Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Lewisburg, PA
    My Bikes
    Giant FCR 2
    Posts
    129
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Burning Calories with Time, Distance, Hills, etc.

    First, let me start off by saying that I'm not looking for advice on how to lose a ton of weight...I know...burning more calories than what is taken in...best way is through a proper diet...

    With that being said, I wanted to see what the general opinion is on how to burn more calories in a set amount of time. The reason I ask is this: I have two routes that I usually ride on weeknights. They both can (and usually are) slightly varied depending on how much time I have and what I feel like doing at the time. One route has a lot of hills (I'm in central PA, so they're not huge mountains but rather many rolling hills that can get pretty steep at times). The other is a bit flatter throughout most of the ride. The flatter ride is usually about five miles longer, but I can finish them both in a similar amount of time, which is important to me for weeknights as I like to be done by a certain time.

    Now, I know that getting better on hills is important for many reasons, so I'm not trying to get out of that. What I'm trying to find out is whether there would be any significant change in the estimated number of calories burned between a 20-mile ride with lots of hills and a 25-mile ride that is flatter but takes roughly the same amount of time? Either way, I plan to switch them up regularly enough to keep myself from getting bored with any one specific ride.

    Also...who spins up hills and who climbs out of the saddle? For longer, steadier climbs I try to get into a rythm and spin my way up. Lately, though, on shorter/steeper climbs, I've been standing up. Just curious.

  2. #2
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1500; 2006 Gary Fisher Marlin; 2011 Cannondale Synapse Alloy 105; 2012 Catrike Trail
    Posts
    4,081
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If the rides are of more or less equal time, I'd go for the hills. It makes sense to me that you'd be working harder over the same period of time. But that's just my opinion, with nothing scientific to back it up.

    I tend to spin up hills more than stand, though I do stand on occasion. Standing is a time-honored way to get over short hills quickly (aka sprinters' hills). I'd probably stand more but for the fact that my leg muscles tire much more quickly doing that than spinning. Plus I've never been very good at guessing how much higher a gear I need to shift into in order to be at the right, slower cadence for standing
    Craig in Indy

  3. #3
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    My Bikes
    '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2009 Spesh Singlecross, 2011 RM Flow1
    Posts
    11,328
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My climbing position varies with the hill. Like CraigB pointed out, short hills can get attacked in a higher gear while standing for leverage. On long hills I'll gear it down and settle into a pace. I rode a 16 mile climb this weekend and varied myself between spinning and standing just to change things up every once in a while.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    30 minutes North-West of Los Angeles.
    My Bikes
    2012 MotorHouse road bike. No. You can't get one.
    Posts
    3,571
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One way to look at this, short of having a power meter, is: heart rate.

    On which ride is your HRavg higher? The higher the HRavg, the more work you did, which equates to more kcals burned.

    (Please note, things like colds/flu, stress, or even environmental factors can effect HR. So this is a general guide only.)

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Lewisburg, PA
    My Bikes
    Giant FCR 2
    Posts
    129
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That's a good point. I went on the ride with more hills yesterday and felt a bit more "worn out" after. However, I did notice that while I spent more time going up hills...I also spent more time recovering from those hills. On the flatter ride I feel like I spin much more consistently over the whole ride.

    Haha...all in all I think I just need to mix it up and do both because it's no use trying to get out of climbing!

  6. #6
    DON'T PANIC!
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Capital District, NY
    My Bikes
    Fuji Absolute 3.0
    Posts
    497
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just keep attacking those hills and it will get easier each time.
    Weight (April 2010) 200lb -> Goal (Nov 2010) 145lb Achieved -> (Aug 2011) 132lb 10%BF

    2010 Fuji Absolute 3.0
    2002 Steel LeMond Tourlamet

  7. #7
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    6,867
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by markdavid570 View Post
    That's a good point. I went on the ride with more hills yesterday and felt a bit more "worn out" after. However, I did notice that while I spent more time going up hills...I also spent more time recovering from those hills. On the flatter ride I feel like I spin much more consistently over the whole ride.

    Haha...all in all I think I just need to mix it up and do both because it's no use trying to get out of climbing!
    Mixing it up is good. The more intense ride will certainly burn more calories, and will get you fitter, faster - but you may also find that you need to eat more afterwards because you will have depleted the sugars stored in your muscles. And ideally any training regime should include a mix of hard and easy rides.

    As for climbing standing or seated, its probably more efficient to stay seated most of the time, but as you've discovered, standing can enable you to power over small hills without losing your momentum. And sometimes it helps to get out of the saddle just to vary your position and recruit a different set of muscles.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •