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My Favorite $8 Zwift Apple TV Accessory

If there’s anything I’ve learned in the last few years, it’s that y’all really like hearing about my favorite inexpensive accessories. Be it the $8 Garmin charging pucks or the indoor cycling desk that’s half the price of Wahoo’s – everyone likes a product that’s better than the original and still cheaper.

And since there’s officially no product more horribly unusable than the Apple TV remote, really anything you add to it will make it better. And since I’m a heavy user of Apple TV for my Zwift usage, I needed something that at least made that situation grudgingly acceptable.

The main issues with the Apple TV remote and Zwift are:

– It’s slippery AF
– It’s easy to drop…because it’s slippery AF
– There’s no way to easily attach it anywhere on your bike
– It gets covered in ‘beautiful’ sweat, looking horrendous

I mean, there are other issues too, but those are the main ones.

So a year ago I went online to try and find a new and better Apple TV remote. There were some rumors of 3rd party ones that were cheap and would work with Apple TV, using real buttons for navigation. But they were only available in Switzerland. Since then they’ve been slightly more widely available – but ultimately, they cost more money.

While on that trail, I got distracted on Amazon (as always) and found this $8/8EUR silicone case for my existing Apple TV remote. Even better? It had a strap. More on that in a second.

First, here’s the box. Normally it looks all nice and pretty. But I can’t quickly find my unboxing photos from a year ago, and so I had this one that I was transporting home in my backpack and it stayed there for a week or two. #RealLifeOfDCR

DSC_2189DSC_2187

I bought a few of these, since I have multiple Apple TV’s at my indoor trainer station. I picked up different colors, so I knew which remote was for which TV. See, I can be organized and logical when I want to be. Inside the box is the silicone Apple TV thingy, and then the strap:

DSC_2192

And that’s it. Let’s not overthink this.

Next, take it and stick it inside the case. It takes approximately 1.8 seconds if you do it correctly, or 10 seconds if it’s your first time because you somehow put it on backwards the first time.

DSC_2193

Pro Tip: If the charging port hole isn’t accessible – you did it wrong. If the buttons aren’t accessible – you did it wrong. If both the charging port and buttons aren’t accessible, you’re probably too drunk to ride a bike – even on a trainer.

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Next, you use as normal. Now what’s notable here is that it actually has bumps at either end, so that it gives you a handle of sorts to grip on:

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Also, handily, it covers the bottom part of the remote with silicone, so you can quickly and visually realize which way it should be pointed and not try and rub the bottom non-touch portion (which, you’ve definitely tried to do):

DSC_2200

But its most important feature is the strap. Sure, you could awkwardly put this on your wrist and then somehow ride at the same time. But that’s not what I use it for. Instead, I use it to place on my bike handlebars if I don’t have the trainer table close by (such as some smart bikes). Here’s how it would look on a normal bike:

DSC_2204 DSC_2205

Genius!

Plus, the case protects the remote from most liquids (sweats, but perhaps a failed Gu intake). But, it does still contain a small hole at the front so it can send IR signals to your TV to change the volume and such:

DSC_2197

Also, interestingly, it even has a little magnet in the front, so you can stick it on magnetic surfaces.

DSC_2201

Here it is attached to the side of the wall:

DSC_2202

Or, for some bizarre reason, attached to the trainer desk:

DSC_2210-2

And yes, there are multiple colors:

image

And thus, I’ve written more than necessary about an Apple TV remote condom with a strap. But I’ve now bought 4 of these things, and need to buy at least two more. At the DCR Studio, the two main Zwift stations have them (with unique colors), and then a few weeks ago I bought ones for home and the shed. At home, I got one for our TV because I’m tired of the remote disappearing after one of the three peanuts slides it between a couch cushion or relocates it inside the play kitchen. At least it’s bright red and big I have a chance of finding it. And the second for the Shed, since it’s where I Zwift at nights or weekends.

Oh, and finally, no – this won’t resolve every issue with the Apple TV remote. And in fact, some of them aren’t even Apple’s issues. For example, this won’t fix the hideously designed end-screen menu on Zwift where you try in vain to choose which screenshots you want, only to have it skip back and forth over the screenshots while still hidden below instructive text. That’s on Zwift to make usable. But, at least when you throw the Apple TV remote at the ground in frustration, it’ll just quietly bounce once. Protected by silicone and ready for your next ride.

