(Last updated on March 6th, 2023)
When I first started cycling, I couldn’t ride that fast.
First, I didn’t have an expensive aero-bike. It was definitely not one of the most expensive bikes in the world! Second, I was afraid to go faster than 12 miles an hour.
And third, I didn’t have the fitness yet. So my first few rides were pretty slow. But I, like many other new cyclists, wondered, how long does it take to bike 10 miles?
In this article, we’ll look at how long it takes to bike 10 miles. First, I’ll discuss the factors involved with riding at each fitness level. Next, I’ll talk about what helps you go faster or slower..
So let’s get started with why it’s important.
- The Beginner Cyclist
- The New Club Rider
- Recreational Riders
- Trained Cyclists
- Highly Trained Cyclists
- Professional Cyclists
- Aerodynamic Drag
- Road Surface
- Type of Bike
- Fitness Level
- Accessories and Clothes
- Bike Handling Skills
Why is it Good to Know Your Speed?
You’ll probably just be making short trips when you first start cycling. But as you plan longer trips, knowing your average speed is helpful.
This way, you can plan a route and know how long it will take you to ride it.
You’ll also know how much of a ride you can fit in your given time frame, so you can let your family know when you’ll arrive home.
1. How Long Does it Take to Bike 10 Miles
|Type of Rider||Average Speed on Flat Roads||10 miles on Road Bike|
|Beginner||8 mph||Over an hour|
|New Club Rider (Level D Rides)||8 – 10 mph||1 hour or a little more|
|Recreational Rider (Level C Rides)||12 – 14||Around 50 minutes|
|Trained Cyclist (Level B Rides)||15 – 17||Around 40 minutes|
|Highly Trained Cyclist (Level A Rides)||18 – 20||30 minutes|
|Elite / Racer||20 – 22+||25 to 30 minutes|
|Professional||25+||20 to 25 minutes|
The Beginner Cyclist
No matter how in-shape (or out of shape) you may be, most beginner cyclists can start on flat paved roads at speeds of about 8mph. Too much slower than this, and you’ll have trouble keeping your balance on the bike.
Even new riders who are physically fit might ride slowly because they don’t yet have the bike handling skills needed to go fast.
In addition, they may be nervous about picking up speeds and may not know what gears they need to use to ride faster.
There’s nothing wrong with riding at 8mph. It’s fast enough to feel the wind in your hair and keep your bike upright. And, of course, even beginner cyclists can ride faster than they can walk.
If you’re a new cyclist, it will probably take you over an hour to bike ten miles.
The New Club Rider
If you’re just getting into club rides, you’ll want to start at the most basic level. This is where you learn skills like riding in groups, being predictable, and riding in traffic.
This will be an easy pace if you’re in great shape.
It’s also a good pace for people who are returning from an injury or illness. New club riders enjoy short rides. These rides go at about 8 to 10 mph. They are social rides that will take an hour to a little longer.
Recreational riders have more skills, fitness, and experience than brand-new riders. They may be working on their fitness and bike-handling skills or enjoying the social pace.
If you sign up for a Level C or recreational ride, you’ll probably have a nice coffee stop halfway through. Not counting the coffee stop, this 12 to 14 mph pace will get you a 50-minute ride if you are going ten miles.
In my cycling club, it takes a little training and work to be a Level B rider. Level B rides are often longer and faster. They’re still social with a coffee stop, but you’re putting effort into getting there.
These trained cyclists will go speeds of about 15 to 17 mph on flat roads, meaning it will take you about 40 minutes to complete a ten-mile ride.
Highly Trained Cyclists
These are cyclists who are in great shape. They work hard, and they ride hard! Since they can ride at 18 to 20 mph speeds, they can easily complete a ten-mile ride in 30 minutes.
In addition, they may use drafting techniques, take corners a little faster, and have excellent bike handling skills.
It isn’t unusual for elite cyclists to be able to ride at speeds of 20 to 22 mph. This is because they’ve worked hard on their fitness, and it shows!
They have top-notch bike handling skills, and you’ll often find them racing in packs, crits, or at the track. Their rides are easily 50 to 60 miles long, but they can ride a ten-miler in 25 to 30 minutes.
Professional cyclists ride at incredible speeds, especially in the peloton. A pro cyclist in the peloton will easily hit speeds of over 25 mph, which means they can ride 10 miles in 20 minutes – that’s fast! Most of us can’t even dream of going that fast.
2. Factors that Affect Cycling Speed
Of course, these numbers are based on riding a road bike over relatively flat terrain. But there are a large number of factors that affect your cycling speed.
The faster you can ride, the more your speed is affected.
