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Apple TV Zwift setup with Wahoo - comms flow chart?

alexfthealexfthe Posts: 83
OK so I've just taken my first Zwift test ride with a Wahoo Kickr and Apple TV. I managed to get everything functional, but I'm completely baffled as to the optimal setup for all the various devices to talk to each other. I know Apple TV has limited bluetooth connections so I ought to connect everything to the companion app on my phone, but I'm a bit lost when it comes to the role of my Elemnt Bolt, HRM, and Kickr Headwind.

Here's the full list of gear that I think is involved in the setup: Apple TV, iPhone with companion app, Kickr, Elemnt Bolt, Wahoo cadence sensor, Tickr HRM, Kickr Headwind. No power meter present on the bike, and obviously Wahoo speed sensor is moot in this setup. I suspect I'm confusing myself because I'm so used to riding on real roads with my Elemnt and paired sensors, and I might need to think differently about how everything integrates in this setup.

My assumed flow chart is:

Apple TV Zwift App - main engine
communicates with
iPhone Zwift companion app - comms hub
communicates with
Kickr, cadence sensor, HRM

That much makes sense to me, but then I'm confused about where or if the Elemnt should fit in. I had it on 'passive trainer mode' today and things seemed to work OK, but it ended up capturing data that I think was meant to go into the companion app instead. Should I just be leaving the Elemnt out of the picture? I did like having it present as it seemed to read my cadence sensor much quicker and more accurately, so it would be useful to keep IMO.

Is there a way to make it so that:

Apple TV
communicates with
iPhone companion app
communicates with
Elemnt Bolt
communicates with
Kickr, cadence sensor, HRM
?

Seems to me that would make more sense, but I can't work out how to do it. Am I missing something? Just being daft?

And where do I record the ride? Just in Zwift? On the Elemnt? Both?

The other big question is where does the Headwind unit fit into the flow chart? I want to run it based on the HRM. I was successful in doing so just now (which is excellent BTW!), but then the companion app didn't manage to capture my heart rate. Elemnt Bolt DID get my HR but then there was no way to communicate it back to Zwift. Am I just expecting it to do something it can't? How many devices can Tickr talk to at once?

And I'm just assuming that the Wahoo Fitness app I used to set things up has no place in this Zwift ecosystem, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm usually pretty tech savvy and have set up home networks, wireless audio systems, etc. in the past, but I think I'm struggling with the three separate comms protocols present here: WiFi, Bluetooth, and ANT+, and I'm not quite understanding the capabilities or intended uses of each.

Hopefully the kit list is fit for purpose and I've just not got my head round how it all converses. The Zwift subscription, Kickr and Headwind are the only new items - everything else was already on hand.

I'm guessing there is a quick and easy solution which will be immediately obvious to those of you who have been using this gear for a while - any tips appreciated!

Cheers!
2020 Ribble CGR SL
2019 Vitus Vitesse Evo CRS Disc
2019 Cannondale Synapse AL 105 SE Disc
2017 Dawes Galaxy Plus
2014 Boardman MTB Pro 29er HT

Posts

  • SOLVED

    In case anyone comes across my post in a search in future, here's what I learned:

    1. Elemnt (or any GPS head unit really) does not belong in this setup. Turn it off or it will compete with other devices (this is why my cadence reading on Zwift was so buggy at first).

    2. I had to unpair the Tickr from the Wahoo Fitness app. Once I did that then it was able to talk to both the Headwind unit and the companion app.

    Once Tickr was linked up to everything and Elemnt was off, then the heads up display on Zwift gave me all the metrics I would normally want to see on my head unit (HR, cadence, speed).

    Final comms flow chart was the first one mentioned in my initial quote:

    Apple TV - Zwift engine and bridge to internet/TV
    comms with
    iPhone Zwift Companion App - bridge between all sensors and Apple TV
    comms with
    Tickr, Kickr, Cadence Sensor

    Tickr evidently has a simultaneous and separate comm link with Headwind. Presumably it's using ANT+ to talk to Headwind and Bluetooth to talk to the iPhone.


    Setting up all these links isn't the most intuitive. You can't pair anything to the companion app from within the companion app itself. You need to first start up the companion app and then control the pairing process from the main Zwift app (on the Apple TV).

