How Many Calories Does Mountain Biking Burn?

You can easily burn about 450 to 750 calories for every hour you spend mountain biking. Although calories are essential to regulating health and making sure our bodies have enough energy to perform daily activities, too much of them can be harmful to health.

That’s why it’s important to monitor our calories in order to avoid unwanted weight gain and the health issues that come with a high BMI. Gaining weight has been shown to increase one’s risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

The average female requires 2,000 calories per day to thrive, while the average man needs slightly more at 2,500 calories per day.

Factors That Affect the Calories You Burn Mountain Biking

How many calories burned while biking? Figuring out how many calories does mountain biking burn can be difficult, especially if you don’t know where to start.

But, it’s possible to come up with a fairly accurate estimate based on a few key factors.

1. Your Weight

The average woman can easily burn about 528 calories per hour when biking through moderately difficult terrain. Of course, this amount isn’t set in stone and can be affected by your weight and that of your bike.

A lightweight bike offers up less resistance while a heavier model means you’re carrying more weight, thus increasing the number of calories that you burn.

2. Cycling Cadence

So, how many calories does road biking burn? If you weigh 145 pounds or thereabout, then you can easily burn up to 526 pounds per hour when riding on an inclined road for 15 minutes. The higher your cycling cadence the more calories you’ll burn without extending the amount of time you spend on the bike.

Just make sure that you maintain an optimal heart rate to avoid extraneous exercise for longer than you need to, and focus on targeted calorie burning.

3. Terrain

The terrain you bike on can also affect the number of calories you burn while biking. For instance, simple and straightforward trails won’t offer up much résistance and might feature a lot of downward slopes.

On the other hand, technical and slightly more difficult routes will test your speed agility and strength, while burning more calories.

The fact that you need to make cornering adjustments and monitor your balance and speed translates to a lot of upper body exercises.

4. Gender

How many calories does an hour of biking burn? Gender also plays a part in mountain biking calories burned per hour. On average, men have the capacity to burn more calories because they carry less fat and have more muscle tissue.

5. Bike Size

The size of your mountain bike and what upgrades you have like a budget suspension fork will also affect your ability to burn more calories. A heavier bike is more challenging and more likely to help you burn more calories.

Slow Biking vs. Fast Biking

Moderate biking at a steady speed activates your aerobic metabolic system, which leads to optimized heart and lung function. This also makes it easier for your body to efficiently use glucose. You can even get a CycleOps Fluid 2 to train at home.

Inefficient use of glucose can heighten your risk of developing metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes. Moderate cycling can also improve your body’s ability to mobilize muscle fat.

On the other hand, maintaining a fast speed means you’ll activate your anaerobic metabolism system which is useful for short bursts of effective activity. But, the harder you cycle the more you’ll strengthen your muscle fibers to adapt to higher demand.

Basically, your speed greatly determines the number of calories you burn as it’s predicated on the amount of energy needed for your body to go that fact. Maintaining a moderate biking speed of 12 to 13.9 miles an hour for 30 minutes can help you burn 298 calories if you weigh in the vicinity of 155 pounds.

If you increase your cycling speed to 14 to 15.9 miles per hour, then you can increase that figure to 372 calories.

Biking vs. Running vs. Walking

Biking is by far the most efficient way to achieve direct calories burned mountain biking. But, if biking isn’t for you then you should look for an activity such as walking that’ll help you achieve the same or similar results on a consistent basis.

For instance, if you weigh around 150 pounds and run for an hour at a speed of 5 mph for five miles, then you can easily burn 593 calories by the end of it.

But, if you run the same distance for the same amount of time on a bike then you’ll most likely burn only 250 calories. So you should figure out if walking or biking is better for weight loss in your case.

If cycling comes easy to you and you enjoy it enough to do it frequently, then you’ll benefit from the activity by burning more calories.

We recommend you go somewhere away from your home, put your bicycle on a bike rack for SUV and connect with nature. You’ll be able to burn calories while breathing fresh air at the same time.


As you can see, answering the question of how many calories does mountain biking burn requires one to take multiple factors into consideration. This includes the intensity and duration as well as the distance you take.

Most beginners start at 15 minutes per day, or 30 minutes every other day. This can be a great way to lose weight effortlessly while improving overall health and wellness. Over time, you’ll be able to add more intensity in order to burn more calories.

So how many calories have you managed to burn while mountain biking? We would love to hear about your results in the comments.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not out cycling through the best routes, reviewing the latest gear, and sharing tips on everything biking.

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