cardio machine that’s built to be strong.
It’s got an aluminium 68-pound frame that’s durable but also easy to move around because it’s set on caster wheels.
Let’s take a look at its features, drawbacks, and benefits in greater detail.
- This cardio machine makes it easy to tailor your workout session to your needs, thanks to its clutched flywheel that continues to rotate when you stop using the pedals. This makes it easy to stop and rest for a few seconds while making you feel like you’re on a real bike riding outdoors.
- You don’t have to worry about not being at the right height to use this bike as the seat is easy to adjust. You can also change the position of its handlebar.
- The BikeErg is focused on customization, which is one of its greatest selling points. You can use your own bike parts on the BikeErg, such as your saddle, pedals, and even handlebars. The ability to customize your experience with this bike makes all the difference in ensuring that you can feel comfortable and make the most of your workout.
- One you purchase your BikeErg, you can quickly start using it, thanks to how you don’t have to spend a lot of time or energy assembling it. The bike comes with tools and clear, picture-based instructions, so you can spend less time tinkering with it and more time enjoying it.
- One of the most important features you need in a cardio machine is being able to monitor your progress. You can do this easily with the BikeErg’s PM 5 that has a calibration feature so you can compare your results over time. Its LCD display is gentle on the eyes, which makes it perfect for night-time workouts. You can even save your workout progress to a USB flash drive. It also gives you the chance to connect to apps and heart rate belts.
- If you’ve ever had to deal with a stationary bike that was difficult to move around, you’ll know it can be a hassle. The BikeErg removes that stress because it’s really easy to move, thanks to how it only weighs 68 pounds. This means you don’t have to keep it in the spot where you originally set it up.
- When you use your stationary bike, you want it to be as noiseless as possible, especially if you’re using it in an area where other people are present. The BikeErg has polygrooved belts that are used instead of a chain and these ensure that the bike is quiet. The bonus of these is that they help to make the bike much easier to maintain.
- The bike has an impressive weight capacity of 300 pounds, so it’s really versatile for a variety of different users.
- One of the drawbacks of this bike is that it’s not easy to change the damper setting on it. The damper setting on a rower refers to the lever on the flywheel that controls the amount of air that flows into the cage. This is similar to the gears on a bike, so a lower damper setting would enable you to have easier gears. It’s a little difficult to tweak this resistance while riding on the BikeErg. It would’ve been easier to use if the damper setting was on the handlebar.
- Although it’s said to be noiseless because it has those polygrooved belts we mentioned earlier, some people have commented that the BikeErg isn’t as quiet as they would have liked. This is said to be as a result of its fan flywheel that’s noisier than friction resistance, however this might not be a problem for you. If you live in a tiny apartment or are sensitive to noise, you might be more aware of the noise.
The BikeErg is praised as being just as good as other Concept2 models, namely the Concept2 Rower and SkiErg.
It costs about $1040. Whether you’re an elite cyclist or someone who’s never used a stationary bike before, the BikeErg is a wonderful, easy to use, and affordable bike to purchase.
It’s really no surprise why it’s so highly rated and praised!
SkiErg vs BikeErg: How Do They Compare?
As can be seen from the above reviews, both machines have important features and benefits that make purchasing them worthwhile.
To further help you to choose which one you should buy, let’s take a look at how they fare according to different factors.
While the BikeErg and SkiErg have the same performance monitors and flywheel, there are some interesting differences between them.
The SkiErg helps you build greater strength because your entire body gets a workout. Using the SkiErg is a low-impact exercise that also burns lots of calories, while being suitable for people of all ages.
You’re in control of the workout because the harder you pull the handles, the more resistance you can add to your training session.
The BikeErg, on the other hand, is focused on bringing you the best benefits you can gain from cycling.
You’ll feel like you’re riding outdoors, thanks to its clutched flywheel that continues spinning when you take your feet off the pedals.
Muscles They Work Out
The SkiErg works your lats, abdominals, pecs, triceps, biceps, hamstrings, glutes, quads, lower back, and calves.
The BikeErg offers a great workout for your glutes, quadriceps, and buttocks.
While both the SkiErg and BikeErg are valuable machines, the SkiErg is approximately two hundred dollars cheaper, making it a bit more affordable for people who can’t spend a lot of money on expensive gym equipment.
Comparing The SkiErg And BikeErg With The Concept2 Rower
While you might know if you prefer the BikeErg or SkiErg, you might not be sure if they’re better purchases than the Concept2 Rower. Here’s what you need to know.
There are some similarities between the Concept2 Rower and both the SkiErg and BikeErg.
The Rower is an all-round workout that targets a variety of muscles, such as your quads, lats, glutes, abs, hamstrings, lower back, shoulders, arms, and obliques, so in this way it’s similar to the SkiErg.
Another similarity between these machines is that they make use of flywheels. The Compact2 Rower Model D, for instance, has a flywheel design that keeps the noise down.
Finally, one of the biggest similarities between all three Compact2 machines is that they come with Performance Monitors to help you track your progress.
Now for the differences. The rowing machine is focused on rowing, with features such as ergonomic rowing handles that ensure your rowing workout feels as close to the real thing as possible.
The Rower is also easy to store away because it comes apart into two pieces.
One of its drawbacks is that you might have to maintain your Rower a bit more than other Compact2 products, as some users have claimed that they need to oil the chain on their Model D Rower to ensure a smooth experience.
When it comes to cost, the Model D is $945 on Amazon, so it’s slightly more expensive than the SkiErg but more budget-friendly than the BikeErg.
Compact2 has released innovative cardio machines, the BikeErg and SkiErg, that are fantastic alternatives to their Rower models such as the Model D Rower which is a fan favorite.
These are worthy machines to purchase if you want to expand your workout and do more than rowing, such as biking and skiing, while still reaping the benefits of the company’s tried-and-tested innovations, such as their performance monitors.
In this article, we’ve featured both the BikeErg and SkiErg in greater detail, looking at their pros and cons, to help you decide which one is right for you so that your average workout can become amazing.