    I decided not to buy a Kickr climb at this stage, but if you were setting up Wahoo's whole 'pain cave' pack then I assume the only additional connection would be the Kickr communicating with the Climb via ANT+ (as far as I can tell in my setup, the Kickr's ANT+ radio is unused at the moment)


    Whew! That wasn't at all as user friendly as I expected. I figured since I was using an Elemnt Bolt I was already committed to the Wahoo ecosystem and so I spent the extra money to go for Kickr over a Tacx Neo (which is on sale with various retailers at the moment). The thinking was that if I stuck with the brand everything should be really seamless and user friendly. Pay more to avoid the faff - just like sticking with Apple products. Now seems like it didn't really make any difference which trainer I stuck in my setup, and without adding the Climb unit I might have actually been better off with the Tacx and its 'road feel simulation' feature.
    2020 Ribble CGR SL
    2019 Vitus Vitesse Evo CRS Disc
    2019 Cannondale Synapse AL 105 SE Disc
    2017 Dawes Galaxy Plus
    2014 Boardman MTB Pro 29er HT
  • This good info. I have the exact same setup and have found much of the same, but would add the following:

    1. Don't give up on using the ELEMNT. Get everything paired via BTLE as you outlined, with the ELEMNT still shut off, then turn on the ELEMNT and it should pair via ANT+ (since the BTLE pairings are already taken by Zwift) and then Passive mode works fine. I like to use the ELEMNT to click the lap button and see some other ride stats that Zwift does not show.

    2. The Wahoo Cadence sensor is a mess IMO. Sometimes it works fine, sometimes it seems to cause signal issues with other BTLE sensors you're using. I've found this both indoors and out on the road.

    3. I'm super pleased with the Apple TV 4k setup. It's been bombproof and much better than the dated PC and ANT+ dongle I was using.

    Props for documenting what you found for future users.
  • Good info.

    The only thing missing from the Apple TV Zwift experience is the road shadow from the rider avatars but I can live with that. Anyway, it's in the works for 2019 from what I hear.
  • 38special wrote:
    This good info. I have the exact same setup and have found much of the same, but would add the following:

    1. Don't give up on using the ELEMNT. Get everything paired via BTLE as you outlined, with the ELEMNT still shut off, then turn on the ELEMNT and it should pair via ANT+ (since the BTLE pairings are already taken by Zwift) and then Passive mode works fine. I like to use the ELEMNT to click the lap button and see some other ride stats that Zwift does not show.

    2. The Wahoo Cadence sensor is a mess IMO. Sometimes it works fine, sometimes it seems to cause signal issues with other BTLE sensors you're using. I've found this both indoors and out on the road.

    3. I'm super pleased with the Apple TV 4k setup. It's been bombproof and much better than the dated PC and ANT+ dongle I was using.

    Props for documenting what you found for future users.

    Thanks! Good to hear I can put ELEMNT back in if I want. Will leave it out for now as I'm on information overload with the new setup thus far, but I may well bring it back into the mix down the line.

    Never had an issue with my cadence sensor - in any situation. Is this a known thing reported by many users or should I suggest that you investigate whether you've got a faulty unit? Sometimes my skin is too dry/cold for Tickr to get rolling til about 5 mins into a ride, but I've never seen the cadence or speed sensors do anything remotely odd. I do wear the pod on my shoe rather than VHB taping or zip-tying to the crank arm, but I don't imagine that should make much difference.

    I'm on a pre-4k ATV and I can definitely tell that it's not the smoothest, but it doesn't affect usability or enjoyment for me one bit. Really pleased with my setup too! (Though my graphics standards probably aren't high - last time I played video games with any level of enthusiasm was Super Nintendo)
    2020 Ribble CGR SL
    2019 Vitus Vitesse Evo CRS Disc
    2019 Cannondale Synapse AL 105 SE Disc
    2017 Dawes Galaxy Plus
    2014 Boardman MTB Pro 29er HT
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    Good info.

    The only thing missing from the Apple TV Zwift experience is the road shadow from the rider avatars but I can live with that. Anyway, it's in the works for 2019 from what I hear.


    The only thing that drives me berserk with the Apple TV version of Zwift is trying to do literally anything with the Apple TV remote. Is it some bug that I'm having or is it really bloody difficult to select stuff in scrolling menus?
  • The remote isn't the best for Zwift on the go, but I've got the hang of it. You can always use your phone and the companion app.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Wherever possible keep the Element recording as inevitably at some stage the other stuff will crash and you’ll lose your data.
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