Goodbye Rouvy

Over the past few years, I’ve been writing about Rouvy a couple of times to keep you informed about how they were becoming a serious contender in the online training platform market.

I started using Rouvy in the winter of 2014 – 2015 I think. At the time, it was still ‘under construction’ and the quality of their video footage was no match for Tacx TTS, so I didn’t spend a lot of time in their virtual realm.

In the beginning, I wasn’t really aware or serious about the ‘career mode’ they offered either, but when I eventually started participating in their challenges, I also started to work on my career and I reached Legend status somewhere during the 2016 season.

By that time, I had already been chatting a lot with Rouvy’s ‘support’ staff, which wasn’t always a positive experience. They were often slow to respond, or responded with nonsensical answers.

Well, at least in my not so humble opinion 🙂

I guess that the language barrier didn’t help either. Rouvy is a Czech based company and I’m not implying that (all) Czechs are bad at English, but their messages seem to be composed using Google translate at times and we all know what that looks like.

This also frequently leads to questions on for instance the challenge discussion pages too, as it simply is unclear what the rules are and if they ‘elaborate’, it only gets worse.

But overall, I liked the experience and the effort they were putting into making Rouvy better and I gladly promoted them. Hence my pieces on them and my ‘involvement’ on the various social platforms, answering questions from other users…

Sadly, with a growing user base, the number of ‘problematic accounts’ also grew and this became worse when Rouvy introduced (substantial) prizes to be won for completing challenges.

Also, the quality of the routes being added, both video and (grade) profiles, was getting harder to control and was deteriorating as a result.

I would frequently point them to the problematic user accounts and flagrantly bad routes, and coupled with my public involvement, I was all but ‘officially’ added as a support source at some stage.

I even got a free premium account in return, but the official announcement never came. For anyone else, this would probably have led to a shrug and an ‘Oh well, suit yourself – I got me a free account’, but that’s not how I tick…

On top of which, it became increasingly clear that solving the ‘little’ quirks, implementing tips I brought forward or improving communication, did not really have any priority. So, as a result, I became increasingly annoyed with them.

Nevertheless, I became a ‘Double Legend‘ in June this year, but by that time, it didn’t really feel as a milestone anymore.

Rouvy was working hard on a ‘game changing’ technology, which turned out to be the introduction of Zwift like cartoon characters as avatars. This ‘augmented reality’ (real roads. real riders. real feelings – um, what?) maybe innovative in itself, but personally, I couldn’t care less.

Anyway, that is another story, which I will not write.

As the public beta of the AR functionality coincided with the start of the new (career) season, the latter was poorly introduced and even adapted after it had already started.

Much to my dismay, as this meant I had to do extra rides, after which I – we – got stuck, because online racing was banned during the public beta and finishing online races was a career requirement.

I was told to take a vacation…

So, because I was already irritated, I got into several – fruitless / pointless – discussions with them on user ‘achievements’ during challenges. I will not repeat myself here, but you can have a look at my Facebook feed for some of the publicly shared issues.

For 95% of Rouvy’s users, all this is not even worth the waste of energy – if you are happy with your achievements in challenges, races or career, no matter what other users do, cheating included, Rouvy is offering the best value for money.

They will probably continue to enhance the AR and overall experience and hopefully they will get a grip on (the quality of) the release of new route uploads.

They are trying to ban cheaters – when pointed at them – and to put a lid on ways to take easy shortcuts through challenges, like coasting exclusively downhill to complete a distance challenge.

But for now, especially the latter is done in wordings chosen so poorly, it is pathetic. Plus, there actually is no check – despite the wording, you can still pretty much do whatever you want.

And as I can’t just let it go or sit and wait, at the end of the day, this means that my experience with Rouvy is so tainted, it is best to say goodbye.

Which is what I have now done – I have deactivated my Rouvy account and requested all (my) records be deleted, including rankings and the legend interview they published.

I can’t / won’t promise that this is the last time I will write about Rouvy, but for now it looks like it probably is – there are far better things either myself or Rouvy can waste energy on…

4 thoughts on “Goodbye Rouvy”

  1. Dear Cylcopaat
    Interested to learn what you’ll go with now. I’m now on the lookout for both s/w and smart trainer as I have neither. Looking at the Wahoo Kickr Snap (have to accommodate my wife’s bike and my bike with different number of cogs on the rear cassette) … any experience of this? As for s/w I’m more interested in it ‘simply’ giving me realistic (mountain) routes with a good interaction with the smart trainer (realistic gradient changes) than any structure training plan option that builds up my speed/power/endurance. As a 62 year old who still thinks he’s a lot less (!!!) I’ve learnt the painful way that its best to be able to cycle every day ‘steadily’ than do a session ‘like a bull in a china shop’ and then be injured for the next three weeks!
    A big ask I know but very many thanks in advance if you’re happy to give me your experiences/advice.
    Cheers
    Ian

    • Hi Ian,
      I will stick with Tacx (TTS or the new app) and VeloReality. Both services have downloadable HD films with very accurate (grade) profiles. The VeloReality player is free, TTS is not really/actively promoted by Tacx anymore, so you would need a subscription for the app, for €100/year.
      At any rate, if you like stunning scenery, either service will offer you the best possible resolution, to which Rouvy pales in comparison. Obviously, the need for that also depends on whether or not you have a big screen – on a phone or tablet, the resolution doesn’t really matter.
      I do not have experience with a Wahoo, but I did have a Tacx iGenius before, which is also a ‘wheel-on’ trainer. The only thing I can say is that they are no match for a direct drive – I now have a Neo – which in terms of real feel gives you a so much better experience. I would – and actually did 🙂 – change my wife’s cog to match, so you can both use a direct drive. In that case, the Kickr would also be a safe bet, but I can understand that this – changing your wife’s bike – may not be an option for you…
      Good luck and let me know if I can help you further.
      Cheers,
      Robert

  2. Hi Rob – I certainly understand why you are/were so disheartened with Rouvy. While I noticed the seemingly unbelievable speeds/results that were posted, I just didn’t care because I’m riding for my own personal enjoyment. And because I didn’t want to get upset, I just ignored it all. My rides/accomplishments were always based on my FTP, etc. I wish Rouvy the best with the AR, but for me, I “like” to ride alone. Or if I want, I can invite who I want along for the ride. You were one of my favourites to try to keep up with !

    Best of Luck,

    LTomie56

    • Hi Larry,
      I think ignoring it is probably the best thing to do and most users do. However, I’ve been involved so much ‘behind the screens’ and have been actively promoting Rouvy for a long time, so I just can’t. From a training perspective, I (also) couldn’t care less what others do, whether the results are fake or not. But from the social perspective, I believe Rouvy should do more to stand out from other platforms, like Zwift or Strava. Instead, they put their efforts in other features, like the AR – many are happy with it, so I guess they do the right thing from a / their business perspective, but for me, they have lost touch with their initial goal(s).
      I feel I am no longer needed to promote or guide them and since I can’t just ignore the (many) things that spoil my experience, it’s best to just go away…
      Happy riding, wherever and with whomever – if you want, you can follow me elsewhere or even join me on another platform, like Tacx.
      Robert

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