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zwift rowing and skiing

I see that there's already a post about digital rowing, https://support.zwift.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/202105085-Digital-Rowing?input_string=rowing%20and%20skiing

I too have rowpro from digitalrowing.com, you can row online but I've never done it so can't speak what it looks like or how well it works, etc.

I have both a rower and a skier, http://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowershttp://www.concept2.com/skierg/concept2-skierg and logged >5 million meters on the rower and >1 million on the skier. I would love to be able to row/ski in zwift, there's info here on the SDK and software, http://www.concept2.com/service/software

I think right now you have to physically cable the row/ski monitor to a laptop, same for a smart device.

There's a pretty big indoor rowing/skiing community both for folks that train for the outside sport as well as folks who only row/ski inside, like me. Check out http://log.concept2.com/log.asp. Billions of meters rowed per year.

I'm sure you guys could bang out something for the rower in no time :-).

that said I'm really enjoying zwift, I ride almost exclusively indoors and always on zwift, it's GREAT, RIDE ON!!!

46 comments

  • 14
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    Jon Mayfield

    Hey Bernie, that's an interesting idea that a few other people have mentioned to us as well.   We're focused on cycling at the moment but we always have little side projects we investigate here at Zwift so you never know.  

    If we had more concept 2 users writing in we could more easily justify the research sooner rather than later.

    Thanks for all the info. I'll put a +1 next to the idea of rower support.

  • 2
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    Max Olei

    I suggest to investigate if could be profitable to design an online rowing software for water rower user and also other rowers on the market.

    Water rower community is smaller than concept2 community, but there are yet a lot of products for concept 2 and nothing for water rower...

     

  • 7
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    Andrew Price

    I've just created an account just to give this a vote.  Not sure you'll get many Concept2 users writing in though as this forum is a little off-track for most of them.  I'd suggest a post at the C2 forum (http://www.c2forum.com/).  As this is C2's own forum you'll probably need to run it past them first but as they don't do software there's no conflict so I'd expect them to be fine with you posting there.

    I'd definitely subscribe for the C2.

  • 6
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    Daren Chandisingh COLT (C)

    "If we had more concept 2 users writing in we could more easily justify the research sooner rather than later."

    I'll stick my hand up then.

    I've used RowPro in the past, and when I got hold of the USB SDK I started working on a way of "rowing" through Half-Life 2 maps.  It never made it out of my own early proof of concept phase, but I think it'd definitely have an audience. Clearly not as large a catchment group as cycling, but if it's fairly simple to fork the code or engineer some sort of input plug-in system I dare say it wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility.

    The C2 USB output does provide power/pace, for example.  You can see it in this screenshot of my "bleep test" app:

    Should also be possible to support other ergs that provide USB or ANT+ output. Sounds like a great idea to me -- although my erg has been gathering dust for the past few years.

  • 5
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    Chris Pierson (Zoom)

    Concept 2 owner here as well. Would love to be able to Zwift on my rower on my cross training days.

    Is there a repo up on github I could check out?

  • 5
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    Ross Pyne

    Would love to be able to Row around Watopia on my Concept2!!

  • 2
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    Chris Pierson (Zoom)

    Ross,

    After updating my C2 PM5 to v22, I'm able to discover the C2 on Zwift as an Ant+ FE-C device. I can't get it to actually pick up any of the data, but I'm wondering if my Garmin VAHR is doing some intercepting (e.g. it was causing the same pickup problems using the PainSled app on my phone).

    It would be great to see Zwift open up the platform for local usage with some kind of always-on DRM that validated a user's account was active/paid.

    I will give it a shot later with the Garmin watch off and see what happens.

    What C2 computer do you have?

  • 5
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    Iain Curtis

    It would be great to be able to do a rowing workout on my C2 in Zwift...I would defo use it! 

  • 5
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    Bob H.

    (Hand up) Rower!  Started last year and have found that it's a great cross train for cycling.  Bought a Concept 2 with the PM5 monitor this past Christmas.  Would LOVE to have a platform in Zwift to live row.  If nothing else, have the ability to do what this guy did (http://www.olympum.com/sports/rowing-with-waterrower-in-zwift) connecting his waterrower to Zwift via Blackberry Pi computer and just having his bike avatar move based on the power output of the rower.  Ingenious.  Doesn't seem like it'd take much more to create a rowing "virtual" world like you have for cycling.

