Anonymous asked in SportsCycling · 1 decade ago

Cycling: Beginning again for fitness, average speeds question read on pls?

Two weeks ago I bought a new bike as I need to lose 20lb. Today I was able to go 23 miles but it took me three hours. I have not ridden a bike since I was 16, I am now 25. I was 45lb overweight, but I lost around half of it. Have 20 to go, this is when I bought the bike. I see no difference on the scales yet, as I've only gone 85 miles so far since getting the bike. It is a mountain bike, which is heavier, so it is slower, should I have bought a road bike, I am riding it mainly on country roads, some of them are rough. My question is does this sound like I am riding fast enough to lose weight. I mean three hours, my knee started to hurt I could have gone another hour. According to some website I burned 1500 calories. Which is a start because I need to burn 75000 by december. The math there is 3300 calories x 20lb odd and the speed I ride will prob increase. I am sort of unfit. Any advice?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Most doctors will tell you losing 20lbs. in 2 months is unhealthy. Even if you manage to lose the weight within that time frame chances are you'll gain it back again. There is no "overnight" exercise that will give a lasting weight loss result. A proper diet and regular exercise would yield a 2 to 4lbs./mo. weight loss that is sensible, healthy and easy to maintain (keep off).

    As a roadie myself, we would do a group training rides during the off season to maintain fitness and to lose any weight gained from holiday eating. Our training ride objectives is to build base and that is done by doing a SLOW 12-15 mph 2 to 3hrs on the saddle 3 times a week. We call it a "calorie-burning" ride. Use low gears and spin (high cadence) 80-100 rpm. We're not going for speed, this is a slow easy ride (conversational speed) designed to burn calories. We do our speed works once a week on Saturdays where we hammer the pedals and beat the snots out of each other. One thing to point out - a hard effort exercises are designed to build strength and stamina NOT to burn calories or lose weight.

    If you want to lose weight by cycling do a calorie-burning rides. And keep riding!

  • 1 decade ago

    Ok, one thing at a time here. Pain isn't always good. Ensure you have the bike set up properly, ie, saddle height and angle, bar position etc. Call in at a good bike shop and ask their advice. Next, calories. Websites can give a general idea, but they can be quite a way off. Calorie burn is specific to the individual and varies with fitness. Use the website as a guide, but don't rely on it. Some heart rate monitors also calculate calories burnt, by using a test to calculate an approximate VO2 and then using your HR to measure a personal effort level. These are better, but I wouldn't say perfect. Calories, part 2. Have you considered part of what you burn is from your glycogen stores. If you exercise hard, these are used first, then fat reserves. If you are going steady, they are combined. Don't go flat out, you should be able to talk, albeit while breathing reasonably heavily. Add in more calories to your calculation to cover this. Lastly, the bike. An mtb is fine, just consider some slicks if it is all surfaced roads, this will make the effort a little easier. You may decide to do some offroad as fitness increases. The position is also more comfortable for someone just taking up cycling.

    Oops, nearly forgot, don't forget to "spin", that is pedalling at somewhere around 70-90 full pedal turns per minute. This eases the effort on your muscles, while making your cardiovascular system work. You'll ride further with less fatigue and faster recovery, while still burning lots of calories. Now get out there and ride!!!

  • 1 decade ago

    You are reading too much in to it. First I hope your bike fits you and is not an off the shelf from WalMart. A mountain bike is fine, maybe even better than a road bike for fitness and riding back roads. You are definitely starting out too hard. Too much, too fast will kill your spirit. If your knee hurts your saddle is probably too low. You leg should be nearly extended at the bottom of the peddle stroke. Patience will pay off in the end. I am 57 and bought my first bike last Feb. I was 256 pounds. I lost 36 pounds so far and feel great. I started out with a few miles a week and am now riding my hybrid bike about 100 miles a week. Not all the weight will come off easy. I still need to lose another 20 pounds but it will happen and it will be easier to keep it off with the bike riding because it is so much fun to feel the results and to be able to keep riding farther and faster. You are on the right track. Never quit. Keep on peddling. Have fun with it!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A mountain bike is fine. It's not the speed you ride but the effort you put into the exercise that counts. If you ride roads you can replace your knobbie tires with smooth thinner tires. This will make you faster and more comfortable. As far as you knees, that is usually because your saddle is too low. Your saddle should be set so when pedaling your knees are just slightly bent on the bottom of the pedal stroke. A low saddle also with tire you out faster.

    You just started riding keep it up you will vastly improve if you try. Ride at least 4 times a week for an hour or a little more. A 3 hours ride when starting out is probably too much at one time. You sound motivated, keep up the good work.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It is not the speed! but the right cadence!

    Maintain a cadence of 90 all throughout your workout.

    Neglect the speed first and pedal at this rate at an easy gear ratio for you.

    You may need to buy a cyclometer with cadence which is a little expensive but the rewards are great.

    Higher cadence around 90rpm will lessen your leg burn and will improve your cardio. You will be efficiently using the energy stored on your fats thus weight reduction in long term workout.

    It will be hard at first but when your cardio develops, you may achieve easily higher speeds and most essentially weight loss.

    Higher cadence can also help lessen pain during cycling because you are not straining your legs much.

  • 1 decade ago

    With cycling, one must keep a high cadence (or keep your pedals spinning and fast as you can to maintain the speed you want). If you are powering down on the pedals, you might actually gain too much muscle to lose any weight. Of course you will probably lose some inches around the belly, but if you are looking for a particular number to weigh in at, I would suggest keeping your cadence high and cycling for as long as you can. If your knees are hurting, consider keeping them closer to the cross bar, make sure your not wagging them out beyond your shoulders.

    Keep up the good work.

  • 1 decade ago

    Andre probably gives the best answer. Spin spin spin

    If your knees are hurting you probably don't have the bike set up correctly and your probably pushing way too high a gear. (almost always seat too low so your knees bend too far and too high a gear so you push too hard) I started cycling again at 40 to get fitter, seems o work for me. Buy a book or magazine telling you how to set bike up.(or go to a real cycle shop) It will probably feel weird until you get used to correct set up. Most basic tip I can give is set seat height so your heel is on pedal with knee not fully extended and sitting straight on saddle ( no leaning to one side or other)

  • 1 decade ago

    Andre gave a good answer.

    On the knee issue, it may be that as you haven't ridden for a while,- you just stressed it a bit.(a three hour ride is a shock to the system).

    Forget the website that gave you calories burned- they are a joke!

    Just watch your diet mate and enjoy the fresh air!

    Best of luck.


  • 1 decade ago

    losing weight doesnt work that way if you calculate it all by math.

    if you do cycling on a regular basis it's fine, even if after you lose weight. (if you dont continue then the fat will come back again with extra weight)

    and dont cycle until your knee hurts, because if you knee hurts it actually means you've passed your cycling limit.

    if i were you i wouldnt have gotten those gym bicycles with the calorie-burning scales, but since you've bought the mountain bike[sorry that this isnt exactly advice :(]

  • 1 decade ago

    There are many benefits to cycling and I encourage you to enjoy all of them. Unfortunately, rapid weight loss is not among them. Weight loss due to cycling alone will be marginal. To lose weight, you have to take in fewer calories. Do that by eating the right amount of the right foods. By cycling, you will burn calories, but you will also build muscle. You will be healthier by far. You will be in better shape and be able to enjoy more in life. Your outlook will improve. Everyone here will encourage you to cycle for all of these and many other benefits, but have realistic expectations. Weight loss requires diet and exercise in the right combination.

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