Any fellow rowers out there?

Last weekend I took my bike into the shop to get serviced. I never had it done since i bought the bike 5 years ago. Figured since I’m using it more it would probably be a good idea. Unfortunately i wont be getting it back for about 2 weeks and i didnt want to just up and leave zwift till i get my bike back.

So I got my Concept 2 hooked up and got it running on zwift. Fiddled with the settings on the painsled app and get things working as close as possible to effort wise as if I was riding my bike.

Was just curious as to how many of you out there also use a rower while zwifting.

It’s kinda funny, I find zwift really pushes me to work harder and gives me the motivation to go just a little farther. Last night I did a workout a hour and ten minutes long. Longest I’ve ever done a workout on my C2. Needless to say I was pooped. Do you guys find that to be the case as well?

I think there are many. When I use my concept2 I add the suffix “c2rower” to my name, and every now and then I see other people with this suffix.

Rowing in Zwift is great fun for me and brought my rowing to a complete new level. I don´t have a rowing background, I just bought the concept2 for fitness training. Before Zwift my longest distances were about 10 km, now I row up the Alpe du Zwift regularly which means about 21 km on the rower. And it feels so wonderfully rebellish :grin:

My rowing has changed from dedicated training for a new 2k PB to endurance and fun rowing. Now my aims are finishing a long or steep route, finishing a fondo, finishing Ventop etc. - and of course being able to compete in a Zwift race and leave a few cyclists behind me :stuck_out_tongue:

And as a side effect I just managed a new 2k PB though it was really hard to decide which pace to go after so much non-systematic endurance rowing. The races paid off! :sunglasses:

The only drawback: I can´t contribute to the chat. And giving ride-ons while rowing is difficult, too. Apart from that rowing in Zwift is just GREAT fun - Row on!


I have noticed the increase in my rowing too. The last 2 days I’ve done over an hour workout on each workout. Im like you where I have no rowing background and just use my rower as a workout. I’ve always liked rowing so I decided to pull the trigger and buy a rower. Zwift makes time on the rower so much more fun. I’m curious as to how much my fitness level increases by the time I get my bike back from the shop.

I’m finding that interacting with other riders kinda difficult as well. Because the painsled app takes up my phone I cant run the companion too. So I have to sacrifice the interaction. Plus giving a thumbs up while your hands are full is kinda hard.

If the concept2 logbook doesn´t matter to you you might give RowedBiker a try. The main difference to PainSled is that it does not sync with the concept2 logbook, but instead it gives you the “cruze” mode which enables you to “store” some watts (during the warm-up for example) that you can spend later when you want to put the handle away briefly to eat, drink, chat or give ride-ons. Haven´t tried it yet, but should work well because it´s also from exerscreen.

As an AppleTV user I attach my remote with a rubber band to the middle of the handle, that enables me to use the power-ups without having to stop. Sometimes I use the companion app while rowing to give ride-ons though that means that I come to a stop each time giving a ride-on when going uphill. Not good for a new PB up the Alpe, but it´s fun :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Oh cool. Thanks for to good tips. Never though of attaching the remote to the handle. The more I get into zwift the more I find the community so cool.

Thanks for the information. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on this thread. Looking for the same info

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.

I got my rower just before this past winter… Mostly use it on recovery days or as a quick warmup before cyling/running…

I’ve heard for years Zwift was building out rowing which played a small part in my purchase. Was a little bummed to hear the development was put on the backburner post Covid…

Depending on the length of my workout I’ll connect to Zwift for fun… Never occurred to me or noticed anyone else but will I definitely append ‘c2rower’ to my name. It enough people do this maybe Zwift will see there’s a large enough user base to warrant resuming development.

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That’s interesting, I never thought of that before. That’s a good idea. I just might do that as well. We can start a biker… err… rower gang! C2R Warriors lol.

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Haha, great idea!!! It would be even better if we had a jersey identifying us as rowers. Maybe one day we can manage to organize a rowers´ meetup?

