Bluetooth Speed Sensor For Zwift

Do You Need Speed And Cadence Sensors For Zwift

How to connect Zwift Sensors – Garmin Ant and Panobike Bluetooth

Zwift is a hugely popular online cycling training app that allows you to train and compete with other users in a virtual global community.

Since Zwift relies on input from your bike to determine your speed as you ride, the answer to this question depends on your equipment.

If you own a smart bike trainer that automatically transmits this data, you probably don’t need additional sensors, unless you’re concerned about accuracy. A compatible power meter also works.

The app supports all speed and/or cadence sensors that have ANT+ or Bluetooth Low Energy connections.

We’ve reviewed some of the best speed and cadence sensors for Zwift, including the Garmin Speed Sensor 2 and Cadence Sensor 2 and the Wahoo BlueSC. Both sensors transmit data using ANT+ and BLE technology.

Garmin Speed Sensor 2 And Cadence Sensor 2 Bundle

The Garmin Speed Sensor 2 and Cadence Sensor 2 Bundle is a great option for people who already own a Garmin device. The bundle includes two sensors. Both are ANT+ and BT compatible.

The sensors work with a variety of Garmin devices, including the Edge 1000, Edge 520 Plus, Edge 820, Edge Explore 820, Edge 1030, Forerunner 645 Music, Fenix 5 Plus, Forerunner 935 and many more.

The sensors are easy to install and use. They connect to your bike via a simple quarter-turn mount that uses a rubber O-ring to keep it in place. The sensor itself is small enough to fit on most crank arms without interfering with pedaling.

Users have reported issues in terms of connectivity with non-Garmin devices. However, nothing has come up at this end.

The speed sensor attaches to the hub of either wheel and self-calibrates with your Edge cycling computer or compatible Garmin device. The cadence sensor fastens to any sized crank arm.

The previous Garmin speed and cadence sensor only had ANT+ connectivity. ANT+ and Bluetooth Low Energy technology accurately transmit live speed, distance, and cadence data to compatible displays and apps.

  • Issues connecting with some non-Garmin products.

How To Get Started On Zwift With A Classic Trainer

They might get called dumb, but classic trainers are a great option for Zwifters on a budget. While they wont give you the full Zwift experience or be as accurate as smart trainers, they often cost much less and can be used with a wider variety of bikes.

Want to start riding on Zwift, but arent sure where to start? Heres a guide with all the basics for anyone looking to get up and riding on Zwift with a classic or dumb trainer.

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Types Of Cadence Sensor

In earlier days, speed sensors were made by fixing a piece of magnet somewhere on the spoke and a corresponding sensor on the fork frame that would record exercise bike data.

For a more accurate reading, cadence sensors came into being.

Though there can be 3 different kinds of cycling sensors, they can collect and provide a wide array of important information about the users.

  • Speed-only sensors
  • Cadence-only sensors
  • Speed & cadence combo sensors

Editors Choice: Garmin Speed 2 & Cadence 2 Bundle

Magene Gemini 210 ANT+ &  Bluetooth Speed &  Cadence Sensor Compatible ...
  • Both sensors are easy to install
  • Sensors can be switched between bikes
  • Speed sensor has an odometer
  • Cons:

    • Some complaints of connectivity issues
    • Doesn’t have universal device compatibility
    • May interfere with power meters if installed on same wheel

    If youre looking for the best speed and cadence sensors for Zwift rides on your bike trainer, the Garmin Speed 2 & Cadence 2 Sensor duo accurately transmits data using ANT+ and Bluetooth Low Energy technology. Set-up is also quick and simple, which is why this duo is our top pick.

    Whether youre riding indoors or outside, its affordable price tag and dependable results propel this second-generation Garmin speed and cadence sensor to the top of our list. The biggest change over the outgoing version is the inclusion of Bluetooth Smart technology, which makes connecting with your devices faster and easier.

