How To Convert Exercise Bike Miles To Steps

I like walking but I like riding my bike more. No question. However, 10,000 steps a day is a good measurement of a decent amount of exercise so knowing how to convert exercise bike miles to steps is something I’m keen to do! 

Below there are a few different methods on how to calculate this and how to get an accurate sense of your progress day-to-day. You’ll be glad to know, it’s not half as complicated as you might first think!

Convert Exercise Bike Miles To Steps

1. Approximation Method

So if we run on the understanding that one hour of cycling at a moderate pace equates to approximately 10,000 steps, it becomes an easy way to convert your cycling time into a number of steps. 

One thing I will say is whilst this method is simple, it’s not the most accurate but it does give you a rough, easy to work out method. For tracking your progress, it’s a method I’m keen on. 

As an example, if you clock up 30 mins on your turbo trainer, you can count that as doing 5,000 steps. Double your time, and you double your steps. 

Many people, including health experts, consider that walking 10,000 steps a day is beneficial for your health and should be the goal. 

Of course, actually walking 10,000 steps a day can take up a fair chunk of your day if your job is largely spent at a desk. I know in the past, I’ve struggled to get beyond 3,000 steps! Finding time to do those other 7,000 felt like a drain. 

This is where cycling can shine, 45 minutes on an exercise bike and I’ve just added another 7,500 steps to my day.

Wearing pink shoes on a spinning bike

2. Convert With A Fitness Tracker

Another method I have tried is having a Fitbit (you can do the same with any other fitness tracking device).

Depending on how ‘smart’ your fitness tracker is, you may have the ability to set it to “indoor cycling”, which will time your efforts, measure your heart rate, and calculate your calories burnt. 

Walking 10,000 steps is the equivalent of burning around 300 – 400 calories. Being able to see how many calories you have burned on your fitness tracking device can help you calculate when you have done the equivalent distance on your exercise bike. 

While fitness tracking devices are not 100% accurate at working out calories burned, again, it’s another tool to have that can give you a decent guide to monitor your progress.

If you’re using the tracker consistently then it at least gives you a baseline on calories burned. Just be consistent in how you track with your fitness tracker!

Related article – 5 Of The Best Bike Fitness Trackers

Spinning class with woman and man

3. Your Stride Calculation

This one is slightly more complicated and you’re going to need a few things!

Grab yourself a measuring tape and marker pen and we’re good to go.

  1. Spread your feet so that they are in line with your hips. Using the marker pen, log your position.
  2. Take 10 steps forward. As best as you can, do it in a natural, casual way!
  3. Mark the position of where you stopped.
  4. Measure the distance between the two points.
  5. Now you are able to work out your stride length. Let’s say that the distance covered by those 10 steps was 20 feet. Divide 20 by the number of steps taken, in this case, 10. 20/10 = 2 feet. Using this information you can now convert miles covered on your exercise bike into feet.
  6. There are tools out there to help you work this out but the nuts and bolts of it… multiply the distance traveled on your bike by 5280.
  7. Then you take that number and divide it by your stride length and that will give you the number of steps. 

Let me give you an example:

Cycled 10 miles. So multiple 10 by 5280 = 52,800

Then divide that by your average stride length. In this case, my average stride length is 2ft.

52,800/2 = 26,400 steps! 

Personally, I’m a big fan of this method. It’s fairly scientific and gives you a good indication, in a simple way.

Spinning class

4. PEHP Conversion Chart

The PEHP Health Benefits created an Activities to Steps Conversion Chart

Using this conversion chart, it considers an hour on the bike, at an average pace of 10mph to be the equivalent of 8000 steps.

How did they get there?

The PHEP calculated that cycling at an easy pace of 10mph is the same as walking 133 steps a minute so 133 * 60 = 7980 steps.

If you cycle at a pace of 13mph, you’re looking at around 178 steps a minute.

Picking up the pace again to an average of 15mph, that would be 222 steps a minute.

Using this method, generally, it is considered that doing moderate cycling for one hour is the same as walking 10,000 steps.

5. Fitness Tracker Hack

Taking a step back to the fitness band tracker, you can of course strap your fitness band to your ankle and this will give you a reading. 

Now, I’m not going to pretend that will be totally accurate but it will do the trick as a basic measurement. 

The issue with this method is that cycling and walking are different motions so the tracker may not pick up when your leg is moving or it can pick up the movement too much and over track your steps. 

That’s why I’d always recommend setting it to a workout on your tracker and then converting the miles to steps if you want to monitor your steps per day.

Blue Fitbit fitness tracker

Frequently Asked Questions

Does walking or biking a mile burn more calories?

The average walking speed is 3mph and on average, you are likely to burn 232 calories per hour at that pace (on average, this does vary from person to person!).

12mph is an average cycling pace. Again, let’s assume the intensity isn’t great. With that, you are likely to burn 563 calories per hour.

When you look at those figures, you can see that riding a bike does burn more calories. If you’re looking for a way to maximize your workout time and can’t decide between walking and cycling, then perhaps now you have your answer!

Related article – Is Running Or Cycling Worse For Your Knees?

How many miles on a stationary bike equals 10,000 steps?

If we work on the third method we spoke about above and assume the stride length is 2ft. 

Cycle 3.8 miles. Multiply by 5280 = 20,064

Then divide that by the stride length.

20,064/2 = 10,032 steps.

So you would have to cycle 3.8 miles to cover 10,000 steps.

Other article ideas – How To Install Cleats On Indoor Cycling Shoes

Conclusion

There you have it, several ways to convert your exercise bike miles into steps. 

Do remember that not all methods are accurate but can give you a general idea. Just be consistent with how you track your progress.

If you’re like me, switching up exercise types can make all the difference to whether or not I do a workout that day so it’s helpful to be able to convert all exercises into one format.

How are your January goals going?

Hi, I'm Harry, the owner of this site! A 30-something MAMIL - a middle-aged man in lycra. An avid cyclist who is looking to maintain a baseline level of fitness to be able to enjoy the great outdoors on weekend rides with his mates!

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