How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile on Average? – Let’s Count

Learn how long it takes to bike a mile, five miles, ten miles, and what factors influence your bike's speed from this guide!
Last updatedLast updated: September 13, 2021
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If you are a daily commuter or a recreational cyclist contemplating biking further distances like a mile, you must consider a few crucial factors to get it right. It is possible to bike longer distances, but how long does it take to bike a mile? There isn’t a fixed answer to this question. The time it takes to bike a mile varies from person to person because of variables like road condition, the type of bike, health and terrain.

An average cyclist with a perfectly okay bike takes about 5 to 6 minutes to cover a whole mile. The average cycling speed is considered to be between 12 and 18mph. If you are a recreational cyclist, you cycle at about 8 to 10 mph. So, if you bike leisurely at 10mph it will take you about 6 minutes to cover one mile. At 12mph, you will cover the distance in a matter of 5 minutes. After reading this article, you will be able to calculate the amount of time you can spend biking long distances of up to 10 miles.

Average bike speed and influencing factors

How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile on Average? - Let's Count

The average bike speed for most cyclists ranges between 12 and 18mph. It determines how far and fast a rider can go. The type of bike, rider’s health, stamina and biking experience are some of the most impactful variables that determine bike speed.

The average recreational rider who only cycles around his neighborhood to exercise or catch a breath of fresh air on weekends cycles at 8 to 10 miles per hour (mph). A daily commuter who bikes to work averages 10mph at the beginning, then goes up to 12 to 14mph with 4 or 6 months of cycling experience.

Riders with intermediate cycling skills bike at 15 to 17 mph while experienced riders go at 18 to 21 mph. Most experienced riders like to go as fast they can while still maintaining a high level of comfort.

Professional racers go as fast as 25 mph. Impressive huh! You have to put in the work to get there. You have to do regular practice, work your leg muscles and learn how to tune your bike to get the optimum speed.

So, what are the influencing factors that cause variations in time taken to bike a mile?

Fitness of the biker

Your overall body fitness will have a huge impact on how fast you cover a mile on your bike. If you are a beginner rider, you will strain a lot when covering longer distances, especially if you haven’t been physically active in a long while.

You can begin by taking things slow and steady then work harder to cover more ground. At first, you will get fatigued easily and your stamina will be affected gravely.

On the other hand, if you exercise regularly you will be able to cover a mile easily. This is because your muscles are strong enough to produce high energy output that is adequate to propel your bike faster when you pedal.

Terrain

You will have an easier time riding on flat tarmac compared to other terrains with obstacles like in the woods. A tough terrain with obstacles like sticky mud, slippery leaves, and fallen branches can be a tad hard to navigate. Therefore, you are likely to spend more time getting through.

The inclination of the terrain is another issue. Regardless of the terrain’s nature, you will finish a mile faster when cycling downhill than when going up the hill. You use little to zero energy cycling downhill because gravity is on your side. In fact, you are highly likely to be freewheeling.

When cycling uphill, you must expend more energy to constantly pedal the bike because you are going against gravity. This wears you out and makes you spend more time covering more ground.

Type of bike

Some experts Trusted Source Cycling: Uphill and Downhill Cycling is a complex sport in which competitors must contend with a variety of strategies employed by opponents as well as many environmental factors. www.sportsci.org argue that ‘type of bike’ has minimum impact on bike speed and the primary forces that a cyclist must overcome are gravity and air resistance. It does influence your speed and consequently, the time you take to bike a mile. There are different types of bikes with different capabilities on the market.

· Road bikes

How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile on Average? - Let's Count

Road bikes feature thin tires attached to an elegant frame, a short wheelbase and flat or drop handlebars. The bikes come in various sizes for all cyclists.

The top speed of a road bike is directly proportional to the comfort of the rider. It offers can go at an average speed of 17 to 18mph and can travel as far as 40 to 60 miles. Only go for a road bike if you are sure you have great handling skills and you’ll be comfortable using it.

Both heavy and light riders can use a road bike. The heavy riders are likely to outpace light riders on a flat road or on a downhill race. Steep ascents and descents may be the only challenge for them

There are mountain bikes made specifically for the rough terrain, and then there are road bikes, meant for use on flat surfaces. The tires of a bike affects its performance on different terrains. If you plan to ride on flat tarmac roads, then go for a bicycle with soft tires. Conversely, if you intend to ride on a murram road with inclines, go for a bicycle with knobby tires.

