How to track your bike ride with the Microsoft Band

Riding a bike is a fun way to burn calories. I just bought a folding bicycle and have been using the Microsoft Band to track some stats like distance, speed, heart rate, and more. Curious to see what it's like to use the Microsoft Band while cycling? Watch our how-to video!

Track your ride

  1. On your Microsoft Band, press the power button.
  2. Swipe left, and tap the Bike Tile.
  3. Tap to turn Off GPS for using a stationary bike. Leave it On if biking over a distance.
  4. Press the action button to begin.

During your ride, you can see three things on the Microsoft Band. For example, you can see Calories, Heart Rate, and Duration. You can cycle through them by double pressing the action button. You can change what you want to see by using the Microsoft Health app on your phone. Don't need to see Calories during your ride? Replace it with Distance.

When you're done, press the action button on the Microsoft Band and tap End. You can see your stats on the Band like max speed, average speed, peak heart rate and average heart rate. You can see all this information plus more in the Microsoft Health app on your phone. The app displays additional data like a map of your ride, elevation, pace, and recovery time.

I really like using the Microsoft Band on my bike rides, but I wish I didn't have to double press the action button when cycling through the stats during the ride. A wrist flick would work better so that I don't have to take both of my hands off the handlebar.

Have you been using the Microsoft Band on your bike rides? How's your experience? Let us know in the comments!

Download Microsoft Health for Windows Phone (Free)

