Concept 2 Drag Factors (Best Settings Explained)

The use and definition of the drag factor are the most misunderstood attributes of the Concept 2 Indoor Rower. The most likely reason for this misunderstanding is the complexity of the method of data provided through the Performance Monitor display and the drag factor calculation. A reliable drag factor promotes improved coordination and agility skills to facilitate optimum physiological and biomechanical response.

What Are Concept 2 Rowers

Rowing is a total body and low-impact workout, which is an excellent alternative to running if you wish to have a cardio workout without necessarily putting additional stress on the joints. There are numerous rowers available on the market today, but none comes closer to Concept 2 Rowers. The Concept 2 Rower provides individuals with an excellent way of exercising at home and has numerous features that make it practical for individuals of all fitness levels. Rowers help people exercise routinely, leading to numerous health benefits. You should always follow the instructions from the manufacturer to minimize injuries.

What Exactly Is the Drag Factor?

The drag factor is a statistical value for the rate of flywheel deceleration. Understanding the correct setting for your drag factor is a significant safety and health issue. Make sure to utilize Concept 2 drag factors that yield the best outcomes for your workout and the one that makes you feel most comfortable. The damper level setting for the correct drag factor varies from one rower to the other due to manufacturing tolerances, elevation, and accumulated dust inside your rower’s flywheel.

Drag Factor vs. Damper Settings

These two factors are often confused.

The drag factor is a measurement of the resistance on the rowing machine, while the damper setting is a control that adjusts the amount of air allowed into the flywheel housing to create more or less resistance.

The drag factor is a measurement of the resistance of the flywheel on the rowing machine, and it is displayed as a number on the rowing machine’s monitor. The drag factor is affected by the speed of the flywheel and the amount of air flowing over it. A higher drag factor means more resistance, and a lower drag factor means less resistance.

The damper setting, on the other hand, is a lever on the side of the rowing machine that controls the amount of air that flows into the flywheel housing. A higher damper setting means more air is allowed into the flywheel housing, creating more resistance. A lower damper setting means less air is allowed in, creating less resistance.

Is Higher or Lower Drag Better?

With adequate experimentation, a reliable drag factor setting that provides the best outcomes and workouts can be established.

The monitor will display the drag factor as a digit in the order of 100 and around 220 at levels 1 and 10, respectively, on a new machine. For children aged 7-10, a drag factor range of <100 to 125 is recommended, but the drag factor ranges from 115-140 for adults.

What Does Science Say About Drag Factors?

The ideal drag factor depends on the workout you wish to achieve and how you connect your Concept 2 Rower. The drag factor measures the speed with which the flywheel slows down, providing a number and rate. You can establish an ideal drag factor to a number you’re most comfortable with while also maintaining an excellent technique. The approach is essential as it enables you to apply adequate force for a given duration without losing technique or form.

What Drag Factor Should I Use?

The drag factor is a statistical value for the rate of flywheel deceleration. This number varies depending on the volume of air passing via the flywheel housing. Higher damper settings increase the overall volume of air flowing through the flywheel housing, which leads to a higher drag factor value. The Performance Monitor allows you to measure the drag factor during the recovery phase of each stroke, allowing you to calculate your score.

Numerous parameters affect Concept 2 drag factors, including:

  • Elevation: Air at higher barometric pressure is less dense. A highly elevated region has a lower drag factor range and vice versa.
  • Air temperature: Cold air is dense, so a Concept 2 Rower with a damper setting 3 and a drag factor of 120 has a higher drag factor at 50⁰F
  • Wind: Notably, air that has some kind of movement gives a lower drag factor, such as rowing closer to another indoor rower or rowing outdoors during a windy day

For training purposes, including 200m and 500m, make sure to use a drag factor of 130-135. For a 2K, set the drag factor between 32-36 since the entire effort requires a duration exceeding one hour. Make sure your drive is very fast to ensure you row fast using a lower drag rating. Crew members undertaking a CrossFit set up the drag factor to a value between 115-125 to simulate water resistance most accurately.

What Is the Best Setting for Concept 2 Rower?

Make sure to experiment with numerous drag factors before the race day. Try rowing a few minutes of work followed by a few minutes of rest while varying the damper from one to ten on the work segment. You should note that higher drag and damper settings may result in injury as a more extensive force is needed to get rid of air from the flywheel, especially during the initial strokes. Rowing is a cardiovascular activity, and you should set your damper settings a little bit lower to mimic the sport. Very minimal damper settings require you to be very light and quick at the catch.

A damper setting of between 3-5 is highly recommended. It provides you with a comfortable platform to initiate effective gearing for most workouts. A damper setting of 5 is essential for shorter workouts, while a setting of 3 is ideal for longer workouts. Make sure to change the damper settings during rest intervals only. It shouldn’t be modified during single distance workouts or single time.

The drag factor is usually a personal preference, and you should experiment routinely to establish the ideal setting that best suits your needs. Make sure to test multiple drag factors while rowing at varying stroke rates to assess how varying the drag factor affects your outcomes.


“To start to personalise this information; your ideal drag factor is the number where you are most comfortable, and you can maintain good technique. It will allow you to apply the most force possible for a defined period of time, without losing form or technique.

Start with a drag factor around 100 – 130; damper setting between 3 and 5; be open; try not to go into this with too many preconceived ideas. Start lower, and as your technique improves try increasing the drag factor and see if you get a better result. On water rowers use a prescribed drag factor in testing and benchmarking to eliminate a variable rather than it being their optimal number. As a guide Rowing Australia recommend a drag factor of 125 for Lightweight Men; 130 for Heavyweight Men; 100 for Lightweight Women; 110 for Heavyweight Women.”

What drag factor should I use?

The Best Drag Factor For A 200m?

The Best Drag Factor For A 500m?

The Best Drag Factor For A 2K?

The Best Drag Factor For CrossFit

What is the best setting for Concept 2 rower?

For Distance:

For Calories:


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