Cycle Seekers


How Many Calories Can Cycling Burn?

Ever wonder how many calories cycling can burn? Turns out, cycling can be one of the most effective ways to burn calories as well as improve overall fitness. The number of calories burned while cycling varies based on several factors, including the intensity of the ride, the rider’s weight, and the type of cycling involved. Today, we’ll explore the calorie-burning potential of cycling and look specifically into the differences between several types of rides (road biking, mountain biking, and indoor biking).

road biking calories burned

Road Biking

Road biking involves utilizing a road bike, which generally has thinner tires and is configured for speed. The idea is generally that one can go faster further, with less comparable effort to a heavier bike. The cost of course is that road bikes are less able to utilize off road paths, and are most effective on paved roads.

On average, a person weighing around 155 pounds (11 stone) can burn approximately 240-300 calories during 30 minutes of moderate-intensity road biking. If the intensity is increased to a vigorous level, with speeds exceeding 16-20 miles per hour, the calorie burn can escalate to 300-600 calories or more in the same time frame.

The continuous pedaling motion engages large muscle groups, such as the quadriceps and hamstrings, contributing to an effective full-body workout (as well as an effective method of transport). The cardio benefits of road biking, such as improved heart health and increased endurance, make it an excellent calorie-burning exercise.

Mountain biking calories

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking adds an element of adventure and excitement to the calorie-burning equation. The varying terrain, including hills, trails, and uneven surfaces, requires more effort and engages different muscle groups compared to road biking. It is also less of a practical transport method and more of a dedicated leisure activity, but that doesn’t change its excellent ability to burn calories.

The calorie burn during a mountain biking session is typically higher due to the required intermittent bursts of effort required to navigate obstacles and conquer uphill sections. A person weighing around 155 pounds (11 stone) can burn approximately 300-400 calories in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity mountain biking. For more intense rides on challenging trails, the calorie expenditure can surpass 500-700 calories in the same time frame (although we’d highly recommend building up to these types of paths).

Mountain biking not only provides a cardiovascular workout but also enhances balance, coordination, and strength, making it an outstanding calorie-burning and fitness-enhancing activity.

Indoor cycling calories

Indoor/ Stationary Biking

Indoor biking, facilitated by stationary bikes or spin classes, has gained popularity for its convenience and year-round accessibility. The controlled environment allows individuals to tailor their workouts to specific fitness goals. There is now a huge smattering of options for indoor cycling that include interactive displays and tons of fitness information. Peloton is of course one of the most famous options, but options also exist to convert your bike for indoor stationary usage.

During a 30-minute moderate-intensity indoor cycling session, a person weighing around 155 pounds (11 stone) can burn approximately 210-300 calories. However, the calorie burn can significantly increase with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or more vigorous cycling, potentially reaching 400-600 calories or more in the same time frame.

Indoor biking offers the advantage of structured workouts, often led by instructors who guide participants through varying intensity levels. The ability to control resistance and speed makes it a versatile option for individuals looking to burn calories efficiently while minimizing the impact on joints. This also allows one to tailor difficulty to their current performance level and gradually improve.


In conclusion, cycling, whether on the road, through mountain trails, or in the controlled environment of indoor settings, is a highly effective way to burn calories and improve overall fitness. This is in addition to it’s other efficiency benefits which we highlighted in a separate article. The choice between road biking, mountain biking, or indoor biking depends on individual preferences, fitness goals, and the desired level of adventure or convenience. Regardless of the method chosen, cycling provides a fun and rewarding way to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.