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Colorado Springs, CO
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There are a lot of bicycle computers out there that calculate calorie consumption.

But, your actual calorie consumption mileage may vary and is usually driven by your weight and where you are riding (flat or hills).

Cycling burns up about 900 calories an hour, more or less.

Search the web for calorie consumption or base metabolic calculators. There are a bunch of free ones out there and most of them use weight and age as a part of the figures.

Some of the Polar computers and Garmin bicycle computers do calorie calculations.
 

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eminence grease
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BikerBamBam said:
is there a way to calculate the amount of callories burned durring a ride? or do they have bike computers of computer programs that will do it for you?
In the past I've used the online estimators. Not for anything meaningful, more for fun.

Now, I have a Polar 725 and it tells me what it thinks I've burned and that number is far less than the estimators used to suggest.
 

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ColoradoVeloDude said:
There are a lot of bicycle computers out there that calculate calorie consumption.

But, your actual calorie consumption mileage may vary and is usually driven by your weight and where you are riding (flat or hills).

Cycling burns up about 900 calories an hour, more or less.

Search the web for calorie consumption or base metabolic calculators. There are a bunch of free ones out there and most of them use weight and age as a part of the figures.

Some of the Polar computers and Garmin bicycle computers do calorie calculations.

I hope you mean up to because that's a lot
 

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Reality check

ColoradoVeloDudeCycling burns up about 900 calories an hour said:
Sure -- I mean, Lance does, when he's climbing Ventoux.

You burn that rate, probably, for the 20 seconds you sprint.

Most calculators on cycling computers FAR over-estimate, and can't do a great job in any case. They don't have enough info and are guessing a lot.

On a standard "endurance-pace" ride, aroundabout 500 calories/hr is more like it.
 

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Argentius said:
Sure -- I mean, Lance does, when he's climbing Ventoux.

You burn that rate, probably, for the 20 seconds you sprint.

Most calculators on cycling computers FAR over-estimate, and can't do a great job in any case. They don't have enough info and are guessing a lot.

On a standard "endurance-pace" ride, aroundabout 500 calories/hr is more like it.
Let's stay grounded and not go too far to either extreme. 900 Cal/hr is 250 watts. That's a high but reachable level for trained amateur cyclists with some effort. By contrast, Armstrong is reputed to do long climbs at well over 400 Watts and I often exceed 600 W average for 20 seconds. On the other hand, 500 Cal/hr is a reasonable rate for an endurance pace.
 

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Downhill Juggernaut
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terry b said:
In the past I've used the online estimators. Not for anything meaningful, more for fun.

Now, I have a Polar 725 and it tells me what it thinks I've burned and that number is far less than the estimators used to suggest.
Fun, but at least you can get a ballpark.

Since no one has included one for you... Here's one:

http://madducksports.com/page.cfm?PageID=96
 

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There are too many chubby cyclists for this to be true!

ColoradoVeloDude said:
Cycling burns up about 900 calories an hour, more or less.
I am with the others who know that this estimate of 900 calories/hour is way over the top. There are too many cyclists with big bellies that prove this to be inaccurate.

I think it's better to think of the work equation (and moving a bike across land is work) in terms of calories per mile. I've seen estimates of cycling as high as 40 calories burned per mile.

That MAY be the case for casual cyclists who are not in the best of shape, but for serious cyclists who are reasonably fit, the efficiency of a well coordinated machine will drop this rate to more like 25 calories/mile. Over a century, I'd bet that a fit cyclist burns in the vacinity of 2500 to 3000 calories, much lower than most calculators would posit.

For comparison purposes, running and/or walking burns about 100 calories per mile, so a ten mile bike ride would equal about the same amount of calories burned as a 3 mile run. A century riding cyclist probably burns just a few more calories than a marathon runner.

-PV
 

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Based on everything I've read and calculators I use, I always assume I'm burning 700 calories per hour or so -- that's a 16 mph pace, and 180 lbs over hilly terrain.

The reason there are chubby cyclists at that rate is because 1 lb. of fat is equal to 3500 calories. So, it takes a lot of riding to burn fat, especially if you're still over-eating to compensate. I see a lot of riders consuming an awful lot of gel packs/energy bars/whatever while they're riding a 30 mile route. Not much weight loss if you put back in as much as you burn.
 

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I stopped worrying about those details a long time ago. All you can really do is estimate even w/ the pricy calculators. If you want to be sure you are carbed up, eat rice, potatoes, noodles w/ your high protein dish. If you want to train & loose weight, think twice before you eat anything. Make it worth the calories.
 

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how many calories you burn also depends on the amount of your muscle mass - and how lean you are for your weight. Any test that tries to guesstimate your calorie expenditure w/o inquiring how lean or fit you are totally off.

A 180 shredded guy will burn a lot more cals than an 180 lb averaged physique lb rider. A 5'9" 180 lean guy will burn more cals than a 6' 180 lb bean-pole guy because the shorter guy has more muscle mass (I think :) )
 

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WAY off

ColoradoVeloDude said:
Cycling burns up about 900 calories an hour, more or less.
Yeah, less. A reasonably fit 150 lb. cyclist on a road bike, flat ground, no wind, at 20 mph burns about 600 calories per hour, or 30 calories per mile. That's about 165 wats Most on-line calculators, calculators built into computers, and calculators built into HRMs are pretty much uselessly inacurate.
 

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The Carlster said:
A 180 shredded guy will burn a lot more cals than an 180 lb averaged physique lb rider. A 5'9" 180 lean guy will burn more cals than a 6' 180 lb bean-pole guy because the shorter guy has more muscle mass (I think :) )
Generally speaking, yes. Muscle mass burns more calories, just through maintaining its own existence (vs. the same mass of fat, etc). But when it comes to riding, the difference is pretty small since you're doing the same amount of work. Add in wind resistance differences of body types (ie. the taller or wider person of a same weight increases wind resistance) and you'll be pretty close to even. Or driven insane by looking at irrelevant minutiae.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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how do you know how many calories you burn?

I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just consult the waistband in your pants. That'll tell you.
 

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Lexicon Devil
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magicant said:
Based on everything I've read and calculators I use, I always assume I'm burning 700 calories per hour or so -- that's a 16 mph pace, and 180 lbs over hilly terrain.

The reason there are chubby cyclists at that rate is because 1 lb. of fat is equal to 3500 calories. So, it takes a lot of riding to burn fat, especially if you're still over-eating to compensate. I see a lot of riders consuming an awful lot of gel packs/energy bars/whatever while they're riding a 30 mile route. Not much weight loss if you put back in as much as you burn.
When I first started cycling, as an out-of-shape 22 year old, I was losing weight at a decent pace, but due to inexperience and unfamiliarity with my body, I'd compensate for a "hard" ride of 25 miles with platefuls of food. I mean, I wouldn't down a whole pizza, but I certainly wasn't moderating my calories. Also, I was using Gatorade or gels for rides of 1.5 hours or less, which is completely unnecessary.

Now, I can go out and do 60-70 HARD miles with thousands of feet of climbing and all I go through is a gel or two and a bottle of Gatorade diluted to 50/50 with water. I've not done a century, but I have come close and all I needed was a Clif Bar and I was good til the very end. Now when I get home and get a chance to eat, I eat in moderation - a salad and a pita sandwich or something. It's not like I'm dieting, but my body has figured out what it needs and I no longer feel compelled to gorge to aid in "recovery".

But there's really nothing wrong with downing some madd pizza, as long as you're compensating for it with a good set of intervals. :)
 
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