A rowing machine is a critical piece of rowing equipment. But I bet yours gets a very minimal amount of love.
If any love at all.
Which is a shame because you count on that machine. And one day, it might not be there for you. And it could be all your fault.
Over the years I’ve found indoor rowers, especially Concept2 Indoor Rowers, to be tough and dependable.
But, like all machines, it will need attention.
Try this perspective, the car you drive, would you drive it until it ran out of oil? Until the tires wore themselves to oblivion? Until the radiator was dry as a bone?
No you wouldn’t, because you’d break down on some highway as you’re cruising to a very important meeting.
So, instead, you get your oil changed. Put on new tires. Take the car in for regular service.
You need to do the same with your indoor rower.
You can self-service your rowing machine
Preventative maintenance on your indoor rower is a super power that few use.
And preventative maintenance can make your life (as rower or coach) so much better. How so? It can:
- Extend the life of your machine
- Reduce your hassles…by cutting “down-time” due to broken equipment
- Improve the experience of the human on the machine
- Remove equipment-related barriers which can impact performance (for example, having the screen go blank with 100 meters left of a 20K).
You don’t need to take your machine to a mechanic for preventative maintenance. You can do it yourself. And what I found is that an investment of 15 to 30 minutes, once or twice a year, reaps heaps of rewards.
13 preventative maintenance actions that’ll make all the difference for your rowing machine
Following are the 13 actions I take yearly with my indoor rowers. They’re simple, and require few tools.
Let’s get to it.
JOB: Perform preventative maintenance on your indoor rower
Problem: You want to prevent major issues in the future by giving your indoor rowing machine some smart maintenance.
Needed: Glass cleaner, paper towels, soft scrub pad (like used on kitchen pots and pans) Philips screwdriver, Allen wrench or star driver, 20W oil or Concept2 oil.
Step 1: Carve out some space.
Find a place, and some time, where you can work on the machine(s). A place where you can spread out your tools, move the machine as needed. You also want to find time when you can work and not feel rushed.
Step 2: Gather your tools.
You won’t need many tools, but you will need some. Here’s a simple list of the things that you’ll need.
Step 3: Actions you need to take.
I’m a true believer that a picture is worth 1000 words. So I made this video of the actions you need to take.
I will say this, it’s great if you can take all 13 actions. However, even one or two could make a big difference. I have found the two most important ones are oil the chain, and to check the battery level. Updating the software can also keep things going smoother.
Here are the 13 preventative maintenance actions you should take. (Here’s the video).
- Check battery level
- Update software
- Clean monorail
- Inspect foot stretcher
- Clean foot stretcher
- Inspect handle
- Clean handle
- Inspect seat
- Oil chain
- Inspect flywheel cover
- Clean inside of flywheel cover
- Tighten fasteners
- Set drag factor
(Print your Indoor Rower Preventative Action Checklist.)
Now take action
Go do some, or better yet, all of the actions. The benefits will be worth it. You might not realize them immediately but down the road your indoor rower will work smoother, better, longer.
And that’s what you want, to be moving down the road and not sitting in the breakdown lane.
- 3 Simple Tricks for Your Concept2 Indoor Rower
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- Concept2 Model D Maintenance