    The previous Garmin speed and cadence sensor only had ANT+ connectivity. ANT+ and Bluetooth Low Energy technology accurately transmit live speed, distance, and cadence data to compatible displays and apps.

    The speed sensor has an odometer function to track your distance as you pedal. Each sensor is easy to install and can be easily switched between bikes. The wireless sensors also dont have magnets.

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    Which Device Is Best

    This is a common question, and there is no single answer. For some, the best device for running Zwift is the one they already own, because they cant afford anything else! For others, the best device is whatever offers the most immersive experience, regardless of cost.

    If youre looking for the simplest experience, AppleTV is probably it. Of course, youll need a TV screen as well, but Zwift on AppleTV is dead simple, affordable, and looks pretty smooth and sharp if youre using the latest AppleTV .

    Looking for the best gameplay experience ? Go with a Windows PC with a quality gaming graphics card. This will provide the most immersive and visually stunning experience when coupled with a large display.

    Many Zwifters begin by using a basic device they already own then upgrade to a higher-end setup once theyve experienced how cool Zwift really is.

    Issue: Trainer Doesnt Adjust To Gradient Changes When Working Out

    ZWIFT has two different riding modes: Free Ride , and Workout Mode. If you are in workout mode in Zwift, your trainer will be set to ERG mode or resistance mode. The idea of a workout is to hit target watts for each block not simulating a course profile. Zwift will flatten out the course for you and you wont feel any changes in gradients even if you see your avatar climbing a steep hill.

    Hope these tips help you diagnose any connection issues. Feel free to comment below if you have any question.

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    Does Zwift Work With Nordictrack Bike

    Peloton, NordicTrack, and others have their own closed ecosystem for workouts and classes. These can be great tools for the gym-class crowd, but if youre looking for power-based training and virtual racing, they dont work. I tested each of the four smart bikes in Zwift group rides, workouts, and races.

    How Much Does It Cost To Set Up On Zwift

    The Latest Magene S3+ Smart Bluetooth Speed/Cadence Sensors 2021(Unbox, Setup & Review)

    It depends on what hardware you already have. If youve got a bike, an indoor trainer, some way of reading power and a computer or tablet then the only cost would be the $14.99 / £12.00 per month.

    Otherwise, a basic setup with a classic trainer and a speed and cadence sensor will cost about $150 / £100. Feature rich smart trainers can be found from around $500 / £400 on a discount.

    If you dont have a compatible device, an Apple TV is actually the cheapest way of running the application costing from $179.00 / £169.

    While a new bike can be picked up for £500 / $600.

    Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

    Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / 1

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    What Is The Bluetooth Speed And Cadence Sensor

    Sorry if youre perplexed. I know its not an easy choice! But its one of the most crucial choices youll ever make. If youre still unsure which type of bluetooth speed and cadence sensor is best for you, I recommend comparing the characteristics and functionalities of the bluetooth speed and cadence sensor listed above. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

    How To Pair Your Sensor To Zwift

    Now that all hardware and software requirement have been covered, the next step is to pair your sensor to Zwift.

  • Log in to your Zwift account on your mobile device or your computer.
  • On the dashboard select search for power source if you are using a power meter/smart trainer. Select the speed sensor icon if you are using a speed sensor.
  • Next, select the type of trainer that you have from the list of supported trainers.
  • If you will be using a heart rate monitor, pair it also to Zwift.
  • Now you are ready to start Zwifting.
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    Xoss Cadence & Speed Sensor

  • Coin cell battery is included
  • No magnets required to install the sensor
  • Works with a variety of Bluetooth-compatible sensors
  • Cons:

    • A bit bulky, especially for thinner crank arms
    • Not the most accurate sensor on this list
    • Some question the long-term durability

    Low energy technology is one of the hallmark features of the XOSS Cadence & Speed Sensor. This affordable duo is outfitted with Bluetooth 4.0 technology for greater compatibility with your favorite products from Garmin, Bryton and other bike computers.

