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Is an Average of 15 Miles Per Hour on a Bike Good for a Beginner?

author image Heather Topham Wood
Heather Topham Wood is a seasoned writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today, Gadgetell, Feel Rich and Step in Style. Heather is a published novelist with six Amazon bestsellers and a contract through Crescent Moon Press. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from TCNJ.
Is an Average of 15 Miles Per Hour on a Bike Good for a Beginner?
Your fitness level helps determine if 15 mph is an ideal speed for you. Photo Credit: Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images

When you begin cycling, you want to get comfortable with your bike before you worry about your speed. The first few weeks of riding, work on adjusting your bike to find your ideal cycling position. Once you gain comfort, work on gradually increasing your pace. Use timed runs and bike speedometers to estimate your speed on a bicycle.

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According to the Road Bike website, a beginner training speed of 14 mph is typically adequate for a cyclist. You may achieve this speed immediately or you may need a few weeks to build up endurance. If you are new to cycling, work on riding at a steady pace with a few short intervals of a more challenging speed, like 14 to 15 mph.


The NutriStrategy website categorizes riding at speeds of 14 to 15.9 mph as a vigorous pace. Speeds above 16 mph are considered very vigorous while riding a bicycle. A light pace would be 10 to 11.9 mph while a moderate pace is categorized as 12 to 13.9 mph. If you are a beginner, start at a light or moderate pace and ride at speeds between 10 and 14 mph.


Your current fitness level and the types of bike rides you plan to do help determine an appropriate pace. For instance, if you are athletic, a pace of 15 mph may feel comfortable. In addition, short rides may be done at a faster pace, like 15 mph and above. Endurance riders new to cycling may find it difficult to sustain this pace for prolonged periods.


You'll burn a substantial amount of calories if you begin cycling at 15 mph. According to NutriStrategy, a 155-pound individual can expect to burn about 704 calories per hour while riding at this pace. If you feel more comfortable at a moderate pace of 12 to 13.9 mph, and you weigh the same amount, you’ll burn an average of 563 calories per hour.

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