Indoor stationary biking is one of the most frequently chosen activities by people starting their weight loss journey.
To help you determine how many calories you can expect to burn with this activity, we’ve made this calculator:
Since it is one of the best and most common activities used for losing weight, we assume you might want to learn a bit more.
Let’s dive into it!
How many calories can you burn on a Stationary Bike?
An average person should burn between 400-600 calories during one hour of riding a stationary bike with moderate intensity.
Estimated calories burned by people of different weights riding a stationary bike with moderate intensity:
|140 lbs||170 lbs||200 lbs||230 lbs||260 lbs|
|15 min||117 kcal||142 kcal||167 kcal||192 kcal||217 kcal|
|30 min||233 kcal||283 kcal||333 kcal||383 kcal||433 kcal|
|45 min||350 kcal||425 kcal||500 kcal||575 kcal||650 kcal|
|1 hour||467 kcal||567 kcal||667 kcal||767 kcal||867 kcal|
|1,5 hours||700 kcal||850 kcal||1000 kcal||1150 kcal||1300 kcal|
|2 hours||933 kcal||1134 kcal||1334 kcal||1534 kcal||1734 kcal|
1 pound is approximately 3500 kcal.
Losing 20 pounds (9 kg) on a Stationary Bike at moderate speed could take a person who weights 155 pounds (70 kg):
- 542 days of riding for 15 minutes daily
- 271 days of riding for half an hour daily
- or 136 days of riding for an hour daily
Remember, this is only one exercise. You can always better your results by eating fewer calories or burning more (e.g. by walking more).
Just don’t be overambitious because it may lead to discouragement. Also, you should be aware that losing weight too fast may cause unwanted consequences such as, for example, muscle loss. According to experts, we should not lose more than 1-2 pounds a week (1).
How to burn more calories on Stationary Bike?
Riding a stationary bike is already one of the best activities to burn calories, but here are some of our tips on how to burn even more of them:
1. Increase your speed
This is quite obvious, isn’t it?
The more intense your exercises are, the more calories you burn. You can find the differences for yourself with the calculator placed at the beginning of this post.
Remember, however, trying to burn calories while being on your absolute limit is usually a bad idea. It is way better to ride a bike at a moderate speed for half an hour than to ride it as fast as you can and not be able to go further after just a minute.
2. Ride more
Want to burn more calories? Do more exercise.
While we don’t encourage you to train for hours, maybe you can train a bit more often. If you ride your stationary bike 3 days a week, make it 5, or even 7!
Don’t have time?
Think if you do have time for watching TV shows, talking on the phone, or listening to podcasts. These are the kind of activities you can do while burning some calories on your stationary bike.
3. Make it more difficult
It’s not always possible, but many stationary bikes offer different modes that allow you to harder your riding.
If you can keep the pace, you will probably burn a bit more calories at the same time, definitely worth trying it out.
4. Do something with your hands
Most people don’t do anything with their hands while riding this kind of bike. They can easily engage them and burn more calories.
This is why many people choose cross trainers, but there is nothing that prevents us from doing something with our hands placed on stationary bikes.
You can, for example, play some music and try to do some movement to the rhythm with your hands while still riding a bike. Just be careful and don’t enjoy this party too much, so you won’t fall off a bike.
Pros And Cons of burning calories on Stationary Bike
In case you are still wondering is the Stationary Biking right activity for you, check this list of pros & cons:
Pros of Stationary Biking:
- The weather doesn’t matter. You can do this at home or at the gym.
- Easy to multitask. You don’t need to focus much, so you can, for example, watch Netflix, or YouTube, or listen to your favorite podcasts.
- It can be fun. Many stationary bikes have some kind of display with stats, so you can always try to beat your personal records, or achieve a specific goal.
- No troubles with tracking calories. As long as you know at least your average pace and total time spent, you can easily calculate how many calories you’ve burned.
Cons of Stationary Biking:
- It takes some space if you want to do this at home…
- …Whereas doing it at the gym may take some time for commuting (but you can always try to combine it with walking).
- It usually costs something to start, but neither buying your own stationary bike nor the gym ticket should be extremely expensive.
- Some people don’t like bike seats because they find them uncomfortable. However, if you are one of these people, you can always try standing up out of the saddle.
As you can see, there are some slight disadvantages. If they are a stumbling block for you, look below at some good alternatives to the stationary bike.
Alternatives to Stationary Bike
1. Walking / Hiking
Walking may be less effective in terms of burning calories, but it is certainly less tiring.
Walking can be done both inside and outside, and in contrast to the stationary bike, you don’t need any kind of specific equipment to start doing it, so it’s completely free and doesn’t have to take up any space.
It is also a great activity to listen to podcasts or music. However, it would be much harder with, for example, TV shows. Also, if you are walking in public areas, you should always be able to hear what’s going on around you in case there is some oncoming vehicle or something.
2. Elliptical Cross Trainer
Elliptical cross trainers are pretty similar to stationary bikes. You can buy one for your house, or use it at the gym.
Same as a Stationary Bike, it provides the ability to exercise while watching TV, or listening to podcasts.
However, they have two key differences that may be important to you:
- Cross Trainers engage our hands more than stationary bikes, thus they can be slightly more effective in terms of burned calories.
- You are standing instead of sitting on it. Some people may find it more or less comfortable, but it’s certainly worth noticing by those who have a sedentary job.
It’s definitely one of the closest and best alternatives to the stationary bike.
3. Real Bike
While we are aware that some people won’t like this idea, it is worth at least consideration.
Riding a real bike have two main advantages over a stationary one:
- The scenery is changing, so it’s usually a more calming and interesting experience. However, on the other hand, keep in mind that you won’t be able, for example, to watch TV shows during that time.
- It’s great for busy people. You can combine it with commuting, so you can fill two needs with one deed.
You don’t necessarily have to fully replace a stationary bike with a normal one, but it may be a good idea to use it at least for some of your commuting, so you can burn more calories.
4. Stair Stepper
Do you want to work out at home, but don’t have space for a stationary bike?
A stair stepper might be an alternative you are looking for.
It’s small, it’s cheap, and you can burn a really decent amount of calories on it! Similarly to the stationary bike and elliptical cross trainer, it’s also easy to multitask with some of the stair stepper exercises, so you can burn calories while, for example, watching your favorite TV show.
Calories Burned on Stationary Bike Formula
In order to calculate calories burned on a stationary bike, multiply the number of minutes by the specific MET, multiply it by 3.5 and multiply it by weight in kilograms. Then divide the result by 200.
To get the weight in kg, multiply lbs by 0.45359237.
You can define your own MET depending on your average riding intensity.
The average MET for riding a stationary bike is about 7.
All MET values used in this calculator:
- 3.5 – Very Light ~(5.5 mph or 40 watts)
- 4.8 – Light ~(7 mph or 65 watts)
- 7 – Moderate ~(12 mph or 100 watts)
- 8.8 – Vigorous ~(14 mph or 130 watts)
- 10 – Vigorous ~(16 mph or 170 watts)
- 14 – Very vigorous ~(20 mph or 230 watts)
Sources that helped us determine estimated calorie burnout used in this article and calculator: