Trials and Tribulations of a New User

Hello All! New user here. Thought I would post some thoughts on getting my “systm” up and running.

First a bit about me and where I am coming from. I am a retired System Admin, primarily MS Windows. I grew to hate Windows and still do. In my personal life, I run Mac and Linux. As I got closer to retirement, I became an application administrator in order to get away from the data center, modern hardware (boring) and Windows Server.

If you want to skip my rant about getting things working in Windows, skip to End Rant

As I thought through how I wanted to get Systm onto a big screen, it occurred to me that the easiest way might be to put Windows on a spare PC. (I don’t have any extra Apple stuff lying about and System doesn’t run on Linux).

More about my setup. I have a Kickr, Climb, and Headwind and run Systm on Windows 10. First workout went OK. ERG mode is strange at first, but did some more reading and found shifting not necessary for most part. Seems I just hit the RPM marks and let the system do the rest. I found cadence lagging, so I decided to throw a spare wahoo cadence sensor in the mix. (Did I mention I was also running my Elemnt head unit also?). More on why, later.

On workout two, the kickr, cadence and HRM all came up, but I could not get sound to work, but after troubleshooting windows, I decided to look around in the app and the darn music slider was off. Not sure if I inadvertently did that or not, but after that, the HRM and cadence would not work. They were connected to the Elemnt though.

Needless to say, I was frustrated at this point, so I just said F#%& it and did the workout. Planned on using the head unit to upload file with all my metrics to Strava, RideWithGPS and Dropbox as normal, but when I finished the ride, I realized in my frustration I forgot to press START on the head unit.

I uploaded the file that Systm emailed me to Strava, RWGPS and Dropbox. Then decided to have it send directly to Strava also to see how that works. Direct upload to Strava looks cool, kinda like those Zw*$@ people. I have decided to leave that and just upload to RWGPS and Dropbox manually and hope Systm decides to match what is in the Elemnt as far as connected apps at some point. I won’t bother with the Elemnt anymore. I think that was just too many connections for everything to deal with.

Today, since I had anticipated all this angst with Bluetooth, I received my ANT+ dongle. I stuck it in the Windows box, it dinged, showed it recognized what it was, but Systm did not show ANT+ ON. Troubleshooting step number 1, I stuck the ANT+ dongle in my macbook and it worked perfectly and immediately. I put it back in the Windows box and after fumbling around finally found the original Device Manager applet that has been around since Win2k. No driver. Not only that, but it couldn’t find one. Typical. More fumbling and got Windows Update to download one which I had to manually install. Did the perfunctory Windows reboot just to be sure and voila. Something that took 2 seconds on my mac only took 45 minutes on windows. OK, rant over. I think workout 3 will be better!

End Rant

As far as Systm, kickr, climb and headwind, all I have to say is WOW! Since I have not done either Half Monty or Full Frontal yet, the resistance is low, but wow, it makes up for that in cadence! I typical ride at 85 - 90 rpm. Riding faster and slower on purpose is gonna be interesting. The trainer just works. Nice to not have to worry about tire pressure anymore. Quiet too!

The climb unit adds a nice element, although I forgot it was there on the first workout and about crapped my chamois when it pitched over on the first downhill!

The surprise piece of hardware is the Headwind unit. OMG! I paired it with my HRM and there is literally no pile of sweat on the floor after my workout! I am not freezing at the start either. A really nice budget setup would be the Headwind combined with a decent smart trainer and an HRM.

As far as Systm, I really like it. It keeps me engaged. It makes me work outside my comfort zone. It makes it fun! Looking forward to more. I wish it paired with and automatically uploaded to RWGPS and Dropbox like the Elemnt. I really like that feature. Also, like has been posted on wish list thread, I wish I could see my workout calendar in my personal calendar. Someday.

I am just looking forward to getting more fit and have been really enjoying reading through the forum so far. Lots of good information here. Hope this was not too long, but I think I have things worked out. We shall find out tomorrow night!

Neil

6 Likes

Hi @nreamer i can totally understand your frustration with Windows and Ant+ it really is a massive turn off with all the mucking about you have to do to get everything paired and working properly whereas on the Mac it literally takes seconds or minutes rather than what Windows takes. Why you have to go searching on Windows to download the latest drivers I don’t know and even then it’s like trying to find a pot of gold as it’s not obvious where to go look. Glad you got everything hopefully working properly and ready to start suffering :rofl::rofl::rofl: Welcome to the club.

