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Trainer/stationary bike miles

Old 07-20-23, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
No, a car's odometer does not measure miles driven; it extrapolates miles driven by measuring rotations of the wheel.
Put your car on jack stands in drive, and let your odometer extrapolate 100,000 miles.
Then bring your car to a dealership and ask for warranty work, since it really didn't go anywhere. See if your logic works with the manufacturer. (Hint - it won't)
When riding in Zwift, the rotations of my wheel get extrapolated to miles covered.
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Old 07-20-23, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
Put your car on jack stands in drive, and let your odometer extrapolate 100,000 miles.
Then bring your car to a dealership and ask for warranty work, since it really didn't go anywhere. See if your logic works with the manufacturer. (Hint - it won't)
When riding in Zwift, the rotations of my wheel get extrapolated to miles covered.
Put your stationary bike on a Zwift route. Turn the pedals until Zwift extrapolates that you've gone 1 mile. Look around; you're still in your living room. You haven't gone anywhere, you haven't covered any distance. You've gone zero miles. Zwift has deluded you if you believe otherwise.

This isn't rocket science: No one is denying that you've gotten a workout on your stationary bike. No one is claiming that you didn't derive some benefit from sitting on the trainer for however many hours you did. But you didn't go anywhere, didn't cover any distance, you remained in one spot for the entire duration of your Zwift session. And so "miles" is not the correct metric to measure whatever it is you're logging from that session.
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Old 07-20-23, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
Put your stationary bike on a Zwift route. Turn the pedals until Zwift extrapolates that you've gone 1 mile. Look around; you're still in your living room. You haven't gone anywhere, you haven't covered any distance. You've gone zero miles. Zwift has deluded you if you believe otherwise.

This isn't rocket science: No one is denying that you've gotten a workout on your stationary bike. No one is claiming that you didn't derive some benefit from sitting on the trainer for however many hours you did. But you didn't go anywhere, didn't cover any distance, you remained in one spot for the entire duration of your Zwift session. And so "miles" is not the correct metric to measure whatever it is you're logging from that session.
Meh. You do it your way. I'll do it mine. My numbers really only matter to me, anyway.
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Old 07-21-23, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
Put your stationary bike on a Zwift route. Turn the pedals until Zwift extrapolates that you've gone 1 mile. Look around; you're still in your living room. You haven't gone anywhere, you haven't covered any distance. You've gone zero miles. Zwift has deluded you if you believe otherwise.

This isn't rocket science: No one is denying that you've gotten a workout on your stationary bike. No one is claiming that you didn't derive some benefit from sitting on the trainer for however many hours you did. But you didn't go anywhere, didn't cover any distance, you remained in one spot for the entire duration of your Zwift session. And so "miles" is not the correct metric to measure whatever it is you're logging from that session.
Actually, I covered a lot more miles than you think.
"The earth rotates once every 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.09053 seconds, called the sidereal period, and its circumference is roughly 40,075 kilometers. Thus, the surface of the earth at the equator moves at a speed of 460 meters per second--or roughly 1,000 miles per hour."
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Old 07-21-23, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
Put your stationary bike on a Zwift route. Turn the pedals until Zwift extrapolates that you've gone 1 mile. Look around; you're still in your living room. You haven't gone anywhere, you haven't covered any distance. You've gone zero miles. Zwift has deluded you if you believe otherwise.

This isn't rocket science: No one is denying that you've gotten a workout on your stationary bike. No one is claiming that you didn't derive some benefit from sitting on the trainer for however many hours you did. But you didn't go anywhere, didn't cover any distance, you remained in one spot for the entire duration of your Zwift session. And so "miles" is not the correct metric to measure whatever it is you're logging from that session.
Can I say that I did 20 miles worth of time?
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Old 07-21-23, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
Actually, I covered a lot more miles than you think.
"The earth rotates once every 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.09053 seconds, called the sidereal period, and its circumference is roughly 40,075 kilometers. Thus, the surface of the earth at the equator moves at a speed of 460 meters per second--or roughly 1,000 miles per hour."
You do that in your La-Z-Boy recliner too, are you logging those "miles" in Strava?
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Old 07-21-23, 06:22 PM
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Things are such a mix for me now, with walking, running, resistance work and cycling. I just go by active (exercise) minutes and heart rate to track overall volume and the hard/easy mix. But then Iím just after maintaining strength and fitness.

