Mountain Biking with the Microsoft Band (How-to Explained)

gwh34t

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Last week, I used my Microsoft Band to go mountain biking at a local trail. Have been trying to make it out there since I got it, and have been trying to get this together since then. Sorry for the delay, but hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will try to answer/update as needed. Being there is a lot of pictures and information, I used Microsoft's new Office product - SWAY to explain Mountain Biking with the Microsoft Band. Enjoy!

https://sway.com/Lark_lOc317Qc4FY
 

ohgood

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nice ride report! the first time I realized color coDing a gpx track by speed was possible I was blown away. it's one of the best tools tip show where the fun areas are on the trials. love it!





I'm curious why you're using the bands instead of just the phone in your camelbak to track though. honestly it seems like an unneeded accessory to me, despite its popularity on wpc.
 

gwh34t

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I'm curious why you're using the bands instead of just the phone in your camelbak to track though. honestly it seems like an unneeded accessory to me, despite its popularity on wpc.

A few reasons I guess. And I really like my band, so I may be biased. In the past, no matter which app I've used, constant GPS tracking on my phone tears the battery up. I also use my phone to play music (only local to the phone, not streaming for the same issue - battery life). If my phone is on let's say 40%. I generally ride in the evenings on my way home from work. Tracking GPS would probably kill it after the 1-2 hour ride. Running the music app may take it down to 30% after the same period. I also carry my phone for safety concerns. If someone or myself get hurt in the woods, need to be able to call out. I also do keep my phone in my camelback. If I get a text or call, I never know if it's important and have to stop to check - which happens way to frequent. Now that I have the band, I can see who may be texting or calling while I'm riding and barely have to slow down to dismiss or reply. If it's my wife, parents or boss and an emergency, they know to text and I can check it on my Band. Lastly, sometimes we do "hot laps" if you will - riding a small area fast, with no backpack. It's nice to be able to use the Band without the need of a phone close by.
 

ohgood

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A few reasons I guess.

1 And I really like my band, so I may be biased.

2 In the past, no matter which app I've used, constant GPS tracking on my phone tears the battery up.

3 I also use my phone to play music (only local to the phone, not streaming for the same issue - battery life). If my phone is on let's say 40%. I generally ride in the evenings on my way home from work. Tracking GPS would probably kill it after the 1-2 hour ride. Running the music app may take it down to 30% after the same period.

4 I also carry my phone for safety concerns. If someone or myself get hurt in the woods, need to be able to call out.

5 I also do keep my phone in my camelback. If I get a text or call, I never know if it's important and have to stop to check - which happens way to frequent.

6 Now that I have the band, I can see who may be texting or calling while I'm riding and barely have to slow down to dismiss or reply. If it's my wife, parents or boss and an emergency, they know to text and I can check it on my Band.

7 Lastly, sometimes we do "hot laps" if you will - riding a small area fast, with no backpack. It's nice to be able to use the Band without the need of a phone close by.

1 cool

2 the gps antenna, you're sure? not the screen being on or on the fringe of cellular signal? I get a full two days of gps tracking easily in airplane mode, it one with a lot on screen on/off.

3 something is wrong. time for a new battery? or is the screen on for music?

4 all to familiar wIth this part

5 oh, ok... so it's draining the battery that fast, screen off ? something is wrong!

6 neato

7 ohhhhh funnnnnn
 

gwh34t

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1 cool

2 the gps antenna, you're sure? not the screen being on or on the fringe of cellular signal? I get a full two days of gps tracking easily in airplane mode, it one with a lot on screen on/off.

3 something is wrong. time for a new battery? or is the screen on for music?

4 all to familiar wIth this part

5 oh, ok... so it's draining the battery that fast, screen off ? something is wrong!

6 neato

7 ohhhhh funnnnnn


Haha, sorry for giving you a paragraph and thanks for organizing it!


2 - Has to be. When I used some of the apps (Runtastic comes to mind), my battery drained significantly. My phone's battery is old and I probably do need a new one; however, it shouldn't drain it as much as it does when compared to other apps, etc. When I started the app, I would manually lock the screen. Cell signal isn't great, but isn't horrible, so that definitely may be an issue. I don't like to use airplane mode unless I'm with a big group of guys for a long ride, mainly because again, I use my phone for safety and if someone needs to get in touch with me (especially in the evenings after work), I need to be able to take a call or reply to a text. <--- Again, this is where the Band helps.

3 - Probably time for a new battery as mentioned, but not worth the money as of now. Waiting on this possible new 1030...?

5 - Screen is off! Haha
 

gwh34t

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Rode again this weekend on the same trail and have updated the Sway posted above. The GPS is a bit off for this area, as you can see when 2 consecutive laps were completed the inaccuracies of the two.

*Edited* Just to be clear. There is no bridge over the water. The trail rides next to the water.

wp_ss_20141207_0001.png
wp_ss_20141207_0002.png
wp_ss_20141207_0003.png
wp_ss_20141207_0004.png
 

ohgood

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if enough folks sporting WP devices ping the guys at Locus / Locus Pro for a windows client, you might enjoy a really kicking app in the future. Iphone's motionx is the only thing that comes close to it, that I've seen so far.

Maybe if/when windows 10 is released start asking the offline mapping developers for some love ?
 

Jon Shuey

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Because it records your heart rate for one reason. Secondly, you can leave your phone behind for the ride. The band records everything. Love using it for Mountain bike riding.
 

ohgood

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Those apps look horrible to me. Cyclometer looks a lot better.

