How Long Does It Take To Bike A Mile? Things Every Cyclist Must Know

Whether you a recreational cyclist or daily commuter, if you are going for a ride one may ask how far would you go biking or how long will it take to bike one mile? Its a question asked by many but does not have a fixed answer as there are many factors that affect the final outcome.

But, that doesn’t mean that no answer or more accurately, answers to this question exist. We simply have to define all the relevant variables first such as road condition, health, bike type, terrain, etc.

So how long does it take to bike a mile? Again it varies for person to person and bike to bike but an average cyclist with an okay bike takes around 5 to 6 minutes to cover 1 mile.

In general, the average speed cycling is considered somewhere between 12 to 18 mph while most recreational riders average around 8 to 10 mph. So leisurely riding at 10 mph takes about 6 minutes to cover one mile, and 5 minutes to cover the same distance averaging at 12mph.

An experienced rider in good health would cover twice the distance at the same time. Again if you going on a steep uphill ride you may take twice the time to bike a mile.

So it all dive down to your speed, fitness, terrain, route, weather and bicycle type. In this article we will learn of average bike speed, how long it takes on avg to bike certain distance and factors influencing them.

What Is The Average Bike Speed

The average bike speed for most cyclist range somewhere between 12 to 18 mph. It determines how fast does a bicycle can go for a rider and how far will he or she can go.

From my own experience I can certainly say your average bike speeds depends more on yourself ( Your health, stamina, fitness, experience cycling etc ) than your bike ( type, gears ).

Simply put, recreational riders who generally rides across their neighborhood on weekends and holidays rides at 8 mph on average. But even a beginner commuter who just started a month ago averages at 10 mph and 12 to 14 mph after four to six month commuting.

Average riders with intermediate cycling skills average somewhere around 15-17 mph while for more experienced riders it’s somewhere in the range of 18-21 mph.

Experienced riders generally prefer to go as fast as possible while still maintains the maximum level of comfort. Professionals racers on other hand easy maintain 25 mph on average.

They achieve this by regular practice, working their leg muscles, and tuning their bike to get the maximum speed possible. You can too increase your average biking speed by making a few changes.

How Long Does It Take To Bike 2 Miles?

If you apply the above average for a mile it will take about 12 minutes to cover 2 miles. For most beginners it will not take more than 15 minutes and 10 minutes at minimum.

Experienced riders who maintains a speed above 20 mph will cover twice the distance in the same time. They usually cover 2 miles in the time of one and 4 miles in that of two.

How Long It Takes To Bike 3, 5, And 10 Miles?

A distance of 3, 5 and 10 miles is considered easy so most cyclist perform the same as they do for one mile. If we apply the above average of 10 mph for one mile, a cyclist should take 18 minutes to cover 3 miles.

At the same speed he or she will took 30 minutes for 5 and an hour for 10 mile ride. Remember 10 mph is the lowest average speed of all cyclist but most averages about 12 to 14 mph.

This means if you are not in the slowest 40% you will take 12 minutes to bike 3 miles. Similarly biking 5 miles will take you 20-22 minutes and 40 to 45 minutes for a 10 mile ride.

If the odds are in favor like the wind direction, terrain, route and traffic you can easily narrow it down to 10, 18 and 30 minutes respectively. But since not all are made the same a few riders may find it hard to cover 10 miles, I would suggest them to take small breaks, slow down for a while but never give up.

Even with these conditions I expect you to cover 10 miles in 1 hr 30 minutes.

How Much Time For A 15 Mile Bike Ride?

For 15 miles or more it start to become hard to continue cycling for most beginners. So the above average for one mile won’t apply and need to go for a revised speed.

While it may be still doable you will struggle to maintain speed. The longer the distance the greater will be fatigue and if you are not into regular cycling, riding a bike this long will take you an hour or more than expected.

Unlike before when beginners and regular cyclist have different average speed the average speed for all cyclist range between 10 to 12 mph. This leads us to an average time of 1hr 30 minutes.

But personally, the average time for me to cover 15 miles is 1 hr 18 minutes and for my brother is 1 hr 23 minutes. So it’s never a fixed value but lies within a defined value.

How Much Time For A 30 Mile Bike Ride?

A distance of 30 miles is considered challenging for even regular cyclist with moderate experience. Biking 30 miles or more needs stamina, endurance and fitness both mentally and physically.

Cycling this long will require a few stops with at least one refreshment break. You won’t be able to maintain speed this far and thus even your own personal average will vary each time.

From my own experience cycling and what I see and learn, it can take between 3 to 4 hours to ride 30 miles with one small refreshment break in between.

I would advise a beginner to not try going that far on your first try. Only try if you are a regular cyclist or at least did a few training or test rides for a week on shorter rides.

Factors That Impact Your Biking Speed & Distance

There are many things that impact your biking speed and distance, too many to cover in full detail in any single article. However, these factors fall into 4 major categories; they are Physiological Factors, Psychological Factors, Environmental Factors, and Mechanical Factors.

Physiological Factors

Human bodies perform the same function as engines when it comes to biking. Your conditioning plays a vital role in deciding how much energy you can generate to ride it.

But, it’s not only your fitness level that makes the difference. There are many elements, some entirely beyond your control, that shape this statistic for you.

One important element is age. As we grow older, our bodies decline in numerous ways. For example, the ability to deliver oxygen to the muscles gets reduced, lessening the volume of blood flow. After 30, sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass, begins to slowly eat away at our strength at a fast pace.

The difference between physiological features in male and female bodies is another element. Women usually have less hemoglobin and less blood content in their bodies as compared to men. 

