How to Calculate Calories Burned on a Bike Ride

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Calculating the amount of calories you burn while cycling isn't an exact science. Among the factors that affect the number of calories you burn per minute are speed, altitude, wind, terrain, temperature and even the aerodynamic properties of your clothing. Your weight, metabolism, technique and physical condition also matter. Calorie calculators give approximations to help you adjust your workouts.

Calculating the Calories

  • A 155-pound person will burn approximately 10 calories per minute cycling at a pace of 12 to 13.9 miles per hour, according to the Harvard Medical School. Increasing that speed to 14 to 15.9 miles per hour results in a calorie burn of 17 per minute. To discover the calories burned in a workout, consult an online calculator for the calories burned per minute, and then multiply the calories per minute by the number of minutes you peddle. Lighter people will burn fewer calories and heavier people will burn more calories. Going uphill, riding into the wind or mountain-biking over irregular terrain will increase the number of calories you burn because they require more effort than peddling on flat, even ground.

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  • Photo Credit Studio Zanello/Ken Chernus Photography/Blend Images/Getty Images
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