DSC_2212

And yes, that awesome mug is available too…in the DCR store. Go forth!

With that – thanks for reading!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the Elago R1 Apple TV Remote Silicone Case with Strap or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

And finally, here’s a handy list of trainer accessories that most folks getting a smart trainer for the first time might not have already:

There's no better bang for your buck in getting Zwift (or FulGaz/etc) on your big screen TV than Apple TV - it's the primary way I Zwift. Even if you don't have a 4K TV, the 4K version has more powerful graphics than the base, worth the extra $30.

Basic Trainer Mat

This is a super basic trainer mat, which is exactly what you'll see me use. All it does is stop sweat for getting places it shouldn't (it also helps with vibrations too).

I use Apple TV for Zwift the vast majority of the time, but also just for watching YouTube/Netflix/etc on the trainer. The Apple TV remote sucks though. This $8 case fixes that, it's a silicone strap that makes it easy to grab, but also has a strap to easily place on the edge of your handlebars. Boom! Note: Not compatible with 2021 Apple TV Edition.

Front Wheel Riser Block

Here's the thing, some people like front wheel blocks, some don't. I'm one of the ones that do. I like my front wheel to stay put and not aimlessly wiggle around. For $8, this solves that problem. Note some trainers do come with them. Also note, I use a riser block with *every* trainer.

Honeywell HT-900 Fan

I've got three of these $12 fans floating around the DCR Cave, and I frequently use them on rides. They work just fine. Sure, they're not as powerful as a Wahoo Headwind, but I could literally buy 20 of them for the same price.

This desk is both a knock-off of the original KICKR Desk, but yet also better than it. First, it's got wheel locks (so the darn thing stays put), and second, it has two water bottle holders (also useful for putting other things like remotes). I've been using it as my main trainer desk for a long time now and love it. Cheaper is better apparently. Note: Branding varies by country, exact same desk.

This is by far the best value in trainer desks, at only $59, but with most of the features of the higher end features. It's got multi-tier tablet slots, water bottle holders, non-stick surface, adjustable height and more. I'm loving it!

Lasko High Velocity Pro-Performance Fan (U15617)

One of the most popular trainer fans out there, rivaling the Wahoo Headwind fan in strength but at a fraction of the price. It doesn't have smartphone/ANT+/Bluetooth integration, but it does have secondary outlets. I've been using it, and a similiar European version lately with great success (exact EU variant I use is automatically linked at left).

I've had this for years, and use it in places where I don't have a big screen or desk, but just an iPad or tablet on my road bike bars.

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the Elago R1 Apple TV Remote Silicone Case with Strap or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

And finally, here’s a handy list of trainer accessories that most folks getting a smart trainer for the first time might not have already:

There's no better bang for your buck in getting Zwift (or FulGaz/etc) on your big screen TV than Apple TV - it's the primary way I Zwift. Even if you don't have a 4K TV, the 4K version has more powerful graphics than the base, worth the extra $30.

Basic Trainer Mat

This is a super basic trainer mat, which is exactly what you'll see me use. All it does is stop sweat for getting places it shouldn't (it also helps with vibrations too).

I use Apple TV for Zwift the vast majority of the time, but also just for watching YouTube/Netflix/etc on the trainer. The Apple TV remote sucks though. This $8 case fixes that, it's a silicone strap that makes it easy to grab, but also has a strap to easily place on the edge of your handlebars. Boom! Note: Not compatible with 2021 Apple TV Edition.

Front Wheel Riser Block

Here's the thing, some people like front wheel blocks, some don't. I'm one of the ones that do. I like my front wheel to stay put and not aimlessly wiggle around. For $8, this solves that problem. Note some trainers do come with them. Also note, I use a riser block with *every* trainer.

Honeywell HT-900 Fan

I've got three of these $12 fans floating around the DCR Cave, and I frequently use them on rides. They work just fine. Sure, they're not as powerful as a Wahoo Headwind, but I could literally buy 20 of them for the same price.

This desk is both a knock-off of the original KICKR Desk, but yet also better than it. First, it's got wheel locks (so the darn thing stays put), and second, it has two water bottle holders (also useful for putting other things like remotes). I've been using it as my main trainer desk for a long time now and love it. Cheaper is better apparently. Note: Branding varies by country, exact same desk.

