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Concept2 is a manufacturer of rowing equipment based in Vermont, USA. It is best known for its air resistance indoor rowing machines (a.k.a. "ergometers" or "ergs"), which are considered the standard training and testing machines for competition rowers and can be found in most gyms. Both the CRASH-B Sprints (which style themselves the world championship for indoor rowing) and the British Indoor Rowing Championships indoor rowing competitions are rowed on Concept2 indoor rowers. Concept2 also manufactures oars for sculling and sweep rowing (under the name Dreissigacker) and air resistance Nordic skiing trainers (SkiErgs).
The company was founded in 1976 by rowing brothers Dick and Pete Dreissigacker. The two brothers trialed for the American team for the 1976 Summer Olympics and while preparing, they modified their oars with carbon fiber in an attempt to go faster. When they were not selected for the team, they founded the company and started selling carbon fiber oars. Their first office was in the back of a bread truck until they bought a farm in Morrisville, Vermont, USA.
Dreissigacker oars were well received by the rowing community and quickly established themselves as one of the major players in the market. In 1991, the company came out with asymmetrical "hatchet" oar blades. These improved a team's performance by 1 or 2% and became popular so quickly that by 1992 most of the Olympic crews were using them. Many elite rowers use Concept2 oars, and together with Croker oars they make up the majority of oars used in international competition.
Indoor rower (erg)
In 1981, the brothers had the idea of making an indoor rowing machine (the Model A) made mainly from bicycle parts. At the time the indoor machines on the market cost $3,000 but the brothers (with help from friend Jon Williams) sold theirs for $600. The product was an instant success and has been revised over the years with the Model B (1986), Model C (1993), Model D (2003) and the Model E (2006)
Until 2006 the company produced and sold only one model of indoor rower at any time. That changed in September 2006, when Concept2 upgraded their Model D and began selling a new prosumer-oriented Model E (priced around $400/£300 above Model D) that provides a higher rowing position with extra layers of paint/varnish, ships with a more advanced ("PM4") monitor and bundles an ANT+HR-compatible Garmin heart rate belt. Both D & E models are used for indoor rowing events such as BIRC and CRASH-B.
The indoor rower's nickname comes from its measurement of the power output of oarsmen/women. As such it is a class of ergometer (Greek: measuring work), and competitive rowers rarely refer to the machine as an "indoor rower," but use the older name "erg" or "ergo" (short for ergometer).
In June 2009, Concept2 introduced their newest product, the SkiErg. The SkiErg is a ski ergometer that helps build strength and endurance specific to Nordic skiing. The SkiErg uses the same mechanical concept that the company's indoor rowers do, but the user is in a standing position pulling on two handles emulating the double-pole technique found in Nordic skiing. Each pull engages the arms, shoulders, core and legs in a downwards "crunch" making it a total body workout.
The Dyno was an air resistance strength training machine sold by Concept2 from 2001 until 2007. It was designed for bench press, leg press, and seated row exercises and used a flywheel to provide resistance.
Online logbook and world rankings
The company facilitates a community of home-based rowers who maintain online logs hosted on the Concept2 web site. Their performances are ranked in real time by the Concept2 software. The total number of meters logged in the 2009 season (May 1, 2008-April 30, 2009) exceeded 8.7 billion. There are hundreds of clubs that rowers may affiliate with when registering with the ranking system. Meters can be logged on the indoor rower, on water, on the SkiErg or on snow.
- "Concept2 UK Dyno page". Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- "Concept2 US Dyno service and support". Retrieved 20 November 2011.