Several individuals are incorporating bike riding as part of their daily exercise routine. Apart from using a bicycle to work or to visit a nearby friend, this kind of activity can burn a number of calories. The muscles of the legs, thighs and calves are the primary target of this exercise, but it can also benefit the cardiovascular system in the long run, giving proper circulation of blood to the entire body.

So how many calories do you burn in riding a bike?

The real answer to these questions is pretty complex. The amount of calories burned when you ride a bike depends on:

  • How fast you are going
  • What kind of bike is used
  • What kind of resistance is exerted.

In other words, it all boils down to your choices, your current weight and your fitness goals.

Biking is a great exercise for individuals who want to ​drop in weight. Since it uses the thighs, core and waist, the body will slim down and the muscles in these areas will tone up. It does not build large quantities of muscles thus, it will not make you look bulky.

As you cycle in longer distances, your abdominals, back and body core muscles will get firmer and stronger. It will also increase your leg strength, but not so much on your triceps and biceps.

Slow and Steady Biking or Fast and Intense Biking

According to Adam Vaughan of, there are around 75 to 670 calories burned in half an hour session of cycling, depending on your exertion level and your weight.

If you are biking in a slow and moderate pace without much resistance, few calories are burned as it is the aerobic metabolism being utilized. As we all know, aerobic exercise is an exercise performed in a consistent intensity. It allows the body to get enough oxygen to use the carbohydrates and fats to keep going. If the aerobic metabolism system is used, a lot of benefits come into play like prevention of stroke, diabetes and cancer, but it has a lesser impact in burning calories.

However, when the speed of cycling is increased, which means you choose a fast and intense biking, you can burn 198 calories or more in 20 minutes. This is based on the Calories Burned Biking of Livestrong website which computed the amount of calories removed in a 20-minute cycling of a 150-lb individual. The greater the resistance and the higher the speed, the more calories are burned in a certain period of time.

Outdoor cycling or Indoor cycling

A lot of people ask which one is better – the stationary bikes in a gym or the outdoor bikes used by regular and professional cyclists? Well, both types of bikes are beneficial for any fitness goals, but when you are after the number of calories burned, experts say that outdoor cycling is a better workout routine than indoor cycling.

Outdoor cycling is dynamic because you have to deal with varieties of movement and be aware of your surroundings. When you ride a bike in a hilly terrain, you will have to cycle and work harder to pass through it. You also have to turn to follow the paths and road signs, and on top of that, wind resistance is greater at this point. This would mean that you burn even more calories because you need to exert more speed and get through the resistance created by strong winds.

how to lose weight by cycling

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indoor cycling

Via njcyclestudios

How to lose weight by cyclingVia muavoyageindoor cyclingVia njcyclestudiosOn the other hand, indoor cycling can also burn calories. If you spend more time in a stationary bike for at least two and a half hours per week, you can lose a few pounds over a period of time. Indoor cycling through stationary bikes need consistency and gradual increase of speed. If you start biking for 15 minutes at a 10mph speed, you have to increase it the next time you use a stationary bike. Remember, you can only burn more calories if you put more effort and resistance to your body.

Calculating the calories

There are actually a number of apps and websites that can calculate the calories you burn over a period of time. One example is the MapMy​​Ride app which can be downloaded in Android and iOs phones. This workout calorie calculator will help you count the calories burned in a workout routine like biking, walking, swimming or even kayaking. It uses the basic calorie calculations but it requires you to place your height, weight, age, gender, as well as the duration of the workout. Of course, you also need to put the type of activity you did and the distance you traveled.

counting calories

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The good thing about this calorie calculator is it can help you achieve your fitness goals. You can track the calories you burn and it can serve as your basis for planning a healthy meal or a rigorous exercise.

Check out the calorie calculator so you can track the calories you burned through biking, or you can download the MapMyRide app to your phone or tablet.

Final thoughts

Riding a bike is one of the easiest and convenient workout routines. Individuals who do not know how to use it can definitely learn and be able to ride a bicycle in a short span of time. However, when you are into the number of calories burned in this type of exercise, you have to choose between indoor biking or outdoor biking. Both of them can shed off excess calories or fats, but its amount varies on the length of time you cycle and the intensity you put on it. Try to track your biking activity through the MapMyRide app. Make sure to record the distance and the number of minutes or hours you cycle. From there, you can determine the amount of calories burned when you ride a bike.

Do not forget to leave a comment below if you have questions or additional information that you want to share. Your feedback is always welcome.

May you want to know: What muscles does biking work?