Average Bike Speed
Riding a bike is an exhilarating experience, so I totally understand why you want to get into cycling. You may have also asked what is the average bike speed of various types of bikes.
I’m here to help!
If you’re new to bike riding, your first instinct would probably be to search for a high-quality bike that will allow you to ride fast.
While I definitely get that, there’s actually more to your riding speed than just the quality of your bike.
Average Bike Speed can vary greatly depending on many factors.
From your age & physical condition to the type of bike and the condition of the riding surface, we’ll discuss how all of these elements come together to affect the average speed of various types of bikes.
Jump to Section ⬇ :
- Average Bike Speed MPH
- What is the Average Speed of Mountain Bikes
- What is the Average Speed of Hybrid Bikes
- What is the Average Speed of Touring Bikes
- What is the Average Speed of Gravel Bikes
- What is the Average Speed of Road Bikes
- What is a Good Average Speed on a Road Bike?
- What Is an Average Cycling Speed for a Beginner?
- What Is a Good Bike Speed in MPH?
- Average Cycling Speed by Age
- How to Cycle Faster and Increase Your Average Speed?
- Cycling Group Rides
Average Bike Speed MPH
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of cycling, let’s shed light on the average speed of the different types of bikes available on the market.
Mountain Bike Average Speed: 10-12 mph
As the name suggests, mountain bikes are built for off-road riding.
That means that they’re most suitable for riding on rough surfaces, such as dirt, sand, and mulched trails.
Typically, mountain bikes are slower than road bikes. But that only makes sense when you take their design into consideration.
You see, mountain bikes have wide knobby tires that give a firm grip on uneven ground.
Unfortunately, having wide tires also means more rolling resistance. That means more of the tires’ surface will contact the road, creating more friction to slow you down. So you have to put in more effort to go faster.
The average cyclist can go at 10-12 mph on a mountain bike.
Mountain bikes are made to go over rough terrain, or up and down offroad slopes.
So obviously your speed will differ depending on how much off-road riding you do.
If you’re planning to ride on smooth flat surfaces like paved roads, a mountain bike wouldn’t be the best choice.
Hybrid Bike Average Speed: 12-18 mph
As you’ll probably guess from the name, a hybrid bike is a combination of both a road bike & a mountain bike.
Hybrid bikes sport broader tires than road bikes. Just like on mountain bikes, broader tires means more friction but also more stability.
But hybrid bike tires aren’t as broad or coarse so they slow you down as much as mountain bike tires.
But they can definitely go faster than a mountain bike. The average cyclist can ride at about 12-18 mph.
Since a hybrid bike offers you a more comfortable upright position while riding, there will be less strain on your back and shoulders.
Another plus, hybrid bikes are suitable for both smooth and rough surfaces.
Touring Bike Average Speed: 11-15 mph
Touring bikes are specifically designed for long-distance bike touring.
A lot of people use touring bikes to travel for several days because they are comfortable, durable, and have room for your gear, food and water.
If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that these bikes are not built for speed.
Since it has to be strong to endure long-distance travel, touring bikes are mostly made of steel. While this provides stability, it’s also a lot heavier.
Combine that with the air resistance that comes with sitting upright, and you won’t be able to travel very fast.
Since people usually travel on the touring bike while carrying a load with them, it’s difficult to offer a specific speed average.
Your average speed may differ depending on your load.
Generally speaking, most people should be able to go between 11-15 mph. You can definitely go faster or slower than that, though.
Gravel Bike Average Speed: 15-16 mph
Gravel bikes combine the design of a road bike and wide tires that allow you to ride on a variety of rough surfaces.
As in the above examples, these wider tires provide better grip on uneven ground, which offers better balance.
But that balance comes at a cost. Having wide tires means more of their surface will contact the road, creating more friction, which makes it difficult to gain speed.
Also, most gravel bikes offer an upright posture. While upright riding positions tend to be more comfortable, it also increases air resistance.
So you have to put in more effort to ride fast. This is why their average speed is 15-16 mph.
But there’s no reason to only use upright posture on a gravel bike.
If you go with a more aerodynamic position, you’ll have less air resistance, and it’ll be easier to gain speed.
Road Bike Average Speed: 15-20 mph
Out of all the different types of bikes we’ve mentioned so far, road bikes are the most suitable for racing.
After all, they’re lightweight and are designed to go as fast as a bike can go.
