NordicTrack RW500 Rower vs Concept 2

NordicTrack RW500 Rower vs Concept 2 – Check & Grab the Best one!

Home Gym Machine

NordicTrack RW500 Rower vs Concept 2Comparing NordicTrack RW500 and Concept 2 is very tough as both are good rower machines. But Concept 2 would be the best option as it includes better facilities that help to beat your personal workout.

What Facilities Made Concept 2 Best?

  • Concept 2’s weight capacity is 500 lbs, while the NordicTrack RW500 has 250 lbs. Since Concept 2 doesn’t have any weight limit, it is sufficient for heavier people as well. On the other side, its competitor is not ideal for heavier people.
  • Both are compatible with the iFit Membership for one year, but Concept 2 is also compatible with LiveRowing, Erg Dude, and BoatCoach fitness programs.
  • It is equipped with the PM5 monitor that allows ANT+wireless and Bluetooth connectivity. In contrast, the NordicTrack RW500 has a backlit display.
  • Concept 2 was constructed with aluminum material, and the finishing used a powder coat to ensure the machine’s longevity. But the rival rower uses metal material that is not durable like Concept 2.

Those unique features of Concept 2 made the best rower machine for you, so you should consider having this home rower machine.


Similar Features

  • NordicTrack RW500 Rower and Concept 2 are compatible with iFit, plus it offers one-year free Membership.
  • Both are Bluetooth-compatible machines that allow you to connect your smart device with the rower machine.
  • Both exercise machines have a SpaceSaver design that allows your rower to fold vertically for compact storage when not in use.

Comparison Chart: NordicTrack RW500 Rower vs Concept 2

Specifications  Nordictrack RW500 Rower Nordictrack concept 2
Editor’s Rating  4.4 out of 5  4.9 out of 5 
Max Weight Capacity  250 500
Live Rowing No  Yes
Erg Dude No  Yes
Monitor  Backlit Display  PM5
Material  Metal  Aluminum and Powder coat
Bluetooth Compatible  No Yes 
BoatCoach  No  Yes
iFit Compatible  Yes  Yes
Footrests Adjustable & Non-slip Adjustable & Non-slip
Space-saver  Yes  Yes 
Integrated Tablet Holder Yes  Yes 
Dimension  86.5” L x 22.0” W x 42.8” H 56 x 22 x 15 inches
Warranty  2 Years & 30 Days Guarantee  2 Years & 30 Days Guarantee 

Similarities and Differences: NordicTrack RW500 Rower vs Concept 2


Concept 2 is equipped with an advanced performance monitor, which is PM5; on the other side, NordicTrack RW500 has a backlit monitor. Both monitors store your workout data so that you can compare every ride.

Besides, the PM5 has an automatic “Just Row” mode so that you can set a variety of workouts. And the monitor will automatically store all information in the PM5 internal memory, or it also lets you use a USB flash drive. Also, the PM5 uses a 2 D-cell battery to generate power when the flywheel is not using the machine.

If you look at NordicTrack RW500, it has a 10-inch portal tablet included with the backlit monitor. Both backlit & PM5 monitors keep track of your heart rate, let you select workouts from a variety, and so on.

Max Weight Capacity 

The weight capacity is the most significant difference between these two famous rower machines. NordicTrack RW500 offers 250 lbs max weight capacity; in contrast, Concept 2 provides 500 lbs. So, it’s obvious that heavier people cannot ride on the NordicTrack RW500. While Concept 2 is a perfect fit for both lightweight and heavier persons. That’s another reason you should consider Concept 2 for your home.

iFit Membership 

Now you can optimize your fitness, nutrition, activity plus sleep, and much more with the iFit members. Fortunately, these two rower machines are compatible with one-year free iFit Membership. You can always try something new, plus exciting since the iFit recommends trying a different workout.

Furthermore, the iFit Membership allows 4 profiles, which means multiple people can use these handy features to stay fit at home. The NordicTrack RW500 iFit offers 30 preset rowers, and Concept 2 offers 10 presets. The best part is, that you do not need a wifi connection to use these rower workouts. However, though Concept 2 has fewer preset, it gives you a perfect workout every time.

App Compatible 

You can stay motivated with Concept 2 because it is compatible with a wide range of famous apps that are not available on NordicTrack RW500. The machine has the ErgData app; also, Concept 2 lets you join the online challenge. All you need to do is, sign up for the Concept 2 WOD (Workout Of the Day) with your email. It’s beneficial as it has an online ranking to challenge yourself with other people around the world and track your workouts.

