Zwift Rowing and Skiing

(Paolo) #4

With the above message I bring up again an active conversation that is now archived and partially lost.

Last message posted, and guess never published, below.

Hi Yoda.

My comment on Linux wasn’t meant to be to be rude but anyway my fault and in return I’ll build for you, if necessary, a tailored image with debug enabled and the virtual doping set to 1.00

Starting now from your last question, yes in theory we don’t want to abruptly power off any host but this is not a real issue with the Raspberry because the flash card cannot be damaged like a spinning disk would. I always unplug mine and only connect keyboard and monitor if I need to do something special. And in the end if something weird will happen then will be easy to flash from scratch.

What could you be doing wrong?

Well, nothing apparently. Maybe shut down any other device (namely the CaBLE and the Neo) and try again. Keyboard and monitor are not needed.

What you should search for is something like this


Let me know. Paolo.

(theStig) #5

With the addition of run paths, being able to ‘roller ski’ on these paths, or even on the bike roads would be an awesome addition.

I too have a Skierg, seems like it would fit well into the Zwift world.

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(Mark Nicholson) #6

Zwift support for Concept2 Rowers and SkiErgs would be awesome! I htink particularly the Skiing community would love it!

(Eirikur) #7

I agree, rowing in Zwift would be AWESOME :slight_smile:
I also have the Concept2 rower @Vincent … would be really cool to be able to actually row, among rowers, inside Zwift ( without custom mod/hacks ) with a rowing avatar :muscle:

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(Joakim) #8

I currently ride with a C2-CABLE-CompanionApp setup to drive my avatar but I would love to have direct support for C2 rower (It must be an easy fix for Zwift to use the powerinfo from the C2 ant+ broadcast). Also, as suggested, it would be nice to have a special “roweravatar” but the thing a lot of us wish for is ofcource a “pond” to row in water.

(Jonas Ahlander) #9

As it obviously isn’t any technical problem hooking the C2 up with Zwift, especially skiers could benefit. A roller ski avatar would be what it takes to make the experience better (I imagine the experience for rowers in a boat avatar on the Zwift roads would by somewhat bizarre… :wink: )

(Daren) #10


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(Jonas Ahlander) #11


That’s actually more weird than the eliptical bike.

(C) #12

I would love to hear from the Zwift team on their concerns surrounding rowing support.

I have a few theories.

  1. Data integrity - rowers have a different type of power curve than cyclists so having someone whizzing around with vastly different performance looks…odd? (fishy?) Maybe you don’t want them rowing with cyclists. (though I think the “Row Bike” would be a neat avatar, and it’d be clear who the ergers were)

  2. OK, let’s say a new sandbox is set-up for rowers - “Water-topia?” Is there really a market for this? Not as many rowers as there are cyclists. Counterpoint here: it wouldn’t cost Zwift much to support this - the back-end infrastructure already exists, and the only sensor you’d need to support is the Concept2 PM5 - which you already do with the BikeErg.

  3. Other software on the market is a decade old and CLUNKY (looking at you, “RowPro”) with “Windows 3.1” level graphics. Rowers may be a small market…but you’d probably capture all of them. (and they then become possible bike and run users) Team up with Concept2, offer a 1-month coupon, you just hooked everyone with a new C2.

I ordered an ANT+ to BLE bridge to see if I can get the erg working but native support would capture the people who don’t want to do this. (read: most)

(Paolo) #13


WaterTopia, IMHO, is not an option.

I’m a rower with more than 16 million (sic!) meters logged in 4 years. I row at least 5th in a week and NOW I row mostly if not only in Zwift.

Why this? Why I PAY for Zwift as a rower? Because on Zwift I always find people, events, challenges.

I own a RowPro perpetual license, I bought then but I don’t use the RowPro software anymore. The issue with RowPro is not the graphics, the issue with RowPro is the sad fact you end up rowing alone.

Within WaterTopia you’ll end up to row alone, too. We need to row in the same world the riders do and be able to enter the same event, group rides, races.

Is this an issue with data integrity and, say, virtual doping? Yes sure this is. But sorry, being honest with ourselves we perfectly know it’s only a game and the rowing cheat is far to be the main issue with Zwift races etc. etc.

So, in the end, I ride a C2 indoor rower in Zwift, I enjoy, and I avoid to compare my results with legitimate riders (do they exist?). My profile is public and I declare I’m riding a C2. If I would be allowed to wear a C2 avatar I’ll do and people around will know even better who I’m.

