The difficulty of a bike ride is typically expressed by two numbers: the total distance traveled, and the cumulative elevation gain. Over the years there have been various ideas for combining these two numbers into a single estimate of how difficult? the ride is. For example, is cycling 20 miles on a level road easier or more difficult than climbing 2000 feet? Up until now, it has been difficult to find an answer to questions such as this. BikeEnergy can provide these answers.
The companion app BikePower estimates your instantaneous power output while riding. This app, BikeEnergy, estimates the total energy you expend during the entire ride.
BikeEnergy estimates the total amount of energy (Calories or kJoules) required to ride a bike route characterized by total distance and cumulative and net elevation gains (along with a few other parameters that personalize the results for your specific weight, type of bicycle, and riding speed). Energy is an excellent measure of difficulty?. A ride that burns up 2000 Calories of energy is in a very real sense more difficult than one that consumes only 1000 Calories. Not only will you feel more tired after a 2000 Calorie ride than after one that burns 1000 Calories, but you will also have to eat more food to replenish your energy stores for your next ride.
Use BikeEnergy to rate your club rides for overall difficulty. Group rides into difficulty categories: 500 Calorie rides, 1000 Calorie rides, 1500 Calories rides, etc.
If you are riding as a means to help control your weight, it is useful to be able to estimate how many Calories your cycling is actually burning up. There is a tendency to over-eat after exercise. BikeEnergy can be a useful tool to help prevent that by providing a realistic estimate of just how many Calories of energy you have actually expended.
Energy is computed for your specific parameters.
US or metric units
Energy calculation includes:
- Cumulative and Net Elevation Gains
- Total Distance Ridden
- Speed on Level Roads
- Uphill energy based on weight of bike + rider
- Wind resistance based on altitude, riding speed, and rider's aerodynamic drag area
- Rolling Resistance of the tires
Reasonable default values are provided for all parameters
Complete instructions are provided on the website
The website provides tutorials on Power and Energy as well as how BikeEnergy works.
The screenshots show:
1: The main display with sliders to vary elevation gain, distance, and speed.
2: The data entry display where you enter values to customize the computations to your specific parameters. Defaults values are given for all parameters and the website explains what everything means. The text near the bottom scrolls to reveal more instructions.
3: Example 1: Climbing 3000 feet expends about 780 Calories or about 2.4 donuts.
4: Example 2: Riding 37 miles at 15 mph on level roads also expends about 780 Calories
5: Example 3: Riding 37 miles including 3000 feet of elevation gain (Examples 1 + 2) expends about 1200 Calories. This is not the sum of Examples 1 & 2. Want to know why? Visit the website.