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Optimistic cycle computer calories
My Cyclecomputer is giving very optimistic data regarding calories used.If I reduced the value
of my weight in the setup figures,I think it would give more realistic output.
Any advice as to how much? or shall i start geussing?
The calorie "estimations" of cycle computers are nearly useless as they are more a feature added for marketing purposes ("it also counts calories"). They give numbers that high because it makes people feel good about themselves and the purchase.
If you want a much better estimation, get a heart rate monitor, that will bring you much closer to the reality (it's not perfect, but at least it's a decent approximation). To get an idea about the research behind that estimation, see http://www.firstbeattechnologies.com...Estimation.pdf. Suunto uses this for its HRMs.
Yes heart rate estimations are better. But they're all based on some rough gauge of body mass and heart rate. It's based on statistical norms, and not everyone is typical. Nor is the efficiency of everyone's body typical. Elite athletes will likely consume less calories for a given body mass and heart rate. Any number you get will be "biased".
Luckily the bias (for you) is likely consistent. So you can reliably gauge the caloric value of one workout vs. another. We can likely "feel" how many calories we burned. But for us analytic personalities, it's nice to get some numerical validation in addition to a good workout high.
Heart rate monitors are wonderful things, but they don't seem to give a very good indication of the number of calories you've burned on a given ride. They tell you how much oxygen your muscles needed, but there are so many variables, that you really can't draw any conclusions about one from the other.
There's a thread in the Clyde forum, here on Bike Forums, about how to burn as many calories as possible with your bike. The takeaway lesson seems to be that it's calories per hour, not calories per mile, that we should all be paying attention to. If you can hold a heart rate of 180 bpm for an hour, say climbing a mountain on your road bike, or if you can go the same distance in two hours, maybe with a rate of 90 bpm, this time on the flats, you'll have burned more calories on the second ride.
Of course pushing your heart is good for other reasons, and you want to (1) get your resting rate down low as well as (2) see your HR plummet almost immediately when you finish exercising. But if you're asking about calorie burning, the answer on that one seems to be time.