Thanks again for the additional info, Martin. It very much helped me with further follow up before giving up. Good news… I have the Hammer back and it seems to be fully functioning. I had limited ride time available tonight, but was able to do 30 minutes of a decent group ride on Zwift with no issues at all. Turns out… my local bike shop owner did some more customer service miracle work. He got on the phone again with Cycleops and did more testing, including figuring out that the bluetooth antennae is located on the left side of the Hammer (non-drive train side) and that the left side probably needs decent line of sight roughly to the laptop in order to get a good signal from the Hammer to run Zwift. He tried that, plus iPhone, iPad connections with Zwift. He didn’t have the same problem I had by simply putting the laptop a tad closer and in front and/or slightly to the left of center. When I have more time soon, I’ll do some more testing to see if I can replicate the problem with computer placement relative to the bluetooth antennae and/or try again with the the ANT connection too. I also can’t help be wonder if the firmware update didn’t kick in without a computer restart… I’m no tech guy, and so maybe that makes no sense and I’m way off base there. Anyhow… I’m glad I’ve got it back and it appears to be functioning well now, and I’m very grateful to my excellent shop and the owner’s great customer service once again!
Good to hear Jim. Ride On
Thank you for the additional info, Jim. I got my box out of the attic and ready to ship back when I read about your BlueTooth situation. That may be my issue as well. I’m using Zwift via AppleTV. The trainer and the AppleTV box are a good 12-15 feet apart from each other in our game room. Before I ship back the Hammer (was going to exchange for a Kickr), I will see about moving my AppleTV box closer, and more on the left side of my Hammer. Hopefully, that will do the trick. If so, then I guess I’ll keep it!
Hey Sky… I hope it works! Keep us posted. Seems like a great smart trainer, provided it can work consistently with all the best apps, especially Zwift.
I use my Hammer with an apple iPad attached to the handlebars. The apple TV was more challenging given the sensor limit for Bluetooth. I found I like using Zwift on the iPad because I can look down at it w/o straining my neck. It’s like head-down riding! Further, I use the TV to watch TV…I initially thought I would use the appleTV for Zwift but ultimately, the iPad works better for me.
After exchanging my hammer, it’s worked w/o issue. And the sensors (Wahoo Tickr HR, Wahoo cadence, Hammer trainer-controllable, hammer trainer-speed) always get picked up w/o incident.
I’ve had my Hammer for a month and worked perfect with my iPad and iPhone, but when I paired it with my Apple TV 4K it would not complete the calibration. The Apple TV is only about 7 feet away at eye level, I would think Bluetooth range would be fine but I will go home and check to see if moving it closer fixes the issue.
I received my hammer today and I get the same issue. No resistance and it always times out when I try to calibrate. So frustrating. It will also spin out in the hardest gear with no app connected. Does this mean it needs to be sent back? I tried the firmware update but still no resistance.
My solution was to have my dealer replace the unit. The new unit works fine and requires no calibration. I use it with an iPad. I found that more reliable than using my apple TV.
If I had to guess, Cyclops shipped a bunch of bad units that are making their way through the distribution channel to consumers and rather than try to stop the units from getting into the hands of consumers, they are just letting this play out. It’s a terrible customer experience, but I don’t get the impression that Cycleops is doing that well as a company. Getting back bad inventory from the channel might be close to impossible without paying for a full recall.
I chose Cycleops because they were the featured solution on the Zwift website. The Kickr is probably the more reliable product. But none of these products are gold mines for their manufacturers. They are small markets and compared with the fit and finish you might come to expect from a product with a larger unit sale potential - like a phone or a car - they are all pretty primitive. More units means more money for R&D, tooling and automated QA. Think for a moment about the price per pound of the CycleOps vs an iPhone. It boggles the mind.
My advice is box the unit up and return it. and if you are in an angry mood, return it for cash. Otherwise, take a replacement. It will likely work, especially if your dealer works with a CycleOps distributor who is probably all-too-familiar with the issue and will make sure that you get sample that does not suffer this problem. I think my replacement unit was shipped by CycleOps to the dealer, skipping the channel, to avoid the issue.