Additionally, men have the advantage of testosterone, which boosts their performance even further. On the other hand, women have to go through many hormonal changes, especially when they grow old and enter menopause. This impacts their ability to retain muscle mass largely.

Thus, women have a lower cardiovascular performance ceiling than men.

But there is one physiological factor over which you have influence, and it has the most considerable impact on your health. This factor forms your physical conditioning.

Eating right and exercising daily act as fuels to human bodies. They gear up the functionality and increase the durability of the living engine. Building new muscle and increasing overall strength is stuff you can do by working out according to your capacity. 

Weight is also significant, and having the right number across the weighing machine plays a crucial role.

Psychological Factors

Perception and skill are the two considerations that are crucial in deciding the mind’s impact on the cyclist’s performance.

The wrong perception can make you cut back on your work before you have arrived at your pinnacle. You can get unsettled from the very sight of a slope ahead and slow down preemptively. Focusing on the difficulties and challenges can extend the torment and inconvenience in your psyche.

You can always distract your mind and make it work in unimaginable ways. This impact has been demonstrated by utilizing a fascinating technique: music.

A cyclist who rides while tuning in to relentless music can ride faster and for a longer period without fail. The music occupies them from the inconvenience they would regularly feel.

Likewise, focusing on energy yield versus perceived effort has proven helpful to many. For instance, when riding up a slope, it is possible to keep up a similar energy yield as when riding on level ground.

You will be going slower, but you won’t really be working harder. Seeing your numbers on a tracker gives objectivity and the inspiration to proceed.

Skills come from learning all the little tricks that no one but the experience can teach. What is the most comfortable position on your bike? How far forward should you lean?

Skillful riders automatically fall into their ideal position, elbows tucked in, body forward to reduce drag. They instinctively realize how to change their rhythm to best match a situation and utilize the environment to their potential benefit.

Environmental Factors

The environment you’re cycling in also influences the way your body functions and performs. The fundamental forces of the physical world are the ultimate arbiters of what helps and what does not.

The best speeds will be obtained on flat, even paths. As the way becomes more uneven, rocky, or sandy, speed decreases. So always take up sandy or dusty roads as your last option left.

Similarly, riding uphill reduces your speed. An incline as little as 4% can result in a 75% reduction in speed, and it only gets worse the steeper it becomes.

If you’ve ever tried riding into a headwind, you understand that nature can impose a pretty brutal speed limit. The same is true for rain, snow, and ice.

Your pace will get slower in such conditions, as it’s the only safe way to proceed.

The temperature matters, too. Cycling in the cold generally includes wearing bulkier clothing that will build drag. Alternately, in warmer climates, you can wear the most streamlined attire. Furthermore, hot air is less thick, so drag is decreased when it’s hotter. 

Eventually, powers, for example, drag, force, and gravity, are what truly decide how the wide range of various elements sway your movement. 

Inclines and declines are a perfect example. Riding uphill is slower because it involves fighting against gravity in addition to battling wind resistance. Then again, going downhill is such a breeze since you work with gravity. 

Pumping the brakes drains off your kinetic energy and kills your momentum, slowing you down. While sometimes this is unavoidable, a cyclist who breaks less has higher, more predictable general speeds. It pays to work with the forces of the universe.

Bike Type
Average Biking Speed
How Many Miles Could It Travel?
Mountain Bike
10-11 mph
10-15 miles
Road Bike
15-19 mph
40-60 miles
Hybrid Bike
12-14 mph
20-25 miles
Cruisers
11-13 mph
10-15 miles
Custom Randonneur Bikes
14-18 mph
70-90 miles
Tour Bikes
14-16 mph
80-100 miles

Mechanical Factors

At last, there is the role of the bike itself. The maximum speed your bike can attain depends upon its type. 

There are all sorts of bicycles designed to meet specific demands. The three most common are road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrid bikes. 

The lightest and fastest type of bike is road bikes. They are usually made of aluminum or carbon fiber to limit frame weight and possess drop bar style handlebars to allow the rider to change posture to suit the situation.

Road bikes are intended to be ridden on flat, uniform surfaces, the best terrain for achieving consistent speed. Cyclists on these bikes will have the highest average speeds.

Mountain and hybrid bikes are not actually moderate, and they positively dominate road bikes in off-road conditions. However, they are made of heavier material to withstand the condition of rough riding and have wider profiles making them subject to more drag.

Apart from the bike type, the way you maintain it plays another very important role in your bike’s performance. 

A bike that is looked after will outperform one that is ignored. Luckily, bikes are fairly simple to maintain.

The tires and the chain are the two parts that need to have cared for the most.

Always keep your tires properly inflated. Check for any leaks before every ride.

Tread loss is another thing to check for. Bald tires can severely affect your bike’s performance. It would be best if you replaced tires with worn treads immediately.

As for chains, bent links or rust will inform you about their health. Since the lubricant on your chain captures all sorts of grit and debris as you ride, some dysfunction may not be possibly visible. 

You will know of any faults if you notice any extra friction while pedaling. Even dirty chains can lose more than 5% of the energy you put in, which will have a negative impact on your average bike speed.

Fastest Bike Time

You might be surprised to know but a few professionals really made us mope with their speed. In September 2018 Denise Mueller sets the record for fastest biking speed.

Clipping her bike to the back of a dragster driven by a racing driver she manege to get as fast as 184 mph as per the Guinness Book of World Records. In the same year, a man named Michael Broadwith set out the record for the fastest biker to ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

At an average speed of 21.1 miles an hour, he covered 507.511 miles in just 43 hours 25 minutes, and 13 seconds. The last record was of 44 hours 4 minutes and 19 seconds that stood for 17 years. You can read in detail about this in this article from Road.cc.

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