Suggestions to improve steering

Hi, as an avid RGT racer I do welcome the new features however like many others I feel like steering in its current form doesn’t make the racing more engaging and it is often frustratingly sluggish.

Here is what I feel could make it a lot better:

  • If I am pushing a much bigger power than the rider in front, my avatar shouldn’t stay behind (even when “auto avoidance” is off). I also don’t want my avatar to immediately leave the draft and go into the wind if I pedal only marginally harder than them (which currently happens when “auto avoidance” is on)
    => I imagine the solution to that is to have an algorithm in which the bigger the power difference, the quicker the rider would try to get ahead of the rider in front. Push twice the watts, then the avoidance should be almost immediate. Push consistently a bit more, then avoidance should happen after a few moments. To make it user friendly, the GUI could show an “overtaking” bar that fills up depending on the power difference to the rider in front. When full, then overtaking happens.

  • More generally, there should be an hybrid mode in which some steering is done automatically, but can be influenced by user input. For instance if I am in the draft in (or leading) a pack and another pack to my left is going faster, I would like to be able to “tell” my avatar to get in the draft of that other pack with a left steering input, without having to precisely steer there.

Bike racing, online or in real life, is all about how you react to your competitors’ attacks, and how they react to yours. In the current implementation, responding to an attack takes multiple steps, and not only there is an inherent (hardware) lag to register power increase but the whole steering dynamics are so slow and inconvenient that it is almost impossible to react in a realistic way. If this doesn’t change I believe it will deter people away from the platform, which is already struggling to keep sufficient numbers for engaging and challenging racing.


@damienw Have you seen the steering changes they’re working on?

Hadn’t seen that, thanks. It is very disappointing news as it doesn’t adress the core problem with steering : the lack of responsiveness.

1 Like

“The experience of indoor riding”, to use the words of @oldmannick, is worse with every update released and with every new feature implemented. I was captivated by RGT’s simple approach to “the experience of indoor riding” but they seem to not understand that.


Problem with that is that they’re nonsense.

I was starting to transition to more RGT than Sufferfest for a while because I liked the freedom to ride magic roads with pacing bots and with my son.

I absolutely don’t want to have to bother with steering manually, but would have grudgingly accepted it maybe apart from the fact that there is no means for my little lad to use (or want to) steering and without it, it’s a wholly broken experience now.

I’ve gone from being a vocal advocate of RGT for a couple of months to my entire cycling group to having only ridden it a handful of times since steering was implemented to see if any of the changes made it feel any better.

There is another thread that implied that bots will now steer to allow you to draft them and if that is true then I might be interested again a little bit, but given the statement that there is no intention to reinstate auto-draft for human riders I have my doubts as to what the user was actually seeing.

I genuinely don’t even understand the steering implementation as part of a business plan. It sold a small amount of hardware and pleased a small number of users on a platform that desperately needed to grow it’s user base, but for everyone that is saying they love it there is at least one person saying they’ve dumped the platform because of it and there were so many readily visible bigger wins for expanding the user base.

I’ll keep looking back at RGT simply because it’s included in our subscriptions, but at the moment it’s just completely off the menu.


I certainly think RGT should do what Zwift is doing now (although the Zwift draft model is a lot less realistic) and allow people to not steer if they are willing to accept a non-crippling disadvantage… so have some crude auto-steering similar to, but perhaps slower than, what bots presently use.

Zwift just added steering as a mandatory event option, which suggests to me they like what RGT did.


