This Is How Fast You Need to Bike to Burn the Most Calories

Updated: Oct. 01, 2020

Get that bike ready!

Riding a bike burns lots of calories—even when you’re just cruising along soaking in the sunshine. The Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide states the number of calories a 150-pound rider burns per hour, based on pace, below. Heavier riders will burn more. But don’t be fooled by the workouts that don’t burn as many calories as you think.

Bike-To-Burn-CaloriesYev Haidamaka /

An hour of riding at…

  • Less than 10 mph, very leisurely will burn 272 calories
  • 10 to 12 mph, easy will burn 408 calories
  • 12 to 14 mph moderate will burn 544 calories
  • 14 to 16 mph, vigorous will burn 680 calories
  • 16 to 19 mph, very fast will burn 816 calories
  • More than 20 mph, racing speed will burn 1,088 calories

New riders can expect to pedal along at about 10 mph, working up to 14 or 15 mph. Start out riding 20 to 30 minutes most days, working up to longer rides, especially on the weekends. To get fitter (and lose weight) faster, try adding intervals (short bursts of hard efforts) to your rides twice a week. Buying an exercise bike for home will help you maintain consistency.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest