There are many ways to enjoy indoor cycling in today’s digital world, and the two giants that corner the market for this are Zwift and Peloton, but can you use them together?
You are able to use Peloton with Zwift by integrating power meter pedals, connecting your Peloton to your PC or MAC, enabling developer mode, and installing Zwift through a number of technical steps. The Smart Shift Trainer provides easier integration, but it is still in its BETA phase.
Discover how you are actually able to use your Peloton with Zwift by utilizing two methods. Also, understand why you are not just able to install the Zwift app on your Peloton and use your bike in conjunction with it.
Can You Use Peloton With Zwift?
Peloton is in itself its own unique way to cycle and exercise, giving you lots of choices in terms of live and on-demand classes allowing you to immerse yourself in a digital world while exercising.
Although many individuals enjoy all the classes and features that the Peloton offers, it still is, in essence, a group “spinning” class. Some cyclists enjoy riding with others, and although Peloton’s classes allow you to cycle and compete with other riders (by posting metrics on the leaderboards), there is something to be said about joining a group of friends for a ride through the countryside.
Now Zwift offers what Peloton does not, and Peloton users want to know if they are able to use Zwift. Both are apps and run off Android, so they should be able to work, right?
Technically there are two ways that you are able to use Zwift on your Peloton bike, and while one way just utilizes a device, the other is a bit more complicated to set up.
Can’t You Just Install The Zwift App?
You would think that because both apps run on Android, you would just be able to install Zwift and be done with it. Although both Peloton and Zwift work on the concept of sending data via ANT+, Peloton does this via an internal cable and not over Bluetooth like Zwift.
These ANT+ data signals transmit the rider’s cadence and power, and without it, the resistance on your trainer or Peloton will not change. This is why you cannot just install the Zwift app.
What Are The Two Methods For Using Zwift With A Peloton?
The first is pretty straightforward and will require no effort at all. It is a simple device that connects to the resistance knob of the Peloton.
The Shift Smart Trainer
The Smart Shift Trainer (which Is not affiliated with Peloton or Zwift in any way) is an electronic block that is placed over the resistance knob of your Peloton and connects to the bike via Bluetooth.
Once the Zwift app is installed and the Smart Shift Trainer is connected to your Peloton via Bluetooth, it will be able to relay information back and forth through the Bluetooth cadence sensor that you attached to your shoes.
This will allow the device to actually adjust your resistance settings according to the layout, landscape, and terrain that Zwift is putting forth.
In more simple terms, it will simulate gradient changes on the Peloton for you while riding on the virtual roads in Zwift.
This device is as user-friendly as it gets. Simply place it over the resistance knob and click it into place, attach your Bluetooth cadence sensor to your shoes, pair these together, calibrate the resistance with the touch of a button, and you’re done.
One thing to note is that this device is still in development and was supposed to be fully released in 2022, having made funding from a Kickstarter campaign. Although you can’t get them in retail stores, you can head over to their website, register, and keep up to date with when they launch, or if you’re lucky, maybe get your hands on a BETA tester.
Using Power Meter Pedals
The only way that you can connect your Peloton to Zwift that actually works at the moment is by a vigorous process that involves getting your hands on a pair of power meter pedals, connecting your Peloton to your PC, copying files, heading into developer mode, and setting it up like that.
Going through the exact process for that is beyond the scope of this article; however, we will outline the necessary requirements and what the basic procedure covers. The full article on how to go about that is here.
The first thing you will need is a pair of power meter pedals. These are aftermarket cycling pedals with either one or two sensors in them (one for each pedal) that will read your cadence and send them via ANT+ data signals as an output.
If you are really considering connecting your Peloton to Zwift, then be sure to check out some of the best power meter pedals below.
Check out the Garmin Vector 3s on Amazon here
Check out the Favero Assioma Uno Pedal on Amazon here
Check out the Favero Assioma Duo Side Pedal on Amazon here
After you have the power meter pedals, you will need to connect your Peloton to your PC via a micro-USB cable. You will then put the Peloton in “Developer Mode” and head to “USB Debugging.”.
Following this, you will need to install Android Developer Tool on your computer and sync it up with your Peloton.
You will then need to download and install the Zwift APK and run through a series of particular install steps (in this case, Windows) to make sure that the app is, in fact, installed correctly. Any incorrect action taken during this step will result in the app not working correctly.
Next, you will return to your Peloton screen, and you will need to give the app permissions (camera, location, and storage) for it to work correctly. You do this by going into “Apps” in your system settings.
Then enter the apps section on your Peloton by going to the “About” screen by tapping the lower right-hand corner of the “About” box multiple times. You will find the “About” section under the main menu.
Now, all you will need to do is open up Zwift and pair your sensors as usual.
We discovered that you could utilize Zwift with your Peloton; however, it does entail a lengthy process for it actually to work. This is because the way the Peloton transmits its cadence data is not over wireless connectivity.
As such, you need to have a pair of power meter pedals and install the Zwift app through the Pelotons developer mode to get it working.
There is another way that uses a device (The Smart Shift Trainer), although this product is still only in its BETA testing phase.