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Short improptu RGT cycling review

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Short improptu RGT cycling review

Old 02-21-21, 09:08 PM
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spelger
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Short improptu RGT cycling review

Thought i would give a review of RGT. In case you do not know RGT is a competitor with Zwift in that it offers a virtual world for riding. That is probably where the similarity ends though. While RGT does have virtual rides all the rides (so far as i know) are based on real roads in the real world using real (as close as possible) physics, really just better physics meaning you cannot cruise down a hairpin turn at 70kph. your cartoon guy will hit the breaks to prevent you from flying over a guard rail. There are no made up roads like Zwift's Watopia.

I rode yesterday and today. Yesterday was a ride in Spain and today a very flat course in S. Cali.

RGT requires both a monitor and a smart phone app. the monitor is just that, a monitor only and is not interactive as far as i can tell. Everything is done through the smart phone app. below is a screen shot from the Spain ride. There were not many riders on the route, too bad. the course was about 14 miles long and the entire profile is what you see at the bottom of the screen along with a colored gradient which is really nice. I am about 1/4 through just heading up the first climb. The other white dots are the other riders and from what i could tell only riders heading in the same direction were shown here. In all there were more bots than real riders but i was happy to have the bots too as they gave me some incentive to turn up the juice to catch up. I never could catch up to "Vanessa," the next rider ahead of me. There were maybe 8 other real riders i encountered either in the same direction or in the reverse direction. In the top right corner the flag is me too. always in the middle, white pins are others in my direction and the grey ones heading toward me. Look at that, distance completed and distance remaining. nice!
Image quality was quite good, even on my crappy laptop. the best i ever got was 11 FPS and the worst was 6 FPS. the entire range was acceptable but i can't wait to see what it is like on a more modern PC. Colors were vibrant and it was always day time with no rain. I never understood why there is a night and rain in Zwift. Who wants to ride in that?

It took me a while to catch on but when approaching turns i noticed that my power output indicator at top left became red. I later made the connection that this is where my virtual self was hitting the brakes keeping me on the road. that meant that i could stop peddling or at least reduce my output power like in reality.

The Spain ride was beautiful, the scenery was much like reality based on my flyover in google maps. It reminded me of some rides here near Reno, NV, even my daughter picked up on that.

I ran this on a windows machine and it looks like Win10 is the minimum here. It is an app and not a regular application. Starting it is OK (i am a Win7 user and a Win10 novice) but ending it...i cannot find a close button so i am killing it. not sure if this is an RGT problem or just the way Win10 apps are like.

The smart phone app needs some work i think (low model Samsung phone). when moving from some screens there is no back button so i found myself going back "home" and starting from there. It probably just takes some getting used to. no overhead map, that would have been a nice feature.

The other ride i did was one in South California west of the Salton sea. This is a short course meant for laps and there were many more real riders here, maybe 20 or so and few bots.

I was able to get my Kicker, cadence monitor, and heart rate monitor connected, not sure if it was over Bluetooth or ANT+. cadence monitor lost its connection just seconds after getting it paired so connected again and all remained connected during both rides. funny thing is that this happened for both rides.

These two rides are completely free for others to ride, all that is needed is an account. i opened my account months ago and do not remember needing a credit card to get started, otherwise i would not have. Missing is the social aspect, the huge number of riders, the ride-ons, the ability to follow someone or be followed. RGT needs a user base but none of that stuff i just mentioned. riding the rides nearly devoid of other riders made the ride more like how i ride in real life anyway. a premium membership is $10/month. when zwift ends for me i will very likely be moving to this platform because of the number of real (virtual) rides that are available. and then there are the magic roads, a whole other topic.

