RGT - ERG mode and graphics

OK, two questions…these are both using RGT in Apple TV:

  1. Why is it that when I toggle the “use erg mode” to show green (ie, activating it) Trainer Difficulty changes to Target Power? What is “target power” and why does toggling ERG mode to “on” activate it? This URL was not helpful: https://www.rgtcycling.com/blog/to-erg-or-not-to-erg/

  2. I can’t get any other graphics setting other than “low,” which…sucks. I mean, the avatar’s feet don’t touch the pedals, and the “ghost” riders appear and disappear, not to mention the overall fuzziness of the images. Somehow my ATV setup works perfectly with the OTHER avatar virtual riding app (the Z one), so it can’t be “your system is to blame.”

Help!?

ERG mode in RGT is to set specific target powers only, slightly counter-intuitively you want ERG mode off if you want it to control resistance based upon the simulated ride.

Zwift works, therefore the system is fine might feel like a suitable answer, but in the world of computer rendering it’s not. Do you have a 4K Apple TV? That model can do RGT graphics.
There might be some improvement in this in future for RGT as their development funding increases, but they also use different engines and are trying to render different things, so just because both of them are a simulated world you can’t compare the two directly. RGTs detail level is significantly greater (to the eye) than Zwift, so it likely requires a lot more from the GPU to render.
Maybe someone from WahooRGT can chip in, but for now if it’s not a 4K AppleTV, it’s not really got the grunt for RGT.

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  1. Thanks for confirming the ERG mode seems to be the opposite of what other systems (even Suf/Systm) do. I was going nuts.

  2. I don’t recall the graphics being such an issue when I used RGT…a year ago? I may try to screen mirror my ipad to see if there is a difference. Just turning the ipad app on shows a better frame rate available…but it still just says “low.” I can’t recall if any of my ATVs are 4k or not…

RGT has developed rapidly, what you experienced a year (even 6 months ago) will not be what you experience now. Developments have been for the better, but have left some (older? lower spec?) devices behind.
I run it on a gaming pc and get the full awesome loveliness of high graphics, sorry it’s not great for you, currently.

I’ve had a similar experience, turns out I did not have the 4k AppleTV.
One way to check is to look at the remote. Current 4k AppleTV has the new aluminium remote. Previous generation 4k has a white ring around the home button. Non 4k version have all black buttons and remote.

Checked on the 4k 1st gen AppleTV and I have medium and high settings for graphics. Not tried using it just yet.

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Interesting…

I swapped my non-4K ATV for the one 4K unit I have, so I’ll give it a whirl and see how it goes…

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ERG mode works on a set target power. All you need to do is concentrate on cadence. For example, if you want to ride a strict Z2 at let’s say 200w, you’d use ERG if you just wanted to switch off and listen to tunes etc. the trainer will constantly monitor your power input and adjust accordingly to save you bothering changing gears. I only ever use ERG for set workouts.

Your graphics are down to your device unfortunately. Zwift caches it’s graphics and roads on your device. This is why they can’t announce winners in races instantly, what you’re seeing is not necessarily what others are seeing.
With RGT, it’s server side and real time so you see what everyone else sees at the same time. But that means rendering Magic Roads in real time which requires a bit of beef in your device.
Apple TV 4K will run high graphics easily but ATV HD will suffer. With a low graphics setting, you’ll get blocky graphics.
A device able to run high graphics will give you a stunning experience for sure.
Real Roads are pre-loaded so you’ll probably find you don’t get the blue sea around the track with those, just limited blocky graphics.
I hope this helps :slight_smile:

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Then would not RGT be subject to potential latency problems? You might not see the latest results anyway even if the incremental updates are small?

Yes, I think that there is the potential for User A not to see exactly the same thing that User B does at exactly the same time if the time taken for the information of which rider is where on the road (which is calculated server side, as mentioned above) is longer for User A. This would depend on things like differences in the time for packets to travel between RGT’s servers and the Users’ computers.

However, there should always be a definitive view (on RGT’s servers) of who is where on the road (eg who won the race) and even if User A sees this very slightly after User B, they will ‘eventually’ (perhaps a fraction of a second) see the same thing, including seeing the same race winner.

*By ‘exactly the same thing’ I mean who is where on the road - there will be graphics quality differences depending on your device and settings.

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The comments below are right that an Apple TV 4k (2017 model minimum) is needed to get a decent visual experience for Magic Roads. It may also be worth noting that an Apple TV 4K, even on the High graphics setting, won’t provide graphics as good as a decent gaming PC.

My experience is that I first used RGT on my Surface Pro which provided fairly good graphic detail but a slightly jerky experienced (around 15fps) because it couldn’t render things due to the lack of a beefy GPU. I eventually bought an Apple TV 4k 2017 and that is much smoother but the level of detail isn’t quite as good. I am happy with the ATV as it only cost about £90 and is convenient to have that permanently set in the garage… but I might get a gaming PC one day if I’m feeling extravagant.

BTW, having a look at some of the YouTube streams (eg ZMS or VCycling News) will give you a feel for the graphics capabilities on a beefier device.

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Hi all.

Ref graphics, link below to show what Magic Roads should look like (a little quality is lost in streaming, its even crisper than this in person). This is on a Windows PC in 1080p at 60fps, with RGT on High graphics settings.