Full stop. IMHO.

Don’t go for something like Watertopia, is a loser. What we need is just an avatar.

Ride on. PaoloC

(Daren) #14

And native support. Having to use something like PainSled and two devices is rubbish. I use an iPad for PainSled and my Android phone running Companion as a bluetooth bridge. It would be so much better if Zwift would just take the ANT+ from my PM5.

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(Paolo) #15

Yes native support would be helping. I’m a pro in IT and I built my own setup no problem but you’re true about native support.


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(C) #16

Really good points you make, Paolo and Daren.

One of the reasons I wasn’t into RowPro was indeed that it’s lonely rowing solo. I may as well just watch TV or stare at the PM5 “Pace Boat” screen with Spotify playing.

Now…as a fun diversion, if cyclists wanted some variety, maybe “Watertopia” has “pedalboats” or kayaks that they can “row” with their bikes, much like we’re hacking the bike-side to “pedal” with our ergs. It’s silly I know - maybe a fun distraction for some cyclists though, which would mean you’re never rowing alone.

I’m happy for now that my newly purchased Apple TV is linking nicely to the erg via PainSled on an iPod Touch, soon to be an NPE-CABLE gizmo, so I can’t complain - it’s keeping me entertained. :slight_smile:

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(Paolo) #17

On native support, again.

Agreeing to Ant+ FE-C documentation Equipment Type Bit Field
This bit field is a required field used to indicate the type of fitness equipment that is in use. Bits 5-7 are reserved and should not be interpreted. Bits 0-4 indicate the FE type as described in Table 8-8. Undefined values are reserved.
Table 8-8. Equipment Type Bit Field Description
Bit(s) Contents Value Meaning
0-4 FE Type 19 Treadmill
20 Elliptical
21 Reserved. Do Not Use
22 Rower
23 Climber
24 Nordic Skier
25 Trainer/Stationary Bike
5-7 Reserved 0 Do Not Interpret

C2 PM5 broadcasts a code 22 page (I’m going to prove this if needed, I have a working PoC) while the stationary bike sends a code 25 page.

Data are in, only needed to be read into the Zwift game. Of course.

Now, people at Zwift don’t need me to point at that. They know better than me or us. The issue is not a technical one, is a commercial issue. Zwift may open the doors to the indoor rowing world, nearly at no cost, and drop rowers to the same virtual reality where the riders are.

Is this going to upset the bike community? Maybe.

Riders may need to know if Zwift is a fair place to compete, not only to train. If what I want to do is to have a work out I’m going to ignore people with different power profiles. If what I want to do is to compete now I’d sensitive to virtual doping, and for sure a different power profile IS a kind of virtual doping.

Is the Zwitf a place to compete, like in real life?


(Tom Hammarberg (Sz) Tri) #18

I just bought a Concept2 rower and found out how boring it is to just look on the PM5.
Please I want to row on Zwift!!!

(Kurt) #19

How To Use Your Concept2 Rower on Zwift

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(Scott Slavin) #20

Please create a Zwift Rowing. I run and row, just started Zwift run and would love to be able to Zwift my rowing. I use a Concept 2, pretty much the industry standard, it has a PM5 that has both Bluetooth and Ant+. The PM5 also has a USB port but that isn’t really necessary as the treadmill broadcasts stroke rate and power via Bluetooth.

(Julia Mueller [ZRG]) #21

One more vote for rowing.
There is currently nothing softwarewise that is making this effective but rather boring sport… less boring :).
I will take a look into painsled, but I would prefer Zwift just to accept the C2 as a power source…

(_) #22

The CABLE device from NPE works great. It also has 2 preset configs available if you have a skier and a rower. This setup is good for me with windows BLE. PM5 ant+ FEC > CABLE (which translates actual ski/row watts from ANT+ to BLE) > Windows machine with BLE.

(_) #23

FWIW the PM5 is currently recognized by Zwift, however in its native form you cant get any Watts above 0.

The issue in Zwift offering PM5 compatibility in its native form would seem to be that when you stop rowing or skiing for a break the PM5 will display the last watts pulled. Though the PM5 will not calculate any additional meters during a break it will still display your last pulled wattage. This makes for an advantageous situation for all those cheaters out there looking for free watts/kms as the result is whenever you take a break your avatar is still riding at your last pulled watts in infinity.

Regardless of all the politics surrounding Zwift trainer compatibility, the infinite ways to hack better results, I’m happy to be cycling, rowing, and skiing on Zwift.

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