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  • Any Zwift users?

    I know it was mentioned somewhere in another thread but I don't want to derail that one.

    I'm trying to get started on Zwift for some winter cardio and I'm finding the connectivity a bit confusing.

    I need Blue/Ant+ speed/cadence sensors so I'm looking at these that were recommended by an avid cyclist I know - https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5038-7...Cadence-Sensor

    I'm using a dumb trainer - won't invest in a smart trainer yet.

    Then I want to receive that data to my older Mac laptop so I guess I need an ANT+ dongle? If I want to use it paired with my iPhone in riding season, will it do that via bluetooth instead of ANT+?

    Then to get the display from my older Mac laptop (no HDMI port) to my TV I need some sort of Mac port compatible to HDMI plug-in?

    Any advice out there to tell me I'm on the right track?

    Thx
    We may not be good but at least we'll be slow - PB


    TM RBZ Tour 10.5 set to 9 deg with Aldila RIP Alpha 70s
    Adams IDEA Super Hybrid XTD 17 deg stiff
    Nike Machspeed 3H 21 deg stiff
    Wilson FG Tour V4 - 4i-GW - DG Pro S300 - TLT build
    Cleveland/TM wedges - 53 / 56 / 60 - all one length
    Cleveland BRZ Classic 1 putter
    Srixon Star XV
    Ogio Grom bag

  • #2
    I'm no expert, but I just spent the last few days getting set up on Zwift. Rode yesterday and again today - some glitches and I didn't really know the route I'd chosen but all in all was great.

    I've got a Garmin Edge 500 which I use with the Garmin speed/cadence sensor on my "good" bike. So that's all ANT+ stuff.

    I'm using my old "bad" bike in a dumb trainer (Cyclops Fluid 2) for Zwift. Everyone else I ride with (all but 1 guy) have bought nice new smart trainers. That's very tempting, just because.... toys.

    I had to buy some new stuff, and it made sense to me to get stuff that's both Bluetooth AND ANT+ capable.

    I got an Onlydroid H6 $39.99 HRM. It arrived yesterday and got its first workout today. Worked fine. https://www.amazon.ca/Onlydroid-Blue...s=onlydroid+H6

    I also got a Wahoo Blue SC Speed & Cadence Sensor ($75). It's been used twice and worked just as advertised. https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 A friend ordered a cheaper one at $39 but I didn't like the reviews. Sounds like some units arrived dead or died quickly and I just got a watch off Amazon that did that! https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Wahoo's a totally legit company, so getting their sensor at the same price as the Garmin you're looking at was a no brainer.

    Going the bluetooth route meant no ANT dongle required, so there's a few bucks saved.

    Got the 7 day free trial, but will start paying in 6 days.

    Had REAL TROUBLE pairing my bluetooth devices with my old (mid 2009) Macbook Pro. I was going to replace it anyways, so I jumped onto Apple.ca and bought a refurbished mid-2015 one. I didn't want the newest one because of the stupid ports. It's been great with 4x more memory, and 512G SSD. It has HDMI so that's helpful, but I'd successfully used the Apple HDMI dongle many times with the old laptop.

    Anyways, the devices all paired very quickly with the new laptop. I had read 1000 articles on issues before I gave up and went with the new.

    I still have Blackberry running their proprietary O/S, so was screwed there too. Luckily, my wife has an old iPhone 4s which is just new enough to run the Zwift Mobile Link. You'll want that.

    In my (wife's) preferred training space we had an old heavy lo-def CRT monster. So that got replaced with a modest 4k unit that we bolted onto the wall on a swing arm. Frees up a ton of space when not in use. Only odd thing is that when you connect via HDMI it sets the resolution on the laptop very high which makes the cursor very small. I'll figure that out later.

    I haven't really figured out how to use Zwift yet. I've just taken the day's default route each day. It's linked to Strava so your rides get automagically uploaded to that which is nice.

