Setting drag factor

Discuss all things related to the BikeErg, Concept2's newest product.

Re: Setting drag factor

Postby Robbie100 » September 28th, 2017, 6:59 am

VivaTerlingua wrote:I'm very interested in this bike however I'm a little concerned about what I am seeing regarding the level of difficulty at the lowest drag setting. It is important to be able to spin at about 80 RPM and it sounds like it could be a problem to do for long periods. This bike would be used by both me and my girlfriend and we would want to be able to use it for long spinning sessions as well as interval training. Has anybody at Concept2 commented on this?


This issue is highly subjective. Some users report the drag factor to be unsatisfactory at the lowest level. Others don't find this an issue at all. If you are used to a spinning bike utilizing friction or magnetic resistance, I suspect it will take time to adjust (if at all possible).

One possible solution, if trialling from a gym, showroom or from a mate is not possible is to order the bike and test ride it. If not happy, return it within 30 days and get a refund. You lose shipping and handling charges in exchange for that nagging thought about what could have been.
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Re: Setting drag factor

Postby CaseyClarke » September 28th, 2017, 8:23 am

VivaTerlingua wrote:I'm very interested in this bike however I'm a little concerned about what I am seeing regarding the level of difficulty at the lowest drag setting. It is important to be able to spin at about 80 RPM and it sounds like it could be a problem to do for long periods. This bike would be used by both me and my girlfriend and we would want to be able to use it for long spinning sessions as well as interval training. Has anybody at Concept2 commented on this?


I've already mentioned this a few replies back but Concept 2 haven't said anything yet. 80 rpm is actually quite low for me and I prefer to do my long easy spins, as well as most of my sessions, in the 95 - 100 rpm bracket. Easy spinning at a high ish cadence won't be an option for most people on this bike unfortunately. 98 rpm in the bottom setting, around 60 drag, apparently puts out 270+ watts, which won't be sustainable for longer periods for anyone other than pretty strong riders.
For weaker riders, with say 200w FTPs, then the only easy session you're going to get is down around 50 rpm.

Additionally, it's worth noting that a lot of the people currently using this bike are the Crossfit crowd (which I think it's geared more toward) so they'll be used to things like the AirDyne and Assault where lower cadences are quite the norm. I think a lot of pure cyclists and people doing spin classes will think it's geared way too stiffly at the bottom end.
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Re: Setting drag factor

Postby VivaTerlingua » September 28th, 2017, 11:09 am

CaseyClarke wrote:I've already mentioned this a few replies back but Concept 2 haven't said anything yet. 80 rpm is actually quite low for me and I prefer to do my long easy spins, as well as most of my sessions, in the 95 - 100 rpm bracket. Easy spinning at a high ish cadence won't be an option for most people on this bike unfortunately. 98 rpm in the bottom setting, around 60 drag, apparently puts out 270+ watts, which won't be sustainable for longer periods for anyone other than pretty strong riders.
For weaker riders, with say 200w FTPs, then the only easy session you're going to get is down around 50 rpm.

Additionally, it's worth noting that a lot of the people currently using this bike are the Crossfit crowd (which I think it's geared more toward) so they'll be used to things like the AirDyne and Assault where lower cadences are quite the norm. I think a lot of pure cyclists and people doing spin classes will think it's geared way too stiffly at the bottom end.


I currently have a rower and a skierg and think they're great machines and am interested in the bikeerg to replace our recumbent. I like the quality of the Concept2 machines and it would be great use the same controller on all of our machines. But there are 2 things causing me to hesitate. One is this drag issue. Very often for the exercise bike, I like to put in a movie and just spin for an hour or two. It sounds like it could be a challenge because of the lowest power setting not being low enough. Several people have mentioned trying some sort of obstruction to restrict air flow. Has anybody actually tried this and how has it worked out? But even that is less than ideal, when doing intervals I would prefer to spin at high RPM and low resistance for recovery vs. just reducing my cadence. Trying to cover the air intake while riding doesn't seem very practical.

My other question is a pretty minor concern. How much of an inconvenience is it changing the drag factor while riding? It seems like it would be a lot more convenient having some sort of way to change the setting on the handle bars.
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Re: Setting drag factor

Postby CaseyClarke » September 28th, 2017, 11:32 am

I have a SkiErg and when I wrap a towel around it I can get it from its lowest drag of around 60, down to about 40. Assuming you can do the same on the BikeErg, but won't actuallly know until someone tests it. They aren't available here in Europe until next year, otherwise I would've already tried.

The handlebars do look a long way away from the seat, even when they're fully extended towards you, so I don't know how comfortable distance riding will be if you can't rest down on your elbows fully.

The damper lever is reachable from the seat, just like on a Wattbike, although you'll probably need to stretch a bit more. You'll obviously be able to move it between 1 & 10, but won't get exact drag numbers in the middle of a session. Not that you'll need exact numbers anyway. Typically, if I'm doing intervals on a WB with the lever on 10, I'd just reach down and knock it to 1 and spin along easily in the recovery.
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Re: Setting drag factor

Postby VivaTerlingua » September 28th, 2017, 12:05 pm

The bike looks very interesting, but it's not like I need one in the next week. I think I'm going to wait until a few more user reviews get out there. It's not been available very long yet, I'm sure more comments will start turning up.
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