Scalability of Bike Erg?

Discuss all things related to the BikeErg, Concept2's newest product.
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Average guy
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Scalability of Bike Erg?

Post by Average guy » April 25th, 2019, 4:55 pm

I have a model D w/PM5. I row about 45+ minutes a day average, sometimes in 3 sets of 15 - 20 minutes, sometimes longer. Sometimes I push, sometimes not. My recovery following hip replacement has been mixed and I no longer walk long distances. I am 76.

I want a bike erg. The nearest is located over 120 miles each way. I hope to check it out before I buy the BE, but my primary concern or question can be answered by others, if you will, please.

One feature of my rower that I like is scalability. Whether I am rowing at 550 calories per hour or 450 calories per hour the feel is the same; the machine is “engaged” at both speeds and the workouts are proportionally beneficial and challenging at whatever speed I select.

Sometimes after dinner I just kind of lightly “cruise” to get in another 15 minutes. Kinda like an after dinner stroll. This scalability is seldom mentioned I believe because so many folks want to go fast, not slow.

My question is - will I find that same feeling and sensation that I call scalability on the Bike Erg? Can I pedal at a lower speed, lower rpm, and still find that the bike Erg acts the same as it would at a faster rpm and keeps me physically engaged while I turn my mind to something else? Will the flywheel/drive belt sometimes go slack if I pedal too slowly? Would that be a problem?

The ski Erg and rower both involve a pull or a push that stops and then is repeated. The bike Erg involves continuous pedaling which uses the flywheel in a different way.

Thank you. I am asking for opinion and opinions can vary. Please tell me your experience and hope I can sort it out from my perspective. I would like to hear from someone at C2 on this (Ben?) and Dark Horse (Shane) must also have an opinion. Anyone?

John
Delta, CO

ColinMedway
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Re: Scalability of Bike Erg?

Post by ColinMedway » April 26th, 2019, 6:51 am

Hi John,
I hope I am able to answer your question, but remember the 'feel' between the Rower and the Bike Erg will depend on the experience of the user, so this is based on my personal opinion, so here goes:

The Bike Erg feels very similar to the Rower regarding the user input. The big difference is the Rower is a whole body workout, and the Bike Erg is more 'legs and cardio'.

Being an ex cycle racer (time trials), I have found the Bike Erg very similar to riding a bike on the road. The flywheel does not go slack, so when you stop pedalling, you freewheel, i.e. the flywheel keeps spinning until you start pedalling again, just like the rower, (there is no sudden take up).

Both machines can be used in 'jump on jump off' mode, whenever you want.

One final point, if you haven't ridden a bike very much, then you'll need to condition yourself to be able to do long sessions.
That includes being comfortable sitting on a saddle for extended periods. I can imagine this would be difficult for some.

On a personal note, I am 74, ex rower, cross country and road runner, and biker, I find both the Rower and Bike Erg just great.

Colin

chipman
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Re: Scalability of Bike Erg?

Post by chipman » April 26th, 2019, 11:33 pm

Just to throw my two cents in. I Had hip replacement in early 2015. I found riding either a stationary bike, was the best PT I could do (other than the prescribed stretching exercises my the therapist had me doing) I'm riding mostly outdoors now but use my bike erg at least three days a week.

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johnlvs2run
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Re: Scalability of Bike Erg?

Post by johnlvs2run » April 27th, 2019, 12:27 am

I haven't used a Bikeerg, but have used a $75 indoor wind training stand with a road bike for decades off and on. When I was having knee, hamstring and glut pain that prevented me from running a few years ago, I walked when my leg would allow, and rode on my bike stand every day, all of which was helpful for exercise but didn't make the hip pain go away. This makes sense because the body is constantly bent forward at the hips on the bike, and not having a full rotation. The hips can be used from the forward position, while remaining unused and weak in other areas.

When I started using a Skierg last July, the knee, hamstring and hip pain vanished within weeks and has never returned.
Due to enjoying my distance workouts on the Skierg so much, I haven't attempted a return to running, but might do so eventually.
In the meantime I'm continuing to walk as much as possible and am using the indoor bike trainer as supplements to my workouts on the Skierg.
73 5'8 155
age 70+ world record pace per weight percentages
skierg: 100m 87.4 / 500m 86.2 / 1k 85.9 / 2k 89.4 / 5k 87.6 / 10k 89.4 / 60' 92.0 / 21k 93.6
my training log

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Re: Scalability of Bike Erg?

