Cycling calories burned

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Replies

  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,249 Member
    awdouth wrote: »
    I used to cycle all the time, and then I got my driver's license haha. Having the convenience of a car made me not want to cycle as often, especially since I didn't need to to get places. In my current journey to lose weight and get fit, I set my bike up in a stationary system, but I'm kind of afraid to get on it because the last time I got on a bike I was totally winded and exhausted. Do you guys think I should start by only cycling for a couple of minutes at a time, would that help?

    It sounds to me like you need to follow a similar approach that new runners do, ie keep it relatively low intensity for short sessions and gradually build up your times / intensity. You could also consider alternating steady state rides with intervals.

    You mentioned setting up your bike as a stationary system.....did you get a smart trainer? If yes there a number of excellent apps out there that focus on power (watts) based training, even without a smart trainer many of them will work with cadence and speed sensors which are relatively inexpensive.
  • bwogilvie
    bwogilvie Posts: 2,130 Member
    For example, today I rode for an hour at about 11mph and MapMyRide says I only burned 156 calories.

    Most online calculators are based on the MET estimates in the Compendium of Physical Activities, which was designed to produce standard encoding of activities to ensure consistency across different research studies, NOT to produce accurate numbers for individuals. For running, the Compendium is reasonably accurate, but not for cycling.

    This calculator is much more useful: http://bikecalculator.com

    It estimates that a 150 lb. person riding a 25 lb. road bike at 11 mph on level terrain with no wind, on clincher tires, riding on the hoods, will burn about 168 calories.

    Note that calories burned in cycling on level ground are much less dependent on a person's weight than running, because once you get to a moderate speed, most of the resistance is from the wind, which depends on the surface area you present, not your weight.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,261 Member
    bwogilvie wrote: »
    For example, today I rode for an hour at about 11mph and MapMyRide says I only burned 156 calories.

    Most online calculators are based on the MET estimates in the Compendium of Physical Activities, which was designed to produce standard encoding of activities to ensure consistency across different research studies, NOT to produce accurate numbers for individuals. For running, the Compendium is reasonably accurate, but not for cycling.

    This calculator is much more useful: http://bikecalculator.com

    It estimates that a 150 lb. person riding a 25 lb. road bike at 11 mph on level terrain with no wind, on clincher tires, riding on the hoods, will burn about 168 calories.

    Note that calories burned in cycling on level ground are much less dependent on a person's weight than running, because once you get to a moderate speed, most of the resistance is from the wind, which depends on the surface area you present, not your weight.

    Wow, that must be one of the few times where a Map My app doesn't come with completely inflated calorie numbers!
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,970 Member
    I just did a little more than 15 miles in almost 2 hours. 475 kilo-Joules, so anywhere from 463 to 487 kCals. Don't judge, I was showing somebody around.
  • dmkoenig
    dmkoenig Posts: 299 Member
    If you are cycling primarily to burn calories, the sad reality is that bicycles are remarkably efficient machines, which translates into not burning a whole lot of calories if you are cycling at a comfortable rate. You can get a pretty good idea of your calorie burn using perceived intensity. If you are able to easily carry on a conversation then probably a couple of hundred calories in an hour is realistic. If you are generating a good sweat but not regularly out of breath you can estimate around 350 in an hour. If you are gassed (like in a high intensity hour spin class) it's possible to burn 500-600 calories. Of course there are other factors like a person's weight but that will give you a ball park idea of what's reasonable to expect.