  • 3
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    Andrew F

    It can be done. Based on the Waterrower experience. See http://p729.com/c2zwift.php for a high level "How-to" guide.

    What would be great would be a RaspPi image which would plug and play on a Rasp Zero etc. to get Concept2 to connect to Zwift.

  • 3
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    Bob H.

    Thanks, Andrew!  Didn't see that link in all of my Googling research.  I'm new to the world of Raspberry Pi but the devices look interesting, if you're inclined to learn new programming languages (which I'm sort of interested in but it's low priority right now).  Ideally, someone will have uploaded an image or file on github or somewhere then I might try to get into it.  But for now, I'll just be content to use the C2-2-Stava and keep Zwift for my bike cross training.  

    If anyone knows more or has a site with a RaspPi image, let the forum know. 

  • 3
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    Boris umblebee

    +11111111111!!11111!!!111!

    Would like to able to use my Concept2 Rowing and Skiing machine with Zwift too.

  • 4
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    Joel Vivian (D)

    Would love to use my C2 rower in a Zwift world! Long time Row pro software user, but Zwift would be 1000 times better! 

  • 4
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    Stephen Ward WBR C

    Have been using Rowpro for many years and would love to see Zwift integrate a program for my C2 rower.

  • 5
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    surly singlespeed

    Me too!

    Concept 2 PM5. I love Zwift for the bike and treadmill but the rower needs Zwift the most,

  • 5
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    Stef Levolger

    Interested!

  • 4
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    jason poyzer

    Yes, please just digging out my Concept 2 for some Winter core training along side the bike..... trying to get a good start for next year so the one platform would be great..

     

    How about just up and down the London Thames as a sample and if you get the user base then London to Watopia ;-)

  • 2
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    Stefan Kinell SZR(C)

    Yes please! I''m a Skierg PM5 user. Would love to be able to do structured workouts with Zwift. Even though it looks like I'm running. ;-)

  • 3
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    E & J Lindauer WBR

    This would be totally awesome!! I would love to have the option to do another sport that I actually do indoors (as opposed to running that I avoid doing indoors unless it's icy out). Think of how many people would actually take an off-season away from the bike and run if they could do some sort of racing on the rower! Though honestly you would probably need to make this something people could do from a phone or tablet, as most people I know use the Concept 2 at the gym. Now that I think of it, using something like the Samsung VR device with a phone would be pretty amazing on a rowing machine while cruising through the Thames or around the Watopia islands...

  • 3
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    Jason Hancock

    Yes please! I purchased a concept 2 rower about a month ago and no rowing software comes close to Zwift. There seems to be a HUGE rowing community, just type "indoor rowing race" into youtube. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=indoor+rowing+race. The cool thing is that almost everyone uses the Concept 2 rowing machine which has become an industry standard, it outputs metrics like power, strokes per minute, heart rate, drag factor, distance, speed etc via both ANT+ and Bluetooth (using the PM5 computer). It seems like it would be easier to implement rowing into zwift as there are no hill gradients and drafting to worry about. Speed based on Watts/Kg would be a cool thing also as I don't think any other rowing software has it, which sucks for us lighter guys :)

     

    Cheers

    Jason 

  • 3
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    Stef Levolger

    The indoor rowing community certainly is a large one. And a big advantage with it is that a very big chunk of the indoor rowing community uses the same device, the concept2. As such, I could imagine it to be relatively easy for Zwift to get things started for a considerable amount of potential customers.

    The concept2 can already be made to work with Zwift as some creative rowers have shown. Add a more user friendly method of getting this in, give a rowing boat model and we're pretty much set to go. The waters are there already as well both in London and most certainly Watopia.

  • 12
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    Jon Mayfield

    Guess it's been a couple of years since I replied, but the update is:

    1) I have a concept 2 rower at Zwift HQ

    2) I have a 'test device' sitting here on my desk from Concept 2 so I can test my code without having to be rowing :)

    3) I have all the protocol info from Concept 2

    All we don't have is time at the moment.  If I can sneak it in as a weekend project soon I will, but as a company we are focused on Cycling and running at the moment, so I expect if anything shows up it'd be super primitive.

