How Much You Should Bike Each Day to Lose Weight

When I first started cycling, I was surprised by the fact that I could lose weight with such a fun form of exercise. I immediately started doing research to find out how much I should cycle each day to lose weight.

The average person should bike between 35 and 40 minutes each day to lose weight. How long you ride is more important than how much distance you cover when it comes to losing weight with cycling. In addition to how much you ride each day, the intensity and effort you put into cycling can play a major role in your weight loss.

But you don’t just want to go rushing into a new daily cycling routine. If you’re trying to get the most from your cycling, especially when it comes to weight loss, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

How Much Time You Should Bike Each Day to Lose Weight

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends between 150 and 250 minutes of moderate exercise each week to lose weight.

This means that you can lose weight by cycling for at least 22 to 36 minutes each day. And cycling for longer durations will help you reach your weight loss goals even faster.

This coincides with a Harvard Health Publishing that calculates the average calories burned from 30 minutes of moderate cycling.

WeightAvg. Calories burned with 30 minutes of Cycling
125 lbs210 cal
155 lbs260 cal
185 lbs311 cal

As a general rule of thumb, you need to burn about 3500 calories to lose 1 pound. Taking the chart above into consideration, you should be able to lose at least 1 lbs per week if you are cycling 30-40 minutes each day.

And the good news is that the more you weigh, the more calories you will burn.

Again, when it comes to cycling for weight loss, how long you ride is more important than the distance you are able to cover.

This also means you should avoid setting goals to reach a certain distance at first(like biking 10 miles each day) and focus more on how long you are able to keep pedaling.

How Fast You Should Cycle to Lose Weight

As I mentioned before, the effort and intensity of your cycling will be a major factor when it comes to losing weight. And while it’s not necessarily all about the speed, however, that same Harvard Publishing has great data on the average amount of calories burned in 30 minutes at different cycling speeds.

Cycling speed – 185 lbs personAvg. calories burned in 30 minutes of cycling
12-13.9 mph355 cal
14-15.9 mph444 cal
16-19 mph533 cal
20 mph733 cal

Again, I have to reiterate that exercise intensity matters way more than your cycling speed.

Your cycling speed can easily be influenced by the places you’re riding. So if you’re riding downhill, it’s a lot easier to go fast. But when you’re riding uphill, you end up slowing way down and burning way more calories.

On top of that, we all have varying degrees of fitness. Averaging 13 mph may be a breeze for one person and a total workout for another.

This is why it is a good idea to monitor your effort with a heart rate monitor instead of averaging your speed. In general, you want to keep a maintain around 70-75% of your max heart rate to get the most benefit.

If you don’t feel like investing in a heart rate monitor, you can also use the scale of 1-10 – with 10 being a maximum effort and 1 being almost too easy. On a scale of 1-10, you should strive to be at a 7 when it comes to your breathing and exertion.

How Long it Takes to Lose Weight With Cycling

Cycling has inspired many people to reach their weight loss goals over the years, but even they will tell you that it’s not an overnight success.

If you’re averaging 30 minutes of riding every day of the week, you can expect to lose at least 1 pound that first week. And while they may not seem like a lot, there are countless people who have had major success with a consistent cycling routine – all it takes is patience and dedication.

Depending on what your weight loss goal is when it comes to cycling, you may be looking at a long road ahead. But there are definitely ways you can accelerate your success.

One of the best ways to do this is… Dun Dun Dun… Dieting!

Dieting is undeniably the most important part of any goal to lose weight and cycling is no different. Of course, the goal is to eat at a caloric deficit every day, but that can be hard to maintain on top of a new daily riding regiment.

Instead, you should try to avoid adding any additional calories to your current diet while you work towards being more consistent with your riding. Once you feel confident that you can start working on your diet, feel free to add it. This is when you will start seeing more dramatic results from your efforts on and off the bike.

Interval Training is the next “silver bullet” when it comes to losing weight with cycling. And this one will be a lot easier to add in once you’re already consistent in your riding routine.

Its likely that you’ve already heard of interval training, as it’s one of the most popular and effective trends when it comes to weight loss and fitness in general.

Best Bikes for Weight Loss

If you are still pretty new to cycling, you may be asking yourself which bike is best for you. And even more so, you want to make sure you have a bike that helps support your weight loss goals.

