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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
7/30/08 2:12 P

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W

I have a cyclometer (Cateye) which is about as old as my bike. Since it does what I want it to there is no need to get a new one. However, with that being said, it seems like I need a good heart monitor to get a more accurate rate of caloric burn.

I'm wondering if I should now revert back to my previous settings vs current settings in min/max amount of calories to eat per day?

Does garmin have a chest strap for the monitor or do I need to go to the other models you suggested?

Thanks,

Jim

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WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
7/30/08 12:41 P

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This whole cal consumption discussion is really intriguing so I went back over some past rides and races to see whether the cal burn measured by my Garmin and how the cal burn in SP matched up.

Looking at my data I seem to burn on average 40 cals per km (64 cals per mile). This is generally dependent on terrain and speed, so a hilly (1000+ meters climbing) 50k ride will burns slightly more cals than a flat (100-200m climbing) 50k ride, done at the same average speed - 42 cals/km in the hills, 40 cals/km on the flats. Which I think makes sense as I spend much more time in higher HR zones in the hills than cruising on the flats.

Similarly, a 40k TT done at race pace on the flat burns about 4-5 cals/km more than compared to my flat century pace, probably due again to increased HR.

So when I went to plug the numbers into SP, the cal burn values are consistently 200-300 cals lower. I purposely picked hilly and flat rides which were right in the middle of the 16-19mph range as I figured it would be the most accurate. My TT pace is towards the bottom of the 20+mph bracket which is rather large! I could understand if they were higher but all the weight numbers etc are the same between SP and my computer. I guess maybe because SP doesn't take HR or terrain into account...

Jim:
If you don't have a cycle computer yet, get one with a HRM. If you can afford it, the Garmin is a must. If not, then Polar and Cateye make nice ones - I prefer wireless, easier and cleaner setup. Make sure you get a chest strap HRM too, much more accurate and a lot easier to use than having to take your pulse on your wrist or whatever.

Edited by: WONGERCHI at: 7/30/2008 (12:40)
In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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RENITADESHANNE's Photo RENITADESHANNE SparkPoints: (21,159)
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7/30/08 11:37 A

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I use the Polar Heart monitor. I will be purchasing the polar computer for my bike also.

You can't achieve success if you're not willing to take the first step.


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MARYONE's Photo MARYONE Posts: 2,125
7/30/08 10:12 A

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After WONGERCHI asked if I entered by body and bike weight on my cyclocomputer. I decided to check my Cateye's manuel because I didn't recall entering that info. And I was right... the one I have (velo8) doesn't take in consideration that info and it is cleary written in the manual

Here's what is says :

"Calorie Consumption*1 (VELO8)
The calorie consumption data is only the accumulated value that is calculated
from the speed data of every second. It differs from the actual consumed calorie.

Speed 10 mph
Kcal per hour 155.2 kcal

Speed 20 mph
Kcal per hour 768.2 kcal

Speed 30 mph
Kcal per hour 2297.2 kcal"

So the answer is.... you need an HR monitor to get it right :P

Edited by: MARYONE at: 7/30/2008 (13:10)
MARIE


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SLIM_STYLISH Posts: 62
7/30/08 9:55 A

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Hi,
A bicycle is one of the most efficient machines ever invented, much more efficient than running or walking. I use 25 calories per mile, makes life easy, and agrees with Maryone's cycle computer. If you are riding a stationary bike, the calorie count might be a bit higher, no coasting or downhills, same with a fixed gear bike. Wish it were more, but 25 per mile is realistic for me.

 
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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
7/30/08 9:25 A

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OK ..... Just to add a note. With a bike ride of 21 miles for a time of 1:06:00 at an average speed of 19.06 SP said I burned 1267 in calories. If I go with what Bob is recommending as an aveverage of 40 cals per mile this should be 840 cals. Bob's calories burned seems more realistic to me.

I will start going by this until I get a heart rate monitor for myself.

Thanks for the thread

Jim

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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
7/30/08 9:01 A

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Again, based on this information .... I should not monkey with my calorie intake increase any more until I get a decent heart rate monitor???

Am I understanding this to be so?

I'll be asking what type of heart rate monitor to get for cycling purposes now any suggestions?

On the issue of resting heart rate ..... if you guys are not burning as much calories and are in good shape shouldn't your resting heart rate be lower than 59 to more like 50-53?

Thanks,
Jim

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REBCCA's Photo REBCCA SparkPoints: (255,723)
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7/30/08 8:55 A

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LoafyLaw, Indeed having fun and staying in shape is the priority..and the beauty gathered from being out in nature enjoying the views and such.
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Last time I did a Super Market blood pressure test my heart rate was 59

...where attention goes, energy flows...


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LOAFYLAW Posts: 450
7/29/08 9:39 P

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Rebecca, it sounds like we are sort of the same on this issue. My guess is that it just depends on resting heart rate and overall size. I may not burn as much as the bigger guys, but I am still having fun and staying in shape.

