Road biking is a popular and exciting way to stay fit and explore new territories. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or just starting out, understanding your average road bike speed can help you track your progress and set achievable goals. But what exactly is considered an average speed on a road bike?
In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the factors that influence road bike speed and discuss how you can improve your performance. We’ll also explore the different types of road bikes available and how they can affect your average speed.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of average road bike speed. The speed at which you ride will depend on a variety of factors, including your fitness level, the terrain you’re riding on, the type of road bike you’re using, and even the weather conditions.
For most cyclists, a comfortable and sustainable average speed on a road bike is around 15-20 miles per hour. However, this number can vary widely depending on the individual rider and the conditions they’re facing.
One of the most important factors that can influence your road bike speed is your level of fitness. If you’re just starting out, you may find that your average speed is lower than you’d like, but with consistent training and practice, you can steadily increase your speed over time.
Another key factor that can impact your average road bike speed is the terrain you’re riding on. If you’re riding on a flat, smooth road with no wind or hills, you’ll likely be able to ride at a faster speed than if you’re facing steep inclines or strong headwinds.
The type of road bike you’re using can also play a role in your average speed. There are a variety of different road bike styles available, each with their own unique features and benefits. For example, a lightweight racing bike may be faster than a more heavy-duty touring bike, but it may also be less comfortable to ride for extended periods of time.
In addition to these factors, there are a variety of other considerations that can affect your average road bike speed. For example, the clothes and gear you wear can impact your aerodynamics and reduce wind resistance, which can help you ride faster. The tire pressure on your bike can also make a difference, as properly inflated tires can provide better traction and reduce rolling resistance.
Ultimately, there’s no magic formula for achieving the perfect average road bike speed. It will depend on your individual goals, fitness level, and the conditions you’re riding in. However, by focusing on consistent training, proper equipment, and smart riding strategies, you can steadily improve your performance and achieve the speed and distance goals you’ve set for yourself.
In the rest of this review, we’ll explore these topics in more depth, discussing specific tips and strategies for improving your road bike speed and enjoying a safer and more comfortable ride. We’ll also look at some of the latest innovations and trends in road biking, including new technologies and equipment that can help you go faster and farther than ever before.
Whether you’re a casual rider looking to get more exercise or a serious cyclist looking to compete in races, understanding your average road bike speed is an important step toward achieving your goals. By learning more about the factors that influence your speed and focusing on the right training and equipment, you can improve your performance and enjoy all the benefits that road biking has to offer. So let’s dive in and explore the world of road biking and all the exciting possibilities it has to offer!
What is the Average Road Bike Speed?
If you are new to biking, you may be wondering what the average speed of a road bike is. You may also be wondering if you are considered fast or not fast enough.
To find out your cycling speed (if you don’t already know), we recommend using a smartwatch with GPS or, even better, a cycle computer. These devices are excellent for showing you not only your distance traveled over time, average speed, and distance climbed, but also the calories burned (but don’t trust the estimated calories 100%).
The Importance of RoutesThe route is one of the main factors that determine the speed of travel. But it is more than just the distance or the name of the road or street.
Stop Signs Slow You Down.
We especially like routes that cross a lot of roads. Therefore, the first five kilometers are half of the rest time.
No matter how fast you drive, it is never safe to average more than 10 km/h. Remember that each time you run this route, the number of kilometers recorded will be much lower than the average you achieved during the trip.
It is important to know that some plotters and computers have the ability to stop tracking when the speed drops below a set speed. In that case, the average will be closer to what you expected, but will no longer represent the “true” average speed.
Hilly And Plain Areas Will Change The Route Measurements.
I grew up riding my bike in Kentucky. That meant lots of up and down hills, and I remember the thrill of going 40 mph for the first time when I was 10 years old, but I also remember the terror of riding up that hill at 3 mph.
This means I averaged 20 mph up the hill, but it doesn’t give you the whole picture; with tools like Strava, you can see how fast you went up and down each hill. But what I like most about riding is always measuring top speed.
Riding Farther Requires More Effort.
Not all averages are equal. As a general rule, the longer you ride, the slower you will go. It is easier to average 20 mph for one minute than it is to average 20 mph for one hour. So even if you are a little slower on a long ride, you can still be proud that you put in more effort.
