new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

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heartygrain
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new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by heartygrain » May 1st, 2019, 11:52 am

Recently purchased a new Model D PM5 and I've noticed my 500m split time is around 20s slower at home than on the Model Ds at the crossfit gyms I go to. That seems like a huge difference. Is there is a break-in period or something? This is at the same drag of 110. I've compared it to at least 4 other machines and with the same effort I am just so much slower at home. Any ideas?

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jackarabit
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Re: new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by jackarabit » May 1st, 2019, 2:06 pm

A perennial question and one which I asked a few yrs. back. The most common response credits the “appearance” of discrepant results from one machine to another to the subjective perception that arises from the common experience and expectation that factory fresh and run-in WILL perform differently. In other words, we find what we’re conditioned to look for. Is what we think we see in a n=1 test reproducible? Or conjecture born of the strong suspicion that we’re being taken advantage of?

I have an idea. It is simply this-> There is no recalibration button nor device on any C2 rower. Concept 2 does not offer a recalibration service. Only new machines are used in C2-sanctioned competitions and presumably in all World Rowing/FISA comps. What Joe Average does down the the gym or at home isn’t a priority and neither average Joe nor average gym would pay for either a calibration device or periodic recalibration if offered.

And now on to slack shock cords, viscosity of bearing lube, etc. ad nauseum. Enjoy! 😊
Last edited by jackarabit on May 1st, 2019, 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Allan Olesen
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Re: new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by Allan Olesen » May 1st, 2019, 2:12 pm

I have experienced the same, and it think it is a question about sound levels.

The sound of a rower in a small living room is much more intense than in a gym. And I think that this make us speed up in the gym because we want to hear the same sound as we do at home.

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Ombrax
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Re: new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by Ombrax » May 1st, 2019, 7:04 pm

heartygrain wrote:
May 1st, 2019, 11:52 am
with the same effort I am just so much slower at home. Any ideas?
You could compare your heart rate (avg and max) at home vs at the gym. That's more likely to be an "real" number than how you feel when rowing.

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johnlvs2run
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Re: new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by johnlvs2run » May 2nd, 2019, 12:50 am

I've owned three different C2 rowing machines, and couldn't tell any difference in time or pace between them, including many sessions of repetitions, sprints, distance, and quite a few million meters. For there to be a difference of 20 seconds, there must be something wrong with either the model D or else the Pm5 setup, because that should not be happening. Perhaps email or call Concept2 directly to see if they have a solution.
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Carl Watts
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Re: new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by Carl Watts » May 2nd, 2019, 1:44 am

Check the actual drag factor on the monitors. Typically a Gym machine will be slower, they are in terrible condition and the fan is so full of dust, you cannot get the drag Factor high enough for sprints, even with the damper setting on 10.

Also check the monitors are set to the right version of Concept 2 rower in the product ID screen.

There should be no significant difference in Ergs that are all in good condition.

Speed doesn't change as they "Wear in" however the chain and sprocket may get smoother and quieter.

What is your weight and height and age ? 110 is typically way too low for a 500m sprint. Whats your 500m time at the gym and at home ?
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Re: new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by lindsayh » May 2nd, 2019, 7:21 am

I guess over the last ten years I have trained and raced on a hundred machines all around the world and have never been aware of any significant difference in output whether clean or dirty as long as the DF is the same or close. Check the setting of PM and machine to ensure they match. Maybe take your machine to the gym and do similar on both.
There is no break in period. If all is OK then I guess it is just a different environment/effort/perception.
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heartygrain
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Re: new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by heartygrain » May 2nd, 2019, 10:14 am

Thanks for the responses. I did reach out to Concept2 who said it's probably just perception of effort. I guess it could be, but it seems unlikely. I'm using the drag factor on the monitor for comparison. I'm a small person, 5'6" and 135lb so I think 110 is about right. The heart monitor would be a good experiment, I wear one at home but not at the gym. I checked the PM5 and says it's setup for model D/E.

I should also note that this is based on rows of 2000-5000m. On the gym machines I row comfortably at a pace of 2:10 and at home it's more like 2:30. I haven't done an all out 500m sprint, but that's probably a better comparison to try.

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Re: new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by Anth_F » May 2nd, 2019, 11:50 am

heartygrain wrote:
May 2nd, 2019, 10:14 am

On the gym machines I row comfortably at a pace of 2:10 and at home it's more like 2:30.
If thats the case, and you're rowing the same 110 df reading you get on the Gym's machines then it seems to me there is something off with your machine.