Trying to stay fit, healthy, happy, and motivated


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REBCCA's Photo REBCCA SparkPoints: (255,723)
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7/29/08 8:38 P

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I wear a HRM and find that as I got in better shape I burned less calories. My HRM always is much lower than SparkPeople estimates. i.e. for a 2 hour ride I burn between 450 and 650 calories...or a 22 mile (slow ride @11 miles an hour) the same 450 to 650.
This is when I stay in my target range 90% of the time. I must have a slow something as I can't remember burning 40-50 calories per mile on even my most challenging ride.


...where attention goes, energy flows...


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HEYPUTTHATDOWN's Photo HEYPUTTHATDOWN Posts: 261
7/29/08 4:30 P

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I use a Polar HR monitor and have found that I burn 40-50 calories per mile depending on level of exertion.

My evening rides are typically:

Mileage = 30
Speed = 16-18mph
Elevation gain = 50ft/mile
Mean HR = 140 (~80% of max; I'm 54)

I don't think you can go too wrong with using 40 cals/mile ... so long as you keep your HR up.

Edited by: HEYPUTTHATDOWN at: 7/29/2008 (16:29)
I'd rather be sitting on my bike thinking about God than sitting in church thinking about my bike ...
JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
7/29/08 4:06 P

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Now I'm concerned because I upped my calories and SP is now telling me to up the calories again. If this is way off course, it sounds like I shouldn't. But, my concern here is not eating enough calories so that my body is nourished and my metabolism is operating at peak performance. I do not want to fall back to where I was before where whatever I ate was stored as fat.

Sounds like I'm really going to have to push for a good heart rate monitor for a Christmas present to be accurate.?????

Jim
Jim

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WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
7/29/08 4:02 P

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MARYONE:
Provided you have setup your cycle computer properly (proper wheelsize, body and bike weight etc) then I'd go by the cals burned on the computer. Especially if you have cadence then you get a proper amount of calories burned. It's probably better to underestimate rather than overestimate in this case.

One point to consider is that computers without a HRM will go by total distance, time and bodyweight to calculate your cal burn. If there are a lot of downhills on your route, be prepared to see the cal burn go WAY up when you descend because the computer thinks your actually pedaling the whole way.

I take my cal burn with my Garmin with a pinch of salt too - it's simply a ballpark figure for me. Moreso with cycling than running as I think cycling has many more things that affect speed etc.

In my opinion, Spark calculates the cal burn based on cycling down a flat road with no wind. Add hills and wind and SP has the potential to be way off in either direction.

GOOGRL:
If you have the $$, then the Garmin Edge is the best one to get by far. I cracked and bought the Edge 305 (which is coming down in price now that the 605 and 705 came out) and it's great. GPS, wireless HR and cadence, all the bells and whistles. Snap to install and setup, truly awesome piece of kit.

If not, then the new Cateye computers look good too. I'd get one with cadence and HR if you can.

Jim:
The type of fuel used by your body depends on exercise intensity, not duration. You always use carbs, but the fat:carb burn ratio is dependent on the exercise intensity - the lower the intensity, the more fat you burn relative to carb, and vice versa. This is the "fat burning zone" myth. However, high intensity training will result in a larger overall cal burn. The reason why you can't train at high intensity for long periods is due to the lactic acid buildup that occurs in the muscles - that nice "muscle burn" sensation.

You generally only have enough muscle glycogen (carb) for about 1hr of exercise. Once you exhaust this, you're done and bonked so you have to keep refueling if you want to go longer. Fat burns in the flame of carbs so if you put the carb light out you're not going anywhere.

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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LOAFYLAW Posts: 450
7/29/08 2:56 P

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All I can say, is based on my experience (heart monitor compared with SP), the SP numbers don't correlate with the headwind effort (the longer time, slower speed makes it appear that I burn LESS calories on the same trip than on a different day when I am going faster but not battling a wind). I have a Polar monitor that doesn't go to sleep - it can lose contact sometimes with running, but it has never been a problem with biking. I think for most of us who are recreational cyclists, rough numbers are o.k. The goal is to get in good shape and lose/maintain weight loss. SP is great for this!! My monitor just gives me an extra piece of data that is fun to play around with.

Trying to stay fit, healthy, happy, and motivated


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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
7/29/08 2:36 P

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Why wouldn't Sp be able to take hills and head wind into account? If you are using your average speed as a factor along with the total minutes pedalling this should be good information. I ride on the same course on very windy days my avg speed is down. I also know my avg speed is higher when I'm on a flat course. Your cyclometer tracks your average speed from distance traveled by time it takes to get there.

I know heart rate monitors are good but if you do not key in the proper data then you are getting wrong info as well. I thought on some models you have to keep checking it or goes into sleep mode where it is not recording your bios on a constant rate??