    This combination speed and cadence sensor also supports Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity. In case youre not familiar, ANT+ is a common wireless technology used in many biking-related devices, including bike computers, cadence and speed sensors, and even bike trainers.

    Switching between speed and cadence monitoring is as simple as reinstalling the battery. Each coin battery lasts about 400 hours. Dont worry if it starts to rain when youre out exploring your favorite roads or trails, as both sensors are waterproof.

    What Do I Need To Get Set Up On Zwift

    Bike Speed and Cadence Sensor Wireless Bluetooth Ant+ Garmin Zwift ...

    To get set up riding on Zwift youll need 1. A bike 2. Some form of stationary trainer 3. A power meter or a set of speed and cadence sensors for estimating your pedalling power 4. Some form of computer .

    Within each of those general categories, theres a huge range of products and devices you could potentially use. On the one hand, thats great, as much of what you already own may already be up to the job. On the other hand, it can mean some tough decisions on what to invest in where a purchase does have to be made.

    Our guide on the topic will help narrow down your search to find those that best suit your budget and requirements.

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    Best Cadence Sensors For Zwift

    • Time to read: 6 min.

    Affiliate Disclaimer

    As an affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

    Looking to get started with Zwift but need the right speed tracking data to represent your speed on-screen?

    Im sure youll want something that shows accurate data

    Something that is easy to setup and get going with.

    Well, look no further.

    Here Im going to break down 6 of the best cadence sensors you can get that will track your speed with the upmost accuracy.

    Saris Magnetless Speed Or Cadence Sensor

  • Dual-band Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ technology
  • Easily attaches to front or rear crank or hub arm
  • Water-resistant exterior
    • Battery life isn’t the best
    • Only measures speed or cadence per session
    • Some competitors are more accurate

    If youre the type of cyclist who prefers to spend time riding rather than installing gadgets, the Saris Magnetless Speed or Cadence Sensor is for you.

    The sensor can be mounted on your bikes front or rear hub or non-drive side crank arm for your convenience. Once its in place, you dont need to install magnets to get crucial riding data. Another perk is its low-profile design, which not only means the magnet wont get in the way as you ride, it also fits a wider range of bikes.

    Dual-band Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ compatibility ensures connectivity with your compatible smartphones and other devices. You can program this sensor to measure cadence or speed, but it wont measure both simultaneously.

    This Bluetooth sensor requires a coin cell battery for operation. You can expect up to 200 hours of use per battery.

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    Should I Also Buy A Fan For Zwift

    Whichever of the setups you decide is best for your riding needs and budget, a fan is a big plus to help make indoor riding more bearable.

    Overheating can easily cause a reduction in power, as well as making the whole experience a lot less enjoyable, and even with windows and doors open, your body temperature can quickly build up.

    A cheap desktop fan such as coupled with a standard hand towel will help keep you cool and soak up the sweat, but isn’t specifically designed to do the job, so you might find you’re always compromising on the position. Wahoo’s Kickr Headwind, however is designed specifically for turbo training.

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    How To: Pair a Bluetooth Speed & Cadence Sensor

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    In the fifth episode of our new Watch Time podcast, Zac is joined by Ian Blackburn to talk about diving into fitness later in life with the Apple Watch, Ians experience with completing IronMan triathlons using Apple Watch, gear to make Apple Watch even smart for cyclists, and much more.

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    What You Need To Know About Buying A Speed And Cadence Sensor For Indoor Cycling

    A cadence and speed sensor are necessary if you want to use a classic trainer with an indoor cycling app. Connectivity and ease of use are the first things to look at.

    However, speed and cadence sensors can have other uses.

    For example, its worthwhile monitoring your cadence when cycling outside. A high cadence is generally better for endurance.

    Connecting the sensors to a bike computer for an indoor session can be done if you want to give Zwift a rest.