For these reasons, I recommend the bikes below:

Road Bike

  • Best for – Riding on smooth, long stretches of pavement
  • Comfort – Minimal, more aggressive seating angle
  • Effort – Minimal, easy to pedal and maneuver
  • Why I recommend – Accessibility

Road Bikes are great for losing weight for a host of reasons. They are easy to pedal and maneuver and there is always an avid community of riders nearby, all dedicated to improving their fitness on the bike.

They also have a few drawbacks. Since Road Bikes are built for speed, they tend to have a really aggressive seating angle, which can be really uncomfortable to get used to. On top of that, they are very lightweight and thin, which can cause some riders to feel unstable and less secure on the bike.

Still, I recommend them for one important reason – their unparalleled accessibility.

You can ride a Road Bike just about anywhere, just walk it out your front door and start riding. In fact, some people even ride their bikes to work every day. With the ability to quickly throw on something athletic and head out the door for a ride, it will be a lot harder to say no to riding, and a lot easier to get started on your weight loss goals.

Mountain Bike

  • Best for – Riding on paved and unpaved surfaces
  • Comfort – Moderate, more relaxed seating angle
  • Effort – Moderate, slightly more effort required to pedal and maneuver
  • Why I recommend – Stability and Versatility

Mountain Bikes are also a great option if you are looking for a good bike for weight loss. Not only do they offer the comfort of a suspension, they are also more adjustable and customizable to fit your needs.

They’re not as good on paved surfaces as Road Bikes, which can make riding them a little more taxing depending on where you ride.

I still recommend Mountain Bikes as a great bike for weight loss because they are comfortable, more stable and overall more versatile.


  • Best for – Riding on paved and unpaved surfaces
  • Comfort – Moderate, more relaxed seating angle
  • Effort – Minimal, slightly more effort required to pedal and maneuver
  • Why I recommend – Great All-around Bike

Hybrid bikes are a mix between mountain and road and are a great option for any rider looking to lose weight.

They mix the benefits of both styles of bike to provide a more balanced experience for riders. The tires are thinner than a Mountain Bike, so it’s not hard to gain speed and the seating angle is more relaxed so you get more comfort than a Road Bike.

If you’re looking for a great all-around bike for weight loss, you can’t go wrong with a Hybrid.


  • Best for – Riding on paved and unpaved surfaces
  • Comfort – Moderate, more relaxed seating angle
  • Effort – Minimal, pedal-assisted riding
  • Why I recommend – Great for beginners

Electric bikes have blown up in recent years and for good reason. Not only are they incredibly cool, but they have also helped many people ride more often and a lot further than they could before.

The only downside is that they are still outrageously expensive. They can even cost more than a new motorcycle.

Electric bikes are still a great option for weight loss as they allow riders to build up their endurance, while also providing pedaling assistance when you need it. Now you don’t have to worry if the ride is too far or if you’ll have trouble on that certain hill. You can simply let the bike fill in when you can’t and work on your fitness when you can.


  • Best for – Riding on paved walkways and greenways
  • Comfort – Maximum, reclined and relaxed seating
  • Effort – Moderate, relaxed pedaling position
  • Why I recommend – Great for comfort and stability

Recumbent bikes are a special style of bike that puts you in more of a reclined position. I often see these on my local greenway or at my local park – and the riders always look like they’re living their best life.

Unfortunately they are not as accessible and finding a safe place to ride them can be a challenge depending on where you live.

Still, they are one of the best options for bikes for losing weight, as they allow even the heaviest of riders to experience the joy of riding.

Where to Ride for Weight Loss

Although you can ride just about anywhere to lose weight, there are definitely a few places you can ride that will give you a better experience.

I recommend riding on your local greenway or city park bike trail for a few reasons.

If you’re cycling to lose weight, you want to try and ride in areas or pathways that allow you to pedal consistently without many breaks. This means you should avoid congested areas with traffic or many crossing.

You also want to avoid riding in areas with big hills or challenging sections, as these will play a huge impact on how far you can ride.

City greenways and local bike trails are the perfect places to bike to lose weight because they don’t have many interruptions or tough hills to climb. And since they’re bike-friendly, you don’t have to worry about traffic or ambiguous pedestrians. Some greenways even have handy signs that tell you mileage or help you locate the trail on a map.


In conclusion, cycling everyday is a great way to lose weight and have fun while you’re doing it.

But there is a little more to it than just making sure you ride each day.

Regardless of where you are on your weight loss journey, I hope you find success with cycling and good luck on your goals!

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