To lose weight, the bottom line is that you need to burn more calories than you consume.
So knowing how many calories you burn while using an exercise bike can be useful to more accurately calculate your calories in vs calories out.
Stationary exercise bikes are a fantastic tool for burning calories, but there are a few variables to look at to determine how many calories you are burning.
We'll take a look at the different types of exercise bikes out there and how many calories you might burn on each of them, as well as various other factors.
Right now, you're going to learn everything there is to know about burning calories on a stationary exercise bike.
How Many Calories Can You Burn Cycling
Although we can't give you an exact number here, because how many calories you burn while cycling depends on many factors, such as the intensity, your size, your weight, and your gender, on average, you can expect to burn several hundred calories every single hour.
But if you are cycling at a moderate pace, a woman will burn about 400 calories per hour and a man will burn roughly 450 calories per hour.
However, if you increase the intensity or the pace, these numbers increase drastically.
For instance, a woman can easily burn up to 315 calories in 30 minutes or close to 630 calories in a single hour, and men can burn nearly 750 calories per hour when biking at a vigorous pace.
As you can see, cycling on an exercise bike can indeed burn a great deal of calories, and in a very limited amount of time too.
Consider this, your average man needs around 2000 to 2,500 calories per day, but a single hour of intense cycling can burn up to 750 calories.
So, if your maintenance calories are 2500, you have to consume 2500 calories to maintain your current weight. If you include an hour of intense cycling, your maintenance would now be about 3250 calories.
Therefore, even if you ate your normal maintenance diet of 2,500 calories, you would have a deficit of 750 calories which will help you lose weight.
Factors that Affect Calories Burn When Biking
As mentioned above, there are several factors that you need to consider when it comes to the amount of calories that you burn when biking on a stationary bike, so let's take a look at each of them right now.
Of course, the number one determining factor in terms of how many calories you'll lose when cycling is the intensity at which you cycle.
Just to put this in perspective, if a 125-pound person bikes slowly for around 30 minutes, they'll burn around 140 calories, or close to 280 calories in a full hour.
However, if that same person exercises vigorously for 30 minutes, they could burn well over 315 calories, or close to 630 calories in a full hour.
Although we tend to look at a person's weight to determine their calorie burn rate, gender makes a difference. This brings us to our next point.
Males vs Females
As mentioned above, how many calories you burn when cycling does in part depend on your gender.
Men on average burn more calories than women, this is because the body composition of a man is different from a females even if they weigh the same.
Men generally have a lower body fat percentage and more muscle which makes them burn more calories.
For instance, if we compare a man and a woman exercising at the same intensity for the same amount of time, a man burns many more calories.
If a woman cycles vigorously for a full hour, she'll burn around 630 calories, but a man cycling vigorously for that same hour will burn close to 750 calories.
As you can see, men burn about 20% more calories in the same amount of time than women do. No, it's not fair, but it's just the way it is.
Another determining factor in terms of how many calories you will burn when cycling is your initial weight.
As you can see, all of these factors start coming together, and it makes determining how many calories you'll burn when cycling quite difficult.
Not only do you have to consider your exercise intensity and gender, but your starting weight as well.
For instance, Harvard Health shows that a 125-pound person cycling at a moderate pace will burn about 210 calories. Whereas a 185-pound person also cycling at a moderate pace for 30 minutes will burn roughly 294 calories.
As we saw above the person's gender will have an impact on this figure but it is a good guide.
The Type of Exercise Bike
The other factor that you need to consider here is the type of exercise bike that you have.
For the record, there are three main types of exercise bikes. These include the regular stationary bike, the recumbent bike, and the spin bike.
Related: Best Exercise Bikes for Home
If we are talking about calorie burn from lowest to highest, we would have to start with the recumbent bike.
For those who don't know, a recumbent bike has a full seat with a backrest, and sometimes even an armrest.
They really only work out your legs, and are generally designed for light to moderate exercise.
As you can imagine, sitting down and not engaging your core at all will reduce the number of calories burned.