    Using Zwift With Ant+ Footpod

    Make your ANT+ speed and cadence data from your footpod available to your iPad with Bluetooth Low Energy and play Zwift. Your Android phone receives speed through ANT+ and sends it through BLE to your Apple device. Your need to install ANT Radio Service, ANT+ Plugin Service and eventually ANT USB service on your phone to use this mode. If your phone is not ANT+ native compatible, you need to get an additionnal ANT+ dongle.

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    Coospo Speed & Cadence Sensor

  • Compatible with popular apps such as Zwift and MapMyRide
  • Water-resistant exterior lets you ride in rain
  • Tracks speed, cadence and distance
  • Cons:

    • Some complaints of initial connectivity issues
    • Zip ties make the set-up look bulky

    Wirelessly track your speed, cadence and distance with this Bluetooth sensor. Bluetooth technology lets you connect with your smartphone and other compatible devices, such as GPS bike computers.

    A waterproof exterior means you dont have to worry about cutting your rides short when the weather turns foul. The sensor also features a shock-resistant design for rides on rougher surfaces. A built-in ANT+ receiver lets you use the cadence sensor with popular apps such as Zwift, MapMyRide, Cyclemeter and more.

    Can I Use Zwift With Just A Cadence Sensor

    Magene Gemini 210 ANT+ &  Bluetooth Speed &  Cadence Sensor Compatible ...

    A wheel speed sensor Check that the signal is supported by the device youre planning to run Zwift on. You can also use a cadence sensor and, although this isnt necessary for Zwifting, its a useful metric. If youve got a power meter on your bike, use this to talk to Zwift and you wont need a speed sensor.

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    Cycplus Speed & Cadence Sensor C3

  • Compatible with most bike head units
  • ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity makes it compatible with many devices
  • Battery lasts up to 300 hours with regular use
  • Cons:

    • Can’t be directly paired with Bluetooth
    • Doesn’t easily pair with the Strava app
    • Rubber bands for installation aren’t very durable

    You can track your speed and cadence with the CYCPLUS Speed & Cadence Sensor C3 bundle. To alternate between the two modes, just remove the battery and toggle the switch to the appropriate position.

    This cadence sensor duo is widely compatible with most devices, as it has Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity. You can connect it with your smartphone, fitness watch and cycling apps to accurately record your data and track your progress.

    Its compatible with many head units, including the CYCPLUS GPS Bike Computer. Although you cant pair it directly via Bluetooth, several cyclists report that it connects quickly with popular cycling apps, including Wahoo.

    The CYCPLUS speed and cadence sensors easily attach to any bike with elastic and double-sided tape. You dont need to worry about using magnets or calibrating the devices. Since the sensors mount to any wheel hub, theyre easy to switch between bikes for your convenience.

    You dont have to worry about recharging the device after each ride. Instead, a coin cell battery lasts up to 300 hours with regular use. Rainy days also arent an issue with this waterproof sensor.

    How To Set Up The Speed Sensor With Cable

  • Open the CABLE Util app, select Tap For Menu and then Scan ANT+ Sensors. Select your Bike Speed sensor and other CABLE compatible ANT+ sensors that you would like to use with your CABLE. Then select Save Sensors.
  • After your CABLE reconnects to the app, you will need to select your assignments on the ANT+ < -> BLE Assignments page. For Speed you will use the CSCS assignment. Also if you are using any other CABLE compatible ANT+ sensors, select their assignment at this point too. Then select Save Assignments.
  • Ensure that your workout data is broadcasting via Bluetooth on the BLE page. Completely close the CABLE Util app so that the Bluetooth connection is disconnected between the app and your CABLE.
  • Open up the Zwift app, select Speed Sensor to tap to pair. Select your CABLE when it appears. Also select your trainer at this point. For your other sensors that you have saved their assignments through the CABLE Util app, select the sensor and select CABLE for device.
  • Enjoy your ride!
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