The number of gears on a bicycle also matters. If your bike has multiple gears, you will have an easier time navigating tough terrains.

According to most expert reviews, Eurobike is one of the best road bikes that money can buy. It features a 21-speed transmission system that makes it hold up well to complex road and weather conditions like slopes and top winds.

· BMX and Mountain bikes

How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile on Average? - Let's Count

These are the top favorites for most biking enthusiasts because of the comfort they offer. The bikes are all-arounders, you can use them for dirt races, ramp cycling, and street biking.

BMX and mountain bikes can cover up to 15 or 20 miles at an average speed of 10mph. Although they run slower than a road bike, they come with a wide range of equipment for climbing.

If you are looking for a bicycle that you can use to traverse tough terrains, check out the popular Vilano Blackjack 3.0. The bike is easy on different terrains, from pavements and paths to dirt roads and slopes. It is built to give you an easy time when overcoming obstacles on tough terrains.

Don’t get a BMX bike if you are a daily commuter looking to bike to work regularly. Their low seating position can get uncomfortable on long distances.

· Touring bicycles

How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile on Average? - Let's Count

This is the ultimate 2 wheeler for people who love to go on long biking trips. It features a vast frame and a robust structure ideal for carrying cargoes.

The bike can travel 30 to 60 miles at an impressive speed of 13 to 14 mph.

· Cruisers

How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile on Average? - Let's Count

This is one of the oldest bike type. Surprisingly, the bike is comfortable and convenient. It features a single gear, this it is ideal for unproblematic flat terrains. Most people ride it at the beach or when they are going shopping.

The bike has wide back seats and wheels. It also comes with upright handlebars that are ideal for scenery viewing. A cruiser can cover up to 15 miles at a whopping speed of 12 to 15mph.

· Folding bikes

How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile on Average? - Let's Count

These are a fantastic choice for on-the-road and tidy bikers. If storage space is an issue for you, this is your go-to bike choice. The bikes parts: the frame, handlebars, and tires can be hinged together to fit in a regular box.

You can easily carry this bike in your car, city bus, or on trains. Moreover, the bike can travel as far as 25 miles at 15 to 19 miles per hour.

Pro Tip: Ensure your bike is well serviced before you go biking long distances. Go to the gas station and put air in the tires, or even replace the tires if they are completely worn out, tighten the bike chain and clean it for longevity.

Biking skill- An experienced rider will obviously cover more ground faster than a beginner rider because they would know how to use the gears on their bike efficiently to navigate different terrains.

Experience also builds stamina. An experienced rider can maintain a high speed by managing the amount of energy they are expending when pedaling. A beginner would have trouble maintaining top speed on flat surfaces, and have a lot of trouble maneuvering mountain bike terrain.

Weather

This is also a very significant factor that will influence the average time you take to bike a mile. If the weather is windy, you will have an easier time as the wind will be propelling you to ride faster.

Wind can be your friend or foe. When you have a nice tailwind propelling you from behind, it is your friend. But, when you are riding against headwinds pushing against you, the wind is your enemy.

Rain can also affect how fast you ride. During the rainy season, the ground is wet, muddy and slippery. Riding becomes extra work on such conditions.

Gear and clothing

The equipment on your bike and the type of clothing you have on also has an influence on the time taken to ride over a specific distance. Professional bikers wear spandex and a helmet only to reduce their overall weight. The helmet is usually streamlined to offer a smooth ride against the wind. If you ride in a pair of jeans and a jacket, you will fall behind time as compared to someone in very lightweight clothing.

You should also try and minimize the amount of equipment on the bike. The equipment affects the overall weight of the bike, and the weightier the bike, the more energy you need to cycle. If you have your first aid kit, a bottle of water, and a tool kit, you’ll obviously be slower than a rider without any extra weight on their bike.

What’s more, bike gears are just as crucial as bike type. It is a proven Trusted Source This is Why You Are Cycling Slower in the Winter There is frequently much discussion as to why we cycle slower in winter than in summer. There are several reasons put forward for this often observed www.icebike.org fact that bikers who use their gearing on hills and flat surfaces optimally add about 50% to their average bike speed.