Thank you for your RowedBiker review! I´ll stick to PainSled because I want to have my workouts in the concept2 logbook.

Yea have a jersey with a big “R” on it. It would be cool if they made jerseys you could do a simple customization to with a number or letter on it.

Being able to meet up sometime would be cool. We just gotta get all us rowers rounded up in the same place at the same time. I’m sure its like herding albino hairless cats. I hear you gotta be real quiet, sneak up behind em, throw a gunny sack over their head and bop em on the head. Gotta do it quick cuz they will wheel around and slap ya in the face with their oar.

Join the Zwift Rowers group on Facebook, Over 1200 members now.
I am prevented from posting the link here but its facebook / groups / zwiftrowing

Hello, I am also a rower on Zwift. I am also in the Facebook group. After almost 10 months of experience with rowing on Zwift, 6 months of which with an avatar created specifically for rowing only and now a good 6000km just with this avatar (L30 in 6 months), I would like to claim to have a little experience with rowing on Zwift. I like to share the experience. Comparison rowing and cycling: actually it’s about +30% boost for most cyclists with a little rowing knowledge. But this number is volatile, logically changes from type and training volume of respective sports. Comparisons like leaderboards on Strava…that doesn’t work or even zwift races- one is rowing, the other is cycling. And yes- it can mess up your cycling stats if you don’t delete the rowed kilometers on Strava or Trainingpeaks. You can also just not save the session at the end of each ride. Or just row with a new created avatar. Something I don’t understand: you have the possibility to use the rowing machine on Zwift thanks to Rowedbiker or Painsled—and then you take a running avatar: honestly, that’s like being in an amusement park with a giant roller coaster, and then you choose the small children’s carousel. No, choose the bike…delete the unit right after the ride or one at a time. You don’t have to choose the same freak mode as I did and create a completely new virtual identity ;-). There would be a lot to write here, zwiftynamic is what I call the phenomenon that describes how much dynamic indoor rowing has become when it is aligned with the virtual sport activity of cycling.

How have you an avatar for rowing? And how are you moving through levels?

It is just a ordinary cycling avatar :slightly_smiling_face:— is it ? :wink: created it just over 6month ago as i decided due to job…to focus on indoor rowing. But i still wanted to use zwift. I already had a little experience with rowing on zwift, as i discovered the rowedbiker app for android in July- so you just connect the rower with rowedbiker, rowedbiker with zwift, and ride on.
I wanted a rowing only avatar because if you use your “real life” avatar it will corrupt your cycling stats…or delete the session how described above…but i really like my new Avatar…so i want to row/ride with the new different one till Level 50…thats a goal !
There is also a facebook group about rowing on zwift : groups/zwiftrowing (zwift rowers)

I use a Concept2 and connect through Painsled to move my Zwift Rider.

My Zwifting experience started with running, which I enjoy, but I wanted to see much more of Watopia, then heard about painsled and after a fair bit of fiddling managed to get it working. Now, much to the amusement of friends and family, I happily row whilst watching my cycling avatar trundle along.

Seems strange that I’ve joined something that started out for cyclists and I’m doing anything but cycling - I certainly don’t have a problem with cycling, I just chose running and rowing machines before I found Zwift, and if I buy a bike now I fear I’ll not use the rower or treadmill as much…

Looking forward to the days when the rivers of Watopia and guest worlds are full of rowers.

I think the suffix is a great idea - I’ve had [ZRB] (Zwift Rowed Biker) on my name but maybe we should agree on a suffix and try and get others to join? C2RW, C2R, all good :slight_smile:

I’m trying to row all of the cycling badges, currently 21% the way through the route badges. As I guess you’ll have noticed there is a difference in the distance travelled between the C2 rower and Bike - some analysis of the stats I’ve got currently estimates 100m bike = 62m C2 rower, which is handy when working out how long it will take to complete a route.

To sync with C2 log book I just save the workout on the PM5, connect my PM5 to PC and then upload using the Concept2 Utility program.

Row On !