I am more of a sprinter than an endurance runner. So I pay more attention to my short-distance averages than my long-distance averages.
Slow Down Near People
Riding on popular streets means you have to watch out for walkers, pets, other cyclists, and incredibly unpredictable small children. Sometimes it’s easy to avoid them by ringing a bell or yelling to let them know which way you’re going. People are usually very friendly and will help you on your way. Don’t forget to thank them as you pass by.
There are also times when you have to stop because a group of people are occupying the road or you have to wait for oncoming traffic to make a detour. When passing, always use a safe speed. I try not to exceed the other person’s speed by more than 10 mph. This gives both parties enough time to react.
More Cars Slow Down (sometimes).
Riding on the road is very different than riding on the street. Especially when there are no real bike lanes. Call me a competitive cyclist, but I always tend to ride as fast as I can when there is a car behind me. I guess I don’t like being slowed down or going around them.
When that happens, I am usually on a road where the speed limit is about 25 mph. So I can manage for a little while, but soon I run out of steam and have to stop and rest. At the very least, make sure you keep your distance and obey the rules of the road.
Sometimes You Have To Slow Down On Curves.
As you gain experience, you will learn to lean into corners and take them quickly. Nevertheless, even professionals have to brake to take some corners safely. The more corners on your route, and the tighter they are, the more you will need to slow down.
Weather Conditions Can Also Play A Role.
Weather is more than rough and tumble; the same elements can speed up or slow down depending on the combination.
Temperature Has Its Weaknesses.
Not surprisingly, you can always perform better when it is neither too hot nor too cold. It takes a lot of energy to warm up and cool down.
If it is too cold, gloves can help, but you do not want to go so fast that your hands get cold. If it is too hot, you don’t want to go too fast and overheat, but if you slow down too much you will not be cooled by the wind.
The best temperature for a ride is 70°F to 85°F, but this can vary depending on other factors.
In the Midwest and South, it is common to ride outside at 85°F and 95% relative humidity. It is never hot, but you will expend a lot of energy sweating to try to cool off. Personally, I think the air is thicker, but I don’t know if that really slows me down.
If you are traveling in the Rocky Mountains to the west, the humidity is so low that your sweat evaporates and you cool off before you even realize you are sweating. So a temperature of 100°F and a relative humidity of 20% doesn’t seem so bad. It is really hot, but it cools you down more effectively.
Cloudy Or Sunny: Bad Or Good
Clouds when it’s hot and sunshine, when it’s cold, are life savers. We perform better when it is warm, not hot or cold.
If it looks like it’s going to be a warm day, but the forecast is also cloudy, then surely we can speed things up. And if it’s cold and cloudy, remember that speed isn’t everything.
Rain And Dust Can Make A Difference.
While it is nice to get a little rain on a long summer ride, there is a good chance that your speed will be reduced during that time. Visibility is reduced and grip on roads and trails is reduced, so you must always drive safely and slow down a bit. Both are bad, but in crowded conditions, dusty roads are probably worse than wet roads. With the dust and sand in the air, there is only so much goggles can do to protect your eyes.
Take the wind on your back (or face).
I have been on several rides where it felt like there was a constant headwind and the average speed was the same. Also, if I ride downhill, I can get up to 20 mph without too much difficulty.
You can use online tools like Windy.com or simply look up the wind forecast to plan your outing. But I don’t often work that hard. I like unexpected challenges and assistance.
Equipped For Pace
It’s night and day between a rusty old bike and a beautiful new carbon fiber bike, but there are more subtle factors that make the difference between the two.
Attitude = Speed.
This may not be part of the bike’s equipment, but it can have a huge impact on speed. I have noticed that I lose about 3 mph in speed when I ride leaning forward versus sitting upright.
Not only is there less air resistance when leaning forward, but it is easier to put more force on the pedals. There is also a psychological effect as you feel more powerful when leaning forward.
Computers Affect You.
This may seem a little counterintuitive, but depending on your riding style, your speed can increase or decrease with or without a computer. I find that I tend to slow down if I don’t pay attention to my speed, but I may be putting in more effort than I am capable of. I use the computer as a way to keep my effort constant or at least be aware that I am slowing down.
Take Care Of Your Tires To Maintain Speed.
