Most people think that biking does not help you lose weight. Instead, they think that you need to be bicycling professionally to burn a substantial amount of calories.
The average person biking at a leisurely pace between 8-12 MPH will burn 300 – 480 calories for one hour of cycling. Of course, the number of biking calories burned will be based on how intense you ride, your weight, and the time you spend riding.
Biking is an excellent way to get exercise without having to go through all the hassle of going into a gym or paying for expensive equipment! All it takes is some determination and willpower, and before long, those pounds will start dropping off!
You’ll probably be surprised how WELL biking will help tone your body!
How Many Calories Do You Burn While Biking?
Bicycling is a great way to exercise because it’s fun, easy, and doesn’t require a lot of expensive equipment. There are so many benefits associated with cycling that health care professionals recommended adults bike for 30 minutes every day.
That translates into about 250 calories burnt every day if you bike at a leisurely pace. However, if you decide to push a little harder for a moderate-intensity (12-15 MPH) workout, you’d burn 320 calories in the same 30 minutes. A step above moderate intensity at 14 – 16 MPH would let you burn 400 calories!
Doing that five days for the week would allow you to burn roughly 2000 calories for the week, equating to about half a pound in weight loss.
By now, you’re probably wondering…
How are the calories burned by biking calculated?
As mentioned before, the number of calories you burn while biking is calculated based on a mix of factors that I’ll go over below:
If you are heavier, the calories burned by biking will differ from those that weigh less. This is because heavier people have a harder time biking at the same speed than someone who is lighter. As such, they will expend more energy over the same exercise duration.
For instance, a 200-pound person will burn 380 calories an hour while biking at a leisurely pace below 10 MPH. However, a person that weighs 150 pounds will only burn 285 calories in the same amount of time at the same intensity.
Cycling intensity has a major influence on how many calories you burn. It considers how fast you’re going(speed) and how intense the effort feels(cadence). For example, you might ride at a low intensity, such as taking a leisurely bike ride, or high intensity, such as riding up a hill. The more intensive your effort, the more calories you’ll be burning.
There are several ways to tell how intense you are riding. The first is based on the speed of your cycling. Here are some guidelines for the intensity based on speed:
- Slower than 12 mph is considered very leisurely.
- 12-14 MPH is considered a moderate pace for most people.
- 14-16 MPH is considered the average for recreational riding/moderately high
- 16-19 MPH is High intensity/Race Pace
- Above 19 MPH is a very high intensity
You can also grasp your cycling intensity if you use one of the best heart rate monitors for cycling. These devices will help you keep tabs on your heart rate, which is a great indicator of the intensity of your ride. You’ll also be able to do heart rate training and focus your intensity on the different heart rate zones.
For heart rate training, I use the Wahoo Fitness app and my heart rate monitor. With this setup, I can perfectly gauge how hard I work out and how long I spend in each training zone. In the app it shows the following:
- Easy – 0 to 114 BPM
- Fat Burn – 115 to 132 BPM
- Cardio – 133 to 150 BPM
- Hard – 151 to 167 BPM
- Peak – 168 to X BPM
To put more context in, at 114 BPM, I’d be riding at 12 MPH or lower. At 14-16 MPH, I’d be somewhere between 115 BPM to 150 BPM, depending on how long I’ve been riding and the terrain. Finally, at 151 BPM to 167 BPM, I would be riding as fast and hard as possible for at least 15 minutes.
That brings us to the next factor that influences how many calories burned riding a bike.
Calorie expenditure is a measure of how much energy is being burned. The time you are exercising impacts how many calories you burn and how fast your body uses those calories during the activity. The longer you pedal, the more calories you will burn.
At a moderate pace, about 10 miles per hour, the average person weighing around 150 pounds will be burning 140 calories in 30 minutes. If you extend that time to 60 minutes(1 hour), you’d burn 285 calories.
Again you have to keep in mind that the amount of calories burned biking over time is still influenced by your weight and intensity.
But that’s not all…
One other factor also influences your calorie burn rate while riding a bike, and that’s the type of bicycle you ride.
Type of Bike
The type of bike you ride is one of the less obvious factors, but it’s still a very important part to consider when measuring the calories burned biking.
For example, it is generally easier to ride a stationary bike than a bike outdoors. This is because when riding outdoors, you will experience different terrains, wind resistance, obstacles, and any other thing that might require you to spend more energy. But, on the other hand, while biking inside, it’s just you and the spin bike with no external factor to contend against.
As a result, you won’t see the same rate of burning calories riding both types of bikes. Sometimes the outdoor biking calories burned will be less. Other times it will be more.