1 Like

Welcome @nreamer ! That sounds frustrating as can be, what a mission setting up. I’ve been running SYSTM and the original Suf app for absolute years now on various Windows machines. Have never ever had an issue with the ant+ dongle. It’s been pretty bombproof to be honest. Bluetooth on the other hand… :neutral_face:

So cool you’re loving the headwind. I’m definitely debating one!!! I’m a Tacx user tho so won’t be getting a Climb anytime soon, but it looks pretty awesome.

Happy training and sing out if you need anything. The community here are pretty helpful as are the Minions

1 Like

Great intro. Almost as enterpaining as a Knighthood quest, lol. Glad you got it all sorted. Fwiw, I hate Windows too.

That said, the current iteration of MacOS Monterey, has broken the connection to the Climb via Bluetooth (known issue that the dev minions are working on). Fortunately, I hauled out the old Ant+ dongle and extension cord and all is well.

I am another one who is on the fence about the Headwind. I’d have to have it off to the side and I’m just not sure how well that would work and if it would be worth the $$$$$ although I hear nothing but great things from EVERYONE who has one.

Welcome!

To clarify, my troubles on workout 2 were bluetooth related. I had an ANT+ dongle on the way, but thanks to USPS it did not make it in time for that workout. I had issues with Windows getting driver installed for ANT+, but that is now sorted out. I expect workout 3 to go more smoothly, at least from a system perspective!

Also, thanks for the welcoming comments! I knew I would like it here! :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Also Windows 10 user with an ANT+ dongle, I can’t say I’ve experienced this at all. Everything worked straight out of the box.

3 Likes

You can never leave :slight_smile:

evil laugh

4 Likes

As for a few others I’ve been running Systm (and before that SUF) on Win10 with Ant+ with no issues at all. It finds my tickr and kickr core immediately. I never have to worry about the order I plug things in or anything similar. I often run my Bolt alongside for dual recording, it’s flawless. I auto upload from Systm to Strava, Training Peaks and Garmin (plus email) all without a problrm. My Bolt auto uploads to the same when I want it to (I don’t want it to).

My point being purely that all these things ought to just work. If they do not, I would check the setup with the support minions. FWIW my ant+ dongle is the cheapest I could find (though actually I ordered that one because at the time, early pandemic, delivery times were all over the place but this one was next day). It’s plugged in to the back of my laptop a good 6+ feet away from the Kickr. It works just as expected.

Two things I would note:

  • Make sure the Bolt is in passive mode. Otherwise it will fight for/take control with/from Systm.

  • Some (older?) WiFi hardware can interfere with the signal and cause signal dropouts. This is also true of Bluetooth I believe, but I don’t run BT and have these issues. This can also apply to mobile phone hotspot (I often use that and I get power drop outs in the data that goes to Strava).

I hope you get everything working seamlessly (or at least adequately).

1 Like

@Glen.Coutts I have one and at the time couldn’t believe I paid US$250 for a fan but it does work really well. I do sometimes use an additional fan for summer rides when there is more humidity in my pain cave but otherwise I have the Headwind paired to my HRM and it clicks on at around 85 BPM and is at max speed at around 135 BPM+.

1 Like

I keep hearing it’s worth it. I’m just wondering where is it positioned relative to your body though. Is it head on or off to the side? I can’t, with my current setup, put it head on and the off to the side option is currently all I have.

Things were much better tonight! The ANT+ dongle, and dare I say it, Windows worked just fine. As I stated in my intro, I have a troubled history with Windows. I guess it is like a car mechanic, sooner or later, most come to hate working on cars. I feel the same about windows. I think Windows knows that, so I have to suffer every time I set it up. It worked great tonight though! Very happy!

I did not use the Elemnt tonight. Just does not seem to be much benefit. I just take the file that is emailed from Systm and manually upload it to dropbox and RidewithGPS.

1 Like

My headwind is head on. I definitely think that it is designed for and is darn near perfect for head on positioning. Mine is about 1 foot in front of the Kickr Climb and I feel lots of air from shoulder to shoulder and from head to upper legs. It feels like riding on the road.