    A friend is trying to sell a powertap wheel. Gotta admit that's got some appeal. He's upgraded to the Tacx NEO so he gets the full cobblestones and wood planks "feeling". He may be desperate for some cash....
    "Confusion" will be my epitaph
    ...Iggy

    Comment


    • #3
      Lots of good info there! So you went Wahoo because it's both ANT+ and Bluetooth correct? That makes sense as I think that's the only way these can connect to iOS isn't it? iOS doesn't have an ANT+ receiver.

      I'm also using a 2009ish Macbook Pro. I've paired the Bluetooth with portable speakers etc. without any issues. Was it the Wahoo sensor it wouldn't pick up? I really don't want to have to upgrade my laptop right now just for Zwift.

      My current phone is the iPhone 7 so it should run the Mobile App just fine.

      We may not be good but at least we'll be slow - PB


      TM RBZ Tour 10.5 set to 9 deg with Aldila RIP Alpha 70s
      Adams IDEA Super Hybrid XTD 17 deg stiff
      Nike Machspeed 3H 21 deg stiff
      Wilson FG Tour V4 - 4i-GW - DG Pro S300 - TLT build
      Cleveland/TM wedges - 53 / 56 / 60 - all one length
      Cleveland BRZ Classic 1 putter
      Srixon Star XV
      Ogio Grom bag

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah - having both ANT and Bluetooth from both the Wahoo unit and the HRM just seemed a way to keep flexible. I think there's a good chance I'll ditch the Garmin bike computer and just go with a new smartphone and an app on it via bluetooth.

        My old MBP just never saw the Wahoo. I didn't check the new HRM on it as the new MBP arrived in the interim.

        One theory was that I had Garmin Express running in the background and it was hogging ports. So I deleted that, but no improvement. I'd also had some challenges setting up my ChromeCast dongle and Spotify a few years ago. I remember mucking about with a bunch of different sound drivers with no success. But I never deleted them and they could have been the problem (although that's all wifi stuff, I think?).

        My old MPB had a number of issues: Slowing (I always have 30 tabs open in Chrome, plus 4 documents in Word, plus Mail). Then I put my thumb through the screen while picking it up by the screen in the summer, so.... I was going to do that in the next month or so anyway. It ended up costing about $2700 incl tax and shipping. Ouch. I saw a refurbished late 2017 model for $4700 ex of tax! NFW.

        Do you have an iPad? They seem to work pretty well I hear.

        One nice thing is the 7 day free trial doesn't start until you make your first successful pedal stroke!
        "Confusion" will be my epitaph
        ...Iggy

        Comment


        • #5
          Now I'm seeing a USB ANT+ dongle for $60. This could head off any Bluetooth connection issues between the cadence sensor and my laptop. I think if I pair this with the Blue/ANT+ sensor you linked to I should be good. Then I just have to add a MiniDisplay / HDMI adapter to my laptop to hook it up to my TV.

          I think...
          We may not be good but at least we'll be slow - PB


          TM RBZ Tour 10.5 set to 9 deg with Aldila RIP Alpha 70s
          Adams IDEA Super Hybrid XTD 17 deg stiff
          Nike Machspeed 3H 21 deg stiff
          Wilson FG Tour V4 - 4i-GW - DG Pro S300 - TLT build
          Cleveland/TM wedges - 53 / 56 / 60 - all one length
          Cleveland BRZ Classic 1 putter
          Srixon Star XV
          Ogio Grom bag

          Comment


          • #6
            I "think" that should work. Hopefully no issues with the BT dongle and the BT native on the MBP.

            Did I mention I spent a LOT of time mucking about with this? The online documentation is.... spare. But there are plenty of blogs and stuff which discuss problems.

            From my 2 trial rides so far, it was great fun. LOVE some of the scenes on Wattopia. The giant bicycle sculptures and the underwater roadway take your mind off your efforts. And the constant nagging to close the gap and draft helps too.

            I'm sure the novelty of that will wear off, but the group rides and workouts and everything else.... This should be an epic winter training season. Of course I was so lazy I only got on the trainer 3 times in each of the previous 2.



            "Confusion" will be my epitaph
            ...Iggy

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ignatius Reilly View Post
              I "think" that should work. Hopefully no issues with the BT dongle and the BT native on the MBP.

