Zwift bluetooth connection on pc

(Egil Garberg (B)) #1

 Please add ability to use native BLE on computer to connect Zwift with trainers. Real pain to need a phone bridge.


(Paul Allen) #2


That is not entirely true. If you want to connect Bluetooth device to Zwift running on a PC you need to use the ZML to bridge the connection.

(Jordan Rapp) #3


Sorry. Mac user… I had forgotten it was different for windows. I am checking to see if I can give an update on the PC side. I see this is an ongoing concern of yours.


(Paul Allen) #4


Not really a concern for me since all my devices are duel band, but I do help a lot of people to get up and running on Zwift on these forums.

Ride On!

(Jordan Rapp) #5

Hi Paul,

I have a bit more of a thorough answer for you. Unfortunately, it’s not much different than what’s been discussed before.

In short, we could make PC just like Mac… but only on Windows 10.

We could make it close… but only on Windows 8 & 10. And Win8 would still require a more cumbersome user experience than Win10/Mac.

And for Win7, we simply cannot replicate the simplicity of the pairing experience. The way some other apps do this is by requiring an BLE dongle that plugs into a USB port. But that sort of defeats the purpose - to me - of using Bluetooth, which is not really supposed to need a dongle.

Most of the sensors I know of are either dual-band ANT/BLE or mono-band ANT (only). I can’t think of any popular sensors that are only BLE, so asking people to buy a BLE dongle seems odd. To me.

There are some more cumbersome workarounds that might work on Win7. I guess the question is how cumbersome is too cumbersome? Certainly not saying that we can’t or won’t do this. Just, there’s no way to do it as simply on Mac without restricting it just to Win10. But if there are enough people who would tolerate some extra inconvenience in exchange for not needing to use ZML.

So, not much of an update. But certainly interested to hear your thoughts on what people would consider “acceptable” in terms of a more cumbersome pairing experience on older Win OSes.


(Egil Garberg (B)) #6

BLE is simply wastly better than Ant+. More stable signal and farther range.

 For myself and many others, I do belive a VERY cumbersome paring experience is acceptable rather than none!

The problem with Ant+ is weak signal and a system vulnerable to interference. Thus in very many instances you need a USB-cable reaching from the computer and close to the sensor. Which is an unwanted feature.

I dont understand your argument that “asking people to buy a BLE dongle seems odd”. Is it better to asking people to buy Ant+ dongle and a usb cable?

Personally I have native BLE on computer, but have also bought a BLE dongle to se if that would help (wasted effort). If upgrading from windows 8 to 10 would enable Zwift BLE connection. That would be enough reason for upgrading (especially when free)

If I were Zwift Inc, I would enable WIN 10 BLE connection as early as posible. It makes a better user experience!


Iphone bridge is a poor substitue:1) I dont want the phone close by while exercising. 2) Iphone wifi connection is very poor. (Garage or basement-> wifi on computer but not iphone)




(Paul Allen) #7


The upgrade to Windows 10 is no longer free, that ended about a year ago. 

Most people on these forums have had much better luck using ANT+ than they have BLE. 

(Egil Garberg (B)) #8


Thanks for fast answer. I`ve only upgraded windows once and didnt catch the limited time period.

My BLE experience is based on other applications and I just assumed it would have better in Zwift as well. I’ll have to settle with the usb-cable and not so very wireless technology. Egil

(Jordan Rapp) #9


The difference between an ANT and BLE dongle is that the former is included in a huge number of products. If you buy a Quarq, you get an ANT dongle. If you buy many Garmin products, they come with an ANT dongle (less so now that most use wired connections, but still quite a few do include it). So while an ANT dongle is sometimes an additional purchase, many users already have such a dongle. And - at least in my case - I never use an extension cord with it, and I have no issues with connectivity to my laptop. But certainly I realize for people using a media PC + TV, the USB extension cord is a necessity.

With that said, I do hear you on the “a cumbersome experience is better than no option…”



(Steve Ellis) #10

Jordan: thanks for the discussion about Bluetooth and Windows 7, 8 and 10. I expect that information gives some context to Zwifters who are eager to use BLE directly with their PCs.

(John McCracken (GB-SCT) (WBR D)) #11

And to add… I assume Jordan is a member of the Zwift team if so this demonstrates how confusing it is for a user to understand what is required.  Suggest a set of connectivity diagrams for at least the most common setups !

(Jordan Rapp) #12


Yes. But I am not a part of the Customer Support team (those guys are much better at their answers!); I’m a part of the design/programming team, so I do try to follow and understand the stuff that comes in on the feature request channel.


(John McCracken (GB-SCT) (WBR D)) #13

Hi Jason

Grateful for the reply but the point stands. For example if I buy apple TV would I need to use the zml to bridge some BLE connections. Where can I easily find information on this ?

(Paul Allen) #14


You don’t need the ZML to bridge Bluetooth the AppleTV, it can connect directly.

(John McCracken (GB-SCT) (WBR D)) #15

I have been trying to make a new purchase decision for a couple of months ipad, tvos or pc. It has been particularly difficult to fully understand the connectivity options for the first 2 and any limitations.

(John McCracken (GB-SCT) (WBR D)) #16

Paul, how many Bluetooth connections can it handle including the remote and or phone ?

(Jordan Rapp) #17


TVOS can handle THREE BLE sensors in total, BUT one of those slots is taken by the remote, so for all practical purposes, the answer is TWO *cycling* (or running) BLE sensors.

iPad (and iPhone) has no limit on # of sensors, but you are of course limited to BLE.


(John McCracken (GB-SCT) (WBR D)) #18

Thanks Jordan, how do I use ZML as a bridge and how do I access this functionality in the app. Have a look here around 14 minutes :

(Jordan Rapp) #19

Hi John,

It’s quite easy. It’s largely unchanged from using ZML as a bridge anywhere else - (We haven’t yet updated this to cover TVOS).

But we do add a few steps to make it easier. Once you pair your second sensor (and max out the 3 BLE connections), we automatically pop up a prompt asking if you want to use ZML to pair additional sensors. If you click yes, then just follow the steps in the article above to pair those BLE sensors to ZML.

As long as ZML is on the same WiFi network as the Apple TV, the game will recognize ZML and properly sync up. I’d recommend using “secondary” sensors - like HR and Cadence - that don’t actually affect gameplay - as opposed to using ZML to bridge something like your smart trainer. Use the Apple TV BLE connections for the most important stuff - especially your smart trainer.


(John McCracken (GB-SCT) (WBR D)) #20

Thanks Jordan. Useful info might be an idea to expose the sensors menu and put a note in the app to say how to use it. What do you think ?

Im still of the opinion a lot more could be done to explain the connectivity options and limitations using some diagrams or pictures.