Pairing Sensors with the iOS app

A Biometric Sensor is an external hardware device that connects to the Strava iOS app to provide additional performance data for the Strava activity recording process

  • Compatible sensors
  • How to pair a sensor
  • Searching for Sensors
  • FAQs

Compatible Sensors

The Strava iOS app supports heart rate monitors, cadence sensors, power meters, and external displays.

  • Bluetooth Low Energy: Currently, the iPhone 4S and above support this protocol. When running on an iPhone 4S or newer, the Strava app can detect and connect to Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) enabled Biometric Sensors.
  • ANT+: With a third-party adaptor key (Wahoo ANT+ key or case which is only compatible with iPhone 3G, 4, 4S) plugged into your device, Strava can detect and connect to most ANT+ enabled Biometric Sensors.
  • Protocols available by phone type:
    • iPhone 3gs: ANT+ with Wahoo ANT+ key only
    • iPhone 4: ANT+ with Wahoo ANT+ key only
    • iPhone 4s: Bluetooth Low Energy or ANT+ with Wahoo ANT+ key
    • iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6+: Bluetooth Low Energy only
  • We officially support Wahoo sensors, however, most other Bluetooth LE and ANT+ sensors should work.

How to Pair a Sensor

  • You'll first need to enable the connection to the channel on which your device communicates.
    • In most cases, this will mean enabling Bluetooth on your phone's Settings page and toggling Bluetooth to ON.
    • If you're using an ANT+ device, you'll need to plug in your ANT+ receiver.
  • Navigate to the record screen and tap on 'Settings' followed by the 'External Sensors' option.
  • From the Devices page, you'll be able to enable or disable the use of your phone's Bluetooth connection or ANT+ key (if available), as well as enable or disable individual sensors. Enabling a specific sensor will prompt the Strava app to search for a connection to sensors of that type. You can also see what devices are already connected.
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Searching for Sensors

The Strava iPhone app will search for new sensors any time the New Activity tab is selected, for up to 2 minutes. The app will first search for sensors to which it has already connected (if applicable), then for any other sensors.

  • The app will also initiate sensor searches when you visit the Biometric Sensors setting page. If it is already connected to a particular type of sensor it will not connect to new sensors of that type. In order to force searching for a particular sensor type, you can toggle that particular sensor off and on again in the settings.
  • When the Strava iPhone app is connected to sensors but does not receive data for several minutes it will indicate so by showing the sensor icons on a red background. This error state will persist until you reconnect to new sensors, for example by toggling individual sensors in the Biometric Sensors settings page, or when you start recording an activity.
  • If you want your iPhone to 'forget' a device you've already paired: tap 'Edit' at the top-right of the Devices page, which will bring you to the device management page, shown below. Tap the red 'minus' button (highlighted below) next to the sensor you'd like to remove, then tap the Delete button that will appear to the right of that sensor.  When you're finished, tap the Done button at the top-right of the screen.
    IMG_0164.PNG IMG_9295.png


Troubleshooting Connection Issues

  • Try toggling Bluetooth off then on in your phone's settings.
  • Check that the battery in your sensor is charged.
  • Be careful that your Bluetooth device has not paired with another sensor that's within range. Bluetooth only allows you to pair with one device.
  • It helps to generate data while paring the sensor, for example, wear your heart rate monitor.

Do you support speed and/or cadence data gathered from power meters?

The Strava iPhone app does not gather speed or cadence data gathered from power meters at this time. 

Do you use the speed data gathered from speed sensors?

The Strava iPhone app does not use speed data gathered from speed sensors. Please see the article: How Distance Is Calculated for more details.

Is regular Bluetooth connectivity supported?

No, connections to Biometric Sensors via regular Bluetooth (not Bluetooth LE) are not supported by the Strava iPhone app at this time.

How can I ensure I have a strong connection between my iOS device and my Biometric Sensors?

The best way to ensure a strong connection is to provide an unobstructed path between your iOS device and the Biometric Sensors to which you are connecting. Consider:

  • Mounting your device where it will have an unobstructed path to your Biometric Sensors
  • Putting your device in a jersey side pocket (rather than the center pocket). 

Where can I buy Biometric Sensors and/or adaptors that work with Strava?

Strava currently supports peripheral connectivity through the devices produced by Wahoo Fitness. iPhone models 4S and newer can leverage Wahoo's Bluetooth LE peripherals.  This includes the Wahoo TICKR, the Wahoo RPM Cadence Sensor, and the ANT+ Key.  Wahoo's ANT+ adapters will enable Strava to communicate with most 3rd party ANT+ heart rate monitors, cadence sensors, and power meters - including the Gamin Premium Heart Rate Monitor.  Keep in mind that because it doesn't use Bluetooth LE, the ANT+ key will work with the iPhone 4 as well as the 4S.

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