This is by far the best value in trainer desks, at only $59, but with most of the features of the higher end features. It's got multi-tier tablet slots, water bottle holders, non-stick surface, adjustable height and more. I'm loving it!

Lasko High Velocity Pro-Performance Fan (U15617)

One of the most popular trainer fans out there, rivaling the Wahoo Headwind fan in strength but at a fraction of the price. It doesn't have smartphone/ANT+/Bluetooth integration, but it does have secondary outlets. I've been using it, and a similiar European version lately with great success (exact EU variant I use is automatically linked at left).

I've had this for years, and use it in places where I don't have a big screen or desk, but just an iPad or tablet on my road bike bars.

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

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50 Comments

  1. Dave Lusty

    Purchased! This looks awesome thanks.

    What a sad commentary on CES these days that you have time to post this!

    • “What a sad commentary on CES these days that you have time to post this!”

      On the bright side, this is the most sleep I’ve ever gotten in CES week in my entire life!

      Actually, it’s kinda fun. I’ve got lots of shorter posts coming up over the next few weeks that I’m enjoying writing. Some product stuff, some direction of tech type things, some just random stuff that’s been sitting on my ‘ToDo-ist’ list for…umm…ever.

      Fear not though, bigger product review things coming eventually.

    • Dave Lusty

      Oh I can see why it’s nicer for you, but it’s not like the good old days where there were 10 cool new things. Or just the old days where there were three. Realistically there’s no reason the event needed to be there other than to pretend new TVs are exciting. 3D will definitely be a thing…I promise 😉

  2. A.V. Schmit

    I purchased the same one, after an “incident” that left the gorilla glass on my first Apple TV remote shattered. Far and away the best $8 I’ve spent on ZWIFT.

  3. Pat

    Where’s the link to purchase the beer? C’mon Ray!

    • Haha…

      Those were from a public event that Zwift had just down the street at the Ride Out bike shop. Basically Zwift races of sorts. Sometime either late 2019 or early 2020 – can’t 100% remember the exact date.

      They’ve also had ones at Eurobike hanging around the booth. Maybe it’s from that. I’ve got all sorts of funny branded random beer that I’ve never drank from various cycling events.

    • JimC

      You realise I hope that beer does go off, and should be drunk before that? Letting that happen is a crime against nature, and the beer gods will smite thee and teach thy toddlers to hide the remotes in places unimaginable to the adult mind…

  4. Fred Lee

    That was an instant buy for me. Thanks for the tip.

  5. Steve W

    I’ve used a similar Bear Motion case for a year. Yup red. Has to be red ?.

  6. Russell

    AppleTV remote on Zwift: almost an unusable piece of garbage!

    AppleTV remote on Fulgaz: works beautifully.

    Maybe the problem isn’t the remote.

    • To be fair, there’s far more interaction in Zwift once you start a ride than FulGaz (things like selecting power ups, course changes, etc…).

      I mean, nothing excuses the fiasco of the end screenshot selection. But most other things are mostly OK.

    • Russell

      What I am doing wrong then? Even picking a route is a project of swiping multiple times only to have it overshoot my target. This is before things have become sweaty.

      I’m not the only one. There is a two year thread on this problem on the zwift forums:

      link to forums.zwift.com

    • That’s true, I’ll give you that – the route picker UI is annoying too. I guess I rarely actually pick routes. I’m either doing a group ride or testing something on Watopia’s Titan’s Grove route so frequently that it’s always there for me. 🙂

    • Renato Nardello

      Unfortunately, Swift’s UI is so pathetic that even if you always and only ride Titan’s Grove you have at least to change the Zwift World: Watopia is never the default one.
      As for the remote, not sure whose idea was it to put glass on it… (genius Apple designers, snort)

  7. BWC

    Any advice for navigating zwift menus using apple tv remote? Is there a trick? It’s a terrible experience.

    • Dan

      You could try going to the Settings on the AppleTV and turning down sensitivity.
      I don’t know exactly where it is, but it does help.

    • Neil Jones

      There’s a video somewhere on YouTube of tips and tricks for using the Apple TV remote with Zwift. Not sure if it was one of GPLama’s or just he linked to it, but it’s got some really good stuff in it that makes the experience *slightly* less painful (though still no way to turn off that damn music on the Zwift home screen!). Sorry I can’t find it right now to provide a link, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to find.

