average cycling speed by age

Average Cycling Speed by Age

Calculating the average cycling speed by age is not an exact science since what is most critical is the number of years you have been riding. The more experience you have will often mean that you have greater cardiovascular fitness and endurance. 

Because of this fact current and past fitness levels of a rider will usually be critical in dictating the average cycling speed they may attain. As such trying to determine average speed by age is often just an approximation. 

Other factors such as type of bike, distance covered, aerodynamics, tires and riding conditions may also affect the average speed that may be attained by a rider.

average cycling speed by age chart

AgeAverage Speed in kmhAverage Speed in mph
18-202716.7
20-253018.6
25-303521.7
30-3533.520.8
35-403018.6
40-4528.517.7
45-502415
50-552213.6
55-602012.4
60-6518.511.5

What is a good average speed for cycling?

The majority of cyclists can attain speeds of up to 15 mph riding for about an hour. For beginner riders the average speed they can attain is about 10 mph though this can increase pretty quickly once you start getting into your groove. If you get to the intermediate and advanced levels and get a better bike such as a road bike or hybrid bike you could achieve up to 18 miles an hour or even 22 miles depending on fitness levels.

What is the average speed of a 60 year old cyclist?

The average sixty year old cyclist with average physical capabilities can achieve speeds of between 9 and 11.5 miles an hour.

Factors that Impact Average Bike Speed

There following are some of the most important factors that affect average bikes speed that can be attained by a beginner or professional cycle.

Bike Type and Weight

The type of bike you are riding plays a huge role in how fast you can go. Road bikes tend to be faster than mountain bikes and hybrid bikes are faster than mountain bikes but slower than road bikes. 

Weight is also a critical component that can determine the average speeds you can attain. Bikes made of steel tend to be heavier which makes pedaling harder and hence you will ride slower than if you were to ride something like a carbon fiber bike. By riding a lighter bike you can increase your riding speed by up to 10%.

Other components of the bike such as tires, position of the handlebars which can affect aerodynamics and weight can also either increase or reduce the average bike speed that can be attained. 

Fitness Levels 

Fitness levels are critically important for any cyclist regardless of age, Beginner cyclists average between  10 and 14 mph. While some beginners can attain higher speeds most top out at 14mph while some go at even lower speeds. 

Athletes that have been doing other sporting activities such as swimming and running can usually top out between 15 and 18mph. This is because they will typically have built up some endurance doing aerobic sports.

Overall your cycling speed will be affected by age as the older you get the lower will your average speed get due to a decline in fitness levels. According to studies, most cyclists will attain their physical peak between the ages of 20 and 30.

This means that once you hit 30 years there will be a steady decline in your speed over time. This is believed to be caused by reduced circulatory, heart and lung function and decreased muscle mass.

Distance Covered

Average speed can often be dependent on how far you go. Because you will typically be less tired on shorter rides you can go at faster speeds. On longer rides, most riders prefer to drive at a casual pace which can be slower. 

One caveat though is that professional riders tend to maintain a regular cadence and speed over longer distances and can thus attain higher average speeds on longer rides even as they use shorter rides for recovery hence cycling slower than usual.

Riding Conditions

Riding conditions can either increase or decrease your average speed. If you ride in hilly terrain you may have lower speeds as compared to someone who rides on flat terrain. 

The same may be said of windy or non windy conditions. If you ride with a tailwind you will find that your average speed can go up by up to 10% while a head wind could reduce your speed by about the same.

If you are riding in rainy conditions the roads may be slick and you will have to go slower to reduce the risk of slipping. 

Lastly, temperatures can also impact your riding as extremely cold or hot conditions could make you tire faster thus reducing the average speeds you can attain. 

Average Cycling Speed for Beginners

Beginners on short distance rides can average about 12mph with limited training. Beginners with at least six months cycling experience can top out at 15-16mph cycling distances between 20 and thirty miles.

More experienced riders with at least a year of riding experience can ride at an average speed of between 16-19mph at distances of about 40 miles. 

Professional club riders should be able to attain an average speed of between 20-24mph cycling distances of about 50 miles. 

If you are a beginner or just ride your bike for fun once or twice a week, it may not be possible to average anything greater than 15mph. This may come down to a lack of endurance, fitness training or all three. 

Summary

Average cycling speeds by age is not a great metric to compare yourself to another cyclist. The most significant thing that affects average speeds usually comes down to fitness and other aspects such as riding conditions, type of bike, distance covered and experience. 

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