Bike to Burn Calories | Reader's Digest

Bike to Burn Calories

Learn how many calories you burn when you bike.

from Reverse Diabetes

Riding a bike burns lots of calories — even when you’re just cruising along soaking in the sunshine. The Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide states the number of calories a 150-pound rider burns per hour, based on pace, below. Heavier riders will burn more.

An hour of riding at…

  • Less than 10 mph, very leisurely will burn 272 calories
  • 10 to 12 mph, easy will burn 408 calories
  • 12 to 14 mph moderate will burn 544 calories
  • 14 to 16 mph, vigorous will burn 680 calories
  • 16 to 19 mph, very fast will burn 816 calories
  • More than 20 mph, racing speed will burn 1,088 calories

New riders can expect to pedal along at about 10 mph, working up to 14 or 15 mph. Start out riding 20 to 30 minutes most days, working up to longer rides, especially on the weekends. To get fitter (and lose weight) faster, try adding intervals (short bursts of hard efforts) to your rides twice a week.

Plus: How to Give Your Bike a Tune-Up

  • Your Comments

    • Bill Knight

      I started biking over 3 weeks ago. I joined 2 local biking clubs to participate in organized rides. I started fixing up my bike including an odometer, and used a heart rate watch with a chest strap. I started at 3  30 mile rides a week and now am trying to do a daily 30 mile trip. That is over 2 1/2  hours steady cardio per trip. My heart rate response and resting heart rate has improved. Unfortunately, I have not lost a single pound. I am between 270 and 280 pounds constantly. My doctor is going to do some blood tests. My diet has remained the same since before I started the exercise.

    • Bill Knight

      I started biking over 3 weeks ago. I joined 2 local biking clubs to participate in organized rides. I started fixing up my bike including an odometer, and used a heart rate watch with a chest strap. I started at 3  30 mile rides a week and now am trying to do a daily 30 mile trip. That is over 2 1/2  hours steady cardio per trip. My heart rate response and resting heart rate has improved. Unfortunately, I have not lost a single pound. I am between 270 and 280 pounds constantly. My doctor is going to do some blood tests. My diet has remained the same since before I started the exercise.

      • ijs

        Wow. That really sucks. I went through that and it turns out I have hypothyroidism. A few months of synthroid later, I am showing the correct level of the hormone in my body, but my metabolism has NOT bounced back. Just the year before I was able to diet and lose LOTs of weight rapidly. Now when I diet and exercise I only achieve less than half the results. It really sucks to have a hormone disorder and to have people look at you like all you do is shove BigMacs down your throat all day long.

    • Mrtang

      111