Should I connect with Bluetooth or ANT+?

Open Road offers to connect to both Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible devices. Both technologies have their pros and cons. With the connectivity support of both, you can get the best of both worlds. 

The individual user’s experience will vary depending on the hardware used. Some manufacturers have a better Bluetooth and ANT+ implementation than others. Depending on the hardware configuration, it can be better to use Bluetooth or ANT+. The advantages and disadvantages of each technology are:


  • Advantages

    • The signal is stronger compared to ANT+. This means fewer drop-outs compared to an ANT+ USB dongle without a USB extension cord.

    • Most PCs already have Bluetooth built in. So you do not need to buy a Bluetooth USB stick to get started.

    • Bluetooth is less receptacle to EMF interference (e.g. Wi-Fi routers, microwaves, etc) in a typical domestic pain cave compared to ANT+

    • Quicker pairing

  • Disadvantages

    • Some manufacturers have implemented Bluetooth in such a way that it is not possible to send the weight of the rider and bike to the smart trainer. In such cases, the trainer can’t create a 100 % accurate simulation of the slope. 

    • Can only broadcast to one device at a time (Bluetooth is monogamous, while ANT+ is polygamous

    • Some PCs have older Bluetooth chips, which are not very good.

    • Other Bluetooth devices can create interference. Therefore, it’s necessary to remove unneeded Bluetooth devices like headphones, speakers, or other phones.

    • Consumes more battery compared to ANT+


  • Advantages

    • Can broadcast to an unlimited number of devices (Bluetooth is monogamous, while ANT+ is polygamous).

    • Support of smart trainers has been longer on the market compared to Bluetooth, so more smart trainers are supported by the ANT+ FE-C protocol.

    • ANT+ can send the rider’s and bike’s weight to the trainer with its FE-C protocol. This means the smart trainer has the correct data to calculate the simulation of the slope using the laws of physics. Some Bluetooth implements do not take the weight into account, so the simulation of the slope will be less realistic.

    • Consumes less battery compared to Bluetooth

  • Disadvantages

    • To some, it is less convenient that you need an ANT+ USB dongle to connect. On top of that, it is also recommended to use a USB extension cord, so the ANT+ USB dongle is placed close to the devices used.