How Many Calories Do Stationary Bikes Burn?

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There are many gym machines that can help you get in shape. Find out how many calories stationary bikes burn and how to see more results.

Some rough estimations are that the average person burns around 138 to 237 calories while riding a stationary bike at a medium load, 150 W, for 20 minutes.

Keep in mind that even if you take the resistance setting of your stationary bike into account, your actual results can vary due to many other details.

For example, the 138 calories above are the estimation for a 125-pound (56 kg) person whereas the 237 calories are the estimation for a 215-pound (97 kg) person.

That aside, I will also show you a chart with more in-depth estimations, how different exercise bike resistance compares, and how to burn more calories while riding a stationary bike.

Biggest factors in calories burned with a stationary bike

Something important to keep in mind is that accurately predicting how many calories you will burn with a stationary bike is hard to do.

This can be annoying when trying to balance your energy intake but that is how it is.

Luckily, there are still some ways to make your predictions somewhat more accurate. Taking the things that influence your stationary bike calorie-burning a lot into account can help with this.

These details can also help you understand how you can change your stationary bike workouts to make them more effective in this area. A few examples of important factors are:

  • Body weight: Different human bodies can vary a lot in terms of weight. This makes a difference since a heavier body tends to burn more calories to keep itself alive and move around.
  • Cycling intensity: Stationary bike workouts can involve very different pedal rotations per minute. Generally, the faster you rotate the pedals (at the same resistance), the more calories you burn.
  • Muscle mass: Two people can weigh the same amount but have different ratios of body fat vs muscle mass. This is relevant because muscle tends to burn more calories while using a stationary bike than the same weight in fat.
  • Stationary bike resistance: Most exercise bikes allow you to choose between different resistances measured in wattage/wats. The harder it is to push the pedals, the more calories one rotation will burn.

Hidden calorie burning from riding a stationary bike

Another thing to note is that how many calories you burn while riding a stationary bike is not necessarily limited to during the workout.

More specifically, there is something called afterburn where you burn more calories than usual for a short amount of time (typically not more than 72 hours) even when you stop riding the stationary bike.

Afterburn will generally not influence your results by crazy amounts but these do add up over time.

It is important to keep this in mind because the calorie-burning estimations are typically only for during the stationary bike workouts. Your actual results may be slightly better.

To achieve afterburn you have to use your stationary bike intensely enough.

Chart of stationary bike calorie-burning estimations

The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention has a list where they put the number of calories burned with a stationary bike into 3.5-7 calories per minute at a moderate effort and more than 7 calories per minute at a vigorous effort (1).

Luckily, you can get more useful estimations for different body weights riding the stationary bike at different intensities too.

You can do this with numbers called MET values. These MET values are estimations/measurements of how intense certain workouts are.

With the formula below, you can then get rough estimations for how many calories a stationary bike and other activities burn.

Formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute

Different sources can give different MET values. In one example, the METs for riding a stationary bike vary from an MET of 3 for 50 W resistance to 12.5 for riding a stationary bike at 250 W resistance (2).

In the first table below, you can find the formula above applied to different body weights and time intervals for the MET of riding a stationary bike at a moderate resistance of 150 W.

After that, you can see how changing your exercise bike resistance can influence the calories you burn.

Knowing that a medium chocolate chip cookie contains around 148 calories can help put all these numbers into perspective (3).

Calories burned with stationary bike per time interval

Something like counting the number of rotations you do is not really an option.

Instead, looking at how long you used your stationary bike tends to be more convenient for figuring out how many calories you burned.

Time
Weight Person
1 Minute15 Minutes30 Minutes45 Minutes60 Minutes
125 Pounds (56 kg)7 calories103 calories207 calories310 calories413 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)9 calories128 calories256 calories384 calories513 calories
185 Pounds (83 kg)10 calories153 calories306 calories459 calories612 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)12 calories178 calories356 calories533 calories711 calories
Calories burned with medium load 150 W stationary bike

Calories burned with a stationary bike per resistance

Besides that, you may also wonder whether it is worth going through the effort of increasing the resistance setting of your stationary bike.

Find out how this can change the number of calories you more or less burn in a 30-minute time frame.

Bike Resistance
Weight Person
Stationary Bike
(50W)
Stationary Bike
(100W)
Stationary Bike
(150W)
Stationary Bike
(200W)
125 Pounds
(56 kg)
89 calories162 calories207 calories310 calories
155 Pounds
(70 kg)
110 calories201 calories256 calories384 calories
185 Pounds
(84 kg)
131 calories240 calories306 calories459 calories
215 Pounds
(97 kg)
152 calories279 calories356 calories533 calories
Calories burned riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes per resistance

How long does it take to burn 100 calories on a stationary bike?

You may also have specific calorie-burning goals in mind. In that case, some of the rough estimations here could be useful to you.

A 155-pound (70 kg) individual riding a stationary bike at a medium resistance setting (150W) will have to ride for about 12 minutes to burn 100 calories.

The same individual riding the stationary bike at the same resistance setting will have to ride for about 59 minutes to burn 500 calories.

When it comes to calories burned during exercise, stationary bikes are a relatively good option. Especially if you consider the potential afterburn effects.

Ways to burn more calories with a stationary bike

From the differences between resistance settings above, you can see that the number of calories burned on a stationary bike can vary a lot per minute.

The first way to increase this is by choosing one of these higher resistance settings.

Do keep in mind that speed still matters too. You don’t want to choose a resistance where you are not able to rotate the pedals.

Secondly, you can burn more calories on a stationary bike by cycling faster. You could even get the afterburn effect mentioned at some point.

Next, you can implement resistance training exercises to build muscle. This muscle mass will help you burn more calories in your exercise bike workouts and the rest of your day.

Lastly, if you avoid overtraining, spending more time on the stationary bike will typically help you burn more calories.

How long does it take to see results from the stationary bike?

You may understand that stationary bikes can help you lose weight but the results you can expect from all the calorie-burning may be unclear.

Before going into a few estimations, keep in mind that whether you will lose weight with a stationary bike and to what extent will depend a lot on details like your diet.

That being said, if you temporarily create a fictional situation where all the calories you burn come from body fat, you can get some interesting numbers.

A 155-pound (70 kg) person riding a stationary bike for 15 minutes a day could burn an extra 896 calories or about 0.26 pounds (0.11 kg) of body fat a week.

If the same person implements this stationary bike routine for four weeks, they can burn an extra 3584 calories or about 1.02 pounds (0.45 kg) of body fat.

As this person loses weight over time, the same stationary bike workouts will start to burn fewer calories. To see more results again, they will have to make other positive changes.

Is a stationary bike good for burning calories?

The stationary bike can be a great piece of workout equipment for burning a lot of calories in a short amount of time.

One of the additional benefits of stationary bikes is that they are low-impact. This tends to be good for people who have a few extra pounds to lose.

Additionally, it is easy to increase how many calories you burn with a stationary bike by increasing the resistance and/or cycling faster.

A potential downside of exercise bikes is that you still need to have this equipment option available.

If this means going to the gym, your calorie-burning workouts will involve some extra transport time which can add up over time.

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Author:

Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.