Road Grand Tours

  • This topic has 33 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by  BenjiM.
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  • Road Grand Tours
  • Probably already covered but has anyone seen this Smart Trainer game that is currently under development? I’m sure it will need a decent spec PC but looks fantastic.

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=Tjt3YQaHoQI[/video]

    IvanDobski
    Member

    First thought was a sarcastic “great, they’ve invented zwift” second thought was a not sarcastic “great, they’ve invented zwift on real climbs”.

    scurries off to check for a beta sign up…

    crosshair
    Member

    I don’t know, but I’d imagine the novelty of climbing would soon wear off so they’re gonna need plenty of rolling terrain too. The mountain on Zwift receives a lot less attention than the rest of the course I believe.

    I know a few of the race organisers from Zwift are already in discussions with RGT as they are still pretty frustrated with Zwift HQ, the slow rate of development and Zwifts failure to appreciate racing as the draw it undoubtedly is.

    Premier Icon mickyfinn
    Subscriber

    I’ve signed up for the beta with all five of my email addresses but haven’t been let in yet 🙁
    I get what people say about the possibility of sessioning long climbs on a trainer being boring, then again maybe their target market aren’t Zwift users yet as it doesn’t have any long climbs. I for one go up to the mast on zwift frequently and every time think is that it am I at the top already.
    I also use bkool and kinomap to do long climbs on the trainer but they’re nowhere near as slick as Zwift and a long way behind where Road Grand Tours seems to be heading.

    mickyfinn

    I recieved my invite to the beta today. Have you received yours?

    Can’t wait to try it! Just need to hook up a decent PC and get a replacement Ant+ as the one I ordered through ebay was faulty.

    Premier Icon mickyfinn
    Subscriber

    I did two of my requests got let in. Sadly I haven’t got time to play for the next week at least. Yesterday I also discovered BigringVR which is a video based solution and very nice it is too. It’s currently open beta, give it a shot if amazing scenery floats your boat

    Cheers will do.

    IvanDobski
    Member

    Got my invite today so logged in and downloaded it etc etc ready for tomorrow night. Stelvio, Formentor or Ventoux?

    First thoughts are it looks good, bit more photorealistic than zwift however like zwift there’s no key map or anything so not sure what’s what really.

    Let us know how you go Ivan. What’s the spec on your machine you are using?

    Cheers

    IvanDobski
    Member

    Off the top of my head it’s a fairly old Athlon 3.2mhz dual core processor, 16gb ram, gtx 960 graphics card.

    It’ll play Fallout4 at 60fps on high to put it into perspective.

    fifeandy
    Member

    @crosshair, the novelty of climbing NEVER wears off, it’s how all roads should be!

    jonba
    Member

    Also now got gt beta. Had a play. Looks good but not much interaction between riders. Also couldn’t work out how to export the ride after. Will have a proper look later.

    crosshair
    Member

    @Fifeandy- Lol! Nothing to stop you sessioning Watopia Mountain 🙂
    To be honest, if a 20minute climb on an indoor trainer isn’t enough for you then you should have gone harder 😉

    The other thing though, the graphics and the feeling of actually moving are far worse at a simulated 5mph whereas bombing through London or a Volcano at 24mph feels quite good fun.

    IvanDobski
    Member

    Well that was interesting…

    Did the Formentor climb and the whole thing was a bit like the good old days of early beta Zwift when I pretty much had the island to myself and could get the KOM, fastest lap and sprint jerseys at the same time – it’s been a long time since that happened!

    Like Zwift it makes up the numbers with bots however the bots are basically replicas of yourself, there’s no individualism here. I imagine there’s bigger things to sort rather than avatars etc.

    My setup was struggling to run 60fps on high even on an empty island, I can’t see anyway of setting it at medium to increase smoothness so I’ve emailed them with some questions and feedback.

    Gradients seem a bit too hard, like Zwift they’ve a scaling feature so I had it on 100% because I don’t see why you wouldn’t but anything above 5% or so is actually quite hard going.

