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Calories and cycling

Old 08-09-21, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by david101
Then you are wrong.
Ride fast down Haleakala, you won't burn anything.

Ride with a 40 mph tailwind, you won't burn anything.

You swung from a gross simplification to the other side.

The energy required to increase speed and to overcome wind rises as a cubic. Do you understand that? That is the point.
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Old 08-09-21, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by david101
You weren't very polite. And ignoring the caveats in my original post, and stating that I'm wrong because of those same caveats isn't very helpful.

Your caveat was about "wind direction", which is a factor that's going to vary from ride to ride and is not necessarily related to speed. You didn't mention air resistance or drag, which is directly related to speed of travel. The caveat you didn't make swallows the general rule that is the "spirit" of your op.

The "spirit" of your post is wrong because wind resistance is THE predominant factor.in determining energy burned per mile, so your op ignores the basic nature of bicycling as an activity.
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Old 08-09-21, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi
It's wrong in addition to being a gross simplification. As your speed ramps up linearly, resistance ramps up exponentially - the increased time in the saddle, over the same distance, doesn't make up for the increased energy necessary to cover that same distance faster. I see this in practice 3-4x per week on my short ride days. I'll cover the same, boring 18-mile loop, but I'll do it at different intensities, depending upon my cumulative training load at the time. Covering it at 20mph requires a lot more kj than doing so at 16mph.
Exactly.

I can leisurely burn 22 calories per mile at 18 mph on my recumbent or a very difficult 35 calories per mile at 26 mph on my recumbent on the same loop. If I ride my upright bike at those speeds, it would be more like a difficult 34 calories per mile at 18 mph and it is impossible for me now to ride at 26 mph, it would take 360 watts which would be like 55-60 calories per mile in theory off the top of my head.
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Old 08-09-21, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Your caveat was about "wind direction", which is a factor that's going to vary from ride to ride and is not necessarily related to speed. You didn't mention air resistance or drag, which is directly related to speed of travel. The caveat you didn't make swallows the general rule that is the "spirit" of your op.

The "spirit" of your post is wrong because wind resistance is THE predominant factor.in determining energy burned per mile, so your op ignores the basic nature of bicycling as an activity.
I had hoped that referring to wind direction would be sufficient to convey that I was familiar with the concept of air resistance. Again, apparently not. So you think that on an Alpine ascent wind resistance is going to be THE dominant factor determining energy burned per mile? Interesting.
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Old 08-09-21, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83
Depends what you’re doing. Running or riding up steep hills burn a fixed number of calories per distance independent of speed. Cycling on the flat or normal rolling terrain and speed makes a significant difference due to the aero losses. I can commute to work using anywhere from 600 to 800 calories even with no wind. Riding faster becomes less efficient. Going 5% faster takes roughly 15% more power.
Exactly. I'm glad that someone gets it.
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Old 08-09-21, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by david101
It's not much help for your real world situation, but reducing things to the purest theoretical level, all you need to know to calculate calories burned is your mass and how far you've moved it. Elevation change and wind direction would also play into it, but not your speed of travel or any biological details.
Ok, since you tripled down.

Can you point to a formula that would consistently and accurately predict my caloric expenditure solely based on mass and distance?

I dispute your assertion that biological differences do not play into it. Ever notice how hard a fat person has to work in the heat? The increased respiration and heart rate to cool the body come at a cost.
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Old 08-09-21, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62

Yes, I read your earlier post and was politely telling you were wrong.
My post begins
It's not much help for your real world situation...
You commented
He probably believes the freshmen college physics professors and hasn't figured out that we don't live in a vacuum or that the world is hardly linear and time-invariant (like....weather).
If you think that was a polite and fitting response, then I'll leave others to make their own judgement.
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Old 08-09-21, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by david101
My post begins


You commented


If you think that was a polite and fitting response, then I'll leave others to make their own judgement.
I apologize for hurting your feelings.

Now, can you accept that your post was silly? And misleading to less informed?
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Old 08-09-21, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by david101
Exactly. I'm glad that someone gets it.
You're glad that someone gets your "gross simplification" that's so heavily caveated (if and only if you only contribute power at speeds low enough that air resistance is a virtual non-factor) that it completely deviates from the reality of the bike riding experience?

Cool, cool, cool.
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Old 08-09-21, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi
You're glad that someone gets your "gross simplification" that's so heavily caveated (if and only if you only contribute power at speeds low enough that air resistance is a virtual non-factor) that it completely deviates from the reality of the bike riding experience?

