How Many Calories Do You Burn When Cycling?

We would all like to know how many calories are burnt whilst cycling. Whilst it’s easy to  estimate, it’s difficult to get an accurate number.

It’s a question we’ve all thought: how many calories do I burn riding. You can find quick and easy equations to the number of calories burned but  life is rarely that simple. Even GPS devices and apps, though helpful, can’t guarantee an accurate figure.

Estimated calories burned cycling

Here we show with the estimates, which are generally based on your weight and the speed you cycle. Easy as pie! Here is how they can stack up.

Rider weight Cycling speed Calories burned
55kg 13mph/21kph 440kcal/hour
55kg 15mph/24kph 550kcal/hour
55kg 18mph/29kph 660kcal/hour
75kg 13mph/21kph 600kcal/hour
75kg 15mph/24kph 750kcal/hour
75kg 18mph/29kph 900kcal/hour
90kg 13mph/21kph 720kcal/hour
90kg 15mph/24kph 900kcal/hour
90kg 18mph/29kph 1080kcal/hour

Using online calorie calculators is liable to misestimate, and can be as much as 20 per cent, depending on your terrain or roads. Unlike the runner, whose energy  is more easily predicted, cyclists fall prey to a whole host of variables. First and most, we have wheels: while freewheeling , we’re burning little energy.

Aerodynamics is the next-big factor and not just wind direction or speed. The bigger your front surface area, the larger your aerodynamic drag. If you have a large body frame an upright riding position and flapping clothes, you’re going to need more energy to cut through the air, especially compared to a slim rider in Lycra whose weight is concentrated in his legs.

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