DAMPER SETTING

General discussion on Training. How to get better on your erg, how to use your erg to get better at another sport, or anything else about improving your abilities.
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PaulS
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Post by PaulS » August 9th, 2006, 11:47 am

The Vulcan wrote:Without going into the how and why, is the end result that if I row for 30 minutes at a pace of 30 spm on damper setting 10, I should cover more meters than if I row for 30 minutes at a pace of 30 spm on damper setting 1?
No.

30spm is Rate, not Pace. :wink:
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Post by The Vulcan » August 9th, 2006, 11:50 am

Okay, wrong terminology. If I row at a rate of 30 spm for 30 minutes, will I cover more meters at damper setting 10, than at damper setting 1?

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Post by yehster » August 9th, 2006, 11:51 am

The Vulcan wrote:Without going into the how and why, is the end result that if I row for 30 minutes at a pace of 30 spm on damper setting 10, I should cover more meters than if I row for 30 minutes at a pace of 30 spm on damper setting 1?
Not neccesarily. The "how and the why" are relevant. For example, you could achieve a stroke rating of 30 at damper 10 by barely pulling back on the handle, then rushing the slide, versus rowing "normally" at damper 1 and 30 SPM, and your split will be much faster on setting 1. You can obviously reverse techniques and get a faster split on 10 than on 1.

Let's try another analogy... The damper setting you choose is kind of like how much weight you put on the bar when you do bench presses. A damper setting of 1 is a light load, and a setting of 10 is a heavy load. With the light load, you can easily and rapidly move the bar, but you don't do as much work per rep. With the heavy load, you do more work per rep, but you are straining more to do so.

This analogy breaks down/is incomplete though. Work is equal to force X distance. Assume the distance is the same for both your weight lifting (arm length stays constant) and for your erging (you keep a consistent stroke length). With the weights, the force is simply equal to the weight of the bar. However, the force on each stroke with the erg is *not* directly proportional to the damper setting. That force is a combination of factors, including the damper setting, the current speed of the flywheel/fan and how much you accelerate the system on each stroke.

What the PM is reporting as speed/distance is based upon how much work you've put into the erg, but it isn't a linear relationship. That's where that whole thing about modeling a four w/o coxswain comes in.

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Post by PaulS » August 9th, 2006, 3:51 pm

The Vulcan wrote:Okay, wrong terminology. If I row at a rate of 30 spm for 30 minutes, will I cover more meters at damper setting 10, than at damper setting 1?
Okay, No.

I'm not being dismissive with you, it's just that the answer is that simple.

If you put in equal work, either with a slow moving flywheel (High DF) or a fast moving flywheel (Low DF), the PM will display an equal pace, producing an equal distance for the 30 minutes.

How you go about that work is up to you and different DF's may provide different perceptions of the work being produced.

i.e. Scientists determined that a cadence of 60 would be "efficient" for Time trialing cyclists, however nearly no Time trialing cyclists use a 60 cadence as it is too slow and feels bad to them. So they opt for a higher cadence and still seem to get the job done quite well.

Happy to go into as much detail as you would like if that doesn't clear it up enough.

Cheers.
Erg on,
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Post by hjs » August 9th, 2006, 4:06 pm

The Vulcan wrote:Without going into the how and why, is the end result that if I row for 30 minutes at a pace of 30 spm on damper setting 10, I should cover more meters than if I row for 30 minutes at a pace of 30 spm on damper setting 1?
No you could even row more meters on damper 1 at rate 20 than at 30 rpm on 10 :D
It is simply no the same as a gear on a bike.
If you pull very weak and short and do a fast recovery the rpm is high but the pace is low
If you pull hard and long and do a slow recovery the pace can be high.

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Post by The Vulcan » August 9th, 2006, 4:28 pm

I'm sure I must sound like a complete idiot, but bear with me; the only exercise/sport I've ever done is run, which I have been doing for about 25 years. I know if I run for 60 minutes, the only thing that changes the distance I cover from day to day is how fast I run. My mind is having trouble converting this principle to rowing. If we are both rowing with the same spm, with the same damper setting, for the same amount of time, what makes you go farther than me? What is the missing link I'm not getting?

I am so glad this is anonymous! B)

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Post by michaelb » August 9th, 2006, 4:32 pm

SPM is not "how fast you row". How fast you row is an artificial concept on the rowing machine. The C2 actually measures how many watts of energy you produce, and then converts that to "speed" shown on the display as pace. The stroke rate (SPM) doesn't actually matter at all in the calculation of speed for the C2.

If you row 60 minutes at pace=2:00, you will be go farther than if you row pace=2:10, regardless of the damper settings or the stroke rate for either of the pieces. The pace is the representation of your speed on the C2.
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Post by c2jonw » August 9th, 2006, 4:36 pm

Alambrose,
Great discussion here. Here's a link to a breif desciption of drag factor and how the monitor works:
http://www.concept2.com/05/reference/drag_factor.asp

I'd also like to put out another analogy and see where it goes. Suppose you are to ride a bicycle up a certain hill in a certain time at a constant pace. Regardless of which gear you use, the amount of work (moving a certain weight a certain distance over a certain time) that you do is the same regardless of what gear you select. However, we cyclists know that there is likely a gear that will be optimal, ie, feels right and results in a lower pulse rate at the top of the hill.
Drag factor is similar, in that doing a certain distance at a certain constant pace will result in the same work being done regardless of the drag factor selected, though we know that there will be an optimal drag factor.

