This is my comparison of Zwift vs. Wahoo RGT. Both these apps belong among the best indoor cycling apps, but is one better than the other?
I tested them to help you decide which one you should pay for. The answer depends mainly on your personality and preferences.
The main difference between Zwift and Wahoo RGT is that in Zwift, you move through virtual, cartoonish worlds (Watopia and a few maps inspired by the real world). Wahoo RGT offers more realistic, real-world-inspired maps. Zwift better leverages gamification elements, but RGT has more realistic physics.
Continue reading to learn more.
NOTE: RGT Cycling was acquired by Wahoo and rebranded to Wahoo RGT in 2022.
Zwift and Wahoo RGT Summary
The most significant difference between these two apps is the graphics.
While both apps use worlds built from scratch (they don’t augment real-world footage like ROUVY), Zwift is more cartoonish, while Wahoo RGT is more realistic.
Zwift better leverages gamification elements and has a larger community of users, more races, events, etc.
But, Wahoo RGT has more realistic physics and, after the Wahoo acquisition, also the ambition to be an equal opponent.
I summarized their main features in the following table.
|Races & Events||Yes||Yes|
|Platforms Availability||Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV||Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Apple TV
Android, iOS (remote)
|Free Trial||7 days||14 days|
|Price||14.99 USD / month||14.99 USD / month*
149 USD / year
|In-Depth Review||Read Zwift Review||Read Wahoo RGT Review|
*You also get access to Wahoo SYSTM with the Wahoo X subscription.
Updated on the 15th of November, 2022.
Let’s now compare every area in detail.
For many people, the graphics aspect is one of the most important features they consider when looking for a new indoor cycling app.
However, only three worlds are available at the same time. The Watopia is available permanently, and the other two worlds change based on a schedule.
Naturally, the number of routes in every world is limited. This is one of the most significant downsides of Zwift – the routes get repetitive.
In Wahoo RGT, you can choose from just a few roads inspired by the real-world recreated into realistic graphics.
Their library is pretty narrow. When writing this article, it included only 12 routes (Stelvio, de Ronde, Cap de Formentor, Mont Ventoux, etc.). So, they get repetitive even faster.
I expect the number of roads will increase thanks to Wahoo’s acquisition of RGT Cycling and more resources for future development.
In addition, thanks to the ‘Magic Roads’ feature, they can create a route based on your .gpx export. It will simulate the gradient changes but not the surroundings.
I like the graphics of RGT more than Zwift. But, the number of RGT routes is very limited. For this reason, I rate this area as a draw.
Winner: It’s a draw
TIP: Use an indoor cycling fan to stay cooled down and perform better when training indoors.
Multiplayer & Social Interactivity
Both apps have multiplayer. This means you can meet others in-game.
Zwift’s community is much larger, so their roads are thriving. You always meet somebody.
Wahoo RGT is not as popular (yet). So, you will meet more bots than real people.
While both apps offer an in-built chat, Zwift also has a dedicated Zwift Companion app. It’s perfect for browsing events, chatting with others, and more.
Additionally, you can wave to others in Zwift. This feature is not available in Wahoo RGT.
So, if the social aspect is something you are into, Zwift is the clear winner.
Races & Events
You can race and do group rides in both Zwift and Wahoo RGT.
Zwift races are more crowded and frequent thanks to the larger community and user base.
Additionally, official events like the UCI Cycling eSports World Championships take place in the Zwift app.
If you want to race in Wahoo RGT, I recommend arranging with your friends to have someone to compete against.
RGT has a lot of catching up to do. Will Wahoo succeed? Only time will tell.
Improve your indoor cycling comfort with a rocker plate. It will allow your trainer to move from side to side, reducing the friction of your butt with your saddle.
If you are looking for an app that allows you to do structured training, both will satisfy your needs.
Zwift offers a workouts library, structured training plans, and a workouts builder.
Additionally, Zwift has so-called pace partners. So if you need a “company” to maintain a constant tempo, you can use these bots instead of friends.
Wahoo RGT also has a workout library but doesn’t offer structured training plans, a workout builder, or pace partners.
Another area that sets these two apps apart is their approach to gamification.
While Zwift is basically a game that uses many gamification elements, Wahoo RGT doesn’t leverage them.
In Zwift, you collect drops (an in-game currency), achievements, finish routes, build your equipment, etc. These elements add extra motivation for riding more.
Wahoo RGT is pretty much gamification-free except for choosing some equipment like your bike, jersey, helmet, etc.
The user-friendliness, in other words, how easy it is to use the apps, is pretty similar.
Zwift user interface was pretty bad in the past, but it’s more usable now, thanks to the 2022 update.
Wahoo RGT kept the original RGT Cycling interface. However, I expect it to change because it could be done better, and Wahoo is known for its focus on ease of use and excellent user experience.
Pairing sensors and the initial setup is easy in both apps. I didn’t encounter any issues.
Winner: It’s a draw
Wahoo RGT and Zwift are available on all major platforms, including iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and Apple TV.
There are two differences, though. Zwift also develops the Zwift Companion app for iOS and Android. It’s an extension of Zwift that allows you to chat with others, give ‘Ride Ons,’ etc.
The old RGT Cycling had to be fully controlled via a smartphone. However, the use of their mobile app is optional now.
Winner: It’s a draw
Zwift costs 14.99 USD/month (or 14.99 EUR, 12.99 GBP).
Wahoo RGT is still available for free with limited functionality (you won’t get access to structured workouts, you won’t be able to host events, etc.).
Or, you can pay for a Wahoo X subscription for 14.99 USD/month (129 USD/year) and get access to Wahoo RGT and Wahoo SYSTM.
You can read my Wahoo SYSTM review to learn more about it, but in short, it’s a comprehensive training platform focused on endurance athletes.
This deal makes the Wahoo X subscription very appealing because you get access to 2 apps for the price of one.
Winner: Wahoo RGT
Overall score: Zwift (4) | Wahoo RGT (1) | It’s a draw (3)
Both apps have alternatives. The most similar app is probably BKOOL, which also uses the virtual world (and video footage).
They differ from Zwift and RGT in their approach. You learn more about them in my roundup article.
Zwift and Wahoo RGT FAQ
Zwift vs. Wahoo RGT: The Winner
Zwift is a clear winner in this duel.
It offers more maps and roads, so although they may get repetitive over time, the offer is much wider than in RGT.
Zwift also has a much larger user base, leading to more frequent and crowded races and events.
And last but not least, Zwift better leverages gamification elements that will motivate you to continue riding indoors.
The two areas where Wahoo RGT beats Zwift are the physics and the Wahoo X subscription.
The drafting and the behavior of the avatars are more realistic. Some people, including me, also like the realistic graphic more than the cartoonish graphic in Zwift.
And, thanks to the Wahoo X, you also get access to Wahoo RGT and Wahoo SYSTM for the price of one app.