Author Topic: Which VR cycling app do you use?  (Read 2657 times)

Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2020, 10:26:48 pm »
I've got into collecting the badges for the different routes. As you may have worked out, there are a range of "worlds". Watopia is the base one, and is completely imaginary. Two others are also available at any one time, such as London, Richmond (USA), and Paris. So lots of routes to collect, and a range of distances.

My club's time trials have also moved to Zwift, as well as some club runs. And tomorrow I'm riding a sportive. So lots of planned routes to go at.

Try Zwift Insider for background, information on routes, and much more.

Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2020, 11:27:18 pm »
Three ways you can add structure to Zwift:
- Select a workout. The downside of these is that the routines in no way align with the terrain, making the visuals a bit pointless.
- Join an event. Essentially a big ride where everyone starts simultaneously. Kinda like doing a sportive where you can join groups or pick randoms you want to keep up with.
- Select a Pace Partner, which is kind of like a big group ride. It's a new feature I haven't tried yet.

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2020, 02:58:53 am »
If I’m doing a workout (from the pre-installed workouts - https://whatsonzwift.com/workouts/ - or one I’ve created myself or found on another website) I tend to do them on one of the flat courses like Tick-Tock or London Flat, so that the virtual speed makes some sense.

For general riding, I’ll normally join a group ride like PACK (look in Zwift Events in the Companion App). On these, there’s normally a Discord channel allocated so you can chat along with other riders - much more interesting than trying to text while riding. Though it can get a bit noisy if there’s 600+ riders, as is not uncommon in the cold, dark months!

Races can be bloody good fun, though you need to get verified on ZwiftPower (a separate race results website) to filter out those who pretend to be 30kg while putting out 1200+ watts!

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2020, 06:36:49 am »
Those of you who use Zwift, what do you recommend workout-wise?

I dug the Bkool out of the garage this afternoon, set it up and had a little test ride on Zwift. It was fine, but it all felt a bit aimless and lacking in structure... I think I need well defined start and end points, and probably a planned route with a bit of variety of terrain (even if the gradients are only virtual). Feels like I could get into it though, and hopefully it will be useful for maintaining fitness over winter when I can't be bothered to go outside.

Can you plan your own routes in advance like you do for real life rides?

There was a 20-second sprint section on the bit I rode today. That was quite fun. Are there lots of those?

I’m new to Zwift as well but the simplest way to add some structure is to follow one of the predicted courses in whichever world you’re in. The mistake I made first time was to just start riding which was a bit aimless. Or you could sign up to one of the workout plans; in doing the 28 day FTP builder. As others have mentioned there’s also the group rides and races but I haven’t tried those yet.

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2020, 11:51:33 am »
In contrast to Tim, I used to always do my solo workouts on hilly routes- it makes getting the Tron bike faster.

I can't remember the last time I 'just rode'. I'll always have signed up for something. In the last couple of weeks I've done
  • ladies only easy ride (1.5w/kg but with sprints) with ZHCC
  • tried to match the halloween pace partner and got very irritated
  • Team Time Trial as part of Zwift Racing League
  • Banded meetup with my vTeam to do a workout
  • Scratch race as part of Zwift Racing League
  • Academy Group Ride
  • solo workout on a route

I've done workout plans before but they're not necessarily terribly good- not enough recovery for an old trout like me, and not enough freedom for the other stuff I want to do - riding outside for example.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2020, 09:55:15 pm »
Thanks for the replies. Obviously I need to spend more time investigating all the options...

Zwiftinsider and Whatsonzwift both look well worth delving into.  :thumbsup:
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2020, 10:09:55 am »
I'm also completely new to Zwift but have no interest in riding around on my own aimlessly on there. I've been joining both group rides and banded meetups (set up by FB groups I'm on) and really enjoy them especially if there's a Discord channel to chat on.

I suspect structured training is not going to be for me (especially if it doesn't allow for enough outdoor riding) but I might give it a go just to make sure.

Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2020, 01:23:06 pm »
There are various group challenge rides and virtual sportives. Here are two I've been sent recently:

I had a go at the second one last night. Good fun, and I spent half the route riding with one other person whom I've never met before (or at all IRL). Pity something went wrong and I didn't get credited with completing the event...

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2020, 08:38:38 pm »
I've realised that part of the reason for the feeling of vagueness with Zwift is that when you're follow a route, it doesn't tell you when you cross the finish line to complete the route. I did a ride this morning and only realised I'd finished my selected route because I passed a distinctive landmark.

Haven't tried the pace partners yet, but they look like they're worth investigating. I need to get a better idea of what I'm capable of though - probably should try one of the FTP tests as well.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2020, 12:21:09 am »
It usually puts a badge up, although that's first time round and it may not make quite such a show of your finish on repeat visits. The real issue is that routes can have lead-ins, sometimes of one or several miles, and it's hard to know where they start.

