How Long Does it Take to Bike a Mile? Key Factors that Affect Time and How to Get Faster

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to bike a mile? This is an interesting question that many people wonder about. The internet is full of conflicting answers and opinions on the subject. There are no standard guidelines for biking a mile in any country around the world. So, we decided to create our guide!

In this blog post, you’ll learn all there is to know about biking a mile and how much time it takes for bikers of different skill levels and types of bikes. We will also go over what factors affect the time it takes to bike one mile, such as weather, road conditions, fitness level, type of bike, and gear. We will even discuss strategies on how someone can get faster at riding a mile!

So let’s jump straight into it:

How Long Does it Take to Bike a Mile?

The average time it takes to bike a mile is 3-4 minutes but the time still varies wildly depending on several factors. These include whether the road is flat or hilly, what your fitness level and conditioning are like, what the weather is like (rain or dry), and what gear you are wearing on your bicycle. You will also want to think about bike type (mountain bike vs. road bike). And how much experience you have with biking.

My absolute best times on a flat road with a proper road bike under the best conditions are between two and three minutes, averaging at about two and half minutes with a road bike. But those times aren’t realistic for everyone, so I compiled the average time from what I found and around our group. The results based on three different types of bikes we tested are:

  • Road Bike – 2:13 – 3 Minutes
  • Mountain Bike: 3:10 Minutes – 4 Minutes
  • Stationary Bike: 2:30s – 4 Minutes

Except for the stationary bike, the time to bike a mile is largely determined by the bike type(features) and road conditions.

The average speed of each different kind of bicycle was tested on flat ground with proper cycling gear, skill level, and fitness to know what times are realistic for you.

With that in mind, you can also expect your average mile times to be somewhere around 2-3 minutes on a flat road if you push as hard as you can. In contrast, a normal mile time will be somewhere around 4-6 minutes on a flat road.

Factors that Affect Your Speed

In this section, we’ll go over all the variables that affect your speed. Based on these factors, you’ll be able to analyze your biking routes to gauge how long it will take you to ride a mile. All factors add together and contribute to the time it will take you to complete a mile.

How does your Skill Level affect the time to ride a mile?

The more skilled you are, the faster you will be able to bike. An experienced rider can take corners with less slowing and braking than someone who is just learning how to bicycle.

In addition, their skills and experiences will allow them to gauge when to use different gears, which means they’ll shift up or down as needed for hills or headwinds, thus shortening the time to ride a mile on a bike. The more experienced they are, the more likely it is that they will have a different type of bike, such as a touring bike or mountain bike. These bikes allow for better mileage and speed.

In fact, some riders may actually switch from one to another depending on where and when they’re riding. As hard as it is to believe, new cyclists often automatically assume that they will get the same results from a mountain bike on flat pavement as they would with a road bike. That’s not true.

Similarly, a road bike won’t offer the same speed as a mountain bike on trail roads, as we’ll explain further below.

How does the Type of Bike affect the time to ride a mile?

The type of bike that you are riding also changes the speed at which you can go due to the bike’s design characteristics. This has an effect on how long it will take you to ride a mile. Below I’ll give you a

Road Bikes

Road bikes are the fastest, and pro cyclists can get up to 25 – 35 mph over a one-mile sprint. Road bikes can easily attain such speeds because they are lighter and allow the rider to take on an aerodynamic riding posture. This fact allows for higher speeds and a faster time to bike a mile.

So based on the average cycling speed, we can easily do the calculations to come up with the time a road bike can do a mile. At 25 mph average speed, a road bike will take about 2 minutes and 25 seconds.

Touring Bikes

Touring bikes are a close second when it comes to the speed and capabilities of the bike. Good touring bike riders have confirmed that they can reach speeds of up to 20-30 mph, which means that they can cover a mile almost as quickly as a road bike.

Doing the same calculations for the to bike a mile on a touring bike at an average of 20 mph, we’ll get a time of 3 minutes.

Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes will only reach about 18-20 miles per hour on level ground because it has more gears for uphill climbs and downhill descents than other types of bike. A mountain bike is often bulkier, which means that it has more weight. So it will take about 3 minutes and 20 seconds to bike a mile on a mountain bicycle.

Hybrid Bike

A hybrid cruiser bike is slowest as its gearing makes them less efficient at going faster than 15 mph. With speeds of 15 miles per hour, it would take roughly 4 minutes to complete a mile on a hybrid bike.

These calculations are simple and can be done using this calculator.

How does the Road Condition, Weather, and Terrain affect the time to ride a mile?

We can all agree that flat paved roads are much easier to bike on than rugged mountain terrain. If you bump into anything along the way, like mud, leaves, and falling branches, then your footsteps will take longer than if you were on a dirt or paved trail. So, it stands to reason that the type of road and condition affect how long it takes to complete one mile.