Frankly, we cyclists just need bike support in the Band.
And more in app support for the Band as a heart rate meter.



I'm not sure what you mean by bike support. explain please.



if your hang up is the ui you initially see you're likely not going to care about the Swiss army knife-like functionality of data logging, display, turn by turn navigation, waypoint guidance, geocaching, route/track editing, ANT capabilities, or ease of transferring ALL the data you've recorded to friends via Bluetooth/Wi-Fi direct/ email/sms/nfc/email/drive/drop box/etc,

but that's ok, everyone doesn't need or want it all in one app. sometimes, just a big button that says "home" is good enough.

keep in mind the ANT sensor stuff is reallllllly cool for cyclists too. cadence, heart rate, incline/decline, average lap, split, all that fun stuff gets displayed, in one app.

but again, a lot of people want that big button that says "record", and then plug it into a computer to see the data. as long as you enjoy the ride that's all that matters!
 

bigskytool

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I have had my band since day one and have used it on at least 10 rides, most on the same trail which is 8.5 miles lapping 2x's. I used it initially with GPS on to try and after a few rides turned GPS off because I didn't care to see the map of where I go all the time. It worked just as well with GPS off until my last 3 rides.

Now for some reason the mileage is not calculating correctly. My 8.5 mile trip is only recording ~4 miles. I also tested it on 1 lap only which is about 4.2 miles and it records ~2.3 miles only and then turned on GPS for the second loop and it recorded 4.2. On my last rode I turned back on GPS and it recorded accurately again, 8.5 miles.

The other strange thing is that the time, calories burned and heart rate readings all stay very close whether it recorded the mileage accurately or not. However, the Pace numbers are much different because of the time vs mileage.

The record that starts at 4:15 was GPS on and the one at 4:50 was GPS off.


I also tested it with GPS on and off during runs after this started happening and it has recorded mileage accurately both ways.

Has anyone experienced badly inaccurate mileage readings not using GPS while mountain biking or road biking?
 

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ohgood

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I have had my band since day one and have used it on at least 10 rides, most on the same trail which is 8.5 miles lapping 2x's. I used it initially with GPS on to try and after a few rides turned GPS off because I didn't care to see the map of where I go all the time. It worked just as well with GPS off until my last 3 rides.

Now for some reason the mileage is not calculating correctly. My 8.5 mile trip is only recording ~4 miles. I also tested it on 1 lap only which is about 4.2 miles and it records ~2.3 miles only and then turned on GPS for the second loop and it recorded 4.2. On my last rode I turned back on GPS and it recorded accurately again, 8.5 miles.

The other strange thing is that the time, calories burned and heart rate readings all stay very close whether it recorded the mileage accurately or not. However, the Pace numbers are much different because of the time vs mileage.

The record that starts at 4:15 was GPS on and the one at 4:50 was GPS off.


I also tested it with GPS on and off during runs after this started happening and it has recorded mileage accurately both ways.

Has anyone experienced badly inaccurate mileage readings not using GPS while mountain biking or road biking?
how do you expect accurate distances without using GPS?
 

Hockeymac18

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But bigskytool specifically mentions distance being tracked with GPS off...which makes no sense.

I have had my band since day one and have used it on at least 10 rides, most on the same trail which is 8.5 miles lapping 2x's. I used it initially with GPS on to try and after a few rides turned GPS off because I didn't care to see the map of where I go all the time. It worked just as well with GPS off until my last 3 rides.

Now for some reason the mileage is not calculating correctly. My 8.5 mile trip is only recording ~4 miles. I also tested it on 1 lap only which is about 4.2 miles and it records ~2.3 miles only and then turned on GPS for the second loop and it recorded 4.2. On my last rode I turned back on GPS and it recorded accurately again, 8.5 miles.
I also tested it with GPS on and off during runs after this started happening and it has recorded mileage accurately both ways.

Has anyone experienced badly inaccurate mileage readings not using GPS while mountain biking or road biking?

That seems impossible to do without GPS, right? I'm guessing the "inaccuracy" is because the band is just picking up bumps in its accelerometer and associating them as "steps"...which then gives the "distance". Of course it'd be off...it's tracking what it thinks are steps.
 

ohgood

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How would it even track anything without GPS? An accelerometer wouldn't be able to track biking, would it?

thought about it again...
if there were enough data (heartrate, duration, 'bumpiness') from 4-5 tracks, the software could guess that he's on the same trail that he's ridden, walked, or hiked before. that's assuming he's actually walked/hiked/ran that loop consistantly.that's a lot of 'maybes' and 'ifs' though.


but again, i'm wondering how the poster was expecting to get any accuracy at all without using the gps.
 

Noahma

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thought about it again...
if there were enough data (heartrate, duration, 'bumpiness') from 4-5 tracks, the software could guess that he's on the same trail that he's ridden, walked, or hiked before. that's assuming he's actually walked/hiked/ran that loop consistantly.that's a lot of 'maybes' and 'ifs' though.


but again, i'm wondering how the poster was expecting to get any accuracy at all without using the gps.

I would think your right. The band probably takes an estimate based on your height (guessing your gate (distance of your step) and steps taken during the "ride") and calculates the steps taken vs. the estimated distance based on height. I think it does the same thing to get an estimated distance based on your steps taken.

I suspect that with GPS off a run would provide a much more accurate distance, but still an estimate. A bike ride would not get the total steps vs. distance actually taken right without a GPS location.
 

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