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Is there a way to make simple activity tracking wristbands like the fitbit work more accurately during a bike ride. Currently I wear the wristband on my wrist, but the rides tend to read like barely any exercise is occurring during these sessions. I believe these devices act more like a pedometer. Would wearing them on an ankle be more accurate?

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No this is not possible at present, there is currently very little cross-compatibility. Note though that Garmin have a device to compete with Fitbit - called Vivofit - so possibly they are moving towards a single device (as Garmin have a range of sophisticated bike computers). I was given a Vivofit and the only thing that it integrates with right now is an HRM. However the fact that it uses ANT+ opens up possibilities for future devices. But I'll frequently go out on an 80km ride, and the Vivofit moans that I'm lazy! –  PeteH May 27 '14 at 17:07

4 Answers 4

I have found that they either tend to over record or totally under record- depending on the type of surface that I am cycling on. I have found the best is just to add the activity manually on their website with the distance/time.

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A decent amount of bike computers have bluetooth or ANT+ on them, which you can connect to your phone or whatever and read out (as a work around). Apps like runkeeper can also track distance based on GPS roughly.

To quote the fitbit people:

"All Fitbit trackers are optimized for walking, running, and general household and lifestyle activities.

It will not be as accurate for activities like biking, but will record steps if you wear your tracker.

For increased accuracy, go to http://www.fitbit.com/activities or click the "log activity" icon from your dashboard to manually log activities like cycling. This will allow for a more accurate estimated calorie burn to be included in your daily totals. Our online database of workouts makes it easy to save and access your favorite activities. For detailed information see How do I log or record an activity?"

Wearing on ankle may work better, but you'd need to check against a cycling computer or something to see how it works. Alternatively, just use something else like Runkeeper or a bluetooth/ant+ cycling computer or enter stuff from your cycling computer in manually after a ride.

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+1: for suggesting using the right tool for the job. –  mattnz May 27 '14 at 22:00

I use the Misfit Shine and it lets you specify the type of activity you are doing. You configure it so that it knows what type of activity you are going to do (cycling). I clip it to my sox and when you start cycling you have to tap it 3 times to tell it you are stating a ride.

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It runs aboout 3 - 4 months on a battery (2032) and I have accidently run it through the washer and dryer with no ill effects. It has a number of different ways to mount on your person.

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There seem to be a number of folks requesting Strava to integrate with fitbit directly, but it doesn't appear to be there yet.


From that page, somebody mentions Syncmetrics which might make syncing easier compared with manually entering the data into the fitbit site.


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