And it doesn't tell you which route you're on, which can be confusing if, for any reason, you've chosen the wrong one. There's a particular issue with changing from one route to another without restarting the programme. Making it easy to be on the wrong route and failing to confirm the current route on-screen is a bit of a bad combination that you really have to get used to.

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #35 on: November 15, 2020, 06:37:11 am »
Another way to see where you are is the “progress bar” under the map in the top right pane - at least on my iPad. The dot moves along the track and shows top of climbs and sprints.

Not perfect by any means but if it flips back to the start of the route you k ow that you’ve completed it. Although confusingly on yesterday’s route it was running from right to left.

Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #36 on: November 15, 2020, 10:21:39 am »
+1 for BigRingVR, I've even managed virtual rides where I'd have been going on my cancelled holiday.

Yesterday I did Teide from the south in Tenerife on BRVR, which is precisely what I would have been doing if my flight hadn't been cancelled.  ::-) ;D

I tend to go for climbs on the VR apps as I'm packing in more training for the time spent.  Don't see much point in sitting twiddling air.  Yesterday was 2h10m of continual (simulated) climbing at 95% FTP, followed by 25m of "downhill" at low wattage which was effectively a cooldown.

I've just started dabbling with VR apps after a few months with TrainerRoad. Not sure what effect this will have on training or improving FTP but it's good fun and breaks the monotony.  I think I'll be taking out monthly subs on various platforms over the winter and mixing it up before going back to a structured TrainerRoad programme in the spring.

Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2020, 11:19:04 am »
Firm fan of Rouvy here.  I use it on AppleTV, or on my phone & ride 4-5 days a week on it...

I set it to 1st person view, so I don't see my Avatar, but will see those from others I'm chasing down or getting overtaken by  ::-)
I also like to choose virtual riders to race against, sometimes I'll chose my previous best as a virtual opponent & race against that.

I like:
1) The variety of routes,
2) How well most work with my Kickr to adjust the difficulty on grades
3) The career structure, pushes me to try online races, different routes & their challenges
4) Any 'races' are small, maybe 100people, so you're not crowded after the first 5 mins.   This generally feels more like Audaxing to me, which is great :D

I dislike:
1) Some poor usability on the app, though they are making improvements.  For example you use the website to find routes from challenges then add to favorites, in order to see them simply in the app.
2) Occasional technical issues - mostly mitigated by downloading the routes first.
3) Confusion in the community over new AR app vs old Workouts app - looking forward to them consolidating on just the AR app.  I've not bothered trying their workouts as I get enough workouts on the AR routes  :thumbsup:


This weekend I've added a Kickr Climb (luck me, birthday prezzy) to the setup - that'll be interesting on the alpine challenges this week :)


With AppleTV, I tried Zwift (hated the gamification), Fullgaz (power on routes seemed choppier than Rouvy), RGT Cycling (crashed on my first 2 attempts, so I didn't try again).

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #38 on: November 17, 2020, 08:54:57 am »
Another way to see where you are is the “progress bar” under the map in the top right pane - at least on my iPad. The dot moves along the track and shows top of climbs and sprints.

Not perfect by any means but if it flips back to the start of the route you k ow that you’ve completed it. Although confusingly on yesterday’s route it was running from right to left.


Ignore all that; it made sense on Ventop which is essentially a climb but on this morning's ride it became apparent that it related to the current climb

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2020, 09:51:13 am »
Another way to see where you are is the “progress bar” under the map in the top right pane - at least on my iPad. The dot moves along the track and shows top of climbs and sprints.

Not perfect by any means but if it flips back to the start of the route you k ow that you’ve completed it. Although confusingly on yesterday’s route it was running from right to left.


Ignore all that; it made sense on Ventop which is essentially a climb but on this morning's ride it became apparent that it related to the current climb

On the desktop app, there is a progress bar under the top section, which I didn't notice at first. But it's hard to gauge from that how far left you have to go - by 16km into my ride the other day, I'd completely forgotten what the total distance of my selected route was. Tbh, I imagine that much like in real life, I will start to get more of a feel for distances when I've ridden the same roads a few times.

I've definitely not seen the badges for completing routes that drossall mentioned.

Must give the pace partners a go - I have very little idea of my ability in terms of power numbers so that would be a good way to test myself and give the rides a bit more focus. Should probably also do an FTP test.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2020, 10:09:01 am »
FTP test is a good idea I think just to gauge which group you should be in. I'm half way through the Zwift 28 day FTP builder. Will be interesting to see how much impact it has.

Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #41 on: November 17, 2020, 06:31:25 pm »
I've definitely not seen the badges for completing routes that drossall mentioned.
When you're in a ride, you use the menu button to bring up, among other things, a list of your current badges. See for example the video at section 35 here. It's yet another quirk of the Zwift interface that the obvious time to check your badges is when you're not riding, but you have to start a ride to see them. But you can always abandon the ride and bin the record of it, without pedalling a stroke.

