Cyclist takes watchOS 10’s Bluetooth cycling accessory support on Apple Watch for a ride

Apple packed watchOS 9 with advanced driving tracking features Apple Watch runners. watchOS 10 puts the same level of emphasis on cycling training on the Apple Watch.

The easiest way to appreciate watchOS 10 and iOS 17 during a cycling workout is with Live Activities. Both software updates work together to turn the iPhone into a dedicated screen for all your cycling metrics. From Apple announcement this summer:

When a bike workout is started from the Apple Watch in watchOS 10, it will automatically appear as a live activity on the iPhone, and when tapped, it will use the entire screen. Training displays, such as heart rate zones, altitude, race route, custom workouts and a new bike speed display, have been optimized for the screen size of the iPhone, which can be mounted on a bike for convenient and easy viewing during a ride.

We took a tour of the new feature earlier this month. See for yourself here.

Another important step for Apple Watch cyclists is automatic Bluetooth support for cycling accessories:

Apple Watch can now automatically connect to Bluetooth-enabled cycling accessories, such as power meters, speed sensors and cadence sensors. This enables brand new metrics including cycling power (watts) and cadence (RPM) and additional training views including Power Zones. Bluetooth connectivity is supported for indoor and outdoor cycling training as well as GymKit.

Apple developed new algorithms that utilize the combination of Apple Watch sensor data and Bluetooth power meters to “estimate Functional Threshold Power (FTP), the highest level of cycling intensity that a rider could theoretically sustain for one hour,” Apple says.

“Using FTP, Apple Watch calculates personal Power Zones that are used to easily see the current zone and track how much time is spent in each, which is an effective and popular way to improve performance.”

Of course, the amazing Apple Watch training blogger DC Rainmakerwho calls pairing Bluetooth power meters with the Apple Watch “silly easy,” has already taken these new watchOS 10 power cycling features for a spin.

In the piece, DC Rainmaker walks you step-by-step through the process of pairing a power meter, preparing the Workout app to display the new metrics, and how to use the new Apple Watch data points.

The article also includes a few quotes from Apple fitness guru Jay Blahnik, who talks about what pushed Apple to adopt power cycling features in watchOS 10:

This year we have put a lot of focus on cycling. We’ve had feedback for years that people want to be able to connect their accessories to the watch. And we also thought it was a really good opportunity to make the phone play a role. So we’re really excited about where we’ve started, but I’d say ‘watch this space’, we’re just as excited about what’s coming in the future.

Read it this weekend if you’re at all curious about what’s going on Apple Watch and cycling training in watchOS 10.

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