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LOAFYLAW Posts: 450
7/29/08 12:31 P

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One other thing, you are right to think about wind. Even more than hills, it makes a big difference when burning calories. My monitor will record a lot more calories if I am battling a head wind and SP really can't take that into account.

Trying to stay fit, healthy, happy, and motivated


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MARYONE's Photo MARYONE Posts: 2,125
7/29/08 12:17 P

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Jim - I can assure you that I am RIDING my bike :P And yes it is calibrated right, i've done some rides with other people and we were getting the same speed, distance, etc. I tought the cyclocomputer was the less accurate because it doesn't take in account my weight and also the wind and that kinda stuff. Spark does take you weight in account right for the activities you enter? Because I would guess that the more you weight the more you lose in terms of calories.

Googrl - you are right about Spark taking 27 minutes of constant pedaling, but I think this is right because the computer seems to stop when I reach 0 mph at lights/intersections. (I have a Cateye Velo 8 - CCVL800) but I tought that by entering my average time into spark that would do the trick and take in consideration the slowdown and the stops

I know it would be more accurate with an HR monitor but I don't really NEED it. But I guess judging by the responses the conclusion is that there is no way to accurately calculate it without an HR... which still leave me with confusion about my numbers lol And like Loafylaw mentionned, I don't want to think I can eat more because I think I burned a lot of calories today!!


MARIE


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LOAFYLAW Posts: 450
7/29/08 12:03 P

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I am sure everyone is different, but yes, that is what my heart monitor shows and NO I am not walking my bike. For example, I road 34.5 miles in 2 hours and 1 minute (obviously averaging about 17 mph) and my monitor showed I burned 629 calories. I don't know what else to say, I am fairly light (around 133 pounds, female, with a resting heart rate of around 52 bmp and this is what my monitor tells me. I am not trying to tell others what to do - just giving my results.

Trying to stay fit, healthy, happy, and motivated


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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
7/29/08 11:50 A

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Googrl

Yours should still be accurate because your recording exactly your pedalling time and not rest time.

And yes after 20-30 mins on average your body does begin to use your stored fat and burn as energy because you have expended you latic fuel from your major muscles. This is what I have read and been told.

Is there an one that can add or refute this?

Jim

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GOOGRL's Photo GOOGRL Posts: 22
7/29/08 11:42 A

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Mary,

Do you have to stop for traffic lights, street crossings, intersections, etc? Your bike's computer may be taking that into account as non-pedaling time. Spark's calculation would be based on 27 minutes of constant pedaling. I've also noticed that when I would do a 30 minute ride vs a 40 minute ride, Sparks calories-burned increase much more (not incrementally)...I guess assuming that if you're 30 mins into a ride that your body kicks into a higher gear of calorie burning or something.

My Cateye stops calculating the time of my ride when I'm stopped (as in at a stop light) and resumes when I start pedaling again. I eventually plan to get a heart rate monitor too and was thinking about Cateye's at $179.

Can anyone talk about the brands they've gotten?

JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
7/29/08 11:41 A

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I find it hard to believe that SP can be this far off? Being on your bike for 2 hours and you only burn 600 calories? Are you walking your bike or riding it?? I would think walking for 2 hours would burn more? I think with an avg speed of 18+ mph you would burn more than 600 calories in 2 hours?

Are you sure you are calibrated right?

Jim

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LOAFYLAW Posts: 450
7/29/08 11:36 A

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The heart monitor is the most accurate and, I hate to be a downer, but my heart monitor consistently reports many fewer calories than I show on Sparks Plan. For example, on a big ride (a couple hours), SP will show 1200 calories while my heart monitor shows about half. Still, the best thing is to just do your best, but don't be lulled into thinking you can eat tons more just cause SP says you burned tons (too bad, huh?)

Trying to stay fit, healthy, happy, and motivated


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WASIOLES's Photo WASIOLES Posts: 38
7/29/08 11:20 A

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i have a heart rate monitor that measures this for me. it may be the most accurate piece of equipment in comparison to the other options you have mentioned.

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MARYONE's Photo MARYONE Posts: 2,125
7/29/08 11:17 A

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How do you guys find out own many calories you spent on your ride ACCURATELY?

For example, this morning my ride to go to work was:
6.21 miles - 27 minutes - average of 13.67mph

my cyclocomputer says : 154.2 calories
spark says (if I enter "Cycling 12-13.9 mph") : 345.6 calories
another site goes by this formula - 0.28 calories/mile/pound of weight : which puts me at about 332 calories

SO, which one to believe? with 200 calories in between the more and the less... it leaves me with a LOT of interpretation! I know the best way to calculate my calories accurately would be to buy a watch with a chestband but I don't have the money and I don't really need an EXACT number. I just don't want to be lured into thinking that I burned 350 calories this morning and that in fact I only burned 150!

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MARIE


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