Please help my dad with his first Zwift Experience

Hello everyone! Greetings from Sweden! This is my first time on the Zwift forum and I would really appreciate your help. First of all, sorry if my English isn’t the best but I hope you will understand my questions.

I bought my dad a trainer after he had an accident. I thought this would cheer him up because he absolutely loves cycling and he had never heard of Zwift before, let alone knew you could be cycling in a virtual world with the whole world online. :slight_smile:

I bought him an Elite Aleno Smart trainer. I knew that this trainer didn’t have automatic resistance but those are really expensive. Anyway, we got the trainer to work with my android phone via Bluetooth and we have set up my old TV and a Chromecast and it seems to work great. He has an older phone that doesn’t support Zwift so now we must figure out how he can ride with Zwift alone (and not only when I am there visiting).

So, to my questions. They have a computer that I think would run Zwift pretty well and I’ve tried to learn about ANT¨+. This trainer supports that but I am curious which one I need? It seems to be a lot of variaties to buy and also, is it the only thing he needs? I’ve also heard of a speed sensor but isn’t that what an ANT+ provides? Power and Speed?

I wish one day to get him an automatic trainer that can sense the hills and everything but for now, we must get this to work so he can exercise. Thanks for all the help! PS: He absolutely loved Zwift and think this is the best thing ever! :slight_smile:

Hi @Jonathan_Wictoren

Welcome to the forum. Good for you to get your dad on zwift, it is so much fun.

I don’t have that trainer but looking at the pictures it has ANT+ and Bluetooth.

For the PC you will need a ANT+ dongle or a Bluetooth dongle. I would suggest getting a USB extension so that you can get the dongle close to the trainer. I prefer Ant+.

I don’t think you need anything else.

You can install Zwift on the PC, log in skip the pairing and just watch some riders to see if the PC is compatible.

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Hi @Gerrie_Delport

Thanks a lot for your response! Do you think I need to buy Elite’s own brand ANT+? They seem to be more expensive but I’ve found other online, one in particular that is called LifeLine ANT+ ? Do you have to go for the brand you have on the trainer or do any ANT+ dongle work?

No you don’t have to get the Elite one. Just don’t get a cheap one off Ebay. :slight_smile:


@Gerrie_Delport Ok great :slight_smile: Thank you. One last question if you don’t mind. From the computer to where the trainer is ( it’s in another room), it may be approximately 5-7 meters. Is that ok? Or will there be a loss of connectivity or something with that long of an extension?

You will want the ANT+ dongle as close as possible to the trainer. I would suggest moving the computer to the same room as the trainer.

Hi @Mike_Rowe_PBR

Thanks! Does it not work if I have a USB extension cable from the computer and put the ANT+ dongle at the other end that will be close to the trainer?

Yes that will work, but how long is the cable? And where is the display or monitor? Seems like you would want them all in the same room.

I’ve set up my old TV in the room next door with the trainer. Then I think I will get a hdmi cable to the TV from the computer and then the USB extension cable also from the computer to the trainer. I hope it works, I haven’t found any info if the connection gets worse if you have too long of a USB cable. It will be about 5-6 m long.

Just to wrap up another question that you asked, you don’t need a speed sensor. Those are used with dumb trainers, if you have no power meter, so help Zwift to estimate your power (which is what it really needs). I’m using an Elite Supercrono dumb trainer that looks as though it’s based on the same frame as yours. Of course it’s not smart, and doesn’t have built-in sensors/meters, so I started with speed and cadence sensors on the bike, and an HRM. Latterly I was offered a power meter, so had to remove the speed sensor (you can’t use both at once, nor do you need to).

That’s great for you dad too have a son like you.
Have you ever thinking about a Apple TV? It’s not that expensive and the easiest way to bring zwift on a tv with a Bluetooth trainer.

If you have a regular bluetooth dongle, try that first to see if your roller supports bluetooth aswell.
I have a MUCH better experience using bluetooth over ant+, as the ant+ more often than not gives me sticky watt, even when the dongle is close to the smart trainer and the cable is short.
Bluetooth is simply more reliable in my case.
I use a 5m usb for my bluetooth and that works perfectly, it did not with ant+
that being said: If you still want ant+, you can have mine for free, as i’m not using mine.
I live in Norway, so postage will not take too long.

HDMI works over a long distance, it’s digital so you can easily go up to 10m with no issues with a good cable.
USB not so much, problems start at 5m with a passive cable.
Off topic but i made a hole in a wall to pass 2xusb and 1 hdmi in from my gaming rig to my workout room, i can then simply drag the zwift window from monitor to monitor and this makes it really easy to look up workouts and what not without having to go to another room to do so.

@David_Rossall Oh ok, good to know. Thanks David ! :slight_smile:

@_Chris_W Thank you :slight_smile: I have thought about it. But they cost pretty much in Sweden though. About 150 dollars. I’ve now found a ANT+ that costs around 30 dollars and now I am in the hunt for a long USB extension cable

@Robert_Graawe_V Thank you so much Robert for that generous offer. That is so kind of you! Last night my dad ordered an ANT+ from the website that I found it is called LifeLine ANT+. It seemed to have good reviews but you never know…
I didn’t know you could get better results with Bluetooth. This trainer has both Bluetooth and ANT+, and when we tried with Bluetooth on my phone it seemed to work well. I hope the ANT+ will do the same. :open_mouth:

It’s hard to explain the location but his computer is at an angle so he will need the cable to run alongside the hallway and in the room where the trainer is. I was thinking that an active USB extension cable would be sufficient with 5 meters? And also try to find one with USB 3.0 so the speed is good?

Don’t think about it, helping each other is fun!
Well from what i’ve read, some people have different results, but i’ve never heard about sticky watt on bluetooth, and from personal experience trying companion app, bluetooth and then ant+ the latter was the worst option to use, felt unresponsive and some times totally useless (for ME).

Yes, active cable should work great!

I’m really bothered by small lag-spikes and stutters in any device, and seeing as it is your father he will probably not be as spoiled by technology as i am, so he will most likely be happy with ant+, there might not even be a problem at your end :slight_smile:
Good luck, and tell him about challenges and badges, they give xp for faster leveling :slight_smile:

Thanks Robert!
I am curious if the ANT+ we purchased now will not be as good as Bluetooth. Wich Bluetooth dongle do you own that you can recommend? :slight_smile:

I have a cheap belkin usb 4.0 adapter and it’s decent for everything except audio. it supports BLE so it works for a wide variety of HR straps and sensors.