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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-23-11, 07:52 PM   #1
fuuian
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is this accurate?

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fuuian burned 745 calories doing 52 minutes of cardio exercises, including "Bicycling, 12-14 mph, moderate (cycling, biking, bike riding)
Quoted from MyFitnessPal.com ... seems like a lot of calories burnt.
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Old 05-24-11, 08:47 AM   #2
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The values that are generally thrown around are between 20-45 calories per mile, depending on all the other factors. endomondo.com tell me I'm burning a massive amount of calories on my rides, more than I think is possible (for me).
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Old 05-24-11, 08:52 AM   #3
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One of the reasons I stopped using those sites and then also calorie counting. I would count my calories and then go for a ride. The site would then tell me I burnt close to 1000 cals on my ride. So what would I do? Go eat an extra 700 cals as I could "afford to" and was HUNGRY. Problem was the "burnt cal" score was way off. Also, the fatigue of constantly updating the counter got to me.
Now I just try to be sensible on portion size etc and keep riding - it seems to be working out much better...
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Old 05-24-11, 09:03 AM   #4
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I find all the calories burned calculators to be potentially way out of whack. Too many variables that have to be estimated. Biking 12 to 14 mph? Well, calories burned depends on many factors. Hilly? Flat? Road conditions? Rolling resistance? Wind speed and direction? How much weight are you lugging along? Gravity is a factor after all! The scientist in me says fat chance of being accurate.
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Old 05-24-11, 09:06 AM   #5
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I use my Garmin 800 as kind of a rough gauge of how many calories I've burned. When I first got the Garmin (I didn't buy the complete package because I wanted a different speed/cadence sensor) the calorie count was way overestimated. Now that I've got a HRM to go with it the calorie count is in the ballpark. I still won't use it as an excuse to eat more, but it's nice to have a rough idea of work done on a ride without the expense of a power meter.

My last ride was 36.5 miles with an average heart rate of 73% of my maximum heart rate and 1,137 calories burned. That's ~31 calories per mile which fits right in WonderMonkey's 20-45 calories per mile.
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Old 05-24-11, 09:31 AM   #6
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My Garmin 705 has the infamous "way off" calorie calculation even using the HRM. For a 25 mile ride it states I burn 2600 cals. Thats 104 cals per mile. I usually half whatever the device reports and Im somewhere close.

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I use my Garmin 800 as kind of a rough gauge of how many calories I've burned. When I first got the Garmin (I didn't buy the complete package because I wanted a different speed/cadence sensor) the calorie count was way overestimated. Now that I've got a HRM to go with it the calorie count is in the ballpark. I still won't use it as an excuse to eat more, but it's nice to have a rough idea of work done on a ride without the expense of a power meter.

My last ride was 36.5 miles with an average heart rate of 73% of my maximum heart rate and 1,137 calories burned. That's ~31 calories per mile which fits right in WonderMonkey's 20-45 calories per mile.
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Old 05-24-11, 09:45 AM   #7
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I wish there was an accurate way to know.
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Old 05-24-11, 09:45 AM   #8
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I did a 105 mile ride a couple of weeks ago with 6,000 feet of climbing. Total calories from my Garmin 500 = 2,950, or 28 calories per mile. That looked about right to me. I think MyFitnessPal.com has it pegged at around double what it really is, unless you weigh 400 lbs. or something.
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Old 05-24-11, 09:56 AM   #9
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It seems a bit high. You're probably burning somewhere in the ballpark of 600 to 800 kCal per hour.

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I wish there was an accurate way to know.
A power meter will tell you.
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Old 05-24-11, 10:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by iqbal624 View Post
I wish there was an accurate way to know.
A power meter.

(Oops, cross posted with Seattle)
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Old 05-24-11, 10:22 AM   #11
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Calories burned do seem to be unbelievable many times. I do still use that type of site to keep track of my diet, but I pay no attention to the calories burned anymore. Even at the gym, the treadmill and different machines will tell me I've burned such and such number of calories. I don't think they are true either.
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Old 05-24-11, 10:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iqbal624 View Post
I wish there was an accurate way to know.
There is. It's a power meter, which measures the actual work that you have done.

OK, it's not "accurate" in the scientific sense... it's just "way more accurate" in the practical, usable sense. Some would even say "accurate enough to rely on".
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Old 05-24-11, 11:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magohn View Post
Also, the fatigue of constantly updating the counter got to me.
It's only temporary. I'm sure once I get into the swing of things I won't need it anymore. But for the moment, it helps me stay on track since I have to log it.
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Old 05-24-11, 11:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iqbal624 View Post
I wish there was an accurate way to know.
There is.