Bluetooth Connectivity 

Concept 2 is Bluetooth compatible, while the NordicTrack RW500 has no Bluetooth wireless connection. Bluetooth is convenient as it allows you to connect a fitness device, or a smart device and track your heart rate or distance. Since the NordicTrack RW500 doesn’t have this unique feature, you can consider Concept 2 as your personal coach.

Resistance Level 

NordicTrack RW500 uses digital SMR (Silent Magnetic Resistance) that offers a quiet, smooth workout. It lets the user automatically control and adjust the air resistance to add more intensity to your workout. NordicTrack provides 26 resistance levels, while Concept 2 offers 10 resistance levels. If you want more intensity, you can select the NordicTrack

Flywheel and Damper

In terms of the flywheel and dampers, both rower machines give you full control of your exertion at all times. The flywheel’s airflow lets you adjust to your needs easily, and you can change it to suit your performance. It reduces noise and increases the smooth feel during the workout.

Storage and Mobility

NordicTrack RW500 and Concept 2 feature quick-release that doesn’t require any tools for mobility and storage. Once your workout is done, you can separate the machine into two perfect pieces for storage. The machine has caster wheels that allow you to roll fully-assembled the machine in position on the front foot.

Adjustable Footrests and Ergonomic Handle

Both NordicTrack RW500 and Concept 2 use adjustable footrests on their indoor rowers. It’s unique because they give quick and easy sizing so that you, the machine, can accommodate a wide variety range of shoes. Moreover, they feature a comfortable, ergonomic handle that can be bent at 10-degree; it allows you to grow quickly in a natural hand and arm position. As you can see, both have the same adjustable footrests plus ergonomic handle, yet, I suggest Concept 2.

Quick-Adjust Pedals

The machines share quick and adjustable pedals during the intense, high-speed, or cross-training workout in terms of pedals. It lets you add a variety while you slide the pedals. Furthermore, adjustable pedals are convenient as they target the different muscle groups in your body to take your workout to the next level.

Durable Construction

While purchasing a rower machine, you need to consider the construction as well. Compared to the NordicTrack, Concept 2 is very well-known due to its construction and durability. Both are tough plus built to last; NordicTrack RW500 uses metal material to build the machine. It is resistant to rust and water, and the machine offers longer durability. On the other side, Concept 2 uses aluminum with a powder coat finish; combining these two materials ensures a longer lifespan for Concept than its competitor.


In terms of accessories, NordicTrack and Concept 2 are similar in some ways. They come with an integrated tablet holder, user manual, backlit display, quick start guide, and assembly tools. You do not require to purchase anything separately if you choose one of these two machines.


NordicTrack RW500 and Concept 2 share two years of limited warranty on all parts. They have a one-year labor warranty, but NordicTrack offers a ten-years warranty on frames, while Concert 2 has a five-year warranty. If you want a longer warranty on frames, then NordicTrack RW500 could be your best bet, but I suggest Concept 2 since it is made with high-quality material; you can use it for many years compared to NordicTrack RW500.

Final Thought

NordicTrack RW500 and Concept 2 are very famous rower machines to their users since they offer many handy features. When it comes to deciding on one, the obvious choice is Concept 2 as it features a lot of unique features plus made with world-class material to make it last longer.

Compared to its competitor, it will help you to improve your workout and you can take your workout to the next level. As you can see, Concept 2 owns the battle, but if you have a budget issue, go with the NordicTrack RW500.

FAQs of NordicTrack RW500 Rower vs Concept 2

Can I connect the screen with other personal training?

NordicTrack RW500 monitor is limited; it can be connected directly to the rower and directly loaded to the iFit. While the Concept 2 monitor is upgraded which lets you connect to another personal training app.

How hard is the installation of Concept 2?

The installation process is very doable, and mostly you don’t need a person to help, plus it will take 15-20 minutes to install the whole machine.

Can a 6ft 5-inch person ride on them?

Yes, both rower machines let a taller person ride on them easily for the workout.

Can you tell me the PM3 and PM5 differences?

In simple words, the PM5 is the upgraded version of PM3; it contains all the bells and whistles that are not available on the previous version.

Can I redeem the iFit Membership?

You can redeem it; all you need to do is download the iFit app and then follow the directions.

Here you can read another home gym machine comparison article.

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