Of couse the analogy starts to fall apart when you realize that gear selection in the bicycle example simply results in a chage in cadence, (unless you start swerving all over the road), whereas on the erg you could keep cadence or rate the same, or higher or lower. Paul???
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Post by yehster » August 9th, 2006, 5:34 pm

c2jonw wrote: Of couse the analogy starts to fall apart when you realize that gear selection in the bicycle example simply results in a chage in cadence, (unless you start swerving all over the road), whereas on the erg you could keep cadence or rate the same, or higher or lower. Paul???
C2JonW
If you consider the situation where you are on your freewheel and geared bicycle crusing at speed on the flats the analogy can actually continue to hold.

Suppose you are on your bicycle freewheeling (not pedaling) at 25MPH or so. If you are in your smallest gear, you would have to spin like mad to get your speed up to 30 MPH.

On the other hand, if you were in your biggest gear, you can torque the heck out of the pedals and accelerate yourself to 30MPH in far fewer strokes than you did in the bottom gear.

Gear selection on a bicycle relates pedaling RPM to speed, but it also influences forces required to accelerate. OTOH, the damper setting does not correlate with RPM and speed, as there is a force factor missing to complete that equation. The damper setting is related to the force, but a lot of other factors including the present speed of the fan and the velocity of the handle/chain influence that force.

Here's another experiment you could try... Set your erg to 1 and get the pace to 2:00. Hold it for 10 strokes or so. Repeat at damper 5 and damper 10.

Your stroke rate and how you feel is going to be different on all of these settings.

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Post by Heaviestuser » August 10th, 2006, 3:32 am

John Rupp wrote:Al,

I agree with you and always use the lowest drag factor, where I am able to generate the speed for the distance that I'm aiming for. As an example, I am using a drag factor of 65 through the summer.

Two years ago I did quite a bit of rowing at 10 strokes per minutes. Amazingly, I was able to do this at a faster pace with the damper on 100, than with it set on twice that amount. So even at low ratings, the lower damper was faster for me.

An analogy is driving the car down the freeway. Can you get farther by driving an even 60 mph, or by constantly varying the speed between 40 and 80. The first option works better for me.
You want to say with the drag factor on 100 !
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Re: DAMPER SETTING

Post by 8sWwr2 » January 19th, 2020, 4:23 am

I've read Damper Setting 101, and also another video with Olympic rowers recommend: 5 is the closest representation to water - at around 1:09 in the video. In this article: The Damper and Drag of Olympians, one guy says this: When I used the Concept2 Indoor Rower I always used a 130 drag. How do you convert drag to the 1-10 settings?

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Re: DAMPER SETTING

Post by Citroen » January 19th, 2020, 1:19 pm

8sWwr2 wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 4:23 am
I've read Damper Setting 101, and also another video with Olympic rowers recommend: 5 is the closest representation to water - at around 1:09 in the video. In this article: The Damper and Drag of Olympians, one guy says this: When I used the Concept2 Indoor Rower I always used a 130 drag. How do you convert drag to the 1-10 settings?
Go back and read Damper 101 again.

The lever setting is abitrary. The damper reading is what you're working to set. On a clean machine lever setting 5 should be 130 drag. On a hotel machine that's full of crud and cruft (because it's never been clean since it left the factory) may have the lever on 10 to get drag 130.

On a new machine check it every month. When the drag on lever 5 drops below where you need it then clean your machine (which is a five minute job if done frequently or an hour job if done once in a blue moon).

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Re: DAMPER SETTING

Post by Ombrax » January 19th, 2020, 7:54 pm

8sWwr2 wrote:
January 19th, 2020, 4:23 am
How do you convert drag to the 1-10 settings?
It actually works the other way around: the PM converts the damper lever position (and how it affects the drag on the flywheel, which is the important thing and what it really measures) into a Drag Factor.

1) Decide what DF you want.
2) If the DF you desire is somewhere around 120 put the damper lever around 5. Higher if you want a higher DF, lower if you want a lower DF.
3) Choose the PM option that displays the DF.
4) Row a minute or so and watch the display.
5) If the DF displayed matches what you want you're done.
6) If the DF i's higher than what you want, move the damper lever down a bit and if it's lower mover the lever up a bit. Go back to step (4) and repeat until you get the DF you want.
7) Row

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Re: DAMPER SETTING

Post by jackarabit » January 19th, 2020, 10:27 pm

The PM sensor records magnetic pulses produced by magnets affixed to the flywheel wall passing the fixed coil in the sensor. Simply put, what is “measured” (indirectly determined) by the timing of these pulses is rate of decay of angular momentum of the flywheel as it freewheels after the finish of the drive portion of the rowing stroke. The damper is a shutter or adjustable louvre which acts as a valve regulating the volume of air available to what is essentially an air pump. Restricting air flow (closing the damper) reduces air pressure in the fan chamber and resultant rate of decay of angular momentum is reduced (in the workaday vernacular, the flywheel coasts longer).

Those who cling to the common intuition that the secret of success is the largest of a series of numbers, the tallest gear, the longest shovel, the biggest hammer should remove the fan housing and its silly damper and achieve some serious drag as does the redoubtable Paul Buchanan. :wink:
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Re: DAMPER SETTING

Post by Ombrax » January 19th, 2020, 11:43 pm

When I was in college the dorm had a central vacuum system with outlets on the wall close to the floor and spring-loaded doors to keep them all shut. Sometimes to fool around we would take a roll of TP, start at an outlet, roll the TP down the hall, and have a 20' streamer. Someone would then hit the "start" button on the vacuum, hold open the door, and watch as the TP streamer was sucked into the hole. (yes, we were pretty silly back then) Then, if you released the door and let it snap shut with the system still running you would hear the RPM of the motor increase because the flow of air was drastically reduced and it was a lot easier to spin the fan.

Same thing with the erg flywheel and damper.

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