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

67 Comments
  • Thanx for the tip!!
  • Another tip is that you can swipe right from the bike ride screen to see the current time, etc. In that way, you're not limited to the three values you specify for the primary activity screen.
  • Wish I could buy a Band.... =/
  • Mark is back :)
  • Yay!
  • He only went out for a bike ride ;-)
  • Hehe :D Ya may be...lot of biking. Must have lost a kilo or two. :P
  • Yes, used it on a recent Scout Campout while working on the cycling merit badge. It was quite handy to keep track of it all and make sure we were doing the proper distance and such. Agree on having to push the action button as well. That was a pain. Would like to also see options for buzzing when you complete half your desired distance and then again when you hit the total desired distance, similar to step counter.
  • Perfect application
  • You can adjust your split markers in the app, if that helps any
  • What kind of battery life will the Band get while tracking a bike ride? I would like to get one to augement the data gathered when I go on all day rides, so I need something that can track 7 hrs of activity without the battery dying.  
  • If you go with the gps on, I'd say you get about 3 hours. GPS off you can go all day.
  • Went on a 4/5 hour ride last weekend with GPS enabled and it managed fine.
    As Mark says, turn the display off and you should get even longer.
  • Immediately right after the bike activity starts, I turn off the display. That helps with the battery. Not sure if it can do a 7-hour bike ride though. lol I don't think I can survive that either.
  • This last weekend I broke my distance record with a 150 km ride and can anticipate doing that and longer in the future. Right now my tracking is just GPS via a Garmin Edge but I would like to ad in heartrate and would prefer to have heartrate a GPS data in the same app/format so that it is easier to analyze without dumping to a .csv
  • Congrats on the ride! I definitely recommend Strava if you're not using it already. It's a great tool and is now supported by the Band also. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Thanks, it was a bit of a gruelling ride, 1700 m of elevation gain. I've heard a lot about Strava but never checked it out, maybe I'll take a look and see what it can get me for extra analytics. Data from a Garmin can be uploaded to Strava correct?
  • That's correct. It's super easy. You just need to link your Garmin Connect account to Strava first (they have directions on the Strava site) After you do that, your ride will automatically upload to Strava when you sync your Garmin Device. You can also manually upload the file if needed.
  • I've got the band set up with Strava and have to say it works perfectly!!
  • I agree with the others here.  Strava works really well and having the Band automatically upload/sync to it makes things super easy.  I do wish that the Band got better battery life as I have had it fail on several of my longer rides.  I do turn the screen off which helps but all-day or overnight rides are a bit out of reach for v1.  In the future I'll probably bring an external power source to charge it up a bit if I stop to eat lunch or whatnot.
  • I routinely do about two hours on GPS a day and it didn't hurt the all day life.
  • Exact reason I ignored the band and got a dedicated GPS watch. Often go hiking and my £75 karrimor lasts me up to 10 hours. Until they can at least match that I won't be interested.
  • I've been using my band on my long jogs and love it! I'll have to pull my bike out and use it then too. My only problem is that at certain arm angles my heart rate won't get read, no matter how much I tighten the band, so my results are inaccurate sometimes.
  • I want a Band so fucking bad. But now I'm not buying one until they release the second one. I'm not one of those dudes that like to buy shit knowing the next version is getting released a few months later that shit makes my skin crawl.
  • This is exactly what I bought my Band for. I've replaced a Garmin bike computer for all but the longest rides. (I only get about 3hrs of GPS with the Band.) You can also swipe left on the screen to cycle the display. I didnt know you could customize what you see on the screen from the app - that is great news! I hate swiping or clicking the action button to see speed and distance. I would also add that I've compared the Band data with my Garmin data and found the Band to be very accurate for speed, distance and heart rate. The heart rate samples at a lower rate, but it tracks almost perfectly with the Garmin chest strap.
  • I recently started using this feature, and really enjoy it! I bike to/from work, Monday - Friday. It's great to be able to visualize the trip, seeing where i went fast or slow, and being able to compare that info from day-to-day. My one issue is with the GPS. Some days it's really accurate, indicating I traveled ~6.4 miles, one way (which is almsot spot on). Other days it says I only traveled 3 or 4 miles, one way, taking the exact same route as always. I think this is partially attibuted to the delayed lock-on to the GPS, which sometimes takes several minutes. I'd defiitely like to see this improved in v2, but, like with all mobile-GPS devices, the environment certainly plays a role in GPS accuracy, as well as the time it takes to lock-on. I'd also like to add, that with the screen on at all times (dim, on clock mode), recieving several notifications a day, using Sleep Tracking nightly (usually recording ~5 hours of sleep),  and biking roughly 70 - 80 minutes a day with GPS enabled, my band rarely dies. That beign said, it charges for about 30 minutes every morning, when I shower and am getting ready for the day. I've found this approach to work quite well. :) Although, I recently started having an issue where it can take several minutes of fiddling with the charger, in order for the Band to actually start charging.
  • Sounds like the connection is fully of sweat goo. Had this same problem and just cleaned it out with water, soap and rag. Worked flawlessly after than. Clea nout the charging port on Band. 
  • Yup, you were spot on! I had tried cleaning it with a cloth before, but it never seemed to make a difference. As you suggested, I tried cleaning it with a damp cloth and soap (powered off the band, of course), and still no impact. After examing the connections more closly, I could see the layer of grime. So, I took a piece of cardboard and gently rubbed it against the conenctions. This started to break up the grime, which allowed a second attempt with the damp cloth to resolve the issue. Thanks for the tip, mate! :)
  • It'd be good to mention here that you can tie your strava account to the health app, and it'll automatically upload stuff to strava. you can also pin the strava web site to your start screen on WP, and actually have a pretty nice experience. oh, and couple your instagram account with strava to show pictures that were taken during your activity.
  • It's great, I use mine all the time and get several hours out of it. What would be good would be a low resolution GPS mode...if I'm out for a 70-80 miler, I don't need the band to track my position every second or two. Every 30-60s would suffice when riding for that long.
  • Yes, that would be amazing! I can only track commutes or short rides. For races or longer rides the battery just does not last long enough. 3:30h was the maximum I could get. 
  • Most bicycle computers and many bicycle GPSs automatically stop the timer when the bike comes to a stop. This would be my one requested feature. I don't care how much time passes (such as stopped at stop lights), I just care about how much time I was actually cycling.
    You can do it manually though by tapping the action button when you come to a stop, and then tapping it again to start! This will pause and restart the timer. If the screen has power-saved you'll have to hit the main button to wake up the screen, and then the action button to restart the timer. I haven't seen this feature documented anywhere.