              Did I mention I spent a LOT of time mucking about with this? The online documentation is.... spare. But there are plenty of blogs and stuff which discuss problems.

              From my 2 trial rides so far, it was great fun. LOVE some of the scenes on Wattopia. The giant bicycle sculptures and the underwater roadway take your mind off your efforts. And the constant nagging to close the gap and draft helps too.

              I'm sure the novelty of that will wear off, but the group rides and workouts and everything else.... This should be an epic winter training season. Of course I was so lazy I only got on the trainer 3 times in each of the previous 2.



              I think the USB dongle should bypass having to use BT as it will receive the ANT+ signal.

              I'll approach this like I do with any of this stuff - ask my wife to do it for me before I get fed up and break something.

              I've also been guilty of letting my trainer gather dust for the last 2 years, so if this even helps a bit it'll be worth it.

              Vids and screen shots look fantastic so far!
              We may not be good but at least we'll be slow - PB


              TM RBZ Tour 10.5 set to 9 deg with Aldila RIP Alpha 70s
              Adams IDEA Super Hybrid XTD 17 deg stiff
              Nike Machspeed 3H 21 deg stiff
              Wilson FG Tour V4 - 4i-GW - DG Pro S300 - TLT build
              Cleveland/TM wedges - 53 / 56 / 60 - all one length
              Cleveland BRZ Classic 1 putter
              Srixon Star XV
              Ogio Grom bag

              Comment


              • #8
                Zwift is pretty cool and the visual engagement and gamification element certainly helps break up the monotony of the trainer. I was resisting going onto it as I was (and still am) a user of TrainerRoad for getting more structured workouts but after picking up a smart trainer I gave it a whirl and really liked how it would simulate resistance, or lack of, when climbing / descending .... I ended up going with two ANT+ dongles to connect my devices to each app and run both TrainerRoad and Zwift in parallel so I'm not solely having to stare at a screen with power outputs to maintain during the workout (Zwift does have workouts, but I find there are a lot more on TR and it's been good for me over the years). Not sure if they are still made, but there used to be an ANT+ dongle for iOS but it was for the old pin configuration so if you have a newer Apple device, you need to get a lightning to 32-pin adapter so you are paying for two units so you're better off just getting dual broadcast sensors.

                You've pretty much figured out what you need to connect it to a 'classic' trainer.

                There are some other cool sites that will work with the same trainer setup like www.veloreality.com and an iOS app called FulGaz among others which will let you virtually ride real terrain.




                TaylorMade R9 460 9.5*
                Adams Tight Lies 16*
                Adams Idea Pro Gold 20*, 23*
                Adams Idea Pro Gold 5 - PW
                Titleist Vokeys 52*, 56*, 60*
                Odyssey 9

                Garmin Approach G6

                Comment


                • #9
                  I’ve been a Zwifter for a year now. I use Garmin Ant+ speed, cadence and heartrate straps and have the Garmin dongle for my MB Pro. Connectivity via Ant+ is faster and more reliable versus my experience with BT (I have Wahoo sensors on my road bike and mountain bike) but I would change those over to Ant+ if I could find a dongle for my iPhone.

                  Zwift makes riding the trainer something I don’t mind doing. I like the timed challenges. I like the changing scenery. I don’t have a smart stand. I have the (make I can’t recall) “Rock and Roll” trainer. It lets the bike move under me which makes it a bit more real. My MB does have an HDMI out so I run it on a 42” TV in the basement. Invest in a really good tower fan or two as well to help keep you cool and also gives you a sense of forward motion.

                  My favourite route is London. I find it really cool to ride on streets I’ve walked down and see sites I can name. Watopia is good for variety but I’m not a big fan of some of the climbs. Not because they are hard but with a “dumb-trainer” I just keep on pedalling at the same speed and watch my virtyak speed go way down. Those climbs I find boring because the scenery doesn’t change much. Could say the same for Box Hill on the London loop mind you but I still like it as a challenge. I also like how they have expanded Watopia with new routes. I rode the Jungle Loop for the first time yesterday.