Cool, cool, cool.
Once more time, my post begins
It's not much help for your real world situation...
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Old 08-09-21, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by david101
I had hoped that referring to wind direction would be sufficient to convey that I was familiar with the concept of air resistance. Again, apparently not. So you think that on an Alpine ascent wind resistance is going to be THE dominant factor determining energy burned per mile? Interesting.
Instead of just admitting you were wrong, you keep going back to this absurd example, which has absolutely nothing to do with the "spirit" of your post. Your basic point was that going "fast" wasn't relevant to calories burned per mile, so you keep going back to the type of riding where nobody can ride fast. You made a general statement that was untrue in the vast majority of real world cases, and you keep cherry-picking the one example where that doesn't apply because gravity resistance is greater. And no, the fact that you would cite "wind direction" while ignoring increased drag induced by increased speed demonstrates that you were unfamiliar with the concept. I'm not creating the 15 mph headwind by going faster, I am creating the increased resistance by going 5 mph faster.

So basically you're now arguing that the "spirit of your post" is that if you're climbing a mountain, drag doesn't matter much? Do you even remember what you actually posted at this point? The "spirit of your post" was supposed to be a general rule, not the rule for an exceptional case.
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Old 08-09-21, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
I apologize for hurting your feelings.

Now, can you accept that your post was silly? And misleading to less informed?
Trust me, my feelings are far from hurt And I'll happily accept that my original post would have benefited from further qualifications. Qualifications that I'd have been happy to make had the initial responses taken a tone other than aggressively shouting 'wrong wrong wrong' while misrepresenting what I had said.

I'm going to leave it here. Duty calls from the 'real world'. Happy cycling.
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Old 08-09-21, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Instead of just admitting you were wrong, you keep going back to this absurd example, which has absolutely nothing to do with the "spirit" of your post. Your basic point was that going "fast" wasn't relevant to calories burned per mile, so you keep going back to the type of riding where nobody can ride fast. You made a general statement that was untrue in the vast majority of real world cases, and you keep cherry-picking the one example where that doesn't apply because gravity resistance is greater. And no, the fact that you would cite "wind direction" while ignoring increased drag induced by increased speed demonstrates that you were unfamiliar with the concept. I'm not creating the 15 mph headwind by going faster, I am creating the increased resistance by going 5 mph faster.

So basically you're now arguing that the "spirit of your post" is that if you're climbing a mountain, drag doesn't matter much? Do you even remember what you actually posted at this point? The "spirit of your post" was supposed to be a general rule, not the rule for an exceptional case.
I wrote
The spirit of my original post was merely to point out that doing something fast doesn't necessarily burn more calories than doing the same thing slowly.
That concept is exactly what I had in mind when I made my original post. Perhaps that original post could have been better expressed, but I'll be surprised if you disagree with the general statement above. My specific cases were advanced purely as counter arguments to those who did take issue with that incontrovertibly true statement.

Air resistance? What the hell is that? Never heard of it

This time I really am gone before I get fired.
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Old 08-09-21, 08:38 AM
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Your OP:

Originally Posted by david101
It's not much help for your real world situation, but reducing things to the purest theoretical level, all you need to know to calculate calories burned is your mass and how far you've moved it. Elevation change and wind direction would also play into it, but not your speed of travel or any biological details.
Your reformulation of your OP:

Originally Posted by david101
I wrote

"The spirit of my original post was merely to point out that doing something fast doesn't necessarily burn more calories than doing the same thing slowly."

That concept is exactly what I had in mind when I made my original post. Perhaps that original post could have been better expressed, but I'll be surprised if you disagree with the general statement above. My specific cases were advanced purely as counter arguments to those who did take issue with that incontrovertibly true statement.

Air resistance? What the hell is that? Never heard of it

This time I really am gone before I get fired.
So let's see, your "spirit" of the OP is not expressed when you said EXPLICITLY that speed of travel doesn't matter?
And yes, if you take pains to differentiate wind direction and "speed of travel" as factors, it's quite clear you don't understand that air resistance increases with speed.

So, as to the spirit of your op being right, cool story, bro...

You said something clearly wrong, get over it.
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Old 08-09-21, 09:04 AM
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Whoa, whoa, whoa - THAT was his original post that he was defending?!
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Old 08-09-21, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by david101
Trust me, my feelings are far from hurt And I'll happily accept that my original post would have benefited from further qualifications. Qualifications that I'd have been happy to make had the initial responses taken a tone other than aggressively shouting 'wrong wrong wrong' while misrepresenting what I had said.

