Why Does Cycling Not Count As Steps? 4 Trusted Ways To Convert

Why Does Cycling Not Count As Steps_ 4 Trusted Ways To Convert

Walking, running and cycling are three of the most popular activities used in fitness trackers. But why does cycling not count as steps? Find out here!



Why does cycling not count as steps? You may be surprised to learn that cycling does not count this way.

Many people believe that because they are pedaling, their step counter registers the motion and counts them as having taken steps.

However, this is not the case.

Technically, a step only counts if your feet leave the ground and you push off with them to move forward. If you sit on your bike and pedal, your step counter will not register the correct motion.

Can Cycling Count As Steps?

Why Does Cycling Not Count As Steps_ 4 Trusted Ways To Convert

Why Does Cycling Not Count As Steps_4 Trusted Ways To Convert

In short, the answer is no. But there are conversion methods that you can use to keep track of your steps.

Though the methods may differ in terms of accuracy, they can still provide you with a ballpark estimate of how many steps you've taken.

Why Does Cycling Not Count As Steps?

The Main Reason

There are many types of pedometers used to track steps. And the placement of these instruments varies from one person to the next. Some people prefer to put their step counters around their waist.

Others put them on their wrist. And some pedometers are designed to be attached to your ankle or shoe.

Now, why does cycling not count as steps? The problem is, when you're biking, any other step counters different from the foot pedometer will have a hard time calculating your steps.

The Main Reason Why Does Cycling Not Count As Steps_

The Main Reason Why Does Cycling Not Count As Steps is…

It's because wrist pedometers like Apple Watches and Fitbits register steps based on the movements of your arms, for example.

But not even the foot pedometers can record an accurate number of steps because the only way a step counts as valuable is to push off the ground with your feet to move forward.

Related post:

Does Cycling Count Towards Steps On Fitbit?

Fitbit does a great job in tracking your biking but it won’t show your steps

Fitbit does a great job in tracking your biking but it won’t show your steps

You've probably heard of Fitbits before. They are for recording your steps when you walk or run. But does cycling count as steps on Fitbit?Basically, it won’t show your steps. But it does a great job in tracking your biking. Let’s refer to this video for more understanding:

In terms of monitoring your health and keeping track of your fitness progress, Fitbits are excellent pedometers.

Since the motion of cycling is different from that of walking or running, a Fitbit device can only track distance, speed, calories, and heartbeat when you wear it on your wrist.

So, sadly, cycling does not count as steps on the pedometer.

Besides, an activity tracker like the Fitbit, Apple Watch, or Garmin can only monitor the steps based on the movement of your arm.

And because your arm is mostly motionless on the handlebars when biking, the tracker will not be able to record the number of steps you've taken.

Now, if you still want your steps counted, you can leave your Fitbit on Run Mode and let it register your steps naturally.

Note that it will not be accurate, and you might have to go cycling more than necessary to meet the daily goals.

Another way you can try is to convert your cycling data results into steps. For example, on average, you will get 10,000 steps if you bike for 1 hour at 10-12 mph (miles per hour). How did we get this number?

In the next section, we'll discuss conversion methods you can try to calculate your steps. The results may differ depending on which one you use. So read on to find out what works best for you.

How Do You Convert Cycling To Steps?

How Do You Convert Cycling To Steps_

You Should Know How To Convert Cycling To Steps

Use Kyle's Miles-to-Steps Converter

If you want a quick way to convert miles to steps, use Kyle's converter. Just put in the distance you have traveled in miles, and the converter will automatically provide you with the number of steps you’ve taken.

Each step equals 2.5 feet or 0.000473485 miles, assuming it is the stride length. Of course, this measurement will vary from person to person and may only be an approximation.

Manually Convert Biking Miles Into Steps

This method is similar to Kyle's converter, but you will have to do all the calculations by hand if you want accurate step counts.

We suggest you buy or use your measure tape to estimate your stride length. And once you've measured it, here is how to convert biking distance into steps:

Take the number of miles, divide it by your stride length (also in miles), and round up to the nearest whole number.

So if your stride length is 0.0004 miles and your biking distance is 6.5 miles, you will get approximately 16,250 steps.

Manually Convert Biking Time Into Steps

The results may be slightly different depending on which conversion chart you find, but the principle is the same—substitute your biking time and average steps per minute (SPM) in this formula:

Steps = (Average SPM * Minute)

According to ShareCare's conversion chart, an hour bike ride at 9 miles per hour (mph) is equivalent to about (121.2 steps/minutes * 60 minutes =) 7272 steps.

  • Low intensity, less than 10 mph — 121.2 spm
  • Moderate intensity, 11 – 13 mph — 242.4 spm
  • High intensity, 14 – 16 mph — 303.05 spm

Now, if you don't want to calculate your steps manually, just remember this rule of thumb: 1 hour of moderate-intensity biking will equal 10,000-14,000 step counts.

Put Your Pedometer On Run Mode & Attach It to Your Shoe/Ankle

This method can easily help you count your steps, but with a cost that you'll miss out on all the valuable data, like heart rate, speed, and calories, you'd obtain from cycling.

Keep in mind that attaching your Fitbit to your ankle when biking won't register the same steps you'd take when walking or running because it will capture a different type of motion.


Can You Use A Pedometer For Handcycling?

Definitely. Not only will handcycling count towards steps, but you also can collect data about your heart rate, speed, calories burned, and distance traveled.

Can You Use a Pedometer For Cycling?

Yes. But if you put your Fitbit on Run Mode during cycling, it won't register the steps accurately.

What Should I Do If My Fitbit Doesn't Register The Steps From Cycling?

Try using one of the conversion charts to calculate them manually instead. Or, if you don't want to do that, attach your Fitbit tracker to your shoe/ankle to start collecting the data from biking.

Is Cycling As Good As Walking?

They are both good for your heart and body. And the number of calories you burn while cycling and walking depends on how hard you work out.

But according to a Healthline article, biking tends to burn more calories than walking at the same intensity level in the same amount of time.

So if you're a busy person and don't like a high-impact aerobic activity like running, cycling is a great alternative that will keep you fit and healthy.

Related post:


Biking is a great way to get in shape and stay healthy, but why does cycling not count as steps? It's because biking doesn't count the same number of steps.

After all, it's different from walking or running. You can manually calculate your bike miles into estimated step counts with conversion charts available online.

Or, go straight to Kyle's converter to immediately find out how many steps you've taken. Either way, you can get the step counts you want using one of these methods.

Ridge Davis

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

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