    • It’s this one from Tariq (SmartBikeTrainers) – it’s awesome and one of my favorite videos. Even as a huge Apple TV user, I learned a few things there: link to youtube.com

      Another thing I learned just this morning in fact, is that if you also use the Apple TV remote on your iPhone (the native iOS built-in one from the controls center), it’ll control volume on your Apple TV using your iPhone volume buttons. However, that didn’t work for me. But what I learned this morning was that you have to specifically plug the HDMI cable into the port labeled ‘ARC’ on your TV for this to work.

    • BWC

      Thanks for the advice everyone. I’ll watch and give it a try.

  8. Al B

    And just like that I’ve ordered one. Never know it existed or that I’d need one. Just like the flat chargers for my garmin watch. ?

  9. Bruce Burkhalter

    I am really curious to see what Apple does with the remote on the next version of Apple TV. It is so disliked, similar to the hockey puck mouse on the original iMac. The Apple TV 4K was released over 3 years ago so you would think a new one would be out soon. And maybe a streaming stick to compete with Roku.

  10. Chris

    Do you have any recommendations for recording and/or streaming Zwift where Zwift is running on AppleTV?

    • For recording of Apple TV and Zwift I use this Elgato external box: link to amzn.to

      It’s super overkill for most uses, but for me, I’m prioritizing not having to deal with secondary compturs and setup. So I just ensure an SD card is in there, and then tap record and I’m ready. Hugely speeds up my workflow.

      Previously (and still occasionally for streaming), I’ll use the Camlink’s instead: link to amzn.to

      End-result is the same, except you just need a computer attached to it.

    • Chris

      Thanks – bit pricey for what I need to the first option is exactly what I was looking for (saves setting up PC/screen or moving/setting up laptop each time).

  11. CapeHorn

    Australia Tax is real
    Under your accessories list, you talk about your $12 Fans.
    With the link to Amazon charging $249AUD (currently ~194USD)

    • Nah, just a bad Amazon global conversion. It’s $53AUS on Amazon Australia right now: link to amazon.com.au

      Typically Amazon handles conversions automatically, but sometimes the SKU’s don’t match-up and I have to manually overrides on the site here that manually map the different Amazon SKU’s for each Amazon country. I tend to do manual overrides for the most popular products, but with about 1,549 Amazon products currently tracked in the DCR backend database, and 11 Amazon counties – that’s 17,039 manual links to check/fix/etc. Regrettably, I lack minions to do that. 🙂

      Nonetheless, I’ve just added an override for Amazon Australia and that fan. 🙂

  12. Andrew Linquist

    I still prefer sticking an adhesive Garmin mount to the back of the remote and attaching it to my stem or an out front mount. I feel like this eliminates many of my errors with the remote because it’s locked in place and I can more easily navigate and only hit the right buttons.

  13. Eric Holmes

    Nice but, Can anyone tell us more about the replacement remotes? Something that won’t make me want to throw the remote out into the snow when trying to use the Apple touch pad inadvertently screwing up ftp settings while trying to select your workout?

  14. Sam

    Ray what’s the main difference between the RAD Cycle table that you reviewed before vs the Vinsetto that comes up when I click one of the links here. It says RAD but reverts to Vinsetto on Amazon which is $117 while the RAD must have went up on price to $159. I remember you mentioning less than half the Wahoo table which is $250.

    • Zero difference. It’s literally just another re-brand. I think I’ve compiled like 15 or so brands in total that it’s sold under.

      I try and update the link every few days to whichever one is in-stock. As you noticed, the RAD desk went out of stock, so 3rd party sellers spike the price to $159 (it was $300 yesterday). Whereas the Vinsetto is the in-stock du jour, so I tweak it to that one. I’ve got a full list of all the different brands it’s sold under in my review too, though I’m sure I’m missing some. I just found two other brands yesterday.

      Review: link to dcrainmaker.com

  15. jon Marsden

    I had hoped i found a solution to the apple remote with the function 101 remote (link to function101.com) this is an IR remote. Not only was it a more standard style remote type, With apple TV only having two spare bluetooth channels, it would have freed up a third bluetooth channel for the steering (the other two taken up with the HRM and trainer) so i didn’t have to use the companion app for the connection.
    Unfortunately the remote doesn’t seem to work in game, yet. Maybe its just a case that the app software doesn’t support IR remotes and it could be ‘a nice to have’ in a future release.

