Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Map My Ride is a horrible calorie counter. Any better apps?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Map My Ride is a horrible calorie counter. Any better apps?

Old 05-15-21, 07:04 PM
  #1  
DreamRider85
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
DreamRider85's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 478
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 347 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 9 Posts
Map My Ride is a horrible calorie counter. Any better apps?

My issue is not that MPR overestimates calories. My issue is that itís wacky. It will say I burned 800 calories. And then Iíll go up a steep hill and after 40 minutes my calories go down to like 600 from 800. I thought that maybe it was trying to readjust for its overestimation to even it out. But anytime I go to certain spots, the calories start changing and getting wacky.

I donít know why this happens. Iíd like an app that just gives me an estimate, not one that jumps around unnaturally.
DreamRider85 is offline  
Old 05-15-21, 07:39 PM
  #2  
Troul 
:D
 
Troul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Mich
Posts: 3,820
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 847 Times in 618 Posts
WAHOO estimates without "prerecalculating" its second guesstimate output number. Most *public cal counters will err with a higher number causing false hopes. It's a liability thing. Guess it's safer to be obese with teh diabeeeetuss than not, since you can always sell test equipment.
__________________
-Oh Hey!
Troul is offline  
Likes For Troul:
Old 05-15-21, 08:22 PM
  #3  
DreamRider85
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
DreamRider85's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 478
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 347 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by Troul View Post
WAHOO estimates without "prerecalculating" its second guesstimate output number. Most *public cal counters will err with a higher number causing false hopes. It's a liability thing. Guess it's safer to be obese with teh diabeeeetuss than not, since you can always sell test equipment.
Does Wahoo require a heart rate monitor?
DreamRider85 is offline  
Old 05-15-21, 08:25 PM
  #4  
Troul 
:D
 
Troul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Mich
Posts: 3,820
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 847 Times in 618 Posts
99% sure all modern wahoo devices do.
__________________
-Oh Hey!
Troul is offline  
Old 05-16-21, 06:41 AM
  #5  
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 6,624

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2093 Post(s)
Liked 905 Times in 457 Posts
Calorie counting is irrelevant and unimportant... Just enjoy your ride and don't worry how many calories you burn.
wolfchild is offline  
Likes For wolfchild:
Old 05-16-21, 07:49 AM
  #6  
Garfield Cat
Senior Member
 
Garfield Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 6,959

Bikes: Cervelo Prodigy

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 408 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 46 Times in 35 Posts
Depends on your rides. Take this article about what it takes to maintain nutrition for the Tour de France.

Of course, not everyone is a pro rider, but there are many riders who pretend to be pro riders. It's time for actors to "get out of character" and face the reality of their situation -- same with riders.

“Three weeks, 21 stages, 3,351km, 176 cyclists and a combined burn of 25 million calories — so what exactly goes into fueling the riders of the Tour de France? | Words by Laura Tilt”

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/r...-france-182775
Garfield Cat is offline  
Old 05-16-21, 08:10 AM
  #7  
Melvang
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: North East Iowa
Posts: 216

Bikes: Kona Roast, Cannondale R500 CAAD4

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Liked 57 Times in 23 Posts
The only way to accurate way to measure calorie usage is to calculate it based on power meter readings. Anything else is an estimated guess at best.
Melvang is offline  
Likes For Melvang:
Old 05-16-21, 08:29 AM
  #8  
terrymorse 
climber has-been
 
terrymorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 3,955

Bikes: Scott Addict R1

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 660 Post(s)
Liked 458 Times in 279 Posts
None of these GPS phone apps have much data to perform a Calorie burn estimate. No heart rate, no power, just a moving blip on a map.

I use a Garmin 830 with the Garmin Connect app and a heart rate monitor, and the calorie readings seem quite reasonable.

From Garmin Connect site:

[Y]our calories burned are calculated using a formula that takes into account several factors, including effort during activity and other information available from your Garmin devices. This may include FTP, weight, distance traveled, speed, elevation gain, temperature, heart rate and other variables.
Sounds sufficiently vague.

