According to my personal experience and stats at MTB Knowledge, Mountain bikes can carry a person around 270 to 300 Lbs.
That shows mountain biking is a good sport if you are obese and trying to lose weight. But how many calories does mountain biking burn?
Here is my guide to help you with the number of calories burnt by mountain biking, the factors involved, and tips to burn faster calories on a mountain bike.
How Many Calories Does Mountain Biking Burn?
According to experts and research stats,
“An hour of mountain biking can burn from 200 to 1400 calories depending upon various things: nature of the track, bodyweight, speed.”
*FYI: “A calorie, by its simplest definition, is a unit of energy and is equivalent to 4.184 absolute J.”
For example, if a person bikes around a cross-country singletrack for an hour at a moderate speed, they can burn around 680 calories.
However, different factors can increase or decrease the calories burned by mountain biking.
You can say that bike riding is affected by various variables (in the presence of which) calorie reduction speed or amount can be changed.
Now I shall explain those factors in detail:
Number of Calories Burned by Mountain Biking Variables
As per weight watchers and bike riders, there are around 17 factors that affect weight loss by bike riding.
Therefore, a person should know about these variables to calculate biking calories per hour accurately. Some are directly proportional to weight, while others are inversely proportional to weight.
FYI: “Directly, proportional means, if a factor increases, the weight loss per calorie will increase while the inversely proportional factors, when increases the weight loss per calorie will decrease.”
Let’s find how many calories does mountain biking burn w.r.t variables:
For your information, there are around 17 variables that can affect your weight loss activity through mountain biking. But, here I am adding a few, the most important ones.
1. Rider’s weight
Learn it with the help of the Potential Energy Definition: “The greater the mass, the greater the change in potential energy.” PE = mgh
The rider’s weight is directly proportional to calories burnt by mountain biking.
It means that the more weight, the more calories will be burnt per second.
In simple words, if two people are biking on the same mountain track, the one with more mass will put more pressure on paddling and burn more calories, and vice versa.
2. Wheel size
Another factor that can affect how many calories does mountain biking burn is wheel size, represented by “ers.” For instance, 26ers means a bike with 26 inches of wheels.
Wheel size is inversely proportional to calories burnt per second.
A mountain bike with a 29-inch wheel requires less energy consumption; hence the calories burnt per second will be fewer.
3. Biking Terrain
You can determine the calories burnt by mountain biking by keeping resistance and energy consumption in mind.
With excessive resistance, the cyclist needs to impose more energy, so the sum of burnt calories will be larger.
Mountain bike trails in southern California are with more resistance, such as sand and gravel. So, it will need more effort to bike, and you can burn more calories on challenging maneuvers and pedal terrains.
The most fat is burned on the dunes because riding on dunes is way exhaustive as it increases the rolling resistance by 4.5 to 15 times that of rock.
4. Cycle weight
How many calories does mountain biking burn also depends on how much a mountain bike weighs. However, it goes particularly when a bikers race on elevation.
While riding on an elevated surface, the cyclist not only needs to push their personal weight but the bicycle’s weight too. The resistance will be at its peak with a bike weighing more.
Therefore a cycle with more weight on a rising road will burn more calories per second.
5. Distance covered and speed
Distance matters more than how fast can a mountain bike go. The more distance you will cover at a time, the more calorie expenditure will happen.
For example, if a person cycles 1 mile at 12 mph speed for 5 minutes covering 1 mile can reduce 64 calories.
The same person with the same weight and speed, when cycles for 50 minutes, will cover 10 miles and shed 635 calories.
If the distance is increased even more for the same guy, the 30-mile bike ride will let them burn 1,905 calories.
Mountain biking calories compared to other activities
There are plenty of weight loss activities one can perform based on their interest. Let’s compare how many calories does mountain biking burn compared to other active sports:
Some activities I am comparing here with MT biking are mountaineering, cross-country skiing, backcountry hiking, and swimming (as these are fun sports and also help burn fat).
During mountaineering, a person will put so much force into reaching the uphill locations, so the calories burnt with this activity are almost the same as the calories burnt by MTBs.
Skiing is another great outdoor support. With downhill skiing, the rate of burning calories is lower than in cross-country or XC skiing.
XC skiing involves jumping and other activities that require you to put much pressure on your body. This consumes more energy; however, its rate of burning calories is lower than mountain biking.
Backcountry hiking when doesn’t involve rock climbing and comes with just smooth walking through easier tracks; the only energy consumption is from lifting the backpack.
So, due to lower energy expenditure, the sum of calories burnt by this outdoor sport will also be lesser than the calories burned by MTBs.
How many calories does mountain biking burn compared to the number of calories burnt through swimming is way more significant.
However, it is based on the water condition, like when swimming in a pool vs. swimming through some rough waters.
However, in both cases, swimming doesn’t burn as many calories as you can burn through mountain biking.
Here is a chart showing all the values and calories burnt by each activity:
Conclusion and Findings
How many calories does mountain biking burn? The above discussion shows that mountain biking is a competitive sport and burns more significant calories than activities like running, jogging, swimming, and hiking.
It consumes the same energy as mountain climbing or rock climbing. However, there are various variables based on which the number of calories burnt can vary.
Before ending, here are some FAQs for more information you sent me at https://mtbknowledge.com/contact-me, and I would like to answer you for free.
How many calories does 1 hour of biking burn?
Cycling, we are not talking about mountain biking here, burns 450 to 750 calories per hour. The number of burnt calories varies based on energy consumption concerning different variables.
The variables include the biker’s weight, terrain, speed, time, distance, bike wheels, etc.
How many calories does an hour of mountain biking burn?
Mountain biking is much more efficient in burning calories than regular road biking. Where cycling on a smooth road burns 400 to 750 calories per hour, with MTB, one can burn up to 1400 calories in just one hour.
The amount is almost double that of cross-country cycling. How does it happen? You can understand it by the definition of calorie that says,
“A calorie, by its simplest definition, is a unit of energy equivalent to 4.184 absolute J.
It means that the more energy is consumed, the more calories are burnt. Rocky climbing and biking through rough trails require more power compared to cycling on a regular road.
Hence the calories burnt by the former are more.
Is mountain biking good for weight loss?
Besides being a great support, mountain biking is very efficient for weight loss. With mountain biking, one can burn around 600 to 800 calories per hour on average and build up muscles.
However, you must know some proper parameters to utilize mountain biking for weight loss. How? Try to find all those ways in which energy consumed on biking increases.
For instance, a fat person biking on the sand at high speed will burn more calories compared to someone with less weight biking on the road with lower resistance for less time.
Not just this, mountain biking also helps in building muscles and increasing muscle mass.
With this, the most significant benefit is that you will not suffer as many injuries as in other sports unless you crash.
Does mountain biking burn more calories than road biking?
Yes! The energy consumed in mountain biking is way more than in road biking. It is also said that the rougher the surface, the greater the workout.
That’s why mountain biking burns 100 more calories than standard cycling. However, increasing resistance and consuming more energy can increase the calorie-burnt number.
Do you know someone with more weight burns more calories proportionate to a fit body? There are many other such variables we have discussed above.
Here the discussion on how many calories does mountain biking burn ends. I have discussed the subject in detail and given you a good idea, plus comprehensive tips to help you burn more weight and lose more calories per hour on a mountain bike.
For more, you can reach me at my blog, YouTube channel, and Facebook Page. Keep visiting and keep learning. 😊