Many cyclists who work out on stationary bikes and kinetic trainers like to pedal to music. Spinners, Power Pacers, and other studio cyclists are provided with pre-packaged music during their formal sessions. But, when you're on your own, you might yearn for some tunes by your favorite artists with tempos that match your pedal cadence range.

That's where comes in. We determine the beats-per-minute of tunes on the iTunes Music Store (ITMS). We then post them here with links to the ITMS. You can preview and order the songs at the ITMS and place them in your own perfect cycling playlists. So, go ahead and pick some tunes and enjoy music-paced cycling.

Words of Clarification and Caution

When we say "bike" or "biking", we are usually referring to exercising on a stationary bicycle, a kinetic trainer, or rollers.

Also, we advise all cyclists who want to bike to the beat of their music to do it on an indoor or patio system. Open road or trail biking to music can be dangerous as the music may distract the rider or mask warning sounds of danger.

Let's Make a BPM Cycling Playlist:

First calculate your own workout pace in beats-per-minute (= pedal strokes per minute). We provide sample pace tracks with instructions to help you do this.

Once you know your cycling workout pace, select your tunes from our Tunes list by browsing or using the search fields. The BPM field will help you the most. Click on the links to iTunes Music Store to listen, order, and download the tunes to your iTunes Library. You can also select tunes from our prepared playlists.

Next, make a new playlist file in the left column of your iTunes window. You can call it "BPM cycleset" or whatever. Then drag the tunes from the Library to a new playlist and put them in a BPM and time sequence that matches your workout. Be sure there are BPM and Time columns in the playlist. If you don't see it, right-click (or control-click on a Mac) anyplace in the playlist header and then choose BPM and/or Time.

Finally, sync your player with the music store program and you're up and cycling.

Some Hints for Cyclists:

Pedal to the Beat
Feel the beat (tempo) of the song, then pedal to the beat as if you're running to it. Each alternating pedal stroke is equal to one beat. You might find it easier to think about one foot going down on every other beat.

Vary the Resistance
Change the resistance setting or gear setting (sometimes called "level") to make the pace feel right. Slower tempos (80 to 100 BPM) will generally need higher resistance. For very fast cadences (120-170) you'll need to lighten the load.

Use a Pulse Monitor
It's very wise to use a pulse monitor to ensure that you're attaining your maximum heart rate and not exceeding it. Cycling to music can really "pump you up." Better to be safe.

No Music-Paced Cycling on Busy Roads
This may be preaching to the choir but we just want to emphasize that it's dangerous to use a headset in traffic. Please don't do it.

Sample Cycling Workout Sequence

Beginners should probably think in terms of each pedal stroke matching each tempo beat. This is pretty much like running exactly to the beat. A typical playlist might start with a warm-up song at 80 beats-per-minute (BPM). The tempos might then gradually increase to the 170s. At this speed, you'll probably find yourself bouncing a little in your seat. You can then gradually reduce the BPM back down to the 80s or 90s.

The key is to adjust your gears so that you always have some resistance when you pedal. At slow tempos you'll set the gears higher than at faster BPMs. You'll find that you'll wind up setting the gears to a "comfort level." You may also set them slightly higher than that to increase your heart rate and maximize your training experience. Here's a typical 30 minute playlist. Note that the BPM matches the alternating pedal strokes per minute (PSPM) and that the BPMs equal twice the full pedal rotations per minute.

Mostly Rock - A 30 Minute Bikeset
Genre: Rock/Hip-Hop/Alternative
Duration: 00:31:42

See sampling and ordering details for this playlist here.
Click on the artist's name to find all tunes by the artist with links to the iTunes Music Stores.

Tune Artist Album Genre Duration BPM (=PSPM) Gear Setting Other Info
Hands Up Black Eyed Peas Elephunk Hip-Hop/Rap 3:35 87 High Note high gear
Just Like Noah's Ark Elton John The Captain & The Kid (Bonus Tracks) Rock 5:33 126 Medium Note gear in mid-range
Sunshine In The Shade The Fixx Greatest Hits Rock 2:28 150 Low A low gear is essential for fast pedaling
We Will Rock You Queen Queen: Greatest Hits Rock 2:08 164 Low Slightly lower gear may be needed
Steve McQueen Sheryl Crow C'Mon C'Mon Rock 3:25 172 Low Playlist's peak tempo. Consider very low gear
Zuton Fever The Zutons Who Killed the Zutons? Rock 3:06 165 Low Up the gear slightly
Everlong Foo Fighters The Color and the Shape Rock 4:09 158 Low Up the gear slightly more
Always Love Nada Surf The Weight is a Gift Alternative 3:18 126 Low Up the gear slightly
Bring the Funk Ben Harper Diamonds On the Inside Rock 4:07 100 High Gear may be slightly higher


These tunes were just added.    >>Browse our whole list

Tune Artist Genre BPM Links to iTunes Amazon MP3 Downloads
Thunder Imagine DragonsAlternative169Thunder
Yesterday Imagine DragonsAlternative156Yesterday
PolaroidImagine Dragons Alternative154Polaroid
CleopatraThe LumineersAlternative152ICleopatra
OpheliaThe LumineersAlternative152Ophelia

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