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  1. #1
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    Honest calorie burn information?

    Does bicycling in low gear up a hill burn more than hi gear?

    How much does terrain affect calorie burns?

    Any way to calculate calorie burns for a person of a certain weight with a bike of a certain weight in a moderately hilly area?

    Do recumbents burn more, less, or about the same calories?

    TIA!
    Last edited by episodic; 07-26-10 at 08:00 PM.

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    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    if you really want this level of detail, I would look at getting a power meter or using a website like this: http://bikecalculator.com/wattsUS.html

    but I think you will find the info here more helpful, even though it is simplified: http://www.bicyclesource.com/body/tr...urn-rate.shtml
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

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    Senior Member mr,grumpy's Avatar
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    "For a typical rider, about 21% of your energy comes from fat, on average, and the rest from carbohydrates; with more carbohydrates being burned at higher levels of exertion. caffeine will increase the percentage of fat consumed for energy to 40% for the same exertion"

    How much caffeine?
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    Senior Member Speedskater's Avatar
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    Does bicycling in low gear up a hill burn more than hi gear?
    If it takes the same amount of time, then no practical difference.

    Do recumbents burn more, less, or about the same calories?

    At the same speed on level ground, they use less.

    How much does terrain affect calorie burns?
    Every ride will have a different affect. So, it depends.

  5. #5
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    Every person is different too. 40cal/mile seems to be a pretty good guestimate. However, the only way to know for absolute certainty is to get a powermeter. Then you can find the amount of energy you used in Joules and convert that to calories.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    Does bicycling in low gear up a hill burn more than hi gear?
    If it takes the same amount of time, then no practical difference.

    Do recumbents burn more, less, or about the same calories?

    At the same speed on level ground, they use less.

    How much does terrain affect calorie burns?
    Every ride will have a different affect. So, it depends.
    Are recumbents ALOT less or only slightly? Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by episodic View Post
    Are recumbents ALOT less or only slightly? Thanks
    Using the BicycleSource link above, for a 200 lb rider (non-recumbent, upright position) with no wind on flat terrain:

    12 mph: 495 cal/hr
    14 mph: 595 cal/hr
    15 mph: 697 cal/hr
    16 mph: 774 cal/hr
    18 mph: 883 cal/hr
    19 mph: 1021 cal/hr

    So a person burns twice as many calories going 19 mph vs. 12 mph. This is interesting because, I think the main thing that makes it harder to go 19 mph is wind resistance.

    A recumbent rider has less wind resistance, so it would be the same effect as going slower. I'm not sure how many MPH difference it makes, but if I had to make a wild guess, I would think a recumbent rider could go 19 mph for the same level of effort as an upright rider going 15-16 mph, and if that's the case it would be about 20-30% less calories.

    Watching the Tour de France, the commentators said riders drafting behind another rider saves about 30% energy. Of course, those guys are going 25-30 mph... I suspect it would be a lower percentage for mere mortals like us.

  8. #8
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelS View Post
    Every person is different too. 40cal/mile seems to be a pretty good guestimate. However, the only way to know for absolute certainty is to get a powermeter. Then you can find the amount of energy you used in Joules and convert that to calories.
    40 cal per mile is a little high.. If you are riding at 60% of HR you will be in the range of 8 cal per minute.. 16 cal per minute is on the top end of calorie burn which is achieved at 90% + of MAX HR effort..

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    Quote Originally Posted by socalrider View Post
    40 cal per mile is a little high.. If you are riding at 60% of HR you will be in the range of 8 cal per minute.. 16 cal per minute is on the top end of calorie burn which is achieved at 90% + of MAX HR effort..
    can you elaborate? I see you use these figures often, and I once saw you mention vo2 max (something I know little about). I just dont quite get how that can be the same for all people of all muscle sizes and body weights.

  10. #10
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Finding out where your training at is tough without the use of a Heart rate monitor.. Best to use one that will give you an entire workout average.. Many can be found for under $100.00.. The Calorie burn rate for us clydes is important because I'm sure many of us are trying to drop a few pounds, I know I am.. Like stated above, use of a powermeter is the best for a true calorie calculation but they are very expensive..

    At a moderate endurance pace, you might expend eight calories per minute, but during a hard interval that number could rise into the range of 12 to 16. The training adaptations will also allow you to increase the amount of work you can do while riding at a moderate endurance pace. By increasing your cruising pace, you'll burn more calories every minute on your bike, and continuing interval work will melt off the remaining weight in no time.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalrider View Post
    40 cal per mile is a little high.. If you are riding at 60% of HR you will be in the range of 8 cal per minute.. 16 cal per minute is on the top end of calorie burn which is achieved at 90% + of MAX HR effort..
    If you say that 8 calories/minute is moderate, then if you're riding 12 mph, you'll burn 40 calories/mile. I may have gotten confused somewhere, though.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalrider View Post
    Finding out where your training at is tough without the use of a Heart rate monitor.. Best to use one that will give you an entire workout average.. Many can be found for under $100.00.. The Calorie burn rate for us clydes is important because I'm sure many of us are trying to drop a few pounds, I know I am.. Like stated above, use of a powermeter is the best for a true calorie calculation but they are very expensive..

    At a moderate endurance pace, you might expend eight calories per minute, but during a hard interval that number could rise into the range of 12 to 16. The training adaptations will also allow you to increase the amount of work you can do while riding at a moderate endurance pace. By increasing your cruising pace, you'll burn more calories every minute on your bike, and continuing interval work will melt off the remaining weight in no time.
    Socal, i curious about this. Can you tell why this is true?

    Not doubting, I just really dont know and want to learn more.



    Also, last ride I rode was at an average of 84% HR for the ride for 1hr 24m. How much does that work out to?

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