Tracking Bike Rides With Your Fitbit

I believe in wearable health devices they do so much to help keep me on the right path helping me to balance my activities so that I can stay healthy. I couldn’t have lost weight, mastered my insomnia or kept track of my food or exercise without them. They are meant to be a tool in helping us get an idea of how we’re doing not a medical device but if used correctly they are very useful.

Recently I bought a Charge 2 Fitbit band and I love it. It gives active (during exercise) and resting heart rate, sleep stages (REM, deep sleep, etc.) it tracks diet, has a Relax (deep breathing) mode, gives you a Cardio Fitness Score and more. It’s put together well and easy to wear while sleeping.

Fitbit has a good community of users behind their products. They have many groups one can join to exchange information and share your ups and downs with on your journey to good health. One such group I joined was Cycling and it was clear that some of these people needed my help.

The first few times I tried tracking my rides on the Fitbit it was a trial and error period for sure. My Fitbit uses my phone’s GPS to track rides, meaning I need to have my phone with me to work and has a feature where it will automatically track cycling after so many minutes of riding. It sounds so simple but it wasn’t.

I was already using Mapmyride and Myfitnesspal so when buying my Fitbit I made sure the app connected and shared data with them. The food data worked flawlessly but the cycling was another story.

The first time I used Mapmyride everything was good until I synced the Fitbit app. The Fitbit mapped my ride, I couldn’t enlarge the map and the info was limited. The info from Mapmyride did not show up. The data had not exchanged and I was stuck with 2 different versions and maps of my bike ride in 2 different places. I wasn’t happy with that.

After some thought, I went into the Fitbit exercise tile and changed the bike ride setting to not track my rides automatically. So the next time I biked my Mapmyride data was right there under my exercise tile on the Fitbit app and I was thrilled.

Looking closer, I noticed something. It said that the data came from Myfitnesspal, not Mapmyride. Just to see I took Myfitnesspal out of the equation and sure enough, I was missing my cycling data again. So, if you don’t have Myfitnesspal connected even if you don’t use it, your data won’t show up like this.

Myfitnesspal is all about nutrition and how many calories you can eat for the day adding and subtracting calories from what you burn (or don’t) changing many times in a day.  I think because of this it’s more active in sharing data between Mapmyride and the Fitbit app so I’m thinking that’s why it works this way. It’s just a guess but if it’s not broken I’m not fixing it.

What does all this mean? If you have a Fitbit and cycle outdoors it’s very easy to get your ride turned into steps, see your normal ride stats and have it all show up under your exercise tile on the Fitbit app if you just follow these simple instructions. Also, many people talk about putting their Fitbit bands on their ankle, shoe or other places while biking. I don’t know what started this nonsense but you can keep your band on your wrist.

Get Your Cycling Data Here

  • download Mapmyride and Myfitnesspal
  • fill out the profiles on these apps
  • make sure all 3 apps are connected to each other
  • on the Fitbit app press the exercise tile
  • under the Exercise Goals settings, tell the Fitbit to IGNORE Outdoor Bike.

turnoffautoWhen IGNORED it will look like this (above)

Next Time You Bike

  • log your ride using Mapmyride
  • when finished, sync with the Fitbit app under the exercise tile
  • your workout will be on your Fitbit

20170601_101252

When finished and synced your ride will show up under your exercise tile like this (above)

Your maps will be stored on the Mapmyride app and site, they’re enlargeable and detailed unlike what the Fitbit offers alone. I can go and look up my past rides, log a ride I forgot, edit my workouts and much more than can be done on the Fitbit. All changes will be on the Fitbit after syncing.

If you want these results you must follow my instructions to the letter including using Myfitnesspal in the loop. I don’t use Strava, or other biking apps so if you do, experiment using them instead of Mapmyride. I’d be interested in the outcome if you do.

After riding my bike I can’t wait to pour over my statistics about my ride and find out how I did. The easier it is the better. Enjoy your rides!

My hope is this helps the many friends I’ve made in the Cycling Group on Fitbit. I have written these instructions too many times in comments on posts asking for help so this is a selfish attempt to save time and my hand from cramping.

For detailed info on what Mapmyride can do for you follow the link and read my post on what the free version can do for you.

You Got To Hit It To Get It!

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Author: Bekkie Sanchez

I'm a capricious poet that thirsts to write. I was brought into this world wanting to describe it and poetry chose me. I live to create, read and ride my bicycle. Music keeps me grounded. If you like my work it makes it all worthwhile.

6 thoughts on “Tracking Bike Rides With Your Fitbit”

  1. Hi, great post.
    I’m thiking about to get a fitbit charge 2 as well and use with map my Ride. I have a doubt. Fitbit shows the data during the bike Ride? I mean, distance and and ride time from map my Ride app? I’m giving up my Old pebble Classic because this feature is not available anymore. Thanks in advance!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, the Fitbit doesn’t show you detailed ride information that’s why I also use MapMyRide. A lot of people use Strava but Strava doesn’t have the option to hear your stats out loud while riding. I love that feature! You set how often you want to hear them and you don’t have to look at your phone or bike computer. I can hear (out loud) my average speed, the time, whether it’s paused or not, how many calories I’m burning and more depending.

      As you can see (above) by using this method it will pass the info to your Fitbit like it was supposed to do but your detailed ride stats stay on MapMyRide (which I think is a good thing.) You MUST include MyFitnessPal in the loop or it doesn’t work. For some reason, that’s the way the Fitbit reads things. Maybe that will change in the future?

      I’ve been mapping and riding this way for 2 years now and MapMyRide has kept every ride, maps and all. I think you’ll love your Charge 2 and it’s smaller than the Iconic. The Iconic is the newest wearable from Fitbit and I still think (for the money) the Charge 2 is better and it’s on sale now.

      Keep me posted and if you have any more questions let me know! I’m so happy you asked.

      Like

      1. Hi Bekkie.
        Thanks for your answer.
        So, that I was wondering: Fitbit Charge 2 does not show on the watch screen. For me would be better to see not listen the stats. But it´s ok, I still want to gbuy a Charge 2 as well. I think will be a good replacement for my Pebble Classic. Thanks for sharing your experience, I appreciate that! Cheers from Brazil. Regards!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. What do you mean the Charge 2 does not show on the watch screen? It does have a clock screen (some models don’t) with different faces.

          Or do you mean, you can’t see your ride stats or maps on the watch screen? If so, that’s true. With the Iconic, you could. But do you really want to spend the extra money when you can look at your phone for that anyway?

          You can disable the voice feedback on the MapMyRide app no problem it’s customizable.

          Happy you came by! If I can ever help again I’m here. I love Brazil! Cheers!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I mean, I can’t see your ride stats or maps on the watch screen, that’s I was talking about. My Pebble Classic used to have this feature, to show the ride stats on the screen. Unfortunately map my ride removed the support. So, I started to look for another watch or HR monitor to do the same thing. But it’s ok, I’m now considering to buy a fitbit to measure my health as well. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

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