With regard to earning the badges, I think I mentioned that the issues are usually that
  • there's a lead-in that doesn't count in the distance - this can be anything from a hundred yards to, exceptionally, some miles
  • you need to be sure to go under the finish banner when you've completed the course distance plus the lead-in
  • it's not that easy to keep track of how far you have to go, especially on my small tablet screen, so you don't really know where you are up to on the course, except if you memorise the distance and check out the likely lead-in from the route map before you start
This is exacerbated by the bizarre way that Zwift can fail to change courses from your initial choice, even if you've completed that one, unless you completely restart the program - which is especially an issue on tablets, which don't like closing programs and want to keep them running in the background. So sometimes you aren't even on the route, and therefore the distance, that you think you're riding. (Tip - kill the Android app between each ride, using the Android task manager approach.)

When you do complete a route, there's a bit of a song and dance as you go under the banner, so it's hard to miss. Try something short, such as the 2.5-mile Volcano Circuit in Watopia, to get the hang of it. But that one has a 1.5 mile lead-in - the actual route starts at the banner inside the volcano - so again you'll have to ride 4 miles to get the badge.

And never run Zwift on your PC and tablet at the same time. The one you're not actively using will block the other from saving badges and so on.

But it is all easy enough once you get into the way of it. They just find some cunning ways to make it harder than necessary!

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #42 on: November 17, 2020, 06:53:49 pm »
When you do complete a route, there's a bit of a song and dance as you go under the banner, so it's hard to miss.

Righto. I've not been aware of anything telling me I've officially started the route, ie at the end of the lead-in, so I've probably been finishing my rides before I cross the finish line!

I'll have to pay more attention next time!
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #43 on: November 17, 2020, 07:06:39 pm »
No sorry, to be clear it doesn't tell you very explicitly that you've started, but the first banner under which you pass is usually the start. In the volcano, the "banner" is a kind of arch made, as best I recall it, out of stone. In London, it's usually a representation of the kind of rectangular-shaped "arch" that gets used at some sports events. The song and dance comes at the end, when you finish. The volcano also has a few arch-shaped relic things dotted around that have no obvious function at all, just to make things a bit more unnecessarily confusing. Those are mostly if you do the volcano climb.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #44 on: November 17, 2020, 07:35:38 pm »
No sorry, to be clear it doesn't tell you very explicitly that you've started, but the first banner under which you pass is usually the start. In the volcano, the "banner" is a kind of arch made, as best I recall it, out of stone.

Righto. This is what I have failed to grasp so far. I did the Sand & Sequoias route the other day, and looking at this description, it seems I definitely stopped before the finish line (not realising that I hadn't "started" when I thought I'd started!) - https://zwiftinsider.com/route/sand-and-sequoias/
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #45 on: November 17, 2020, 08:00:30 pm »
Yes, that banner gets used quite a bit. It's on a right-hander, a mile or two into the ride, next to an outcrop that you can see for some distance. So, on sand and sequoias, you come back into the desert and then do several miles before you finish.

I had exactly the same issue when I started a few months ago. Drives you nuts. I've no idea why they don't take a few simple, obvious steps to alleviate the issue. But it still gets quite addictive, in spite of the learning curve with which they try to drive you away. Finishing routes just takes a bit of determination, none of it connected with the actual effort of pedalling ;D

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #46 on: November 17, 2020, 08:03:58 pm »
Makes sense though - encourages you to treat the first few km as a proper warm-up rather than throw yourself straight into it full gas.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #47 on: November 17, 2020, 08:14:07 pm »
Yes, although as I said some lead-ins are only 100 yards or so. I reckon there's something about needing fixed points for finishes and other fixed points for "spawning", which is the term that seems to have been inherited from wider gaming. There's no obvious logic of a standard one-mile warm-up or anything. For events where you specifically want to warm up, you do it on another route, and/or on the virtual rollers provided at the start.

(Sorry everyone, we're dominating this...)

Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #48 on: November 17, 2020, 08:32:07 pm »
Annoyingly races have a section labelled "lead-in" on the dashboard, but it's not neutralized or anything, so it's just confusing.

On the topic of races/events, is there a way to jump straight to them from the pre-ride screen, rather than spending 5 seconds in one of the open worlds so you can click the banner?

Re: Which VR cycling app do you use?
« Reply #49 on: November 17, 2020, 10:47:39 pm »
What's even more confusing is that the Zwift Companion counts the lead-in in the total distance, but Zwift itself doesn't. So you can end up with a result for a 10-mile TT that's 20 seconds longer than the time that was on the screen when you finished. Presumably, if you don't pedal too hard in the lead-in, you can also end up several places lower down the finishing order.