Sensors on Mac vs iPad...let me see if this right??

Just learning/using Zwift, so i do appreciate any help. So, i’m trying to see how to use my cadence/speed sensors, correctly with Zwift. First, i’m using a Tacx Flow Smart trainer. I also have a Garmin 520 with both speed and cadence sensors.

I need to really understand what connecting by Bluetooth or ANT+ really means. I thought i understood, but apparently, nothing is connecting/pairing. Now, for my Garmin sensors, it says they are ANT+/BT compatible. However, from what i’m reading and experiencing, and extra connection is required. I guess for my iPhone/iPad, i need a ANT+ dongle (Wahoo ANT+ key). Is this correct??

When i’ve connected to Zwift, using my iPad, my Cadence sensor was detected, however, i know the reading were way off…only really got up to about 50 RPM. This morning, i decided to use my MacBook instead and used the Tacx USB ANT+ antenna, and i found it to be more accurate. All my sensors were detected, paired and gave more accurate readings.

With ALL of this said, is it better to have that extra connection for better pairing/readings? For my MacBook, i use the USB ANT+ antenna…for my iPhone/iPad use the Wahoo ANT+ key? I really appreciate any help with this issue. 

Hi Angela,

Welcome to Zwift.

There is a good video about the differecnt in ANT+ and BT:

At the moment you can only use BT for your iPad/iPhone. For your Macbook you can use both. ANT+ by using a dongle like you said and connect BT through the Mobile Link App:

I am using my Macbook with a ANT+ dongle and this works great for me.

Another option is to use a bridge so you can convert your ANT+ signals to BT ->

Good luck!

I’m with Angela, just getting into this and having some difficulty pairing all of the sensors.  

I have my iPad Pro hooked up to a Tacx Neo Smart trainer - it’s reading cadence, wattage etc (although seems off a bit) but I can’t get it to find my heart rate.  I have a Garmin heart rate monitor that I use with my Edge 1000 and also have a FitBit Charge 2 that detects HR.  

Since I have an iPad there’s no where to plug in a dongle… so what do I do to get HR going?

Thanks in advance for your help. 

Garmin is Ant+ only so Bluetooth is out of the questions. I don’t thing the FitBit broadcasts the HR, except to your phone through Bluetooth (this is not enough for Zwift to use).

You have a couple of options:

You can get a new HRM (Wahoo HRM broadcast in both Ant+ and BLE).

Soon Zwift will have an update to the Zwift for iOS and it may support the Wahoo Ant+ key. You would need a Lightning to 30 pin adapter to use it.

Kyle, from most things I read, the Wahoo ANT+ key can be used, however, you’ll need the 30 pin to lightning adapter. Many people have success and better results for the iPad this way, however, I’ve also read that Zwift does not support this setup.
Now, if you just use the Bluetooth method, I’d suggest turning off the Edge 1000. I read that you don’t want any other device that would also use the sensors…I turned off my Edge 520, and I was able to pair. The results weren’t as accurate as the MacBook connection was. If you are able to use the macbook/PC connection, go that route for better connection…at least that’s been my experience. I’m still learning all this stuff though. Hope this helps

@Paul…when you say that Garmin is ANT+ only, does that mean I can’t use my Garmin sensors with my iPad? I was able to detect the sensors, but the readings were off…like cadence stayed in the 50’s & an I know I was pedaling my *** off. The speed was off too, but I read something that may justify that. Thanks for any advice!!

I don’t think your iPad is picking up the cadence from the Garmin, I am guessing it is getting it from your trainer.


Zwift detects my tacx flow as having cadence as well. I have told zwift to use my actual cadence sensor as I assume its an error.As Paul said it sounds like this is what has happened to you. Check what has actually been paired.

The garmin sensors that I have seen are ANT only. So replace them with Bluetooth ones or use an ANT dongle on your pc/mac. I am pretty sure zwift doesn’t support an ANT dongle for the ipad (sure I read a post about it).

If you have a recent android phone I believe the link app can do what you need. connect to the garmin sensors via ant and forward that to your pc/mac/ipad. I have never had much luck with the link app but I am sure it can work.



The Wahoo Ant+ key might be available to use with Zwift soon.

Like a few folks here starting up with Zwift, I too initially had a Garmin 520 with the sensors (all ANT+), with my KICKR Snap.  I did have a USB based Wahoo adaptor on order for connecting to my imac, but since it was taking forever to receive, I finally bit the bullet and did the following:

(1)  On my bike, a Giant, which has ridesense, I put in an ANT+/Bluetooth sensor for candence, speed which works great and connects up without a hitch to mobilelink on my iphone.

(2)  For HRM, I purchased a Scosche HRM, and again works like a charm.

So for now I am ditching the Garmin sensors at least for indoor riding.  When riding outdoors, when I switch out my trainer wheel, may end up using the cadence/speed sensors that came with my Garmin 520.  Either that or perhaps I sell them off since I can just put another magnet on my main wheel to use with ridesense.