    P.s. if you need help reviewing the zwift beers then i’m happy to help

  16. John

    Great info!

  17. Marco

    No one uses the Apple TV Remote which is built-in in iPhone or iPad!? I use it all the time, since I have the iPhone next to me for the Zwift Companion App.

  18. Brian Kelleher

    Ray, Always great reviews and helpful tips. Do you have a video on how best to use apple TV and linking to an ipad for dummies. I just use share screen on my iphone, but would I would like to explore the features of how to and why and benefits of the remote vs hitting the ipad?

  19. Mike

    Also available on AliExpress for a quarter of the price (including shipping).

  20. Pete Parfitt

    To be fair I also bought one of these after smashing the gorilla glass on the Apple remote. My ATV is in the garage/gym which is shared with the rest of the family so I’m blaming one of my kids for breaking it.

  21. Jason Tijsseling

    I 3D printed a solution to hold the remote and my phone. sleeve for the remote has quarter turn mount and the other one can be glued or Velcroed to an old phone case to use while riding.

  22. Sorry don’t mean to seem spammy here, but along the lines of AppleTV condoms – the StreamerTail is a life changer. It’s a silicone jacket for the remote with about a 2ft long silicone “tail.” Never again will we lose the damn AppleTV remote in the couch! Somehow it’s not presently in stock or available on Amazon, but a just a tip for anyone with kids who always lose the frickin’ remote.

  23. Marshall Sokoloff

    A little two sided tape on the back of the remote keeps it snug in the case.

    Seriously, that remote is the worst thing apple has made, and I’m even including their ridiculous “magic mouse(s). The interface on the rest of the Apple TV is pretty awful too. And the BT sucks. But I digress.

  24. Alex

    Why does this guy store his ATV remote on his bike? He gonna ride with his ATV remote while ATV is at home? Ridiculous.

    • “Why does this guy store his ATV remote on his bike? He gonna ride with his ATV remote while ATV is at home? Ridiculous.”

      Coming next from Alex:

      “Why does this guy store his water bottle on his bike? He gonna ride with his water bottle while at home? Ridiculous.”

      I’m always curious about these sorts of comments:

      1) Why does someone say ‘this guy’? Like, it’s just me. It literally shows my picture on the side bar, my name, everything. ‘You’ would be the correct term.
      2) How does one manage to go through an entire post like this and inexplicably not understand that it’s for a cycling app on Apple TV?

      Signed,
      This Guy

  25. Mike

    Ray – I’d be keen to track down the EU equivalent of the Lasko fan (I’m in DK but order through Amazon.de), but failing to find the link…Maybe I need a grown-up to help me navigate the internet? Would be sad if it were true, being a 51 year old ….sigh…..Thanks

  26. Gary Jones

    Just ordered the remote cover for the pain cave. Have a similar one w/o the lanyard in the living room. Re the tables…my trainer is set up in the cave in front of a big screen TV. Right now the remote and iPhone are on top of a roll of paper towels, on top of a weight bench next to the bike. Looked at the tables you’ve reviewed, looked at a tripod table that is waaay cheaper and I thought “I have a tripod. I just need a topper to hold the remote, etc.” Looked online and sure enough there are media tray attachments for tripods that people use to support projectors, etc. Just ordered one for less than $20. The brand is Neewer and comes in two sizes. Thanks for all your great reviews!

  27. Steve Smith

    Arg!!! I bought the new Apple 4K TV 64GB with new remote JUST for Zwift and the D pad controls don’t work with it!!!! You still need to use the mini track pad. While it seems a bit more responsive it still sucks!!! WTF! I hope Zwift (or Apple) put out an update to change it. So disappointed. The new remote is awesome otherwise.

    • Erick

      Hi Steve, I have the same experience. I purchased a 3rd party remote from Amazon and the d pad (analog clickable navigation controls) did not work with the Zwift app on Apple TV. Then I purchased the newest Apple TV Siri remote and the d pad doesn’t work with Zwift app either…only the swipe pad allows me to navigate around Zwift. After speaking with Apple Tech Support, they informed me that Zwift most likely developed the app to work with only the remote’s swipe feature and they have not yet been updated the app to accept the d pad navigation. So I’m taking away from this that Zwift will have to make an update to the app which I would suspect will happen one day. I hope this helps.