To give an example, if you were to ride a road bike downhill, you could easily get up to speeds of 19 MPH without putting in any effort. While on a compact stationary bike, you’ll have to give constant effort to get through the workout.
How to calculate how many calories are burned by bike riding?
The easiest way to calculate how many calories you burn during a bike ride is by using a bike computer or cycling app. Either of those devices will measure how much distance and how much time was spent biking; it’ll also take your weight and cycling intensity into consideration and then automatically calculate it for you.
How can you calculate how many calories burned biking without a tracker?
The easiest way to figure out how many calories burned while riding a bike without using a calorie tracker is to make an estimation based on the factors you are sure of. For example, let’s say you commute to work every day; you can easily figure out the distance it takes you to get to work by using google maps. Once you know the distance, you can use a simple calculation that I shared in this article on how long it takes to bike a mile.
Using the calculation in that article, you’ll be able to figure out your speed based on the distance and time taken to get to your destination. Once you have your speed figured out, you can pair it with information you already know, such as your weight, the time it took to get to work, and the relative intensity of the ride.
You can then take that information and run it through an online calorie calculator to compute the calories burned biking for you based on your weight, time of activity, and speed.
Using another simple calculation of it taking a little over 4 minutes on a moderately paced ride, you can then match that with the total distance. So, for example, if you need to go 10 miles for your commute, it would take about 40 minutes to get there riding at 15 mph, which would be average recreational biking speed. So if you weighed 150 pounds, rode for 40 minutes at a speed of 15 mph, the number of calories burned would be 285 calories.
How many calories can you burn by bike commuting?
To determine how many calories does riding a bike burn, you will need to follow the same steps above when calculating the calories burned biking in general. The most important thing is knowing the total distance you rode and then figuring out your average speed throughout the commute. You will then be able to figure out the calories burned per mile and the total calories.
Tips for Burning more calories when bike commuting
If you want to increase the calories burned biking, you can only do two main things.
First, instead of biking at a moderate speed during a commute, how about increasing the intensity using higher gears?
Secondly, how about adding in some intervals that will make it challenging for you to bike for long periods of time. A great example of adding intervals is alternating between going faster for 5 minutes and sprinting for 1 minute. Then, after the 1-minute mark, you go back down to a normal pace for 5 minutes before going back into a sprint.
Another easy way to burn more calories with biking is by adding in extra miles. By adding extra miles, you will increase the overall amount of time that you are biking. This will turn it into an endurance activity, and when endurance activities are done for a longer duration, they usually burn more calories than shorter sprinting type exercises.
You can easily add in extra miles on your bike by doing things taking a different route to your destination if time allows it. Another pretty simple way is to extend how far away your workplace is from where you live. While these methods won’t be as reliable as speed intervals, they are much better for getting more mileage and burning more calories with biking overall.
How to find out how many miles you have biked in one day?
To find out the miles, you ride in a day, you need to use a GPS tracker that measures distance. Apps like google maps, Strava, and even wahoo cycling will do this for you.
How much will biking help me lose weight?
If you want to lose weight, it’s different for each person. For example, to lose 1 pound per week, the average person who weighs 170 pounds would need to bike for around 43 minutes per day for 5 days at a speed of 16 MPH.
How many calories does biking burn per mile?
The average person that weighs 170 lbs will burn approximately 60-70 calories per mile while cycling.
How many miles does it take to burn 100 calories on the bike?
To burn 100 calories, you would need to bike between 1 to 2 miles at a good pace of 14-15 mph.
How long do you have to bike to burn 500 calories?
To burn 500 calories, you’ll need to ride for 35-40 minutes at 14 or 15 mph and have a bodyweight between 160 lbs to 170 lbs.
How much cycling to burn 2,000 calories?
To burn 2,000 calories, the average person would need to be cycling for about 150 minutes or 2 hours and 37 minutes if they pace at 15 MPH and weigh between 160 – 170 pounds.
How many calories does cycling burn in 30 minutes?
In 30 minutes, you will burn about 300 calories riding at a moderate pace between 12 and 14 mph.
It’s pretty simple to figure out how many calories you can burn by bike commuting. The most important thing is knowing the total distance that you rode and then figuring out your average speed throughout the commute. From there, it becomes easier to calculate how much time you’ll be biking for at a certain pace or how far away from home you need to go to increase mileage and calorie burn.
Riding a bike is a great and fun activity that works wonders for people that are focused on weight loss. You don’t need to go crazy to start losing weight. Just 30 minutes of riding every day will have you burning calories much faster than you would if you were doing other activities since you’ll be having fun while doing it.
Last Updated on January 13, 2023 by Daniel White