RGT Cycling Review: Virtual Cycling on Steroids? (2021)

RGT Cycling Review

RGT Cycling engulfs you in a virtual, real-world inspired world. It is one of the best “free” indoor cycling apps out there. Thanks to its realistic graphics and physics, it is worth trying and using for your workouts.

It is also one of the closest alternatives to Zwift, so if you don’t like Zwift, RGT Cycling should catch your attention.

In this RGT Cycling review, you learn more about its advantages & disadvantages and much more.

RGT Cycling Summary

Pros

  • Free (but limited) plan available
  • Realistic graphics & physics
  • Growing community & user base
  • Magic Roads feature allows you to create your roads profile
  • Ability to adjust the graphics interface
  • Controllable via mobile app (this can also be a downside, I find it useful)
  • Structured workouts and plans available

Cons

  • Limited route library
  • Poor motivation system
  • It cannot be used just with a cadence + speed sensor (you need a power source)
  • No ability to adjust workout intensity, etc.
  • Bad user experience mobile app

What is RGT Cycling?
RGT Cycling is an indoor cycling app that transforms real-world roads into a virtual form. Its graphic is realistic and closer to the real world than any other app. You can take advantage of its structured workouts, organize group rides, ride solo, or race.

Who is it for?
RGT Cycling is for all people who want to try indoor cycling for free because it offers free membership. It is also perfect for riders who appreciate real-world-inspired graphics and more realistic in-app physics.

Who is it not for?
RGT Cycling is not for people who want real-world footage to explore places from all over the world. You also need to be self-motivated because it lacks a sophisticated motivation system.


My Experience with RGT Cycling

Below, I share my experience with initial setup, using the app, routes, etc.

Initial Setup

To get with RGT Cycling, you have to download two apps. The first app (RGT Screen) is the desktop app that displays the virtual world, your training plan, etc.

The second app (RGT Cycling) is a mobile app that allows you to control everything. Yes, that’s right, you can’t control the desktop app via mouse, keyboard, or remote.

For some people, this approach can be a deal-breaker. I find it a smart move to leverage your smartphone for controlling the app. It brings a few downsides, though. More about them later.

Luckily, the setup of both these apps is straightforward and flawless. I downloaded both apps and paired them with each other using a code.

Keep in mind that, unlike other indoor cycling apps, you can’t use RGT Cycling with just a cadence and speed sensor.

Instead, you need a power meter or a smart trainer. RGT Cycling has no algorithm to calculate your power based on your cadence, speed, and trainer resistance.

I’ve been using RGT Cycling with Elite Direto 2 smart trainer (power, cadence, speed) and Wahoo TICKR HR monitor. The pairing was smooth, and I didn’t experience any issues.


TIP: Do you want to increase the comfort of your indoor training? Get a cycling rocker plate. Don’t also forget to buy a fan for indoor cycling, or check out these bike trainer accessories for more tips to make your indoor training more effective.


In-App Experience

One of the biggest advantages of RGT Cycling is that you can join their free plan. It includes access to a few routes.

The functionalities of the free plan are limited, though. You won’t be able to organize group rides or races, and you won’t get access to Magic Roads and enhanced training.

RGT Cycling Organize Races or Group Rides
Organize races or group rides

RGT Cycling has more realistic and sophisticated physics than some similar apps. For example, your avatar slows down before hairpins, so it doesn’t look as ridiculous as in Zwift.

Drafting is another area where RGT stands out. It is shown on-screen, including your watt savings, and works more realistically than in Zwift.

Unlike in Zwift, where avatars are a mess, in RGT Cycling, your avatar can’t go through other avatars. This means you have to pedal more to overtake them.

RGT Cycling Sprint Segment
Drafting

If you like virtual racing, you will have to keep an eye on your positioning and ride more strategically. For example, ride in the front before you hit a climb, etc.

Controlling the app using your smartphone also brings a few advantages (you can chat with friends, browse on the internet, or read while training), but also one disadvantage.

When you have sweaty hands, it can be tricky to control your smartphone. So, make sure you have a towel prepared.

I got used to controlling the app via the phone quickly. Here is one tip: Make sure your phone is fully charged.

Before you start riding, you can choose a bike, kit, glasses, and helmet when setting up your avatar. They won’t influence your avatar’s speed, though.

I like the realisticness of the camera angles. You can switch between:

  • FPV camera
  • Third-person camera
  • Moto camera
  • Drone camera
  • Motorbike camera
  • Race camera (static cam)
  • Auto switch
  • Look behind

Honestly, I am not a fan of the RGT Cycling graphics. But, don’t take me wrong. It looks amazing and much more realistic than Zwift.

But I don’t see the point of building real-world-inspired routes from scratch when apps like ROUVY or FulGaz offer high-quality footage.

This also brings me to the next topic…

Engagement

RGT Cycling doesn’t include almost any motivation system. There are no challenges, levels, virtual currency, etc.

If RGT Cycling wants to attract more users, they should work on a motivational system to keep riders engaged. I am also afraid that it doesn’t include enough hooks that would motivate people to use RGT Cycling more often.

On the other hand, you can organize group rides and events if you subscribe to their premium plan. The app also includes an in-built public chat, but no ride-ons or power-ups like Zwift.

Although a social element is enough for some riders, for me, it is not enough. I expect a little bit more.

Routes

RGT Cycling route library is pretty limited. It is one of the biggest disadvantages of this app because they get repetitive after a while.

Creating a virtual world from scratch is not an easy task, even if you can inspire yourself in the real world, but RGT developers should add more routes to make the app more diverse.