You should always check your tire pressure before you ride. If you are not sure how often or how much to check tire pressure, please refer to the following two articles. How often to check tire pressure” and “How much tire pressure should I use for my road bike tires?
When tire pressure is low, tires absorb energy and convert it into heat. This causes a reduction in speed and tires to wear out faster.
Also, if the tires are noisy, speed is reduced. This is because they absorb the energy of pedaling and turn it into sound instead of movement. Smooth tires don’t bother me as much, but hybrid or knobby tires provide excellent grip, but not speed.
Clothing Catches The Wind.
If you are going to ride quietly for 30 minutes or so, don’t worry about your clothing as long as it is comfortable and doesn’t start to chafe. For longer rides, you will need to be a little more careful with your clothing.
For rides of 45 minutes or less, I wear typical workout clothes. Since it is not a long ride, I don’t worry about the wind, lack of padding, etc.
If you are going to ride for more than an hour, make sure your clothes are the right size and fit your skin. That way, you won’t get wind in your sails and lose speed. You should also invest in riding shorts and make sure they have padding to protect your abdominal bones.
If you are not familiar with cycling shorts or jerseys, here is a link to Amazon.
Lighter Bikes (and Equipment) Make Things Easier
The lighter your bike is, the less energy you need to speed up or climb a hill. We discuss why bike weight matters (or doesn’t matter) and what to do about it in more detail in our article on road bike weight.
So, switching from a heavier bike to a lighter bike will probably increase your speed. However, it is important to note that aerodynamics will always play a much larger role in your speed.
Fortunately, most road bikes, regardless of price, are between 17 and 23 pounds. Very expensive bikes are much lighter by comparison, but none of them need to be “heavy”. Incredibly expensive bikes can drop down to 15 pounds, but such weight savings are only useful if you are a professional.
For reference, a mountain bike can weigh as much as 30 pounds with nothing on it. My road bike is a Trek 1.2, which is mid-range in price and weighs about 25 pounds with all my gear on it. If you are wondering what kind of gear I use, see the “Gear Recommendations” page.
Bearing And Chain Maintenance Keeps You Fast
If the equipment that keeps your bike running is dirty or starting to wear out, it can add resistance and slow you down. Even if you have the most aerodynamic bike and equipment in the world, a rusty chain will slow you down. To prolong the life of your bike and enjoy riding for years to come, it is essential to maintain your equipment.
Chain care is very simple. Simply wipe the chain and gears with an old cloth and reapply Amazon’s WD-40 chain lube. You can also opt for the more sophisticated option of Park Tool chain cleaner.
Gearing Is More Important Than You Think!
We tend to pedal at a constant speed, called cadence, regardless of gear. In other words, simply going up one gear can increase your speed with minimal effort.
This makes a lot of sense, but it is less effective. If you shift into a gear that is too high, your legs will not be able to supply enough power and you will lose speed. To learn more about how to choose the best gear for your ride, please see this article, “When to Change Gears When Cycling.
How Can I Increase My Cycling Average Speed?
There are several ways to increase your cycling average speed:
- Train regularly: Consistent training is key to improving your cycling speed. Gradually increase the distance and intensity of your rides, and make sure to include a variety of training types, such as endurance rides, intervals, hill repeats, and tempo rides.
- Improve your technique: Focus on your pedaling technique and body position to optimize your efficiency and power output. Practice spinning at a high cadence, using proper gearing, and maintaining a steady pace.
- Optimize your bike setup: Make sure your bike is properly fitted to your body, with the saddle at the correct height and angle, and the handlebars at the right position. Make sure your bike is in good working condition and well-maintained, with properly inflated tires and a clean and lubricated chain.
- Use aerodynamic equipment: Consider using aerodynamic equipment, such as an aero helmet, wheels, and frame, to reduce wind resistance and improve your speed.
- Train with a group: Riding with a group can help to push you to ride faster and improve your endurance. Drafting behind other riders can also help to reduce wind resistance and make it easier to maintain a faster pace.
- Improve your nutrition: Proper nutrition and hydration are essential for optimal cycling performance. Make sure to eat a balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrates and protein, and stay hydrated before, during, and after your rides.
Remember, improving your cycling average speed takes time and consistent effort. Be patient, stay motivated, and enjoy the process of getting stronger and faster on your bike.
Is 20 Mph Fast On A Road Bike?
