BKool Smart Go - Limits of a Non-Supported Smart Trainer?

(Michael Mc Colley) #1

I have been looking at this trainer as an option for several weeks. Finding all kinds of conflicting info about it’s compatibility within Zwift. Any real world users?

What does Zwift mean when they say a Smart Trainer is a Non-Supported Smart Trainer in Zwift. Does it then work like a classic trainer, with no resistance control? No Power? Etc. Zwift seems to say any Smart Trainer that has ANT+ FE-C protocol will work, but then why is the BKool Smart Go NOT SUPPORTED? It has been out for several years and seems many here have asked about any upcoming Smart Go Support.

So with the Smart Go, Does it work with Zwift OR NOT?? I know you have to change the Go to the ANT+ FE-C protocol before using in Zwift. But I am seeing Reports about functionality that range from:

  1. Works great in Zwift. Most off site reviews seem to indicate it works and a few threads here too.
  2. Works, but does not control resistance in Zwift. No controllable resistance/incline function. Resistance Control Issues
  3. There are bugs in the BKool Smart Go software/firmware but a beta version is available from BKool
  4. Off site reviews at Road.cc say it works with 3rd party apps like Zwift in ANT+ FE-C protocol mode, but then a reviewer in the same write up says " it’s not possible to use it as a controllable trainer on Zwift"

Is there any definitive word from Zwift or Users about the Smart Go.

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(Michael Mc Colley) #2

I’ve heard from Zwift Support and the answer is very telling concerning the BKool Smart go and Zwift at this time. Seems that those who have had success with the Smart Go and Zwift are the lucky ones and that overall it might be hit and miss at best. Here is supports reply to me:

Hey Michael!

Thanks for contacting us with your questions!

I’m sorry that you are having trouble finding the answers to your questions in our support pages.

To help clear things up I’m going to relist each of your questions, followed by my answer. That way I don’t miss any questions.

Does Zwift allow the use of the Bkool Smart Go trainer if using ANT+ FE-C?

It isn’t listed as one of our supported trainers, so while it may connect to Zwift we can’t guarantee that it will work effectively. Currently Zwift only supports the following Bkool trainers; Bkool Classic, Bkool Smart Pro, and the BKOOL Pro 2.

Are there limits to functionality?

We don’t have enough information from our dev team to consider it supported, so it is quite likely that there will be functionality issues.

Does Zwift allow this trainer to have resistance/incline controlled but the Zwift Software?

If you are able to pair the trainer in the “controllable” section of Zwift then it will receive resistance information. However, we can’t guarantee that it will be accurate as it is not a supported trainer.

Is the Power Measurements inputed from the trainer to the Zwift software? Etc?

Supported Smart Trainers are able to connect in the power source section of Zwift and provide the wattage output information that Zwift needs to function. So if your trainer can pair in power source you should be able to use it to Zwift, of course since it isn’t a supported trainer we cant guarantee that the wattage output will be accurate.

Seems there is a lot of conflicting reviews and forum posts about this trainer and Zwift. Will Zwift be planning to add this trainer to the list of supported Smart Trainers in the near future?

There hasn’t been an official announcement regarding Zwift’s intention to make that a supported trainer. You can always keep following the posts in our forums about it, once it is supported there will be an announcement on those posts. Additionally, our supported trainers document​ in our support pages gets updated every time we add a new supported trainer.

To sum up, the Bkool Smart Go trainer may be able to connect to Zwift over ANT+FEC. However, we cannot guarantee that it will work well even if it does connect, and will not be able to provide more than the most basic troubleshooting for it should there be a problem.

You’ll be receiving an email with a survey about our conversation. If you have more questions, or this didn’t solve the issue for you and you need further help, ignore the survey and reply to this instead so we can continue working with you.

Ride On!

