How Many Calories Do You Burn Riding A Bike?

Learning the number of calories you can burn by riding a bike will give you an idea of the training you need to carry out. Learn more about this topic with us!
How Many Calories Do You Burn Riding A Bike?

Last update: 01 October, 2020

We’re sure a lot of people have asked themselves how many calories they burn riding a bike? After all, this is an exercise a lot of people love to carry out on a frequent basis. This concern can arise for various reasons or interests, such as weight loss or the benefits that riding a bike can bring.

Regardless of where this question comes from, it’s important to answer it and be well-aware of the effects that each workout session brings. A large number of people who begin performing this exercise do so in order to burn calories and enjoy a better figure. How many calories do you burn riding a bike? Keep reading to find out!

Calories – what exactly are they?

As you already know, food is the body’s main fuel. We all obtain calories by eating meals. But what are they and what are they for?

Generally speaking, the calorie is a unit of measurement relative to energy. You’ve probably noticed that many foods mention the number of calories they contain. Well, this refers to the amount of energy that the body can receive from their consumption.

Moreover, it’s very important to take into account the caloric intake because, if it is higher or lower than necessary, it can lead to overweight or malnutrition. Calories participate in various processes of the body; they provide energy to all important organs and help the body in primary and secondary functions.

Two men riding a bike in the mountains.

How many calories do you burn riding a bike?

Based on what we explained above, you can refer to physical activity, in this case, cycling. Through this practice, people can burn calories, which influences the energy expenditure of each individual.

In this sense, in this physical practice, different aspects stand out that you must take into account if you’re trying to burn calories. In other words, it’s important to understand the fact that the mere act of riding a bike doesn’t burn calories – there are other variables to consider. Let’s see what they are.

Riding a bike: the intensity

The amount of energy that the body requires to carry out the pedaling movement varies depending on the intensity. Whether you go slow or fast, the body will need energy. But, of course, if you decide to perform a more intense exercise, your body will need more power.

This aspect alone makes the number of calories riding a bike to change dramatically. This explains why gyms have machines whose intensity can be modified, choosing between the easiest or the most complex.

In addition, to perform the pedaling movement, the body activates the largest muscle groups of the lower extremities (quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings). Due to their size, these muscles require a higher caloric expenditure, especially when a greater effort is demanded.


This is perhaps one of the most relevant factors in knowing how many calories you burn riding a bike. If your goal is to lose weight, it simply isn’t enough to ride a bike for only 15 or 20 minutes. In that case, it’s way better to go on walks for more than 30 minutes.

It’s exactly from that period of time that the body begins to lose calories. This is precisely one of the reasons why experts usually recommend half an hour of physical activity a day. 

Calories or kilocalories?

To understand how many calories you can burn riding a bike, it’s necessary to understand the difference between calories and kilocalories. Normally, nutritionists and trainers speak of kilocalories (Kcal) to refer to energy expenditure or caloric intake.

However, foods are referenced in calories. The difference is very simple: 1000 calories are equivalent to a single kilocalorie, but both units of energy are located on different scales.

Such data is important for calculating intake and relating it to calorie burn during physical activity, such as riding a bike.

Based on this, we can take as a background a piece of research published in 2012, which threw a result of an average caloric expenditure of 558.2 Kcal. This serves as the basis for calculating the calories that each person can burn riding a bike.

A person standing on a scale.

Riding a bike: it isn’t possible to get exact data

Each person has different physical capabilities. For that reason, all individuals should have a different training plan. Don’t forget that, in order to learn more about this topic and to get more accurate and personalized information, you should turn to a medical professional.

First of all, it’s necessary to consult a nutritionist to know the caloric intake of your diet. Secondly, you should consult a coach to help you design a goal-oriented, cycling-based training plan. With this combination of diet and exercise, you’ll get amazing results pretty soon.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Morales Durán, M., & Calderón Montero, F. (2000). Fisiología del ejercicio. Rev. Lat. Cardiol. (Ed. Impr.).
  • Rosa Guillamón, A. (2015). Metabolismo energético y actividad física. Revista Digital EFDeportes.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.