Smart Trainer Compatibility

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What Is A Smart Trainer?

In the past few years, more models of smart trainers have come on the market than you can shake a flogging stick at.  A smart trainer is one that can do a couple of things:

  • First, it can share information with another device, like the Sufferfest App. This information can be power, cadence and speed, depending upon what sensors you have installed and the capabilities of your trainer.
  • Second, it can receive information from a device or app and be controlled by that device or app, changing resistance and power so you can concentrate on suffering without having to shift or manually adjust resistance.

Most smart trainers talk to other devices through one of the following:

  • ANT+ (typically can only send information to devices, and doesn't allow control of the trainer)
  • ANT+ FE-C (Fitness Equipment Control: newer version of the ANT+ protocol that allows the trainer to be controlled by external devices or apps)
  • Bluetooth Smart Trainer Control: There are various methods for controlling trainers via Bluetooth.  We support a large number of smart trainers for control via Bluetooth but only on Mac, iOS, and Windows 10.

Note: Your Mac will need to have Bluetooth 4.0 (also known as Bluetooth Smart) in order to use ERG mode via Bluetooth control.

Note: If you are connecting your smart trainer to a Windows computer without the latest version of Windows 10, you will have to use an Ant+/FE-C connection.

 

Using A Smart Trainer With The Sufferfest

In order for your smart trainer to be compatible with The Sufferfest Training System, it has to use one of the above communication protocols. Some trainer manufacturers use their own, proprietary language, which other platforms simply can't understand. 

  • If your trainer has ANT+ FE-C capabilities (and the FE-C software has been installed), huzzah! Epic suffering is right around the corner. The Sufferfest app can talk to any trainer using the ANT+ FE-C protocol. 
  • The Sufferfest Training System can talk to any smart trainer using the ANT+ protocol (though that might not allow the App to control the resistance of the trainer itself).  If you need more information about how to setup ANT+ sensors, sprint over here: Connecting ANT+ Devices
  • If your smart trainer is not listed below, fret not, Sufferlandrian! We may still support it, we just might have missed it when compiling this list. Fill out our contact form on the Sufferlandrain Help Page, and one of our Minions will get back to you within 24 hours. 
  • At the bottom of this page is a list of smart trainers we currently don't support. Some of those listed will not be supported until the manufacturer integrates ANT+ FE-C into their firmware. We suspect Couchlandrian saboteurs are causing delays, but don't have proof.

Smart Trainers That We Support

Manufacturers

BKool
CycleOps
Elite
JetBlack
Kurt Kinetic
Minoura
Tacx
Wahoo

 

BKool

BKool Smart Pro

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
No No Yes (FE-C)

BKool is supported and controlled on the ANT+ channel with the FE-C software.  You can use ERG mode or standard resistance. No control via Bluetooth. You may have to activate the BKool FE-C software using the BKool Training App. 

Max Wattage: 1200 Watts

BKool Smart Go

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
No No Yes (FE-C)

BKool is supported and controlled on the ANT+ channel with the FE-C software.  You can use ERG mode or standard resistance. No control via Bluetooth. You may have to activate the BKool FE-C software using the BKool Training App. 

Screenshot_2018-01-15_15.39.06.png

Max Wattage: 800 Watts

BKool Smart Pro 2

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
No No Yes (FE-C)

BKool is supported and controlled on the ANT+ channel with the FE-C software.  You can use ERG mode or standard resistance. No control via Bluetooth. You may have to activate the BKool FE-C software using the BKool Training App. 

Screenshot_2018-01-05_13.29.03.png

Max Wattage: 1200 watts

BKool Smart Air Pro

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
No No Yes (FE-C)

BKool is supported and controlled on the ANT+ channel with the FE-C software.  You can use ERG mode or standard resistance. No control via Bluetooth. You may have to activate the BKool FE-C software using the BKool Training App. 

Screenshot_2018-01-05_13.32.50.png

Max Wattage: 2000 watts

CYCLEOPS SMART TRAINERS

CycleOps is not upgrading their legacy trainers with the FE-C protocol.  We will not be supporting legacy trainers anytime soon.  The CycleOps ANT+ Communication protocol is specific to the CycleOps Virtual Training Center.  Legacy user will have to control trainer resistance using the Cycleops Virtual training App.  The only Cycleops trainer that will be supported is the Hammer and Magnus since it has FE-C integrated.   

Article on Connecting CycleOps Smart Trainers

CycleOps Hammer Direct Drive Trainer

A name worthy of Sufferlandria!

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

 

Max wattage @20mph: 2000 watts.  (We want you on the Sufferlandrian National Team if you can actually hit that target!)

CycleOps Magnus

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Max Wattage 1500 watts.  

ELITE SMART TRAINERS

Elite trainers that have the FE-C software installed can be integrated with the Sufferfest App.  The main difference between the B+ and non B+ models is Bluetooth enabled.

Note: Level mode may not work on all trainers. If it doesn't work, contact Elite about updating your firmware. 

Article on Connecting Elite Smart Trainers

Direto

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Direto.jpg

Drivo

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Note: You will need to contact Elite for a firmware update in order to have level mode supported on the Drivo with Bluetooth control.

*Kura

Conditionally Supported using ANT+. No bluetooth support yet. *The Kura does not have Smart Trainer control. We only read the power reading directly from the unit.  Sufferlandrians still have to shift to hit wattage targets using this trainer. 

Rampa

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Real Turbo Muin B+

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Max Wattage Diagram attached below.  We also call this the "Average Sufferlandrian Power curve".

 

Qubo Digital B+

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Real E-Motion B+

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Arion Smart Digital B+

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

 

 

Real Axiom B+

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Max Wattage Diagram attached below.

Real Tour B+

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Max Wattage diagram attached below.

 

JETBLACK SMART TRAINERS

JetBlack Whisper Smart Trainer

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Screenshot_2017-09-20_12.14.36.png

 

KURT KINETIC R1

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes

Yes

Yes

Screen_Shot_2019-02-07_at_3.15.13_PM.png

KURT KINETIC CONTROL TRAINERS

T-6500, T-6400, T-6300

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes

Yes

Yes

Screen_Shot_2019-02-07_at_3.15.33_PM.png

 

KURT KINETIC SMART CONTROL TRAINERS

T-6200, T-6100, T-6000

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes

Power Only

No Smart Control

No

 

MINOURA SMART TRAINERS

Kagura LST9200

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Screenshot_2017-09-20_12.17.13.png

TACX SMART TRAINERS

Any TACX trainer that has FE-C software installed is fully supported at this time. You can use Standard or ERG mode.

Article on Connecting TACX Trainers

TACX Neo (T2800)

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

 Max brake power (10 sec.) 2200 Watts

TACX Flux (T2900)

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Max Brake Power 1500watts 10% max slope

TACX Genius Smart and i-Genius T2210 (w/ FE-C update)

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Max Brake power (10 sec.) 1500 Watts

TACX Ironman Smart (T2060)

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

 

Max Brake Power (10 sec.) 1500 Watts

Max Sprint Power (1 min.) 1200 Watts

TACX Bushido Smart (T2780)

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

 

 

Max Brake Power (10 sec.) 1400 Watts

Max Sprint Power (1 min.) 750 Watts

TACX Vortex Smart (T2180)

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Max Brake Power (10 sec.) 950 Watts

Max Sprint Power (1 min.) 750 Watts

TACX Flow Smart (T2240)

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

 

Max Brake Power (10 sec.) 800 Watts

Max Sprint Power (1 min.) 700 Watts

*TACX Satori Smart (T2400)

Technically the Satori Smart is not a smart trainer but it will work with the Sufferfest Training System.  You change resistance and the trainer will report the correct virtual wattage.  We consider it a really "cool" option for trainers.  

Screenshot_2017-07-07_07.30.00.png

 STACK ZERO HALCYON

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

Stac_Zero_Halcyon.png

WAHOO SMART TRAINERS

Wahoo KICKR (Only Supported With Latest Wahoo Version Update)

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

We fully support the Wahoo KICKR in ERG and Level mode.  You can connect the Wahoo KICKR using ANT+ or BLE.  Furthermore, you can connect the KICKR using FE-C through the ANT+ channel.  You can integrate the Wahoo KICKR with a power meter for cadence or power matching.  However, this needs to be done through the Wahoo Fitness App.  Some good examples of what power match is at the Stages website here: Stages Power Integration 

Article on Connecting The Wahoo KICKR

  

Max wattage @20mph: 1550 watts.

Wahoo KICKR Core

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

 

xwahoo_kickrcore_wfbktr4_no_cassette_right_3_4_3.jpg.pagespeed.ic.uQW3sNs04h.jpg

Wahoo KICKR Snap

iOS Bluetooth Desktop (macOS) Bluetooth Desktop ANT+
Yes Yes Yes (FE-C)

We full support the Wahoo KICKR Snap in ERG and Level mode.  You can connect the KICKR Snap using ANT+ or BLE.  You should also be able to connect your power meter meter cadence to the KICKR Snap to relay cadence.  

Article on Connecting The Wahoo KICKR Snap

Max Wattage @20mph: 1100 watts.

Wahoo KICKR Climb 

The KICKR Climb is supported by The Sufferfest but only using certain workouts.  More details coming soon!

Screenshot_2017-09-20_12.24.43.png

 

OTHER TRAINERS

There are a multitude of trainers that have been on the market for many years.  We do support some of these trainers at different levels.  There are also some indoor cycles that we support like Stages and Wattbike that can be used with the Sufferfest App.  If your trainer is not listed here, please email TheMinions@TheSufferfest.com.

There are ways to use these older smart trainers with the Sufferfest App, but most of the solutions require you to be in Level mode and shifting gears to match wattage target goals.

Haven't made the switch to a smart trainer? No excuse for not suffering. You can view our list of compatible standard trainers here:  Compatible Standard Trainers. 

Trainers That Do Not Have FE-C Installed And Are Not Supported

  • Cycleops PowerBeam
  • Cycleops PowerSync
  • Racermate/Computrainer  (all models)
  • TACX Satori Smart
  • TACX Bushido (non-smart)
  • TACX Vortex (non-smart)
  • TACX Genius (non-smart)
  • TACX i-Magic, i-Flow, i-Bushido, or i-Vortex are not supported.  You can contact TACX and see if they have a way to upgrade these trainers with the ANT+ FE-C protocol.  
  • TACX Flow
  • TACX Fortius
4 out of 5 found this helpful

Comments

23 comments
  • I think a lot of trainer manufacturers are using deceptive marketing with the term "smart" and "Zwift compatible."  Yes, your "smart' and 'compatible' trainer will transmit your data to Zwift, but Zwift can only control your machine/trainer IF it has FE-C, which few do.  

  • +1 for that comment Jeremy Sweeten.  I could write a whole article about that.  :)  

  • Perhaps they (ZWIFT) have baked in support outside the FE-C protocol for the Powerbeam Pro (Post 2015 models).  The Zwift pages certainly say they DO change the resistance of  a late model powerbeam pro.  I haven't used Zwift in 6 months plus, as I find the community there can be very whiney, but unless something has changed I can certainly say ZWIFT DOES change resistance on my powerbeam pro, set up using the instructions on the Zwift pages.

    I would be very interested in what you have to support the claim that FE-C has to be on a trainer for Zwift to control its resistance.  I think that is not accurate in some cases.

  • ZWIFT can also control trainer via Bluetooth if I am not mistaken. 

