Road Grand Tours is getting an official launch, billed as ‘the most immersive indoor cycling experience… and the future of indoor cycling.’ The creators of the new virtual cycling program have now released their free platform to the general public.
Featuring six of cycling’s most iconic roads recreated with a clear attention to detail, the Road Grand Tours (RGT) team notes that the platform uses realistic graphics, customisable avatars and accurate drafting dynamics to create the most immersive indoor riding experience yet.
With a number of factors such as bad weather, time constraints and poor road conditions all preventing modern cyclists from getting out into the great outdoors, new technology has seen indoor training recently experience a dramatic growth in popularity. Improvements of both hardware and software within this space have evolved to make cycling indoors more fun by connecting people from across the world and creating structured and time-efficient training sessions.
Although there are a wide variety of indoor training aids, RGT is positioned as the only free and open virtual cycling platform designed around community created experiences and third party content such as roads, bikes and equipment created by event organizers and manufacturers.
Featuring some of cycling’s most famous climbs, these include household names like the Stelvio pass, Cap Formentor, Mont Ventoux and Pienza. Two race circuits have also been recently added, including a circuit around London’s Canary Wharf and the 8bar crit around Berlin’s former Tempelhof airport. RGT adds that ‘Whether training for a specific challenge or simply wanting a change of environment, riders can now access the world’s most beautiful cycling spots without leaving the house.’
RGT users can customise their on-screen avatars to match the same equipment they have in real life or try out the latest top-spec bikes from some of the industry’s favourite brands. The simulator then takes the weight of the bikes and equipment into consideration to adjust performance.
In order to replicate the ebb and flow of a peloton, avatars also adhere to accurate drafting and peloton dynamics said to be currently unavailable on other platforms. When accelerating past other riders, avatars move out into the wind requiring more power to maintain speed.
‘If you sit too far off the back of the wheel in front, you’ll soon know about it. What’s more, RGT is also compatible with the Oculus Rift VR headset for those that want a unique virtual experience.’
Commenting on the platform, founder and CEO Alex Serban said “We’re really excited to share RGT with all the cyclists out there that want to be as free to explore the world on their trainer as they are out on the road, or to race with their friends no matter where they all live or what the weather is like. Our 3D artists and developers have put a lot of care into the graphics and physics to really make all these experiences feel immersive, realistic and fun.”
He continued, “We believe the world of virtual cycling should be as rich and diverse as cycling itself. So, we’re making RGT as accessible as possible to organizers, pro teams, industry brands and most importantly, to the cycling community. We have set the platform up to give users a maximum of control and to support new types of experiences and content.
“With the introduction of organised racing, the ability for both riders and brands to hold their own events and a Bluetooth mobile app just around the corner, we’re confident Road Grand Tours will help change the future of indoor cycling.”
RGT is accessible and available on any computer or laptop running MacOS or Windows. Basic requirements currently include:
- ANT+ smart trainer or classic trainer and ANT+ power meter
- ANT+ USB dongle
- Windows 7 SP1+, 8, 10 (64 bit only) or MAC OS X 10.12+