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Stravacalories?

Old 09-20-16, 03:55 PM
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CliffordK
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Stravacalories?

Ok, I take the electronic calories a bit with a grain of salt.

But my recent ride:

Friday: 6937 Stravacalories
Saturday 2708 Stravacalories (8.9 miles, 982 feet not counted).
Sunday: 4995 Stravacalories
Monday: 2093 Stravacalories

Total (4 days):
17,543 Stravacalories

None of that, of course, counts that I was carrying a heavy load on a steel bike. How should one adjust for gear weight? Add it to the person's weight? Ignore it?

I suppose I take those calculations with a grain of salt, but it is always good to pack a little extra chow for the trips. I feel like I've lost some weight, but the scale doesn't seem to think so. Perhaps I ate too much salty foods.
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Old 09-20-16, 04:14 PM
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Without a PM, the Strava estimate is more of a guess. Unless you're really putting the hammer down, you probably want to reduce those numbers by about 2/3. I don't think a human can burn 2700 calories in 9 miles on a bicycle.

With my PM, and putting out an average of 250W and ~16 hours a week, I burn around 15,000kcal a week.
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Old 09-20-16, 04:15 PM
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The most you would ever burn is around 300 calories in an hour. I wouldn't believe stravacalories no matter how much you paid me to.

To make matters worse everyone burns calories differently.

Why waste the time even looking. You probably burnt 25,000 calories just looking
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Old 09-20-16, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
The most you would ever burn is around 300 calories in an hour.
That is a reckless generalization. My overall average is just under 850 per hour-- but I'm not tooling along at 15mph or anything. This is what a fairly typical month looks like for me:

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Old 09-20-16, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
The most you would ever burn is around 300 calories in an hour.
Suppose you're putting 200W into the pedals for an hour. That's 720,000 joules, or around 172 calories. But the human body tends to have a caloric efficiency of ~25%, so you actually need to eat something like 700 calories to make up for it.

300 is very low.

Last edited by HTupolev; 09-20-16 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 09-20-16, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Suppose you're putting 200W into the pedals for an hour. That's 720,000 joules, or around 172 calories. But the human body tends to have a caloric efficiency of ~25%, so you actually need to eat something like 700 calories to make up for it.

300 is very low.
So why then when on a bike trip with 30 pounds of gear and me weighing 180 pounds averaging around 4000 calories a day input and riding 125 miles at 15 mph pace don't I lose weight like you could never imagine. The bulk majority of weight I do lose is water weight as I put it back on in a few days after getting back from the 8400 mile trip. You won't put food weight on that fast but water weight you will. Pretty much I'll only lose around 5 pounds and like I said I'll put it back on in a couple of days of properly getting myself rehydrated.

To the op, just remember unless you totally pig out you won't regain body weight quickly from food, but you will from water. A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds while a pound of meat only weighs a pound. Go eat a one pound hamburger and see how much weigh you gain...go drink a gallon of water and go see how much weight you gain. As you keep eating and drinking you will gain more body weight from the water you're drinking quicker than you will from the food you're eating unless you are truly pigging out. How fast did you regain the weight. That will tell you where you are losing your weight from and give you real good idea of how many calories you are actually burning. You won't burn 2700 calories by riding 8.9 miles. Even if you weigh 300 pounds and are riding over 20 miles per hour you would still only burn 1089 calories according to the Bicycling magazines calories calculator. I highly doubt your that heavy, were riding that fast and you only went 8.9 miles not 10 miles. I wouldn't trust that crazy calorie counter by a long shot.

Do like I said above, see how long it takes you to regain the weight. Measure yourself before the ride and after the ride. Remember unless you riding on the North/South Pole you are going to sweat plenty this time of the year, err hydration loss.

Also consider you haven't lost any weight so your input and output are pretty correct. Now ask yourself have you been eating 6-8,000 calories a day. Check the labeling and find out for yourself. Remember fruits and veggies don't have much in the way of caloric value to them.
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Old 09-20-16, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
So why then when on a bike trip with 30 pounds of gear and me weighing 180 pounds averaging around 4000 calories a day input and riding 125 miles at 15 mph pace don't I lose weight like you could never imagine. The bulk majority of weight I do lose is water weight as I put it back on in a few days after getting back from the 8400 mile trip.

Because it only takes about 130W to maintain that speed on level ground. You aren't even burning 4,000kcal every day, most likely (without a PM, we're all still just guessing.) My average daily power output is nearly double that.
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Old 09-20-16, 05:53 PM
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I gave up micromanaging my diet and energy needs 45+ years ago. Actually I never bothered, except when I was much younger and my physician asked me to account for everything over a span of a few weeks.

I normally have short term swings in weight within a 10# band, which I chalk up mainly to water retention and shedding. I also have a very long term pattern of seasonal weight gain or loss, interestingly opposite from what I'd expect, I tend to lose weight fall through winter, and gain over the summer.

It might be that I keep a cool house, or that shoveling snow burns far more calories than bicycling, or something like the longer days giving me more time to snack, or that cycling makes me hungry in a way that overcompensates for calories burned.

So, I live by a simple plan, I eat when hungry, and not when not hungry. Though I keep to a sort of meal schedule, I routinely have a very light meal rather than feel compelled to eat what might be called a proper meal.

