Connecting Bluetooth to trainer is slow, requires disconnect/reconnect

I’m using the Windows app on Windows 10 with the latest Wahoo Kickr (2020, Gen5). When I use ANT+, it connects quickly every time I use the app but the resistance delay at times is up to 5 seconds. I switched to Bluetooth which gives quick & responsive changes simultaneous with the resistance changes in the app so it’s much preferred for this reason.

My problem is almost every time I start a workout in the app, all the ANT+ devices connect (HR monitor, cadence sensor) but the KICKR on the BT typically doesn’t connect. I need to disconnect it & reconnect, which works most of the time after a wait for the connection to be established. Sometimes I need to power cycle the KICKR or close & re-open the app.

I’m not sure if it’s perhaps the BT dongle I’m using or if it’s a more global problem others are having. Anyone experiencing this issue or have a possible solution?


I usually use an iPad, but have sometimes used a PC. I just use BT through each device’s built in Bluetooth radio. They almost always connect right away. The only time I’ve had issues is when a sensor is also connected to something else (eg KICKR connected to Wahoo app for a firmware update). Then I just close out the offending app and am ready to go.

Good luck sorting out your issue. Perhaps you can contact the minions for help.

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Have you tried removing the ANT+ devices from SYSTM devices tab? I no longer see the ANT+ version of my KICKR Bike as an option unless I click add a device, and I’m pretty sure that’s how I cleaned it up.

In Windows10, when I use FulGaz (which also offers a choice of ANT+ or Bluetooth connections on the start screen) I always see the ANT+ flavor of my devices appear before the Bluetooth, which is odd because the Bluetooth is built into the mainboard and the antenna is 3 feet from my trainer, and the ANT+ is on a dongle on the computer 15 feet away.

I have similar experience with my Kickr 2018 (Gen. 4), Windows 10.
It is slow to connect over BT. My HR and cadence are both ANT+ and connect within a second but not Kickr. It is not yellow though, it connects eventually (not always successfully, read on), after 5 - 10sec. Maybe you need to be more patient? :laughing:

The way my Kickr connects is strange a bit. I have CLIMB paired with Kickr so Kickr connection has 5 icons when connected properly: trainer, climb, power, cadence and speed. Not all must be active (green), yet there are five of them in total. It takes that 5 - 10 sec. for power, cadence and speed icons to appear after I launch the activity. Then it takes 2 - 3 more sec. for trainer and climb icons to appear too.
It is not always that way though, sometimes the first icons to appear are trainer and climb or climb only. Nothing more connects then and I must restart SYSTM app. It is ok usually after restart.
I never had to restart Windows or power cycle my Kickr.

I have the gen 5 KICKR and it connects in seconds. While that could be for many reasons, including other things about my setup and environment, I wonder if you’ve updated the firmware on your KICKR recently. If not, maybe that might speed things up. Or maybe not.

I don’t know which dongle you have but I am running a TP-Link UB500 on a USB extension lead with Windows 10. I balance it in the brake cables near the centre of the handlebars. Connection is a bit slower than my (Wahoo) ANT+ dongle but there’s only a few seconds in it. Once things are connected it’s totally reliable.

The UB500 is pretty cheap so it may be worth giving one a try.

Do you have any ANT+ devices connected at the same time?
Just forgot to plug in my ANT+ dongle before starting SYSTM workout and Kickr connected instantaneously. So it might be that both use of BT and ANT+ is what slows down SYSTEM connectivity.

No. Just Bluetooth. My KICKR and TICKR are connected and sometimes an external cadence sensor if I am doing cadence drills over 130 RPM.

OP here, thanks for all the replies. I was skiing in CO last week so that’s the main reason for my delayed response, but I have tried a few things suggested to no avail.

I am running firmware 4.2.5 on my Gen5 KICKR which was the latest (until yesterday, it appears). The BT in my laptop doesn’t seem to work anymore, so I have a cheap no-name dongle from Amazon that is capable of BT 5.0 (the brand is “Maxuni” according to Amazon but the dongle itself has no identification beyond “Bluetooth”).

I have tried starting with my ANT+ dongle unplugged & it doesn’t seem to help. When the KICKR connects, I sometimes get no green icons, sometimes get just 2 (climb + lightning bolt with circle which I think is resistance control), & others I get all the icons green. Typically I just remove & add the KICKR in the BT connection area - this morning it took 3 tries for it to get all the right sensors to light up. After that, I connect the ANT+ but even when I used to just leave that plugged in it would be the same.

Curiously, by BT signal for the KICKR only ever shows 2 or 3 bars no matter if the dongle is in the laptop, or on the extension within 12" of the KICKR. I’m thinking my next step is to try a different dongle & different laptop to see if it’s related to computer or dongle but I am suspecting perhaps the cheap, no-name dongle may be the issue.

The good thing is once it does connect, it’s solid & hasn’t had ANY dropouts so I know it works well after connecting.

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Same. This seems to be a new phenomena. Did not happen until recently. Have to remove and rediscover all devices, then connection is solid. Strange.

Did you find a solution to this problem? I have the same issue…

I’ve had this problem long enough that it seems normal to me now. v1 Kickr Bike and I have to remove and re-add the bike most rides on Bluetooth. Works a treat with that done so I just do it as part of getting started.

OP here, a year after posting this issue - things seem better this season. I’m exclusively using BT connection & not ANT+. Connection during workouts have been rock-solid. The BT devices connect automatically MOST of the time. I sometimes don’t get all the features of the KICKR & have to disconnect/reconnect to get them, but it’s much, much better than a year ago.

Not sure what’s different other than software updates may have addressed a lot of it. Perhaps not having a mix of BT & ANT+ connections as I think I was using an ANT+ HR monitor last year. I am using only a BT USB dongle placed on the floor under the crank set for all devices

A year ago I had similar problems. So far 2023 has been pretty solid with only relatively infrequent connection problems. One thing that seems to help is waking all sensors before hitting the Start Workout button so that they are all active when the app first starts looking for them. Before hitting the forward arrow to start the workout, I check that all sensors are hooked up and being used as I want. (e.g. cadence sensor being used instead of trainer for cadence, and virtual speed being used rather than trainer for speed).

I run Win10 on a notebook with built in BT and a ANT+ dongle dangling below the trainer desk on a 1m USB extension. Trainer is connected via BT (less latency compared to ANT+), and HRM and cadence are ANT+. Historically, I used ANT+ for everything with ZWIFT, Trainerroad and a few other apps with good reliable results.