After some discussions and hard work / great customer service by my local bike shop owner, my Hammer has been working great. Our fix after the firmware update was to use the bluetooth connection… but the key is that my laptop (MacBook Pro) or iPad has to be slightly to the left of center in front of my bike because the signal is apparently transmitted from the left side of the Hammer and is easily blocked if my laptop or iPad is directly in front or to the right side of my bike. I have not tried it with Apple TV yet.
I also heard from my local shop owner that you can buy bluetooth boosters to plug into a laptop or iPad, but I haven’t tried that… haven’t really needed to. I have just ended up putting my MacBook Pro in front, but just slightly to the left, of my handlebars and I don’t have any issues any more with the Hammer loss of signal and spinning out. Originally, I thought my Hammer was one of those that Andrew was referencing, but my local shop owner got it working for me and I haven’t had any problems since (and I wasn’t too happy at first as you can see from my prior posts).
Hope it works out for you. It is a great smart trainer when it is working like mine is now, and I’ve started to get back into shape a bit by using it regularly.
That’s great to hear. My shop tried hard to get my trainer working rather than replace it, but they were not able. Regarding the bluetooth issues, I never noticed any, but that will also depend on how much 2.4Ghz interference is present. Many devices transmit using that unlicensed spectrum.
I am happy with my trainer now. It works as advertised.
Thank you for the quick replies. Jim, When your trainer was not working did you get resistance when not connected to an app like Zwift? Someone had posted that if you can spin out all your gears with no connection then the trainer need to be replaced. It doesn’t seem like that would have anything to do with Bluetooth connection but I have no idea.
Andrew… Glad the replacement works! Just curious if you are using the replacement with bluetooth or USB on an extension. Norm… I’ll check my Hammer without an app turned on tonight before I ride and let you know. However, I can’t recall for certain, but I think it always at least started out having resistance without an app running.
I use bluetooth. I also have a wahoo bluetooth cadence sensor and heartrate monitor that are visible within the zwift app. to make those work, you don’t pair the devices with the ipad before hand. you find them from within the app. i believe this easier, transient, pairing system is part of the bluetooth low energy standard.
Norm, for whatever its worth, there is definitely resistance on my Hammer without an app running. I recall that my bike shop owner called his Cyclops rep who had a list of trouble-shooting things to try before sending the Hammer back. If your shop already went through that exercise, then maybe it is a one of those defective units per Andrew’s post and needs to be replaced. Andrew, thanks for the notes regarding bluetooth use and coincides with how I have been using the connection through my MacBook.
Thank you Jim. I called Cycleops and they were awesome. They said they would send me a new one and about two hours later I got an email with a UPS tracking number. It will be here on Friday with a return label to send the current one back. They said that there were some that went out which missed a step in the calibration process. I was very impressed with their customer service.
That’s great news! I’m really glad to hear that you received that kind of excellent customer service experience. Enjoy the new Hammer and Ride On.
I’ve had a similar issues but with a slight variation of what everybody posted here. I think it’s working now but wanted to post this in case it helps anyone out. What would happen with mine is that when I paired it with my iPad the blue light will blink. Resistance would not change with hills however. Then when I would hammer really hard, no pun intended, the blue light will stay on constant but the trainer would spin out. If I unplugged it and plug it back in the blue light we start blinking and it worked again Again as a one-way communication. I.e. the trainer was sending a signal to the Zwift as a power meter but Zwiftt was not able to control the trainer.
Last night I did my first workout where ERG was used and the trainer worked fine. Then when I went into SIM mode it worked like I should have for the first time. Two things I may have done differently last night. One, I actually fully opend up Zwift and then paired the trainer as opposed to turning on the trainer first and then openings Zwift. The other thing is the iPad was slightly left of my handlebars, which based on some comments here may also have fixed it. Hopefully this will continue to work but I’ll post again as an update.