Peloton on the water

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DrNinjaman
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Peloton on the water

Post by DrNinjaman » December 28th, 2017, 12:02 am

Concept 2 and RowPro need to follow Peloton's lead and add scheduled online rows lead by employee's, like a cross-fit class or something. That's how you get the average user to do the online stuff. A class leader keeps it from becoming a race off, and then you wouldn't have to rely on other users to set up schedules. It would require a change to the graphics/GUI, but that is fine with me. RowPro's GUI hasn't changed in years, and frankly it's terrible. I understand that lately they've been working on the online log and app and stuff, but the graphics are boring and awful. I'm disappointed to discover that version 5 is almost exactly the same as 4.3 regarding how it looks. It just has way more bugs. Yay. If 90% of the users of RowPro use it offline, why isn't the long awaited version upgrade doing anything to improve the offline experience? Christ, a little animation when you finish a workout, an occasional fish jumping, something. All that seems to have changed is that there are now no realistic skin tones for black rowers. It's either white, or red man of Barsoom. Anyway, that's nitpicking, but I am absolutely serious when I say If Concept 2 and RowPro could get their shit together and come up with something half as slick as Peloton, they would be printing money. And giving rowing as a sport a huge boost as well.

I speak as someone who has been rowing on my Concept 2 model E and RowPro V4.3 for three years and loves it. I recently got RowPro V5.1 for Christmas, and I bought my wife a Peloton, and the contrast is stark. The Peloton is like being in a studio class. Rowpro 5.1 is like playing Links386 set to extra boring. Hell, If Concept 2 came out with a rower that had a touchscreen built into it, had online classes, and it cost $3000, like a Peloton, I would buy it tomorrow.

I'm curious how many other users of this forum would feel the same way?

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hjs
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Re: Peloton on the water

Post by hjs » December 28th, 2017, 5:44 am

Forum is mostly about training, not about making it a game online.
For my training see twitter @Hjsrowing

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Re: Peloton on the water

Post by Cyclist2 » December 28th, 2017, 1:59 pm

DrNinjaman wrote:I'm curious how many other users of this forum would feel the same way?
If it came built in with the erg, as you suggest, I'd probably spend extra or upgrade if they made to fit the current machines. The PMs are a little clunky and dated, but I don't want to have to set up a whole computer/monitor/iPhone/etc. just to do a workout on line, with or without other live persons. Keep it simple but keep me interested in my own workout setting.

I even have wondered here before why someone doesn't put a GoPro in a boat and create some DVDs (or streaming videos for those more comfortable with that) of various workouts, like the bike community. I have several cycling workout videos that I use for erg workouts too, but having a rowing specific set would be better. The old "Power 10" video (I originally bought it in VHS) was really good.

I'm not interested in games, per se, but I agree that some improvements (simple, but effective) to the display would inject more interest in indoor rowing. Who knows; since indoor rowing is apparently becoming a sport in itself, something like that may be more enticing to entrepreneurs, or to C2, or RowPro.
Mark Underwood. Rower first, cyclist too.

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Carl Watts
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Re: Peloton on the water

Post by Carl Watts » December 28th, 2017, 4:27 pm

I agree with some of what you say but the graphics themselves is not important, its not a game as HJS has pointed out. Trust me when you get 16 people in an event all your interested in is a rock solid connection and the rowing itself.

The failure of RowPro in terms of uptake is due to several reasons. Concept 2 should have had Bluetooth in the monitor 10 years ago, in fact they should have dumped the monitor years ago as I suggested and come up with a "Smart Tach" option to bypass the monitor and be able to use your i-pad or tablet on the monitor arm instead with an "App" that could be run on your device to give you the "Monitor" screen, better still buy out Digital Rowing and just supply this for your device.

I used RowPro years ago down at an OTW event and they had a special set of graphics for a 300M event that included all the stands at the finish and the roar of the crowd as you approached the finish line. I have no idea why they never incorporated this in to a special 2K race event that could be used all the time. If anything its not the quality of the graphics its the diversity of differnent lakes or cources that it lacks. Actual venues need to be videoed and then converted into RowPro. it would be amazing to row under bridges and row at Lucerne for example.

A big mistake with RowPro was not to release it for ONLINE rowing ONLY. Also it needs to dump all that training program stuff and the analysis, way too much time spent on that in development and not enough on what your using 99% of the time. Perhaps future releases will be online only and far more simple to use from a user point of view. You can still row by yourself but there will be visibly far more users online which will grow the product. anything that you go online and find your the only person "Online" in the whole world is destined for failure.
Carl Watts.
Age:51 Weight: 98kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

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Re: Peloton on the water

Post by mitchel674 » December 29th, 2017, 2:55 pm

hjs wrote:Forum is mostly about training, not about making it a game online.
What's the point of this comment? This forum does have a section for "Online Racing, RowPro, e-Row and RowIt". The OP is merely asking about online racing and is in the appropriate section.

