How To Record Indoor Cycling With Strava – Quick Guide

Learn how to record indoor cycling with Strava. Hint – If you’re wanting to record your indoor ride through Strava, you’re going to have to use the website!

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Indoor bikes in a gym room

I spent 2 hours on my smart trainer, climbing Alpe Du Zwift. As much as I like counting Pizza Slices and sweat points, I want to track my progress on Strava.

If it isn’t on Strava, did you even do it? 😜

I opened up Strava, only to see that the option isn’t there to record indoor cycling. How come?

That led me to wonder how to record an indoor cycling ride with Strava. 

You too?

Here’s the answer.

How To Record Indoor Cycling With Strava Mobile App

So the first thing to note is that when using the Strava app with Apple or Android, you can’t tag a ride as ‘Indoor cycling.’

However, there are ways around this, and that’s what I’ll show you here!

If you want to record your indoor ride accurately through Strava, you will have to use the website.

Previously on Strava, when you recorded an indoor workout, it would still require GPS. This didn’t work brilliantly, as you ended up with a giant GPS blot all over your house. They’ve fixed that, thankfully!

As part of the change, you can pair a Bluetooth Smart heart rate sensor and record this data with your workout. So a significant improvement from where it was!

I’ll stop with the Strava history lesson and show you how it’s all done…
Open the Strava app up and hit the ‘record’ button. If you’re a regular Strava user, you will be familiar with this page:

Strava Record Indoor Bike Ride

The record button will take you to the GPS tracking page. However, as you’re doing an indoor ride, you need to toggle the sport listing – this can be found here:

Strava Start Indoor Bike Ride

Lots of sports will pop up. Simply scroll through the list until you get to the indoor workout options:

Strava Choose Sport - indoor cycling with Strava

As you can see, there are a few options. In my case, I opted to use ‘workout’ as it seemed to cover most bases. However, if one seems more relevant to your ride, go for that!

From this point, you can now connect a heart rate monitor via Bluetooth Smart

You don’t have to pair the heart rate sensor up, but you might as well if you’ve got it. It will give you more accurate data and show how hard your heart worked.

It’s nice to show everybody you’ve got a nice bit of kit, isn’t it..? Guilty as charged over here!

When everything is paired, you’re ready to roll…press start!

What you will see is this screen:

Strava Start Ride Menu

This shows you elapsed time and heart rate (if your sensor is connected – mine wasn’t!). You don’t get the option to create laps – there’s no GPS, so there is no way of knowing!

When you’ve completed your workout, save it as you would normally. Add a title to your workout. I know you’ve thought about a title while working out. Set a photo, change anything else you want, and that’s it!

When it’s finished how you want it, you should be able to see all the usual things you’d expect, minus a route, elevation, and distance traveled. 

One thing to note is that the next time you come to record something on Strava, it will remember the last setting you used!

How To Record Indoor Cycling With Strava On A Computer

When recording your indoor cycling as ‘indoor cycling’ on Strava, you must do so through your laptop or PC and enter the ride as a manual workout.

Here’s how you do it!

Step One – Log in!

Log in to Strava as you would normally.

A heads up, at the time of signing up, you did so on your phone, then you may have signed up using a social media account, not your email.

If you did, select the correct one to sign in – yes, I am speaking from experience as someone who forgot this is what they’d done!

Step Two – Add Manual Entry

Now you’re logged in, you can see a plus symbol in a circle (see image below). This can be found at the top.

Strava Web Interface

Hover over that, and you can see another menu, giving you extra options.

You need to select “Add manual entry” on that list.

Step Three – Edit Manual Entry

You should now have an image similar to that below – got it? Nice!

Strava Web Manual Entry Indoor Cycling

On this screen, you will pop in the activity data. You may have got this from your bike trainer or an app you have used.

You have to use the web interface for this, rather than the app, because, as I mentioned before, the ‘indoor cycling’ tag (highlighted in the image above) is not present on the app, so this is the only way to navigate around that.

Be sure to click it!

Optional Step Four – Add Your Bike Details

This step is optional, though I like to take it so I can keep track of how often I’m using which bike. On Strava, you can separate rides based on which bike you completed them on.