    Like Zwift (you’ll hear this a lot!) they have the heads up display but this actually has some nice touches, semi-transparent, nice inclinometer and power readouts for the last few minutes. Basically this is better than Zwift imho. There’s the rider list down the side but you can’t yet click on anyone to PM or check stats etc, you can just send a message to everyone riding or the developers.

    It’s basically in a similar state to Zwift 2 years ago, there’s work to do on the graphics side of things ref avatars etc but I can’t see that being an issue, the routes work but it is literally climb, summit, u-turn and back. They need some way of linking back to the start as well as providing alternate routes.

    I’ve suggested a fictional flat option and a fictional hilly option to complement each real climb and provide a variety of route combinations. Riders will join for the novelty of climbing the Stelvio but they’ll actually only stay if the route options are more comprehensive.

    Finally, I reckon it’ll only work as an alternative to Zwift if they manage to develop a fully integrated events/race module which is the one area I find Zwift lacking really. It’s annoying having to scrabble around on third party sites to find out where you finished in an event you found out about on a different third party site.

    crosshair
    Member

    Thanks for the write up Ivansobski. Really interesting.

    To be fair, you can now find, enter and race a race on Zwift entirely through their software with the event module.
    It’s only KISS that have removed the Zwift HQ results screen too as they also own Zwiftpower.

    Zwift are super reluctant to adjudicate against their customers hence their distance from the racing scene.

    The only way around that I can see is a more Arcady style race module within the game that separates you from your normsl training/riding a little to give them room to DQ you etc without offending you.
    And that doesn’t really fit with RGT’s ultra realistic simulation type style.

    Super interesting to see it develop though. I hope they do come out with a kick-ass race module, might encourage Zwift to raise their game.

    fifeandy
    Member

    @Ivan: Basically i agree that you should never have to visit a 3rd party site for that stuff, but since integrated matchmaking is notoriously poor in many genres of online gaming it’s nothing new, and zwift could point to any number of big budget games where it’s considered acceptable.

    Good write up Ivan. My computer is sadly lacking poke (Graphics card is a motherboard integrated Intel HD).

    Still it played ball, if slow. BigRingVR also looks interesting.

    IvanDobski
    Member

    Dear god that was grim.

    Just done the Ventoux route at 100% realism, smart trainer with gradient simulation etc – 2hrs 51 with 99% of that being climbing.

    I can’t see me wanting to do that on a regular basis, maybe once a month to check how my training’s going or whatever but not for actual fun. Even if you can climb it twice as fast as me that’s still an hour and a half of solid climbing, not something the casual “five laps round the volcano twice a week and a sub 2w/kg weekend group ride ” zwifter is going to go for.

    Unless they use the headline climbs to grab the imagination but also implement different routes for riders of all abilities, motivation, and free time availability I really can’t see people subscribing to do that frequently.

    On the plus side the graphics were much smoother tonight after fettling with the settings, switch monitor resolution which seemed to help.

    tpbiker
    Member

    the issue I expect to have when I use it is going to be similar to when I use my tacx vr software and climb the likes of alp dhuez. Its great fun* the first time, but after a couple of goes its basically just you sitting grinding away on a constant setting on the turbo for the duration..the fact that you can see scenery go by soon loses its novelty

    Unless they add in some competative feature folks will get bored pretty quick.

    At least on zwift the courses are varied, so you aren’t just churning away for what seams like eternity.

    My approach to being on the turbo is quick and painful. Having tried riding ‘real courses’ on my tacx, and using the likes of trainer road and sufferefest, I find the latter far more beneficial, and also i’m more motivated to complete the workout.

    *bearable

    IvanDobski
    Member

    It def needs that extra something, whether it be racing or something else. I remember the zwift forum used to be (and prob still is) full of people demanding their favourite giro/tour/vuelta climb be replicated.

    Having now virtually ridden one of my favourite tour climbs it’s become painfully obvious that it’s one of my favourites because of the racing which takes place on it, either actually or potentially. It would be massively less exciting watching someone like me pushing out a mighty 200 watts for nearly 3 hours on a fairly constant 7% incline.

    In fairness though they could make some cracking 1:1 scale gt stage races to really pull in the committed racers!

