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TOMMYRHODES Posts: 9
9/25/10 6:28 P

I find the sparknotes calorie counter for cycling to be a gross overestimate.
The best way to get an idea of the amount of calories your burning is by measuring your power. If you have a means of doing this (gym bikes and spin bikes usually have power meters) than I suggest doing a few workouts on one and getting an idea of how hard your working at different power levels.
Once you have an accurate idea of exertion vs power output its very simple. Just multiply your power out put (in average watts/hour) by 3.6 and presto. You have your hourly calorie expenditure!
Example.
If I ride at 200 watts for 2 hours.
200 watts * 3.6=720 Calories per hour
Now, if I want to learn my total calories expended......
720 calories per hour * 2 hours=1440

200 watts is a pretty high power output for a non-racer but it was a nice round number for the example lol.

original poster- If you pm me I'll give you a fairly accurate estimate of you average calorie expenditure on the bike.

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SBATES63 Posts: 8,614
9/15/10 12:59 P

I have a Timex one, but I am unsure of the model # since it's at home.

Persevere. Even if you fall on your face, you have moved forward.

PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION.

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REVJVH SparkPoints: (25,082)
Fitness Minutes: (13,452)
Posts: 508
9/15/10 11:47 A

SBATE, what HRM do you have?

"Just keep swimming." -- Dory, Finding Nemo

Started SparkPeople and weight loss on 10/29/2009.

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SBATES63 Posts: 8,614
9/15/10 11:31 A

My HRM and SP give me pretty much the same total of calories burned, and with different lengths and intensities of riding. I tend to ride at about 25kms/hr for a 40 minute ride, and 22 for an hour or more.

Persevere. Even if you fall on your face, you have moved forward.

PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION.

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BIKETREK SparkPoints: (3,065)
Fitness Minutes: (2,602)
Posts: 26
9/14/10 9:23 P

If you ride in an area like I ride in where there are hills everywhere you can burn quite a few calories biking!! Just one more reason among many why it's my exercise of choice. I use a Polar HRM too and find it very helpful to track calories burned but also to help me push a little harder.

"That's not rain..That's SWEAT!"
*Susan July 2010

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HISTORIKELL Posts: 293
9/14/10 5:48 P

SP is apparently much smarter than I am...I didn't realize it was taking my weight in to account when calculating the calories burned.

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that is your own self.

--Aldous Huxley

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

--Benjamin Franklin

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REVJVH SparkPoints: (25,082)
Fitness Minutes: (13,452)
Posts: 508
9/14/10 5:38 P

At my weight, the 15 mile ride calculated at less than 10 mph still comes out to 629, or twice what the HRM indicated.

Frustrating.

Edited by: REVJVH at: 9/14/2010 (17:40)

"Just keep swimming." -- Dory, Finding Nemo

Started SparkPeople and weight loss on 10/29/2009.

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HISTORIKELL Posts: 293
9/14/10 5:17 P

If you use the -Cycling-Under 10 mph- category in the SP fitness tracker you will get much closer to what you HRM is telling you.

I realize you were going about 10.5 mph on your shorter (15 mile) ride, but using the under 10 mph category, I came up with something like 425 cals burned. If you enter in 150 minutes at this rate, it comes out to 749 calories.

Hope that helps.

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that is your own self.

--Aldous Huxley

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

--Benjamin Franklin

 current weight: 166.0

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IRISH98 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (35,633)
Posts: 1,187
9/14/10 5:13 P

I think your Polar is closer to right, and is in line with the values I get off my Garmin HRM. www.nutristrategy.com/activitylist.h
tm
gives the calories burned per hour for different activities. You're going ~10 mph, so ~250 calories/hr. Therefore, 350 for the 15 mile ride, and 625 for the 24 mile ride. It's frustrating, but cycling just doesn't burn as many calories per hour as a lot of other activities. Plus, I'd rather underestimate than overestimate my calories burned.

2010 Goals:
Get under 6 hours for a half Ironman triathlon
Get under 8 min/mi for a 5K - DONE 4/3

2010 Big Races:
Jan 15-17 Bermuda Half Challenge (8:15 Mile, 1:01:20 10K, and 2:11:32 half marathon)
June 6 Mooseman 70.3 triathlon (6:30:25)
Aug 22 Timberman 70.3 triathlon (6:10:14)

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WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
9/14/10 5:06 P

My rule of thumb is always go low.

A quick back of the envelope calculation/guesstimate based on my power #s suggests that I would probably burn much closer to 314 than 1000+ cals going at 10.5mph for 85 minutes.

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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REVJVH SparkPoints: (25,082)
Fitness Minutes: (13,452)
Posts: 508
9/14/10 4:56 P

I bought a Polar RS100 heart rate monitor to get an idea about how many calories I'm burning when I do exercise that SparkPeople's fitness trackers don't have calorie information for.

I've worn it biking a few times, and the disparity between the Polar and SparkPeople is huge.

Today, I rode 15 miles in 85 minutes. SparkPeople says I burned over 1000 calories; Polar says I burned 314.

Last week I did 24 miles in 150 minutes. SparkPeople said 1120; Polar said 515.

What do you think, folks? Which one's closer? The online calculators I've checked tend to be closer to SP.

"Just keep swimming." -- Dory, Finding Nemo

Started SparkPeople and weight loss on 10/29/2009.

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