Average Cycling Speed For Beginners Demystified 🚵‍♂️

tl;dr: The average cycling speed for beginners varies, but it is typically around 10-14 mph.

When it comes to cycling, beginners often wonder what a good average speed is to aim for. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, the average cycling speed for beginners typically falls between 10-14 mph. However, it’s important to note that several factors can influence this speed. In this article, we will explore these factors, provide recommended average speeds for different terrains, offer tips to improve your cycling speed, and discuss common mistakes that can slow down beginners.

Factors that affect cycling speed for beginners

Physical fitness level

Your physical fitness level plays a significant role in determining your cycling speed. Beginners who are just starting out may have lower endurance and strength compared to more experienced cyclists. As you continue to train and build your fitness level, your cycling speed will naturally improve.

Bike type and condition

The type and condition of your bike can also impact your cycling speed. A lighter and more aerodynamic bike will generally allow you to ride faster. Additionally, regular maintenance and ensuring that your bike is in good working condition can help optimize your speed.

Terrain and weather conditions

The terrain and weather conditions you encounter while cycling can greatly affect your speed. Riding on flat terrain with favorable weather conditions will typically allow for faster speeds. On the other hand, hilly terrain and adverse weather conditions can slow you down.

Recommended average cycling speed for beginners

Average Cycling Speed For Beginners

To give you a better idea of what average speeds to aim for, here are some recommended ranges based on different terrains:

10-12 mph for flat terrain

When cycling on flat terrain, beginners should aim for an average speed of 10-12 mph. This speed allows for a comfortable and steady pace without exerting too much effort.

12-14 mph for slightly hilly terrain

If you encounter slightly hilly terrain, you can aim for a slightly higher average speed of 12-14 mph. The inclines may require a bit more effort, but maintaining this speed is achievable with regular training.

8-10 mph for steep hills

When faced with steep hills, it’s important to adjust your expectations. Slower speeds of around 8-10 mph are more realistic and sustainable for beginners tackling challenging uphill sections.

Tips to improve cycling speed for beginners

If you’re looking to improve your cycling speed as a beginner, here are some helpful tips:

Build endurance through regular training

Consistency is key when it comes to improving your cycling speed. Gradually increase your training volume and intensity to build endurance. Incorporate longer rides and interval training sessions to challenge yourself and improve your overall speed.

Focus on proper bike fit and posture

Ensure that your bike is properly fitted to your body measurements. A comfortable and efficient riding position can make a significant difference in your speed. Consult with a professional bike fitter if needed to optimize your bike fit.

Use appropriate gear ratios

Understanding and utilizing the appropriate gear ratios can help you maintain a consistent cadence and optimize your speed. Experiment with different gear combinations to find what works best for you in different terrains.

Practice efficient pedaling techniques

Efficient pedaling techniques can help you generate more power and maintain a smoother rhythm. Focus on pedaling in circles rather than just pushing down on the pedals. This will engage more muscle groups and improve your overall speed.

Common mistakes that slow down beginners

Avoiding common mistakes can help you avoid unnecessary speed limitations. Here are some mistakes to watch out for:

Overexertion and lack of pacing

Pushing yourself too hard at the beginning of a ride can lead to fatigue and slower speeds later on. Pace yourself and gradually increase your effort to maintain a consistent speed throughout your ride.

Poor gear selection

Using the wrong gear can make pedaling more difficult and slow you down. Learn to anticipate changes in terrain and shift gears accordingly to maintain an optimal cadence.

Inefficient pedaling technique

A choppy and inefficient pedaling technique can waste energy and hinder your speed. Focus on smooth and circular pedal strokes to maximize your power output.

Average Cycling Speed For Different Levels

Here’s a summarized table showing average cycling speeds for different levels of cyclists:

Cyclist Level Average Speed (mph) Average Speed (km/h)
Beginner 10 – 14 16 – 22
Recreational 12 – 16 19 – 26
Intermediate 15 – 20 24 – 32
Advanced 20 – 25+ 32 – 40+
Professional 25+ and above 40+ and above


While the average cycling speed for beginners may vary, aiming for a range of 10-14 mph is a good starting point. Remember that your physical fitness level, bike type and condition, as well as the terrain and weather conditions, can all influence your speed. By following the recommended average speeds for different terrains, implementing tips to improve your cycling speed, and avoiding common mistakes, you can gradually increase your speed and enjoy the thrill of cycling. So hop on your bike, embrace the journey, and watch your speed improve over time.

Originally posted 2023-07-31 10:30:30.

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