A couple of diehard cyclist friends and I were arguing the other day about who is the fastest. Since no one could win the argument, I decided to research it. My point of view was, how long does it take to bike a mile?
It takes roughly 6 minutes for a beginner cycling at 10mph to complete a mile and about 3-4 minutes for a healthy commuter clocking 17-18mph. Pro riders, however, tend to take half the time of healthy commuters.
So, several things stood out from my research. First, the experience level matters, and second, the fitter you are, the faster you are likely to bike.
But still, factors like bike type, route and terrain, weather, and biking gear also have a say.
We’ll look at all these factors and their influence on the average cycling speed.
How Long Does It Take To Bike A Mile? (Average Time To Bike A Mile)
To determine how long one takes to complete a mile, I based my study on three cyclists: beginners, healthy commuters, and pro cyclists.
When it comes to beginner cyclists, a majority of them average a speed of 10mph. So, if we use it as the basis, then it means that it takes 6 minutes for a beginner to complete a mile.
- Healthy Regular Commuters
Since regular commuters are more experienced in cycling, they tend to ride faster. And the fitter they are, the speedier they bike.
A healthy commuter riding at an average speed of 18mph is likely to complete a mile in 3-4 minutes.
- Professional Riders
Pro riders often ride speedy road or tour bikes, and that means they ride faster. And since they are fitter and more experienced, they take the shortest time to complete a mile.
So, how long does it take to do a mile on a bike at normal speed when you are a pro rider?
You are likely to take half the time that a healthy commuter takes. That gives us an average time of 2 minutes.
How Long Does It Take To Bike 2 Miles?
Let’s base our argument on a healthy commuter who takes 3-4 minutes to complete a mile, riding at a speed of 17-18mph.
If that’s the case, then it’ll take you 6-8 minutes to do a double.
But if it’s a pro rider, they will take 4 minutes while a beginner will take 12 minutes.
Note, however, that if you slow down, you may not beat my time projection.
How Long Does It Take To Bike 3 Miles?
While cycling at an average speed of 17-18mph, regular commuters can complete three miles in 9-12 minutes. You can expect pro riders, however, to cover 6 miles at the same time.
And, of course, beginners riding at an average speed of 10mph are likely to take about 18 minutes.
How Long Does It Take To Bike 4 Miles?
Expectedly, regular commuters riding at an average speed of 17-18mph take about 12-16 minutes to complete 4 miles.
In contrast, pro riders take half the time, that’s about 8 minutes at most, while beginners moving at 10mph take about 24 minutes.
How Long Does It Take To Bike 5 Miles?
At an average speed of 17-18mph, a regular commuter takes 15-20 minutes to complete 5 miles.
A pro rider, on the other hand, takes half the time or less. In that case, professional bikers average 10 minutes to cover 5 miles.
Beginners expectedly take longer, about 30 minutes, while traveling at a speed of 10mph.
How Long Does It Take To Bike 6 Miles?
You also have to ask ‘how long should it take to bike 1 mile?’ to determine how long it’ll take to do 6 miles.
Overall, pro riders take the shortest time of about 12 minutes or less, while beginners take the most time of about 36 minutes at an average speed of 10mph.
Regular commuters riding at 17-18mph, however, average 18-24 minutes when the terrain and weather are favorable.
How Long Does It Take To Bike 10 Miles?
Our initial formula for beginner cyclists comes in handy here. In that case, beginners biking at 10mph will take an hour to complete a mile. It’s that straightforward.
Pro riders predictably take the shortest time, which is roughly 20 minutes or less.
As for regular commuters hitting a top speed of 17-18mph, it’ll take 30-40 minutes or even up to an hour, depending on their fitness.
How Long Does It Take To Bike 17 Miles?
Realistically speaking, it’s hard for beginners to go 17 miles without making a few stops.
Our projection is 102 minutes without making any stops. Thus, if you take a few stops, you could take up to 2 hours to complete 17 miles.
Commuters are also likely to make a few stops. If not, it should take you about an hour, 51-68 minutes to be precise, and half the time if you are a pro rider (34 minutes or less).
How Long Does It Take To Bike 20 Miles?
You are likely to slow down when you get to 10 miles, which means you may not go at the same starting speed when you are a beginner or regular commuter.
You can, however, expect pro riders to maintain their speed all through, allowing them to hit 20 miles in 40 minutes or less.
Beginners will likely take 2 hours or more if they slow down from 10mph, while regular commuters will take 60-80 minutes or more.
Below is a table summarizing the average time different cyclists take to ride a mile or longer.
|Number of Miles||Average Time By Pro Riders||Estimated Time By Regular Commuters||Average Time By Beginners|
|1||2 minutes||3-4 minutes||6 minutes|
|2||4 minutes||6-8 minutes||12 minutes|
|3||6 minutes||9-12 minutes||18 minutes|
|4||8 minutes||12-16 minutes||24 minutes|
|5||10 minutes||15-20 minutes||30 minutes|
|6||12 minutes||18-24 minutes||36 minutes|
|10||20 minutes||30-40 minutes||60 minutes|
|17||34 minutes||51-68 minutes||102 minutes|
|20||40 minutes||60-80 minutes||120 minutes|
What Factors Influence the Average Time to Bike A Mile?
While the above times are projections, they can vary depending on these factors:
- Rider’s fitness
Overall, the fitter you are, the likelier you are to cycle faster and endure long stretches.
While covering 10 miles may be a tall order for most beginners, it’s easy for pro riders and regular commuters as they are used to high levels of physical activity.
- Bike type
You cannot expect a road cyclist to go at the same speed as a mountain biker. Similarly, someone riding an electric bike doesn’t move at the same speed as someone on a regular cycle.
An e-bike travels faster than others because of the motor, while a road bike is faster than a mountain bike due to fast-rolling skinny tires and lightweight frames.
Here’s a table comparing the average speeds of different bikes types:
|Bike Type||Average Speed|
- Biking gear
Wearing the right biking gear goes a long way in helping you cycle much faster. So, if you want to ride faster regardless of bike type, get some good biking shorts (View on Amazon) and jerseys.
- Terrain and Route
Predictably, you’ll ride much faster downhill than either uphill or on flat ground. For example, if it takes you four minutes to complete a mile on a flat road, it’ll take you half the time downhill and twice the time uphill.
Since gravity is in your favor downhill, you get to travel much faster than uphill or flat.
And when it comes to the route, you are likely to slow down on a rocky, dusty, or muddy road.
More Factors (How Long Does It Take To Bike A Mile)
Bad weather significantly slows you down. Headwind drags you while heavy downpour or snow interferes with your visibility. In both cases, you low down.
The exception is the tailwind that pushes you, meaning that you ride faster.
- Biker experience
When it comes to covering more ground in the shortest time, nothing beats experience. So, the more experienced you are, the faster you are likely to complete a mile or more.
Understandably, while a beginner takes about 6 minutes to complete a mile, a pro rider takes 2 minutes or less to do it.
How Can You Boost Your Average Time To Bike A Mile?
Now that you know how long to bike a mile, how can you cycle faster?
Generally, these tips can help you improve your overall cycling speed:
- Wearing the right biking gear
- Getting fitter by working out regularly
- Master how to use the bike gears to your advantage
- Biking more regularly to build some endurance
- Ride on the tailwind
- Switching to a faster bike like a touring bike, road bicycle, or e-bike
In Summary – how long does it take to bike a mile?
As discussed, it’s not just about getting a fast bike, as your fitness and experience level matter.The healthier and more experienced you are, the faster you are likely to bike and complete a mile.