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?

  • 1
    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, 2014 at 17:07
  • Google Fit seems to do a better job, but I'm willing to bet it is pulling GPS data in to read speed.
    – BPugh
    Apr 22, 2016 at 17:54

7 Answers 7


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.


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.


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.


I put on a pair of socks, slip my Vivofit 2 inside the sock and wrap around my ankle. It doesn't move and I walk around or ride my bike and it counts everything!

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    Does it have a setting for "ride" or does it just think you're running really fast ?
    – Criggie
    May 6, 2016 at 8:17

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.


  • Do you have any alternative link ? Jun 15, 2016 at 15:48

If I'm going on longer bicycle ride, I simply put my Vivofit around ankle and secure it with sock. I know that it inst accurate, but at least it record some "steps" :)



I wear it on my thigh, under my workout pants, when I take spin classes. Works well.

  • 1
    That's a good idea but the answer is rather short and risks deletion. Could you use the Edit link to expand this answer to a full paragraph? Why your thigh not your ankle? How is the band long enough to go around a thigh, or do you just tuck it into a pocket? Consider reading the Tour under the Help menu to learn how SE works.
    – Criggie
    Apr 23, 2016 at 0:01

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