Many users wonder why most Garmin Heart Rate monitors won’t pair with Zwift, this can be for several reasons. Three reasons and possible work arounds will be discussed in this article. I personally had this issue when I was trying to get a Garmin HRM to pair with Zwift. None of these work arounds really were a good option for me, I ended up getting a new HRM, a Polar H9. I highly recommend checking it out, other well reviewed HRM’s are the Wahoo Tickr, and the Garmin HRM Dual.
Reason 1: Your HRM does not have Bluetooth
This is most riders/runners issue. I did not know going into it that most Garmin HRM do not have bluetooth. The only 2 HRM’s made by Garmin that have Bluetooth are the HRM Dual, and the HRM Pro. If you are riding on a computer and have access to Ant+, this should not be an issue. Note: The use of Ant+ requires an Ant+ dongle which can cost up to $50 depending on the one you choose. If you do not have access to Ant+, you could get an Ant+ to Bluetooth bridge. The only one that I know of that works well is the NPE Ant+ to Bluetooth Bridge. It is just about $50, which is almost the same cost as a new HRM, which is why I did not end up getting the bridge. If you have multiple Ant+ only devices, this could be a very useful purchase. If not, I would recommend getting a HRM like the Polar H9, or a Wahoo Tickr. If you are also a rider who rides or runs outside, most watches/bike computers can pair to Ant+ HRM, so you could always have one for indoor riding, and one for outdoor. If you don’t want/need 2, you can also sell it on ebay or other places like that. Here is a link to the bridge: https://store.npe-inc.com/cable-connect-ant-to-ble/. The newer Garmin watches can also broadcast Heart Rate from the wrist Heart Rate or an external device. For a tutorial on that, head over to this article by Dcrainmaker: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2020/04/quick-how-to-garmin-wearable-heart-rate-broadcasting-to-apps.html. One random/unexpected work around that I found was that you can use a concept 2 rower to bridge Ant+ and Bluetooth. I explain the whole process in this article: https://zracecentral.com/2021/08/17/how-to-row-on-zwift/.
Reason 2: Your HRM is out of battery
This is a very simple issue to fix. Unless….. You don’t have the correct batteries. Most HRM’s use a CR2032 battery or a CR2025 battery. These can be found at a local shop or Amazon. For instructions on how to install the battery, head over to this video by Garmin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qDzMJQaFrs. You can find the correct batteries under the specs on the product listing. I am pretty sure they all use CR2032. For a link to some Duracell Batteries, here are some that I found on Amazon.
Reason 3: A possible bug in Zwift
If you think that your issue is a bug within Zwift, leave a comment below and I will investigate and see what I can find. If there are any currently known bugs, there will be a part in bold here saying so. As of 8/28 there are no reports of issues with pairing a Garmin HRM with Zwift. One work around is to use Ant+ instead if available. Ant+ dongles cost around $20-40.
Unfortunately, there are no super good work arounds for this issue, which can be very disappointing. This was a very frustrating issue for me which is why I wanted to post about it so that others know what the issue is, and what are possible work arounds. Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, leave a comment below.
I am having the same issue with it not staying connected during cycling races. I just switched my Garmin HRM to a HRM Pro (top picture far right) because it was supposed to have the run pod which makes it possible to do workouts on zwift that my coach gives me through training peaks (I run and bike). I can only get it to work through zwift companion but only the HRM works. It connects to my garmin computer and watch no problem in IRL but just keeps saying communication error when I try to use zwift. It turns blue when I pair it so it says its connected and has 3 green communication lines, but no HR number shows and when I go to bike it blanks out and thats when I get the communication error. Everything says its capable of connecting to zwift for workouts and participating in zwift events but no one tells me how to get it working. I cant pair it with the treadmills I have access to so I only Have my phone with me at the gym. It will read my heart rate through the companion app but I don’t get a distance. Any advice or help would be nice. for my races (biking) HRM are mandatory so I feel like this is a problem because when companion crashes as it tends to do, I get dropped from the race. So in summary two problems:
1) HRM connects but doesn’t register a heart rate using anything except Companion app. (I usually use appleTV and until Dec or January never had a connection issue)
2) I cant figure out how to get the HRM pro to give me data to run on zwift (ie distance and speed for my workouts). I am ok manually changing the speed I just want to be able to participate in the routes and run like other people do on the platform.
my laptop and garmin can see the hrm but even if it not paired to those devices zwift cannot detect it
Let me try to understand this – so the heart rate monitor can pair to your laptop and the Garmin Connect app, it just is not pairing to Zwift, correct? Can you please also specify the model of the heart rate monitor? Has this been an ongoing issue, or did it just abruptly start?
Hi, i have a tackx Hrm with bluetooth… change batteries… 😉 my mobile detects him, yet with the mobile app on android, zwift does not detect the belt… really annoying as i do want to train on HR level…
Hi! Do you by any chance have another device connected to the heart rate monitor? Also, did you make sure that you close out the other app that is able to connect with the heart rate monitor?
I’m using a Garmin HRM dual working with Zwift and TrainerRoad. I connect to Zwift using Bluetooth on Apple TV 4K and to TrainerRoad with ANT+. I connect to Zwift first of all and up until recently I have connected the Stages Power crank and HR monitor and been able to see the metrics on screen. Recently although the power and cadence connects and gives readings the HR monitor connects and reads nothing. Via ANT+ on TrainerRoad I can connect power, cadence and HR perfectly with watts, rpm and bpm showing. I’ve tried connecting the HR monitor via Bluetooth to Apple TV, my gaming laptop, my iPad and my iPhone and all connect to the HR monitor but none give a HR reading. This is only a recent occurrence possibly after an “update”Any ideas please?
I have not heard anything about this. Very odd that the heart rate monitor does not connect any devices on Bluetooth. It could be that the HRM is very slow on battery. Could you try replacing the battery and checking to see if it connects then? Let me know what you find.
I use a myzone hrm. Regardless whether I use the ANT or Bluetooth it continuously drops in and out during my rides. Yet my husbands works fine (riding next to me).
It could be that the heart rate monitor is trying to connect to a different device. Do you have any other apps or devices running that may be trying to connect to the hrm during the ride? Have you tried switching devices with your husband? Hope this helps. Let me know if it still does not work.
Hello.This post was really motivating, particularly since I was investigating for thoughts on this issue last Friday.
Thank you! Let me know if there is any questions I can answer regarding your issue.
Since last update, my heart rate monitor (garmin Ant +) doesn’t sync anymore. Any idea? I changed battery also 😉
This might be helpful for you. Not sure if this is your issue: https://forums.zwift.com/t/ant-dongle-not-working-on-windows-solution-here/570013. Let me know if this helps.
I finally figure it out. My computer was too slow for the last update. I changed for a newer one and everything works well. Thanks for the follow up.
Hi, I have a HRM1G with ANT+, it works just fine with Peloton but when trying to sync it with Zwift it never appears, what can I do? Thanks!!
Hi, by HRM 1G do you mean the garmin HRM 1? If so are you trying to connect the heart rate monitor through Bluetooth?