We then have the regular or upright stationary bike. In terms of the calorie-burning examples that we've used above, these directly apply to one of these upright stationary bikes.
The third type of stationary bike is the spin bike, and these tend to be the most intense.
The reason for this is that on a spin bike, your riding position requires you to engage a lot more muscle groups and you will often stand up when trying to go as fast as you can.
Not only are you cycling much faster, but because you're standing up, you're also engaging your core and upper body, therefore working out or muscles.
Therefore, on a spin bike, you can expect to burn several hundred calories per hour more than you would on a regular stationary upright bike.
It's not uncommon for a man exercising vigorously on a spin bike for 60 minutes to burn up to 1500 calories.
Related: Exercise Bike vs Spin Bike Comparison
Can Stationary Bikes Help You Lose Weight?
For those of you who are wondering whether or not a stationary bike can help you lose weight, the answer is yes, and how.
Now, what this really all comes down to is what we mentioned at the beginning of our article, their calorie intake versus your calorie burn.
Technically speaking, whether you exercise or not, if you take in more calories than you burn, you'll gain weight, and if you burn more calories than you intake, you'll lose weight. It's that simple.
The calories that you eat are the fuel that your body uses to function, which includes everything from breathing to biking on your stationary bike.
If your body requires more fuel than you are putting in the tank, which comes in the form of calories that come from food, your body will turn to other sources of fuel, which among other things include your body fat.
If your body doesn't have enough calories to perform regular functions, it will start burning through your fat for fuel.
According to the Institute of Medicine, your average man needs anywhere from 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day, whereas your average woman means anywhere between 1,800 and 2,200 calories per day.
Now, let's compare this to the amount of calories that you can burn on an exercise bike.
Remember that a relatively heavy man on an exercise bike who cycles for one hour vigorously can easily burn around 1,000 calories.
This would therefore mean that a man could burn about half of his daily calorie intake in a single hour of biking.
As you can imagine, if you combine exercise and a good diet, you can easily lose weight.
Why Are Stationary Bikes So Good for Weight Loss? + Other Benefits
Alright, so we've established that exercising on a stationary bike can be very beneficial for burning calories and losing weight. Now, we want to talk about why a stationary bike in general is a good option, especially in terms of weight loss.
As far as the cost of cardiovascular exercise equipment is concerned, the stationary bike is one of the cheaper options out there. You can get a good quality bike from as little as $300, and a relatively high-end one for around $1500.
If we compare this to other pieces of cardiovascular exercise equipment, such as stair climbers, treadmills, and ellipticals, exercise bikes are generally some of the cheapest ones out there. This means that most people should be able to afford one.
Compare this to a gym membership which can cost upwards of $50 a month, and a stationary bike starts looking pretty cost effective over the long run.
Anytime No Matter the Conditions
Stationary bikes are also really convenient because they just sit in your home. Unlike biking outdoors, you don't have to worry about traffic or road conditions, and you certainly don't have to worry about the weather either.
Furthermore, many of us just don't have time to exercise during the day, so we choose to do it at night. However, cycling at night is not overly safe, and not recommended, certainly not in the city. With an exercise bike, however, you can do it from the comfort of your own home regardless of outdoor conditions.
Another factor to consider here is spatial constraints. Many people don't have all that much space in their homes, which means that large pieces of cardiovascular exercise equipment, such as treadmills and ellipticals just aren't options.
Your average stationary bike doesn't take up all that much space, therefore making it the most viable option for a small space, such as an apartment.
Between the three different types of exercise bikes, upright bikes, spin bikes, and recumbent bikes, there is something for everybody.
Furthermore, you can choose from various different intensity levels, and different workout programs too. What it really comes down to is that the exercise bike is something that everybody and anybody can use to burn some calories and blue is weight.
Want to know more? Check out our full guide to the benefits of exercise bikes.
At the end of the day, there is one thing that is clear, and this is that stationary bikes are indeed fantastic for burning calories and losing weight. If you want to get into shape, but going to your local gym isn't an option, then investing in an affordable exercise bike is something we recommend.