The average person will burn 400 to 800 calories per hour bicycling. The number of calories burned cycling will depend on your weight, the distance and speed you cycle, and the type and level of terrain.
On a firm, level surface biking at 10mph (6min/mile, or 16kph) a 200 pound person is estimated to burn 649 calories per hour and a 150 pound person 487 calories per hour.
How many calories are burned cycling?
Calories burned per minute = (MET x body weight in Kg x 3.5) ÷ 200
“MET” is a measurement of the energy cost of physical activity for a period of time. You can find an activity’s MET on the chart above.
A task with a MET of 1 is roughly equal to a person’s energy expenditure from sitting still at room temperature not actively digesting food.
A task with a MET of 2 uses twice as much energy as a task with a MET of 1. A task with a MET of 10 uses 10 times as much energy as a task with a MET of 1.
MET values “do not estimate the energy cost of physical activity in individuals in ways that account for differences in body mass, adiposity, age, sex, efficiency of movement, geographic and environmental conditions in which the activities are performed. Thus, individual differences in energy expenditure for the same activity can be large and the true energy cost for an individual may or may not be close to the stated mean MET level as presented in the Compendium.” (as quoted from the main page of the Compendium of Physical Activities).
A person weighs 180 pounds (81.65kg) and bicycles for leisure at a pace of 9.4 mph (a task that has a MET value of 5.8) for 1 hour (60 minutes).
Calories Burned from Cycling 9.4 mph (per minute) = (5.8 x 81.65 x 3.5) ÷ 200 = 8.29
Calories Burned from Cycling 9.4 mph (for 60 minutes) = 8.29 x 60 = 497
How does your weight impact the number of calories burned cycling?
Heavier people burn more calories doing the same activity. A 240-pound (108.8kg) person biking at 11mph for 30 minutes will burn 389 calories. A 120-pound (54.4kg) person will burn 194 calories in the same scenario.
Does biking faster burn more calories?
Faster, more intensive biking will burn more calories per minute of activity. A 180-pound (81.6kg) person biking at 5.5mph (8.8kmh) will burn 300 calories in 1 hour of biking. The same person biking at 15mph (24kmh) will burn 952 calories in 1 hour of biking.
How many calories do you burn biking different distances?
The further you bike, the more calories you burn. A basic rule of thumb is that you’ll burn about 50 calories for every mile of biking.
How far to bike to burn 1000 calories?
The time it takes you to burn 1,000 calories biking depends on your weight and the speed that you bike. A 200-pound (90.7kg) person biking at 15mph will burn 1,000 calories in about an hour. A 140-pound (63.5kg) person biking at 9.4mph will take just over 2 and a half hours to burn the same number.
Stationary Bike Calorie Chart
A stationary bike will help you burn about the same number of calories for the same level of effort as a road bike. Here is a chart using watts of energy on a stationary bike.
How many calories do you burn in 1 hour of cycling?
In 60 minutes of cycling on a flat level surface, a 200 pound (90.7kg) person will burn: 334 calories at 5.5mph (8.9kph), 650 calories at 10mph (16kph), and 954 calories at 15mph (24.1kph).
In the same scenario, a 150 pound person will burn: 250 calories at 5.5mph, 486 calories at 10mph, and 716 calories at 15mph.
How long do I have to cycle to burn 1000 calories?
On a flat level surface, a 200 pound person will burn 1000 calories cycling at: 5.5mph (8.9kph) for 180 minutes, 10mph (16kph) for 93 minutes, and 15mph (24.1kph) for 63 minutes.
In the same scenario, a 150 pound person will burn 1000 calories cycling at: 5.5mph for 240 minutes, 10mph for 124 minutes, and 15mph for 84 minutes.
Sources and External Resources
- Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD, Meckes N, Bassett Jr DR, Tudor-Locke C, Greer JL, Vezina J, Whitt-Glover MC, Leon AS. The Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide. Healthy Lifestyles Research Center, College of Nursing & Health Innovation, Arizona State University. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from the World Wide Web.
- Arizona State University Healthy Lifestyles Research Center – Compendium of Physical Activities – Bicycling – Provides MET values for cycling activities.
- Learn about “MET” and the compendium of physical activities from Arizona State University, University or South Carolina, and Wikipedia. There is a summary of general physical activities defined by intensity from the CDC and the Harvard School of Public Health.
- Recommendations on physical activity for health from the Harvard School of Public Health and the WHO.
- Learn how to ride a bike with “How to Ride a Bike as an Adult” by Caitlin Giddings of Bicycling.com, “How to Ride a Bike as an Adult” by Jessie Heyman of Vogue, “How to Learn to Ride a Bike in 15 Minutes” by Doug Donaldson of Better Homes and Gardens, and “An Adult’s Guide to Learning to Ride a Bicycle” by Barry Petchesky of Deadspin.
- Learn how to start cycling for health and sport with “How to Start Cycling: 6 Need-to-Know Tips for Beginners” by Michael Nystrom of Bicycling.com.
- Discover the benefits of cycling with “Benefits of Cylcing” by the UK’s NHS, “Cycling – Health Benefits” by Australia’s Better Health Channel, “The top 5 benefits of cycling” from Harvard Health Publishing, “15 benefits of cycling: why cycling is good for weight loss, fitness, legs and mind” by Michelle Arthurs-Brennan of Cycling Weekly, and “11 Legit Health Benefits of Cycling” by Molly Hurford of Bicycling.com.
- The most popular cycling forums we know of are BikeForums.net, Bike Radar, Road Bike Review Forums, Cycling Forums, and Reddit’s r/bicycling, r/cycling, and r/bikecommuting.