Knowing how long an average 5-mile bike ride should take can help you determine if you’re on track for fitness or biking goals.
However, bike speeds depend on several factors, and you’ll need to take all of these into account.
Learning what affects speed, and what the average speed should be, can help you determine whether you’re on pace and make adjustments to how you ride.
How long does it take to bike 5 miles?
A 5-mile bike ride usually takes between 30 and 40 minutes for an average or relatively inexperienced bicyclist. For some people, things like stamina, terrain, and weather can raise that time to around an hour.
More experienced bike riders can usually bike 5 miles in 15 to 25 minutes, but, again, various factors can slow or increase that speed. If you’re looking for a competitive bike speed time, however, you should try to complete 5 miles in about 20 minutes.
What affects bike speed?
One of the biggest factors in bike speed is what type of bike you’re riding. If you’re riding on the road, it’s best to choose a road bike, which is designed for use on pavement.
These bikes are generally lightweight, so they’re automatically faster than bulkier mountain bikes or even hybrid bikes.
Cruiser bikes are another option for road biking. These bikes are designed for everyday use, and they’re relatively lightweight, so they’re faster than mountain bikes.
However, they’re not designed to go long distances, so they aren’t as fast as many road bikes.
Cyclocross bikes are made to go up and down steep slopes. These bikes are also constructed so that they minimize drag, increasing speed.
This, paired with their lightweight frames, makes them some of the fastest bikes available.
No matter which type of bike you’re riding, if it’s a professional bike or a brand and model that’s built well, it will most likely have a higher top speed.
Professional bikes are built to be more efficient, so you won’t need to put as much effort into propelling yourself. This can drastically increase your speed.
The terrain is another factor when it comes to the speed at which you complete 5 miles. If the road is rough or there are many uphill areas, your speed will be slower.
If the entire 5 miles is mostly downhill on a flat surface, however, your speed will be faster.
Weather can also affect how fast you bike. On a hot day, you might use more effort and energy to propel the bike, and this can slow your speed.
Overall fitness is also an important factor. If you’re in good shape and have plenty of stamina, you’ll be able to pedal harder for longer. This will give you a much faster time.
How can I improve my biking speed?
One of the best ways to increase your biking speed is to increase your stamina. You can do this simply by riding the bike more.
As you ride more, you’re increasing your stamina, toning your muscles, and working toward a better fitness level, and all of these things will make you a faster cyclist.
You can also use different forms of exercise to increase your biking speed. Many professional bike riders work out in the gym, lifting weights or doing cardio exercises, to increase their strength and stamina.
If your muscles are stronger, you’ll be able to pedal faster.
If you want a faster time over 5 miles, you should also think about decreasing the total amount of weight you carry. Choose a lightweight bike that’s designed for speed and riding on the road.
Try to carry as few items as possible. If you do need to carry something, such as a water bottle, tuck it close to the bike’s frame or behind you so that your shape is more aerodynamic.
Wear tighter clothing that won’t catch the wind and create drag.
Before you head out for a ride, always make sure your bike tires are full. When the air in tires is low and they’re slightly soft, the friction between the tire and the road is increased.
This creates resistance, which slows the bike and your overall speed. You can decrease friction and resistance by pumping the tires up.
As you ride, think about your riding position. Study professional cyclists and try to mimic the positions they hold. Most cyclists tuck themselves close to the bike’s frame or the handlebars.
They keep their elbows in and may even duck their head on straightaways. This shape makes the cyclist much more aerodynamic, which decreases drag.
If you sit straight up on a bike, however, you’re creating a non-aerodynamic shape that catches the wind and increases drag. This will slow your speed, so try to hold a more compact, rounded shape for greater speed.