That’s if you’re racing on a flat surface of course.
Road bikes are made from light materials (think aluminum & carbon fiber) and the riding postures are quite aerodynamic.
The average cyclist can reach speeds of 15-20 mph on smooth flat surfaces.
Combine that with the narrow tires, and you’ll get less air resistance and more speed, although recent models have been getting equipped with wider tires.
At first glance, the riding posture that road bikes require of the rider might seem a bit awkward, but most cyclists get used to it.
Remember, professional cyclists use this type of bicycle and spend more time on them than anyone else.
So even though they’re not built for comfort, they are still quite ergonomic to ride.
But, if you have back problems and prefer an upright riding position, you should probably consider a hybrid, touring, or comfort bike.
What is a Good Average Speed on a Road Bike?
Obviously, most cyclists don’t expect to compete with the speeds that a pro cyclist can achieve.
A good average speed for a new and experienced cyclist is around 14-16 mph, though how long you could keep that speed up is a matter of physical conditioning, wind resistance, weather, terrain, etc.
What Is an Average Cycling Speed for a Beginner?
This may seem obvious, but your bike will go faster or slower depending on how hard and how long you can pedal.
If you ride regularly you will notice that you’re able to improve over time.
Usually, beginners don’t have that much stamina. If you’re not that physically fit, then you’re going to have a slower average speed.
So, expect to go at 10-14 mph on flat surfaces with minimal wind resistance.
Keep in mind that fitness isn’t just about muscles. Your weight plays an important role as well.
Naturally, the heavier you are, the longer it’ll take to build up your speed. So be aware of how much your weight might affect your cycling speed.
What Is a Good Bike Speed in MPH?
To be able to ride at a good speed, you need some experience.
On average, the more experienced cyclists tend to ride at 16-20 mph.
Professionals can surpass that rate, going at about 25-28 mph on flat surfaces.
Average Cycling Speed by Age
As you get older, your cycling abilities will increase then decrease.
After you hit your peak (around your mid-20s to mid-30s) you’re going to see a decline in your functional threshold power.
Functional threshold power, or FTP for short, refers to how much power you can sustain for an hour. As this power decreases, so will your average cycling speed.
The following table shows the average speed of cyclists at different ages
|Age||Average speed – mph|
|18 – 20||17 mph|
|20 – 25||19 mph|
|25 – 30||22 mph|
|30 – 35||21 mph|
|35 – 40||19 mph|
|40 – 45||18 mph|
|45 – 50||15 mph|
|50 – 55||14 mph|
|55 – 60||12 mph|
|60 – 65||11 mph|
How to Cycle Faster and Increase Your Average Speed?
Experience and time can turn you into a capable cyclist.
The more time you spend on the bike, the quicker you’ll be able to build the necessary stamina and muscle power to ride faster for longer amounts of time.
Aerodynamic Riding Posture
Going for a more aerodynamic posture will give you a significant boost in speed.
If you lower your body, bend your elbows, and lower your head between your shoulder blades, you’ll notice the difference right away.
With time you’ll be more comfortable with an aerodynamic posture.
The typical upright posture usually generates more air resistance, which can only slow you down.
Choose your route carefully. The speed you build when you’re riding on a straight, flat road will be different from when you ride up and down hills.
Flat roads can offer you a smoother ride, so you’ll have a better chance to gain more speed than when you ride on bumpy, rough roads.
At first glance, it may not seem that important, but being familiar with the road can impact your speed significantly.
Familiarity means confidence. The more confident you are, the faster you’ll ride.
So try to choose routes that you’re familiar with as much as possible.
Cycling Group Rides
If you’re a competitive person, having company while riding will encourage you to go faster.
Even if you’re not competitive, you’ll at least put in more effort to keep up with your friends.
When cycling, air resistance is usually your biggest obstacle. But by riding behind another cyclist, you won’t have to worry about it since they’ll be facing most of the resistance.
That way, you’ll be able to save a lot of energy. Usually, riders will take turns taking the lead.
Cycling any kind of bike is fun & exciting, but before you choose a bike based on its average speed, you need to keep in mind several other factors.
Your fitness level, weather, terrain, and type of bike all factor into your ability to sustain speeds for extended periods of time.
Finally, it’s important to determine what you need the bike for and what surfaces you will be riding it on before buying it.
If you enjoyed this article, go check out our article on What Size Bike Do I Need!
Happy Cycling! ????♀️