Whether 20 mph is considered fast on a road bike depends on a few different factors, such as the rider’s fitness level and the terrain they’re riding on.
For some cyclists, 20 mph may be a comfortable and sustainable pace on flat, smooth roads with little wind resistance. However, for others, 20 mph may be a very challenging speed to maintain, especially if they’re riding uphill or facing strong headwinds.
That being said, in general, 20 mph is considered to be a respectable and fairly fast average speed on a road bike for most recreational and amateur cyclists. This speed is often seen as a milestone for many riders, as it requires a certain level of fitness and skill to achieve.
For more experienced and competitive cyclists, speeds of 25-30 mph or higher may be more typical during races or time trials, but these speeds require a very high level of fitness, training, and specialized equipment.
Ultimately, the question of whether 20 mph is fast on a road bike is relative and depends on the individual rider’s goals and abilities. However, for many cyclists, 20 mph represents a significant achievement and a benchmark of progress in their cycling journey.
Is 17 Mph A Good Cycling Speed?
The average cycling speed for recreational cyclists on flat terrain is around 10-15 mph, while experienced cyclists can typically ride at speeds between 20-25 mph or higher.
Therefore, a cycling speed of 17 mph can be considered a good speed, especially for those who are relatively new to cycling or those who are not training for competitive events.
However, it’s important to note that cycling speed can vary depending on several factors, such as terrain, wind conditions, altitude, the type of bike, and the rider’s fitness level. So, what may be considered a good speed for one cyclist may not necessarily be the same for another.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to enjoy the ride and focus on personal improvement, rather than comparing yourself to others.
Can You Go 45 Mph On A Bike?
While it is technically possible to reach speeds of 45 mph on a bike, it is generally not a sustainable or safe speed for most cyclists.
To reach such high speeds on a bike, you would need to have a very high level of fitness, advanced cycling skills, and specialized equipment designed for speed, such as a racing bike with aerodynamic features. Even with these factors in place, maintaining a speed of 45 mph for any significant distance would be incredibly challenging and potentially dangerous.
In addition to the physical challenges of reaching such high speeds on a bike, there are also safety concerns to consider. Riding at such high speeds increases the risk of accidents and injuries, as well as reduces the amount of time a cyclist has to react to unexpected obstacles or hazards.
For these reasons, it is generally not recommended for most cyclists to attempt to ride at speeds of 45 mph or higher on a bike. Instead, it is important to prioritize safety and focus on building endurance, strength, and speed in a gradual and sustainable manner, under safe and controlled conditions.
How Fast Do Tour De France Riders Go?
Tour de France riders are some of the fastest and most skilled cyclists in the world, and they can achieve speeds that are truly impressive.
On flat stages with favorable wind conditions, riders can maintain speeds of around 25-30 mph on average. However, during sprints and attacks, they can reach speeds of up to 40-45 mph or more for short bursts.
On mountain stages, riders naturally go slower due to the steep inclines, with average speeds ranging from 10-20 mph depending on the gradient of the climb.
It’s worth noting that these speeds can vary depending on various factors, such as the terrain, weather conditions, and the stage’s length and difficulty. Additionally, riders can experience high speeds during descents, reaching speeds of up to 60-70 mph on some occasions.
In summary, Tour de France riders can reach average speeds of around 25-30 mph on flat stages, and during sprints and attacks, they can reach speeds of up to 40-45 mph or more.
What Is A Good Road Bike Pace?
A good road bike pace is one that is sustainable for the individual rider and allows them to enjoy their ride while still challenging themselves. There are a few factors that can affect what is considered a good pace, such as the rider’s fitness level, the terrain they’re riding on, and whether they’re riding solo or in a group.
For recreational and amateur cyclists, a good pace on a road bike is typically in the range of 15-20 mph on flat, smooth roads with little wind resistance. This pace allows for a challenging workout while still being comfortable and sustainable for most riders.
For more experienced and competitive cyclists, a good pace may be higher, with speeds of 20-25 mph or higher being more typical. However, it’s important to note that these speeds are often only sustainable for short distances or during races or time trials.
When riding in a group, a good pace may be slightly faster than when riding solo, as drafting behind other riders can reduce wind resistance and make it easier to maintain a faster speed. However, it’s important to ride responsibly and avoid drafting too closely or unsafely.