Personally, I've been disappointed with the lack of online options for rowing. Sites like Zwift and Peloton seem to be catching on with cyclists. Many of these folks turn to these online options for the camaraderie they crave during the winter months when they are stuck inside on their trainers.

I would love to participate in more online rows. I find the presence of other rowers quite motivating. Sadly, the online community is very small. I've yet to see much activity in my time zone. Unfortunately, with such a small base, there's not likely to be much of an interest in improving the software and video content.
53yo male, 6ft, 162lbs

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Re: Peloton on the water

Post by RoidbotPR » January 2nd, 2018, 3:24 pm

I still have deltarower available. http://deltarower.com/DeltaRowerSetup.zip

There is a config file you can modify to allow you to use it beyond the 30 day trial period. It's not exactly the best graphically, but in my opinion it's better than the same static rowing seen in rowpro, and it does allow you to row under bridges.

As far as rowing with scenery is concerned, after using my own software, the long term draw of rowing through scenery does not work. And this result falls into the overall reception I was getting on the forums about rowing not being about pretty graphics to look at, but crunching the numbers after a workout. I added a training tool to it, but stopped development because there was little, if any, interest.

That being said, I do feel there is still something of a market beyond what I think liverowing? is doing.

What I envision as "gaming" during a row, though, is different than "Here is 2000 yards, row as fast as you can to finish"...that is not going to be an event that people will want to participate online. Not a 10k row either.

Take distance, and splits COMPLETELY out of the picture.

This makes the rower a tool to get online with, without measuring your output vs. the output of everyone else online.

What is left to do then? If rowing under bridges is not entertaining in the long run?(trust me on this, I've kept my website and email available for YEARS, and only a handful of people have ever contacted me about continuing with DeltaRower).

The "sport" I envision for the rower is something like Rocket League. You will have to Google Rocket League videos to get an idea of what that is.

Basically, you have 3 vs 3 cars trying to hit a ball into a net. Replace the cars with rowers, and there is your sport. The speed you go is how fast you can row, turning would have to be an algorithm that finds your steady state pace, using a moving average of splits (and here, I use "splits" loosely...rowing at 1:45 is different than 1:50 is different than 2:30 etc). The point of the session is not to keep track of your splits...the point is to get the ball in a goal.

Just like soccer (football)...the point of those games is not to jog 5 miles, or to do 50 sets of sprints, the object is to get a ball into a goal.

If there is ANY interest in doing this, hit me up. Basically it would be to make an online only game of rowing sessions that would last 5-10 minutes a pop, and displaying graphics to get a ball in a goal, one team vs another.

This could be the thing that gets people online to row, Carl.

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Carl Watts
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Re: Peloton on the water

Post by Carl Watts » January 2nd, 2018, 11:33 pm

I have no idea what it really takes to get people online to row, however its clear that the people on rowers are quite different to people on bikes.

It must be personality types, Cyclists just love to row in groups. When you see them on the road over here they are never on their own and always in packs. This mentailty translates in software where they want to do the same.

Rowers appears to be individualists and do not associate rowing as a sport where you row in a group. Also its noticeable to me over the years on RowPro that many are far too competitive and have the
"I must win" everything that I enter attitude. Trying to find someone that picks a pace before the start and it happy to just go at training pace and is happy to come last is near non existent.

Really I cannot believe how low the uptake of RowPro has been, to me it was a no brainer to use this it totally transforms a static erg into a dynamic rowing experience buy clearly I'm in the 0.1% of indoor rowers that like this sort of interactive experience.
Carl Watts.
Age:51 Weight: 98kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

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Citroen
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Re: Peloton on the water

Post by Citroen » January 3rd, 2018, 7:23 am

Carl Watts wrote: It must be personality types, Cyclists just love to row in groups. When you see them on the road over here they are never on their own and always in packs. This mentailty translates in software where they want to do the same.
That's because of the abysmal abilities of the average motorist. It's a million times safer to cycle in a group (lots of eyes and ears (eyes to see what's coming towards you to kill you, ears to hear what's creeping up from behind)) than riding solo. Group riding, especially if you get a Belgian Echelon running, makes the ride easier for everyone (only the front pair get the full blast of the wind). Our club usually runs those as "through and off", as soon as a rider gets to the front he/she peels off to the right and slows a little until he/she reaches the back of the group (and so on, and so forth).

Taken to extreme you'll see the echelon riding in Le Tour.
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Re: Peloton on the water

Post by tlock » January 8th, 2018, 3:27 pm

I speak as someone who has been rowing on my Concept 2 model E and RowPro V4.3 for three years and loves it. I recently got RowPro V5.1 for Christmas, and I bought my wife a Peloton, and the contrast is stark. The Peloton is like being in a studio class. Rowpro 5.1 is like playing Links386 set to extra boring. Hell, If Concept 2 came out with a rower that had a touchscreen built into it, had online classes, and it cost $3000, like a Peloton, I would buy it tomorrow.
I've been a longtime lurker here, and I created an account just to say yes, yes, yes. I bought a C2 for fitness a few years ago and love it (I have no rowing experience beyond my home workouts), and I've tried every piece of rowing software I can find. I use RowPro now, but it's terrible. I would happily pay more money for software with modern graphics & training & competition. RowPro is the best I've found, but it looks and feels like a terribly outdated piece of software, and it does the concept 2 no favors. I know software development is complicated, but I'm shocked that RowPro is the best we have.

I'm sure C2's primary customers are gyms and organizations, but I think there could be a major market for a Peleton-like rowing application. I much prefer rowing to cycling, but I'm giving serious thought these days to Peleton and Strava—and I'm disappointed that there isn't a rowing equivalent.

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Re: Peloton on the water

Post by Carl Watts » January 8th, 2018, 9:46 pm

You guys clearly never used E-Row !!!!

I think you can in RowPro just go back to 2D with little yellow boats and a blue background and tell me what you think of that for graphics !!!

Yes its bad by modern video game standards, lets face it you should be able to take a selfie and have the software put your head on Rob Waddell's body but its not going to happen. There are plenty of people that complain about paying only USD$99 for a lifetime licence so you can forget about increasing the price, even less people overall would use it.

If I want to go for a bike ride I can use the 14 speed I purchased in 1987, its not going to make any difference on the flat if I went out and spent $8000 on a bike, its the experience that counts.

If you live in a timezone with a large population your lucky, its lousy over here with only a few people in the UK online at some crazy time in the morning.
Carl Watts.
Age:51 Weight: 98kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

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Re: Peloton on the water

Post by mitchel674 » January 9th, 2018, 8:35 am

Carl Watts wrote:You guys clearly never used E-Row !!!!

I think you can in RowPro just go back to 2D with little yellow boats and a blue background and tell me what you think of that for graphics !!!

Yes its bad by modern video game standards, lets face it you should be able to take a selfie and have the software put your head on Rob Waddell's body but its not going to happen. There are plenty of people that complain about paying only USD$99 for a lifetime licence so you can forget about increasing the price, even less people overall would use it.

If I want to go for a bike ride I can use the 14 speed I purchased in 1987, its not going to make any difference on the flat if I went out and spent $8000 on a bike, its the experience that counts.

If you live in a timezone with a large population your lucky, its lousy over here with only a few people in the UK online at some crazy time in the morning.
Carl, you bring up an interesting time zone issue. I've noticed the same problem and I live in Florida. It seems that Rowpro is much more popular in the UK and most of the rows occur while I am at work or asleep.

Sunday I was able to join a 5 person 30 minute row. It went great for 500m and then the connection froze. I finished my workout but never got reconnected.

When rowpro works, I really enjoy it. Sadly, I just cannot find enough rows to join and nobody has ever joined a row I have posted.
53yo male, 6ft, 162lbs

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Re: Peloton on the water

Post by DrNinjaman » January 10th, 2018, 1:50 am

Well, this is interesting. I got a lurker to speak up with my first post! I understand about all the points everyone is making. What I am suggesting would constitute a risk on the part of Concept 2 and/or RowPro or whoever they partnered with. It would take some capital investment, and frankly they are already behind the curve on this stuff. Both Concept 2 and RowPro are badly in need of an overhaul, and maybe the market just isn't there, but there is a risk associated with doing nothing as well. People on this forum gripe about paying $100 for RowPro because it's you guys, and it's an internet forum. These things are for complaining. If you get people excited about something though, the three people who complain about the price won't matter because for every three of them you'll have thirty willing to pay more.

The folks behind Peloton figured this out. Peloton is like a cult. Subscribers can participate in classes with a motivational professional instructor, rockin' tunes :roll: , and little arbitrary achievement medals, like Concept2's challenges, except that a lot of them aren't super difficult. You can follow other riders, and they have a facebook page. The flat panels transmit audio from the classes in New York, so in the live classes the instructors can talk to you in real time.

Also, regarding the poster who said that RowPro shouldn't have bothered with the analysis and training programs, I would point out that that is literally the only thing I use RowPro for. I use the training programs to vary my routines so they don't get too static and repetitive, I do the analysis to see how I'm improving or slacking off, and I like the animation of the boat gliding through the water better than just staring at ErgData on my phone. Also, Peloton records every workout, pace, resistance, and heartrate, so you can do performance analysis. That said, I'm an engineer, so my interests probably differ from the average person's, but I think RowPro has generally hit the right notes in their development priorities, but they need to do more.