The most accurate way to measure calorie burn is with a power meter.

Here's the Garmin Connect readout from a recent ride I did with a power meter:

Moving time: 1:27
Avg temperature: 73.4 ļF
Avg speed: 16.6 mph
Avg heart rate: 135 bpm
Avg power: 170 W
Work: 791 kJ
Calories burned: 791 C

That's a burn rate of 546 Calories per hour. Seems quite reasonable.

Compare that to a similar ride without a power meter:

Moving time: 1:08
Avg temperature: 78.8 ļF
Avg speed: 17.0 mph
Avg heart rate: 135 bpm
Calories burned: 681 C

That's a burn rate of 601 Calories per hour. Maybe a bit high, but not crazy different than the power meter results.
__________________
Ride, Rest, Repeat
terrymorse is offline  
Old 05-16-21, 08:34 AM
  #9  
Pinelander
Roadie
 
Pinelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southern NJ
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 7 Posts
Interesting article. All that bulk has to go somewhere. It made me wonder about the toileting accommodations and how they handle that.
Pinelander is offline  
Old 05-16-21, 08:34 AM
  #10  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 218
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 136 Post(s)
Liked 104 Times in 51 Posts
Without a power meter, they are all guesses and bad ones at that.

I typically average 25 cals/mile
GhostRider62 is offline  
Likes For GhostRider62:
Old 05-16-21, 10:57 AM
  #11  
guachi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 405
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 189 Post(s)
Liked 261 Times in 139 Posts
I've never found a calorie estimator that wasn't ludicrous. Even using a HR monitor is likely to be wrong but it's likely to be consistently wrong in the same direction. I have a a power meter and calorie estimates from my HR strap are about 25% too high.
guachi is offline  
Old 05-16-21, 10:31 PM
  #12  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 8,470

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame, Ti 26 MTB

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2314 Post(s)
Liked 1,272 Times in 867 Posts
When you get the diabetus make sure to buy all your diabetus testing supplies from Liberty Medical. You can bet your bottom dollar Wilfred Brimley didn't need no calorie counter and he was 85!
veganbikes is offline  
Old 05-16-21, 11:49 PM
  #13  
UCantTouchThis
Senior Member
 
UCantTouchThis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 1,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 536 Post(s)
Liked 1,127 Times in 538 Posts
I have had a few friends on Strava make comments on my rides saying the calories seem really high. OK, I hadn't noticed because I never pay attention to them. I couldn't even guess a number that would be close to what the number is on a ride.

I have to look really hard to find the calories on the info. I didn't even realize it was there over the last ten years till my friend mentioned it a month ago.

4000+, I would have no idea if it is even close to close or way over. And I still won't pay attention unless I read it in a thread.

Does Strava calculate according to weight? Maybe my friends say it is high because I have my weight set on Strava and I do weigh about 70 pounds more than all my friends.

Same with the power on Strava, way off? I don't use a meter but compared to all my friends, I'm a 75 pound weakling.



Last edited by UCantTouchThis; 05-16-21 at 11:53 PM.
UCantTouchThis is offline  
Old 05-18-21, 04:11 PM
  #14  
growlerdinky
Duke Ulysses
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Southern California
Posts: 764

Bikes: An old orange one for dirt, and for the other stuff: a white one, a kinda mint green one, and a black one.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 154 Post(s)
Liked 136 Times in 65 Posts
Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
I have had a few friends on Strava make comments on my rides saying the calories seem really high. OK, I hadn't noticed because I never pay attention to them. I couldn't even guess a number that would be close to what the number is on a ride.

I have to look really hard to find the calories on the info. I didn't even realize it was there over the last ten years till my friend mentioned it a month ago.

4000+, I would have no idea if it is even close to close or way over. And I still won't pay attention unless I read it in a thread.

Does Strava calculate according to weight? Maybe my friends say it is high because I have my weight set on Strava and I do weigh about 70 pounds more than all my friends.