I'm going to leave it here. Duty calls from the 'real world'. Happy cycling.
Probably a generational issues, you are probably young and always got a trophy even when you lost.

When I grew up, wrong is wrong. Teachers and Professors used red marker and let you know you were wrong.

Again, sorry to hurt your feelings. I'll try to come up with a new word for wrong when I disagree with someone's nonsense.
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Old 08-09-21, 10:00 AM
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Somehow, this article seems pertinent here:
__________

Why Some People Always Need to Be Right

“People who always need to be right tend to have fragile egos”
__________
__________________
Ride, Rest, Repeat. ROUVY: terrymorse


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Old 08-09-21, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Somehow, this article seems pertinent here:
__________

Why Some People Always Need to Be Right

“People who always need to be right tend to have fragile egos”
__________
i find the article incomplete. it makes no mention of the link between cyclists and this behavior, nor the important subjects of tubeless v tube, carbon frames, power meters, the use of phones as cycling computers, or even disc brakes vs rim brakes, for gods sake.
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Old 08-10-21, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Your OP:



Your reformulation of your OP:



So let's see, your "spirit" of the OP is not expressed when you said EXPLICITLY that speed of travel doesn't matter?
And yes, if you take pains to differentiate wind direction and "speed of travel" as factors, it's quite clear you don't understand that air resistance increases with speed.

So, as to the spirit of your op being right, cool story, bro...

You said something clearly wrong, get over it.
Okay, here's the OP that I replied to
I biked about 30 minutes yesterday, with higher intensity, and averaged about 15 miles per hour. Keep in mind this is in a residential\neighborhood area, and there was quite a few stops and such.
Given that this was a stop-start route, and the higher intensity run averaged 15 mph, what would you estimate to be the fractional increase in energy expenditure due to the increase in air resistance compared to cycling at say 12 mph?
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Old 08-10-21, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by david101
Okay, here's the OP that I replied to


Given that this was a stop-start route, and the higher intensity run averaged 15 mph, what would you estimate to be the fractional increase in energy expenditure due to the increase in air resistance compared to cycling at say 12 mph?
Go play with a speed/power calculator - there are plenty of them online - and just come to grips with the fact that you were flat out wrong in saying that speed of travel doesn't matter.
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Old 08-10-21, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi
Go play with a speed/power calculator - there are plenty of them online - and just come to grips with the fact that you were flat out wrong in saying that speed of travel doesn't matter.
Ultimately everything matters. It's a question of which terms we choose to neglect in our first approximation.
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Old 08-10-21, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by david101
Ultimately everything matters. It's a question of which terms we choose to neglect in our first approximation.

Is this the fourth or the fifth rewrite of the "spirit" of your OP?
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Old 08-10-21, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by david101
Ultimately everything matters. It's a question of which terms we choose to neglect in our first approximation.
Have you ever tried to go fast on a bike? Drag becomes the dominant form of resistance somewhere in the range of 8-10mph. At 17mph or so, which is probably the cruising speed necessary for a 15mph average with stop-and-go, it'll account for 70%+. Do you think that it warrants inclusion, then, in our first approximation? Maybe?
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Old 08-10-21, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by david101
Okay, here's the OP that I replied to


Given that this was a stop-start route, and the higher intensity run averaged 15 mph, what would you estimate to be the fractional increase in energy expenditure due to the increase in air resistance compared to cycling at say 12 mph?
Oh, stop with the post hoc rationalizations already and just admit you posted something wrong.

But to answer your clearly arbitrary question (why 12 mph?), It could actually be quite a lot. If half of the time figured into that mph was actually stops (0 mph), that means that the rest of the time would have to be double the mph figure (30 mph vs. 24 mph). So, yes, 15 minutes of 30 mph is going to require a LOT more energy than 15 minutes of 24 mph. I'm sure you can find a suitable calculator for this.


And no, you made a generalization that was not specifically addressed at that post, you stated that speed doesn't matter.
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Old 08-10-21, 12:36 PM
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Most likely the lower figure, but to more accurately determine calories burned during this 30 minute ride, you would have to input your age, gender, height, and weight into a calculator (in addition to your speed). Without that information, it would be impossible to calculate calorie expenditure. Assuming all of that was input into your watch, it should be close, but fit and calibration of the watch also has to be done.
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