average cycling speed for beginners

What Is The Average Cycling Speed For Beginners in 2023

Most beginner road cyclists will attain speeds of between 10-14 mph on the road. There are some beginners that could have higher speeds given that some new riders could have been involved in endurance sports such as running.

Such riders may ride their bikes at speeds between 15 and 18 mph with some hitting even higher speeds. The professional road bike racer can usually hit between 25-28 mph on flat terrain. However, the average cycling speed for beginners is 13 and 14 mph, particularly on longer rides.

Factors that determine average bike speed for a beginner

There are several reasons why average speed is not a reliable measure for comparing two riders. Some of the reasons include:

riding conditions

Riding Conditions

If you live in a local where there are few steep hills, you will not have the same experience as someone who lives in a place where the roads go through hilly terrain. As such someone could boast about riding at 20 mph but without knowing about the terrain that information is not very helpful.

Some areas will also be exposed to high winds more than others. The wind is one of the most critical aspects that could negatively impact cycling speed. The same can be said of temperature and very cold and hot weather could reduce the average speed you can attain.


The equipment as a factor is not only about the bike though the weight of the bike will factor in. You can increase your average speed as a beginner by getting a carbon fiber bike which can increase speed by between 5-10%.

Peripheral equipment such as tires can also make some difference in the speed due to the weight difference. Moreover, the psychological impact of having a more expensive/lighter bike can make one believe that they can go faster.

The type of bike will also matter as a road bike will be faster than a mountain bike on paved surfaces and vice versa

Distance Covered

The average speed varies with the distance the beginner cyclist rides. If you are riding for less than an hour, you will usually be slower as the legs are just warming up during the first half an hour.

Rides greater than an hour usually average faster as the legs have warmed up and gotten into a rhythm. Rides longer than two hours will then be shorter given that fatigue will start weighing in.

Age of the Cyclist

The cyclist’s age is often correlated to the experience of the cyclist though this is not true for every rider. Over the years riders usually develop more slow-twitch muscles in their legs while their lungs and heart become more efficient and stronger.

However, older riders especially those over 40 or 50 will not have the stamina for sprints up short hills even though they can be very good at maintaining their speeds over long distances.

Average cycling speed for beginners


Riding in a group often referred to as paceline riding is great for your speed. This is beneficial since the person riding behind another person will enjoy the limited wind resistance as most of it will be borne by the guy in front.

This can increase the cyclist’s speed by between 20-30% though this will vary with the number of people in the group and the conditions.

What’s a good average speed for cycling?

It is never a good thing to measure average cycling speed though for most of us this is one of the things we share notes about when we ride. Whenever you compare with fellow cyclists, it is critical to determine your experience level and then get an average. Here is some data I have collected on the average speed for cycling.

Experience LevelAverage Speed For One Hour Ride
Beginner10 mph
Average Rider15 mph
Regular Training20 mph

How to cycle faster and increase your average speed

Looking over several months, you can get a lot of data about your average speed and how you can improve it. While we intend to give you some tips to increase your average speed first what is the average speed in the different countries:

CountryAverage Speed MaleCountryAverage Speed Female
Holland26.92 km/hHolland21.36 km/h
UK25.61 km/hFrance20.74 km/h
France24.36 km/hUSA20.51 km/h
USA24.35 km/hGermany19.94 km/h
Germany23.28 km/hSpain19.86 km/h
Spain22.31 km/hUK19.84 km/h

Here is how to Improve Your Average Speed as a Beginner:

  • Bend and tuck elbows
  • Listen to music
  • Ride with others
  • Pump up your tires
  • Brake less
  • Ride on the drops
  • Track Stand
  • Ride out into a headwind
  • Lose weight
  • Intervals
  • Build Muscle
  • Get aero wheels or an aero bike
  • Wear tighter clothing

Why do I find cycling so hard

You find cycling so hard because as a beginner you do not have the muscular endurance and experience to take advantage of the wind and terrain to improve your speeds.

If you cycle in headwinds or crosswinds, you can see a significant decrease in speed while a tailwind will provide a tremendous boost in average speed. The important thing is to learn to shift your bike in the proper way which is what makes cycling easier even when you are riding in headwinds or crosswinds.

How Fast is a Leisurely Bike Ride

Anything between 16 to 19 mph is deemed riding speed while 5 mph is deemed a leisurely bike ride. 14 to 16 mph is usually deemed a moderate riding pace by the Almaden Cycle Touring Club

Is 20 mph very fast on a bike?

If you are commuting, 20 mph is very fast though it is a fine goal to set for oneself. However, if you are commuting a slower speed that would not get you sweating would be preferable.

How Long Would it Take to Cycle 5 km?

For beginner cyclists, 5 km would be a slog of the mind and body that would take about twenty minutes.

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