I would like to celebrate the strides towards innovation and continued improvement of the platform and the eCycling sport as a whole. I hesitate to be entirely positive.
IN MY OPINION you have sacrificed what I like to call the “Flow” of RGT. From my first race back in Dec. 2020 and getting dropped. The corners and concertina effect is what grabbed hold of me. I was hooked on the feeling (no pun intended).
I understand there are some frustrations with the randomness of the auto-steering and grouping up of the peloton.
Off to one side out of the draft
Being blocked when you know there is a better position to be had if you had control.
Taking the middle of the road instead of the apex when in a break
Here comes steering. Which I want and enjoy on other platforms. I was getting excited with the prospects of what the RGT team had come up with. Watching the tutorial videos and having countless speculation conversations I was finally able to try it last night for the first time.
I jumped into the ever-present NorCal Tue Niter (Shout out to Dan Connelly) and was looking forward to taking the best lines and staying in the draft. Saving energy and going the fastest. This is when things started to take shape. It’s all on you to find the wheel you want and the position on the road you want. Not the position in the peloton. Everything was spread out because we had no “Flow”. It was just a bunch of lanes. I would move all the way over to the left and attack, making all the other riders lose my draft but I just stayed in the lane until I steered back into the inside line. There are other difficulties with the “steering” only feature.
Blocking a rider without consequences (Outside we might cause a crash)
Teleporting to the lane and not the riders wheel
There are positives to steering I’d also like to point out.
When on the front and wanting to pull off and rotate back
Slotting into a gap during a paceline
The point of this letter is that the “Flow” is at the top of my preferences when it comes to cycling and cycling games and it’s missing now. I would like it back and better with steering included. It’s not one or the other. It should be both. Not on or off. I really enjoy just noodling around Borrego, just grabbing wheels of bots or real riders and riding for hours weaving in and around the little groups that form. I can’t do that now without a phone or a keyboard. I can just ride like I do outside. Outside I can say on your left when I pass or just grab a wheel. I don’t have to remove my hand or shift my phone to grab a wheel. It’s a “Flow” you get better at the more you ride.
Our sport is smooth and has a Flow. We need a balance of both Outside simulation and Indoor practicality. I respectfully request a hybrid feature of both steering and auto steering or Flow.
Good observations. There’s definitely an adaptation to how moving around in a group works with steering, especially when some people can move of their own accord and others are beholden to “auto avoidance” (shall we call non-steerers Calvinists?).
I was in the same race albeit mostly in different packs. The first third of my race was in a group of 6-8, next third in a 2-man break before being dropped, and finally a group sprint of 6 (we sat up to test it out). Even rolling turns with one other was tough to figure out–is he moving to pull or trying to drop me? How do I signal the pulloff?–and even small pack dynamics were inscrutable aside from the obvious dive to the far side of the road attack. In other words, the flow was definitely not quite there.
I’m overall optimistic that tweaks to RGT and people learning how it works will get there though. I think making steering on across the app is the right call; RGT needs to both nail this and get adoption to differentiate from the competition.
I agree with the missing flow, the problem I see with the current implementation is that the racing will only flow again if everyone in a race has roughly the same proficiency at steering…and lets face it, that will never happen. In the mean time I can see some people dropping RGT altogether, and lets face it if the numbers dwell even further the racing will die.
For me this will only work combining the previous system with the current, everyone has the auto-steering on, and the ability to steer to get an advantage, yes it will be a rather small advantage, but it will be there without losing the flow and people racing
I agree with the essence of what @briankellison has poetically written above and others have added to. In terms of how to improve things, my opinion is that a form of hybrid where you use manual steering ‘by exception’ ie when you actively want to override the (generally very good) RGT automatic steering algorithms. I think that there is a lot of good work behind the implementation of manual steering, both in terms of software and the Kickr Steer hardware, but I think the experience needs to be a bit less hardcore.
The example that sticks out to me - perhaps due to my thoroughly mediocre riding abilities is this: when trying to keep in touch with the back of a peleton, sometimes the (old) RGT algorithms would tack onto the ‘wrong’ part of the back of the pack, veering left when moving right would (to a human) be a better choice. In that kind of situation, I’d like to be able to use the steering, chose my direction, and then hopefully settle back into the pack
Even if manual steering is the way forward (or diagonally sideways) for serious racers (ie people who are not me), I think some form of lower effort experience is important for quite a wide range of users. I appreciate that there is a danger that if the push/pull to get people steering is too weak then it might not take off sufficiently. However, I think that a form of semi-automatic steering coupled with RGT’s great physics engine would be a compelling combination.
I agree with this. If the new manual steering is as favorable as it seems (from word of mouth) over the former implementation of automatic steering, then user review should get more and more users on board with it. Especially if Wahoo can get enough users in with the early sale of the steering hardware and by better explaining how they can still manually steer with Wahoo Bike buttons or their phone app or remote app. This method of “pulling” more people on-board to use steering would be a much better way of encouraging users to use steering rather than forcing everybody to us it.
So more carrot and less stick.
And then those that really don’t care at all about steering and don’t even want to give it a try can still enjoy RGT instead of either 1) loudly complaining or 2) rage quitting.
So more encouragement and promotion, and less force, would go a long way.
I just wish we could have full auto steering restored for all riders, including the bots. Manual steering would start once a paddle or button or whichever steering input mode is being used, is pressed. An on screen or remote app toggle button would enable auto steering to be reactivated quickly when required. In other words, the user should be able to opt in and out of manual steering often, quickly and easily.
For TTT’s I could see steering being very beneficial. I’ve done a lot of TTT’s in Zwift and it’s frustrating when you get shot out the side of the line for no apparent reason. I think there needs to be 3 modes that a user can choose. Original (no steering), Steering (must steer all the time for everything) and Hybrid (you can choose to steer if you want but after no steering input from the user the game reverts to Original after a set amount of time, maybe the time can be user configured?) People could choose what they want. If you are doing a team time trial then I’m sure everyone on the team is going to pick Steering. If I’m doing an interval workout then I’d pick Original, etc.
For TTT, I’ve just asked if I can share this image. This is a group of the us running a pace line using Steer. It is pretty darn ace for proper TTT pacelining. One of the online reviews has some better shots of pacelines with steer, but can’t remeber who. The team used in RGT voice to do this
That steering is really nice for example in TTT races. Road races, for me steering is horrible, because i cant focus on pressing A or D all the time, i have to focus on pedaling and need to keep my hands on handlebar. And, because of that steering is sometimes impossible to do, and it often cause dropping out from draft. For example last ERL race on saturday was a catastrophe for me.
I just dont understand, why wahoo released a steering device for mobile phone, do they really think that all people use mobile for steering? I dont use my phone for gaming, there are days that i dont even have phone with me when im riding in my garage. I would like to see some kind of solution for steering to be done via turning handlebar like you do IRL.
My solution is; that old school auto pack (moving) drafting thing should be turned on, like it was before latest update, and this steering should be optional for those who wants to use it.