Watch someone play ‘Grand Theft Auto 5’ with an exercise bike

Grand Theft Bike

A keen programmer has figured out a way to drive in Grand Theft Auto 5 while using an exercise bike instead of a controller.

David Programa used a combination of a flywheel-based exercise bike and a correctly programmed Raspberry Pi to make it possible. The exercise bike has six magnets placed on the flywheel that triggers a reed switch six times per rotation. As Hackaday explains, the extra magnets gives the system better resolution at slow speeds.

As a comment from Programa points out further on in the article, he’s a programmer that’s new to electronics. However, the results are quite impressive as his YouTube video demonstrates.


The game is played on the Xbox 360 with the controller’s trigger control acting as an analog accelerator input. Through its creation of varying voltages depending on its position, the Raspberry Pi can emulate its output.

As the article points out, it’s far from a practical way of controlling a car in-game, but it’s fun. Amusingly, the method only works for cars and motorbikes. It does not work with bicycles in-game as players need to mash the A button instead.

This is not the first time that people have been able to play Grand Theft Auto 5 with a bike. For instance, GTA Bike 5 is a mod that turns a smart bike trainer or treadmill into a game controller. The difference there is it requires a specific type of smart device to do so.

Only last week, we saw one coder manage to run Grand Theft Auto 5 on an original Nintendo Game Boy. Sebastian Staacks created a WiFi Game Boy cartridge so games could be streamed onto the system.


In other gaming news, PS5 players can now have their screenshots and videos auto-uploaded to the PlayStation app.