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How to Measure Distance on an Indoor Bike Trainer [Guest Post]

How to measure distance on an indoor bike trainer

By Shaon

Being an enthusiastic workout individual, I came to realize that I don’t really have to get the latest indoor spin bike but instead could use my mountain bike as an indoor bike trainer. At first, I thought it takes rocket science to fix this; then I noticed that there are some affordable ways in which I could train at home.

This method enables you and your kids to exercise at home, even if you cannot go biking outdoors due to weather or external factors.

Besides your bike, the two items you need are a magnetic or a fluid bike trainer and a wireless cycling computer with an odometer function. This wireless cycling computer usually has a display screen that will display the bike’s speed. Below are some of the ways in which you can be able to measure distance on an indoor bike trainer.

Indoor Bike TrainerImage: Ardo111/ Wikimedia Commons –

Ways to Measure Distance on an Indoor Bike Trainer

Using Speed

This is the most basic and common way of measuring distance by determining how fast the bike trainer is being cycled. The indoor bike trainer, with the help of a wireless cycling computer, usually displays the speed in its display screen where you can easily take your speed in km/h or in m/s or just take the distance reading that is displayed on the display screen.

Using Average speed

Average speed is usually obtained after the wireless cycling computer detects whole cycling sessions from start to end. And just like speed, the average speed is displayed on the display screen. Some wireless cycling computers allow you to set the display information to show cycled distance.

Editor’s Note: “Cycle Scenery Indoor Cycling” (not affiliated with the author or our website) has produced a fantastic video showing how to connect a cycling computer to a bike trainer:

Credits: Cycle Scenery Indoor Cycling

By the use of cadence

This the overall rate in which your legs are able to turn while cycling. And in order for this to work out precisely and correct, you will need to have an extra sensor and a magnet on the back wheel. In other words, this is basically how fast a cyclist is able to spin during an indoor workout. The information on the measured cadence is then displayed on the screen where the biker can easily access.

By use of ride time

Normally prior to any indoor cycling for trainers, the biker has to start a timer, and after the cycling duration ends, he/ she has to end the timer as well. So the ride time involves measuring the whole riding period between the start and the end of the timer.

By using an odometer

Usually, odometers are made in such a way that they are able to display the distance you’ve ridden. With some, they are giving you the option of saving the initial distance values for future references. I love the fact that odometers allow one to store their cycling distance over time. Plus, all the information that you may need is usually displayed on the display screen that is attached to the bike handles.

Use of a Bluetooth speed sensor

In order for you to be able to get readings on this method, you will need a Bluetooth sensor and an app. Because they work hand in hand, you will need to have an affordable sensor that will suit your needs and an app that is compatible with the Bluetooth sensor. This way, you will be able to get cycling distance readings from your phone after everything is set correctly.

Indoor Bike TrainerImage: Becky Stern/ Flickr –


Regardless of your choice of using either a wireless cycling computer or a Bluetooth wireless sensor and an app, you can still easily track distance cycled on an indoor bike trainer.

If you already have an indoor bike trainer, it may be time to look at getting an outstanding beginner kids bike. This way, you will be able to enjoy exercising both indoors and outdoors as a family.

Author Bio

Shaon is an experienced content writer who has produced several thousand product reviews and guides in the past few years. Shaon works as a senior editor and writer on bike, outdoor and hunting sites which collectively boast 25 million unique monthly visits.