Is age related to the average cycling speed? As it turns up, your cycling speed reaches its peak when you’re 25–35 years old, and starts declining after that.
The only way cyclists can progress and achieve higher speeds is by calculating their speed and monitoring it. When you know the average cycling speed of your age, you know whether you’re a fast or slow cyclist, and you can use the data to your advantage.
To answer your question, age is definitely related to your average cycling speed. For example, an 18–25 years old individual will have an average speed of 17–18.5 mph. Meanwhile, 50–60-year-old ones will have an average of 12.5–13.5 mph.
Here’s everything you need to know about the matter.
The Average Cycling Speed By Age: The Brief
Other than age, there are a lot of different factors that affect your cycling speed. The age is indirectly related because as you get older, your power naturally declines, affecting your cycling speed.
Here’s the average cycling speed according to age, without taking into consideration the other factors:
- 18–25 years: 17–18.5 mph
- 25–35 years: 20.8–21.7 mph
- 35–40 years: 18.6 mph
- 45–50 years: 15 mph
- 50–55 years: 13.6 mph
The Average Cycling Speed By Age: Seniors
Cyclists above 55 typically have a lower average speed. However, it’s worth noting that there haven’t been reliable studies about the direct collaboration between age and cycling speed.
Most studies give the same result: the cycling speed declines as the cyclist gets older. However, there is no other data that may help, and the topic needs further research.
Leaving out external factors, cyclists between 55 and 65 years old will have an average speed of 10.5–11.8 mph. Meanwhile, older cyclists will have an average of 8 mph, depending on their body condition.
External Factors That Affect Your Cycling Speed
Your cycling speed is mainly affected by external factors. So, you may be doing everything right and still not reach your desired speed. That’s because you need to consider the drag, riding conditions, rolling resistance, and a couple of more factors. Here’s a brief overview of each one of them.
The drag is basically the force that results from the bike’s motion through the air. Putting it simply, when you ride, you’re displacing the air around you. This displacement generates a frictional force, which is called drag.
If you’re willing to become a professional cyclist, you need to pay more attention to the drag. It’s one of the significant factors when it comes to speed. That’s why you’ll find a lot of competition products called ‘aero’ because they’re meant to generate less drag and get you to ride quicker.
You should aim to reduce your drag by adjusting your riding position and getting the proper equipment.
Some surrounding conditions can significantly lower your cycling speed. For example, if there’s wind, even if it’s gentle, it’ll generate more resistance, causing your speed to slow down. Other weather conditions, including rain and cold temperatures, can cause you to go slower as well.
The surface you’re riding on also contributes to the ease of cycling. Off-roading typically causes you to go slower than average.
The rolling resistance is the friction of your tires against the riding surface. This friction generates a resistance that may lower your average speed.
By choosing your tires right, you can make sure to reduce the rolling resistance of your riding, thereby achieving higher speeds efficiently. There are multiple things you can consider for that, such as the tire’s width and pressure.
Wider tires give more rolling resistance because more material is rubbing against the ground. As for the pressure, it depends on the road you’re riding on. If you’re off-roading, lower pressure gives more speed because otherwise, the bike would keep jumping up.
Alternatively, if you’re riding on smooth ground, you need your tires to be bumped up to reduce the friction.
If you don’t already know this, gravity can significantly affect your riding speed. Both of them have a direct relationship, and gravity is directly affected by your total weight.
The total weight of you, the bike, and any package you’re carrying will determine how fast you can go. As the weight increases, the gravity force on your bike increases. It’s simple physics; that’s why you can cycle faster if you manage to lower your bike’s weight because there’ll be less force acting on you.
If you’re planning to ride up a steep hill, you’ll need to pay even more attention to your age because there will be more force pulling you down.
Whether it’s the helmet, your outfit, or the bike itself, the riding gear is a significant factor in determining your riding speed. If the bike is heavy, for example, your speed will be lower because the weight generates more gravity force.
That’s why advanced bikes are made of carbon fiber; because it’s one of the lightest materials.
Believe it or not, the riding distance you’re covering may be the reason your speed is turning up low. At the start of your ride, you’re typically slower because your legs are still warming up. So, if your ride is short, an hour or so, its overall speed will be lower than usual.
Longer rides will have higher speeds because your legs will warm up and get to their peak power.
Rides that are too long will have lower speeds, too, because you’ll start feeling tired, and fatigue will kick in.
To Wrap Up
The average cycling speed is indirectly related to age, so as you get older, your cycling speed may decrease. However, age isn’t a significant factor. A lot of other external factors may affect the speed, including the drag, gravity force, and even riding distance.
If you want to increase your riding speed, make sure not to carry a heavyweight on the bike and choose a lightweight bike. You may also work on optimizing your riding position to reduce drag.