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    It sounds great as a training aid, but from a race context it has no appeal to me at all. I’m 96kg, in what world am I going to finish anything but near last place? On Zwift I can choose courses that ‘help’ to an extent, but still making it fair for lighter guys too. If I’m racing against 65kg whippets I can still be in with them, up ventoux, no chance.

    To train for an Alps climb though, yeah maybe.

    atlaz
    Member

    I’ve never tried it despite having the beta. Mostly because when I got in, the weather got better and I suspended my sufferfest and zwift subs at the same time and packed up the trainer.

    I’m tempted to give one of the climbs a go today…. does it link to Strava like Zwift does so you get the GPS trace?

    As for the graphics level, in initial versions you could select detail, resolution and whether it was windowed at startup. But it seems that is gone now in the new version.

    IvanDobski
    Member

    Yep, uploads to strava and if you press “O” you get the options screen inc graphics.

    tpbiker
    Member

    If I’m racing against 65kg whippets I can still be in with them, up ventoux, no chance.

    The other issue with racing online is that noone checks to see if you are who you say you are..whats to stop me putting my weight as 60kg rather than an honest 85?

    What the races need are different categories based on watts per kilo. Then if you lie about your weight you just get lumped in with a better class of rider.(Although i’m assuming folks still would, for the kudos of racing against the best folks). If you win a race with a higher w/kg average than you state, you automatically get moved up a category.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    The other issue with racing online is that noone checks to see if you are who you say you are..whats to stop me putting my weight as 60kg rather than an honest 85?

    I can’t argue, but I’m an optimist so believe people are mostly accurate.

    atlaz
    Member

    From what I understand, at the top levels, Zwift has some sort of real-world checks to ensure that people are representing themselves correctly etc (also not mechanically cheating). It could have been a fever-dream mind you.

    That said, having a virtual world should allow them to give 85kg riders a chance to compete fairly with 60kg riders without having to generate a load more power as they would in the real world. So not only grouping people by w/kg but also outright watts as the race organiser chooses. Both have disadvantages obviously but it creates some variation.

    IvanDobski
    Member

    %age of ftp is another metric I’ve seen mentioned as a way of balancing the weights etc. Ftp set with hr as an initial verification.

    fifeandy
    Member

    On Zwift I can choose courses that ‘help’ to an extent, but still making it fair for lighter guys too

    How is a pancake flat world with no proper climbs fair for lighter guys too?
    At 3 & 4% respectively for the volcano and mountain, and the longest climb being ~20mins (less for a fit rider) they are still well in the realms of power climbs, there’s nothing for light guys at all.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Because you can sit in draft and kick on up the small climbs, you can sit at 80w less easy and stay in group while the big strong boys push it along.
    Once we hit the incline, its all over.

    fifeandy
    Member

    Yeah, it doesn’t really work like that.
    And even if it did, gaps generated on small climbs get pulled right back in on the flat.
    The only places very light people can make a difference are prolonged mid gradient (~7%) climbs, or steep climbs (over 5 mins long or you never burn out punchy heavier riders (GvA, Sagan types)).

    Also, on the flat, lets say at 96kg you are doing 288W (3W/kg) using your 80W saving figure, a 60kg rider sitting in is doing 208W, but is working MUCH harder at 3.46W/kg.

    In the same way that i’ll never be able to fully experience how bad climbs are for someone really heavy without putting on a 35kg backpack, I don’t think heavy folk realise how much advantage raw power gives everywhere else.

    Ewan
    Member

    Anyone tried this recently – just got approved for the Beta? Worth a go?

    IvanDobski
    Member

    I was on it again the other night, still very limited numbers of people on there but the mechanics seem to work reasonably well although I think the scaling is out – a 5% feels much harder than it should I think.

    TheDoctor
    Member

    Requires. Smart trainer / power meter and a gaming computer with some guts, none of which I need for a Zwift! So until that changes I will give it a miss

    BenjiM
    Member

    I’ve done a couple of the routes (Cap and Mont Ventoux) and whilst it initially looks great it becomes bland very quickly. The idea is nice but it’s (currently) essentially a long climb with a long downhill, not what one would think of as a “Grand Tour”. And the first person view is quite nauseous when cornering, not as smooth Zwift, you can tell you’re on rails.

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