Post by jamesg » April 27th, 2019, 5:41 am

Since the fan torque/speed characteristic is a square law, a 10% crank-speed change means roughly 20% torque change and 30% power change. So we get a large change in power demand with a small crank speed change, which is perhaps what you want, without adjusting the brake.

Presumably the trick will be to set the damper to get a mid-range power/crank-speed combination suited to your main work, with ten percent slower letting you warm-down and 10% faster, go uphill.
78y, 188cm, 87kg, last seen MHR 163. 2k (24 May 19) 8.46.6@22

Average guy
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Re: Scalability of Bike Erg?

Post by Average guy » May 1st, 2019, 5:11 pm

My sincere thanks to each of you who posted a response and thank you for your take on this. It is a comforting to me to hear from others, some roughly my age, who also make a daily effort to maintain fitness and the ability to move well, all things considered.

I just ordered my Bike Erg now. I expect to provide feedback to the group on my initial question and on any other issues that occur to me that might be of interest. The positive encouragement of this group and my wife’s realization that she might benefit from using it, too, got me to proceed.

Thank you all.

John
Delta, CO
76 yrs. 5’9” 130 lbs.

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Re: Scalability of Bike Erg?

Post by Average guy » May 8th, 2019, 5:26 pm

I finished the assembly and set up of the BikeERG this morning. Thanks to folks who responded and helped me decide to get it.

I could not be more pleased. I won’t go over the list of all the features I love about this device, I just want to mention that even at 55 - 60 rpm and a low damper setting the BE acts just like it does at higher rpm or a higher setting. It does not require a large input effort to use the BE effectively; it is not hard to keep tension on the belt. I call that scalability. I also enjoy it at 75 - 80 rpm and higher for sprints. I hope to get better at it.

Just as jamesq said, a little fiddling with the damper setting and trying different rpm within a reasonable range results in finding a sweet spot. I am completely happy with the bike erg; I have found a comfortable, sweet spot for now.

Perhaps unique to me, I already - on the first day - find BE to be a good rehab/therapy device in my comeback from hip replacement surgery and the long period before the surgery when I could do very little and my muscles went unused. Pedaling uses and gets me in touch with the various muscles and parts that need more work. I realize C2 is not and does not wish to be known as a manufacturer of rehab devices but this is a great tool for furthering that purpose for me.

Wish I would have had the confidence to order this sooner. It was never a matter of cost, I just didn’t want to bring a large piece into our downsized retirement home if it wasn’t going to be used. My wife likes it and that is also key.

Thanks to everyone who responded for your help and advice. I mean it.

John
Delta, CO
76 yrs. 5’9”, 130 lbs.

ColinMedway
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Re: Scalability of Bike Erg?

Post by ColinMedway » May 8th, 2019, 5:49 pm

Glad you like the Bikeerg, John. More importantly, your wife also likes it, which helps with the decision making!
Hope your hip continues to mend.
Regards from the UK, Colin.

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johnlvs2run
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Re: Scalability of Bike Erg?

Post by johnlvs2run » July 25th, 2019, 7:49 pm

Average guy wrote:
May 8th, 2019, 5:26 pm
Perhaps unique to me, I already - on the first day - find BE to be a good rehab/therapy device in my comeback from hip replacement surgery and the long period before the surgery when I could do very little and my muscles went unused. Pedaling uses and gets me in touch with the various muscles and parts that need more work. I realize C2 is not and does not wish to be known as a manufacturer of rehab devices but this is a great tool for furthering that purpose for me.
John, that's great news that both you and your wife like the Bikeerg.

I'm still undecided about getting one, and am interested in your progress plus any details that you'd like to share.

Best regards
73 5'8 155
age 70+ world record pace per weight percentages
skierg: 100m 87.4 / 500m 86.2 / 1k 85.9 / 2k 89.4 / 5k 87.6 / 10k 89.4 / 60' 92.0 / 21k 93.6
my training log

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