For some, Fun is no longer Fast. It may be frustrating, or too gamified and even too busy. A greater amount of cyclists who ride on virtual cycling platforms are trying RGT Cycling offering and wait for it – loving it!
As one passionate RGTer says (or is the collective term for an RGT user a ‘Goatie?’), no one platform needs to be your daily ride, N+1 and all that (and that Velomati nonsense ended with the gravel bike) and you can one day ride on Zwift, another RGT, another Rouvy etc, etc. The question we examined is, what is making RGT such a sticky platform – one where people tend to stay, once that they get their heads around it?
In this article – I aim to help those new to RGT to understand it and to get the most out of it.
I will write this with the long-term Zwift users in mind. Without my help, you might struggle to get your head around RGT, after many years of using the Zwift platform. RGT is very different. You have to understand that the people behind RGT aren’t after an exit. They are the sort of people who tell me that they don’t want fame and riches and this is an egalitarian endeavour to create an indoor training platform that riders can use and not be (not exclusive to any one platform):
- Gamed, where using very clever game theory you are kept you using and engaged with that one platform
- Used for their personal data
- Addicted to any one platform (or prevent you from enjoying the outdoors) – they want you to use RGT, not for badges, drops levels and endless digital socks
- Promised the earth on features and to be forever waiting
- Quick support responses
The following information just explains where RGT is coming from:
- All bikes carry the same speed dynamics. You won’t see articles where speed tests are held that say ‘ride the new Wobbly Wheelers bike, it’s 4,000,000 drops and it’s the fastest climbing bike on <name your platform here>.’ Yes, you can choose different bikes. However, no bike is faster than another.
- Club and team kit. You can request it and it’s built: there is little waiting; no issues and it’s all open for anyone to use.
- Courses – there is no waiting for a new course. There are the standard RGT standard roads and then Magic Roads. This means that you can upload a .gpx file and ride it, with the same gradients as in real life. The scenery is generic – however, the experience is the same. I have a data-driven and talented cyclist friend. He has routes around his home in Nice. He is reporting that his times on Magic Roads, for similar TSS, are within a minute of his in real lifetimes! What started as one person’s own library is developing into something massive. RGTers are sharing Magic Roads and you can create a massive library of endless roads.
- Meet Ups and Magic Roads – on Zwift, there are meetups and these have been incredible during the pandemic. Teams and clubs can create their own events. However, if it’s race and we know that even when we are chasing pixels, people tend to want super accuracy. As you may know, getting accurate results in Meet Ups is somewhat difficult. Enter RGT – choose your course, even a Magic Road for a velodrome, circuit or whatever. Create an event. Invite your friends and send them an invite code. Livestream/record your event and as you will have seen on our YouTube video – no matter how many machines watch your RGT race, the results will be the same.
- RGT is quiet – it can be and especially if are used to the modern Zwift, even on the quiet Richmond course. Beta testers of Zwift will recall the blue ‘ghost’ riders and also waving to other riders – it was great to see someone else on the one course there – Jarvis/Watopia flat. There is a reason – there are a lot of riders spread across numerous courses (remember what I said about Magic Roads?). Where I want a social ride, I go into the app and choose a group ride/race and there you will have people to chat to on the app. Or, I create my own event (all done in the app), you can add up to 99 bots, set their minimum and maximum w/kg, the date and start time (it can be almost immediate) and then ride with your own horde of bots – on any course of your choosing. I pop on my Aftershokz headphone, put a podcast on and I’m as happy as Larry and I even think that there is a bot named Larry, who always seems happy enough).
- Bots – As I’ve just mentioned. Like Zwift, RGT has bots. Not Coco Cadence and Brevit. There are countless bots on all courses. You can create the speed and number of bots on your own events and the bots all have different w/kg. There’s always some bot to ride with.
- Draft and Braking – on RGT it’s different. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like when you are out in the fresh air, riding with others. However, it’s a new skill to learn. No double draft, no sticky draft and no ‘how come that person doing a workout is putting out 100 watts on the flat next to me, I’m doing 350 watts and I can’t get passed them’ questions. RGT’s heads up display shows the minimum and maximum power needed to stay in the draft. It also has braking, if you are pushing into someone’s wheel. Even on the corners, braking occurs, slowing your avatar and the speed down and on a crit, this means coming off the power and then powering out of the apex.
- Spectacles – If you are in your 50s, like me, spectacles are handy when using the RGT app. I adore everything else about it – except for the small text! Maybe I need a bigger smartphone?
- PCs and things like that – On Zwift, a basic Apple TV does the trick. On RGT, you need the Apple TV 4k version on anything other than the standard out-of-the-box routes. Gaming PCs, iPads etc etc are all fine. On RGT the ‘on the TV’ side of the platform is control free. This is different from Zwift and Apple TV users will hugely appreciate this. The smartphone app does all the work. Users of the independently created ZwiftHub will adore RGT. From the standard ‘game,’ the heads up display can be switched on and off, the course profile is totally visible and many of the Zwifthub features are there, as standard. That is except for badge collection – remember, you aren’t being gamed. This is cycling and not stamp collecting #Ridefree as they say in RGT.
- Lastly, it is not a gym bunny’s platform. This is a cycling platform for cyclists and created by cyclists. There is no running, promises of the high jump, long jump, darts or even rowing. RGT isn’t trying to take on Peloton. They don’t even seem to be interested in creating what us investment professions call ‘an event.’ This appears to be a long-term provision for people who want to train indoors, have fun and not be hooked on it. From the RGT Facebook forums, I get the definite impression that the riders on here have come through the journey of weel-on smart-trainers and are the higher-end, direct-drive users.
We intend to put more content on here and create YouTube content to help people fully understand this platform and get the most out of it. Please feel free to comment and ask questions below. If you haven’t already, give RGT a try and look out for me riding around and let’s chat. We will, of course, be still riding around the other cycling platforms and utilising the new N+1 freedom.