  • 2
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    Boris umblebee

    @Jon I would be very very very very thankful and you really would make me so much happy, if you could find time to get it work. When you need real world testers, let me know, as I`m an avid Zwift-User how does also SkiErg/RowErg on a regular base. 

  • 3
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    Daren Chandisingh COLT (C)

    As I've already said above, I'd love this. The main drawbacks to overcome as far as I can see are:

    • rowers would move backwards through the world in terms of "realism"
    • rowers would be on their own pan-flat course, and not share existing roads with cyclists and runners
    • it's much harder to do anything that requires a keyboard/mobile link app while holding the handles of an erg

    Maybe the answer to the first two is to add a Rowbike model to the game. It'd automatically be selected by anyone using an ergo as their pace/power source. That way no new routes etc. are needed, and people would naturally move forwards in the world.

    https://www.rowbike.com

  • 5
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    Jason Hancock

    Awesome!!  Well if you need guys to test it then I'm keen :D I'm not fussed if it's primitive during testing, it's gotta start somewhere!

     

    Cheers for the update Jon!

  • 2
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    Boris umblebee

    @Daren I personally don‘t care about that. For me Zwift don‘t need to mimic reality for 100%, it‘s good engough when…

    - something real happens (= others are working out too)

    - day after day time flys by quite fast when using Zwift

    - much less dumbness/monotony (= less mental stress, more training time)

    - inclusion (= people with injuries/handicaps can savely excersise)

    - a platform for all sort of indoor cardio-trainining.

  • 3
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    Stef Levolger

    @Jon Great to hear you're playing around with the option. Understandable that the main focus right now is cycling and running, but definitely stoked to hear that rowing one day might get to see some support!

  • 4
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    Bruno Concept2

    Hey hey, nice to see this thread back alive ... I have been "rowing" on Zwift for almost 24 months, since Dec/2015, so I'll leave my 2c just in case they are helpful (thanks Jason for the heads up!):

    1. Hooking up a Concept2 PM3/PM4/PM5 (or a Waterrower S4) as a simulated ANT+ and/or Bluetooth Cycling Powermeter is a "hobbyist" solved problem, but the additional "bridge" hardware is a pain for 99% of the people. You are basically just relaying watts for watts, and adding cadence to the PM.
    2. The C2 PM5 BLE connection would have the lowest barrier of entry for most. In fact, it implements the Fitness Equipment ANT+ profile, like many other gym equipment (e.g. treadmills), so in a way, adding the C2 PM5 should be straight forward.
    3. The C2 PM3/PM4/PM5 talk CSAFE via USB. Again, cross returns with gym equipment particularly for running.
    4. The biggest issue I see rowing (aside not being able to use my hands, so I usually set expectations putting ROWING in the display name) is that the rowing watts translate to a slower pace as cycling watts. At ~200w (2:00:00/500m) you are doing ~15kph rowing, compared to ~30kph for a 75kg rider.

    The key product question though to me is whether rowing is (a) a separate discipline (it's a minority of people, would unlikely build a community around it), (b) part of cycling (hence the pace would be "wrong" as it must be calculated from the power reading, not as broadcast by the C2), or(c) part of running (which is much closer in power/pace ratio).

    My very personal preference is (b) to participate in cycling, since it's the largest community. I don't quite care about the distance or pace readings reported being wrong as long as I have a fun time (and anyway, I can always get the "true" mileage readings off the C2).

    So rather than hacking the C2 into a virtual BLE Power meter with an intermediate piece of hardware (I am using an RPi3), I would love to just connect directly, either via BLE (PM5) or USB (the rest) to the C2, and not need any additional hardware. Please :)

  • 2
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    Boris umblebee

    In the meantime CABLE (from npe Inc.) could be a solution for us users. It‘s an ANT+ to bluetooth bridge:

    https://youtu.be/KcLjXYrtZFQ

    https://youtu.be/68migKEbSDY

  • 0
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    Steve Ellis

    Bruno: an off-topic question - is there a downloadable Raspberry Pi distribution to convert ANT+ power to a Bluetooth Low Energy power signal? Or instructions published on the web?

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