Same with the power on Strava, way off? I don't use a meter but compared to all my friends, I'm a 75 pound weakling.


windy that day

Last edited by growlerdinky; 05-18-21 at 04:23 PM. Reason: was "UCantTouchThiz" taken? :) :) :)
growlerdinky is offline  
Old 05-18-21, 04:31 PM
  #15  
ksryder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2,387

Bikes: yes

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1128 Post(s)
Liked 424 Times in 224 Posts
Disclaimer I am not a scientist but I've read stuff on the internet so basically the same.

Estimates without power data are just based on formulas based on age/weight/gender/time and for whatever reason are always high. (Btw Wahoo will work without a HRM it just spits an estimate at you though.)

Power meter numbers are also based on an estimate but it's much more accurate and the difference between power input at the power meter and actual calories burned is such a small number that it's effectively insignificant and the only way to truly measure calories burned is in a lab with a whole bunch of crap hooked up to you.

When I started riding a smart trainer in the winter that had actual power numbers I got a good idea of what I'm burning in an hour -- about 600 calories per hour, but 700 for a really, really hard workout. What I've noticed when I compare that to the estimates when I ride without power data is that they're usually about 2x as high as my actual averages. If I'm counting calories I take that into consideration. (But I don't count calories any more because it's depressing.)
ksryder is offline  
Likes For ksryder:
Old 05-18-21, 05:17 PM
  #16  
UCantTouchThis
Senior Member
 
UCantTouchThis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 1,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 536 Post(s)
Liked 1,127 Times in 538 Posts
Originally Posted by growlerdinky View Post
windy that day

It's always windy out here! But I did not complain because then I would feel like you when you were stressed out about your bad crank only to see the one legged man enjoying his ride.

Last edited by UCantTouchThis; 05-18-21 at 06:03 PM.
UCantTouchThis is offline  
Likes For UCantTouchThis:
Old 05-18-21, 08:29 PM
  #17  
guachi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 405
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 189 Post(s)
Liked 261 Times in 139 Posts
Yeah. That calorie estimate is way off. It implies a power output of 400+ watts for 2.5 hours. The estimated power is closer, though if it were me riding it would be slightly too low. Maybe 1600 calories?
guachi is offline  
Old 05-19-21, 05:22 PM
  #18  
bblair
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 208

Bikes: Lynskey R230, Trek 5200, 1975 Raleigh Pro, 1973 Falcon ,Trek T50 Tandem and a 1968 Paramount in progress.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Liked 90 Times in 65 Posts
Here is the formula that Wahoo uses: https://support.wahoofitness.com/hc/...o-Fitness-App-

So today, 75 miles, average heart rate 118. I weigh 145lbs and am 65 years old. All of that comes out to 31352 calories (actually Kcal for us nerds) which by my research comes out to about 20 beers. The new metric being BPR (Beers per Ride). I traded some of that for burgers and fries.
bblair is offline  
Likes For bblair:
Old 05-19-21, 05:57 PM
  #19  
Iride01
Hits [ENTER] b4 thinking
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 7,125

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2778 Post(s)
Liked 1,405 Times in 1,025 Posts
Don't use Calories to estimate Power. The numbers your device is trying to give you for Calories is just for dietary purposes and subject to large variables and frequently any one ride won't be correct. Especially if you compare it to the number another device came up with or the device of someone else.

If you are only using that number for dietary purposes, then just worry about the final number after the ride is over. Don't compare to anything else. Over the course of many rides it'll be way more accurate than the number of Calories you recorded as what you ate.