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Old 07-24-23, 11:25 AM
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If you are using Strava, you could put your stationary trainer extrapolated miles in the Cycle Sports E-bike category since nobody includes those as miles ridden.
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Old 07-25-23, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
Put your stationary bike on a Zwift route. Turn the pedals until Zwift extrapolates that you've gone 1 mile. Look around; you're still in your living room. You haven't gone anywhere, you haven't covered any distance. You've gone zero miles. Zwift has deluded you if you believe otherwise.

This isn't rocket science: No one is denying that you've gotten a workout on your stationary bike. No one is claiming that you didn't derive some benefit from sitting on the trainer for however many hours you did. But you didn't go anywhere, didn't cover any distance, you remained in one spot for the entire duration of your Zwift session. And so "miles" is not the correct metric to measure whatever it is you're logging from that session.
Why do you log miles out on the road? Probably to see how much riding you did right? Maybe to compare against previous years or whatever.

If you ride on Zwift you would probably want to know your virtual mileage for exactly the same reasons. So why would you not log it?

Same with other metrics like climbing elevation. Whether they are real or simulated, the effort required is much the same.

You could keep separate logs of real and virtual mileage/elevation, but I just lump them all together. It doesn't matter either way.
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Old 07-25-23, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Why do you log miles out on the road? Probably to see how much riding you did right?
I log miles because I want to know how far I've gone...partially to compare to previous years, partially as a sense of accomplishment, partially because Going Places and Getting Out Of The House is one of the inate joys of cycling for me, and of course partially for bragging rights in BikeForum's end-of-year Annual Pissing Contest... but mostly so I can keep tabs on bike maintenance & consumables. I like data that supports "yowza, I rode over 800 miles last month, I'd better check my tires and chain!" since it's a handy reminder.


Originally Posted by PeteHski
If you ride on Zwift you would probably want to know your virtual mileage for exactly the same reasons. So why would you not log it?

Same with other metrics like climbing elevation. Whether they are real or simulated, the effort required is much the same.
No one is suggesting you don't log your time on Zwift. Or, even better, log your watts-per-hour if "effort" (aka "work") is what you're trying to measure.
But "Miles" are a measure of distance, not "effort".
My beef with the whole Should I Log My Trainer Miles [sic]? question is purely semantic; that's the wrong word to describe what you are doing.
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Old 07-25-23, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
I log miles because I want to know how far I've gone...partially to compare to previous years, partially as a sense of accomplishment, partially because Going Places and Getting Out Of The House is one of the inate joys of cycling for me, and of course partially for bragging rights in BikeForum's end-of-year Annual Pissing Contest... but mostly so I can keep tabs on bike maintenance & consumables. I like data that supports "yowza, I rode over 800 miles last month, I'd better check my tires and chain!" since it's a handy reminder.




No one is suggesting you don't log your time on Zwift. Or, even better, log your watts-per-hour if "effort" (aka "work") is what you're trying to measure.
But "Miles" are a measure of distance, not "effort".
My beef with the whole Should I Log My Trainer Miles [sic]? question is purely semantic; that's the wrong word to describe what you are doing.
You mean Watt hours, not Watts per hour. Yeah you could measure that, like nobody else does.