  • Hello everyone,

    Yes, you can control trainers over Bluetooth.  However, the developers have to write in the bluetooth code specific to each trainer that doesn't have the FE-C standard.  Fitness Equipment Control (FE-C) is great, because it is standardized across the marketplace and any App Developer can easily connect to FE-C trainers.  There is no standard bluetooth protocol.  So, some trainers are easier than others to support.  We will start working on special bluetooth code to support nonFE-C trainers sometime in January.  The trainers we support will all come down to customer demand.

  • Hi, are you *only* going to release BT control for trainers that don't have FE-C? TrainerRoad has just released BT control, from their iOS apps, of Tacx trainers; it actually works very well. TBF, the Tacx protocol is just FE-C smuggled in a BT envelope, so it won't have taken much work, but still it means that a dongle isn't necessary and Taxc is a big name. I don't know why the trainer companies don't just sit down at a table and agree to one protocol, even if the BT people are busy with getting BT5 ready and non-sport stuff. The Taxc way is quite sneaky, but clever in that it means they don't have to do any work in designing a new protocol.

  • Is there a way to connect BOTH power meter and a FE-C trainer?  I have both and ideally would want to do a power match, as the numbers from the trainer may be off

  • Hello Grzegorz,

    Power Match is something we cannot do "Yet".  We will be looking at this capability next year. 

  • ZWIFT controls my CompuTrainer via direct USB connection. Can this be done with the sufferfest app? Will it be possible in the future? Thanks.

    https://support.zwift.com/hc/en-us/articles/204002479--Setting-up-a-Computrainer

  • I am also hoping that Sufferfest might support Computrainer!  It works great with ZWIFT but Sufferfest is just better (real video vs animated).  

  • I just received my ant+ dongle to control my Tacx Vortex Smart (which I also haven't had long).  I can't find any good documentation about the Sufferefest trainer controls.  Erg mode is clear, but I guess it doesn't  let you put in any extra effort.  For flats, I'm happy using gears just like I would on the road.  It could be nice though to have the resistance crank up on the hills.

    I just did the Rookie with trainer set at "level 3".  There are few places where there are hill climbs targeting about 115% ftp at 70 rpm.  I couldn't make those numbers work.  I've only got a 50t crank and 12t cog, but it fell far short of creating enough resistance and I couldn't stand up or keep the revs that low.

    I don't think I noticed any resistance increase on the hills though.  Is there supposed to be?  What do the levels mean?  Is it just a higher overall resistance setting or is it like zwift and is supposed to set the amount of resistance variation on hills?  Of course the Vortex Smart is only rated to simulate 7% hills, so I expect I'll have to use gears some to simulate the rest but I would have thought (or hoped) a 7% hill simulation and my top gear would be able to get me there and a a lot more.

  •  

    Double posted.

  • Hi All,

     

    Struggling to get Sufferfest set up properly with my TacxNeo.

    I can't find any clear instructions On this BTW.

    Major problem is that I can't get power and cadence to match-Only close in the Granny gears.

    Should I only be using the lowest gear on my bike? Should I need to change gears at all during the workout?

    Wondered if I had a calibration problem-tried the spin down calibration several times-failed...Found that you can't calibrate a Tacx Neo, Does that mean I can't calibrate it to the App (Mac)?

     

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Marty

     

  • Marty,

    I don't have the neo, just the lowly vortex.  I guess the neo is capable of much more resistance and it sounds it's using too much.  Assuming it's anything at all like the Vortex, and I'm using ant+ and windows), at the connection screen you can select the device and then there's probably a "mode" selection box.  The Vortex has "erg" and levels 1 through 9.  Erg means you don't have to shift, but you are locked into exactly how much power it wants you to produce, slow and hard or fast and easy.  Personally I prefer to shift as I would in real life and have a little freedom to push harder (or even easier) for a bit. For that you want the levels.  I try to choose a level that puts me in my lowest gear on the big ring during the recovery efforts.  That leaves you all your other gears to work with for harder efforts.  I've found that this does NOT do any active control of resistance at all though, even on hills, so even hills require just shifting to a harder gear to get the cadence down lower.  I feel the power curves are maybe little wrong this way, but it's ok.  You either give the software full control or none.  I prefer none, but hill simulation would certainly be nice.   
     
