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Old 01-14-2005, 10:58 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Caid
Posts: 479
Convert RPM to Watts/MPH on a stationary cycle?

Well folks, I'm doing it. I'm journaling (and limiting) my caloric intake, and hitting the gym 5-6 days a week. Recently, I've had stabbing pain in my right foot from an old injury, so I've been going for low-impact on the stationary cycle.

However, the machine in my gym only shows RPM and not Watts/MPH, so I have no idea how fast I'm going and therfore can't correctly estimate the calories I'm burning. I also can't seem to find a converter on the internet, even after googling, nor can I find a chart that tracks calories burned by RPM.

I realize that varaibles like gear ratio and wheel size and incline/resistance would normally factor in, but I'm hoping that most staionary machines are similar across the board...anyone happen to know the conversion, or know of a chart that calculates calories burned given bodyweight and RPM?

For anyone wondering, the calorie guide I've been using is the one provided by Calorie King.

Thanks in advance!
Old 01-14-2005, 11:24 PM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 9,119
measure the radius of the wheel in inches

(radius of wheel) (1 mile/63360 inches) (1 Hour/60 min)= mph.
Old 01-14-2005, 11:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 9,119
that isn't right:

(radius of wheel) (1 mile/63360 inches) (60 min/1 hour) (2*pi)= mph.
Old 01-15-2005, 12:19 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Caid
Posts: 479
Originally Posted by treis
that isn't right:

(radius of wheel) (1 mile/63360 inches) (60 min/1 hour) (2*pi)= mph.
Thanks treis, that will definitely come in handy when I can finally afford to buy a real bike and make use of all the wonderful hills and bike lanes where I live.

Unfortunately, it's a stationary cycle and there is no wheel, just a resistance band hidden within the machine. I was hoping there was some sort of standard of "invisible wheel" across different models of machines, but that's probably not the case.

Maybe if I contact the manufacturer, they can give me the specs? Thanks again for that formula!
Old 01-15-2005, 12:33 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Where the owls say "Whom"
Posts: 5,484
If you need to look for conveters, I'd say the ones on my site:
have probably got what you need, - that is after you have determined how much energy is required to power that stationary bike.
Let's face it, the tension on that resistance band would determine just how much energy (or calories) is required. As you probably know, going 1 mile with zero resistance won't burn as many calories as going the same distance with a great deal of resistance.
Your idea of contatcting the manufacturer would be your best choice.
Old 01-15-2005, 12:41 AM
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 13,912
I think there's so much variation that one can't provide a "typical" conversion factor. Perhaps you could invest in a heartrate monitor? Most models will give you an estimate of calories burned.
Old 01-15-2005, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 3,760
Agreed. If you want to really accurately measure your power, you are going to need either an SRM or Powertap ( and both are looking at $900-1500.

If you are only doing this for weight-loss/fitness reasons, then use an HRM in conjunction with a chart for body size, activity, intensity, and approximate calories burned, or an HRM that will do this automatically.
You know, doing what is right is easy. The problem is knowing what is right.

--Lyndon B. Johnson

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