Things I routinely measure on Zwift:-

Virtual mileage
Virtual elevation gain
Average Power
Normalised Power
Elapsed Time
Moving Time

Basically all the same metrics I use on a road ride. What would be the point in using different metrics in training?
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Old 07-25-23, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
What would be the point in using different metrics in training?
Well there's the rub: if you are "training" then the metric you should be measuring isn't "miles" ...it's work.
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Old 07-25-23, 04:43 PM
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Trainers can be great for fitness. So can rowing, swimming, running, etc. Our group gives some recognition when riders go over 10,000 miles a year. Nothing big, just a banner and a photo op. I remember someone once fessed up to including trainer miles. Eyes rolled and I don't think anyone did that again. That said, I'd definitely keep track of the activity, separate from cycling miles.
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Old 07-25-23, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
Well there's the rub: if you are "training" then the metric you should be measuring isn't "miles" ...it's work.
Iím not limiting myself to a single metric. Most of my target events are of a certain distance, usually around 100 miles, so it is useful to know how far Iíve ridden, whether real or virtual. I donít really care whether or not I am actually physically moving.
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Old 07-25-23, 05:06 PM
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I have zero issues with including virtual miles with my real-world miles. Trainer work is cycling-specific exercise, actually pedaling a bicycle. My exertion is the same, and my body is moving the same.
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Old 07-26-23, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
I log miles because I want to know how far I've gone...partially to compare to previous years, partially as a sense of accomplishment, partially because Going Places and Getting Out Of The House is one of the inate joys of cycling for me, and of course partially for bragging rights in BikeForum's end-of-year Annual Pissing Contest... but mostly so I can keep tabs on bike maintenance & consumables. I like data that supports "yowza, I rode over 800 miles last month, I'd better check my tires and chain!" since it's a handy reminder.




No one is suggesting you don't log your time on Zwift. Or, even better, log your watts-per-hour if "effort" (aka "work") is what you're trying to measure.
But "Miles" are a measure of distance, not "effort".
My beef with the whole Should I Log My Trainer Miles [sic]? question is purely semantic; that's the wrong word to describe what you are doing.
are you saying that virtual miles don't count toward wear and tear?

granted the wheels/breaks are not getting beat up but those shifters, cables, cogs, etc sure are. and i tend to drip sweat a whole lot more with virtual miles than i do with real miles.
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Old 07-26-23, 01:08 PM
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I track training stress, which is a fancy way of saying time and effort.
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Old 07-27-23, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger
are you saying that virtual miles don't count toward wear and tear?
No, just noting that distance is a handy measure of likely wear & tear.

I trust you're not changing your front tire after you've put several thousand "virtual miles" [sic] on your trainer?
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Old 07-27-23, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
No, just noting that distance is a handy measure of likely wear & tear.

I trust you're not changing your front tire after you've put several thousand "virtual miles" [sic] on your trainer?
Hours ridden is a better wear & tear indicator than distance for everything except tyre wear.
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Old 07-28-23, 05:45 AM
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I count both.

Summer = riding miles
Winter = trainer miles

Total for the year = pedal miles.

Just a way to measure.
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Old 07-28-23, 01:33 PM
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This thread is a good reminder to take annual mileage reports with a grain of salt. Same as size of...fish.
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Old 07-30-23, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
This thread is a good reminder to take annual mileage reports with a grain of salt. Same as size of...fish.
Does it really matter how mileage is accumulated if you are just comparing how much total riding you do compared to others? Unless you take elevation into account it will be pretty irrelevant anyway. If I ignored all my Zwift and Rouvy mileage it would seriously underestimate my total riding volume.
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Old 07-30-23, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
If I ignored all my Zwift and Rouvy mileage it would seriously underestimate my total riding volume.
And I would say that would give you an accurate total as opposed to inflated. Guess it boils down to what we consider riding a bike. Different strokes.
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Old 07-30-23, 01:47 PM
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why would you consider virtual riding inflated? sure, you can cheat with these tools but i could always say i rode 2x more than i really do. or i could always be dropped off on top of a hill an just coast down. those are real miles too but inflated. i really see no difference between virtual and real if you are honest about it and you really only have to be honest with yourself.

and speaking of honesty, i find the virtual miles to be more difficult than the real ones...honestly.
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Old 07-30-23, 02:02 PM
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I doubt folks on either side of this will change their minds. It seems obvious to me that exercising on a trainer, Peloton, spinbike, etc. isn't the same as cycling. Apparently others feel that being on a saddle and pedaling does make it cycling. Either position is opinion not fact, so no harm in disagreeing.
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