Garmin Fenix 5s Plus and Zwift HR Broadcast Connection - Newbie

I am a newbie to Zwift and have just got a Turbo Trainer Vortex Smart to work with my bike, I have a Garmin Fenix 5s Plus and am all set up ready to go but I can’t get the Heart Rate to connect to Zwift.

My Fenix is on Broadcast mode and showing on the watch but it won’t come up on the app, either on my phone or mac book to connect too.

Can anyone help as I really want to use everything to it’s full potential :smile:

I believe it broadcast in ANT+ and not Bluetooth, so that could be the issue.

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Correct. Broadcast is still only available via ANT+.


I managed to get my Fenix 3 HR to connect once (and it ran fine for a quick 20 min session), and now it’s not being found at all (It’s in broadcast mode also).

Edit: I just reset the garmin to default and it’s worked again… I wonder if it’ll work more than once…

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Getting the ANT + USB and plugging it into my MacBook and broadcasting my heart rate worked fine, I can search and see and pair my Fenix 5 plus, but for some reason it doesn’t hold one i start.

I’m not doing any activity on my watch just broadcasting the heart rate, not sure if it is because the watch locks etc?

Is a chest strap any better? Seems silly to get one when my watch has HRM

Chest HR is always better, it is more accurate than optical. I use my Fenix 3HR when I am Traveling or commuting, but for Zwift and serious rides I use the garmin Chest strap.

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I just have a cheapy ANT + from amazon I assume this would be okay and work, and with the strap preventing it dropping out?

That will depend on the quality of the strap. But I would assume it will be fine. Test it. Remember to wet the strap pads before you put it on, a few drops of water will work. (If you don’t have water then just lick it)

I’d probably go with a Garmin, they look like a good deal on Amazon at the minute. Always a bonus!

Try the cheap one first. You may be luck and it work.

My personal favorite is the hard Garmin strap, it does not soak up so much sweat so it does not stink after some time. And the material part is easy to wash.

There is a power save mode usually when you broadcast outside of the activity. So just configure your watch to broadcast on activity and each time start a Virtual Ride activity. This way your HR will be broadcasted non stop to Zwift.

From personal experience:
I have HR strap and Garmin watch. Most of the time I use Garmin watch to broadcast HR since it is just more comfortable for me.

Broadcasting heart rate outside of activity only works if you’re on the heart rate widget screen. So yeah, best to set the option to broadcast during activity, then start an activity when you start riding.