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How Many Calories are Burned by Cycling?


Last modified 4th January 2016

Welcome to the cycling section of DietandFitnessToday and the associated calories burned and weight lost. Here we present a list of 24 activities based on the general description of cycling and the calories burnt for a typical man and woman.

These cycling activities range from the highest calorie burn from 'bicycling, > 20 mph, racing, not drafting' which burns 681 calories in 30 minutes through to the activity 'bicycling for leisure at 5.5 mph' which has the lowest calorie burn of 151 calories in 30 minutes, for a typical adult weighing 190 pounds (86 Kg).

To help you find the information you need, we first focus on the most common cycling activities. This is followed by the activities with the highest, lowest and average burnt calories per minute and per hour

We also cover the predicted weight loss from cycling, typical food calorie equivalents and our new proprietary calories burned score© and calories burned rank©

For bicycling, 12-13.9 mph, leisure, moderate effort, which is a typical intensity activity under the general description of cycling activities, the average calories burned by a person weighing 190 pounds (86 Kg) in 30 minutes is 345 Calories. In one hour the same activity will burn 689 Calories.

Effect of Intensity on the Calorie Calculator

Although the above is a typical example for cycling, the calculator we use to determine the calories burnt depends on the intensity, duration and your body weight. At the bottom of the article we have a variety of different intensities which can be personalized based on your weight and the duration of the activities, using our free calculator.

Calorie Score and Calorie Rank for Cycling

At dietandfitnesstoday we have a new proprietary concept of a Calories Burned Score© and Calories Burned Rank©.

The calorie score gives an indication of the relative burn rate measured as a percentage score out of 100 for the different cycling activities, where 100% is the maximum calorie burn which we estimate from running at a pace of 4 minutes per mile which is a world class speed for running for 30 mins.

The calorie rank is the rank of the activity compared with all other 800 activities in our database to give an indication of the percentage of activities which have a higher or lower calorie burn. A rank of 1 means it is the highest ranking activity in terms or calorie burn and a rank of 100 means it is the activity with the lowest carlorie burn compared with all other activities.

Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for a Typical cycling Activity

As we have previously mentioned Bicycling, 12-13.9 mph, leisure, moderate effort is a moderate and typical level of intensity for cycling and can be used as a general representative approximate measure for calories burnt by cycling. For this activity in 30 minutes an average man weighing 190 pounds (86 kg) burns 345 Calories, while an average woman weighing 163 pounds (74 kg), in 30 minutes burns 296 Calories.

Calories Per Minute

The calories burned per minute for Bicycling, 12-13.9 mph, leisure, moderate effort is 11 Calories per minute, for a typical man and for a typical female is 10 Calories per minute.

Calories Per Hour

The calories lost in one hour is 689 calories for a typical man, and 591 calories in one hour for a typical woman.

How to Burn 100 Calories

To burn 100 calories for a typical male would require 9 minutes of the activity bicycling, 12-13.9 mph, leisure, moderate effort and to burn 100 calories with the same cycling activity for a typical female would take 10 minutes.

Score and Rank

Bicycling, 12-13.9 mph, leisure, moderate effort has a Calorie Burned Score© of 32.7 out of 100 which means it gives a calorie burn of 32.7 % of the highest realistic calorie burn possible. This activity has a Calorie Burned Rank© of 49 out of 100 ie it is in the top 49 % of activities in terms of calorie burn. There are in fact 117 activities that have a higher calorie burn than bicycling, 12-13.9 mph, leisure, moderate effort

Equivalent Activities

The following activities burn the same number of calories as Bicycling, 12-13.9 mph, leisure, moderate effort -

  • actively coaching while playing sport with players
  • calisthenics (e.g., push ups, sit ups, pull-ups, jumping jacks), vigorous effort
  • carrying 25 to 49 lb load, upstairs
  • carrying heavy loads (e.g., bricks, tools)
  • carrying moderate loads up stairs, moving boxes 25-49 lbs

Comparison with Inactivity

30 mins of inactivity for example just sitting and watching television burns 43 calories for a typical man and 37 calories for a typical woman. Which means Bicycling, 12-13.9 mph, leisure, moderate effort burns 8.6 times more calories than the equivalent time of inactivity for an average man and 8.0 times more calories for an average female.

Food Calorie Equivalents

This level of 345 calories burnt by an average man bicycling, 12-13.9 mph, leisure, moderate effort is equivalent to 0.6 Big Macs, 1.2 snickers bar, 2.9 Starbucks Grande Skinny Lattes, 1.2 cheeseburgers, 1.2 slices of pizza or 0.9 large blueberry muffins.

For an average female burning 296 calories is equivalent to 0.5 Big Macs, 1.1 snickers bar, 2.5 Starbucks Grande Skinny Lattes, 1.0 cheeseburgers, 1.0 slices of pizza or 0.8 large blueberry muffins.

Weight Loss from Cycling

To answer the question how many pounds will I lose from the activity cycling? Taking this example of bicycling, 12-13.9 mph, leisure, moderate effort in 30 minutes, the weight loss for a typical man is a minimum of 0.05 pounds, and a typical woman would lose 0.04 pounds.

Based on 4 sessions per week of bicycling, 12-13.9 mph, leisure, moderate effort for a duration of 30 minutes per session, the approximate time taken to lose one pound is 5 weeks for a man and 6 weeks for a woman, assuming no other changes in lifestyle or eating habits.

The same 4 sessions per week of bicycling, 12-13.9 mph, leisure, moderate effort for a duration of 30 minutes per session, would lose 1kg in 2 weeks for a man and 3 weeks for a woman.

Cycling Activity with the Highest Calorie Burn

The highest number of calories burned for an average person is achieved by bicycling, > 20 mph, racing, not drafting. For this activity in 30 minutes an average man burns 681 Calories, while an average woman in 30 minutes burns 584 Calories.

This activity of bicycling, > 20 mph, racing, not drafting has a Calories Burned Score© of 67.7 out of 100 which means it gives a calorie burn of 67.7 % of the maximum realistic calorie burn possible. This activity has a Calories Burned Rank© of 9 out of 100 ie it is in the top 9 % of activities in terms of calorie burn. There are in fact 6 activities that have a higher calorie burn than bicycling, > 20 mph, racing, not drafting

Since this level of activity is in the top 15% of all activities it is not advised to attempt this level of activity if you are just starting out on a new fitness regime. In fact this level of intensity may be beyond all but the highest levels of fitness.

Cycling Activity with the Lowest Calorie Burn

The cycling activity with the lowest calories burnt is bicycling for leisure at 5.5 mph, which for an average man in 30 minutes burns 151 Calories, and for an average woman burns 129 Calories.

This activity of bicycling for leisure at 5.5 mph has a Calories Burned Score© of 12.4 out of 100 which means it gives a calorie burn of 12.4 % of the maximum realistic calorie burn possible. This activity has a Calories Burned Rank© of 80 out of 100 ie it is in the top 80 % of activities in terms of calorie burn. There are in fact 486 activities that have a higher calorie burn than bicycling for leisure at 5.5 mph

Average Calories Burned by Cycling

Based on the the list of 24 cycling activities, shown below, the average calories burned for an average male, weighing 190 pounds (86 kg) is 351 Calories for 30 minutes of cycling. The average burnt for an average female, weighing 163 pounds (74 kg) is 301 Calories for 30 minutes of cycling.

Cycling for 30 minutes - Calories Burned Calculator

Calories Burned in 30 minutes of cycling for Average Male (M) and Female (F) (click to personalise).
bicycling, > 20 mph, racing, not drafting - calories  Male=681 kcal, Female=584 kcal.
bicycling, mountain, uphill, vigorous - calories  Male=603 kcal, Female=518 kcal.
bicycling, stationary, 201-270 watts, very vigorous effort - calories  Male=603 kcal, Female=518 kcal.
bicycling, 16-19 mph, racing/not drafting or > 19 mph drafting, very fast, racing general - calories  Male=517 kcal, Female=444 kcal.
bicycling, stationary, 161-200 watts, vigorous effort - calories  Male=474 kcal, Female=407 kcal.
bicycling, 14-15.9 mph, racing or leisure, fast, vigorous effort - calories  Male=431 kcal, Female=370 kcal.
bicycling, 12 mph, standing, hands on brake hoods, 60 rpm - calories  Male=388 kcal, Female=333 kcal.
bicycling, stationary, 101-160 watts, vigorous effort - calories  Male=379 kcal, Female=325 kcal.
bicycling, 12 mph, seated, hands on brake hoods or bar drops, 80 rpm - calories  Male=366 kcal, Female=314 kcal.
bicycling, BMX - calories  Male=366 kcal, Female=314 kcal.
bicycling, stationary, RPM/Spin bike class - calories  Male=366 kcal, Female=314 kcal.
bicycling, 12-13.9 mph, leisure, moderate effort - calories  Male=345 kcal, Female=296 kcal.
bicycling, general - calories  Male=323 kcal, Female=277 kcal.
bicycling, stationary, general - calories  Male=302 kcal, Female=259 kcal.
bicycling, 10-11.9 mph, leisure, slow, light effort - calories  Male=293 kcal, Female=251 kcal.
bicycling, stationary, 90-100 watts, moderate to vigorous effort - calories  Male=293 kcal, Female=251 kcal.
bicycling, to/from work, self selected pace - calories  Male=293 kcal, Female=251 kcal.
bicycling, leisure, 9.4 mph - calories  Male=250 kcal, Female=214 kcal.
bicycling, on dirt or farm road, moderate pace - calories  Male=250 kcal, Female=214 kcal.
unicycling - calories  Male=215 kcal, Female=185 kcal.
bicycling, stationary, 51-89 watts, light-to-moderate effort - calories  Male=207 kcal, Female=177 kcal.
bicycling, <10 mph, leisure, to work or for pleasure (Taylor Code 115) - calories  Male=172 kcal, Female=148 kcal.
bicycling for leisure at 5.5 mph - calories  Male=151 kcal, Female=129 kcal.
bicycling, stationary, 30-50 watts, very light to light effort - calories  Male=151 kcal, Female=129 kcal.

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You can browse other common activities from our database, from the links below or visit the compendium at https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/home.

Calories Burned Activities


  aerobics
  at work
  badminton
  baseball
  ballet
  ballroom dancing
  basketball
  boxing
  biking
  canoeing
  climbing
  cleaning
  cricket
  cross country skiing
  crossfit
  cycling
  dancing
  exercise
  elliptical
  fishing
  football
  fencing
  gardening
  golf
  gymnastics
  hiking
  horse riding
  housework
  ice skating
  jogging
  judo
  karate
  kayaking
  kick boxing
  pilates
  rodeo sports
  rollerblading
  ropejumping
  rowing
  rugby
  running
  resting
  sailing
  shopping
  sitting
  skating
  skiing
  sleeping
  soccer
  softball
  spinning
  sports
  standing
  step aerobics
  swimming
  tae kwan do
  tennis
  treadmill
  volleyball
  walking
  water polo
  weight lifting
  yoga
  zumba

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Disclaimer: The information provided by Diet & Fitness Today is for general information and should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. You should always consult a licensed physician or medical professional for diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition and before starting any weight loss or fitness regime.