Regarding the personality types and rowers not liking other people, explain the UW Madison boathouse to me then. The crew team would show up and crank on the rowers at all kinds of crazy hours, and then they'd have practice on the lake in the big 8-man shells. Rowers are soloists because most people didn't have a row boat as a kid that they used to get around town to their friends' houses. Rowing is less popular because it is unfamiliar and feels old fashioned, it requires learning a new technique as a barrier to entry, not because of personality types. The things that make Peloton appealing would make rowing appealing as well, the sense of community, the excitement, the stupid little dopamine bumps in the form of achievement badges and shout outs from the instructor. But Concept 2 has to figure out a way to get past that barrier. Get people passionate about it, so they drag their friends into it. I've gotten two other people to buy C2's because of my promotion of them. Concept 2 needs to step up their marketing efforts and be willing to take a big risk though. I'm just saying if they were ever going to do it, this feels like it might be the time. Seems like a perfect activity to promote to the hipster crowd, as something that was popular 100 years ago, like absinthe and skinny jeans (rowing was an Olympic event in 1900).

Anyway, this is just something I was pondering the other day after getting familiar with the Peloton and installing RP5.1 on my laptop. I appreciate the feedback and discussion. Whatever Concept 2 decides to do in the future, I'm happy with what I've got, it's improved my life considerably.

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Re: Peloton on the water

Post by hjs » January 10th, 2018, 6:50 am

The c2 is certainly getting more populair, but not so much for traditional use, as in long easy rows, but as in tge crossfit way, combined intervalwirk, groupuse, sprinting. Also the skierg and c2 bike are included.
That new use is certainly not looking for life online training, simply because its not possible.
For my training see twitter @Hjsrowing

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Re: Peloton on the water

Post by Carl Watts » January 10th, 2018, 4:10 pm

You would have to ask Concept 2 how many rowers there are worldwide, however you would find that there 100 times more bikes worldwide so from a software point of view the market is huge.

Yes I said dump the training and analysis features if it takes time away from the development of the core software. I never used the training feature and only used the analysis for 6 months while improving, after that its pointless and also its flawed with pace considered a linear function against heartrate and its not. Coming up with decent analysis is actually pretty hard, whats probably more useful is just something that can give you a fitness score which essentially is what you have to go to the rankings for now and look at the percentiles as no one has bothered to come up with a large enough database to give it to you directly.

In the end all I was interested in was my fitness level when compared to all other 50 year old, 183cm in height, 100Kg rowers in the world that are not using drugs !!!!!.

RowPro is always going to be a limited market and the timezones are a huge problem. if your in the UK its great, you can fill 16 lanes at the right time because you have 60 million people, try New Zealand with only 5 million and your on your own. We may get the odd Australian, the early morning UK rower and the odd Russian but In England you potentially get France and most of Europe. America is great as well, there are way more people an hour either side of peak rowing times.
Carl Watts.
Age:51 Weight: 98kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

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Re: Peloton on the water

Post by Aquaman » November 19th, 2018, 11:18 pm

DrNinjaman wrote:
January 10th, 2018, 1:50 am

The folks behind Peloton figured this out. Peloton is like a cult. Subscribers can participate in classes with a motivational professional instructor, rockin' tunes :roll: , and little arbitrary achievement medals, like Concept2's challenges, except that a lot of them aren't super difficult. You can follow other riders, and they have a facebook page. The flat panels transmit audio from the classes in New York, so in the live classes the instructors can talk to you in real time.

Anyway, this is just something I was pondering the other day after getting familiar with the Peloton and installing RP5.1 on my laptop. I appreciate the feedback and discussion. Whatever Concept 2 decides to do in the future, I'm happy with what I've got, it's improved my life considerably.
Having spoken with the people at C2 directly, I can say with confidence that they see themselves as the stewards of their ERG's mechanical performance and design, and not so much for the digital experience layer on top of it. They are very supportive of external partners developing on top of their platform and have long demonstrated that approach with their open app architecture.

There are a number of companies trying to copy the Peloton model for rowing, and in most cases almost exactly (build rower, tablet, app, recorded videos, etc.). Most of these machines are new to the market and untested like the C2. Few yet offer an equivalent digital experience to Peloton (community app, live video, etc.). A couple are doing some (apps) or ,most/all of it (community app, video, live) on top of C2's. Additionally you'll see a number of rowing-focused boutique studios emerge in the US in 2019, with at least half using C2's.

One thing to keep in mind about Peloton - it's not really targeted at cyclists but appeals to some (Zwift more so). After 4+ yeas on the market they are only now adding cycling-like features (e.g. Power zone training) and analytics. I would expect the same break between rowers who ERG and fitness enthusiasts who ERG. Other dimensions break along exercise style, with some worthy analysis and breakdown found here:
https://www.britishrowing.org/2017/04/n ... or-growth/

Hope this helps! :)

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