how long does it take to bike a mile

How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile For an Average Cyclist?

How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile – Cycling is one of the best forms of transportation. It combines the speed of a vehicle with the freedom of walking, and it keeps you fit and healthy to boot. 

But whether you bike to work, to the gym, or even just for fun, you might be wondering how long it takes to cycle a mile on average.

Well, lucky for you, we’ve got you covered! In this article we’ll take a look at the average time it takes to bike a mile, as well as some factors that can make cycling a mile faster or slower. 

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What’s the Average Time It Takes to Bike a Mile?

There isn’t a set amount of time it should take to bike a mile, and the time it takes will differ depending on a few different factors. That said, there is a baseline average time that most people will be able to achieve under standard circumstances.

Typically, it will take the average person between just 3 or 4 minutes to cycle a mile. This is assuming you’re riding at an easy pace with no hills, traffic, etc.

Working with the average cycling speed of around 17 mph (or around 27 km/h), maintaining a consistent speed will let you cycle a mile in just a few minutes.

If you’re going faster than this, then your time will obviously be shorter. If you’re cycling slower than this, then your mile time will be longer. Don’t worry if your current mile time is lower than this, especially if you’re new to cycling. 

Unless you’re practising for a sprint-cycle race or planning out a short commute, the time it takes to cycle a single mile doesn’t really matter in the long run.

While this 3-4 minute average is a good benchmark for the time it takes to cycle a mile, there is a lot it doesn’t account for.

For instance, it doesn’t factor in changes in terrain, traffic, or anything else that can keep you from maintaining a consistent 17 mph speed. If you take into consideration the typical obstacles that you would face while cycling, the typical time it takes to cycle a mile will increase. 

So although a person cycling at a consistent speed across a flat, even road will be able to complete a mile in around 3-4 minutes, most of the time you’ll be looking at 6 minutes or even slightly longer. Tougher bike rides can increase this even further.

However, you should still be able to keep your mile within 10 minutes pretty easily, and you’re unlikely to take longer than that unless you’re on an especially difficult trail.

What Can Affect the Time It Takes to Cycle a Mile?

how long does it take to bike a mile off road terrain

As mentioned before, there are plenty of factors that can affect how long it will take to cycle a mile.

While most of these might cause the cycle to take longer to complete, some of them can actually make cycling a mile faster and easier. Here are some of the things that can affect your time.


The terrain you’re cycling on can have a massive impact on how long it takes for you to complete a mile.

Terrain like hilly roads, steep trails, and rough pavement can all slow you down considerably. In fact, it could take as much as twice as long to cycle a mile if you’re cycling through a particularly tough section of the road.

Steep slopes can slow you right down. If you’re cycling uphill, it’s going to be much more difficult to pedal.

Not only will this cause you to move more slowly, but it will also tire you out and make the rest of your journey harder to complete. The steeper the slope, the bigger the impact on your cycling speed.

It’s not just sloped terrain that can impact your speed, however. Even relatively flat roads can be harder to cycle on if they’re bumpy or uneven. 

Dirt paths are trickier to ride on than smooth asphalt roads, and you’ll need to factor in the extra work you have to put in when calculating how long it will take to cycle a mile. 

Sometimes difficult terrain can actually benefit you. While cycling uphill is harder and takes longer than even paths, travelling is the exact opposite. Depending on how much of your route is downhill, you can complete a mile faster than average! 

Fitness and Experience

Another big factor is how fit you are. If you’re fit and healthy and exercise frequently, you’re likely to finish a mile faster than someone who doesn’t exercise as often. Being used to physical exertion will mean you won’t get tired as quickly and will be able to cycle faster. 

Fitness isn’t the be-all and end-all, however, as some people are better equipped for endurance over speed.

While this is more of a factor over longer distances, there can still be a substantial difference between someone who can handle riding for longer and someone who only cycles for short distances.

Similarly, cycling experience also plays a big role. Amateur and beginner cyclists will typically ride slower than more advanced cyclists, having an average of around 12-14 mph (or approximately 20-23 km/h).

Meanwhile, more confident cyclists, such as those who ride their bikes to commute or for longer bike rides, will be able to hit the average of 17mph.

Professional cyclists and people who regularly take long-distance bike rides can easily exceed the average, hitting speeds of over 20mph (32 km/h) without breaking a sweat.

Putting in the extra time and work will make cycling a mile much easier and quicker; that said, any cyclist can work their way up to this level over time, so don’t worry if you’re not quite there yet.

If you want to increase your pace and fitness, getting a Bike Exercise Trainer Stand can be a good piece of equipment, especially when the weather outside is horrible!

how long does it take to bike a mile training stand

Type of Bike

The type of bike you ride can also make a difference. depending on which type of bike you have, some parts of cycling can be much easier (or harder).

Road bikes, as their name suggests, are best suited for riding along long stretches of even roads. In the right circumstances, a road bike can easily out-perform the average mile time.

However, they don’t deal with sharp turns and steep hills very well, which can make them slower than average.

BMX and mountain bikes, however, have no such issues. They are designed to travel up steep ascents with the minimum amount of pressure on the rider.

how long does it take to bike a mile mountain bike

These bikes tend to be on the heavier side, which can make them a bit slower, but they are much better equipped for uneven terrain than road bikes.

Electric bikes use an electric motor to assist the rider’s pedalling and make it much easier to keep up with the average speed. While there is a certain speed limit that the motor will stop assisting the rider at, you’re able to continue pedalling without the motor helping. 

That said, electric bikes are far heavier than other varieties, and pedalling unassisted or up steep slopes is much more difficult.

how long does it take to bike a mile electric bike

Final Thoughts

There isn’t a single average time that it takes to bike a mile. With so many factors in play, the 3-4 minute average can be unrealistic depending on your location, type of bike, and your experience as a cyclist.

You shouldn’t feel like you have to hit a certain speed limit, and you’re better off keeping safety and enjoyment as your top priority.

But whether you cycle recreationally, professionally, or just part of your commute, as long as you bear the 3-4 minute baseline in mind you should have no issues cycling a mile in no time at all!

How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile For an Average Cyclist?