You are currently viewing How many calories do I burn while cycling with an e-bike?

How many calories do I burn while cycling with an e-bike?

Let’s be honest. We all do sports for just one reason: so that we can eat more! Ok, maybe I shouldn’t infer others from myself, but in quite a few cases the reason for starting exercise is that you want to get rid of a few unloved kilos. And cycling is also great here. It is easy on the joints, fun, and offers beginners an easy start. In any case,  when you start doing sports,  you cycle 20 km faster than running 5 km. But this shouldn’t drift into a  weight loss post. Rather, we want to take a sober look at how many calories you burn on the bike and why that is. 

💣 Cycling – the calorie killer? 

To answer this question, let’s first look at some parameters that affect calorie consumption while cycling: 

  • The intensity:  Of course, if I pedal hard, I burn significantly more calories. However, the intensity can also be increased by natural phenomena. The bumpier the route or the more headwind we get in our way, the more strenuous it gets. 
  • The training status:  if we are in good shape, we burn fewer calories over the same distance and with the same intensity – at least in theory. 
  • Age, gender, and weight:  Without delving too deeply into the topic of “energy metabolism”, one can state that energy consumption is also largely determined by these factors. 
Biker riding uphill with a modern electric bicycle Smaller

With these parameters in mind, we can approach the topic a little better and define boundaries. A man weighing 80 kg burns around 400-500 kcal on a leisurely bike ride. With intensive exercise, this value should increase to approx. 900-1000 kcal. For a woman around 60 kg, the calorie consumption would be around 350-400 kcal (relaxed) and 800-900 kcal (intensive). 

In practice, however, the upper end of the calorie consumption is probably only reached if you are currently competing or doing interval training. A normal bike ride should always be at the lower end of the scale in terms of calorie consumption. 

Why? Quite simply: we don’t usually pedal all the time. At least I like to let it roll, especially when it’s easy going downhill. During this time we simply burn fewer calories. 

The following are approximated of how many calories you burn in 60 minutes at specific speeds:

How is cycling done?Calories burned (kcal) in 60 minutes
slower than 15 km/h280
18-21 km/h550
faster than 28 km/h950

Buy Electric Bikes Online Now

🚲 Does the calorie consumption depend on the bike? 

The question is obvious, but it can also be answered in the negative. After all, it doesn’t matter whether you’re on a racing bike or a mountain bike. As we have already learned, intensity or performance determines calorie consumption. You just ride a little faster on a racing bike than on the wide tires of a mountain bike. 

I only allow one small exception: when mountain biking you often stand up and have to overcome technical passages. Of course, the upper body is also required here and the more muscles are activated, the more calories are burned.  

⚡ What is the calorie consumption when riding an e-bike?

Anyone who has ever ridden an e-bike should have felt the difference compared to riding a traditional bike. Doesn’t it somehow feel like a gentle tailwind is helping you to move forward? And that brings us to the topic: support. With the help of the installed electric drive, you save power when propelling. Depending on the support level, you have to pedal far less than the power applied on a conventional bike to reach a certain hourly average. It goes without saying that the body is less stressed under these conditions and fewer calories are burned than on a “normal” bike.

Of course, the use of the various support modes also affects calorie consumption. Of course, if you permanently set the strongest support mode, the body burns less than if you let yourself be helped in the lowest mode. To give a specific number, the average use of the various support levels is assumed to be around 300 kcal/h (per hour).

🏃 How does cycling compare to other sports? 

If you look at the calorie consumption when cycling compared to other sports, then we can see that we are in a healthy middle field. Why is that? 

This is best explained by comparing it to two other popular endurance sports: running and swimming.  

When running, a very large part of the muscles are activated. In addition to the legs, the arms and core muscles work with it. The author of the article, with his 70 kg, comes up with about 550-650 kcal/h (per hour) jogging – mind you comfortably.  

At the other end of the scale is swimming. If we assume breaststroke, I only use about 300-400 kcal per hour. Sure, because the water provides buoyancy, my postural muscles don’t have to work that much and it’s primarily my arms and legs that are challenged. When crawling slowly, on the other hand, we are already at around 450 kcal again, because in order to stay in the water, the core muscles also have to participate when crawling. 

If you look at cycling, it becomes clear: the legs do the main work, while the arms and torso only have to stabilize and are therefore not challenged much. Since the muscles in the buttocks and thighs are among the largest in the human body, a lot of “fuel” naturally goes through here.  

sportCalories burned (kcal) in 60 minutes (average values ​​for an 80 kg person)
freestyle swimming500

That’s how long it takes you to cycle to burn your favorite snack

A quick Snickers snack between meals to quench your hunger and your favorite snack in front of the TV in the evening while your favorite series is on. It has been proven: snacking makes you happy, at least for the moment. You might be less happy when chocolate, chips, and the like lead to a few pounds more in a short time. At least we can counteract this by doing enough sport. But it’s amazing how long you have to kick to burn off the calories from various sweets. In the following table, we assume a calorie consumption of 450 kcal per hour.

Nutritional values ​​per 100 g (in kcal)How long does it take you to cycle (in minutes)
Milka milk chocolate53071
Milka white chocolate53071
Lindt Excellence Mild 90% cocoa59279
prince role49165
Haribo gummy bears34346
Funnyfresh chips53972
Lorentz peanuts62083


To answer the question about the calorie killer: No, cycling is not a thoroughbred calorie killer. There are certainly sports in which more energy is consumed per hour than in the saddle.  

But that is not always the requirement either, because if you look at the overall health aspect, cycling has the advantage over running in that you “get in” faster and it is much easier on the joints. It is therefore ideally suited for beginners or occasional athletes who want to keep fit and see quick results. 

However, it should not go unmentioned that 450-500 kcal per hour is quite a decent consumption, which can be quite useful for reducing weight.  

Last but not least, it is of course of interest for competitive athletes to know an approximate calorie consumption. Especially during long bike races, it is important to replenish these calories in the form of bars or ISO drinks so that performance does not drop.  

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Orieta Pantoja

    El ciclismo es el deporte más hermoso porque también se puede integrar en la vida cotidiana. Simplemente quemas calorías en tu camino al trabajo.

    Un aspecto especial: si tiene sobrepeso, puede perder peso en su bicicleta de una manera suave para las articulaciones. Solo la natación es en realidad aún más efectiva.

  2. Avatar
    Wiert Volkers

    In my opinion, the calorie consumption of cycling is unbeatable. As a person who is only moderately fit, I manage to complete a bike tour of several hours without much effort and use up 1000 – 2000 Kcal. In the other sports mentioned, I’m happy of I can manage 20 – 30 minutes.

Comments are closed.