Cycling: the secret to burning calories

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Louise Barnett
Louise Barnett
I'm Louise Barnett, the editor at, where my days are filled with the exploration of myriad subjects that pique my curiosity and feed my ever-growing appetite for knowledge. From the latest in laser cutting technology to the timeless wisdom of yoga and meditation, my work allows me to dive deep into topics that not only fascinate me but also have the potential to improve our daily lives. I have a particular interest in how ancient practices meet modern life, leading me to explore everything from Ayurveda to minimalism and beyond. My journey has taught me the importance of balance—between innovation and tradition, action and reflection, and between the digital and the natural world. Each article I publish is a step towards understanding this balance better, hoping to inspire others along the way.

Cycling is not only fun, but also an effective way to burn calories. Find out how much you can burn during one trip and what factors affect the effectiveness of this workout.

What factors affect calorie burning while cycling?

Cycling is not only fun, but also an effective way to burn calories. The amount of calories burned during this activity can vary depending on many factors. Below are the most important ones:

1. speed of riding

The faster you drive, the more energy you have to expend, which leads to burning more calories. For example, riding at 15 km/h may burn fewer calories than riding at 25 km/h.

2 Type of terrain

Driving on flat terrain will require less energy than driving uphill. Hills and descents can significantly affect the amount of calories burned. Riding on hilly terrain can increase calorie burn by up to 50% compared to riding on flat terrain.

3. body weight

People with higher body weight burn more calories when cycling compared to lighter people. This is because they have to carry more weight, which requires more effort.

4 Fitness level

People who exercise regularly and are in good physical condition may burn fewer calories while cycling compared to those who are new to cycling. This is because their muscles are more efficient and use less energy while working.

5 Type of bike

Different types of bicycles can affect the amount of calories burned. For example, riding a mountain bike with more wheel resistance can burn more calories than riding a light road bike.

6 Weather conditions

Wind, temperature and humidity can affect calorie burning. Riding against the wind requires more effort and can increase calorie burn, while riding in hot weather can cause you to tire faster and burn fewer calories.

In summary, calorie burning while cycling depends on many factors. To achieve the best results, it’s a good idea to adjust the intensity of your training to your individual needs and monitor your progress regularly.

Speed vs. calorie burning

Cycling is one of the most efficient ways to burn calories, and the speed at which you move plays a key role in determining how many calories you burn. But how exactly does speed affect calorie burning? Here are some key points to consider:

1. the relationship between speed and metabolism

When cycling at a higher speed, our heart rate works faster, which in turn increases our metabolism. A higher metabolism means that our body burns more calories, even after the ride is over.

2. air resistance

The faster we drive, the more air resistance we encounter. To break through this resistance and maintain a higher speed, we have to do more work, which leads to burning more calories.

3 Muscle performance

At higher speeds, muscles work harder, which can lead to more calorie burning. However, it is important to keep in mind that riding at very high speeds for a long time can lead to faster muscle fatigue.

4 Ride time

Although cycling at higher speeds burns more calories per minute, it can reduce the amount of time we are able to spend on the bike due to fatigue. Therefore, it’s important to find the optimal speed that will allow us to burn as many calories as possible, but still allow us to ride for longer periods of time.

5 Individual differences

It’s also worth noting that the amount of calories burned when cycling at a certain speed can vary depending on a person’s individual characteristics, such as age, gender, body weight and fitness level.

In summary, speed is a key factor affecting the amount of calories burned while cycling. To achieve the best results, it is worth experimenting with different speeds and observing how they affect your body and calorie burning.

Cycling speed
Speed vs. calorie burning / canva

Mountain bike vs road bike

Mountain biking and road biking are two of the most popular types of bicycles that differ in many ways, including calorie burning. Here are some key differences and how they affect calorie burning:

1. construction and weight

A mountain bike is typically heavier and bulkier compared to a road bike. This extra weight can increase the amount of calories burned, especially when riding on difficult terrain.

2 Wheel resistance

Mountain bike tires are wider and have a more aggressive tread, which increases resistance while riding. Road bikes, on the other hand, have narrower tires with smoother tread, which allows you to ride faster with less resistance.

3 Driver’s position

On a road bike, the rider adopts a more aerodynamic position, which reduces drag and allows for a faster ride. On a mountain bike, the position is more upright, which can increase drag.

4 Riding terrain

A mountain bike is designed to be ridden in difficult terrain such as mud, sand and stones. Riding in such conditions requires more effort and leads to burning more calories. A road bike, on the other hand, is optimized for riding on smooth, paved roads, which can lead to burning fewer calories over the same distance.

Electric bicycle and calorie burning

The electric bicycle has become popular due to its ability to assist pedaling. But how does it affect calorie burning?

1 Pedal assist

The main feature of an electric bicycle is a motor that assists pedaling. Depending on the level of assistance, you may burn fewer calories compared to riding a traditional bicycle.

2 Weight of the bike

An electric bicycle is usually heavier than a traditional bicycle because of the extra motor and battery. This extra weight can increase the amount of calories burned, especially when riding uphill.

3 Training intensity

Although an electric bike can help you burn fewer calories when riding with full power steering, you can increase the intensity of your workout by turning off the power steering or choosing a lower level of power steering.

In summary, both mountain bikes, road bikes and electric bikes have their own unique characteristics that affect calorie burning. Choosing the right bike depends on individual preferences and training goals.

Calculating calorie burn

If you want to know exactly how many calories you burn while cycling, it’s a good idea to use a calorie-burning calculator. It will help you adjust the intensity of your workout to meet your goals.

Calorie burning calculator:

Calorie burning calculator

Calorie burning calculator for cycling

Summary: Cycling as a way to burn calories

Cycling is a great way to burn calories and improve fitness. Depending on the speed, type of bike and individual body characteristics, you can burn between 300 and 900 kcal per hour. To achieve the best results, it’s a good idea to use a calorie-burning calculator and adjust the intensity of your workout to suit your needs.

Check also: Why is it so important to learn to enjoy sports?

Cycling calories – frequently asked questions

How many calories does 10 km on a bicycle burn?

Calorie burn while cycling 10 km depends on many factors, but on average you can burn between 200 and 500 kcal.

How long does it take to ride a bicycle to lose 1 kg of weight?

To lose 1 kg of weight, you need to burn about 7700 kcal. If on average you burn 500 kcal per hour, you need 15 hours of riding.

How much cycling do you need to do to burn 1000 kcal?

Assuming an average burn of 500 kcal per hour, you need 2 hours of riding to burn 1000 kcal.

How many calories does cycling 30 minutes burn?

In 30 minutes of cycling, you can burn between 100 and 250 kcal, depending on the intensity and individual characteristics.

Is cycling good for the stomach?

Cycling engages the abdominal muscles, but mainly as stabilizing muscles. To effectively model the abdomen, it is worth combining riding with other exercises.

After how long do I see the effects of cycling?

The effects of cycling, such as improved fitness or weight loss, are usually visible after a few weeks of regular training.

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