“What Is The Best Damper Setting For The Erg?”

We get that question a few times a week. The damper setting depends on the user: the goal of their exercise and their ability. To utilize the maximum function of the ergometer, Rowers can adjust the resistance on the machine to match their stroke and skill. This setting, called the drag coefficient, allows rowers to determine their maximum efficiency on the ergometer. 

  • How do I find which drag coefficient is right for me?

Easy! To view the drag coefficient on a Concept2 rower,

1)   On the Main Menu, select More Options

2)  Select Display Drag Factor

3)  Take a few normal strokes and the drag factor will display.

  • By moving the damper level (1-10) the machine will display a different  drag coefficient. You will also hear this called resistance. To find which coefficient works best for you. Take a few strokes at each damper setting 3-6. 
  • We generally set our machines to about 4.5 on the damper which is roughly a drag factor of 120. Every machine is different depending on its use, flywheel, altitude...


  • If you are performing shorter pieces: HIIT workouts, <2000m rows, 500m sprints, you may want to bump up the resistance for more power and efficiency. 
  • For longer rowing pieces you may enjoy dropping the drag coefficient below 120.

Play around with it to see what works for you. But now you are an expert at setting up the rowing machine to the proper. Don't hesitate to share this knowledge with your friends.