Data Fitness Connector (DFC)

Wirelessly connect your Peloton bike to third-party apps, fitness watches, and more

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Free Your Cycling Power & Cadence Data!

The Data Fitness Connector (DFC) data broadcaster is a Bluetooth device that allows Peloton bikes to communicate with fitness watches, head units, and apps—a feature that’s not available on stock Peloton bikes. It reads power and cadence data in realtime, through a cable connected to your bike, and broadcasts them to nearby devices, including those built around non-Peloton platforms like Zwift and Garmin. This allows you to enjoy the built-in functionality of your bike while simultaneously utilizing features and services that depend on third-party platforms.

Who Wants to Ride a Bike in Walled Garden?

Interested in the fitness data you produce? Want more control over who else has access to those data? Prefer not to be locked into a particular platform? If you have a Peloton bike, then DFC is for you.

Suppose you have a Garmin watch, for example. Using it to access your Peloton data would normally require that you:

  • Sync your data data with a third-party platform like Strava,
  • Translate those data to a format that Garmin can understand,
  • Import the results into your Garmin account, and
  • Use Garmin Connect to get them on your watch.

With DFC, those data goes straight from the bike to the watch in realtime!

Play Well With Others

And what if your workout room has to satisfy the needs of a cycling enthusiast and a spinning enthusiast? Rather than buying (and rearranging furniture to accommodate) one indoor bike for Peloton and another for Zwift, you can just plug in your DFC and share a single Peloton bike. And if you get curious about some other structured training platform—The Sufferfest, for example, or Trainer Road—you’ll have everything you need to check it out.

An early prototype of Data Fitness Connector in action

A Starting Place for Makers & Fitness Innovators

One of our goals for this project is to make it easier for hobbyists to design and build hardware that interacts with fitness machines, which is why we’re offering a Maker Edition of DFC. Sure, if you’re trying to start the next indoor fitness revolution, you probably have your own hardware team. But what if you just want to crank up the music and cue some heroic lighting when you hit your pace? Or progressively inflate a balloon so you know your workout’s over when it pops? DFC lets you bring your quirky idea to life and take it for a ride on the handlebars.

Or you could do something practical! If you must. Add a dedicated display and use it to chart realtime metrics that Peloton doesn’t display. Or log your raw data offline for the last word in platform independence. Or attach an array of sensors and see how your performance is affected air quality, humidity, and other indoor environmental factors.

Features

  • Uses Bluetooth to broadcast cycling power, speed, and cadence
  • Connects to apps and third-party fitness devices
  • Supports two simultaneous Bluetooth connections
  • Supports wireless device firmware updates for future upgrades

Technical Specifications

  • Built around the Nordic NRF52840
    • ARM Cortex-M4 32-bit processor
    • 2.4 GHz Bluetooth 5 transceiver
  • 11 exposed GPIO pins in a breadboard- and IDC-compatible layout
    • 4 analog or digital pins
    • 7 digital-only pins
  • 16 MB QSPI external flash memory
  • Two channels of bi-directional RS-232-to-TTL/CMOS conversion via MAX3222 IC
  • I²C JST connector compatible with SparkFun's Qwiic or Adafruit STEMMA QT Connect System
  • SWD connections on the front and back of the board via Tag Connect footprints
  • 20 V max to 3.3 V voltage regulator
  • Two 3.5 mm stereo jacks connected to one another and to the RS-232 driver/receiver IC.
    • An off-by-default jumper allows the transmission of RS-232 data through the jacks
  • Two USB Type-C connectors that allow DFC to be placed in-line with a USB cable operating at up to 20 V
    • This experimental, use-at-your-own-risk configuration allows you to branch off signals present in the USB cable—such as those used by the Peloton Bike+—and connect them to the processor
    • Configurable routes via jumper headers and solder pads for USB D+/- and SBU1/2

Open Hardware

DFC is open hardware. By the time we ship to backers, we will publish the schematic, layout files, and case design files on our GitHub repository. For the Maker Edition, we will also provide an Arduino-based reference implementation that we used for early prototyping. It supports cycling power and cadence data, and you can modify it using Arduino IDE to change the functionality of the board. The Fitness Edition firmware is not open source.

FAQ

Will DFC work with the Peloton Bike+ that was introduced in September of 2020?

DFC was designed to be compatible with the original Peloton Bike and will only be supported for use with that model.

While we do not support the Bike+ at this time, DFC includes a number of features to help makers dig into the possibility of Bike+ compatibility. This may lead to the addition of Bike+ support in the future. We do not yet know whether it will be possible, but DFC may be able to broadcast cycling power and cadence from the Bike+ if those signals are transmitted along the USB D+/- or USB SBU1/2 lines. Please see our USB connection diagram for more detail.

What if Peloton changes the data format that DFC reads from the Bike?

DFC can be updated to account for some such changes. While the Peloton data format hasn’t changed in over a year, certain things are beyond our control, and it is possible that Peloton will make a change that is beyond DFC’s ability to address. But we don’t want DFC to become obsolete anytime soon, which is one of the reasons we’re open sourcing the hardware and providing an Arduino-compatible version of the software that provides cycling power and cadence functionality. With those in hand, you will be able to re-purpose DFC in a number of ways.

See Also

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