    When I was using bluetooth with an ipad, I could connect from ant+ with my smartphone at the same time and use the utility app to set a hill incline (including possibly negative).  This seemed to achieve about the same thing as the levels. 
  • Hi all,

     

    I was bummed when I read the "Trainers that do not have FE-C installed and are not supported." list above, as I own a Kurt Kinetic Rock & Roll Smart Control and was going to be really mad if this expensive machine did not work with Sufferfest. Well, guess what, it does work. I contacted Kurt Kinetic customer support to get the straight scoop and ask if they were making any changes to make their Smart Control system compatible with Sufferfest. The following is the response:

    "The issue is not related to FE-C, but rather that Sufferfest doesn't support our hardware in their app. You can subscribe to the Sufferfest series through our app, which gets you the same cycling content and trainer control.  In addition to our Kinetic Fit app, we're also compatible with Zwift and Trainerroad, with more on the way.  The Sufferfest content in our app is separate subscription fee from our Smart sub."  the fee is $10 per month.

    Hope this saves others from going through the same stress and process that I did.

     

     

  • I was quite frustrated with Sufferfest/Elite Rampa integration, but the helpful support folks at Sufferfest helped me out. The problem was that in ERG mode, power was not changing quickly, or sometimes at all, to the target. So I'd hit a short interval and be spinning my brains out at low power rather than grinding at high wattage.

    Turns out that having the ANT+ USB stick plugged into the back of my iMac was the problem. I plugged it into the keyboard USB port instead, and now the power changes right when it should. 

    So if you're having problems be sure to try using a USB extension or some other way of moving the ANT stick away from your computer.

  • Zwift and Trainer Road control the resistance on my Cycleops PowerBeam Pro via ANT.  Disappointed Sufferfest doesn't work with my it, particularly now many videos only seem to be available through the SF app.

  • Hi Aaron - any update on the 'power match' feature yet so I can use power meter and FE-C trainer?

  • I’ve used Sufferfest both with my normal powermeter and with the trainer power controlling the resistance using FEC. Although the difference wasn’t huge it was still annoying so I just do it manually.

    I have previously used ‘power match’ on a different software; what I’ve found is two things;
    1) my cadence goes up over time, so I become rubbish at grinding up steep hills. I just can’t put out the power at low cadences.
    2) I become rubbish at targeting powers by feel. My power meter lags behind by about 2s, but I’m pretty good now at targeting a wattage; shame the Sufferfest power smoothing can’t be turned off or I’d be even better.

    I don’t think I will ever go back to doing just power match. When, and I do hope Sufferfest introduce it, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to just using powermatch. I would use it for base and long rides, but for sprints and anaerobic efforts I think it is worse.

  • I just want to be able to use my 4iiii powermeter while the trainer resistance is controlled by FE-C. I'm pretty sure my BKOOL pro power readings are too high.

  • My Bushido was reading 12w higher at FTP. Annoyingly the difference isn’t constant throughout the range, which is one of the reasons powermatch isn’t great for short intervals.

    I have however done exactly what you want though. Just give the trainer F-EC to Sufferfest and ride with your normal bike computer on. Look at them both simultaneously. You will be able to adjust manually your FTP in the Sufferfest App. You just (for now) need to remember two sets of numbers.

  • At the moment, I have to use Sufferfest with my 4iiii Precision (Ant+) as power meter and annoyingly control my Vortex Smart with the Tacx-Androidapp (Bluetooth) manually, to get satisfying results, because there is a huge (and variable) difference between the power of both devices. It would be much easier, if Sufferfest could use the power-values from a (real) powermeter to control the resistance of a smart trainer.

  • Hello Everyone, I just want to jump in with an update for PowerMatch.  We won't start building that capability until the Fall of 2018.  There is a lot we still want to do with the App and those things beat out power match at this time.  

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