If you are wanting a number for Power, then get a power meter. Then you'll have something that can give you a more reasonably accurate number for Power and Calories burned.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 05-20-21, 02:18 PM
  #20  
growlerdinky
Duke Ulysses
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Southern California
Posts: 764

Bikes: An old orange one for dirt, and for the other stuff: a white one, a kinda mint green one, and a black one.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 154 Post(s)
Liked 136 Times in 65 Posts
Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
It's always windy out here! But I did not complain because then I would feel like you when you were stressed out about your bad crank only to see the one legged man enjoying his ride.


i know you can relate. You kept your head up after you forgot your tool bag. Then your chain fell off about 3 miles in! you got stuck and had to force it out, then bent a chain link so had a skip like every 15 seconds. You almost turned back but went for it hoping you wouldn't flat with no tools or spare. But you got a ride and in and got to test the new Xoss gps thingie!



that right there is what they call "TRIUMPH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT"



Or should I say "ZPIRIT" You know, in case "SPIRIT" is taken?


Keep the rubber side down, man.



growlerdinky is offline  
Likes For growlerdinky:
Old 05-20-21, 04:46 PM
  #21  
UCantTouchThis
Senior Member
 
UCantTouchThis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 1,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 536 Post(s)
Liked 1,127 Times in 538 Posts
Originally Posted by growlerdinky View Post
i know you can relate. You kept your head up after you forgot your tool bag. Then your chain fell off about 3 miles in! you got stuck and had to force it out, then bent a chain link so had a skip like every 15 seconds. You almost turned back but went for it hoping you wouldn't flat with no tools or spare. But you got a ride and in and got to test the new Xoss gps thingie!



that right there is what they call "TRIUMPH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT"



Or should I say "ZPIRIT" You know, in case "SPIRIT" is taken?


Keep the rubber side down, man.




Ha ha ha thanks Man! Yup, sometimes things don't go right but we find a way!
UCantTouchThis is offline  
Old 05-21-21, 05:36 AM
  #22  
Sy Reene
Advocatus Diaboli
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 7,002

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3693 Post(s)
Liked 827 Times in 553 Posts
Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
I have had a few friends on Strava make comments on my rides saying the calories seem really high. OK, I hadn't noticed because I never pay attention to them. I couldn't even guess a number that would be close to what the number is on a ride.

I have to look really hard to find the calories on the info. I didn't even realize it was there over the last ten years till my friend mentioned it a month ago.

4000+, I would have no idea if it is even close to close or way over. And I still won't pay attention unless I read it in a thread.

Does Strava calculate according to weight? Maybe my friends say it is high because I have my weight set on Strava and I do weigh about 70 pounds more than all my friends.

Same with the power on Strava, way off? I don't use a meter but compared to all my friends, I'm a 75 pound weakling.


Yeah, with a powermeter, basically Strava seems to always show me almost the same number of calories as the Energy Output value (kilojoules)
Sy Reene is offline  
Likes For Sy Reene:
Old 05-21-21, 06:55 AM
  #23  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 6,759

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1547 Post(s)
Liked 735 Times in 461 Posts
Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Yeah, with a powermeter, basically Strava seems to always show me almost the same number of calories as the Energy Output value (kilojoules)
There's a reason for that. 4.184 kJ/Cal (from memory) and 25% average human body efficiency. Do the math (4.184/4) and they're identical to within 5%, which is probably as accurate as the 25% number is.
pdlamb is offline  
Old 05-21-21, 07:02 AM
  #24  
Sy Reene
Advocatus Diaboli
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 7,002

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3693 Post(s)
Liked 827 Times in 553 Posts
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
There's a reason for that. 4.184 kJ/Cal (from memory) and 25% average human body efficiency. Do the math (4.184/4) and they're identical to within 5%, which is probably as accurate as the 25% number is.
Makes sense that there's a correlation, but then it's a head scratcher why Strava supplies UCantTouch with numbers so disparate from one another. It's like it's using completely different methods of estimating total work and calories.
Sy Reene is offline  
Old 05-21-21, 08:02 AM
  #25  
Flip Flop Rider
Senior Member
 
Flip Flop Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: South Carolina Upstate
Posts: 1,875

Bikes: 2010 Fuji Absolute 3.0 1994 Trek 850

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 678 Post(s)
Liked 440 Times in 253 Posts
don't believe any device can show calories burned accurately. Too many variables involved

my Garmin always over estimates in my opinion
Flip Flop Rider is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.