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How fast can a bike go? What’s the fastest a cyclist can go on a bike? These are questions that many cyclists have asked themselves.
Several factors will determine how fast cyclists can go on a bike, including strength, endurance, weight, and resistance. This article will discuss how fast a bike can go and share tips to help improve average cycling speed.
How Fast Can a Bike Go?
Bicycle performance is determined by how much power is put into pedal strokes, how aerodynamic your body position is, tire size and the quality of your bicycle, the road surface, and how hilly the terrain is. Below is a general guide.
- Mountain bikes usually average between 15 and 20 mph because of how much power is required to go uphill.
- Road bikes can average 30 mph on flat ground because of how lightweight they are, which decreases the amount of resistance that affects the biking speed of a cyclist. The maximum speed for road bikes usually ranges from 30 to 35 mph.
- Hybrid bikes, on the other hand, typically average between 15 and 25 mph, depending on how often cyclists ride them.
How Fast Can You Go on a Bicycle?
If you’re wondering how fast can you go on bike rides or how fast can a 10-speed bike go, the first thing you need to keep in mind is that biking speed varies per cyclist.
The average biking speed of a human is about 15 MPH. However, your fastest speed depends mainly on factors like weight, fitness level, the type of bike you’re using, and resistance.
An ordinary person can cycle at an average speed of 10 to 14 miles per hour, while a beginner rides a bike at an average speed of 15 to 20 MPH, increasing to 30 MPH after a few months of rigorous training and conditioning.
The average speed for professional cyclists can reach a top speed that averages 40 to 50 MPH. On the other hand, Tour de France competitive cyclists bike at an average speed of 25 MPH.
Essential Factors that Affect Cycling Speed
Some factors can affect cyclists’ capacity to ride a bike at the maximum speed possible. The following factors determine a bicycle’s top speed:
How much you weigh can affect cycling speed. The more weight you carry while cycling on a mountain bike or a road bike, the harder it is to cycle at high speeds. This includes your actual weight and how heavy your bike is.
If a cyclist weighs about 150 lbs, it’s common to cover a longer distance and reach speeds of 20 mph on flat ground without too much effort. However, if the same person weighed twice as much (300 pounds), they would struggle with riding speeds over 14 mph.
The same can be said when biking uphill. Biking performance will be significantly slower among heavier individuals. This is because you are pulled backward by gravity. Remember, your weight is the product of your body mass and the force of gravity.
How fast you can go on a bike is determined by how strong your pedal strokes are. If your legs are weak, you’ll have difficulty going over a steady speed of 20 miles per hour. A cyclist typically averages between 12 and 15 mph on flat ground or downhill with the wind at their back.
In addition, you will need endurance if you want to cover longer distances. With good endurance, you will be able to pedal a bike at a steady pace for more extended periods.
Resistance is how much effort it takes to pedal a bicycle and how strong the wind feels when you ride into an oncoming storm or breeze.
If there’s little air resistance or aerodynamic drag, such as in a tailwind, a higher speed greater than 20 mph can be achieved without too much difficulty. However, if there is a headwind or going uphill, the average riding speed will be lower because increased wind resistance will slow cyclists down.
Tire rolling resistance is also a factor to consider. It is how much force you must exert to push your tires against the ground. The less resistance, the easier it is for a road bike or mountain bike to go faster and vice versa.
Also, another important consideration for a rider is that resistance increases with air density. Thus, when biking in cold weather, performance will be slower given the increase in density.
On the other hand, biking at an elevation above sea level means a decrease in air density, reducing resistance or drag. Hence, a rider (whether on a bike or another type of vehicle) will find that getting from point A to point B will require less effort on a downhill route.
How to Improve Your Average Cycling Speed
There are several things that you need to focus on to bike faster. Consider the tips below to improve your biking speed:
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Improve your energy and fitness level by maintaining healthy body weight. This can be achieved through regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Develop your lower body strength and endurance through high-intensity interval training. Invest in a heart rate monitor and cadence meter to help you keep track of your progress.
Start riding more often to improve your power output and speed. Strength training and cardiovascular exercise such as running or swimming for 20-30 minutes at least five times a week will improve your overall fitness level, resulting in better results over time.
Keep Comfort in Mind
Maintain a comfortable riding position. Stay low and aerodynamic by keeping your elbows bent at 90 degrees and head down with eyes focused on the road ahead.
Keep your elbows close to your body instead of keeping them out. Make sure to tuck down behind the handlebars instead of keeping yourself upright or leaning too far back.
Staying comfortable also means investing in clothing and protective gear that minimize drag and achieve higher speeds. Biking shoes with cleats make a huge difference because they allow you to use your body to exert more power on the pedals.
If you are comfortable, cycling will be easier and faster even without physically increasing how hard you push down on the pedal with each stroke.
Consider a Racing Bike
To achieve the highest speed possible for shorter distances or longer rides, invest in racing bikes. These bikes offer higher speeds and are great for competitive cycling. The max bicycle speed on a racing bike will be different from other types.
Regular Bike Maintenance
Maintain your bike regularly. This includes checking your tire pressure, how much air is in your tires, and how worn the tire treads are.
At times, an increase in tire pressure may be necessary, but do not exceed 160 pounds per square inch of air in the inner tube, as this may slow you down.
Get a Professional Bike Fit
Get your bike fitted by a mechanic to ensure that it fits you properly on each ride. A proper fit will allow you to cycle more efficiently, resulting in improved performance.
If you want to become a faster cyclist, ask your professional fitter if you can increase your tire size from 26 inches to 700c. This is usually done on road bikes.
It is better to increase tire size than decrease it, as this can cause an imbalance between riding speed and how smoothly the vehicle will roll on pavement.
Biking has many benefits to offer, and now that you know the answer to “How fast can a bike go?” and what you can do to improve your average cycling speed, simple changes will make your biking experience more enjoyable overall.
If you have any questions on how to improve your biking performance or on bike maintenance, feel free to leave us a comment. We’re happy to answer all your queries!