Olympic Cyclist Versus A Toaster – Video


This video proves that it takes a heck of a lot of energy to toast a single slice of bread.

What we find most interesting are the kWh and other calculations listed at the end of the video.

Takes A Lot Of Energy To Toast Bread

Takes A Lot Of Energy To Toast Bread

Categories: General


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24 Comments on "Olympic Cyclist Versus A Toaster – Video"

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This points out exactly what a joke it is for people to talk about their electric cars as “sustainable.” Sustainable is what a plant or animal living directly or indirectly off solar energy can do…without mining tons of additional resources. Sustainable is what WE were for hundreds of thousands of years. The resource and energy debt to make, and charge my 350 watt e-assist bicycle is huge. For a car that debt is exponentially worse and certainly not sustainable, given our current population, even on the order of decades, let alone millenia.

I’m thinking this is just a little “light brown” entertainment. Not an end all prophacey about energy consumption. I’ll have my toast dry with grape jelly…

You seem to be confusing a few things. ‘Sustatinable’ is not the same as ‘natural’ or ‘biological’.

For some, nothing short of a return to the stone age will do. To those folks I suggest that some skills may need to be re-learned. Examples that come to mind are… -Making fire with two sticks and some animal sinew. -Making stone tools in a world without metals. -Making rope with plant fibers and animal hair. To name just a few.

Don’t you think it’s more than a bit hypocritical for you to keep accusing people of being resource hogs by driving highway-capable cars, while you sit and type at your computer? If you practiced what you preach, you wouldn’t even be using electricity, let alone the Internet and a computer,

Sustainability isn’t just about how much each person uses. It’s also about how many people a region, or the Earth as a whole, can support. Right now the human species is shockingly overpopulated. Once we can bring that down to a reasonable number, then we can certainly all afford to have cars, computers, and the Internet.

Getting the population reduced to that point is gonna be the real challenge. It would be nice if we could accomplish it without using the “natural” methods of famine, war, and epidemic disease. Sadly, we’re already seeing those thing happen in certain regions of the world, such as Eastern Africa and the Mideast.

Maybe Warren is pedaling an exercise bicycle to power his modem and computer. 😉

We live in a small earth bermed, passive solar house for the last 38 years. We’ve had the most efficient gas appliances they made. Window quilts, 24″ insulation in the attic, compact fluorescents since they came out, now replaced by all LEDs, keep the AC at 74F…it comes on a couple times on the hottest days, I drive a 22 year old Sentra, that still gets 34 mpg, commuted for my entire working life with no AC. Since retiring I put on about 500 miles a year. Recycle everything, use cloth shopping bags, compost our food waste. Our gas and electricity use is half the national average. I ride over 5,500 miles a year on my electric assist bike. We eat mostly vegetarian…like Ben Franklin we think meat should be a condiment. We are very comfortable with our frugal life. Are we saving the planet? Not even close. I feel guilty living in such luxury. But we’d be prepared to do with a lot less, if there was any political will and a consensus among the American people. Most don’t have a clue and don’t give a rat’s behind. The most important thing we have is our collective knowledge, gained… Read more »

But apparently can’t afford to hit the return key to chop that up into paragraphs.

Or do you think the white space is in short supply and must be conserved as well.

Me I’m happy to chop it up if I’m going to type more.

I think Warren sum it up anyway.
Progress, for me, and for many is exactly that, using less but live pentiful.

It’s also what many EVer claim, but if it’s about keeping going the same way but with more renewable, we’re “toast” fo sure.

By the way, 700 watts will propel a cyclist to much more than 50 km/h as it’s written in this video.
All time trial in the big tour are completed around or more than 50 km/h and they’re vary between 10 to 65 km in lenght.
700 km/h would probably get you in the 60 km/h over.

The hell is wrong with you, man? Charge your e-bike off solar power and then come back and bitch about where the energy comes from, yes? In fact if you discount the co2 from manufacturing the solar panels and associated circuitry, then you’re actually putting out LESS co2 by riding your solar ebike than you are by breathing hard and pushing the bike on your body power alone.

We’d have to cut down a bunch of trees to make PV work here. In the hot, humid south those trees are worth a lot of AC. We pay extra for renewable energy from our utility.

“180 Roberts to power a car”
180 * 700W = 126,000W
Isn’t there an extra zero there?

It seems to me that 126kW is reasonable for a car, but that would be peak use, not average.

Yes, 126 kW is in line with most of the world’s car engines, and economy cars in North America. And yes, car engines are rated at peak, not sustained- the difference is huge, which is the whole point of hybrids (and cylinder deactivation).

The last time I saw legs like that, they were holding up a piano!

I never knew someone could put out 700W long enough to toast a slice of bread. Good job, Robert!

This guy is a specialist, not a road racer. The world’s top cyclists can sustain 700 W for some time, and clearly pass 1kW for, oh, let’s say a minute- conditions and cyclists vary.

The problem with bread, and other similar situations, is how much heat goes to the toaster housing, the surrounding air, etc.

700 watts is a lot and this is just for a bleak toaster.
Some are more than 1 200 watts.
You coffee machine might get to 1 400 watts.
So now figure how much we spend in every day life!
Robert is a specialist in a speciality, wich is track cycling.
On overall, most professionnal cyclist can peak much more than 700 watts for 10 to 20 seconds, but 2 minutes is out of reach for most.
The top of the top cyclists is the one who can produce 300-350 watts for hours and hours.
This is much more difficult and praise for, just because it’s much more of a thougher accomplishment.

If you’re curious about that.


It’s in french, but some related english written surely exist.

Seems like you could have made two slices of toast for about the same amount of energy. Why not share with the others? 🙂

One thing’s for sure, ….

Go up against Robert “piano legs” Forstemann…. and you’re toast.

H uge
G igantic
H ammys


IR heat powered toaster oven isn’t very efficient.

Lots of heat are lost during the toasting.

A better insulated toaster or some kind of uW heating would have been far more efficient…

Of course, who cares about efficiency when you can buy a toaster for less than $10?

It could have been worse. They could have hooked up the bike to an electrolyzer to make hydrogen to fuel a hydrogen fuel cell toaster (FCT). 😀