I used to use a ceiling fan which was over the top of the bike. It cooled my back, but nothing else. I would have puddles of sweat on the floor afterwards. It will be interesting to see what it is like in the summer, but should not be much different as I am setup in a spare bedroom in the A/C. I was on the fence about getting this also, but now I would consider the fan, a HRM and a smart trainer a good minimal setup. Even if I was going to ride a resistance trainer, I would still get the the fan.

I would imagine it would work OK if placed just off to the side, but not sure about 90 degrees or anything close to that.

Another cool thing is that I have it paired with the TickrFIT HRM. That is the one that goes on your arm. It has on ON/OFF switch. When I press ON, the fan automatically turns on. I can visually see the blue light under HR (for heart rate) come on. Then, when I am done, I turn OFF the HRM and the fan runs for a few more seconds and just turns off. That is really nice for my setup as I am kinda cramped for space and getting up to the front of the bike is a bit of a challenge.

I know I sound like a walking advertisement for Wahoo, but I work part time (semi retirement) in a bike shop. I took the Wahoo training and get a nice discount. Very happy with everything I got so far, but getting on the bike and riding is where its at!

Looking forward to the Half Monty, I think the default numbers are a bit low, although spinning like a madman definitely gets the heart rate up! I have been off the bike for a month, so getting back into things slowly while learning my way around is a good thing! Did Joyride tonight and LOLed a few times. Quite fun!

2 Likes

Welcome to the wonderful world of SYSTM! As others have noted, you can never leave but it is not so bad at the NIne Hammers Tavern…

I am no computer expert in any way but I can honestly say as a long-time Sufferlandrian the only issue I ever had going from videos to the app was the interference from my Garmin software and I always make sure that Garmin Express is off before I check in. I am using a PC with Windows 10 and Ant+ and this has always worked fine, whether on The Sufferfest, as it was, Rouvy, Zwift, FulGaz, RGT or OpenRoad. Not that you want to use anything except SYSTM, of course!

@Glen.Coutts Mine is head on. I believe DC Rainmaker mentions in his review of the Headwind that he uses it from an angle off to the side due to the desk blocking some of the air flow.

1 Like

pairing is a hassle at times, part of this is the constant shifting of standards and how they are or aren’t supported. my laptop I mostly use ANT+ but…I have the usb ant+ antenna plugged into a long USB (shielded) cable so that it is lying on the floor near my rear wheel. I normally never use my head unit on the bike, I only do that for things like using gpedal (which is still an experiment). Normally for a workout I will startup the workout, open the settings screen, make sure everything is how I want erg y/n, sound on, and what connections and what job they are performing…ie the trainer wants to do cadence, I turn that off and put my cadence sensor on. i pedal a little to make sure everything is reading, then close that and hit play. I load all my workout data direct from Systm to training peaks and strava. It is a bit of a pain but once you get it set and have a system it goes pretty smoothly.

+1 front & centre, variable on HR seems perfic :blush:

2 Likes

+1 for the Headwind - got one recently (my first Wahoo kit …). My industrial floor fan from the local hardware store was superb at keeping me cool but with no remote I’d freeze in winter at the beginning of workouts. Storming the Castle was a real challenge too as the environmental temperature changed considerably over the course of an entire day in winter and even the short breaks in between found me cold (really cold!) at the start of the next workout.

Still playing with the HR setting and reading above I need to set it to come on/ increase speed at a lower HR than current - while very happy with the Headwind I’ve definitely been coating my rocker plate with more Sufferlandrian Holy Water than before.

@Craig.Quarmby This is what I learned as well. I now have the max set at the top of my Z3 HR - a level where I am generally getting warm. When I set it higher I found that I wasn’t get the cooling I needed until it was too late.

1 Like

Thanks Sir Jon. I’ve set my max there (160 is my mid zone 3, reduced it to 155 now - hummingbird heart) but for me I think the minimum has been the problem. Out the box it was 120 (from memory), I lowered it to 110 then 100 and right now I’ve taken it down to 85. I think the intermediate fan speeds weren’t kicking in soon enough. If that doesn’t hit the sweet spot then I’ll reduce max further. Thanks again.

1 Like

The headwind is awesome. You will ride more often and longer with one.

2 Likes