How Many Calories Does Cycling Burn? (With helpful tips on burning more!)

How Many Calories Does Cycling Burn
How Many Calories Does Cycling Burn

Eventually, most of us reach a point when losing weight and getting into shape becomes important. However, burning calories is something that you will need to do if you want to lose some unwanted fat. Cycling is one of the best forms of exercise, and many people have been wondering how many calories does cycling burn?

How many calories does cycling burn? Harvard University has done a study with a variety of participants. The study conducted featured participants cycling at a moderate speed of between 12 and 13.9 MPH. The study found that the average 155-pound person would burn approximately 298 calories every 30 minutes.

This certainly seems impressive if you understand how hard it can be to burn calories. However, numerous factors would influence the level of calories that you can burn when cycling.

This article aims to help you understand how many calories you can burn when cycling and how you can burn even more.

You might also enjoy reading: My Top 7 Bikes For Heavy People (And how to pick yours!

How Many Calories Does Cycling Burn?

As mentioned, the average 155-person would burn close to 300 calories every thirty minutes when following a moderate cycling speed. However, when you ramp up the pace a bit, you can look at burning even more. Cycling at 14 to 15.9 MPH can lead to more calories being burned, estimated at around 372 calories.

Remember that cycling can be done in various forms, and you could burn more or fewer calories depending on your choice.

Here is how the different forms of cycling would affect how many calories you burn:

1- Stationary Bike

Not everyone can find the time to do cycling outside and even though it tends to be a more dynamic form of exercise. Indoor cycling on a stationary bike is much easier. You can set up the bike almost anywhere in your home, making it much easier to work out whenever you find the free time. 

The average 155-pound person cycling at a moderate speed, which has already been indicated, is looking to burn around 260 calories indoors. However, someone that is only 125 pounds will be looking at burning around 210 calories in the same timeframe.

2- Outside Biking

Outside biking can vary significantly due to the various disciplines that you can participate in. BMX riders who perform stunts and tricks will burn more calories than someone cruising around town on their bike. The same is true for road bike riders competing and those competing in elite mountain bike competitions. 

However, someone casually riding their bike at a moderate pace outdoors will be looking at burning around 240 calories at 125 pounds.

You will burn slightly more calories at 155 pounds, with an estimate being 298 calories. Additionally, the 185-pound person will be burning even more calories. It is estimated to be around 355 calories.

3- BMX Biking

As we have already mentioned, BMX riders tend to burn far more calories than other riders. The main reason for this is the stunts and tricks these people perform. Keep in mind that BMX riders don’t necessarily go very fast. However, they spike the heart rate significantly when it comes to performing.

It is estimated that a 125-pound person will burn approximately 255 calories every 30 minutes. Someone weighing 155 pounds would burn 316 calories, and the larger 185-pound individual is looking to burn 377 calories for every thirty minutes they spend riding their bike.

How Are Calories Burned Calculated?

One of the most fascinating things that you can do is understand how calories are calculated to be burned in various sports. A system of metabolic equivalents (METs) is often used to measure calories that will be burned.

According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), it is expected that 5 calories are burned for every 1 liter of oxygen consumed.

In terms of cycling, we find that the METs of modern cycling are close to 8.0. Additionally, the METs for vigorous cyclings like mountain biking and BMX would be closer to 14.0 METs.

However, this would vary depending on the individual, and as you can see from the previous facts, a larger individual would consume far more oxygen.

How Many Calories Does Cycling Burn
A Group Of Bikers Riding

How Can You Burn More Calories When Cycling?

Not everyone has the patience to wait to burn calories eventually, and many people are looking for ways that they can use to burn more calories in a shorter timeframe.

If you want to burn more calories when cycling, here are a few tips to help you burn them faster and ensure that you don’t waste time.

1- Increase Your Riding Intensity

One of the first things that you should do is to increase the intensity while you are cycling. You can change the speed to something more vigorous, or you can change the gradient.

By doing an uphill gradient, you are bound to burn more calories because it takes you far more effort to pedal forward. This means that your heart and muscles will work much harder.

2- Longer Stints

While this might not be something you want to hear, longer stints would make sense. Instead of pedaling for 30 minutes, you can try to pedal for one hour.

This means that you will burn double the number of calories that you would when only doing 30 minutes. However, this can take a lot of time out of your day.

3- Weight Belt

As you might have noticed, the heavier you are, the more calories you are bound to burn. Unfortunately, not everyone is heavy, so burning calories can become tricky as you lose weight.

However, a weight belt would help you to burn calories at a much higher rate than you would at your normal weight. You should choose the one you feel comfortable using.

4- BMX Cycling

If you want to burn plenty of calories fast, BMX cycling is probably one of the best ways to do so. Not everyone might be interested in BMX cycling, but it is one of the main ways that can help you burn these extra calories.

We recommend BMX cycling for those looking to have fun and burn calories more efficiently.

What Are The Other Benefits of Cycling?

While burning calories is one of the many benefits of cycling, there are also additional benefits that you should be aware of.

To help you prepare for your cycling journey and understand why having one of the best mountain bikes is great, here are a few additional benefits that you can expect if you take up cycling:

1- Low Impact

One of the main reasons that many people take up cycling is due to the lower impact on the body and the joints. Cycling does not involve as much strain on the body as you would see from running.

If you are nursing some injuries, cycling is one of the best sports that would allow you to work out without putting too much strain on your body.

2- Meditative

Many people might not believe it, but cycling is a great way to get the blood pumping and to think. It can be one of the most meditative sports that you could do. This is to say if you are casually riding.

Those that prefer mountain biking might find that their problem-solving skills would also improve due to the technical difficulties of trails.

3- Transportation

With fuel prices soaring and many people struggling to make ends meet due to excessive gas and energy prices, cycling is a great alternative to help you get from point A to point B.

You can rig your bicycle with different accessories like baskets and other add-ons, which would make it much easier for you to transport all your goods.

4- Improved Fitness

Another great benefit of cycling is the improved fitness levels that you will see. Aside from losing weight and burning calories, you can use cycling as a way to get into shape and improve fitness.

Those struggling with medical conditions and trying to improve their overall fitness would find cycling much easier.

How Safe Is Cycling?

Cycling might seem dangerous; if you are not careful or become reckless, cycling can often be daunting. The National Travel Survey suggests that a fatality from cycling only occurs with every nine million rides. Additionally, there is only a 5% risk of injury for every 1,000 hours of cycling, which makes it one of the safest options.

What to read next:

Wrapping Up

If you want to get into the best shape of your life and improve your overall fitness levels, cycling is certainly one of the ways to go about it.

It might not be as easy for everyone to get started. However, you will eventually adapt and find yourself improving. Let us know if you prefer cycling as a means of losing weight.


Hello fellow bikers, I am Altiné. I am SO excited you are here! I am the guy behind I am a biker and very passionate about reading, sports, and all things outdoors. I hope you find what you are looking for while visiting

Recent Posts