Cycling mechanical efficiency varies from 20-25%. With 4.2 kilojoules = 1 Calorie that means you're burning .95 - 1.19 Calories per kilojoule. Net efficiency improves with training so you're probably near the more efficient end of that where the approximation 1 kilo joule = 1 Calorie holds and if you're wrong you'll be under-estimating and under-eating by a little.

Commercial power meters are available in hubs (Powertap), cranks (power2max, quarq, SRM), and bottom brackets (ergomo). Prototypes have been built into dropouts, pedals, and shoes.

The least expensive new options are more affordable than other cycling toys like a moderately priced wheel set - a wired Powertap hub + electronics runs about $550, least expensive wireless Powertap hub which talks to your garmin $700, and power2max crankset 690 Euros which is pushing $1000 at current exchange rates.

Used Powertaps start at around $200 built into a wheel with electronics for first generation wired units (Shimano only freehub, talks only to the simple Cycleops computer, no longer supported); $350 for a more modern wired design (Campagnolo or Shimano; service available for $350 if it goes out of calibration), and $600 for a wireless one which can talk to your Garmin or other ANT+ computer.

They're getting to where heart rate monitors were in the 1990s where they're becoming affordable to recreational athletes and getting ubiquitous. If Garmin is smart they'll produce a range of pedals using the Metrigear technology with an impulse purchase street price on the basic model (standard ANT+ measurements once per second, 'heavy' by weight weenie standards, available in road and mountain flavors) and prices approaching SRM's on nicer ones (talks to a proprietary head unit which shows force over the entire pedal stroke, weighs a few grams less - Cycleops gets $400 more for 160 grams less and ceramic bearings + 10 fewer stil lare an additional $400)

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 05-24-11 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 05-24-11, 12:16 PM   #15
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fuuian burned 745 calories doing 52 minutes of cardio exercises, including "Bicycling, 12-14 mph, moderate (cycling, biking, bike riding)



No.

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Originally Posted by fuuian View Post
Quoted from MyFitnessPal.com ... seems like a lot of calories burnt.
On a recent 42 minute hard ride I averaged just 200W due to spending 12.2% of my time not pedaling including 6.1% stopped. Otherwise the pace was beyond moderate with one somewhat painful 10 minute section and the rest not pleasant. Average heart rate 88% of maximum and 99% of LTHR. 508 kilo joules total, about 620 Calories in 52 minutes.

A couple representative recovery rides at 12.5-13.5 MPH show 85W averages or 265 Calories in 52 minutes

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 05-24-11 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 05-24-11, 01:16 PM   #16
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When it comes to counting calories in and calories out, I use caution. I estimate more calories in then the calorie counters say, and estimate less calories out then the counters say, just to be on the safe side. When I do a good ride, I will eat more, not because the counters say I can, but because I am usually a little bit hungrier.
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Old 05-24-11, 02:24 PM   #17
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It would be nice to know because most people enjoy seeing something measurable versus their effort. I use the low end of what I normally see from "people" estimating and go with the 30 calories per mile. Along with that I try to up my cadence to up my heart rate to increase that number but chances are since I'll never know any different I'll keep using the 30 calories per hour. Over the Winter I'll get a heart rate monitor and maybe get more accurate. Or maybe I won't. DON'T PRESSURE ME!
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Old 05-24-11, 03:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
I use the low end of what I normally see from "people" estimating and go with the 30 calories per mile. Along with that I try to up my cadence to up my heart rate to increase that number but chances are since I'll never know any different I'll keep using the 30 calories per hour.
On my commute in to work today, plus my lunch ride, I've done about 10 miles, over the course of an hour, on a heavy bike with some hill climbing, somewhere in the ballpark of 450 feet. On my favorite weekend ride, I do 10 miles with 275 feet of climbing on my road bike in 30 minutes. ( The weekend ride is usually anywhere from 30 to 50 miles, but there's a somewhat flat 10 mile section near the beginning I've used in an informal time trial before. )

I don't think a constant energy-per-mile rate works very well. Personally, I prefer calories per hour, and if I want all the accuracy I can get, I'll set the per-hour burn rate according to my average heart rate for the ride. When I don't wear the HRM, I go by perceived exertion; a typical ride is about 600 kCal/hr.
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Old 05-24-11, 05:50 PM   #19
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Your calorie rate should be around 8 cal / minute.. If you are at the high end over 90%+ of max hr you would be burning a max of 16 cal / minute..

To get a more accurate look at you calories - drop your weight in the app by 40-50 pounds..
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Old 05-24-11, 06:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I don't think a constant energy-per-mile rate works very well. Personally, I prefer calories per hour, and if I want all the accuracy I can get, I'll set the per-hour burn rate according to my average heart rate for the ride. When I don't wear the HRM, I go by perceived exertion; a typical ride is about 600 kCal/hr.

Agreed, but it's just a generic something to go by. Makes me feel good if nothing else. I lie to myself all the time to get that.
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