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Upgrading an inexpensive exercise bike with a Nano 33 BLE Sense

Arduino TeamOctober 8th, 2020

After purchasing a basic foldable exercise bike, Thomas Schucker wondered if he could get a bit more out of it, perhaps even using it with virtual riding apps like Zwift and RGT. By default, this piece of equipment is set up to output cadence info via a simple headphone jack, using a demagnetized portion of the flywheel for sensing.

Taking this a step further, Schucker found that the magnetic field amplitude actually changes with the resistance input, allowing him to correlate the two with an analog sensor built into the Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense.

The Nano is attached near the flywheel, and sends data over BLE, enabling him to use this rather cheap indoor bike in a much more involved way than it was likely ever intended. Code for the project is available on GitHub, while a demo of it controlling Zwift can be seen in the video below.


2 Responses to “Upgrading an inexpensive exercise bike with a Nano 33 BLE Sense”

  1. jackwatt Says:

    The BT connection work only with the PC or work also with tablet/smartphone?

  2. old_tech Says:

    Thanks Thomas for this effort. With your software as a base, I was able to modify it to work with my Proform Generation 2 TDF spin bike (too old to be compatible with the databridge). Works great with Zwift, using the pulse from the crank and voltage off the magnet position potentiometer to calculate power and cadence to send to Zwift. Next step is to figure out how to automate the incline control using the FTMS service. But at least for now the bike is no longer gathering dust. Great work!

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