John S.
Member Experience Agent

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(Michael Mc Colley) #3

Got the Smart Go today (I had ordered it before Zwift support got back with me). So far so good. Doing the FTP test tonight, My w/kg went down about 10 watts from my classic trainer, but my classic may also have been too easy, and I am not exactly sure if the classic trainer I have is a supported trainer, so the Zpower could have been off.

Having responsive incline and power meter / cadence with the Smart Go as a smart trainer is nice (although I unpaired the cadence part and still use my Giant Cadence). The controllable aspect of the Bkool Smart Go requires a good bit more effort than my classic did. In 4 short rides and one 30 minute ride, the controllable and ERG mode aspects of the Smart Go are very good, Smooth, Responsive and pretty close to the timing of the gradient changes on screen.

I still cannot get a firm word on why the Smart Pro and Pro 2 are Zwift Supported trainers and why the Smart Go is not … But the Go seems to work so far. I would think, as others have suggested, that the Go uses the same kind of internal software as the Pro, but no one has ever confirmed that.

Anyway, if you are considering a Smart Go, it does not seem to be a bad choice for Zwift at all. And the trainer itself is very nicely designed and seems very rugged.

NOTE: BKool has a short list of tires they DO NOT recommend. I did indeed have one, the Vittoria Zaffiro Pro and it DID indeed slip a bit on the top end. But a friend lent me an Old Bontrager Race Lite he had, the center was “sticky” and it did very well on a 30 minute ride tonight. I do have a Michelin Dynamic Sport on order that will be here next week.

Since there seems to be so little info here on the Smart Go … I hope this info helps anyone.

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(Elie) #4

Hi,

I bought a Smart Go. I received it yesterday.
I just wanna thank you for your messages that helped me.
I will test tomorrow with Zwift. Did you have any problems with Zwift since your last message ?

Thank you and sorry for my bad english (i’m french).

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(Michael Mc Colley) #5

No problems at all. So far in a Month of Zwift operation, the BKool Smart Go has performed flawlessly. There is no calibration for the Smart Go. Just get on and go.

Pros:

  • No calibration means after the first use and set up in Zwift, the BKool is plug it in, launch Zwift and go. Zwift instantly recognizes the Smart Go every time. Nothing else needs to be done.
  • Light weight, easy to store folds up nicely
  • Adds adequate resistance in Zwift in all routes tried

Cons:

  • No Calibration means you will not know if the power is accurate or not. Although most reviews I have seen on this trainer match it pretty well with calibrated power meters. (Also Unofficially you can “Calibrate” the Smart Go by Adjusting your weight/height in your personal settings to get it to seem about right in speed/power to an actual or typical road ride for yourself. )
  • Not yet supported by Zwift, but seems to work fine anyway. Hopefully Zwift will support it one day.
  • Some Tire slip if you do NOT use one of BKools suggested trainer tires. It was slipping using a Vittoria Zaffiro Pro, a Continental GP4000, and one other tire I tried. (both of which are on their do NOT use list). I got a Michelin Dynamic Sport as BKool Suggested and it has worked flawlessly.

My only “problem” now is that I like “Zwifting” so much, I want a Trax Neo 2. LoL (probably will not get one)

Hope this helps.

Mike

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(Elie) #6

Thank you for all these details. It’s very nice of you.

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(Romain) #7

Just got a Bkool Smart Go and tried it on my Mac. It did not work out of the box.
At first, Zwift was only recognizing it using Bluetooth, the Bkool ANT+ USB key wasn’t detecting the home trainer.
The Bkool Smart Go is not “controllable” in Zwift using Bluetooth, it is only seen as a power source (cadence informations are also available).
I had to download and install the Bkool Simulator (https://www.bkool.com/cycling-simulator), enable Bluetooth and having the ANT+ key plugged in, configure the home trainer in the Bkool app and “Convert to ANT+ FE-C” in the settings/pair my devices.
Then, disable Bluetooth, start Zwift and the home trainer is detected as “controllable”.

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