  • Agreed! I would love to see this feature added! On a good day, I stop once in the morning, and 3 times i nthe evening, at traffic lights. This alone will account for maybe 5 minutes, However, on a typical day, it's more like 3 stops in the morning, and 5 in the evening, accounting for 10 ~ 15 minutes of sitting idle. This causes my results to be skewed, showing that I was a "Slug" (the bands indicator for slow) at a section of road, where I wasn't moving due to a stop. Definitely would be nice if the Band could captures that I am stopped, rather than thinking I am moving slowly.
  • I would also like to see this feature added to the Run tile too. I hate how it keeps the time going in the background when I stop, and the time also keeps going when I pause it. Its a bit annoying and it can throw the average pace off.
  • You can actually flick.. But then from right to left..
  • It would be good if you could change cycling to skateboarding or something else like that
  • I'm hoping they will add skiing/snowboarding at some point. If they partner with some mountains like they have with the golf app so it supports lift tracking that would be awesome.
  • You can swipe to change the stat display.
  • operating the GPS drains the battery rapidly,  it´s unlikely to log more than 3 hours :(
  • @ Mark. where was it that you was riding at. it looks great also on amazion I noticed that their selling hardware that allows you to get speed and cadice from your bike through bluetooth. I was wodering if there is an app in the store that would work with that. I'm in the process of outfiting my bike and figured that it would be more cost effective to use the phone as a bike cumputer, gps, and map then to get a standalone computer and use the phone for gps and nav. by the way here's an example of one of those sensors http://www.amazon.com/Wahoo-Cadence-Sensor-iPhone-Android/dp/B00NW882KM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1436814864&sr=8-2&keywords=speed+and+cadence+sensor
  • Wow such tutorial. Many help
  • The only problem is that there is no facility to add the distance covered manually on a stationary bike. That's a major flaw and needs to be fixed. Otherwise it's great!
  • Love it. Use it everyday for my 2.5 mile bike ride to work. Looking forward to using it for my 50 mile PMC ride in August!
  • I have been using bike mode since it premeired on the band.  Love it.  It's a backup for my Garmin when I am doing long rides outside.  One thing I did find out is that the battery only seems to last about 5 hours while being used with GPS.  I was doing a century and the band stopped recording somewhere around 75 miles into the ride.  it didn't lose anything up to that point but it just powered down when the battery got too low.
  • Love it, Il add.... make sure you have FYI battery when using GPS.
  • I bought a MS Band but realised that if I wear it for cycling I will get a white band around my wrist. I'm way too vain for that, lol! Returned it and went back to using my Garmin. It doesn't work well as a regular watch either.
  • I would be proud to have the white band.  It would mean I was outside.  Not too much tanning under my flourescent lights.
  • Mine displays the time and date just fine. Can't imagine it getting any....simpler
  • I'm sure I had to press a button or do something to show the time. Is your display always on then? Maybe I hadn't set mine up properly.
  • nice video dude, you know how to editing
  • Looking at the screen shot.  Underneath Ending heart rate it show 1 minute and 2 minutes.  Mine always show blank also.  What is this for?
  • You need to keep your band on and remain stilll for a few minutes after you have pressed the button to end the cycle.  These should then get rerecord and are used to determine VO2 and fitness level. In reality I only get these readings to record in one out of every 10 rides.  It is an open fault with MS.
  • Are your VO2 readings actually coming up on the web dashboard because ive done a good amount of runs with the band and other activities but it wont tell me my VO2, it just says to do more exercises. The VO2 isn't very crucial information but id like to know it nonetheless.
  • I don't understand why there's no Strava app yet you can upload to Strava....
  • There are a few decent 3rd party Strava apps, Striver is the one I use.
  • Microsoft Band or Fitbit Charge HR, I can't decide. The second iteration of the Band would definitely be my choice, but it's not out and I have no idea when its coming and I "need" a band.
  • Charge has much better battery life, Band has more features.
  • I use the band on my bike rides and but I also have my Lumia Icon mounted on my bike and use RunMaster Cycle to view speed and other stats while riding.  It would be nice to have a WP app that presented band stats real time on the phone.  It would be something like the Band Sensor Monitor app formatted for bike centric data.  May be time to install Visual Studio...
  • The band works very well for cycling, but why oh why is the summary information in the health dashboard so poor when compared to the information on running?  Also why is "best split shown" as a time, it should be a speed average.  Is no one at Microsoft a keen cyclist? It is also still very rare to get an ending HR as well as both 1 and 2 minute HRs'.
  • I've use the Band for mountain bike rides, generally with good results. One thing I've found is that it pays to activate the ride before you go to ensure the GPS will have time to lock in. I usually hit it about 5 minutes before and leave the band fastened around the handlebars outside while I'm getting shoes, helmet, etc. on. I too wish that the Band would stop tracking when you stop. A couple times, I paused and forgot to hit Resume, which kinda spoils the tracking. And it also messes up any estimates of recovery time or cumulative data. Speaking of recovery time, I've been riding somewhat easier than usual because of rehabbing an injured knee. Still, the recommended recovery times are ridiculously long. I race 1-2X a summer and pre-fitness tracker have a really good sense of when to hammer training and when to taper it. Following the recommended times, I'd be sucking wind when racetime rolls around. Besides, riding nearly every day is good for the soul. Maybe MSFT felt they had to base it off average, out-of-shape American lifestyles.
  • The recovery times for runs are ridiculously long, lol. After a 2 mile run at around 7-8 mph, it tells me to wait anywhere from 30-40 hrs before going again. Like what? Nearly 2 days seems way too much.
  • I could tell you one thing, it doesnt last much longer than 15 miles, LOL.
  • Just took my first ride on my new bike with my band and i found the functionaly worked very well.  I have a trip computer on my bike but i might just return it.  The band and the trip computers information tied almost to the 1/10 of the mile and the heart rate monito and GPS are must haves.  If you ride i would give it a try. Oh and the recovery time shown in MS health is silly. If you rested for that long you would never get in shape!
  • For an android phone there is a nice app called bandbiker which can connect to your ms band and shows all your stats during your bike ride with a Google Maps background on your phone's display. Very handy when you have a mount on your bike for your phone so that you can watch all your stats during your ride. Check it out on Google play.
  • does anyone knows what town and location is this riding trial is at? where ever he is at, looks really nice an very green. 
  • I got mine today, managed to get a Medium size order in yesterday in the end. However the Medium is too small, even though I measure to it, I decided to use it for awhile before sending it back as I can put it on but it's very very tight. The weird thing is though I have a gap on one side, I can tighten it but it's just how much the sensor and the charging port are pushing into my wrist.  Within 5 mins though, I dunno how but the screen was scratched, the thing isn't even gorilla glass, it's just soft plastic.    Any ways I sent it back for a refund as they wouldn't exchange it, which sucks since I got it during the Prime sale. I'll just wait for the Band 2, but if Microsoft don't announce a 1030, I might switch as the 1020 is old and slow now.
  • back when I had a moto q I could ride a bike 11h a day somehow, I wonder if I can do quarter of that nowadays lol