Some tweaks that are worth doing if you are on a windows PC/Laptop. If you have on-board graphics, you may struggle and some older Graphics cards also do. Quick fixes to try are reduce your screen display resolution in the Windows settings to 1280x720. And if you have additional display software, limit the FPS to 30.

Additionally, search Graphics Settings in the windows search. You can then add RGT to a list, click options and select High Performance.

Regarding positioning mentioned, lag of what you send and receive is always there. But what you see is the same as everyone else regardless. It’s like watching a film live on TV, you may see it milliseconds apart from another user but it’s still the same, identical film. Compared to zwift where one is watching Titanic, the next Finding Nemo, Shrek, West Side Story and 30 other different, random films

I’m going to be doing an updated positioning test soon with 4 different PCs on 2 networks. I’ll share once it’s done!

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Definitely a good discussion. The ERG mode, totally different than the way Zwift or Suf uses it, is indeed interesting.

As to graphics, I find it interesting b/c it brings in die-hard users and casuals. I did structured training on a dumb trainer with Sufferfest; then added a wahoo so I could zwift and Suf; finally, just going with Suf but missing the “I just want to ride, not train” aspect. I tried a gaming PC and it was a PITA experience. The AppleTV made it easy and relatively cheap, plus I’m in the :apple:-verse already. But a $100 (literally) LG 50" TV, a decent wall mount, and an ATV and I was set.

Given all the Facebook images of people’s low-cost pain caves—an ipad and trainer wedged between a wall and water heater—makes me wonder what the response will be to the high-ish graphics needs of the RGT experience. Like it or not, plenty of people get by without a gaming PC for their indoor cycling and don’t want to go that route. $1,600 gaming PC to ride indoors? no thanks. (Yes, I know you can build one yourself…many people can’t).

So if your ipad has delivered stutter-free Suf workouts or stutter-free zwift rides, being told “here’s a great new benefit to your membership…oh, but it’s gonna cost you $120 (refurb ATV) to $180 (new) at the minimum to enjoy it” may not sit well with people. Maybe it will. The last two years are consume-consume-consume. But as Peloton has seen, people are happier to be outside again.

Yes, those Peloton people were likely the Soloflex/Bowflex/etc home gym types who buy, use, ignore, regret all in one year.

Gaming PC or new wheels…choice is easy for me. YMMV and that’s 100% ok.

(hoping responses continue to be civil)

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So long as the SYSTM subscription doesn’t increase, I don’t see it as a problem.
You have something for “free” that you can choose to use or not.
If the price increased to include something you may choose not to use or otherwise needed to invest further to facilitate, that would be a different issue.

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To make sure I have this correct -

ERG off → “Sim” mode? Sort of like the default Zwift mode where the terrain dictates effort?

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Correct

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Yeah. There are three smart-trainer modes commonly used, ERG, Level, and Slope/Sim mode.

As everybody knows, ERG mode means the trainer will maintain a commanded power (Watts) irrespective of gear or cadence. If you vary your gear and/or cadence, the resistance adjusts to maintain the commanded power. This is useful in structured workouts where the goal is to maintain specific power targets for specific duration (intervals).

In Level mode, the trainer works like a “dumb” trainer where the resistance goes up as “wheel speed” goes up with increasing cadence or using higher gears. You control the power/RPE/HR with cadence and shifting. Most dumb trainers have only one resistance vs speed curve, but some have several. Smart trainers can emulate many different curves. The only thing I use this for is the 4DP FF test.

Slope or Sim mode is used for virtual riding. The app sets resistance based on the virtual incline and your total weight, plus that due to virtual wind resistance.That latter can depend on a number of factors that the app may take into account, like the aerodynamics of you and your bike, drafting, and of course, virtual speed. Some apps allow some adjustments to these factors, most commonly the slope. This doesn’t change your virtual speed in the virtual world for a given power you are producing, just the gear or cadence you wind up using. Your actual power still determines your virtual speed.

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  1. Thanks for confirming the ERG mode seems to be the opposite of what other systems (even Suf/Systm) do. I was going nuts.

ERG mode on Suf does exactly this though. For any given portion of the ride, it sets a fixed power target and it holds you at that power by adjusting resistance according to your present cadence, increasing resistance at lower cadence. That sounds like exactly what erg mode in RGT is doing.

Simulation resistance control may seem equally “adaptive” to SUF video ERG, but it is a very different thing. It should set resistance according to your wheel speed (or virtual wheel speed) and hill gradient, increasing, not decreasing, resistance at higher wheel speed. In a simulation though, your power output can of course be anything you want, and by shifting, cadence can too, within the limits of your gearing. This brings to light that until you run out of gears for your preferred cadence and possible power, simulations really do nothing to constrain your riding except to give you the realism of playing with your shifters, and to see your virtual speed on screen. Of course in the real world you can usually ride at whatever cadence and power you want as well.

The atv4K version can show rgt in Ultra, its not quite as good as my gaming pc but its pretty close, any lower spec atv does not have the memory required to show rgt in its best light.

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Ok, was expecting ERG mode to mirror the terrain (how it works in TacX’s virtual world), so ERG on for steady power target regardless of climb/decent/flat, ERG off to feel their terrain.

(Edit) turned off ERG today and used ANT+ only - everything worked correctly!

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