How long does it take to bike

From the points above, it is pretty clear that the time taken to bike a mile varies from one individual to another. However, it is possible to get an average amount of time that an average biker can spend riding a mile, 5 or 10.

One mile?

How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile on Average? - Let's Count

A beginner rider would spend 6 minutes covering a mile on a normal everyday ride. A beginner rider is anyone who can get on a bike and pedal comfortably. On a normal everyday ride, you are likely to bike at an average speed of 10mph. This is the perfect speed for a casual ride that allows you to enjoy the scenery around you.

If you are racing on a flat road, you are likely to cover a mile in 3 or 4 minutes. A flat road has no obstacles. Biking is a breeze on the flat surface. You are likely to be riding at a speed of 17 to 18mph.

If you are racing on a hill, you are likely to double the time to be 6 or 8 minutes. A beginner biker will struggle uphill at a very low speed compared to an experienced or professional biker.

If you are racing downhill, you will spend 1 minute or less covering an equal 1 mile. When racing downhill, the goal is usually to reach the bottom of the descent first. Bikers tend to move at flash speeds because they don’t use much energy. Gravity propels the racers downwards and if they are descending in the wind’s direction, they can even go as fast as 80 to 100mph.

Professional bikers take approximately 2.14 minutes to bike a mile. It is hard to gauge the speeds at which pro-road bikers ride at. They are highly skilled at making difficult maneuvers and fit enough to expend high energy outputs. Some experts estimate the average bike speed for a professional biker to be about 28mph on a flat surface. On a hilly terrain, they go at about 25mph.

Five miles?

How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile on Average? - Let's Count

If you apply the above average speed of 10mph for one mile, a beginner rider should take 30 minutes to cover 5 miles on a flat road, because they spend 6 minutes for every mile.

If racing on a flat road at 17 to 18mph, you are likely to cover 5 miles in 15 minutes. If you are racing uphill you are likely to spend double the time which is 30 minutes.

If you are racing downhill, you will spend 5 minutes only.

A professional biker who covers a mile in under 3 minutes can cover 5 miles in 11 minutes.

Ten miles?

How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile on Average? - Let's Count

If the average biking speed of 10mph is applied, a novice biker on a leisurely ride will take 1 hour to bike 10 miles on a flat road with zero obstacles. Remember 10mph is the lowest speed for any cyclist. It’s the speed at which anyone who picks up a bike and rides within their estate would be going at.

Most people ride at 12 to 14mph. therefore, if you are not among the slowest 40% of riders, you can cover 10 miles within 40 to 45 minutes.
If the variables are in your favor, like great terrain, wind direction, zero traffic, then you can even finish in 30minutes. Don’t push yourself though, especially if you are a beginner. You can take small breaks and slow down until you reach your goal.

If racing at a higher speed of 17 to 18 mph, then they are likely to do 10 miles in a matter of 30 minutes.

If racing downhill, a beginner biker can cover 10 miles in 10 minutes. If going uphill, they will spend double the time they spend on a flat road, which is 1 hour. Generally, if biking against the odds, a beginner should be able to cover 10 miles in 1hour and 30 minutes.

Professional bikers can do 10 miles in 22 minutes.

Final thoughts

Anyone who has watched a bike race on TV before, or cheered professional bikers by the road side as they pass at neck-breaking speeds has dreamt of biking long distances. Maybe you want to start biking to work, or you want to challenge your stamina. Before you get on your bike just how long does it take to bike a mile? From this article, it is apparent that there isn’t a real answer to that question. There are only estimates which we have provided, but they also vary enormously depending on a number of factors.

Take up the challenge and try the time yourself. Bike on different terrains and record the time you take to bike a mile. With some practice, you will find yourself setting time as your benchmark. Regardless of the time you take to bike a mile, ensure you make the most out of the experience.

References

1.
Cycling: Uphill and Downhill
Cycling is a complex sport in which competitors must contend with a variety of strategies employed by opponents as well as many environmental factors.
2.
This is Why You Are Cycling Slower in the Winter
There is frequently much discussion as to why we cycle slower in winter than in summer. There are several reasons put forward for this often observed
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