What Is The Average Cycling Speed?

Defining the average cycling speed is not easy, there are many different factors that can affect and alter the speed at which you cycle. The average speed of a beginner cyclist will differ from that of a mountain biker or a road racer. So what are the factors that can affect your average speed?

Cycling Conditions

The environment you are cycling in has a big impact on your average speed. Your speed in a hilly environment will differ to a flat, smooth surface. If you’re whizzing downhill you’re likely going faster than you are going up a hill. Weather can also impact your speed, if you are caught in the wind it can either help push you along or hinder your ride if it is blowing against you.

Choice Of Equipment

The weight of your bike can also impact your speed. There are many different types of bikes available, but carbon fibre bikes are the lightest. If you are carrying luggage this will also affect your speed, so if you’re looking to win a race or beat a PB it’s best to travel light.


Cycling as part of a team has benefits to increasing your average cycling speed. If you are well within the group of cyclists, you are protected by the rider in front of you, therefore experiencing less wind resistance. You will also end up keeping up a similar pace to the cyclists around you, which is likely to increase your average speed compared to if you are cycling alone.


Speed will vary across the amount of distance that is covered. A short ride may have a lower average speed, due to the muscles in your legs warming up in the first part of your ride. Long-distance rides can also cause the average speed to lower due to fatigue. The best amount of time to cycle for the best average is one to two hours, giving your legs time to warm up and not feel tired.

Average Speeds

So having all these factors in mind, there are some general guidelines as to the average speed of cycling for those with different levels of experience, based on solo riders on ‘mixed’ terrain.

  • Beginner on a short ride (10-15 miles): average speed 12mph
  • More experienced on short-medium ride (20-30 miles): average speed 15-16mph
  • Reasonable experience on medium ride (40 miles) average speed 16-19mph
  • Competent club rider on medium to long-distance (50-60 miles) 20-24mph


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