Upgrade your Concept2 indoor rower to a PM5 today
December 9, 2016
If you have a Concept2 erg and haven’t retrofitted your Model A, B, C, D, or E Indoor Rower to the PM5 performance monitor, I most highly recommend the splurge of $160-$180, depending on the model of your rowing machine. Turnkey wireless everything you’ll need, including ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart. So now, heart rate monitors and rowing apps are a wireless snap.
Lots of Concept2 Indoor Rowers are old and still in use. I have a Model C erg, made from 1993-2003. The Model C came with an old PM2, a performance monitor that did have infinite battery but lacked Bluetooth, ANT+, or even wireless Polar heart rate monitor support. In order to use a chest strap, you needed to plug in a Concept2 Heart Rate Receiver and Cable (PN 1862) and string it out to under your rolling seat. And to connect to the ErgData app for Android and iPhone, you need to order either an Android connector kit or iPhone connector kit.
A couple years ago, I upgraded to the PM3, which really only added the LogCard, and then, finally, they added a full upgrade path, from the PM2 that came with my Model C, that took me from my current PM3 all the way to the PM5 I now run. And I love it. I now have complete wireless and USB support. They got rid of the LogCard, but that’s cool, I never used it, but they replaced with the backup to USB thumb drive/USB flash drive. What it also offers to me is something neither the PM2 or PM3 had: always-on monitor backlight.
While the battery doesn’t last nearly as long and there’s no rechargeable battery back or A/C adapter, the D batteries do last a long time, even when running ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart. So, what I do during my rows is this: I have an iPhone 5 with a stout battery pack that I have mostly dedicated to running ErgData and a Polar HR7 chest strap that I have paired with my PM5.
It’s such a worthy upgrade and only costs $180, which, while expensive on its own, isn’t expensive if you think about the fact that once you own a Concept2 rowing ergometer for whatever you spend, be it used for $200 from a couple in Vancouver, Oregon, back in 2010 (to replace the Model C I bought in 2000 and gave to Scott Burns when I moved to Germany) to the still-affordable $900 it costs to grab a Model D or the $1,100 it costs to splurge on the Model E (and maybe save your knees), , any Concept2 Indoor Rower costs nothing to own outside of some D batteries, some cleaning supplies, and a little oil. Spend for the upgrade!
And, since my erg is well over a decade old and has only required a daily wipe the rail with a cloth after use (I keep Clorox or Lysol disinfectant wipes handy because they’re perfect and keep the mess to a minimum) and a weekly or monthly lube of the chain with some TreadLife Rowing Machine Chain Oil from Amazon, though Concept2 also says you can use a teaspoon of purified mineral oil, 3-IN-ONE® oil, or 20W motor oil.
Just apply oil to a paper towel, and rub the paper towel along entire length of chain. Wipe off the excess.
And don’t clean the chain with any kind of cleaner or solvent, e.g. WD-40.
So, $14.99 for a bottle of chain lube, a roll of paper towels, and some disinfectant wipes, which you can use in the kitchen and bathroom at home, you’ll be itching to spend some of that money you’ve saved because the gang at Concept2 have apparently never heard of planned obsolescence.
So, save up that $180 and appreciate the fact that it’s not major surgery at all.
While I have never actually had a natural chain or cable failure, I screwed them both up when I was moving my Model C or I have had to replace the chain and elastic cable and all that and it was minor surgery, but retrofitting a PM5 onto my Model C only required unbolting the swing-arm and then bolting on the new replacement swing arm and PM5 and then running the wire in such a way, using the built-in channels, that you don’t abrade the wires or put them under any stress.