When I first started riding, I was terrified to go faster than 10 miles an hour, especially downhill. But with practice and hard work, my average speed increased, and now I can easily double that. Of course, everyone rides at a different pace, but you might be wondering, how long does it take to bike a mile on average? Let’s find out.
The typical club rider can ride a mile anywhere between 10 and 20 miles per hour. So it will take the average rider anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes to ride one mile. However, there are a number of variables that can affect the speed at which you ride.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how long it takes to bike a mile on average. Then, we’ll take a look at what the typical person can do and compare it to what the pros can do, too. We’ll also look at the factors that affect how long it takes you to bike a mile – you might be surprised at all the variables! Finally, we’ll also give you tips on improving your average speed. But first, let’s talk about why it’s important.
Why Is Your Average Speed Important?
There are a few reasons that you might want to know how long it takes to bike a mile. For example, if you’re going to be riding with friends, you might want to know your average speed for a mile so you know if you can keep up with them! On the other hand, if you’re going to be planning a ride, knowing your average speed will help you know how long it will take you. It also helps to know how long it takes to bike a mile when you want to get faster and improve your time.
How Long Does It Take To Bike A Mile On Average? (Key Stats)
If everyone rides at a different pace, how can you know how long it takes to ride a mile? Let’s look at some averages. The better your fitness level and the more experience you have, the faster you will likely be able to go!
How Long Does It Take To Bike A Mile Casually?
Where I live, most of the cycling club rides are around a C pace. This means if you’re riding on relatively flat terrain, you’ll be riding at a speed of 12 to 14 miles per hour. So you’ll be riding a mile at that speed in about 4 to 5 minutes.
This is a relaxed and social pace if you have relatively good fitness. You can chat, move around in the group, and enjoy the scenery. If you’re going out for an hour, you can fit in 12 to 14 miles without working too hard.
What Factors Influence How Much Time It Takes To Ride A Mile?
There are a number of factors that affect how long it takes to ride a mile.
Your physical fitness is a big factor in how fast you can ride a mile. If you’re very fit, you’ll likely be able to go much faster than if you’re just starting your fitness journey.
The type of terrain you are riding on also makes a big difference to your speed. For example, if you are riding very hilly roads, you’ll go much slower on the steep sections than you would on the flat sections. But, conversely, if you’re going downhill, you’ll gain extra speed and go faster!
Type of Bike
Your bike type makes a big difference in speed, too. If you are riding on roads, a heavy mountain bike with big fat tires will slow you down a lot. On the other hand, if you are trying to bomb down a downhill trail, a road bike will be almost impossible to manage – you’ll have to go slow and even walk. An aerodynamic bike is faster on flats than a general road bike. The fastest bike is the one best suited for the terrain you are riding on.
Weight makes a difference when you’re cycling. For example, a lighter bike and a lighter rider can get up a hill faster with the same power than a heavier bike with a heavier rider. But, on the other hand, being heavier helps you go downhill even faster!
Type of Tires
Did you know your tires affect speed? On a smooth road, thinner tires with a higher tire pressure (within reason) will be faster than fatter, heavier tires with a lower pressure. On the other hand, if you’re on gravel or dirt, wider tires will probably spin faster than skinny ones.
Clothing can slow you down if you aren’t dressed right! For example, a big flappy coat will catch the breeze like a parasail and slow you down when you’re trying to ride fast. On the other hand, if you are dressed too warmly, your heart rate will rise too quickly, and you’ll feel tired and sluggish, making you ride more slowly.
Wearing cycling clothes that are more aerodynamic and slim-fitted will allow the air to glide over you without slowing you down as much.
Weather can slow you down – or speed you up! Riding into a headwind will definitely slow down your average speed. You’ll be doing the same amount of work but riding along at a slower pace. If you have a tailwind, you’ll be riding easy but going fast!
You may need to slow down in the rain so you don’t slide out. However, a wet road rides slightly faster than a dry one.
Length of Your Ride
If you’re only riding one mile, you can go as hard as you can for the fastest speed you are capable of. But if you are riding much further – like a hundred miles – you’ll want to slow it down and go several miles per hour slower, so you don’t burn out and become too tired to finish your ride.