To be clear to Ed those comments are copy and paste from RGT FB page. From a technical point of view steering is very clever and whoever designed it did a great job. From a technical point of view race radio is very clever and whoever designed it did a great job. To @Jon ’s point it is the way that it is all brought together that is the issue. I really enjoy my Lou Rides and Kings and Queens ride where I ride with others that have steering or chat or voice. That works well for the few of us that have it set all set up. However it is complex and not intuitive. For me I use Apple TV that uses one App. You then conmecr your turbo trainer to the Apple TV RGT App. I then have to use my mobile which uses another app to be able to steer. I have to ensure that my mobile is connected to the same WiFi as the Apple TV App. I also have to know to go into the Apple TV App and find the toggle switch marked RemitevBLE. At this point some people add the extra plastic tray of STEER, although I cannot as it does not fit in my handlebars (Wattbike atom). I then have to connect my headphones to my phone as their is no music on RGT, but sometimes I use those headphones for radio. Some rides people use radio, sometimes chat. The writing is so tiny on my mobile that I cannot use chat on my mobile. So I have to use my Apple TV Remote to use the chat function via Apple TV app. ( I obviously have a fan and a remote for that as well). So do to a ride I normally log in 20 minutes before a ride. This is to ensure that the Apple TV app is talking to RGT Remote app as if either of those are not up to date then then will not communicate together or if the Apple TV OS is not up to date or if the Phone IOS is not up to date then there will be problems. This leaves enough time for updates but even then sometimes things hang in a ride and I have no idea if it is the RGT App or the RGT Mobile App. I also have to make sure that the battery in my Apple TV remote, my phone, my headphones are all charged and if it is a long ride bring a recharger for my phone. Then when you are using the RGT Remote App some of the responses to pressing a button will be shown on the Apple TV App. This is counter intuitive and caught many people out. So for example turning auto avoidance on/off/auto is a button on the Remote RGT App, but you see the consequence of the toggle on the Apple TV RGT app, which is the opposite to Sound on/off for race radio. I do all of that and I can enjoy the ride, however, when I come across someone new in a ride I don’t know if they can steer, or if they can use chat, or if they are on radio. There are many rides where we pull to the left/right to try to give draft to someone who we think might not be able to steer. Are we annoying that person or making their ride better? I have no idea. Now consider a new user. Explain all of that above to a new user. It is very complex and not intuitive versus the previous experience of jump on the turbo trainer, connect up one app and go. And the critical issue is that a new user who is trying the platform for the first time is unlikely to understand that they need to go through all of that to have that good experience. A new user is not going to buy a plastic tray to steer while trying out the App. @Jon experience appears to be in that group in terms of it just being too complicated for his child. If the experience between users that can steer / communicate and those that cannot is vastly different then the latter group will leave or not join. This is a real shame as RGT’s key selling point was that it was a really friendly community. For me personally, I have found that racing can now be a very unfriendly place to be post the introduction of Steer. The ability to be shoulder barged out of the way in races is a throughly unpleasant experience. The fact that I can see some people that cannot steer being barged out of the way is even more depressing. (The veteran’s races appear to be different and polite.) I came to RGT because it was simple, and it no longer is. What kept me here is the ability to ride with other people, but that is complex. More importantly the numbers post introduction of steering appear to be dropping. The difference between the two groups steer / not steer is too great. Furthermore, the experience for the not steer group has been reduced and that is a worry as those are the new users.
I am not sure that the comparison to Zwift is helpful to RGT. Care needs to be taken here. RGT needs to think why people want to join RGT and stay with RGT. If it focusses on why people use Zwift and how you could make Zwift better and introduce changes in RGT that we think would be attractive to Zwift users, then is RGT not just doing Zwift’s R&D for it in a live environment with zero cost? The size of the two user bases seems to be so different that it one has a dominant advantage.
It is a shame as so many people seem to be struggling with this transition to steering. I hope that RGT can find a solution that supports those users that feel lost.


@oldmannick , every word you wrote is perceptive and true to my experience as a non-steerer.

I came to RGT ready to like it and excited about the possibilities in Magic Roads. Although the initial learning curve was dauntingly steep and the app seemed to be designed without consideration of how it felt to new users, I found the community quite welcoming and helpful and I wanted to stick with it.

But your description of the complex setup required to enjoy using the app is no exaggeration. You need a lot of equipment and plenty of troubleshooting know-how to make it work. I’m not a techy gadget geek. I’m a road cyclist who wants to stay fit during the winter. Hats off to those who are both; this seems to be the app for you!

And the introduction of steering had all the negative consequences you describe, both personal and social. Suddenly I had to use my phone not only to read and respond to (teeny tiny) chat, but any time I picked it up, I lurched all over the road. So I gave up on steering and chatting, rode, and hoped for the best, which made me act stupid and standoffish and I couldn’t even explain!

So now I use RGT solely for lonely rides on my personal magic roads. I still have no idea what bots exist for or how to benefit from them, so even they don’t keep me company.

I can easily accept that I’m not RGT’s intended audience; I’ve never played a video game in my life and am turned off by e-anything. But it is a shame that recent changes have made RGT tons better for a tiny number of users but impossible for many others. I hope it gets better!


@DameCristy I use RGT on ATV and on iPad. I like it better on iPad.

In general I find ATV isn’t well executed by Apple. The concept is good but the remote stinks and it seems like it is easy to make a bad app on ATV. RGT works okay but there are other apps where navigation is challenging - HBOs app is one of them.

iPad is much easier to set up and use for RGT. It is one device, the menus and controls are all right there and using touch screen just makes it much easier.


I will follow the adage, ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’ So for my feelings on the RGT platform and the steering feature upgrade…No Comment.

1 Like

@Critmark I was actually thinking about your issue yesterday when I was on RGT. I was watching the w/kg of the bots as I passed them or they passed me or we rode side by side. I didn’t see any similar issues. Steering worked well too and I wasn’t blocked. I was in a workout so maybe that was different.

Wish we could get to the bottom of it for you.

