Calories calculated for mountain biking

Despite my mountain bike rides being hard workouts with "tough" suffer scores, my calorie counts never seem to match up to the effort expended. The calorie count is on average 1/3 to 1/2 of a similar road ride with a similar suffer score. The calorie count needs to be adjusted for mountain biking.

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  • Officiële opmerking

    Hello, we've put together a survey to help us document the feedback we're receiving about Strava's calorie calculations. Please take a moment to fill it out with recent examples. Thanks for the help! 

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  • I agree with Michael's assessment of the calorie algorithm. But to add to this a bit more, I have a riding buddy that I ride with on occasion who weighs about 10 lbs less than me.  As an example, we ride hard together for say an hour.  Our heart rates are are very close, yet his calorie burn is shown as 40% higher than mine. How can this be?

     

    Typically in the past on STRAVA, my average calorie burn was around 600 or so calories per hour, but in past months, I have noticed STRAVA shows only about 375 calories per hour.  No changes to any of my weight settings or othe information.  What's up with this?  A major change in the algorithms?

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  • What is the algorithm used to determine how many calories burned per minute (or hour)?  Heart rate, weight, time, etc.?

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  • I'm SURE that STRAVA's calorie burn algorithm is a proprietary formula that that they would NOT make public.

    However, it will some derivative of this formula that I have used and it is subject to all kinds of tweaking based on several subjective inputs.

    Calories Burned = [ (age in years x 0.2017) + (weight in lbs. x 0.0904)+ (heart rate x 0.6309) - 55.0969] x duration in minutes / 4.184

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  • To the best of my knowledge, Strava DOES NOT use heart rate in calorie calculations. Just weight, speed, distance, climb. I've tried using a HR monitor on rides, and not and gotten pretty much identical calorie counts. I think this is a major flaw in the the way Strava works. Also, having friends with power meters, HR monitors, and calorie counters based on these, Strava WAAAAAY underestimates calories from mountain biking (let alone, fat biking).

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  • Hi Elle, the survey is restricted to "users in the owner's organization". It won't let me complete it.

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  • My apologies, the survey is now open. 

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  • Who can tell me how strava calculate calorie?What is the calculation formula?THX~~

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  • Attn. Strava - what is the latest update on the calorie calculation issue?

    Calories for bike rides come nowhere near the actual amount of calories burned - maybe only 1/3 or 1/4 of actual based on other measurement methods. Running and other non-bike activities seem to be more accurate. Can you update the community on what causes this and how users can get accurate info?

    Thank you.

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  • Same topic here:

    https://support.strava.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115000129570-MTB-Cycling-and-Calories-WAY-OFF

    I have had the same issues. I understand that calorie estimation is just an estimate, but running and road biking estimates seem pretty good on Strava while MTB activities seem to be way off (low).

    Strava - any update?

     

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  • I am having this same issue. I really think heart rate needs to be used to accurately calculate calories burned. I estimate my ride today was at least double the calorie expenditure that Strava calculated.

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  • I get an equivalent calorie reading from Strava for hard mountain biking with an average heart rate in the 120 bpm range with a 45 relative effort score as I do for a light hike at an average hr of 95 bpm with a 12 relative effort score (same time expenditure). Therefore I ignore Strava calorie calculations and use an online calorie calculator that works off of heart rate. It’s a pain and a surprising deficit of the program.

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