New to Xert: Trying to Find Right Setup Between Xert, Zwift, Mac, 530, Fenix, Strava, and Connect

I’ve read / watched the getting started videos, and I still can’t seem to find the “ideal” way to use Xert.

As background, I have the following equipment:

  1. Garmin Fenix 6
  2. Garmin 530
  3. iMac 27" (and iPhone 11)
  4. Wahoo Kickr
  5. Stages left crank power meter
  6. Wahoo speed sensor

I have been using some combination of TrainerRoard and riding outside for workouts. I start the activity on both the Garmin Fenix 6 and Garmin 530 (both indoor and out). I then upload the activity from the Fenix 6 to Garmin Connect and discard the activity from the 530 (I don’t want duplicates, but I like having the view of the 530 while riding). Garmin Connect then syncs with Strava. And just to be clear, I got the 530 first. A year later, I got the Fenix to track runs and swims for Triathlon training. That’s why I have both.

For indoor workouts, the Stages PM controls the Kickr and feeds the power information to the Fenix and 530. I get the HR info from the Fenix 6. I put TR and/or Zwift on the iMac for riding indoors. This has worked great so far.

I’m having trouble figuring out how to make this all work with Xert in Zwift.

Does anyone have a similar setup and some advice?

Which software should I focus sync on - Garmin Connect or Strava (I typically view Garmin Connect as my "primary keeper of information; I hardly ever open Strava)? It seems, during setup, Xert has a preference for Strava. But then, when I get to my “dashboard,” I see the ability to sync with Garmin Connect.

Does the Xert Connect IQ app go on the 530 or the Fenix, keeping in mind I hope to see the info on the iMac while riding.

Which PM should I use for indoor training, Stages or the internal Wahoo Kick’r (and which controls the trainer)?

I’ve seen the video on using Xert inside of Zwift all on a Mac. I’m not sure that video addressed which PM to use / control the workout resistance. Any thoughts there?

Sorry for the ridiculous questions. I guess I’m just a bit more accustomed to “plug and play” and haven’t really ever gotten into the weeds on this stuff. Xert looks like a great idea and the idea of less structured (by the day) and more adaptive workouts seems amazing. My work life / travel schedule means I just can’t do it every day and sometimes miss two or three days at a time.

Finally, I am a regular gym goer (four days a week), and those activities appear both in Garmin Connect and Strava. Will this mess things up on the Xert side?



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This is no ridiculous question at all. What is ridiculous is that users have to navigate this type of complexity because some services are not playing nice with other.

I think the general consensus for Garmin owners (I’m on Wahoo, despise Garmin beyond reason) is to have Garmin connect sync to XERT first and then Xert to Strava. That way XERT will also add it’s metrics and stuff to the Strava post (if you care about that). There’s a number of threads describing that.

As far as indoor setup, I would recommend always using the power meter info, rather than KICKR power, there’s a large enough mismatch between the two (because of calibration, drivetrain losses etc) to affect fitness signature.

Using Xert and Zwift together is possible, there are a few posts around, quite frankly I don’t think it’s worth it. I generally export the ZWO file from Xert and import it in Zwift (super easy to do on an iMac)

Lastly on extra activities, I don’t think there’s an impact, as Xert is mostly based on power. You can select which activities get imported. I use a Stryd power meter on my runs and they show up on my Xert feed, and seem to match things pretty well.

Good luck and welcome to Xert!

The Xert player will work on/with your 530 and the web player will simultaneously show it on your screen. Note that there have been problems with that, i.e. the web player lagging or even completely freezing.

You can have your 530 control your Kickr (I guess: I don’t have a Kickr, but my 530 can control my Neo) and use the power output (BLE or Ant+, but as you have a Mac, that would be BLE) from the Stages to ‘move’ in Zwift.

Also, I believe you can export your Xert workout to Zwift, in which case Zwift would control your trainer.

I that case, you can use the Ant+ channel of your Kickr to record your activity on your Garmin, if you want.

You can only hook up a BLE channel to one device, but you can use the Ant+ channel to connect to another, or even several others. However, you need to make sure you connect everything in the right order, so that another service doesn’t hijack a channel first.

As to your gym activities: I believe you have to manually add the XSS in Xert, if you want it to count.

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Yes. Export your Xert workouts of choice and save them into your Zwift workout folder. Choose zwo file type. Cut from your download folder to Zwift workout folder. They will appear under “Training” in Zwift.

Zwift with an Apple TV is a super simple and efficient option - so easy to use and fast to start a workout. You can use your phone as a remote control, simultaneously listen to podcasts, and the setup is completely reliable. However, Zwift knows nothing about SMART workouts so you lose that. The workout still plays like you’d expect just without the adaptive part.

You need the Xert app to play SMART workouts. I’ve done that for a few workouts and also in combination with the online player and session player (whatever they’re called - the things on the website combined with the phone app), but didn’t like it or see any benefit at all. I’ll try the SMART workouts again when I’m out of Base. I imagine they might be worth putting up with the awful apps at that point.

Xert needs to port their app to Apple TV. It could be so much better than these archaic methods of using old computers and running cables, ANT, multiple power meters, etc. What a mess!