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Trainer/stationary bike miles

Old 07-17-23, 10:44 AM
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Trainer/stationary bike miles

I have an old Airdyne stationary bike. That I picked up from Nextdoor. Do you count stationary bike towards your total milage? I have not been so far but I know how much I have put on it
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Old 07-17-23, 10:54 AM
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Why not. Count 'em any way you like, as long as you're adding.
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Old 07-17-23, 12:29 PM
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What ever floats your boat. I don't even upload the rides I do on a stationary bike or trainer. If I did, I'd just count the time. I don't do much time on them anyway. So if you do a lot, then go by whatever makes sense to you. It's your training after all.
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Old 07-17-23, 01:23 PM
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there is no real reason why not. although simulated miles they still require you to work. i have an app that i use that keeps them separate so i can track. time makes sense but probably energy expended might make more sense. i just do miles and elevation.
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Old 07-17-23, 02:08 PM
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No. Using profiles on my Garmin I track “real” miles and trainer miles separately.
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Old 07-17-23, 02:15 PM
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You might want to consider buying a cheap pulse meter. Or maybe you can buy a Bluetooth chest belt that syncs with your phone.

Then, you could do a few outdoor rides to determine what your heart rate looks like over the course of a training ride and then try to match that (and your average outdoor cadence) on the indoor bike.
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Old 07-17-23, 02:39 PM
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I keep a journal with Miles, date and what bike I rode. Outside I track that with the unban biker app. The old Schwinn Airdyne I have has analog pedal revolution/effort gauge that I use to maintain a steady pace
​​​​​​The problems with my feet came on slow and you really don't notice until you get bad. I used my bike riding journal to determine when my foot problems started by when my miles started going down

​​​​edit: the urban biker tracks elevation, but I don't put it in my notes
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Old 07-18-23, 04:00 AM
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I do. I typically log about 1000 miles on the trainer over the winter. Much of that is interval training...

My garmin speed sensor tracks speed, my power meters track power - x watts per hour is x watts per hour regardless of being indoors or outside. And the speed numbers are pretty spot on, within a 1/2 MPH.

I will be on a smart trainer/zwift this winter. Even more accurate numbers and I plan on logging more miles... so yes, to me they count.
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Old 07-18-23, 09:43 AM
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No. But I live in CA and do very few miles on the Revmaster. But when I was recovering from open heart surgery and they wouldn't let me ride for 6 weeks, I put my time and avg. HR manually on my Strava -- mostly so others on the Cardiac Athletes website could see what others are doing post surgery.
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Old 07-18-23, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by plumberroy
Do you count stationary bike towards your total milage?
LOL! Here we go...

Regular readers of BF -- though admittedly more in the Road Cycling subforum than the 50+ -- are probably quite familiar with my take on this question. Call it my personal bugaboo. But for the record:

Your trainer/stationary bike covers no distance when you use it; it stays in one place (hence the name "stationary bike" ...the dictionary definition of Stationary is "not moving")
"Miles" is a measure of distance.
No distance = no miles.
Ergo, one literally cannot count any miles achieved on a trainer or stationary bike...because you did not achieve any miles.

However, you definitely A) spent some time on the trainer/stationary bike; B) expended some energy on the trainer/stationary bike; and C) caused the rear wheel to rotate on the trainer/stationary bike.
So, if you want to count something as an achievment on your trainer/stationary bike, count time, or work, or wheel revolutions.

Just don't count miles.

:::gets off soapbox:::
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Old 07-18-23, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
LOL! Here we go...

Regular readers of BF -- though admittedly more in the Road Cycling subforum than the 50+ -- are probably quite familiar with my take on this question. Call it my personal bugaboo. But for the record:

Your trainer/stationary bike covers no distance when you use it; it stays in one place (hence the name "stationary bike" ...the dictionary definition of Stationary is "not moving")
"Miles" is a measure of distance.
No distance = no miles.
Ergo, one literally cannot count any miles achieved on a trainer or stationary bike...because you did not achieve any miles.

However, you definitely A) spent some time on the trainer/stationary bike; B) expended some energy on the trainer/stationary bike; and C) caused the rear wheel to rotate on the trainer/stationary bike.
So, if you want to count something as an achievment on your trainer/stationary bike, count time, or work, or wheel revolutions.

Just don't count miles.

:::gets off soapbox:::
I understand your argument.

That said, I'm still including virtual miles in my yearly totals because that's the unit of measurement that cyclists typically use when discussing how much they rode.
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Old 07-18-23, 01:29 PM
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Indoors there is no air drag to overcome so quite different than riding outdoors. The indoors workout is good for your aerobic conditioning so not worthless but not a replacement for time spent on the road outdoors.
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Old 07-18-23, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
Indoors there is no air drag to overcome so quite different than riding outdoors. The indoors workout is good for your aerobic conditioning so not worthless but not a replacement for time spent on the road outdoors.
Zwift does not calculate speed/distance just based on wheel rotations, but on W/kg. While it's not perfect, it's not a long ways off of reality.

I've found that for certain types of efforts, doing them on a trainer is more effective than on the road because there aren't interruptions. In my area, there aren't a lot of options where I can just pedal at a steady effort for an extended time. For me, trainer work has been very beneficial for improving my fitness.
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Old 07-18-23, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
LOL! Here we go...

Regular readers of BF -- though admittedly more in the Road Cycling subforum than the 50+ -- are probably quite familiar with my take on this question. Call it my personal bugaboo. But for the record:

Your trainer/stationary bike covers no distance when you use it; it stays in one place (hence the name "stationary bike" ...the dictionary definition of Stationary is "not moving")
"Miles" is a measure of distance.
No distance = no miles.
Ergo, one literally cannot count any miles achieved on a trainer or stationary bike...because you did not achieve any miles.

However, you definitely A) spent some time on the trainer/stationary bike; B) expended some energy on the trainer/stationary bike; and C) caused the rear wheel to rotate on the trainer/stationary bike.
So, if you want to count something as an achievment on your trainer/stationary bike, count time, or work, or wheel revolutions.

Just don't count miles.

:::gets off soapbox:::
but you are measuring miles relative the earth. if you measure relative to the bike frame then you have also gone no distance and therefore no miles. if one were to measure wheel rotations instead then both real riding and virtual riding would be the same.

just having a little fun there.

either way, my legs feel the work real riding or virtual riding.
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Old 07-18-23, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Zwift does not calculate speed/distance just based on wheel rotations, but on W/kg. While it's not perfect, it's not a long ways off of reality.

I've found that for certain types of efforts, doing them on a trainer is more effective than on the road because there aren't interruptions. In my area, there aren't a lot of options where I can just pedal at a steady effort for an extended time. For me, trainer work has been very beneficial for improving my fitness.
i also find indoor riding to be harder than outdoor riding under some circumstances. there are never any red lights to stop for so i can ride for two hours or more with no breaks. pretty much impossible to do that in real life.
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Old 07-18-23, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
LOL! Here we go...

Regular readers of BF -- though admittedly more in the Road Cycling subforum than the 50+ -- are probably quite familiar with my take on this question. Call it my personal bugaboo. But for the record:

Your trainer/stationary bike covers no distance when you use it; it stays in one place (hence the name "stationary bike" ...the dictionary definition of Stationary is "not moving")
"Miles" is a measure of distance.
No distance = no miles.
Ergo, one literally cannot count any miles achieved on a trainer or stationary bike...because you did not achieve any miles.

However, you definitely A) spent some time on the trainer/stationary bike; B) expended some energy on the trainer/stationary bike; and C) caused the rear wheel to rotate on the trainer/stationary bike.
So, if you want to count something as an achievment on your trainer/stationary bike, count time, or work, or wheel revolutions.