At the time of writing this review, the following routes were available:

  • Dirty Reiver
  • De Ronde
  • Borrego Springs
  • Canary Wharf
  • Cap De Formentor
  • Mont Ventoux
  • Paterberg
  • Pienza
  • Stelvio
  • Tempelhof Airport
RGT Cycling Watermolenstraat
RGT Cycling Watermolenstraat Segment (Paterberg Route)

The good news is that you can send the RGT Cycling team a .gpx export of your ride. They will take its profile and put it into a prebuilt world.

This feature is called Magic Roads and is only available in the premium plan.

To compare both the free and premium plans, visit the RGT Cycling pricing page.

Creating the Magic Road takes a few days. Here is how it looks:

Pretty cool, huh?

Training

RGT Cycling’s workout library is rich. Their workouts were designed by professional coaches. If you are interested in structured training plans, you can access them via TrainingPeaks. First, you need to have a TrainingPeaks account. From there, you join the training plan and upload it to RGT Cycling. Check out this page for more info.

Keep in mind that for uploading workouts from TrainingPeaks, you need to subscribe to the premium plan.

One downside of RGT Cycling is that it doesn’t include a workout builder. However, thanks to the integration with TrainingPeaks, it is not such a big deal.

User Friendliness

I have mixed feelings about RGT Cycling apps.

On the one hand, they offer some cool features like adjusting the graphic user interface, so you can hide the names of other users, your ride data, segments, etc. Both apps run smoothly and load quickly.

On the other, RGT developers ignore easy in-app readability by using a tiny font. In some tabs, swiping (from R to L and from L to R) works, in some it doesn’t. Sometimes, it is unclear how to return to the previous tab/screen, etc.

RGT Cycling GUI Settings
RGT Cycling GUI Settings
RGT Cycling Bike Detail - Small Font
RGT Cycling Bike Detail – Small Font

The app also doesn’t feel as intuitive as apps like Wahoo SYSTM or TrainerRoad, for example. RGT developers have a lot of things to improve.

Platforms Availability

RGT Cycling is available on all major platforms, including iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and Apple TV.

Remember, mobile apps are only for controlling desktop apps. This means that your tablet will work as a screen while your smartphone as a remote.

RGT Cycling platform availability
RGT Cycling platform availability (click to enlarge)

I’ve been using RGT Cycling on macOS and iOS, and it worked fine. There was only a very short latency between these two apps. For example, when I clicked on a button on a mobile app, the effect in the desktop app was not immediate.


RGT Cycling Alternatives

There are plenty of indoor cycling apps out there, but only a few of them are worth it. The following ones are my favorite.

  • TrainerRoad – is a fully performance-oriented cycling app with a comprehensive workouts library and structured training plans. It only shows you your ride data, no virtual world or video footage.
  • Zwift – utilizes a virtual world built from scratch. It doesn’t have as comprehensive a route library as ROUVY. It is much closer to being a game.
  • ROUVY – uses real-world footage augmented with avatars and other objects. It has a huge route library and allows you to explore beautiful places from the comfort of your home.
  • Wahoo SYSTM – includes traditional cycling training, yoga for cyclists, strength and mental training to make you a better, faster, and more resilient cyclist. It also offers workouts for runners and swimmers (triathletes).
  • FulGaz – uses real-world footage of routes worldwide. It has a comprehensive route library. It doesn’t feature augmented reality as ROUVY. This means there are no avatars or artificial objects.
AppPriceFree TrialWorldMultiplayerConnectivityPlatform Availability
Zwift14.99 USD / month7 daysVirtualYesANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV
ROUVY12 USD / month
144 USD / year
14 daysRealYesANT+ FE-C, BluetoothAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV
TrainerRoad19.95 USD / month
189 USD / year
7 daysn/aNoANT+ FE-C, Bluetooth, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS
Wahoo SYSTM (formerly The Sufferfest)14.99 USD / month
129 USD / year
14 daysRealNoANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS
RGT CyclingFree or
9.99 USD / month
14 daysVirtualYesANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS (remote)
Windows, macOS, Apple TV (screen)
FulGaz12.99 USD / month
108.99 USD / year
14 daysRealYesANT+ FE-C, BLE FTMSAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV
Updated on the 17th of September, 2021.

I created a rating system for evaluating the following features. It helps to keep the comparison between training apps consistent.

  • Price – how expensive is the app relative to other indoor cycling apps?
  • Ease of setup – is the app easy to set up with a smart trainer? Can it be used without it?
  • Engagement – does the app keep you engaged and motivated?
  • Routes – does the app offer a wide route library?
  • Training – does the app include prebuilt workout plans? Do they help you get faster?
  • User-friendliness and intuitiveness (UX) – is the app easy to navigate, easy to use, clear, and intuitive?
  • Platform availability – is the app available for multiple platforms like iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Apple TV, etc.?

The following table shows my ratings of specific areas on a scale of 1–5 (5 is the best).

AppPriceEase of SetupEngage-
ment
RoutesTrainingUXPlatform AvailabilityTotal
Zwift355343528
ROUVY454533529
TrainerRoad253n/a*55424
Wahoo SYSTM354355429
RGT Cycling552242323
FulGaz452532526
My indoor cycling apps rating on a scale of 1–5 (5 is the best)
*TrainerRoad is different from other apps and doesn't offer any routes.

RGT Cycling FAQ


My Verdict

Do I recommend RGT Cycling? Yes. People who want to try indoor cycling for free can join RGT Cycling’s free membership. In addition, the realistic graphics and physics of this app will appeal to riders who don’t like them in apps like Zwift.

There are things and features to improve in RGT Cycling. For example, the mobile app UX, motivation system, or route library.

Do I recommend it to everybody? No. RGT Cycling is not suitable for people who look for a sophisticated motivation system. Due to the limited road library, you may also get bored after a while. You will also need a power source (power meter, smart trainer), so the initial setup may get expensive if you don’t have it yet.

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