1. Understanding the mechanics of the fan house

The fan housing of the Concept2 RowErg® (Model D) indoor rower contains a flywheel at its center. As the rower is used, the flywheel is set in motion, creating a stream of air that is forced through the fan housing.

This air stream is what provides resistance during the rowing motion, allowing for a more realistic rowing experience. Understanding the basics of air resistance (damper settings 1 – 10 / drag factor) can help you to effectively utilize the rowing machine by adjusting the drag factor and get the most out of your workout.

Understanding the Right Drag Factor Setting for Optimal Rowing Performance

A drag factor is a setting on a rowing machine which determines the resistance felt by the rower when they are rowing. A higher drag factor is not necessarily better as it can make it more difficult to row and could potentially increase the risk of injury. The drag factor should be adjusted to suit the individual’s strength and fitness levels, as well as their rowing style.

A novice rower would benefit from setting the drag factor lower, as this will make it easier to get into the correct rowing technique and build up strength and fitness gradually. As the rower’s strength and fitness levels improve, the drag factor can be increased accordingly. This will help the rower to challenge their body and improve further.

It is important to remember that rowing with the drag factor too high will be detrimental to a workout and will increase the risk of injury. Rowing with the drag factor too low will also be detrimental to a workout, as it will not provide enough resistance to challenge the body. It is therefore important to understand the correct drag factor setting for each individual and adjust accordingly.

2. What is Drag Factor and how to use it with the PM5 Performance Monitor

What is Drag Factor?

Drag Factor is a measure of the air resistance created by the Concept2 RowErg. It is the amount of force required to move the fan blades to create the air resistance.

How does Drag Factor work on the RowErg® ergometer?

Drag Factor works by creating air resistance from the fan blades when the rower pulls the handle. The amount of air resistance is determined by the resistance knob on the fan housing. The higher the resistance knob is set ( 1 – 10 ), the more air resistance there will be. The PM5 performance monitor display will then show the exact calibrated drag factor.

Instructions on How to Read Out the Drag Factor:
  • Start by setting the resistance knob on the fan housing to the desired level.
  • Press Menu, More Options then Display Drag Factor. Start rowing and the PM5 performance monitor will show the Drag Factor number on the display.
  • Make sure to adjust the resistance knob if the Drag Factor needs to be higher or lower.
Suggestions on What Drag Factor Numbers are Appropriate for Different Experience Levels:
  • Beginners: Drag Factor of 80-100
  • Intermediate: Drag Factor of 100-120
  • Advanced: Drag Factor of 120-140
  • Elite: Drag Factor of 140+

As a guide Rowing Australia recommend a drag factor of:

  • 100 for Lightweight Women
  • 110 for Heavyweight Women
  • 125 for Lightweight Men
  • 130 for Heavyweight Men