Bike Handling Skills
Bike handling skills also affect your average speed. If you need to slow down a lot to turn a corner safely, you’ll bring down your average speed over the course of a ride. Conversely, if you can improve your bike handling skills, you’ll be able to increase your average speed somewhat without having to physically work harder.
What Can I Do To Make My Bike Ride Faster?
Get more aero
An easy way to ride faster is to simply get more aerodynamic on your bike. But first, you can adjust your bike position. A flatter bike in a lower position is faster than an upright bike. This happens because the wind catches more of your body and slows you down.
You can also choose a more aerodynamic bike. This will allow you to move through the air more, rather than being slowed down by it. As we mentioned before, more aerodynamic clothing will also help you ride faster. Conversely, oversized, bulky clothes will get in the way and catch more wind, slowing you down.
Ride with faster friends
If you always ride with slow people, you probably aren’t going to get much faster. Instead, choose group rides or ride with friends that challenge you. You’ll be able to draft, learn to paceline, and pick up speed. Some of the best advice I ever heard was to pick a ride that is too hard for you and hang on for as long as you can. Then, the next time, try to hang on just a little bit longer. Over time, you’ll get faster and stronger and hopefully be able to last for the entire ride.
Train for it
There is no substitute for training and hard work. Doing prescribed workouts from a coach will help you to meet your goals. Workouts such as V02 max and sprint intervals can really improve your average speed. For me personally, taking up track cycling has drastically improved my average speed over the course of a mile.
Lastly, you need to practice your skills. Working on your balance, coordination, and turning at slow speeds will help you keep up your speed on the road. Try riding in a straight line for as slow of a speed as possible. Make figure 8s in a parking space, or try to ride around cones without hitting them. Slow practice will help you improve your average speed with improved bike handling skills.
How long does it take to e-bike a mile?
An e-bike doesn’t automatically make you a faster rider. Most e-bikes fall into class 1 e-bikes, which means they can offer pedal assist up to 20 mph. You still need to pedal the bike, but it will give you a power boost while you’re pedaling. The more e-bike power you use, the less distance it will go. At max speed on a flat road, the e-bike will assist you up to 20 mph, which means a 3-minute mile unless you can pedal the bike faster than it can assist you.
Class 2 and 3 e-bikes can go up to 28 mph with either the throttle or the pedal assist. In some places, these types of bikes aren’t allowed. However, if you ride one, you can go up to 28mph, meaning it will take you a little over 2 minutes to ride a mile.
The bikes stop assisting you at 20 and 28 mph, respectively, so if you want to go faster than that speed, you’ll have to do it with your own power, not the bike’s.
Factors That Affect The Speed Of A Bike
There are a few factors that will affect your bike’s speed, as well.
First of all, the types of gearing that you have on the bike will determine if you can go faster or not. The harder the gear, the more it will turn the wheel of the bike – but you have to be strong enough to push it.
Also, an aerodynamic bike will probably be much faster than a lightweight bike unless you are trying to fly up a mountain!
A bike that is in good working order will be faster as well. Make sure your chain is cleaned and lubricated (dirty chains will slow you down!) and that your bike shifts and breaks smoothly.
Final Thoughts on How Long Does It Take to Ride a Mile?
Whatever speed you can ride for one mile on your bike is the right speed for you! It’s ok if your average speed isn’t as fast as someone else’s or if theirs isn’t as fast as yours. Over time, with training, practice, and well-maintained gear, you can get faster and increase your speed per mile.
What is the fastest 1-mile time on a bike?
The world record for the fastest time on a bike was set in 2018 by Denise Mueller-Korenek. She rode a customized bike at a tremendous speed of 183.9 miles per hour.
What is a good pace per mile for cycling?
A good cycling pace per mile is about 17 to 19 miles per hour. But, of course, you’ve got to have good fitness to go this fast, and probably a good bike, too!
How Long Does it Take a Beginner to Ride a Mile?
It takes a beginner around 10 minutes to bike a mile, but the more fit you are, the faster you will go.
Is a 5-Minute Mile on a Bike Good?
A five-minute mile is roughly 12 miles per hour. This is a good beginner pace. However, you’ll probably get faster if you keep working at it!
How many miles do I have to bike a day to lose weight?
I’ve always heard it takes cycling about a hundred miles a week to lose weight. Or, better yet, break it up into 20 miles a day for five days of the week with two days of rest in between.