Ultimately, what is considered a good road bike pace varies depending on the individual rider’s goals, abilities, and preferences. It’s important to focus on enjoying the ride and challenging oneself at a pace that is safe and sustainable.
Should Cyclists Shave Pubes?
The decision to shave pubic hair is a personal choice for cyclists and is not a requirement for cycling performance or safety. Some cyclists choose to shave their pubic hair for a variety of reasons, such as reducing friction and chafing, improving hygiene, or simply for personal preference.
Shaving pubic hair can help to reduce friction and irritation, especially for long-distance rides or for riders who sweat heavily. This can also make it easier to clean and maintain hygiene in the genital area. Additionally, some riders may feel more comfortable or confident without pubic hair.
However, it’s important to note that shaving pubic hair can also come with some potential downsides, such as an increased risk of ingrown hairs or infections. It can also require more frequent maintenance and care to prevent irritation or discomfort.
Ultimately, whether or not to shave pubic hair is a personal decision for cyclists to make based on their individual preferences and needs. If a cyclist is considering shaving, it’s important to research best practices for hair removal and to take appropriate precautions to prevent irritation or injury.
How Long Does It Take To Bike 20 Miles?
The time it takes to bike 20 miles can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the rider’s fitness level, the terrain, weather conditions, and the type of bike they are using.
On average, a moderately fit cyclist riding on flat terrain can expect to cover 20 miles in about 1 hour or less. This would require maintaining an average speed of around 20 mph, which is a decent pace for most recreational cyclists.
However, for less experienced or less fit riders, the time it takes to bike 20 miles could be longer, perhaps around 1.5 to 2 hours or more, depending on their level of exertion and the terrain they are riding on.
If the terrain is hilly or includes some steep climbs, it could take even longer to complete the 20 miles, as the effort required to pedal uphill can significantly slow down the average speed.
Ultimately, the time it takes to bike 20 miles depends on the individual cyclist and the conditions they are facing.
Is A 50-Mile Bike Ride Hard?
Whether a 50-mile bike ride is hard or not depends on the individual rider’s fitness level and experience. For some cyclists who regularly ride long distances, a 50-mile ride may be considered a moderate or easy challenge. However, for others who are less experienced or have lower fitness levels, a 50-mile ride can be very difficult and challenging.
Generally speaking, a 50-mile bike ride is considered a significant distance and requires a certain level of fitness and endurance to complete. It can take several hours to complete, depending on the rider’s speed and the terrain they’re riding on. Riders should also take into consideration factors such as weather conditions, elevation changes, and road conditions when planning a 50-mile ride.
For less experienced or novice riders, it’s important to build up to longer rides gradually and to prioritize safety and comfort over speed or distance. Starting with shorter rides and gradually increasing the distance over time can help riders build up the necessary endurance and fitness to complete a 50-mile ride.
Overall, whether a 50-mile bike ride is hard or not depends on the individual rider’s fitness level, experience, and the conditions of the ride. With proper training and preparation, many cyclists can successfully complete a 50-mile ride and feel a sense of accomplishment in doing so.
Can You Bike 10 Miles In 30 Minutes?
Biking 10 miles in 30 minutes is quite a challenging feat, as it requires an average speed of 20 miles per hour. Achieving such a high speed requires a lot of effort, skill, and favorable conditions such as riding on flat terrain with no wind resistance.
It’s worth noting that even professional cyclists do not maintain an average speed of 20 mph over long distances, and they usually ride at such high speeds only for short periods during sprints or attacks.
For most recreational cyclists, maintaining an average speed of 20 mph for 10 miles would be quite difficult, if not impossible. A more realistic average speed for moderately fit recreational cyclists on flat terrain is around 15-18 mph, which would mean completing 10 miles in around 33-40 minutes.
In conclusion, the average road bike speed can vary depending on several factors such as the rider’s fitness level, the terrain, wind conditions, and the type of bike. However, on average, a recreational cyclist can ride at speeds of 10-18 mph, while a more experienced and trained cyclist can achieve speeds of 20-28 mph or higher. To improve your cycling speed, consistent training, proper technique, bike setup, aerodynamic equipment, group training, and good nutrition are essential. By incorporating these elements and gradually building up your endurance and fitness, you can increase your average road bike speed over time.