Testing Rouvy - my advice - DON'T

I am doing an Everesting challenge this month which necessitated moving to a platform that calculates climb, which Systm does not. So I am taking advantage of the 14 day free trial of Rouvy.

The good: They have a lot of videos of great places all over the world. I even found a few here in my home town.

The bad: Everything else. While the videos are good, no music. Now you can overlay your own music but it will not match the ride. The navigation is HORRIBLE, and I am being kind to say that. But there is one absolute deal killer for me. I don’t always have great internet so I download all my videos. Today I wanted to do two short rides. I downloaded both, went to my cave and did the first one. While I was doing that my internet dropped out. Nothing particularly unusual. BUT, with Rouvy, you can NOT load another video, even if you downloaded it. Let me take that back, I could not find any navigation to do that.

When my 14 days are up, I am done with Rouvy forever. I will jump over to Zwift which also calculates climb. They have a 7 day trial. By the end of that I will be done with the 29K of climb.

I will be back before the end of the month as I still have several months on my annual Systm subscription. Hopefully they can make some of the improvements to make it worth buying for another year.

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Unfortunate that you had a bad experience with Rouvy - I really like it as a real world sim and have only positive things to say about it (for what I use it for). I particularly like that I can chose Ironman rides that I’m actually going to do and use that sim as practise for the real thing.

On the other hand, my Zwift experience was only negative.

Everybody’s different, I suppose.

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Glad your experience was a good one. I was hopeful, but it just didn’t work for me. Zwift will also be new for me. I will give it a fair try.

I gave Rouvy a try over the Christmas break and wasn’t too chuffed with it either.

I like that you can:

  • do the alpine climbs at home to get a bit of a feel for it
  • see other riders (and get motivated by it)

I don’t like:

  • the videos: the ones I did were filmed from a motor vehicle and real-life traffic seem to go at slow-motion pace when adjusted for my speed. Oddly, I find RGT to be more attractive in that sense
  • the lack of VR: I’d like to look around when I’m climbing a mountain pass - we only get to see asphalt. Doing a ride like this with a VR headset that allows for a 360 view, that’d be different.
  • the lack of atmosphere: when riding in the mountains, I love the smell, the feel of the wind, the sound of the area (heck yes, even the sound of traffic working their way up or down the hill).

and I agree @Critmark, the navigation of the rides is horrible. I wanted to find a long climb sorted by the most users (it makes it a bit more fun if you’ve got someone to chase)

With the current selection of On Location rides, I have very little need to ride Rouvy or RGT.

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Have you tried Fulgaz? No VR, but a large library of rides from all around the world. No narration and only incidental other riders, but a lot of the videos have the sound from the ride, generally near-quiet but enough that I find it disturbing when Windows forgets to route the sound through the second monitor I use for cycling, and the road noise is off to the side.

Simulation mode riding on a trainer is very different from an ERG or level mode training session. I find myself putting out much more power than I can with SYSTM training rides - there is something about the feedback between effort bursts and apparent speed on the video that I find motivating. Fulgaz has good but not perfect changes in the apparent speed in the video, there are some artifacts and stops are awkward. Stops don’t need to be awkward if you have a KICKR Bike or another trainer with brake levers, but they haven’t implemented brakes in Fulgaz, although on a KICKR Bike you have to remember to use the brake lever to stop the flywheel after you end the ride and close the app, otherwise it will continue spin for hours - not sure whether it is Fulgaz or Wahoo who hasn’t implemented things correctly there.

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What’s missing is a way to take external routes into SYSTM (from RideWithGPS, for example), and replay them. Like I can with my ELEMNT but with a larger display screen.

I know, I know, it’s been asked for before…

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I have used Rouvy as a supplement to The Sufferfest/now SYSTM for about three years and enjoy the scenery aspect, as well as it is the only way for me to get vertical meters for the monthly 7500 m Strava challenge! I have a huge library of forgettable electronic dance music downloaded from the Markus Schulz site which works quite well in the background. Oddly, the old Rouvy app was much easier to navigate than the current one and they really need to get more organized as there are two websites in operation with different things on them! They have added training now but this is the reason I have SYSTM. I used Zwift for two years and never liked the computer graphics and the fussiness of it which required fiddling with a keyboard while riding. I am not interested in virtual racing, although I did some races on Rouvy out of curiousity. A lot of users on Rouvy are unhappy about the speed of the videos but I don’t find it particularly distracting whereas I do enjoy riding in new areas without having a training aspect. I love the On Location videos but I can set my own pace on Rouvy. I suspect no app does everything quite right!

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There are a lot of asks, but any roll outs are slow and few & far between. One I have seen asked for that has to be super easy because they already capture the data is a simple addition to the filters of NEVER RIDDEN. Yet they don’t seem fit to do this???

@SirLeslieinCanada has it right,

The reason why no app gets everything right is that it is difficult enough to do one thing right, especially in small companies with limited resources.

I prefer to subscribe to multiple apps, each that does one thing right, rather than one app that does everything, but half way or poorly.

Hence, I use SYSTM, Rouvy, Training Peaks, and Xert, and restrict myself to the features that are their focus.

What companies should focus on is being the best of its kind, and interoperability. This is the only reason I use Strava because it is the closest thing we have to a universal solvent.

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@Heretic I understand your approach, but Rouvy has a fatal flaw for me on top of an awful UI. I am going to try Zwift and Fulgaz to see if I can find one as a staple and then one more as a secondary platform. 2 is all I can justify paying for.

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The Rouvy UI (which I agree is even worse in the new version) is less of an issue for me because I only use it in two situations. If the weather is bad outside and I need to do an endurance ride to RPE, or to simulate my Mount Sufferlandria.

I understand the need for minimizing the number of platforms one subscribes to.

I would be interested in your experience with Fulgaz.

Happy to let you know. Rouvy expires on Friday so I will start the trial of Fulgaz on Sat.

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FWIW, if you have a CLIMB, Fulgaz works better with it than any other app I’ve tried.

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I’ve used Rouvy, Zwift and FulGaz. Of those three, I like FulGaz the best. I’ve also heard good things about RGT, but have never used it. But I keep coming back to The Sufferfest. I know, it’s called SYSTM now, but it’s still The Sufferfest to me.

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You might be interested in this old thread:

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I have a Kickr smart bike so should I assume the same experience?

Go to RGT. Also a 14 day free trial and usualy some roads are always Open to free users. You may get Stelvio or Ventoux for free for over a month if is open. And if not it costs only about 9€ a premium subscription to ride all you want whenever you want.
Ive everested there and also in zwif.:wink:

Fulgaz works extremely well with the KICKR Bike.
Except they haven’t implemented braking.

I have been using Fulgaz for quite a while and find it to be great. The variety of rides is terrific and I have found the platform to be easy to navigate and reliable as long as you remember to quit your device and restart, making sure that you quit any other trainer connected apps. I also appreciate that I can have the Fulgaz app running directly on my Apple TV.

What do yo mean by

Do I have to restart it to get my ride to show up?

Just did my first ride and NOT impressed. Why does this, like Rouvy, take you to a screen where I have to select a ride? I downloaded a ride. I assured that I would have that option to go there. NOPE. Now that my ride is finished, it is NOT in my ride history nor did it get uploaded to Strava. After I shower I will restart the program and see what that does.