Are mountain bikes or road bikes better for burning calories?

e.g. If I ride 10 mph for 10 miles on a mountain bike vs. 10 mph for 10 miles on a road bike.

11 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    One, the road bike, is more efficient. You will tend to ride more often, longer, and further. The other, the mountain bike, is less efficient, certainly requires more energy to cover the same ground, so will burn more calories. As pointed out which do you want....

    I have seen many figures on the efficiency differences... by +/- more than 20%. That being the case, you could be burning that much more. So given a 35 calorie per mile average... you could burn an additional 7 calories per mile. Given that difference, I would choose the road bike. It efficiency and enjoyment would more than make up for the small difference. I would probably ride less often, at a lower intensity level, for less miles on a mountain bike. Thus, negating the possible difference. That being said, on your proposed test circuit, it is a 70 calorie difference.

    My dad used to say, "choose the right tool for the job". Why take a Hummer to race against a Formula One car? They are not the same, you will not ride them the same, you will not ride them identically.....


  • 3 years ago

    Calories Burned Mountain Biking

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    A road bike will give you a better workout over all. Riding 10 miles on a mountain bike will burn more calories because it is not as efficient. You determine how hard you ride not the bike.

  • 9 years ago

    You'll have to work a little harder on the ATB than on the road bike. The heavier bike, more resistance from the wider knobby tires and a less aerodynamic position will certainly call for more effort from the rider. However, at 10mph for only 10 miles, this is not likely to significantly increase the number of calories burned.

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  • 9 years ago

    Mountain biking will give you a better overall workout than a road bike ~ no question.

    Road bikes are just pedaling machines. You either sit in the saddle and spin the cranks, or you stand up and hammer on them. There's not much else to it.

    Mountain bikes are handling machines. If you ride them off road, you are constantly in and out of the saddle ~ spinning the cranks, hammering on them, shifting your weight from side to side, and front to back as you negotiate the terrain.

  • Kailyn
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    It doesn't matter which one. They are the same, a mountain bike is just better for getting in mountains, and the road bike is just very good on roads. They're only both good on one thing. It depends if you take opposite bikes on the opposite places.

  • 9 years ago

    citing your example i would say a mountain bike for the same distance and speed because they have wider tires with more rolling resistance and less efficient geometry, however in general i would say a road bike because you are able to ride a lot farther and faster and it is more comfortable for long rides.

    Source(s): lots of experience with both kinds of bike
  • 4 years ago

    Generally you will always burn more calories exercising outdoors than indoors on a stationary machine. Bicycling can be a very good exercise to burn calories depending on how hard you work. Enjoy the outdoors and ride the trails!!!

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    you can work just as hard on either

    yuo just go faster on a road bike, at least on the road

    as to your question, it is harder to go 10 on a mt bike - as i said, mtb is less efficient for several reasons


  • 9 years ago

    Which weighs more - a pound of feathers or a pound of steel? Six of one - half dozen of the other.

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