Anonymous asked in SportsCycling · 1 month ago

Is a 15-16 mph average decent for a beginner cyclist?

I just started getting into cycling about 4 months ago. I ride about 4 times a week and am able to maintain an average speed of 15-16 mph over a 1.25 hour ride with little elevation. I know this is kind of subjective and can also depend on both the rider and the bike, but I was just curious if my trajectory of progress is on track. I don't know if this matters, but I am a female, 24 years old, decent fitness level but certainly not an athlete, and I have a Liv Langma Advanced 2 (full carbon bike).

2 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    That's pretty good for a 24 Y O. and started 4 months ago.

  • 1 month ago

    Keep in mind that all this is only my humble opinion...  1) What is your "trajectory of progress" hoping to reach?  You never stated your ultimate goal.  If you plan to ultimately enter local races, you're well on your way.  The best thing to do now is find a local cycling club or group & join them.  

    2) How are you tracking speed, distance & time?  Hopefully, not just by looking at your watch & doing a little math.  There are many fine bike computers on the market - both the kind you might see from CatEye and also GPS computers.  The newest from CatEye looks pretty good.   If you have the bucks for it, many prefer a GPS unit, like one from Garmin.  Even a basic model will also track elevation.  Links up easily to Strava so you can compare your efforts to others in your area.  You could download the free version of Strava to a cell phone.  But, sadly...I found that to have glitches & sometimes doesn't record rides properly at all.  

    3) If you have the time to ride more...then RIDE MORE.  1.25 hours times a 16 mph average is only 20 miles.  I freaks out most people (non cyclists) when you tell 'em you just rode 20 miles.  But to many pure cycling enthusiasts, 20 miles is a "short ride".  If you're on Facebook, you might want to follow Bicycling Magazine.  Many fine articles on training, nutrition & my favorite...ways to build those CORE MUSCLES while off the bike.  This is a good one.

    4) You stated "little elevation".  The real test comes when climbing hills.  Even this gimpy, old man (me) has averaged 15 mph on flat terrain easily.  One of my best rides was 32 miles on a combination of hills & flats averaging 15.5 mph on an ALL ALUMINUM 2015 Giant Defy 5.  Your bike is certainly a lot lighter with much better specs.  Jeez...wish I could afford a $2000 bike.  Life on Social (in) Security sucks a big one. 😜

    To sum up or restate a little...if I were you, I'd find others to ride with.  Many bike shops hold group rides, especially on Saturday or Sunday mornings.  Try to find a group ride that maybe exceeds what you've been doing a little.  Look for what's commonly called a "no drop" ride.  Don't be afraid to push yourself a little more.  And DON'T be afraid of COVID-19 either.  Just keep a "social distance" of 6 feet or more.  You'll never know your "trajectory of progress" unless you compare yourself to others.  Good luck.                   

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