How does Google Fit know I’m cycling?


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Page last updated: 28/09/2022

How does Google Fit know I'm cycling?

In this guide, we will talk about how Google Fit knows I’m cycling, how Google Fit tracks cycling, what are the potential reasons why Google Fit wouldn’t track cycling, some troubleshooting steps you could try and why Strava may be considered better than Google Fit. 

How does Google Fit know I’m cycling?

If you wonder how Google Fit knows you are cycling, here we have the answer. Google Fit will automatically detect when you are walking, running or biking, using your phone or watch built-in sensors like the accelerometer and GPS. Cycling means a very fun and relaxing activity for many users and it is the perfect way to stay fit. 

However, after investigating, we have found that there are many users complaining because their Google Fit is not tracking when they are cycling, so what can you do? Here we will present some steps for basic troubleshooting that may fix the problem. 

As indicated on, “In normal circumstances, Google Fit can accurately track the cycling session with the help of accelerometer and GPS. However, if it’s not tracking Cycling, then make sure that the GPS is turned on, and tracking in the Google Fit app is turned on”. Let’s see some of the possibilities or reasons why it is not working and how you could fix it.

How Google Fit tracks cycling?

Cycling can be considered just another activity that can be monitored and recorded through Google Fit. However, it is normal to wonder how Google Fit recognizes we are cycling. When we use the Google Fit to track cycling and pretty much any other activity, it will use mostly two sensors, the accelerometer and the GPS. 

Subsequently, if one of them is not functioning properly or is ‘missing’ then you will have an inaccurate reading. For instance, you could try disabling the GPS and the accelerometer won’t be able to track the location, and you will either get inaccurate data or no data at all. Now let’s take a look at some of the steps you can take to fixing this issue.

Why is Google Fit not tracking my cycling?

As mentioned, if the GPS is not working then we will have inaccurate data or no data at all. Google Fit normally has this issue when tracking cycling, so it is considered to be very common. One of the possible solutions to this problem is enabling the ‘Track my activities’ in the app. You can’t imagine how common it is for users to have this option disabled and is the reason why it is not tracking their activities, in this case, cycling.

Here is how you could enable it:

  • Open the Google Fit App
  • Now tap the profile in the bottom right corner
  • Tap the gear icon on the top corner.
  • Scroll down and toggle “Track your activities” to blue to turn it on.

Moreover, another common issue is not allowing or granting permissions to the app to use the location services (or GPS). Here is what you can do to grant permission to use the location or GPS of your smartphone:

  • Open the Settings of your smartphone.
  • Now scroll down and tap the “Apps” section
  • Tap “Permissions”
  • Find the “Location” section and tap it.
  • Now find the “Fit” app and check if the location permission is enabled. If it’s not enabled, toggle the switch to turn it on.
How does Google Fit know I'm cycling?

Make sure your GPS is on when cycling

Needless to say, your GPS needs to be on when cycling or it won’t record the data or you may have incorrect data. It may sound silly and obvious but sometimes we have so many things in our head that we just simply forget. As you may know, the GPS sensor is very important and plays a vital role in tracking your cycling session. This is why it is important to make sure it is turned on before your cycling session. 

Picking the right track mode for the Cycling

As indicated by, “If the Google fit is not tracking your cycling session, then there are chances that you are not picking the right track mode. In Google Fit, the right track mode for Cycling is “Biking” mode, so whenever you go out for Cycling, make sure that you start the tracking with “Biking” Mode”. 

Google Fit vs Strava Running and Cycling

Many users try to always find the best app available that represents the best user experience and many of them actually take the time to review what other users have to say about their particular experience. Additionally, some might recommend switching to other apps such as Samsung Health, Huawei Health or in this case, Strava Running and Cycling. 

Subsequently, there are some specific reasons why Strava is believed to be better than Google Fit, and here are some of the reasons according to

  • Support routes: you can create or find existing routes to sync to the app.
  • Has a route tracker: with a route tracker you can add your route onto a map. It is helpful if you plan to do the same route again, or want to share it with your community.
  • Tracks elevation: It can detect changes in elevation, such as when you are climbing stairs.
  • A higher overall rating on Google Play.
  • Has video tutorials: having video tutorials makes it easier to learn how to perform a specific exercise.
  • Doesn’t require an account, while Google Fit does.
  • Has live tracking: You can share your workout progress live, for example allowing your friends to see where you are on your running route.
  • Compatible with Android and iOS. 
  • Integrates with social networks: this might be an important feature for those who would like to share their activity on social media.

However, it is important you try both apps and compare their functionalities not only when cycling but also when doing other activities so you can draw your own conclusions.

Why is this blog about How does Google Fit know I’m cycling important?

As discussed, it is important for many users to know how Google Fit knows when they are cycling. For many of them, this is one of their favourite activities and they would like to keep track of it. However, we have seen how there seem to be many problems when tracking cycling and what the potential issues are. Additionally, we have talked about some troubleshooting steps but also how common is this issue among Google Fit users so it is not a surprise.

Finally, we have talked about how Strava seems to be a better option and the reasons why. However, remember to check both, compare and draw your own conclusions. 

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How does Google Fit know I’m cycling

Can Google track my bike ride?

Your Google Fit can track bike rides, walks, runs, and much more. You can also check how many steps you took throughout the day and see for how long you ride your bike, play soccer or go skiing. You can also see your workout history on all the devices connected and if something is not accurate you can edit the activity. 

Does cycling count as steps?

Sometimes, due to the movement detected by the sensors, it will add some extra steps to the count. But some apps can be configured to detect only cycling or you can manually choose the activity so it will tell you for how long you were riding your bike for, calories burned, etc. 

How does Fitbit know you are cycling?

Fitbit devices use a 3-axis accelerometer to understand your motions. By analyzing acceleration data, our devices provide detailed information about frequency, duration, intensity, and patterns of movement to determine your steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned, and sleep quality.

How does Google fit determine steps?

Google Fit determines steps using the help of the built-in sensors on your device (i.e.pedometer) and if you would like to see how many steps you have taken during a day, you just need to open the app on your phone and tap on the step number just below the avatar. This will take you to the details of the current steps you have taken that day and you can also tap on the week tab at the top of the screen to change the view.

Which app is best for cycling?

Here is a list of some of the best apps for cycling only supported for Android: 

Map My Ride GPS Cycling & Route Tracker.
Google Maps.
Cyclemeter GPS.