This crude, listen to the body, method has served me well, and I generally have only the vaguest idea of calories.
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Old 09-20-16, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
So why then when on a bike trip with 30 pounds of gear and me weighing 180 pounds averaging around 4000 calories a day input and riding 125 miles at 15 mph pace don't I lose weight like you could never imagine.
Aerodynamics makes low speeds very efficient; on a road bike, I can hold 13mph on the flats when I'm so bonked that I can barely stand. If you're only having to do 100-150W, you might only be burning around 3000 calories each day from cycling. This leaves an atypically low amount of energy left for the body's rest functions, but the roughness in napkin math and human estimates of things like distances and intakes can easily smooth that out; we're only like 20% away from totals that sensibly add up.
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Old 09-20-16, 06:12 PM
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I use Map My Ride, I'm 6'1" 190 lbs and this is what my morning ride looked like with a 1020 ft elevation gain. I'm cycling for weight loss and general health so I do watch my caloric intake, with no way of really know how many calories I'm burning with out running a bunch of test pre and post ride I just use 500 calories burned per our as a pretty safe guess, especially with the hills I have to climb. It would be nice to know how many calories I'm actually burning though.

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Old 09-20-16, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by saint mucus View Post
I use Map My Ride, I'm 6'1" 190 lbs and this is what my morning ride looked like with a 1020 ft elevation gain.
Close to your height and weight, but equipped with a power meter:

27.8 miles, 1.26.13 moving time, 19.4mph, 1,497kcal

It was ~275W average to burn that. For you at 12mph, power and calories would be around half, so perhaps 650-700kcal, or 325-350hr.
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Old 09-20-16, 06:27 PM
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Thanks a lot man. I'm actually just getting in to cycling, this was only my 6th ride in 6 days, it was raining this morning and I still rode so I think I might be addicted already The only reason I use Map My Ride is because I was using Map My Run before I bought my bike and was already use to the format, I did download Strava and used it for one ride but prefer MMR because I was already familiar with it.
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Old 09-20-16, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
That is a reckless generalization. My overall average is just under 850 per hour-- but I'm not tooling along at 15mph or anything. This is what a fairly typical month looks like for me:

Ok, so I think there was some confusion. On Saturday, Strava missed (got turned off?) for 8.9 miles and just under 1000 feet of elevation gain.

But, your chart would be similar to what I got.

4 days riding.
370 total miles (just under half of above chart)
25,851 feet climbing (almost the same as above chart). Not a particularly flat weekend ride.
17,543 Stravacalories

Pace (loaded) wasn't quite as fast as you, but a lot of hours on the road. Well, except for that one 60 or 70 mile segment with a little less climbing than the other segments, and a lot faster Overall, the riding wasn't as pancake flat as the above chart.

I have found that my appetite often does go up a little bit when doing long hard rides, although I often don't eat that regularly either.

I really don't know if it is possible to burn 5000 to 7000 calories in a day on a bicycle. They say the pro racers literally eat a TON. Obviously I'm not in the same class, but the miles and hours do add up.
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Old 09-20-16, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I really don't know if it is possible to burn 5000 to 7000 calories in a day on a bicycle. They say the pro racers literally eat a TON. Obviously I'm not in the same class, but the miles and hours do add up.
Oh, it's possible. It's just power over time. Ride hard enough, long enough, and 5,000kcal is fairly quick to reach. My nearly-flat solo century was a hair over 5,000kcal in just over 5 hours. My Double Metric burned 5,500kcal, and I moved a fair bit slower.

I usually run out of willpower/desire before I run out of energy.
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Old 09-20-16, 06:51 PM
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TOURING:

My weight: 200 lbs me&gear&supplies

I ride: 1,500 miles / month

I eat: 105,000 calories / month


I usually lean-out after two-weeks on the road at which time I'm always-hungry.

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Old 09-20-16, 10:37 PM
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25-35 calories per mile at an average speed of 13-16 mph for a 185 pound dude on a 35 pound bike with 20 pounds of stuff. So 450 kcal/ hour for me. 1.8 (kcal/lb)/hour

Strava is way off. MyFitnessPal is much closer for general riding. For huge climbs MFP will be off because MFP calories are based on average speed.
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Old 09-20-16, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
... A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds while a pound of meat only weighs a pound. Go eat a one pound hamburger and see how much weigh you gain...go drink a gallon of water and go see how much weight you gain.... .
i'm confused. you're comparing gallons to pounds? drink eight pounds vs. eat one pound?
of course you gain more from the water, you're consuming 8 times the weight.
at least temporarily. you micturate/respirate/perspirate much faster than you excrete.

drink a pound (1/8 gallon) of water and you gain a pound.
eat a pound of meat and you gain a pound.
swallow a pound of bb's and you gain a pound.
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Old 09-21-16, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
drink a pound (1/8 gallon) of water and you gain a pound.
eat a pound of meat and you gain a pound.
swallow a pound of bb's and you gain a pound.
One of these situations ends very differently from the others.
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Old 09-21-16, 10:13 AM
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In my experience, Stravacalories or Garmincalories (which are different) are within 10% of the real kilojoules used on a ride with a power meter. That is, the same ride with or without a power meter magically displays a similar number of calories. The are a bunch of assumptions that must be met to make this true, however. The most important is "bike type" in Strava. That sets your rolling resistance (and maybe CdA). If you're riding with half-way decent tires on roads, tell it you're on a "road bike". "Cross bike" or "mountain bike" double or triple the calorie count. You should also give it a good swag for your weight and your bike weight. I include gear in the bike's weight.
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