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Is Bike-Riding a Good Exercise for Losing Weight?

author image Lisa M. Wolfe
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.
Is Bike-Riding a Good Exercise for Losing Weight?
Bike riding burns calories which helps you lose weight.

When you were younger and first learning to ride a bike, you were learning a skill that you can use for weight loss. Bike riding is an aerobic, or cardiovascular, activity. Your body requires oxygen to complete the movements and energy in the form of calories. When your body uses calories, you can lose weight.

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In order to lose one pound, you must create a calorie deficit of 3,500. This deficit can be created through eating less, exercising more or a combination of both. A 155 lb person burns approximately 598 calories for one hour of outdoor mountain biking; 281 calories for a leisure bike ride less than 10 miles per hour; 1,126 calories racing at speeds over 20 miles per hour; 563 calories outdoor riding at a moderate pace of 12 to 13.9 miles per hour; 739 calories during a vigorous indoor cycling workout.


You should do between 225 and 420 minutes of weekly exercise in order to see the most weight loss results. You can accomplish that goal by bike riding for 40 to 60 minutes each day. An obtainable goal is to burn 400 to 500 calories each day, so you will lose one pound a week. When you bike ride for 60 minutes at a moderate to vigorous pace, you will burn a high number of calories.


If you struggle with 60 minutes of exercise, you may find that bike riding outdoors helps to quickly pass the time. The changing scenery gives your mind something to focus on other than the physical activity. You can ride on flat roads, hills, off road, or on a track to provide workout variety. You may want to ride with friends or family for motivation and support in your weight loss goals.


Stationary cycling can be used during bad weather, at any time of day or as an exercise class. If you are not completely comfortable on a bicycle, you may find relief from the stability of a stationary bike. Recumbent bikes position your legs out in front of your body instead of underneath, which reduces back discomfort. Indoor cycling classes are intense workouts in which you control your pace and resistance, and can lead to a large number of calories burned.

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