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RGT Cycling - initial thoughts
Given that all I've been doing on Zwift is logging on and hitting "just ride" for the past couple years, I figured I'd put my membership on pause and try the free RGT Cycling app. Anyone else using it? Here are my thoughts after 1 ride and very little investigation on how the app works:
- Users: The two routes I saw before quickly hitting "ride" had I think 25 and 45 other riders online (Sunday afternoon ~1530 EST). There are many Premium routes though, and as a free user I don't have access to those and didn't bother to see if I could determine how many were on them. Personally, I found it kind of nice to be out on the virtual open road with only the occasional other user. I don't know if you can turn off viewing other riders in Zwift, but even if you can, this seemed different somehow.
- Graphics: nicer than Zwift, less game-ish. I rode Cap Formentor and it is quite a lovely experience other than the FPS issues (see next point).
- FPS: you get a constant update on your FPS rate. Mine hovered around 6 or 7 the whole time, making for a fairly choppy look/feel compared to Zwift. I have a high end MBP from 2015 which has never had any trouble running Zwift (for that matter, my old S9 can run Zwift without much trouble), so I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or if that's just the price you pay for the more realistic graphics
- Connection: I don't know if connecting all of my crap (HRM, Kickr Core, and phone) has ever been as smooth in Zwift as it was on my first try with RGT. Either I got lucky or they have nailed this part of the experience
- Price: $10USD/month for premium vs $15 for Zwift. However, you can use the free version of RGT indefinitely with a reduced feature set, as opposed to Zwift where you get your first taste (25k) for free and then have to pay. As I mentioned, for someone like me who tends to "just ride" a few times a week while watching Letterkenny, the free version is loads.
- Two apps: You need a phone app and a computer app, no single-device rides like Zwift. This sucks for my use case (just ride/watch a show), since my trainer is in the garage, so I now have to drag 3 devices out there for every ride instead of two (not to mention finding space for them and operating them all simultaneously). Bearable given that I'm saving $15USD/month, but a significant mark in the 'con' column compared to Zwift.
Overall, I can't imagine anyone paying $10/month for this experience when you can pay $15 for Zwift. If you're a basic user, you'll have everything you need in the free version; if you want advanced features, the two-device issue and poor FPS on a perfectly decent computer are likely enough on their own to make the extra $5/month worth it for Zwift.
TL;DR - RGT will get you through your rides if you're also watching TV (or maybe doing a TR workout or whatever), but has a ways to go before it's worth $10 USD/month and/or can expect to be a serious Zwift competitor.