Average Cycling Speed for Beginners

The Average Cycling Speed for Beginners

Table of Contents

A common question in the cyclist community is,

What is the average cycling speed for beginners?

There is no exact answer, but if computed, the average varies. The exact answer lies between two values; 11mph to 16mph, or 17.7kmph to 25.74kmph. There are many factors on which the average speed depends, which leads to such a variation, and these factors are just not limited to beginners but are for every type of cyclist. The difference of 5mph or 8.04kmph is clearly due to some prominent reasons, which are mentioned below and explained with examples for better understanding. The comprehensive guide will encourage beginners to evaluate themselves to outstand other cyclists in their community and enhance cycling performance to achieve an astonishing average speed. 

“The expert in anything was once a beginner.”  – Helen Hayes.

Before diving into the depths of factors that affect the average cycling speed, there is something important that must be kept in mind before cycling next time. Always push yourself, stay determined, stay dedicated to achieving more, and encourage yourself whenever you see an expert or anyone cycling amazingly. Put your interest in it, and you’ll see the difference. The average cycling speed for beginners can increase drastically if they only put their minds to it. All physical activities are mind games. If you have control over that machine, called the brain, you almost reach the destination.

Let’s get cycling into the factors that influence the average cycling speed of beginners.

  • Beginner’s Fitness


Average Cycling Speed for Beginners


It is an essential and pivotal factor affecting cycling speed. Better the fitness, better the cycling speed, but how? In cycling, the quadriceps, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, and soleus are the primary muscles that help in pedaling. The stronger these muscles are, the stronger the force applied over the pedals. Moreover, cadence, the number of times you pedaled in a minute, also depends on these muscles. If these muscles are weak or have fewer mitochondria, it will affect the average speed. Not only muscles but good cardiovascular health is also essential since the blood circulation, breathing rate, and heart rate should be well maintained if the beginner wants to cycle more. The longer the distance covered in minimum time, the better the average speed computed. Every time you push the pedal, the body is exerting energy. The heart rate is increased to pump more blood to the cells to produce more energy for muscles to operate. The breathing rate is consequently increased to intake more oxygen and exhale more carbon dioxide at a faster rate. Therefore, good cardiovascular health and muscle strength are significant in increasing the average speed of beginner cyclists.

Interestingly, fitness is not just related to muscles or physical health; it is also linked to diet. Maintaining a balanced diet is significantly vital to having good physical health. Take energy drinks or other drinks that have essential electrolytes while riding. Moreover, half an hour before cycling, consume carbohydrates to refuel the cells for optimum performance. After cycling, it is better to rest and consume protein to strengthen the muscles; shakes do miracles too. Being a beginner cyclist, getting a diet chart from a nutritionist or a trainer is preferred to experiencing yourself as per your lifestyle and cycling routine for great results.

  • Bike’s Type


Average Cycling Speed for Beginners


Beginners are unaware of which bike type suits their routine or commute. There are different types of bikes, and each type is suitable in one way or another. In other words, it depends on the terrain or route the beginner is cycling on. For instance, if the route is a tarmac, a road bike is the best option since it is lightweight and has thin tires. Interestingly, the reason for thin tires is to reduce friction, air resistance, and rotational mass, consequently increasing the average speed of beginners. And not only this but the exertion is also reduced since the rider does not have to push the pedal harder against the drag, making it more aerodynamic. Many subsets are available in the market under the road bike category, ranging from standard to sports mode versions. It depends on the cyclist; which model suits their requirement. Not only road bikes but mountain bikes have an excellent reputation amongst beginners. Mountain bikes are usually heavier and have larger tires as compared to the road bikes. Moreover, the frame structure of mountain bikes makes them less aerodynamic but durable. Road bikes are better for off-roading; although it can be used within cities or on the tarmac, road bikes can’t be used on rocky terrain. Now, it all depends on where the average speed is being computed. If it is within the city or suburb, choose road bike variants; otherwise, go for a mountain bike for off-road speed calculation. Do not forget to wear a helmet, as safety should be the priority.

  • Types of Tires


Average Cycling Speed for Beginners


There are generally three types of tires in the market for beginners; clincher, tubular, and tubeless. Tubular tires are glued to the rim and are used by many professional since it offers a faster average speed. However, they are difficult to change when goes flat. Interestingly, tubular tires perform amazingly in corners or turns and use much lower pressure for better traction. On the other hand, clinches are tires held in place on the rim by pushing the hooked bead on the inside of the rim. A clincher tire with a latex tube can perform equally well as a tubular tire. Lastly, the tubeless tires that, as the name suggests, do not have a tube. It has a liquid sealant, keeping the wheel airtight, which prevents the cyclist from worrying about punctures. Being a beginner commuter, all tires can work for you; however, if maintenance is considered, tubular tires and clincher tires are expensive and requires a lot of effort. If you are planning to become a professional or making your way towards a competition, it is preferred that tubular tires should be used as they increase the average speed compared to other tires.

  • Weight

The lighter, the better. The more weight you add to the machine, the harder it will be for you to push it. If you are using a cycle for commuting, try getting lightweight lights or reflectors for safety. Moreover, the gear you are wearing should be light too. In short, remove the unnecessary accessories if you want to travel longer distances and maintain a good average speed. Apart from this, changing the frame of cycles into a lower-weight material can help increase the average speed; for instance, professionals use aluminum and carbon frames to increase their speed. Not only is the average speed, but the acceleration is also increased, producing more torque. Aluminum frame cycles are rust-free, so there won’t be a problem leaving them in the rain next time. However, these frames or manufactured cycles are expensive. If you have the savings, go for aluminum or carbon frame cycles for a lighter-weight cycling experience.

  • Cycle Transmissions

Geared cycles tend to increase the average speed as compared to ungeared cycles. Moreover, it helps the rider to travel longer distances as the strength is varied throughout the journey, leaving room for more pedaling. Being a beginner cyclist, you must understand how to use the gears. In a manual transmission car, the driver changes the gear once the rpm reaches a good zone. In other words, pushing the engine in a lower gear will exert more engine power but will give better acceleration and revolutions per minute. It starts heating if the engine is pushed for a longer time under lower gear. Therefore, shifting is necessary. 

Similarly, in the case of cycling, the cyclist is the engine. Timely shifting is necessary to reduce the exertion. At lower gear, the speed should be lower too; otherwise, the pedal would be loose, and it will reach an optimum after which it will revolve itself. If a higher gear is applied and the speed is too low, the pedal gets stiff, making it harder for the rider to push, ultimately exerting more energy. Gears help to utilize the engine’s energy in the best way possible.


~ Now that you have this knowledge get yourself equipped and see the difference. Happy Pedaling! ~


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