How Many Miles on a Bike is a Good Workout?

How Many Miles on a Bike is a Good Workout?

They say, “It’s like riding a bike, you never forget!” Biking is usually learned from an early age and can continue long into adulthood. Biking or cycling is easily one of the most common activities globally. There are many variations, such as causal beach cruising, mountain biking, or stationary cycling classes.

For a good workout, the recommended time to ride a bike is 30 minutes. This equals around 6- or 7-miles total. Note that cycling on a stationary bike burns 260-391 calories, while outdoor cycling burns 298-614 calories in 30 minutes. Both cycling and biking provide an effective cardio exercise, promote weight loss, and build muscles.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about biking. Including the elements that make biking a great workout, how long you should be biking for, and the benefits and disadvantages.

How Many Miles Should I Ride My Bike a Day to Lose Weight?

Losing weight brings a number of factors into play. In the simplest terms, it is about calories burned versus calories consumed. But keep in mind that your age, gender, and body type also play a part in losing weight as well.

It is also important to note that cycling outside and cycling on a stationary bike will produce different results.

  • Stationary biking burns an average of 260 to 391 calories in 30 minutes.
  • Outdoor cycling ranges from 298 to 614 calories burned in 30 minutes based on speed.
  • Outdoor cycling typically burns more calories because of components such as weather and terrain.

Below are a few charts that will help you understand the breakdown of how long you should be biking in order to lose weight. This will depend on your own personal goals and how quickly you’re looking to shed pounds.

Biking Duration

Duration BikedMiles per HourCalories Burned Cycling OutsideCalories Burned on Stationary Bike
15 min.15 mph143132
30 min.15 mph286264
1 hour15 mph572450
2 hours15 mph1,144902
3 hours15 mph1,7161,356

Biking Distance

Miles BikedCalories Burned Cycling OutsideCalories Burned on Stationary Bike
1 mile6050
5 miles300250
10 miles600500
20 miles1,2001,000

As you can see from the breakdown, cycling outdoors will give you a better burn than cycling on a stationary bike. The average biking speed is around 15 miles per hour, with racing speeds sitting anywhere from 16 to 19 MPH.

Is Biking 5 Miles a Day Good?

The recommended time to ride a bike is about 30 minutes. Keep in mind that the average speed at which someone rides a bike is about 15 miles per hour. Depending on the intensity with which you are riding, a 5-mile ride can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. This makes 5 miles an excellent starting point for an effective workout each day.

When figuring out if an activity is a good workout, it is a good idea to consider your abilities and goals. For example, a 5-mile bike ride might be overwhelming for a beginner. On the other hand, it might be a warm-up if you’ve been a cyclist for years!

How Long Does It Take to Bike 2 Miles Casually? 

The average person bikes at a pace of 15 miles per hour. This number will be less if you are casually cruising. This could be the situation as you cool down from an intense ride, or perhaps cruise to a restaurant on the beach after a day spent sunning.

The pace of someone easily pedaling is 12-14 miles per hour. Biking at a pace of 12 miles per hour will result in 1 mile every 5 minutes. This means that a casual 2 miles on a bike will take about 10 minutes.

Miles BikedDuration
15 min.
525 min.
1050 min.

How Many Miles on a Bike is Good for 30 Minutes?

Similar to our previous section, it is important to note that considering a workout good depends on your specific body type and abilities. On average, 30 minutes of biking should produce anywhere from 5 to 8 miles. This will vary on the conditions, such as whether you are on a stationary bike or peddling in the outdoors with rolling hills.

Which Muscles Does Cycling Work?

As you might have guessed, cycling is a dynamite leg work out! Whether you are cycling outdoors or using a stationary bike, your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calf muscles are all in use. The pushing and pulling movement used to create a pedal stroke activates almost every part of the leg.

You’ll also be excited to learn that biking is a full-body workout in addition to the legs. Below is a breakdown of all the muscles used when biking:

1. Legs

We touched on the fact that the legs are the bulk of the muscles being used when biking. Specifically, the quads are used to push down on the pedal. The power of pulling that pedal back up comes from the hamstrings and the glutes. Your calf muscles are also engaged throughout this action.

2. Core

If your bike is set up properly, your core should be engaged at all times. It is important to note that the core will be used more with outdoor biking. This is because of the work it takes to balance yourself on a road bike. This will be more intense compared to a stationary bike, which is set in place for you.

3. Upper Body

Surprisingly, your upper body is also used when biking. Your biceps, triceps, and upper back all work in unison to keep your body in place and upright. Just like with your core muscles, your upper back will be used more on an outdoor bike due to the element of balance.

How Many Miles Should I Bike a Day to Lose Belly Fat?

Losing belly fat is connected to losing weight anywhere on the body. This means that we can use the same principles used when it comes to caloric intake and loss. Losing belly fat will correlate with calories burned compared to calories consumed.

In order to promote the loss of belly fat, it is recommended to bike between 30 minutes and an hour each day. For the quickest results, you will want to make sure your diet reflects that of an athlete. Most simply put – up the protein, lower the carbs, fat, and sugars!

Cycling vs. Stationary Bike 

Before you begin your cycling journey, there are a lot of elements to consider. You may still be on the fence about which type of biking is best for you. Cycling outdoors and riding a stationary bike both have their advantages and disadvantages.

We have provided pros and cons for each of these activities below:

Outdoor Cycling

More calories burned and muscles used more intenselyMust only bike in appropriate weather conditions (no rain or snow, etc.)
Ability to intake fresh air during your workoutThe road determines your intensity
Usually comes with a sense of community or a group of bikers to socialize withMust follow traffic laws
Calculating biking routes can stimulate your brainMore equipment needed (helmet, gloves, etc.)

Stationary Biking

Ability to adjust the resistance to your needsFewer calories burned and muscles used less intensely
Can exercise in any weatherNo outdoor views and fresh air
No worries about following traffic lawsCan become monotonous or boring
Can join classes at the home or at gymsLess motivation to workout at home

How Many Miles on a Stationary Bike Equals 10,000 Steps?

To figure out how many miles on a stationary bike are equal to 10,000 steps, we can use a simple equation. The average person’s stride is approximately 2.1 to 2.5 feet. When converting that distance to miles, 10,000 steps equal 3.97 to 4.73 miles.

This is a helpful calculation to use if you are an avid walker looking to turn into a cyclist. Additionally, we can calculate how long that number of miles will take to complete. Using the assumption that the typical person cycles at 15 miles per hour, 4.73 miles will take about 19 minutes.

Best Cycling Equipment

If you are ready to get started on a biking adventure, you’ll need the top equipment. Below are a few of our favorite items necessary for an effective workout.

1. Stationary Bike

YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike: this bike has over 19,000 amazing reviews from amazon users. It is affordable and of great quality, coming in at just above $300.

2. Outdoor Bike

Mongoose Switchback Mountain Bike: Mongoose is a long-time trusted brand when it comes to biking. This specific bike provides comfort for long rides, durability, and super stopping power.

3. Helmet

Zachro Lightweight Helmet: You’ll love the selection of colors for this lightweight helmet. It’s crafted with high-quality materials and optimal ventilation.

4. Biking Shorts 

Baleaf Padded Cycling Shorts: 36,000 positive reviews don’t lie! These padded shorts provide the best comfort level for those long rides.

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