https://www.rgtcycling.com/
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Old 02-23-21, 06:26 PM
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I keep meaning to get it downloaded and give it a try now that I have a better windows computer to run games. I am also thinking of trying the GTA5 bike mod but that means buying a copy of GTA5 so probably won't get into the until next winter.
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Old 02-26-21, 05:08 AM
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I've been using RGT since December and like it, most of the rides I have riden in real life and the virtual rides are as close to the real thing. You can draft riders and there is a saving in watts, the breaking for corners makes it more realistic, I've not tried any of the races and the only group ride I was invited to I turned up late and spent the hour chasing like a loony to get on the back of the bunch. You don't enter any payment details when you sign up and if you go for the Premium account it just get added to your apple bill each month
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Old 02-26-21, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
. Colors were vibrant and it was always day time with no rain. I never understood why there is a night and rain in Zwift. Who wants to ride in that?
I've always wondered that as well, especially when I'm riding my trainer inside because I don't want to ride in the rain and dark! ha ha I figure the engineers of Zwift are from Britain so they're used to it

The solitude in your example would kill it for me I think. Zwift can get like that in the summer months and it's a buzz kill for me. The graphics do look nicer but i wonder if there's some kind of trick or setting in Zwift because when I watch the live racing or see screen shots of the events they host, the graphics look much nicer than what i see riding. Not complaining about it, as I just run it off my lap top and view it on a 21" monitor, which works for me but do wonder if I'm missing something.
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Old 02-26-21, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
I've always wondered that as well, especially when I'm riding my trainer inside because I don't want to ride in the rain and dark! ha ha I figure the engineers of Zwift are from Britain so they're used to it

The solitude in your example would kill it for me I think. Zwift can get like that in the summer months and it's a buzz kill for me. The graphics do look nicer but i wonder if there's some kind of trick or setting in Zwift because when I watch the live racing or see screen shots of the events they host, the graphics look much nicer than what i see riding. Not complaining about it, as I just run it off my lap top and view it on a 21" monitor, which works for me but do wonder if I'm missing something.
i have a 40 some inch screen (https://www.bikeforums.net/21797952-post18.html) and i can see a big difference in color quality. Zwift has muted colors and RGT's are more vibrant. just something i picked up on immediately.

the lack of riders was definitely a bit of a let down, but in zwift sometimes there are too many riders. i really notice this when i am passing one rider after the other, the screen always shows what is directly in front of you so as your rider turns the whole view turns as well. makes sense, but when there are so many riders to pass the screen is constantly changing view points and it actually can make me dizzy. i used the zwift hack to ride in a world not on the schedule a couple of times and there were only about 150 riders so not many to pass, it was kind of nice really. RGT is like that by default but by a factor of 10. i almost see no one when i ride in real life anyway.
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Old 02-26-21, 12:37 PM
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If you don't understand the point of weather changes in a virtual world, then you don't ride long enough.

When I trialed RGT last year, they had 3 routes. Riding each once was enough for me. As decently looking as the graphics are, I don't see myself wanting to repeatedly ride the same route, nor go through the trouble of converting real outdoor rides.

Even Zwift routes bored me after half a year. I unlocked most of the route badges and then let my subscription expire last year. I appreciate that using the same collection of routes make racing more interesting because one can learn how to tactically apply power or powerups, but I don't race so I'd rather have a vast database of routes to sample from for the sake of variety.
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Old 02-26-21, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
If you don't understand the point of weather changes in a virtual world, then you don't ride long enough.
Um, Ok I've been Zwifting now for 3+ years and still do not understand why they virtually simulate rain, day or night. I get that people are riding from all different time zones and temperate zones so my daylight is Japan's night time but a simple code change could reflect the time code set in their profile.

But please, feel free to enlighten us on why Zwift simulates changes in weather.
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Old 02-26-21, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
Um, Ok I've been Zwifting now for 3+ years and still do not understand why they virtually simulate rain, day or night. I get that people are riding from all different time zones and temperate zones so my daylight is Japan's night time but a simple code change could reflect the time code set in their profile.

But please, feel free to enlighten us on why Zwift simulates changes in weather.
3 years on Zwift but never unlocked the On Fire badge, eh? That's what I mean about people who don't ride long enough. It's mind-numbingly boring to ride the same routes that look exactly the same every time, but if you do 1hr or less per session, it'll take you a lot longer to notice.
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Old 02-26-21, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
3 years on Zwift but never unlocked the On Fire badge, eh? That's what I mean about people who don't ride long enough. It's mind-numbingly boring to ride the same routes that look exactly the same every time, but if you do 1hr or less per session, it'll take you a lot longer to notice.
Will admit, I have not ridden the Volcano route 25 laps in one setting though probably ridden it more than that over 3 years of rides, nor ridden it for 100km's in one ride. Not sure what that has to do with the environment? A post from Zwift Insider below:

Zwift – On Fire! Badge/ Achievement

Continuing my journey to pursue quarantine fitness, I have worked to check off more achievements. The next one on my mind was the “On Fire!” badge, a challenge to complete 25 laps of the Volcano Circuit or Volcano Circuit CCW (counter clockwise) in one session. The distance required to complete this achievement is just over 64 miles.