You’ll also have to consider the terrain of the route you are using to determine your time. For example, a downhill mountain trail might allow you to reach speeds that would normally only be possible on a flat paved road. 

Moreover, you could have a situation where your route consists of mostly downhill paved roads, which would improve your mile times. On these types of roads, you’ll have the advantage of gravity, and if you are lucky, the wind might also be on your side.

The reverse could also play out where your route is mostly hilly terrain with plenty of obstacles to maneuver around. In such cases, your mile times will inevitably be higher than they would on flat downhill roads.

The road condition, weather, and terrain play just as big a role as the type of bike you ride. 

To Sum it Up:

Road conditions: For an even ground with little interference, such as a paved road on flat terrain, you’ll see the fastest mile times.

Weather: The most obvious way weather influences how long it takes to bike a mile is the wind. If the gusts are against you, it will take more time to bike a mile, and if they’re with you, your mile times will be shorter.

Terrain: Hilly terrain or off-road trails means more resistance because of gravity and all the bumps and obstacles you might encounter.

How does Your Fitness level affect the time to ride a mile?

One factor that affects the bike speed and the time it takes to cover a mile is your fitness level. If you’re a novice rider, it’s going to take longer because of inexperience. In contrast, for someone with a good fitness level who is in great shape, your biking speed will be faster than someone less fit but with the same type of bike.

An out-of-shape cyclist can easily double or even triple their time when they increase their overall fitness levels. For example, an out-of-shape cyclist can bike for one hour at a speed of 12 miles per hour, while a fit cyclist could push their speeds up to 30 mph and maintain such speeds for a longer period. This will result in much faster mile times!

How does your cycling gear affect the time to ride a mile?

Clothing and equipment can influence the time taken to bike over a set distance.

For instance, pro racers don’t wear jeans and jackets like the rest of us might consider wearing when we go biking. Moreover, they tend to wear the correct gear, such as a good lightweight bike helmet instead of a bulky but stylish helmet.

This is because they want to be as aerodynamic as possible. They also wear a skin cycling suit that has been made specifically for bike racing, and that doesn’t weigh the rider down at all with pockets, zippers, or other features.

The equipment used by pro racers includes lightweight components on their bikes, such as carbon fiber wheels. They might also be wearing cycling shoes instead of regular non-cycling shoes.

Additionally, they’re not carrying anything on their bike. This means no water bottle holders or even saddlebags for any personal belongings like a phone and keys.

In contrast, the average person has a fully equipped bike with a bike basket, fat bulky tires, and maybe even an oversized seat cushion for maximum comfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to bike 3 miles?

Considering the average cyclist’s beginner speed for a road bike is 15 miles per hour, the average time to ride three miles on a road bike is about 12 minutes. These times could be dramatically improved or increased depending on the factors mentioned above.

How long does it take to bike 5 miles?

Using a road bike as the standard with the same average speed of 15 mph, the time to complete 5 miles would be 20 minutes.

How long does it take to bike 10 miles?

At 15 MPH on a road bike, the average cyclist would take 40 minutes to bike 10 miles.

How long does it take to bike 20 miles?

It would take about 1 hour and 20 minutes to complete a distance of 20 miles on a road bike, going an average of 15 MPH.

Is a 5-minute mile on a bike good?

Completing a mile in 5 minutes would mean that your average riding speed is about 12 MPH. A 12 MPH speed is considered a leisurely pace and wouldn’t be considered good if you are trying to compete or improve your mile times.

Is biking 5 miles in 30 minutes good?

Doing 5 miles in 30 minutes would require you to bike at an average speed of 10 MPH, which wouldn’t be considered good. 

Is biking 10 miles in 30 minutes good?

Completing 10 miles in 30 minutes is about on par with a pro cyclist’s average riding speed and can be considered very good. 

How Can You Improve your Time to Bike a Mile?

Improving your mile times is highly dependent on what factors are affecting your times to bike a mile. So before even considering what to do to improve your times, you’ll first need to assess all issues such as your fitness, type of bike, terrain, skill level, and cycling gear.

Once you’ve figured out your problems, solving them can either be done over time or with quick fixes like improving your fitness levels, changing bikes, or wearing the proper cycling gear.

Final Thoughts

The time it takes to ride a mile can be different depending on the type of road, the bike you use, and what you wear. It can also hang closely on your fitness and skills. As such, knowing how long it will take you to bike one mile isn’t something that anyone can easily determine.

However, you can judge based on the average times given throughout the article and gauge your performance with them. Do take note of the various factors that affect your speed and try to maintain a healthy pace as you seek to improve your cycling speed over a mile. 

Note: Consider everything from road conditions to the type of bike used when setting speeds for yourself.