So it seems Wahoo is de-emphasizing RGT, with the renewed bundling of Zwift subscriptions with trainer sales, and that’s not a good sign for RGT fans, who saw the writing on the wall already.
RGT vs Zwift:
RGT has much more realistic pack dynamics
RGT has universally accessible steering without the need for specilized hardware (except maybe for Apple TV), which increase tactics
RGT allows users to create custom routes, albeit with generic scenery, but way better than the Zwift portal, for example. So riders can do their favorite courses. I was able to create routes for the World Championships in Glasgow, while Zwift hasn’t created an IRL course since the Yorkshire Worlds in 2019.
RGT is controlled by the server, not the client, so every client sees the same pack positions, unlike Zwift where these can vary, resulting in fiascos where Zwift broadcasts like E-Racing World Championships show the “wrong” rider crossing the line ahead of another.
RGT allows users to create their own events, while on Zwift, only a very small number of sanctioned promoters can create events.
RGT races are free to enter, while Zwift require a subscription (at least beyond a 20 km / month free use limit), so creating virtual versions of IRL events become more inclusive.
Zwift races are gamified, with power-ups with no basis in reality and equipment advantages earned with experience, while on RGT, all riders are on an equal basis (steering hardware or more sophisticated trainers or power meters excepted).
On official routes, RGT scenery is more realistic, while Zwift scenery is more fanciful, with more saturated colors, and various animated attractions. This is a matter of preference.
Zwift has a lot more racers, and racers, above all else, make the race.
So RGT wins in almost every way but one, but that one is perhaps more important than all of the others combined.
A more Zwift-like competitor to Zwift racing might be Indie Velo, but that’s still in beta. But it’s hard to see how anything is going to compete with Zwift if RGT cannot.
An important RGT resource, RGTDB, just died because the coder lost all interest in even the most rudimentary effort to keep it going, and so far no sign Wahoo is going to pick it up. Zwiftpower, on the other hand, the Zwift equivalent, was actively taken over by Zwift because Zwift saw how important it was to its racing product.
I agree with all you said but I would like to throw in that MyWhoosh has replaced Zwift as the UCI’s official partner from next year and given that MyWhoosh is free at present, Zwift may have its work cut out to stay dominant.
Voice chat in RGT is another feature with huge potential. Way better than trying to sideload discord or whatever else.
I’ve been in a couple Wahoo-hosted group rides and for a while Alex Stieda was hosting a weekly Castelli group ride and they’re pretty cool. In the Wahoo rides they’re moderated so a host does Q&A which you can ask on text chat. It looks like they’re maybe starting these again, as there’s a promoted one coming Sept. 20th with pro rider Kaia Schmid: https://user.rgtcycling.com/event?code=ARCDKW
The Castelli w/Alex Stieda events just plain group rides… which meant it was basically having an open hour-long conversation with a cycling icon! Where else can you do that? Since they were the weeks before/after Ali Jackson’s Paris-Roubaix win there was a lot to talk about, plus some entertaining stories from his team 7-11 days.
The choice of MyWhoosh makes UCI seem comical – it sells out to the highest bidder. But we knew that already.
RGT would have been such a better choice for E-Cycling Worlds… alas.
I used to say RGT would be the best choice EXCEPT the CdA model (constant CdA) was no-go. But they fixed the CdA model. So now it’s fairer to smaller riders, similar to Zwift, although Zwift considers both height and mass while RGT uses just mass.
I am good friends with James Barnes who is one of the most well known eRacers. And he’s pretty accomplished on outdoor racing too, including road and MTB. Itsvery interesting talking to him about Zwift vs RGT vs MyWoosh for eRacing. He doesn’t see Zwift as “better” but because of the different physics and the powerups etc, the racing strategy is wildly different to how you would race on RGT or MyWoosh. So it will change the whole event.
He is also one of the original Zwift beta testers, and he does prefer it
Zwift is simply more fun and engaging as shown by the # of users. Gamification is a great way to make indoor training more attractive to the masses.
I agree RGT has features that are better, but I personally don’t want to feel like simulating outside riding inside…it can’t compete and it’s boring. Zwift isn’t trying to do that and it’s working well for them.
The only time I’ve ever found an RGT race even close to being boring is when I’m riding solo, which unfortunately has been too often this summer, but numbers are picking up again. Some of it depends on course design: a good course offering a range of challenges keeps me engaged, despite the lack of detailed scenery. But sometimes short crit loops provide the best racing, so it’s not simply a matter of the course, either.
But different people have different things they are after.
I absolutely do not miss power-ups. They add an element to the game but aren’t needed. They could toss in having to play chess during the race which would also be fun but also very much not needed. Zwift uses these gimmicks to compensate for other deficiencies.
I’m not really a fan of virtual riding, so for me it’s a question of which is less heinous. One thing for me, Zwift has always been very easy to use and trouble free. I was using Systm when they acquired RGT. Systm hadn’t been great in that it’d often drop sensors and have other annoying hiccups (it’s pretty solid now). I tried RGT a few times and it was tough to figure out, and once I did get riding, there wasn’t much there. I understand the benefits of better physics as it relates to group rides and racing, “real roads” and learned about bots, etc… but I haven’t gone back to it. So far, the only thing I want to do indoors is structured training, so a solid UI for displaying/recording the workout is primary, and the vid is just there to distract from the tedium.
I should use the virtual speed in Zwift as my everything metric because I go faster without the headwind (or any for that matter) and even faster down any slight hill! With the numbers I keep putting out, I’m going to be in the Tour de France in no time!
Welp, that explains my issue last week. This is craziness.
It’s all too bad, so many haters and yet I think it’s perfectly good, with the steering too. I do more SYSTM videos but I enjoy just hopping on RGT once in awhile and I especially enjoy the hosted events as @tbronder mentioned. They are quite good. Although I must have terrible luck as I have never won anything in a giveaway and I’ve had some pretty good odds from time to time!