The biggest factor that a cyclist will encounter is aerodynamic drag. This is the force of the air that hits you as you are riding. The bigger the cyclist, the more aerodynamic drag they have to overcome.
The faster you go, the more drag you’ll encounter.
However, if you are riding in a group, you can draft off the person in front of you. The closer you ride to their wheel, you’ll feel drag. This means a group of cyclists can go faster riding closer together than an individual cyclist could.
Weather plays a big part in speed. For example, if you ride into a headwind, it will slow you down! According to roadbikerider, a headwind will slow you down by about half the wind’s speed. So a ten-mile wind could slow you down by 5 miles an hour.
So if you can typically ride ten miles in an hour, a ten-mile-an-hour headwind will make your ride about twice as long.
Wet roads can be faster, as the water causes the wheel to glide more easily over the road surface. But be forewarned, you’ll need more braking time and turning time so you don’t slide out.
A new club rider can easily ride at about ten miles an hour on a flat road. But on a steep hill, you might only be able to go half that speed.
On the other hand, when you come back down that hill, you could go even twice as fast or more. The more hills you tackle, the slower your average ride speed will be.
I used flat, paved roads to discuss our average speeds.
But if you ride on gravel, you’ll go a few miles per hour slower than you would on the pavement. The thicker the tires and the rougher the road, the slower your pace will be.
Type of Bike
The type of bike you ride will also affect how fast or slow you go. For example, an aero bike is the fastest bike for flatter roads.Check out some of the best road bike brands if you need a new one!
But if you ride a hybrid or a cruiser bike, you’ll go a little slower due to the heavier frame and fatter wheels.
For example, if you’re a brand new rider and try to ride a heavy mountain bike with full suspension and wide tires on a flat paved road, you might only go 6 or 7 mph when a more aggressive road bike would get you 8 or 10.
Tire width and tire pressure will also affect speed. The wider the tire, the slower it will go on flat roads.
The best road tires are probably around 25 to 28 mm wide and pumped up to the manufacturer’s suggested tire pressure printed on the sidewall.
Lastly, your fitness level can affect how fast you can go on a bike. If you have an illness or injury, you might not be able to go 8 or 10 mph yet. You might need to start with shorter, easier rides and build your way up until you can begin to ride ten miles in an hour or less.
On the other hand, if you’re very fit when you just started to ride, you might be able to go faster right away.
Accessories and Clothes
The more accessories you have on your bike, the more it will slow you down. Heavy bags or a large basket will create extra drag and make you slower.
On the other hand, wearing the right clothes can make you faster. Bulky, floppy clothing will catch the wind and slow you down while cycling clothes will help you glide through the wind, so you go faster.
Bike Handling Skills
Let’s not forget the importance of good bike handling skills.
For example, if you aren’t very good at cornering, you’ll have to slow down a lot going into each turn. This can add up to several minutes of time over the course of an entire bike route.
If you aren’t good at descending, you’ll go down hills much more slowly than other riders, too, which will make your average speed slower.
Don’t take chances and do dangerous things just to get faster; practice your skills to have confidence and speed up.
Final Thoughts on How Long Does it Take to Bike 10 Miles
Everyone is different, and everyone is on a different fitness journey. So start where you are and keep practising!
Riding several times a week will help you improve from a beginner cyclist to someone much more physically fit and faster.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mountain biking is a very different sport than riding on the road. According to singletracks, technical trails can be very slow – around 3mph – and downhill races can be very fast – over 40mph.
E-bikes are a game changer when it comes to speed. If you’re a new rider, you can use the pedal assist on an e-bike to help you keep up with faster riders.
They go anywhere from 20 to 28mph with pedal assist, depending on the type of e-bike you are riding.
Kids dirt bikes can go even faster – over 45 mph!
You can improve your average speed by working on your fitness, practising your bike handling skills, and pushing yourself to ride with faster cyclists.
Maybe, but probably not. You need a consistent schedule of cycling to get better and faster.
Generally speaking, gravel bikes are slower than road bikes on paved surfaces. However, your gravel bike will probably be faster on gravel than your road bike.
Amanda Whittington is an expert writer, impassioned cyclist, and musician. Coming from a diverse educational background, Amanda discovered a deep-rooted passion for encouraging others through her love of all things cycling, writing, and inspiring hope.
You’ll likely find Amanda pouring over bike specs, comparing the hottest cycling tech, and sporting the latest jerseys while juggling the demands of her editorial calendar, training schedule, tiny homestead, and 6 busy kids.
She spends her free time absorbed in her own gardening and fitness, cycling, and reading, all while encouraging adoption and foster care, championing the underdog, and of course, working with her chickens and goats.