If you discovered a love for biking just like 47.5 million Americans, you’re probably wondering “How long does it take to bike a mile?” Considering the average speed on a bike is 17 to 18 miles per hour, the average time it takes for someone to ride a mile on a bike is around 6 minutes.
On average, intermediate riders can bike a mile on level roads in 3 to 4 minutes, while professional bikers can do this in around 2 minutes.
However, this is not the same for everyone. Multiple factors can affect the answer to the question, “How long does it take to bike a mile?”
- Factors That Impact How It Takes to Bike a Mile
- Tips To Get Faster on a Bike
- Final Thoughts
Factors That Impact How It Takes to Bike a Mile
Here are the critical factors determining how long it takes to bike a mile.
The most obvious factor is the terrain in answering, “How long does it take to bike a mile?” A downhill bike path will take a lot less time than a climb.
Aside from that, some roads are also smoother than others. For example, biking on an asphalt road will be faster than biking on gravel.
This difference is because the stones and uneven ground surface will impact the bike’s speed and movement, thus affecting a person’s ability to maintain a steady pace.
Unless your bike is made specifically for rough terrain and you’re a skilled biker, it’s challenging to minimize the impact of landscape on speed.
The Skill of the Biker
The more skilled and experienced someone is, the less time it will take to bike a mile. This advantage is because experts have a lot of experience maintaining their pace.
Biking doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Biking requires a lot of practice and dedication, especially if you want to master it. That’s why novice bikers should expect to take a longer time to bike a mile.
Fitness of the Biker
A fit biker will usually bike faster when compared to someone who is not physically fit. This general trend is because fit bikers have more energy and can sustain a faster and steadier pace.
If someone is physically unfit, biking will tire them out quickly, making it challenging to maintain their speed.
Bikes also affect how long it takes to bike a mile. This factor is because bikes come in different shapes and sizes.
Even within the same brand, different models have variable speeds, weight, and accessories. The unique characteristics of each bike can change how long it takes to bike a mile.
Here’s what you need to know about how each bike type affects how long it takes to bike a mile.
This option is the easiest and most popular form of bicycle to bike. It is lightweight and sturdy. Road bikes have a frame and fork of either aluminum or steel, typically going 17 to 18 miles per hour on average.
Touring bikes are heavier and designed for use on various surfaces. The frame and wheels are also sturdier than road bikes, with a large frame triangle that supports its structure.
Most of them also have a suspension that gives a smoother ride, and it goes 13 to 14 miles per hour on average.
This type is a hybrid bike that can be folded or unfolded. Folding bikes are heavier and are great for beginner and intermediate riders. Folding bikes are also cheaper than the other types. It usually goes 10 to 12 miles per hour.
This bicycle is designed to make off-road cycling easier. Mountain bikes have many similarities with other types of bicycles, but what makes them unique is they are designed to give comfort, stability, and durability in rough terrain.
However, mountain bikes are not intended for everyday biking. This bike has an average speed of 10 miles per hour.
This bicycle type uses an electrical motor to move. This characteristic means they don’t need to be pedaled to get going. Electric bikes allow the rider to travel at faster speeds than a regular bike. Depending on the motor, this bike can go 15 to 20 miles per hour.
A hybrid bike is a bike that combines the features of a road bike and a mountain bike. It is designed for comfort and stability and can handle rough roads, hills, and trails. Hybrid bikes usually go 14 miles per hour.
Weather conditions also affect a person’s speed while biking. This result is because it’s hard to maintain a steady pace when it’s raining, dusty, or hot.
Snow will also cause a biker’s wheels to slip, resulting in less power and speed. Rain can also do the same.
Weight of the Bike
The weight of the bike also affects how long it takes to bike a mile. The lighter the bike, the faster it will be. The heavier it is, the more energy it will take to push it along.
The weight of the bike can be leveraged in certain situations. For example, a heavy bike will be faster when going downhill.
Your gear, accessories, and the type of clothes you are wearing can also impact how long it takes to bike a mile.
Consider professional bikers who wear spandex and other light material. Because of this, their overall weight is lighter compared to someone who is wearing jeans. Helmets can also affect a person’s aerodynamics since it gets in contact with the wind current.
The amount of gear you carry on your bike should also be factored in. For example, taking a first aid kit, your backpack, and a water bottle will significantly slow you down.
Tires are also an essential part of a bike. Different tires have different purposes, and the treads can cause the bike to become unstable in certain terrains. This complexity is why it’s important to consider this if you want to prioritize speed.
Tips To Get Faster on a Bike
There are many ways to become a better biker and reach your biking speed goals. The best way to learn how to bike faster is to start doing it. Here are some tips to help you get faster in biking a mile.
Biking is active, which means the more you pedal, the quicker you can go. Beginners may be afraid to go faster. When practicing biking, ensure that you can pedal more, especially in rough terrains.
Use the Brake Less
The brake is important when you want to slow down. However, you do not need to press the brake pedal all the way each time. When you switch on the brake in a bike, the pedal rotates and increases friction with the rim. This effect makes the bike slower.
Work on Your Cadence
Cadence refers to the smoothness of the pedaling motion. All bikers should keep a steady cadence when riding. For example, if you are going 20 miles per hour, a cadence of 90 rotations per minute is ideal.
If your cadence is faster or slower, it will make it harder to maintain your speed.
Ride With Friends
On flat roads, aerodynamic drag is the most significant barrier to one’s speed. This accounts for 70 percent to 90 percent of resistance when pedaling. Riding with other people allows you to experience the drafting effect. This allows the biker in the back to make less effort since there is less resistance.
Leverage Your Bike’s Gear
It’s amazing how a bike’s gear can help you reach your biking speed. Just like in motorcycles, gears are the different parts of the bike that make it go faster or allow it to climb uphill better. All bikers should understand the purpose of each gear so they can leverage it to bike a mile faster.
Use the Right Bike
You can be prevented from going faster by using the wrong bike. For example, if your bike is intensely heavy, it will make it hard to go faster. Using a bike, such as a mountain bike, that is not designed for going fast can also slow you down.
Do your research and try out different bikes for different terrains to understand which is best for you. After all, you can’t expect a folding bike to go fast on very rough terrain.
Keep your bike in Good Shape
One of the most important things you can do is keep your bike in good condition. Keep your bike clean, so it won’t get dirty and prevent scratches and crud from getting on your bike frame. These problems can affect your bike’s performance in the long run.
Try Practicing Off-road and Uphill Climbs
Off-road biking is when you ride on rough and bumpy surfaces. By practice on this type of terrain, it will help you understand how to tackle various conditions.
When you train in rugged terrain, biking on smooth roads will be a lot easier. You can also try uphill climbs. Doing this is a great way to learn how to control your bike.
One of the best ways to learn how to bike faster is to train indoors with the help of a trainer. This tip will allow you to go faster since you’re in a controlled environment where you won’t have to deal with other things, making it an efficient learning environment.
Your indoor biking session also presents a great time to work on your cadence, as well as your breathing. When biking, it is vital to breathe evenly. If you breathe too fast, you will not sustain your biking speed since your body needs to give out a lot of energy.
Also, training should include video analysis to continuously track and calculate your speed profile.
Make Sure You Are Healthy
If you’re a serious biker, it is crucial to have good health and eat right. It will help you be able to bike longer and push the limits of your body.
Improve Pedal Efficiency
When pedaling, remember to anchor your ankles. By keeping your ankles in a pillar position and pushing power into the pedals, you can improve your efficiency.
Doing this will also help you have a more solid platform that can help you make the most out of your energy output and prevent muscle fatigue.
Riders who pedal with their feet flexed in an upward direction showed a drop in their pedaling efficiency by up to 3 percent, and their calves gave out 37 percent more energy as they pushed the pedal.
So, the answer to the question, “How long does it take to ride a mile?” is not a one-size-fits-all statistic. Now that you have this knowledge, you can go and try to assess how long it takes you to bike a mile and see if you can go faster or if you need to improve your speed.