Here is a little review between RowedBiker and PainSled. These are just the observations I made. Figured I would put this out there for those fellow rowers or aspiring to give rowing on Zwift a try.
I got Rowedbiker downloaded, installed and gave it a try today after work. Though it is much simpler and the Cruze function is nice at points, I find I like Painsled more. With Painsled it shows a lot more information like how hard you are pulling, strokes, stroke rate and whatever else you can think of…
(As of typing this I opened up the Painsled app to see what all info it gives you and realized it also has the Cruze function as well. Looks like Painsled is the more detailed version or Rowedbiker)
With the more detailed info that Painsled gives, it kind of makes it easier to get a good rhythm going, especially when you are doing a workout and you have to be at a certain power and cadence. I find trying to get a certain cadence and power nailed down while doing workouts where you have high power and fast cadence then go to a low power and slow cadence visa-versa kind of hard. I get set at a certain rhythm, then when I have to jump up or down during a workout with intervals, it can be a challenge to not go way overboard when I have to speed up or calm myself down when I got to slow up.
One thing I like is the cadence and power conversions. With the cadence and power converter on both apps it makes the rowing to cycling translation a little more realistic. You are not going down the road at 20 mph and your toon is peddling like its a nice slow stroll down the road at walking speeds. The power can be adjusted to what works for you in 10% intervals. It adjusts your overall speed to better match what you would be doing on a bike. The app says 30% is a good starting place for rowing. I gave that a try and it seems to work for me. I did notice that my watts were generally higher on my Concept2, but I chalked that up to I am actually putting in more effort than on a bike, so I didn’t mess with it. I guess I will see when I switch back to the bike.
One thing I am curious to is how much different my FTP is going to be. I wonder when I get the bike back and start cycling again if my FTP will be way off and I wont be able to keep up with my rowing. The past 2 days of rowing, my FTP automatically went up after my workouts. I can hold a good 120 or 140 watts with the rower pretty easily but on the bike that is going to be a challenge. (I’m fat and out of shape) I will defiantly be curious to see what happens when I get my bike back and see if the rowing made any improvements in my general fitness level.
Anyway I hope this gives those of you that are looking into getting into rowing on Zwift a good idea on stuff.