Your average cycling speed when you ride a bike once a week will significantly differ from when you ride daily. Also, the average cycling speed varies from one person to another due to several factors like age, fitness level, route conditions, etc.
So, the answer to the question – what’s the average cycling speed of a bike commuter is quite tricky. For instance, if you are still a beginner in bike commuting, your average speed may typically range between 10 and 14 mph. But if you exercise regularly and your endurance level is high, you may easily reach up to 18 mph.
And for professional bicyclists, they can easily ride at 25-28 mph on a paved road. Thus, for determining your average cycling speed, you need to consider certain aspects.
During my initial days of commuting to work, I rode at around 13 mph every day. That’s quite a reasonable speed for a person with a 9 to 5 job and who does not exercise regularly. But after some weeks of bicycling, I made it a point to exercise every morning to increase my fitness level.
Today, I can easily ride up to 18 mph without any feeling of fatigue. But of course, that depends upon the traffic too. On average, my speed drops by about 3-4 mph, depending upon the traffic condition. The clearer the road, the faster I can go. But anyway, let us get back to the average cycling speed and the associated factors.
Average cycling speed of a bike commuter
In a nutshell:
For most bike commuters, the average cycling speed is between 11-18 mph. So, your average speed may fall in this category as well, unless you’re a professional cyclist with athletic records. If your route is about 10 miles, you might take around 40-60 minutes.
This is not the limit, though. Keeping safety as the top priority, with daily commuting and some exercise, you can increase your average speed as well.
Let us consider some factors affecting your average speed:
This is the most crucial factor affecting not only your average cycling speed but everything related to your cycling experience. The higher your fitness level, the better, longer, and faster you can cycle.
If you are a beginner with average fitness, don’t worry! Your fitness and endurance level will increase once you start cycling regularly. However, for that to happen, you need to be consistent and patient.
Rome was not built in a day. But don’t give up and you’ll soon notice the changes. It is normal to get some fatigue, especially on the legs in the first 2 to 3 days. And this is when you are most tempted to quit.
But after a week or two, the pain will subside and even end. So, make sure to be consistent, and after weeks of regular cycling and training, you should see your average cycling speed increasing.
The route you take, and its condition is another factor that affects your cycling speed. You can easily reach up to 18 mph on a smooth paved road as a total beginner. However, that is quite challenging and risky on hilly roads or roads with lots of corners, traffic, or even rough and rocky terrain. There may also be times when you may be route may a slight downhill surface, which would allow you to cycle faster. So always bear in mind that your speed significantly decreases when you ride on an elevated road as compared to going downhill.
Also, in cities, your average speed is affected by different factors like the presence or absence of traffic jams, road signs, pedestrians, etc.
The type of bike you are riding
There are several types of bikes you could have, and each is designed for different purposes and terrain. Also, there are differences in each bike type that dictates the comfort, and speed. As such, you can expect your average cycling speed to differ greatly.
Additionally, the bike’s weight, geometry, and additional accessories also affect your average speed.
With that said, you can commute on any type of bike. But commuting on the right bike will not only increase your average speed but also improve your overall cycling experience.
You can opt for road bikes or hybrid bikes for your daily commute. These are the fastest type of bikes on paved roads. But, if your route involves hilly or rocky terrain, mountain bikes may be a better pick for you.
There isn’t much we can do about the weather. However, it is good to keep yourself informed as it is another factor that can affect your average speed. Especially when it comes to wind and the direction it is blowing.
So, while strong tailwinds may greatly help you in increasing your average cycling speed, headwinds are more likely to decrease your speed.
Is cycling to work a good idea?
Yes, cycling to work has several benefits. Whether you want to do it for fun, save money on gas, or become fitter, cycling is an excellent way of doing that.
Which bicycle is best for commuting?
This depends upon your route condition and terrain. If your route is paved and smooth, road bikes or hybrid bikes can be the best option. For rough terrain, you should opt for mountain bikes, and roads with gravel, a gravel bike would suit you perfectly.
What are some good exercises to increase fitness level?
While you are off-bike, you might want to do some exercises to improve your cycling. Some of the best off-bike exercises include Pilates, planks, yoga, Zumba, etc.
What should I wear to cycle to work?
Wear something light and airy. It is best to carry your office outfit in a backpack and get changed after you reach your workplace. Moreover, you should always wear proper cycling shoes and a helmet.
What is the reasonable distance to bike to work?
For a person with average fitness, about 5 to 10 miles each way is reasonable. If you want a more detailed breakdown, check out this article.
Depending on all the factors mentioned above, you can easily calculate your average cycling speed. If you are planning to start bike commuting and want to figure out how fast you can get to a destination, we suggest you take a test ride. This way, you can familiarize yourself with the route and also get an idea about your average speed depending upon the various factors.
We suggest you take this test ride on your off day so you won’t have to rush anything. Do not rush, but do not go too slow.