Calorie Information and Heart Rate Monitors
I'm a relative amateur to cycling, but enjoy the sport a lot and I'm finding myself being able to attack hills much better now than I was a few months ago. I was wondering if anyone has an accurate idea of the amount of calories are burned by cycling on flat-rolling hills. Also are there any good (and accurate) heart rate monitors out there that correctly show the calories burned that you can recommend?
I'm about 6'0 215 lb, male and currently ride 15-20 miles 2-3 times a week. My rides usually last 1-2 hours and vary considerably on speed. On my normal route, I'll average about 11 MPH+, however the other day I averaged 16 MPH
[QUOTE=jgouger;9345353 Also are there any good (and accurate) heart rate monitors out there that correctly show the calories burned that you can recommend?[/QUOTE]
If you want accurate calorie information, you something that meausres your output, such as a power meter, or input, such as a respirometer (there's no portable ones; they are used in a lab). From input or output, calorie consumption can be calculated fairly accurately.
HRMs can only estimate it, and they estimate poorly. They are almost always too high, possibly because it makes people feel better about their equipment.
Heart rate doesn't indicate how much power (and thus calories) you are putting out, it just says how hard you are working to do it. Heart rates are not comparable between individuals. I won't make nearly as much power at X BPM as a TdF pro would, because that amount of power is much easier for him.
Even with the same individual, heart rate varies depending on how tired you are and how hot it is. With an HRM and power meter I can see how my heart rate goes up on successive climbs even while my power is going down. The HRM would say that I am burning more calories on those slower repeats when I am actually burning less.