Even if you use one bike for indoor and outdoor riding, you can list it separately.

To go about this, you need to add a ‘New Bike.’ This can be found where the highlighted box is below:

Strava Web Add Bike Details

Adding a bike to Strava will ask you for the bike’s weight. You won’t be able to add a bike without this information, so if you’re unsure, give it the best guess you’ve got. 

Side note – look here at the pros having a go at guessing the weight of their bikes!

Why does Strava need this information? 

It is used to be able to provide metrics you see from a ride. It isn’t needed for indoor rides and doesn’t apply, but you can’t proceed without that information.

As you know, it won’t affect anything. You don’t have to worry too much about getting it correct! 

Now all that is left is to save the equipment and hit ‘create.’ This will save your workout. 

One thing I try to do once I’ve completed my workout is to do a snapshot of the machine’s display. This way, I have a record of all the details, so there’s no pressure to remember them…which I most certainly don’t.

How To Track Your Indoor Cycling Progress?

Indoor cycling (or Zwift or Peloton) is a fantastic opportunity to maintain and improve your fitness. There are many methods to track your progress indoors, so let’s look!

Take An FTP Test

What is an FTP test? FTP stands for Functional Threshold Power. This is the maximum power that you can sustain for one hour on a bike. 

When you have a turbo trainer set up, an FTP test is a great place to start. 

Many apps, such as Zwift or TrainerRoad, have FTP tests you can take. This will provide you with your FTP in watts and give you appropriate training zones.

Zwift FTP Test

How Often Should I Take An FTP Test?

I try to take one every six weeks or so – it depends on how much training I’ve been doing.

Taking an FTP test every four to six weeks will give your body time to improve, so the results should be positive!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Integrate My Smart Trainer With Strava?

You certainly can…in most cases anyway! If you’re using an indoor trainer, many will automatically upload your ride data to Strava.

Indoor trainers such as Peloton, Wattbike, or Echelon Smart Cycle will automatically take care of Strava for you. An alternative route is to use a cycling application. There are lots to choose from – it feels like this list grows daily! 

The vast majority of these apps will upload the data to Strava automatically. If you need help, here’s a step-by-step guide on How To Connect Zwift To Strava.

FulGaz and Rouvy provide a more realistic visual display. They allow you to ‘ride’ well-known routes and climbs such as Angliru.

I did this on New Year’s Eve to complete my climbing goal for the year. I wouldn’t recommend leaving it until the year’s final day, but I would recommend the software!

However, you can use others, TrainerRoad and Sufferfest gives you good workouts with a strong focus on training. So if you’re looking to hit your goals, perhaps give one of those a go!

Whichever you settle on, the setup will be different (though, on the whole, straightforward). The official Strava website has excellent guides on how to connect things up…these can be found here.

Where Do I Find The Indoor Cycling Tag On the Strava App?

TL: DR version: If you want to label your indoor ride to be marked as such, use Strava’s web interface.

You aren’t moving with indoor cycling, so no GPS data is needed. Strava decided that there doesn’t need to be a tag for indoor cycling on the mobile app as you will be stationary.

Some may see it as a strange decision. After all, isn’t our whole life on our phones!? So being able to record everything on your mobile seems like an obvious choice to many riders.

People have been asking for change since 2014, but they have yet to be successful. It doesn’t look like it’s something Strava will be changing soon.

What’s The Difference Between A Virtual Ride And An Indoor Ride In Strava?

They are similar in many ways. 

The one benefit of virtual rides over indoor rides is that they will provide informative data from your smart trainer (even a budget bike trainer!).

This data will have come from a route simulation. It will include information such as; GPS, distance, elevation, and time data.

Can Strava Record A Spinning Class?

If you take spinning classes at the gym and want to upload them onto Strava, then all you need to do is record them how you would record a virtual ride, just like you would at home. 

Remember, you need to set this to record under the ‘manual activity’ tab. However, increasingly classes are providing the data so it can be on Strava within seconds.

2 thoughts on “How To Record Indoor Cycling With Strava – Quick Guide”

  1. I want to upload heart metrics at the same time while doing manual entry for indoor cycling. Do you have any idea if that would be possible?


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