                  Maybe I’ll see some of you nutters out there one of these days and throw you a “Ride On”.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is the dongle for iPhone / iPads:

                    https://www.amazon.ca/Wahoo-ANT-Adap.../dp/B0042WGO3Y

                    And you need this you have a newer device with lightning connection:

                    https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product.../10392754.aspx

                    TaylorMade R9 460 9.5*
                    Adams Tight Lies 16*
                    Adams Idea Pro Gold 20*, 23*
                    Adams Idea Pro Gold 5 - PW
                    Titleist Vokeys 52*, 56*, 60*
                    Odyssey 9

                    Garmin Approach G6

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just now realizing the 'dumb trainer' I have is not supported by Zwift! Looks like in order to do this right I have to invest in a Smart Trainer now, or one of the dumb ones that are supported. It really shouldn't be this complicated....
                      We may not be good but at least we'll be slow - PB


                      TM RBZ Tour 10.5 set to 9 deg with Aldila RIP Alpha 70s
                      Adams IDEA Super Hybrid XTD 17 deg stiff
                      Nike Machspeed 3H 21 deg stiff
                      Wilson FG Tour V4 - 4i-GW - DG Pro S300 - TLT build
                      Cleveland/TM wedges - 53 / 56 / 60 - all one length
                      Cleveland BRZ Classic 1 putter
                      Srixon Star XV
                      Ogio Grom bag

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dmcdam View Post
                        Just now realizing the 'dumb trainer' I have is not supported by Zwift! Looks like in order to do this right I have to invest in a Smart Trainer now, or one of the dumb ones that are supported. It really shouldn't be this complicated....
                        Under "supported trainers/Classic Trainers" they show the Kinetic Road Rock and Roll. Isn't that it?

                        http://zwift.com/hardware#ready

                        I would certainly try it out and see how it goes.

                        Their virtual power algorithm puts me going pretty slow while working pretty hard on steeper hills which seems about right. It also has me working hard on the flats to keep 30kmh, which is pretty close to reality. I haven't figured out a long enough flat enough route to see how sustainable that is - it's a little beyond me in real life, but not too far.
                        "Confusion" will be my epitaph
                        ...Iggy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ignatius Reilly View Post

                          Under "supported trainers/Classic Trainers" they show the Kinetic Road Rock and Roll. Isn't that it?

                          http://zwift.com/hardware#ready

                          I would certainly try it out and see how it goes.

                          Their virtual power algorithm puts me going pretty slow while working pretty hard on steeper hills which seems about right. It also has me working hard on the flats to keep 30kmh, which is pretty close to reality. I haven't figured out a long enough flat enough route to see how sustainable that is - it's a little beyond me in real life, but not too far.
                          It was me who has the Kinetic R&R trainer. There is an option to select a generic trainer there too so no need to dump $$$ right away.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Marty Canuck View Post

                            It was me who has the Kinetic R&R trainer. There is an option to select a generic trainer there too so no need to dump $$$ right away.
                            I read that but it sounds like it will be pretty inaccurate and miss out on some functionality. More like a preview.
                            We may not be good but at least we'll be slow - PB


                            TM RBZ Tour 10.5 set to 9 deg with Aldila RIP Alpha 70s
                            Adams IDEA Super Hybrid XTD 17 deg stiff
                            Nike Machspeed 3H 21 deg stiff
                            Wilson FG Tour V4 - 4i-GW - DG Pro S300 - TLT build
                            Cleveland/TM wedges - 53 / 56 / 60 - all one length
                            Cleveland BRZ Classic 1 putter
                            Srixon Star XV
                            Ogio Grom bag

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What type of trainer do you have - if it's a brand on the list then perhaps a model from them would work better than the generic trainer option?? From what I understand they do testing of the classic trainers to learn their resistance algorithm so the older model may be comparable to one listed

                              TaylorMade R9 460 9.5*
                              Adams Tight Lies 16*
                              Adams Idea Pro Gold 20*, 23*
                              Adams Idea Pro Gold 5 - PW
                              Titleist Vokeys 52*, 56*, 60*
                              Odyssey 9

                              Garmin Approach G6

                              Comment

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