Beginner Zwifter - Connecting Zwift to a PC


I ordered a smart trainer that will hopefully arrive soon. I am planning on connecting the trainer to my Windows 10 PC and using an HDMI cable to the TV. What I am confused about is that I’ve heard if a smart trainer and PC have Bluetooth, one still needs an ANT+ adapter and extender cable in order for the devices to connect to one another. I thought if a PC has a Bluetooth and the smart trainer has Bluetooth they’d just connect. Can someone help me understand?


You cannot connect to a PC with BLE directly, you would need to use the Zwift Companion App to bridge the connection. As you said, your best option is a USB ANT+ with a USB extension cable to get the dongle as close to the trainer as possible.

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Paul is a frequent contributor and is correct. Get an USB2 ANT+ stick.

Earlier ANT+ sticks were USB1 and the technology prevented them from being used in some applications. If you get a current generation device, you’re fine.

Examples of current devices include the Mini Garmin ANT+ Stick, the Suunto Movestick Mini, and the Docooler ANT+ Stick.

PC Zwift does not work directly with Bluetooth. You can bridge Bluetooth to the PC via a recent model smart phone running the Zwift companion app. But I’d stick with Paul and many others who suggest just having an ANT+ dongle. There’s more that can be said on the subject – USB extension cable, plugged into a powered USB hub. But that’s not necessary now, until and unless you find that you need to improve the strength of the ANT+ signal to the PC.

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Thanks Paul and Steve. Does using an ANT+ adapter + extender carry over to MAC’s as well?

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With a MAC you can directly connect via Bluetooth or use the ANT+ dongle and a USB extension.

Thank you, Paul

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out of curiosity, why can’t a PC run Zwift via Bluetooth while MAC can?

Any many more links about it, but just pay attention to the answer posted by John Mayfield (he is Zwift :wink:)

Thanks Paul. I read through those threads. Hopefully Windows will give Zwift the ability to pair to native BLE the way they want.

Last question, if I use a ANT+ dongle + extender to connect my trainer to Zwift on my Windows 10 PC…do I need to use the Zwift Mobile Link app at the same time to connect my heart rate monitor to Zwift? My heart rate monitor runs on Bleutooth only (Polar H10)

Yes, you would need to use the ZCA to bridge the BLE HRM to the PC, also the ZCA is very handy while riding.

Waking up an old thread. Just bought a smart trainer.
I don’t yet have an ANT+ dongle so I tried using the ZCA on my smartphone (Samsung S9+) as a bridge to my laptop, running Zwift.

Bluetooth connection the the smartphone is no problem (I can use the Wahoo fitness app, and even the BETA Zwift app works perfectly).

So I start up Zwift on my (Windows) laptop, I start the ZCA on my Samsung smartphone, I can see the Bluetooth sign in Zwift emitting circles so it’s talking to the ZCA (the ZCA also shows the Zwift map).

But searching for my Wahoo Kickr Core doesn’t work.
I tried first connecting it to my smartphone trough bluetooth.
I also tried removing the Kickr from the bluetooth known devices.

I have an ANT+ stick on the way so I’ll be zwifting soon regardless. But I’d like to know what I’m doing wrong :wink: