Cycling is a form of aerobic exercise which is non-weight-bearing and which strengthens the leg muscles and cardiovascular system. One of the three triathlon sports along with swimming and running, riding a bike is good endurance training and burns a significant number or calories over time.
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Calorie Burn Rate
Cycling burns roughly 10 calories per minute -- or 600 calories per hour -- at 12 miles per hour. According to the CSG Network's online Calorie Burn Calculator, a 160-lb. adult cycling at a speed between 12 and 13.9 mph will burn 10 calories a minute.
Your body weight affects the number of calories burned when cycling. To use the previous example, while a person weighing 160 pounds would burn 10 calories a minute, a 110-lb. person would burn only seven calories each minute. At 250 lb., a person would burn 15 calories per minute or 909 calories per hour. The gradient of the riding surface also affects the calories burned. Cycling uphill at 12 mph will use more calories than cycling on a flat surface at the same speed.
The calorie values listed above are average calculations based on cycle speed and body weight. Your personal calorie needs and use may be different -- everyone has an individual physical and metabolic function. When cycling, always obey traffic laws and wear a helmet for safety.