Bicycle calories


I want to make an application that calculates the number of calories expended on a bicycle ride.

So i need some info... (calories per hour, minute , distance and other factors maybe).
It would be nice if this info comes from a good article ... from a bicycle or fitness magazine...

Thanks in advance :)

P.s Dont paste links with millions of pages :)
LVL 16
Who is Participating?
CodedKAuthor Commented:
All the apps that i allready found are based on this article:

May 1989 issue of Bicycling Magazine, pp. 100-103.

Can anyone provide info on this article or equivalent ? (i'll increase to 500 points ;) )

It has many factors i'd like to know (weight,wind)
You can see an example here:

Thanks in advance :)
Keep up with what's happening at Experts Exchange!

Sign up to receive Decoded, a new monthly digest with product updates, feature release info, continuing education opportunities, and more.

here's part of an article on cycling that mentions calories per hour.

Overall health improvement

A cycle ride also increases calorie consumption and raises the metabolic rate, which can help you lose weight. Steady cycling burns about 300 calories per hour. A half hour daily cycle will burn 11 pounds of fat in a year. Because the activity is daily, the weight is likely to stay off and weight loss will be even more effective if combined with dietary change.
Regular cycling also helps lower both blood pressure and the resting heart rate while improving stamina, strength and cardio-vascular fitness. When you are cycling, the heart beats faster to pump blood around the body more quickly to supply enough oxygen to the muscles to allow them to do work. The heart itself is a muscle and when exercised, as in cycling, it gets stronger just as your biceps do.
Some 20 litres of blood per minute circulate throughout the body during moderate aerobic activities, so exercise such as cycling can prevent or delay the development of high blood pressure and reduce blood pressure in people who already suffer from this condition. Exercise improves muscle strength, co-ordination and balance, cutting the likelihood of falls as you get older, and improves joint mobility and lubrication. Muscle endurance and tone will improve, especially in the working muscle groups like calves and thighs, as does posture and balance. Gentle cycling may also help arthritis sufferers, reducing joint pain and swelling.
One of the skin's major functions is as an excretory organ of the body and during cycling, blood flow to the skin increases to rid the body of heat and the elimination of wastes is improved through sweating.
An increase in blood carbon-dioxide levels and temperature causes breathing to become faster and deeper. This action supplies the oxygen needed by the body. There is also evidence that moderate-intensity activities such as cycling for six to eight hours every week may reduce the risk of lung cancer. This may be attributed to immune function improvement and the increase in overall health of the lungs.
here is a bicycle ride calorie calculator

here's one where you enter your weight and the time you are on the bike and way down at the bottom you click "calculate"
This calculation can be done on dozens of activities other than bike riding
SORRY......woodendude beat me on that healthstatus calculator.........
Hi CodedK

Difficult to measure for sure... it would be dependant on the persons weight since more muscle mass will burn more calories, amount of cycling resistance, and their heart-rate.  I would think you'd need to estimate body mass index somehow from height and weight.  Age and Sex is important too in calculations.

Aside from that... going uphill burns more calories than going downhill... plus which gear you're in... you'd have to have an optimal cadence which burns fewer calories than someone struggling in the wrong gear.

Your body is also using calories when idling too... coasting... so time spent on the bike doing nothing still burns calories.  This may be an opportunity to make better formula.

The calories/hour will vary from person to person depending on their metabolic rate and other physiological conditions

Usually cycling will burn 1 to 8 calories/minute or so depending on exertion.

Website will calculate anything... approx.

CodedKAuthor Commented:
Hi :)

Thank you all.
1st,2nd link: These are nice links but unfortunately i need the algorithm based on various factors ofcourse... so i can build an application.

The 1st info u posted is very usefull but doesnt provide algorithms ... :(
That link :
is the application i am talking about by Greg Kondrasuk.
I allready mailed him ... but the magazine is too old to be found (1989 !)  :/

I know that there are many factors but as you can see in that magazine in 1989
there are many many factors..
In the link you gave it mention :
BMI=26.2   BMR=1,959   RMR=1,850
but i need a way to calculate them... :)

1st Link : by Joe Friel
"There is no precise table or formula for determining calories burned while exercising on a bike, since metabolic efficiency varies considerably between individuals and even within the same person on different days."
I'll give it a try ... :) I know that it wouldnt be accurate but just to fool myself :P

2nd Link the very best so far!!!
3rd-4-5 I cant read it at the moment... :)
Why when I was a youngster I used to ride my bike 20 miles to school everyday!  And it was uphill both ways.  The absolute best way to lose weight and get in shape is - sell or give away your TV and computer/game console.
CodedKAuthor Commented:
Lol JohnnyCanuck ..
Noway :)
While surfing looking for calculators I read a few forums and it seems that one of these is what you want, , monitors calories used, heart and pulse rate, etc....
CodedKAuthor Commented:
Hi woodendude :)
... Thank you for everything :)
But I need an equation with many factors so i can build my own application ...
Something like

H*A+S/W = Calories burned

W/A +S*H = Calories burned

here is one link about Tour de France top cyclers, where are heights and weights given, but there are said: These values are almost twice that of normal individuals.
>>Why when I was a youngster I used to ride my bike 20 miles to school everyday!  And it was uphill both ways.

that's a logical absurdity, but since I ran in a race that started where it was finished and was uphill all the way - I'll let it go
you could ride my exercise bike and it will tell you how many calories your burn :-)
CodedKAuthor Commented:
:) I dont care much about calories... I just want to make an application :)
CodedKAuthor Commented:

I finaly found this:

Formula for the Energy Requirements of Cycling
From Bicycling Science by Frank Whitt and David Wilson, p.157

W = Cv [K1 + {K2(Cv+Cw)(Cv+Cw)} + {10.32Em(s/100 + 1.01a/g)}]


    * W = power in watts
          o 1 W = 1 joule/sec
          o 69.78W = 1000 calories/min = 1 kilocal/min = 1 Calorie/min
          o 1 Calorie = 4186 joules
    * Cv = speed of cyclist in meters/sec
          o 1 mph = .447 meters/sec
          o 1 mph = 1.609 kilometeres/hr
    * K1 and K2 are constants (see table below)
    * Cw = headwind in meters/sec
    * Em = mass of cyclist and bicycle in kg
          o 1 pound = .4536 kg
    * s = slope or grade in %
    * a = acceleration of the bicycle in meters/(sec)(sec)
    * g = gravitational accel = 9.806 m/sec-sec at sea level


This is what i want... :)
I'll split the points coz the sites you mentioned were helpful.
That was a nice find!
Thanx for the points!
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.