How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile? (Beginners to Pros)

A custom graphic from cyclistshub.com illustrating how long it takes to bike a mile. It shows two gradient scales. The first one shows the ride time depending on fitness level. This is matched by the second, which shows the average speed of the ride (in km/h and mph), again depending on the rider's fitness level.

Whether new to biking or curious about how long your commute will take, you will find the answers here.

The time it takes to bike a mile varies based on your average speed. In this article, I will discuss factors influencing it and tell you the average time to bike a mile.

How Long Does It Take to Bike a Mile?

Biking a mile takes between 4 and 6 minutes at an average speed of 9 to 14 mph, an average speed most people ride. The time may vary because of several factors, such as your fitness level, bike type, terrain, weather, traffic, etc.

You can use the following calculator to calculate the riding time if you know your average speed.

Or, you can input the riding time, and it will calculate how quickly you have to ride to reach your destination on time.

RIDING TIME CALCULATOR

System:

Your average speed: kph

Ridden distance: km



What Affects Your Average Bike Speed?

As I mentioned, many factors contribute to your average bike speed and, therefore, the time to bike a mile. Listed below are some of the most significant factors affecting it.

Fitness

One of the first factors that will affect the time to bike a mile is the biker’s fitness level. A biker’s physical health and experience often play a more significant role than other factors.

The fitness level of the cyclist dramatically influences the speed at which we ride bikes. Thus, a beginner will ride a mile slower than a fit cyclist or even a pro.

The following table shows the riding times and average speeds of people at different fitness levels.

Fitness LevelTimeAverage speed
Beginner~6 minutes~9.3 mph (15 kph)
Intermediate~4 minutes~14.3 mph (23 kph)
Advanced~3 minutes~18.6 mph (30 kph)
Pro~2 minutes~24.9 mph (40 kph)
This table summarizes how long it takes to bike a mile and the average speed based on different fitness levels.

Bike Type & Tires

Besides the biker’s fitness, the time will also depend on the type of bike, tires, and tire pressure.

This chart shows the average speed of mountain, hybrid, gravel, and road bikes, and the time it takes to ride a mile.
Average Speed Based on the Bike Type and Time to Bike a Mile

For example, road bikes are the fastest bike type thanks to their narrow and smooth tires, aerodynamics, and sporty riding position, which has less air drag.

On the other hand, hybrid bikes are slower because you sit in a more relaxed position (e.g., higher air resistance). Additionally, their tires have higher rolling resistance, and their aerodynamics is worse. The same applies to mountain bikes, which are the slowest bike type.

When cycling a mile, choosing the right type of bike will reduce the time it takes. In most cases, a particular type of bike can be 1 to 4 mph faster than another.

Bike typeTime to ride a mile [mm:ss]Average speed
Road~3:45~16 mph (25.8 kph)
Gravel~4:00~15 mph (24.1 kph)
Hybrid~4:30~13.3 mph (21.4 kph)
Mountain~5:00~12 mph (19 kph)
This table summarises how long it takes to cycle one mile and the average speed based on different bike types. Remember that each bike type includes several sub-categories, so their speeds may vary further.

I cover different bike types in more detail below in the FAQ section.

Gradient & Terrain

The terrain and gradient are other factors that significantly affect the time to cycle a mile. They are worth considering when biking in a particular area.

For instance, climbing a 5% gradient one-mile hill will take 2.5 times longer*, assuming all other variables (like your power, rolling resistance, weather, etc.) are the same.

*3 minutes 24 seconds vs. 8 minutes and 27 seconds (Source)

A custom graphics illustrating 5% gradient and the increased time it takes to bike.
An illustration of a 5% gradient

Likewise, a mile-long rough road will take longer to bike than a mile on a typical street or smooth tarmac.

Weather

If it’s windy, it will take longer when you’re headed in the opposite direction rather than biking with the wind. 

Rain can also affect your performance. It can obscure your vision, and the water will increase rolling resistance, reducing your speed.

In hot weather, on the other hand, you will have to battle overheating. So it’s better to bike slower. After all, you don’t want to arrive at your destination all sweaty, do you?

Air Resistance

The total cyclist’s resistance consists of air, rolling, gravitational, drivetrain, and other resistance types.

According to this study, air resistance accounts for 43-57%, gravitational resistance for 24-38%, and rolling resistance for 11%.

So, to improve your speed, you will make the biggest impact when focusing on reducing air resistance. But how do you do it?

You have to lower your aerodynamic drag coefficient (CdA), a combination of an object’s shape and surface area.

You can lower this number and improve your speed by lowering your riding position (make yourself more aero).

Remco Evenepoel riding Vuelta a Espana in an aero riding position.
Remco Evenepoel in his aero riding position | Picture Credit: Luis Angel Gomez, Unipublic / Sprint Cycling Agency

Few people realize how big an impact clothing does. I am not saying you should go and buy snug cycling shorts and a jersey for commuting.

But you should know the flappier your clothing, the more drag and the more effort you have to put into the same riding speed.

Bike Average Speed and Biking a Mile FAQ

Below are some of the frequently asked questions you may have regarding biking a mile:

Conclusion

It takes 4 to 6 minutes on average to ride a mile. But your speed will depend on other factors, mainly your fitness, bike type, terrain, and weather.

A mile feat isn’t often tracked because it’s too short. However, it’s good to know how long it will take you so you can better plan your commute.

I highly recommend you start cycling instead of driving. Besides saving a lot of money, you will improve your physical condition, do something for the environment, and get many other benefits.

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