Just don't count miles.

:::gets off soapbox:::
So, according to you, if you put your car up on jack stands, start it and put it in drive, no miles would accrue on your odometer?
Wow, those 3,222.1 "non miles" on Zwift were all for nothing....
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Old 07-18-23, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
So, according to you, if you put your car up on jack stands, start it and put it in drive, no miles would accrue on your odometer?
No, a car's odometer does not measure miles driven; it extrapolates miles driven by measuring rotations of the wheel.

Your 3222.1 whatevers on Zwift are an accomplishment to be celebrated...either for the time logged, or the work produced, or simply the rotations of your wheel. But you didn't cover any distance, so you did not actually ride 3222.1 "miles" on Zwift.

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Old 07-18-23, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Zwift does not calculate speed/distance just based on wheel rotations, but on W/kg. While it's not perfect, it's not a long ways off of reality.

I've found that for certain types of efforts, doing them on a trainer is more effective than on the road because there aren't interruptions. In my area, there aren't a lot of options where I can just pedal at a steady effort for an extended time. For me, trainer work has been very beneficial for improving my fitness.
I don't count mag trainer miles, but I DO count Zwift miles. Zwift virtual miles are actually harder for me than regular miles because their algorithm thinks I'm on an upright, so I have to work harder than usual to make the same speed. Double whammy value, I make less wattage while reclined; so on Zwift I work harder to go slower.
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Old 07-18-23, 09:08 PM
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Do my e-stationary bike miles count?
I have a large screen display that makes it seem almost road-race-real, and a fan that makes it feel breezy..... and, ... and I think they should count.
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Old 07-19-23, 05:58 AM
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Some folks count e-bike miles and some folks count trainer miles. The trainer only ASSISTS with weather, climbing, balance, effort, road hazards, …
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Old 07-19-23, 06:10 AM
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I donít use a bike trainer nor do I count miles. But I do use an elliptical at times and that counts as part of my workout time during the week. Stationary bike work would count, too, to my way of looking at it.

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Old 07-19-23, 03:15 PM
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Let me expand a little bit. Until 2017 I averaged 700 miles a year several health issues hit me, foot problems, diverticulitis and type 2 diabetic. 2 foot surgeries and 40 lbs down , still 290's I am working on getting back to riding . I have a tough time staying interested in a stationary bike. Being outside is a big part of why I like to ride a bike. Since I started back to riding the second week of May I have around 150 miles. Weather didn't cooperate this weekend 😡 I have always logged miles, where and what bike I rode . I have been logging time and miles on the Airdyne but not adding it to my total . I was wondering what others thought on this.
For the record I am maintenance in a Level one Trauma center and walk 3-7 miles a shift. For the past few years by the time I got through work I was in too much pain or too exhausted to ride or do much else for that matter . I am slowly gaining strength back
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Old 07-19-23, 05:48 PM
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plumberroy I say log the time and miles. It's part of riding for fitness.
A comment on indoor riding - the smart trainer + riding simulation like Zwift make a huge difference in enjoyment, the seat time goes by much faster. Plus the rides are automatically logged with a lot of data which is great for the fitness side.
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Old 07-19-23, 07:05 PM
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I would say do whatever you feel is right, it is not like you win anything or take anything away from someone else.
I recently bought a Bowflex spin bike.
It tells me, for example that I am going 20 mph, with commensurate mileage.
I KNOW that with that effort I would not be going 20 mph on the road unless it was downhill.
I pay attention to cadence and heartrate (don't have a power meter) and subjective breathlessness.
I do find it translates to better performance (such as it is!) on the road.
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Old 07-19-23, 07:11 PM
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I log my indoor rides. Actually, I upload all my athletic endeavors to TrainingPeaks to help me track my training stress and that sort of thing. I only upload outdoor rides to Strava and only tandem rides to RWGPS. Helps to sort out what I did when I'm planning my next year's training.
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