Sunday, 15 December 2013

fitbit and cycling

Around Chelsea
I'm about to go cycling, and thought I'd try an experiment with fitbit to see how it compares with cycle usage.

I've been using fitbit for a while but never bothered to check accurately what it does if I use it when on a bike. I've always surmised that it counts each pedal revolution as a step (which seems fair to me), so today I'll actually measure it properly.

Mine is the fitbit One, which is the small version that can go in a pocket rather than something on a wristband, which I consider to be rather too obvious. The Nike systems all use wristbands, but I'm not sure that I want to walk around lit like the festive season all year.

My fitbit is at 5,137 steps and 2.37 miles walked today so far. I'll check it again when I actually start cycling and again when I finish. Then I can link it to the number of pedal cycles I've done, based upon my Garmin read-out.
Update to follow...

So my revised fitbit count after the bike ride is 12547. And the number of pedal rotations was 6,870 according to Garmin Connect. There's about 212 steps unaccounted for, which is me faffing around to get the bike ready and also a short false start when I reset the Garmin after about a minute. Close enough.
So, I'll conclude that the fitbit is counting pedal rotations quite accurately.

The mileage is way off compared with the amount I travelled, but I don't really care about that, which I can pick up on Garmin. It's just useful to have a fitbit count that includes a representation of cycling time. I'm also much happier to have a low count for mileage compared with my actual cycling (more than 20 miles) which could otherwise be construed as cheating.

I'll still use the Garmin for calories etc, but it's good to know that the fitbit and Garmin are consistent.


Lady Banana said...

I borrowed a fitbit the other day, was pleased that I beat that persons personal goal :)

rashbre said...

Lady Banana Yes it's quite satisfying, and a little bit addictive.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I've never heard of a Fitbit.....but I assume it is a "counter" for walking....How you know how to male it work for cycling, is beyond my little Pea You are a Wizard!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I forgot to say, I LOVE that picture of all the bikes....!

Nikki-ann said...

I've got a FitBit One too, though I must admit I haven't used it much these past couple of weeks.

Do you ever use it to monitor your sleep pattern? I've found that side of it quite interesting.

Doris said...

More points for you Rashbre! This time for geekiness - did you actually create a table to show your results. LOL brilliant ;-)

I've never heard of a fitbit. Good to hear it is pretty accurate.

rashbre said...

Naomi Yes, you are quite right about the fitbit. The bikes like the ones in the picture are a common sight around London since their introduction a couple of years ago.

Many Londoners will have a sort of dongle to access them for rides of up to 30 minutes with no extra charge. Tourists can use them with a credit card.

rashbre said...

Nikki-ann I've used it for mainly daytime, but when I have monitored my sleep it shows I mainly sleep the sleep of the just.

rashbre said...

Doris As geek is a word of the year at the moment, I'll happily take the label. I know the spreadsheet was probably excessive, but I'm thinking that this can be a good reference post for others wondering about fitbit and cycling.

Robert Stanford said...

Hi Rashbre, I cycle regularly with my fitbit one clipped to my pocket and it records activity but no steps. Where did you put your Fitbit?

rashbre said...

Robert It's the Fitbit One.

I usually put it in a low pocket or clip it at 'short's length' onto one leg. That way there is enough movement for it to register. I find it it doesn't work so well clipped at waist level when on a bike.

I guess it would also work if clipped to a sock or shoe for cycling, although I've not tried that (yet).

It also shows up at one of the higher activity levels (green mostly) on the fitbit dashboard, which is also useful and feels kind of correct.