how to maintain your rowing machine

The Complete Guide To Concept 2 Rower Maintenance

Doing regular maintenance on your Concept 2 rower is crucial for increasing the longevity of your machine, and to increasing your performance on that machine.

And here’s the beauty, doing Concept 2 maintenance is simple and easy. It’ll only take a few minutes.

The key things to keep an eye on are oiling the chain, keeping the handle clean, and regularly wiping down the monorail.

We’ll go over that below.

Oiling Your Concept 2 Rowing Machine Chain

concept 2 chain

The most important work to do on your machine is to maintain the chain lubrication.

Since the chain is the main main moving mechanical parts on your rower, you need to make sure that it moves smoothly. Lubrication is your friend.

To oil you concept 2 rower, simply take a tablespoon of chain oil (see my top choices here), putting it on a rag, and rub the oil along the length of the chain. Make sure to oil the chain all of the way up to the erg.

If you find any stiff links, spend a little extra time on that section of chain and give it a little extra oil.

That’s it!

How Often Should I Oil My Concept 2 Chain?

Concept 2 recommends oiling your machine after every 50 hours of use.

That means you should oil your chain every 400K meters or so.

This might be a little too specific and hard to keep track of, so I’d just recommend doing it quarterly. If you’re a heavy use rower, you could do it bi-annually.

Adding oil to your chain won’t hurt your rower, so don’t be afraid to stick to the safe side with your maintenance schedule.

Regularly Clean The Monorail

concept 2 monorail

After oiling the chain, the next most important piece of ergometer maintenance is to clean the monorail.

Concept 2 machines have a metal monorail, or track, that the seat slides on. You want this track to be free of dirt and grime.

If you think about it, if you have a bunch of grit on the rail, it’ll cause friction with you seat, which will slow you down. It might not make much of a difference on a sprint, but you can bet that it will impact your longer row times (such as 10K+ rows).

I recommend taking a rag and wiping down the rail regularly. It’s quick, easy, and will keep your machine rowing smoothly. 

If you keep your Concept 2 rower outdoors (i.e. in a garage), I’d definitely recommend wiping down the monorail after each session. You can use water on a rag, or an all purpose gym cleaner.

I also like to keep a small layer of oil on the monorail, just to make sure the seat is moving smoothly. Just add a dab to a rag and wipe down the rail.

Regularly Sanitize The Rowing Handle

rowing handle

The handle of your rowing machine tends to get pretty dirty, especially if you’re rower is used in a high-use gym were multiple people are using it each day.

To clean the handle, simply get a rag and a bottle of cleaning disinfectant, spray the handle, and then wipe it down with the rag. Easy stuff.

If you use your rower in your own home gym, and you’re the main person that uses the machine, then you don’t have to be too picky about cleaning the handle. Cleaning the handle once every few sessions will do it for you.

If you run an institutional gym, then you’ll want to clean the handles on a daily basis. This will ensure that germs don’t spread around your gym.

Maintain Your Monitor

pm5 monitor

The next step of rower maintenance is to check the monitor.

One thing to look for is the cord that connects the fan to the monitor. These tend to become loose overtime. Make sure it’s plugged in all of the way. This will ensure that you don’t lose power when you’re going for a PR sprint row!

Besides checking the power cord, you’ll also want to regularly check the batteries on your monitor.

To replace Concept 2 batteries, watch this video and follow along:

You’ll also want to keep the PM5 screen clean. Don’t spray the screen directly, simply add some cleaner to a rag, and clean the screen with the rag.

Concept 2 Flywheel Cleaning

The last major area that you’ll want to regularly keep cleaned is the flywheel.

When the fan of your ergometer gets dirty, it can impact your rowing times.

Unless your rower is kept in a particular dusty environment, doing a full flywheel cleaning should be infrequent, maybe once a year. Concept 2 recommends after every 250 hours of use (a lot of time!)

Follow this link to download a PDF by Concept 2 with full instructions on how to clean the flywheel.

Closing Thoughts:

If you take care of your Concept 2 erg, then it will take care of you.

The Concept 2 is a great machine, it doesn’t need much maintenance, but make sure to do the basics and the machine will last you a lifetime.

Row on!