I've heard about the seat rollers sticking/grabbing on new machines before, so this would cause you to feel it more and go slower.
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Re: new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by jamesg » May 2nd, 2019, 3:52 pm

Twenty seconds is too much for just perception: 2:30 is 100W and 2.10 is 165W, close to 2 to 3. This difference suggests one of the three magnets is missing from the flywheel, or out of position.
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heartygrain
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Re: new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by heartygrain » May 2nd, 2019, 4:16 pm

Thanks, I think I'll take the flywheel cover off and poke around a little. Another point of reference, on the 4 gym machines if I go all out for 10 strokes I can get down to 1:45 briefly. I don't think I've ever got my machine below 2:00. I know I'm small, but I'm pretty fit and that seems really slow.

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Re: new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by jamesg » May 2nd, 2019, 4:43 pm

1:45 is 300 W and 2:00 is 200 W; so again the 2:3 ratio. If you pull same length, same force and same rating on various machines, they must all show the same power; since power is the product of those three parameters.
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Carl Watts
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Re: new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by Carl Watts » May 2nd, 2019, 6:20 pm

jamesg wrote:
May 2nd, 2019, 3:52 pm
Twenty seconds is too much for just perception: 2:30 is 100W and 2.10 is 165W, close to 2 to 3. This difference suggests one of the three magnets is missing from the flywheel, or out of position.
If they are all model D's then they don't have 3 magnets, they have a magnetized "Ring" and if I recall running another magnet across the face of it its essentially 6 magnets. Possibly 12 poles in total.I have never heard of loss of magnetism in these as yet, they can however fall off but then you wouldn't get anything on the monitor at all.

Get a GARMIN HRM1G heartrate strap from E-Bay, mine just arrived. All it needed was a CR2032 battery for $2 because they cannot send by Airmail with a Lithium battery and it works perfectly. NZD$23 delivered to your door.

Use this to try and match your heartrate on the Gym machines and at home if they have the PM4 or PM5 monitors.
Carl Watts.
Age:52 Weight: 104kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

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Re: new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by Ombrax » May 2nd, 2019, 6:41 pm

heartygrain wrote:
May 2nd, 2019, 10:14 am
I should also note that this is based on rows of 2000-5000m. On the gym machines I row comfortably at a pace of 2:10 and at home it's more like 2:30.
If we're talking about 2:10 vs 2:30 I would say that that is very easily in the range of you being able to tell the difference. For me 2:10 is approaching the limit of what I can do for a longish row, and I feel like I'm really getting a good workout. 2:30 feels like it's something I could do all day long and my heart rate probably wouldn't get too much over 110 bpm. As others have suggested above, since it's an exponential function there's a big difference between the power required to maintain 2:10 vs 2:30. I'm confident that unless someone really is incredibly strong and able to cruise for hours at 1:50 (and therefore finds both 2:10 and 2:30 super-easy) the majority of "normal human" rowers should be able to distinguish without too much trouble between 2:10 and 2:30. This leads me to think that perhaps you are correct, and that there is a real difference between the rowers at your gym and the one you have at home. (I have no clue which is "right."

My only caveat is an example from cycling: The vast majority of my rides are either solo or with a buddy of mine. However, every now and then I do a huge group ride (hundreds of people who start over a multi hour period). I drive to the starting location, usually getting there somewhat late, get the bike ready, hop on and start to ride. As I filter through the various slower riders who are also doing the same ride but started before me, if I glance down at my bike computer I'll be doing a good 3-5 mph faster than I normally would be on similar terrain for a "home" ride, even though I don't feel like I'm working that hard. I assume it's because I'm riding with a bunch of other people and subconsciously I'm pushing myself harder than I would if I were on one of my normal solo routes at home. A similar effect may be occurring when you're rowing at the gym.

Good luck figuring this out.

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Re: new rower, much slower 500m split than gym rowers

Post by heartygrain » May 2nd, 2019, 7:04 pm

Ok, I thought we were on to something with the 2 out of 3 magnets. I took off the flywheel and I see the ring on the flywheel. There are two sensor things on the white plastic control unit, I thought maybe there should be one in the middle. Can't seem to figure out how to post a photo right now.

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