road bike for commuting

What Is the Average Bike Speed for a 70-year Old

Cyclists above 60 years of age will usually have lower average cycling speeds. However, it is critical to note that there have not been many studies done particularly on average age and speed for riders above the age of 60. 

Still, the main constant when it comes to these studies is the result that cycling speed usually declines with age. All things held constant, cyclists between 55 and 65 usually top out at speeds between 10.5 and 11.8 mph while someone in their 70s or older will average about 8mph.

Comparing the Average Cycling Speed from a Power Perspective

wattage of pro cyclist

One of the most important functions of speed has to be the functional threshold power produced. FTP unusually increases starting at about age 18 and peaks at about age 35bvefore it starts declining. 

The decreases in the cycling power or FTP result in a corresponding increase in speed if all other factors are held constant. As such the average speed of a cyclist is usually directly correlated to the power they can produce and their performance. 

With aging, the human body is no longer capable of producing comparable levels of power as it did in the peak years between 25-35 years. As such, a seventy-year-old cyclist cannot expect to go at the speeds of a 22-year-old cyclist. 

For the 22-year-old cycling will get easier as they increase their FTP and physical performance while it will get harder for the aging 70-year-old who will be losing power.

Average Cycling Speeds and Power by Age Chart

Age of cyclistFunctional Threshold PowerAverage Speed – km/hAverage Speed – mph
18 – 20120w2716.7
20 – 25150w3018.6
25 – 30180w3521.7
30 – 35200w33.520.8
35 – 40180w3018.6
40 – 45160w28.517.7
45 – 50120w2415
50 – 55100w2213.6
55 – 6090w2012.4
60 – 6518.511.5

How to Boost Your Speed Cycling at 70 Years Old

When it comes to pure cycling power and speeds older athletes cannot compete with younger riders even though you can sometimes use your experience to come out on top. Some of the things to boost your speed as an old man cyclist include

  1. Diversifying Rather than Specializing

One thing experienced cyclists usually have going for them is they have many interests beyond just riding a bike. This can come in handy as participating in other sports such as swimming, lifting weights, and running among others helps build muscle and endurance which can help one attain greater speeds even as one ages. 

  1. Sleep More for Recovery

As you age you will need to rest more and longer to recover as compared to younger riders. By going to bed earlier and taking more rest time in between rides, you can replenish your stores of energy which can result in better physical performance and speed. 

  1. Ride with More Intensity Rather than for Long Periods

Younger cyclists can get away with taking long rides but this is not for you as an older athlete. As an older athlete, it is always efficient to do your short warm-up, ride some hard intervals do your cool down, and go home to achieve peak performance and fitness. 

  1. Adopt Modern Recovery Methods

Apart from the usual recovery techniques such as nutrition and sleep, modern technologies such as compression technology can play a huge role in improving your performance on the bike

  1. Keep Your Wits About You

Older riders are better off following veteran riders if they find themselves in a dicey spot in a mountain bike, road race, or criterium. With your experience, you should be able to take advantage of your years of near misses, crashes, and survival instincts to keep up a decent pace and finish the race.

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