Fitbits come with a host of useful features, but you’d be surprised at how versatile the Smart Track technology is. It can even track activities like your bicycle if you know how to set it up.
If you’re asking yourself, ‘can I track cycling on my Fitbit,’ then I have good news. Read on, and I’ll explain all about how it works so you can track your rides with no trouble.
Older Fitbit models can track your cycling using SmartTrack technology; however, it doesn’t track automatically. You need to create an activity log and enter the information under activities. Newer Fitbit models, like the Fitbit Charge 5, can connect to GPS and log your ride through the device itself or a linked smartphone with GPS capabilities.
To see all of my up-to-date recommendations for bikes and cycling gear, check out this resource that I made for you!
How Does Fitbit Track Cycling
When you take a step and swing your arms normally, your Fitbit tracks that as walking.
Sadly, it’s a flawed system that can also count clapping and other non-walking activities as a ‘step,’ but the tech is getting better all the time, and you can easily remove non-steps.
So How does Fitbit track cycling?
The simple answer is that these are complex devices with a lot of integrated technology.
They can use GPS and other data, but that’s not the same as tracking a ‘step.’
Some people tie a Fitbit to their shoelaces or put it on their ankle to log cycling as steps, but this isn’t accurate.
However, when you log activities such as bicycle riding, the Fitbit knows what to look for.
Below are the markers Fitbit uses to calculate cycling.
- Average Speed – This takes into account your speed over time rather than each second.
- Burned Calories – How much energy you use depends on your effort and general fitness level.
- Distance – Distance is how far you travel, so this is not a factor on indoor bikes.
- Duration – The length of time you spend on an activity is duration.
- Heart Rate – Your heart rate is a good indication of how much exercise you’re getting and can help determine how many calories you’re burning when combined with other information like your weight.
Does Fitbit Automatically Track Cycling
A Fitbit does not automatically track cycling. However, it can connect to GPS either through the device itself or a linked smartphone and track your distance, speed, and duration.
According to the Fitbit Community, “There are some apps that you can link to your Fitbit account and get better control of your activities. You can link your Fitbit account with Strava. Your activities from Fitbit will be shown in Strava, and your runs and rides from Strava will appear on Fitbit.”
How Do I Get My Fitbit To Track Cycling
For cycling, you need to enter your activity manually. Generally, you can go into your Log setting from the dashboard. From there, you select Activities and input your bike riding as a unique event.
While this doesn’t count the same way as steps, it is a part of a healthy overall fitness regimen. You can also opt to connect an app like the one I mentioned above that will do the work for you.
However, I’ve laid out the manual input steps for four popular models below.
How To Track Cycling On Fitbit Charge 4
There are two ways to track cycling on your Charge 4. First, for indoor cycling, you need to go to “Exercise” and scroll/swipe until you see ‘Spinning.’
Choose this option and then click when you start. Don’t forget to click again when you stop.
Second, you don’t need to do anything at all for outdoor cycling. The Charge 4 automatically tracks you by GPS.
However, if you want your mileage recorder, you still need to enter the exercise menu manually.
How To Track Cycling On Fitbit Charge 3
Tracking an exercise, cycling included, is easy on the Charge 3. However, this model does not have an internal GPS, so you need to ensure your phone is connected.
This model vibrates and displays ‘connected’ on the top left when the GPS is working.
Below I’ve created a quick list to show you all the steps to track your ride on a Fitbit Charge 3.
- Open the Exercise app.
- Swipe left to find Spinning or Cycling.
- Tap to select it.
- Press start to begin or Set Goal to choose a calorie, distance, or time goal.
- Use the play icon to track your exercise. 6. When you’re done with your workout or want to pause, press the button.
- Press Finish when you’re done.
- You can also swipe up to see a workout summary.
How To Track Bike Ride On Fitbit Versa 3
The process for tracking cycling on a Versa 3 is a little different.
According to the Fitbit site, “…in order to track your cycling activity and its distance, go to the Fitbit app and tap on Account > Versa > Exercise Shortcuts and check that “Bike” is already added to the shortcuts. If not, tap on Edit at the top of the screen and remove 1 shortcut. This will give you the chance to add another, select Bike. After that, tap on Bike and adjust its settings. Finally, sync your Versa for the changes to be applied.”
Once you’ve got ‘bike’ as a shortcut, you should be able to select it from the exercise screen.
How To Track Bike Ride On Fitbit Versa 2
Tracking your bike ride on a Fitbit Versa 2 is precisely the same as on the Versa 3.
However, it’s worth noting that the stats you track are customizable.
You can change what you are keeping track of by going to your Fitbit app and adjusting your preferences.
Best Fitbit For Cycling
- Optimize your workout routine with a Daily Readiness Score that reveals if you’re ready to exercise or should focus on recovery (Requires Fitbit Premium membership).
- Get a daily Stress Management Score showing your body’s response to stress and take steps to improve your levels with an on-wrist EDA sensor mindfulness session. Band Size:Sm: Fits wrist 5.1"- 6.7" . Lrg: Fits wrist 6.7" - 8.3" in circumference
- Track your heart health with high & low heart rate notifications and a compatible ECG app (The Fitbit ECG app is available in select countries. Not intended for use by people under 22 years old.)
- With the Health Metrics dashboard, track SpO2, heart rate variability, skin temperature variation and more (Not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and should not be relied on for any medical purposes.)
- See your real-time pace & distance without your phone using built-in GPS during outdoor activity, then see a map of your workout route in the Fitbit app
The best Fitbit for Cycling is the Fitbit Charge 5 from Amazon. This is the most up-to-date and advanced model with the best features.
You’ll love how easy it is to integrate an app for logging your cycling and other fitness activities.
The touch screen is now two times brighter in daylight than the Charge 4, so you can easily see the information you need.
The Charge 5 has built-in GPS, so you don’t need your phone to track your outdoor activities.
Have this outstanding Fitbit shipped o your door by clicking right here.
Helpful Tips To Know About Tracking Cycling On A Fitbit
Although it may take a moment to log your activity, tracking cycling on a Fitbit isn’t tricky. As you can see, it’s just an app download or a few taps away.
Here are some more helpful tips to know about tracking cycling on a Fitbit.
- Most current Fitbit models require an Apple iOS 13.4 or higher or Android 10 or higher model phone to integrate smoothly.
- If you are still confused about how to track cycling on a Fitbit, I recommend checking out this videofrom Hoohoohoblin. They walk you through the steps and show you how it works on a Fitbit screen.
- It’s important to know that different models of Fitbits may have varying terms for bicycling. Look out for cycling, bike, bicycling, spin, spinning, and bike riding as possible options on your exercise screen.
Although your Fitbit won’t log cycling time as ‘steps,’ it still counts in your overall fitness routine.
It’s essential to keep track accurately because these smartwatches do a lot more than a pedometer.
A Fitbit will help track your sleep patterns, monitor your heart rate 24/7, and even keep an eye on your stress responses so you can be your healthiest self more easily.
Whether you connect to GPS via your smartphone or your Fitbit has it built-in, don’t forget to log your cycling time.