Acquiring this badge can also net you three additional badges if you have not already claimed them. These three badges are:
  • Warmed Up – 5 laps on the Volcano Circuit
  • Hothead – 10 laps on the Volcano Circuit
  • 100 Clicks – Ride 100km (Also awards a special kit!)
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Old 02-26-21, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
3 years on Zwift but never unlocked the On Fire badge, eh? That's what I mean about people who don't ride long enough. It's mind-numbingly boring to ride the same routes that look exactly the same every time, but if you do 1hr or less per session, it'll take you a lot longer to notice.
thanks to gthomson for filling me in on what that badge is, never heard of it, or did not pay attention, lost interest in the badges early on. there is no way i am spending my time whiling around the volcano 25 times. i have better things to do that do that. talk about boring. now, climb it 25 times and that is a different story (don't think i can).

once around any route and you already should be noticing that it is all the same, over and over. but that does not mean that it is boring. fortunately there are other riders and that is what makes it much less boring. RGT was boring because of this, but at the same time, really quite nice.

my rides are typically 90 min or longer unless doing a workout which tend to be 60 mins. heck, it takes me 90 mins just to get up the big hill in france.

truth be told, i don't really have a lot of variety where i am, mostly that is self imposed because i don't like to drive anywhere to ride. i like to leave from my driveway on two wheels. but i never get bored with where i do go. i know the roads really well.

looking forward to nice weather.
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Old 02-27-21, 02:45 AM
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Weather changes and day/night cycles help break the monotony of seeing the same environment over and over again. It is a very common effect in any game or simulation with a 3d environment, and a relatively low hanging fruit in terms of ease of implementation.
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Old 02-27-21, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
Weather changes and day/night cycles help break the monotony of seeing the same environment over and over again. It is a very common effect in any game or simulation with a 3d environment, and a relatively low hanging fruit in terms of ease of implementation.
Ok got it now, simple explanation. Thanks. The longest I've ridden is 2 hours and that was about as long as i ever want to spend on a bike trainer. I do like seeing the snow as I go up Alpe Du Zwift as it creates an other worldly experience.
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Old 02-27-21, 12:24 PM
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Rain should be a setting though. I had to get off my bike to fiddle with the trainer a bit and while I was doing that it started raining. I almost didn't get back on my bike. It does seem that the rain usually doesn't last long. I don't mind riding at night.

I just saw the badge for 25 times up the volcano and I'm not likely to earn that. Not enough positive reinforcement.
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Old 02-27-21, 04:09 PM
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I switched to RGT after 3-4 years of Zwift, but such movement depends on individual taste. The drivers for change were a few functionalities that are critical for me. Examples below:

1. Drafting: maybe not a perfect algorithm, but it is 100% present and consistent in RGT. By contrast, Zwift drafting was rarely available for me. It was always a pain to be dropped after inputting 10-20% more w/kg than the majority of peloton fellows for 80% of time - the social dimension of the game was killed for me.

2. Riding with bots: In RGT, when real people are not available, you can set a course on your preferred road and populate it with a bunch of bots (say 20-30), having their powers distributed within your preferred range (e.g.: from -30% to +30% of your power). Then: you draft them, they draft you, or they draft one to another – all based on the same drafting algorithm. An excellent simulation, sometimes even better that in real life, where too big differences between riders' power can kill the peloton.

3. Build your own roads in RGT, based on real roads from your real life riding, then invite your friends to ride together, or set a number of bots to ride with you, as mentioned at point 2 above.

But, as I said, all depend on individual preferences.

Last edited by Redbullet; 02-27-21 at 04:20 PM.
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