1 Like

I think I have resigned myself to the fact that this is the best I can get from the platform, but I appreciate the sentiment.

Last night, as per usual, I finished second on a 60+ mile ride to a bot that I averaged exactly twice the W/Kg. He finished half a mile ahead. Behind me finishing 3rd, 4th and 5th were bots that had the exact same average as the bot that finished first. They were about 4/10ths of a mile behind me. You could argue that they managed to stay so close behind me because they rode together for almost the entire ride and could draft off each other. A bit suspect over that distance but at least it has some merit. The bot that finished first had no such advantage, being out front by himself.

1 Like

Yes they are and I might have been more clear on that. I should have referenced the user you were commenting on. Please excuse my “newbness”.
As for “the experience of indoor riding” issue, and regarding for example the steering feature implementation, the length and complexity of your reply is still no match for the complexity in wich steering was implemented in the app. An even less of a match for the annoyance it is to use.
It’s erratic, response to steering input is variable and subject to lag. It relies on a unstable attachment point - on a handlebar mounted device, that handlebar will wobble during effort and calibration will be lost/will shift, thus requiring recalibration mid activity.
Technically it may be brilliant, it’s just that I think it relies on a “less than ideal” premise to work - is based on an unstable attachment point; and that it still needs accuracy improvements.
I kind of liked the “no steering” times. I had to draft or pass with my legs, sort of how someone said you steered an E-Type Jaguar (with the throttle). Simpler times.

Ed - I don’t use the Tilt function to steer. I have a WattBike which has a mobile holder at the end of the tribars. (Arm rests are removed). I have the steering page of the remote app open when riding and press the arrows to move left or right. I would not buy “STEER” plastic tray as it seems silly to me, but it does not fit a WattBike as the bars are too narrow and the TriBars are in the way anyway. I ride with the Steering page of remote app open. Tricky if people use radio as you have to keep switching from one page to another. Fortunately, only a few rides use radio. (I also seem to get problems with the system hanging if I use the radio.) That works for me although I seem to get a stiff neck from pressing to steer with my right hand. I have to remember to use my left hand every so often to even it out. Not sure if that helps, just wanted to say I don’t use tilt to steer.

1 Like

I accompany these suggestions. Sounds reasonable to me even if I don’t do online racing. However, I often experience that when a bot or another rider overtakes me, just like in real life I try to jump on his wheel (make an higher effort now, to safe some efforts in the draft afterwards). Currently this is hard to achieve, because at first, you need to begin steering to get in the draft, and afterwards you need to keep steering on, to not get pushed out of the draft by auto-avoidance.


This basically hits the crux of it, though, because the argument for steering was “It makes it more realistic”, but in reality outdoors you control the position of your bike with very little thought at all, it’s almost automatic it’s such a small part of your riding process it’s insignificant. This change has made it so that actually making use of the steering becomes a major component of your riding process.
It has moved the experience significantly further away from reality.

I genuinely think that the most accurate thing they could do is to go back to the old system, where riders auto-draft and auto-steer, but keep steering, however it’s more of a bonus, not a mechanic in and of itself.
Have all other steering on a few seconds lag, then manual steer allows you to initiate an overtake a little more quickly or to do so with less of a power imbalance required to overtake a slower rider as you would in auto-avoid mode, and it would allow a racing rider to initiate a break by pulling across the road as they sprint, other riders would have to manually steer or the auto-draft wouldn’t be quick enough to pick up the move.

Have auto-steer always remain on, though, so manual steer doesn’t disable it for more than a couple of seconds.

This way you can make conscious changes of position, but all other aspects of riding feel as automatic as they do outdoors and you’ve also not absolutely crippled the experience of everyone who isn’t using steering.

That this whole situation persists while numbers are seemingly slowly dwindling is baffling.


Agreed 100% with both posts above


This, this, and thrice this :+1:

1 Like

Just out of curiosity: Do you use a Wahoo KICKR STEER device? I don’t have one, but I assume with the device the steering indeed does feel more realistic. But if I have to use the keyboard (as I do) then you are absolutely right, that the more unconscious process of steering turns into a conscious one and thus makes it a more unrealisitc experience. (Still, I find it fun, whenever I use it to “rub shoulders” with other riders).

I have a Kickr Bike, so I can use the hood buttons.
Steering is “fine”, it works within the bounds of how it is designed.
The problem is, I really don’t like the way it’s designed and I have genuinely just stopped using RGT because of it (and associated factors).

I don’t want to steer, even though I can, it adds nothing I want to the experience and the removal of all forms of auto-steer and auto-draft make using the system a process I no longer have any interest in.
Further, I was using it with my young son who isn’t in a position to have a sensible manual steering setup, so even if I can, he can’t and that just doesn’t work for me.

He now uses Zwift and I have gone back to SYSTM as my only indoor platform.