How do you all calculate calories burned?


How do you all calculate calories burned? It is so difficult on a bike, depending on speed, wind, hills, wheel size, tires and pavement roughness. I weigh 190 pounds, 53 years old, and I do mostly commuting, which means a lot of stops and starts. Assuming no wind, reasonably smooth asphalt and average stops, I have an overall trip speed of 15 mph and a cruising speed of around 17 mph. So I put myself down for 700 calories an hour. Does that sound reasonable to you all?

Marty 5 years 0 Answers 1000 views 0

Answers ( No )

  1. 50 cal per mile is s reasonable guess.

  2. My Garmin just tells me that

  3. Get a heart rate monitor. It will give the the closest calorie count, without getting to technical.

  4. Map my ride will calculate calories burned too.

  5. Stair climbing is 1,100 calories per hour if you do it continuously. I doubt that by doing it in stops and starts will amount to the same calories burnt as continuous stair climbing. So I don't thing 700 cal per hour for not cycling continuously is the proper calculation. Again this also depends on the gradient of the road and how fast you peddle in between your stops and starts.

  6. According to the American Council on Exercise – ACE it's closer to 1039

  7. How many calories you burn has to be tied to fitness level right? I'll do a 2hr MTB ride with lots of technical climbing and burn about 1300-1400 calories according to my Wahoo and I have every device possible going to help measure it. Plus all my vitals plugged into the app.

  8. Get yourself a good fitness tracker that has a heart rate monitor. It will give you an estimate on calories burned.

    I use Strava on an Apple series 2 watch and it tells me the calories burned after I close out each ride.

  9. If you are just looking to estimate I would probably go with 500-600 depending on how much you stop.

  10. TL-DR Answer: Strava + Heart Rate Monitor (HRM)

    Lengthy Nerd Answer:
    If you have a heart rate monitor, Strava will do a pretty darn good job in my experience. HR lags behind effort, so it's not a substitute for a power meter (at least for sprinting / short intervals). However, over the course of a ride, where most of the time is spent in the aerobic HR zones, it will be a good indicator of calories burned.

    FWIW, Strava's internal power estimate is based upon:
    1) no drafting
    2) no wind
    3) no mechanical drag (wheel friction etc)

    Thus, it's always wrong for any flat ground effort, but reasonably accurate on steeper hills (where you're going slow enough that wind drag isn't a factor).

    I have a Powerpod, and it works well ($300 retail, moves between bikes, 2/3 size of a credit card, about 1 cm thick). That said, I care less about sprints, and more about 1- to 5-minute climbs, where it's more accurate.

    To get instantaneous accuracy, you need either a powertap hub, or a two-sided direct force power meter (i.e. Stages, Pioneer, etc). Those are expensive though…

  11. I just keep riding hard and eating less to get to desired weight.

  12. Power meter is more accurate that estimates.

  13. Calculating calories burned seems like distraction from actually riding….

    I never could figure out why anyone would imagine that was important.

  14. Heart rate monitor paired to my GPS computer so it does the math. Obviously can't take wind into account, but it'll know if I'm trying extra hard to maintain that low speed on the flats. It has a barometer in it so as to get an accurate hill climb measurement. Also paired with a speed and cadence sensor it will measure hill grade and knows if I'm flailing in a low gear or mashing a big one.

  15. Thank you all for the help. When figuring my weight, should I also add in the weight of my bike? It's a Specialized Crosstrail, about 25 pounds, and I figure I have another 20 pounds in gear on it. So that would be 235 pounds total.

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