How Accurate Is Apple Watch Cycling? Is It As Precise As You Think?

How Accurate Is Apple Watch Cycling_ Is It As Precise As You Think_

Planning to get an Apple smartwatch as your biking’s companion? But how accurate is Apple Watch cycling? Can you trust the results it gives? Click on!

Apple Watch is one of the most favorable sidekicks of sporty people due to the variety of benefits it offers. In particular, this device is especially famous amongst the cyclist community.

Coming along with massive attention from the public is controversies regarding its quality. One of the most common questions related to this topic is “How accurate is Apple Watch cycling?”

How Accurate Is Apple Watch Cycling_ Is It As Precise As You Think_

How Accurate Is Apple Watch Cycling_ Is It As Precise As You Think

If you are also looking for the answer, read on this blog!

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How Accurate Is Apple Watch Cycling?

How Does Apple Watch Detect Cycling?

#1 Movement And Heart Rate

Have you ever questioned how this device measures your exercise minutes even if you haven’t chosen any workout mode yet? The secret lies in the ability to spot the user’s arm movement along with the increased heart rate.

From these two statistics, the smartwatch can recognize whether you are doing strenuous activity or not.

This device's spectacular features tell it apart from other mediocre smartwatches on the market. For instance, if you wear a low-grade watch for your workout, it will consider just your arm swing as your movement.

However, this exercise assessment method can result in an adverse effect, especially for casual cyclists.

Although your heart rate considerably increases when you ride your bike, the exercise measurement still remains the same. This situation happens because cyclists’ arms often stay on the handlebar for the whole route.

#2 Active Workouts

As you can see from above, this device can hardly automatically calculate the process of your cycling. On the contrary, you have to opt for active workouts, also known as outdoor and indoor cycling.

Once you finish informing your smart device on your wrist what you are going to do, it will get ready to assist you with the most precise results.

The smart sports device will understand that you will go for a bike ride, so it will modify its algorithms according to your cycling. Specifically, the cycling mode only detects and measures the increase in the heart rate of users to capture your cycling progress. Since you always place your arms on the handle, the device won’t notice the arm swing to calculate exercise minutes.

That’s not all. The watch’s algorithms are far superior to what you expect. This smart accessory can distinguish between idle rides and vigorous rides.

If you let your bike freely run down a hill without imposing force on it, the smartwatch will eliminate that route out of the exercise minutes. Hence, it would be best to constantly control your bike to get your results recorded by the Apple Watch.

#3 Special Workout

Apart from the measuring method used for cycling workouts, the Apple Watch applies GPS for the utmost efficiency.

#4 Automatically Starting Workouts

There is a tip for you not to miss your workout milestones. You should activate the Apple Watch’s automatic workout-start. By that, we mean the smart device will recognize your movements and suggest you pick an appropriate workout program with the activity.

Here is how to turn on this function on your Apple Watch:

  • Tap “Settings”
  • Choose the “Workout” section
  • Find the “Start Workout Reminder”
  • Then, tap the grey switch to turn the feature on

When your Apple Watch has this wonderful feature on, it can save any second of calculating your cycling times. Let’s take an example to give you exactly what will happen with “Start workout reminder”.

If you don’t activate this function, the smartwatch can still realize your cycling due to the accelerometer, motions, GPS, and heart rate metric.

However, in case the watch detects your cycling in the 6th minute of your route, it will start to give you the statistics from that 6th minute on. You will then lose track of what you have attained in the last 6 minutes.

On the contrary, when your device has the “Start workout reminder” feature, it can still give you all the records of your cycling in 6 minutes.

Common Issues

#1 Indoor Workouts Detection

Since you use your Apple Watch indoors, it can’t get the most optimal signal from GPS or altimeter. For this reason, you can’t know exactly the kilometers you have covered and the calories you have burnt so far.

The heart rate is the most precise information your Apple Watch can provide you with in the Indoor Cycling mode.

#2 Outdoor Workouts Automatic Detection

Apple Watch users have reported a common bug in their smartwatches. Although the watch can record your cycling progress, it can’t add your achieved results into the green one among the activity rings, also known as the green exercise ring.

What’s more, some cyclists state that their Apple Watch models don’t track their practice via GPS. The GPS in the outdoor cycling model is always unavailable, no matter how many times they reset the location services.

How Accurate Is Apple Watch Cycling - You keep going on your bike route

You keep going on your bike route

There is another minor problem with this device in cycling mode. It can automatically stop counting when you have an interval. However, it won’t continue counting even when you keep going on your bike route.

Troubleshoot Common Issues

There are three most remarkable methods you can choose to deal with the problems above:

  1. Activate the “Location Service”.
  2. Activate the “Motion calibration and distance”.
  3. Choose the “Workouts” label, and tap the “Outdoor cycle” by yourself.

How Accurate The Device Is?

We can affirm that the Apple Watch is accurate, but it is not 100% reliable in calorie calculation and kilometers analyzing for cyclists.  Yet, the minor disadvantage is tolerable because the portion of the false calculation is insignificant.

For example, if you use your Apple Watch for outdoor rides, the GPS will be in better signal condition than inside your place, so the watch can display more precise kilometers covered.

What’s more, the smartwatch can only calculate your burnt calories based on the heart rate measurement. The estimated results can’t be as accurate as it actually is.

How Accurate Is Apple Watch Cycling - Apple Watches can be suitable for both indoor workouts and outdoor cycling

Apple Watches can be suitable for both indoor workouts and outdoor cycling

In general, Apple Watches can be suitable for both indoor workouts and outdoor cycling, despite the unremarkable error. Now, we bet that you also find the answer to “Is Apple Watch outdoor cycling accurate?”

Are Apple Watches Good For Cycling? Why?

Can you use Apple Watch for cycling? Yes, of course. Among many smartwatches supporting fitness activities, especially cycling, Apple products are always one of the most noteworthy pieces. Let’s see why:

#1 The Autoride Detection

In the previous models or the watchOS, you can take advantage of this auto-detection feature in walking and running. Until the new software update, watchOS 8, cyclists also benefited from this function to avoid missing any statistics of their transiting.

Whenever you start riding, the device can be recognized via GPS, heart rate, and accelerometer.

How Accurate Is Apple Watch Cycling - Apple Watch help you when cycling

Apple Watch help you when cycling

#2 Auto Pause-Auto Resume

It’s time-consuming when you have to manually pause your device during a slight rest, like stopping for a red light. Yet, this device can assist you in coping with this inconvenience by the Auto Pause and Auto Resume Features.

#3 Appropriate With e-Bikers

Cyclists opting for e-Bikes can now be secured with the newly updated algorithm of watchOS 8. GPS and heart rate can detect whether you are riding with a pedal-assist or your own legs.

#4 Fall Detection

Apple shows its care for the utmost safety of users by integrating the Fall Detection feature on their smartwatches. Unfortunately, if you fall from your bike, the device will make the emergency call to a pre-set phone number or the emergency services.

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So, how accurate is Apple watch cycling? – It is not flawless, but the measurement is nearly close to the exact figure.

Undoubtedly, Apple Watches are always on the top list of the best smartwatches for cycling. Now, you can decide to pick it for your training or not.

Ridge Davis

Ridgid Fitness represents the synthesis of Ridge Davis's career experiences in fitness and sports.

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