I picked up a CycleOps Hammer last week, but I’ve been struggling with Zwift and the trainer the entire time. I’ve spent a lot of time searching the web for info, but haven’t found something that gave straightforward instructions for my situation. I’m on a PC running Windows 10 on a fairly new computer. Reading that using Zwift / Cycle Ops on Windows could be a challenge, I set up the Cycle Ops right near the computer, so it was only about 8’ away.

I use your companion app on my Android phone, and it seems to work because your Zwift software for Windows on my computer won’t start searching for bluetooth until the Companion app on my cell is opened. But it seems like the signal from Cycle Ops just isn’t reaching the phone or desktop, even though everything is pretty close. Sometimes I get if for a few seconds, but then it’s lost. In the Windows Zwift menu for pairing, it says everything is paired. And in my Windows Settings screen it has blue tooth ON and it shows the Hammer as paired via blue tooth. But on Zwift it just doesn’t receive the signal I guess because it shows 0 watts while I’m pedalling for 3 minutes straight and in game mode the rider never moves (except maybe once for about 3 or 4 seconds and then stops again, never to get restarted.)

A few questions:

  1. My PC seems to accept blue tooth. Why do I need to run the companion app on my phone when I have the bike directly in front of my PC, such that I can use my usb mouse while sitting on the bike?
    a. If I shouldn’t have to use the companion app, then is my ble signal from the Hammer just too weak from 8’ away?
    b. Is ant+ a more powerful signal than ble?
  2. Let’s back up. What is your recommendation for the strongest signal that’s least likely to get dropped? Is it ble with some ble amplifier near the Hammer so my PC will read it? Or is it ant+ with your usb thing and cable so it’s located near the Hammer? For both cases, a drop-free signal must be better if skipping some iffy cell phone, right? I understand the idea of a cell-phone as a remote, but why does Zwift on my PC not even begin searching for a ble signal before my Companion app is started on my cell? That means any spotty reception on my cell during an hour straight will drop the ble signal to my PC. That seems stupid. I always have spotty reception on my cell.
  3. Is it possible for a person to use Zwift on a PC without any Companion use?

I’m pretty frustrated.
Please help prevent me from throwing this thing out the window!,

I also own a Hammer.

  1. The Bluetooth on your computer probably isn’t Bluetooth Smart. Needs to be this. Phones usually have this. You can buy Bluetooth smart receiver / sticks I gather to make it compatible with Zwift however I would suggest ANT+
  2. Lash out on a ANT+ stick and an extension lead. Put the stick in a plastic bag and then tie it on to the leg of your Hammer. This should resolve many of your problems. This is what I use and what many people use I gather.
  3. Yes provided you connect via ANT+ or Bluetooth provided you have Bluetooth Smart or a Bluetooth Smart receiver. I don’t always use the companion app.

Also if possible don’t connect Zwift via wifi. Wifi just for the companion app as a remote is fine however i.e. to send messages, navigate etc. I connect my PC in the garage via the house’s power using a T-Link system. Wifi for my phone so that I can use the companion app.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the great advice @Nigel_Doyle!

@John_Swafford we also have a BLE dropout troubleshooting guide that covers many of the common factors that can skew your Bluetooth connection:

Thanks for trying to help. I was never able to get it to work. I gave up and spent $200 on an Apple TV. Now it works fine.