How Long Does It Take to Bike 20 Miles? – Detailed Answer

Cycling is a healthy hobby that anyone can try. In essence, it is already one of the best cardio exercises where you can track your progress by the hour or mile.

Maybe you’re new to the sport, or you’ve been riding a bike for a while. But, at some point, you will probably start conquering longer distances.

How long does it take to bike 20 miles? This is a valid question. Basically, this milestone cannot be reached immediately, especially if you are a beginner. An average person would reach a speed of 17 mph. Thus, it will take you about 100 minutes to complete 20 miles of cycling.

However, this is an ideal number, and many factors will play into how long it takes to bike 20 miles. So, whether you are a beginner cyclist or a seasoned rider, this article will be a comprehensive guide for answering some common questions.

Factors That Affect How Long to Ride 20 Miles on a Bike

1. Health and Fitness Level

Fitness Level for Cycling

If you rarely exercise, even 10 miles of cycling would be a struggle. It is a real challenge for people who are not physically fit.

As mentioned above, the average speed for most people is around 17 mph. However, beginner cyclists will have a hard time maintaining this speed continuously.

But, if you’re used to training and are in good shape, completing a 20-mile bike ride shouldn’t be a challenge. It’s completely normal to get 20 miles below the expected time.

In short, in the early days, you will get tired and go slower at times. Do not worry! All of these are normal! Take breaks when needed.

Of course, your speed and fitness will continuously improve as your body has fully adapted to the new lifestyle. With constant practice, you can expect to complete a 20-mile bike in an hour.

2. Type of Bike You Ride

City Bikes

The bike type is an essential factor determining your 20 mile bike ride time more than your health and fitness level. Bike types depend mainly on the kind of road they will be used on.

You can expect to complete your goal in half an hour with an electric bike. It is designed to help you go faster with less effort.

On the other hand, hybrid and mountain bikes are the perfect picks for hilly terrains. However, they won’t be a wise choice if you’re riding on a smooth road surface as they will slow you down by 2-6 mph with their bigger tires.

Road bikes are suitable for flat and paved routes because they will give you the fastest speed possible. Basically, these bikes are smoother to use than mountain bikes and hybrid bikes. With this type of bike, you can easily complete 20 miles without spending too much effort hitting the pedals.

Thus, investing in a road bike is wise if you want to finish 20 miles in a cinch.

It is true to say that a suitable bike will help you ride more comfortably and prevent injury. As a result, your bike must fit your body size correctly. Otherwise, it could negatively affect your cycling.

3. Your Terrain And Route

Cycling Route

Your terrain is also an essential factor that can prevent you from cycling 20 miles fast and easily.

Of course, it is always easier to cross a smooth and unchallenging road than on hilly, rough, and heavy terrain. In fact, this type of terrain requires a lot of effort and a certain amount of experience.

Gravity is another aspect that determines whether you can go slow or fast. For example, when going up the hill, you need to work harder to resist gravity, which slows you down. In contrast, gravity gives you a significant increase in speed when going downhill. So, whether you have to go through a smooth road or a rough and heavy terrain, you will go faster than expected when going downhill.

If your road is crowded, it is difficult to maintain a steady speed because you must obey traffic laws while cycling. Moreover, you also have to be more vigilant about your safety.

In short, hilly and heavy terrains take longer to finish. Hence, if you are a beginner, we recommend choosing flat and straight routes for your first rides. Furthermore, it is crucial to choose the right bike for the terrain you’re going through. For example, a road bike is suitable for flat surfaces, while a mountain bike works best for hilly and rough terrains.

4. Weather Conditions


Last but not least, weather conditions can ultimately affect your speed and performance while cycling as well.

What is the current temperature? Is it raining outside? Those are some of the questions you should keep in mind. Different weather conditions can affect how long it takes you to cycle 20 miles. You will also be more likely to have an accident while cycling.

In detail, extreme heat will make you more tired, prolonging 20 mile bike ride time. Also, if it’s snowing outside, it is impossible to ride a bicycle.

Wind can also slow you down if you are going out of the direction of the wind. The reason is that the wind pulls you back, reducing your speed.

Is It Hard for a Beginner to Cycle 20-Miles?

“Is it possible to reach a 20 mile bike ride for beginners?” These are some worries one has before commuting too far on a bike.

When you start to do something, you will have a little difficulty; and Cycling is no exception. If you are a beginner, the 20-mile bike ride is a real challenge for you. To reach this milestone, you must consistently practice and prepare.

Even in your teens, you will also have difficulty cycling 20 miles if you are not regularly physically active.

Therefore, to increase fitness, it is best to participate in physical activities. Walking, running, or swimming are some great cross-training exercises to improve your endurance. Once your body has adapted to the new lifestyle, a 20-mile ride will not be a big deal.

Even if you’re in good shape, do not try to cycle 20 miles the first time. You need to give your body some time to get adjusted. Thus, it is best to start with 5 miles and gradually increase your cycling distance.

It Is Wise to Be Safe than Sorry!

Whatever your purpose of cycling, don’t take your life for granted. Remember that your safety is always a top priority! That’s why we don’t recommend cycling in inclement weather to avoid all risks.

For instance, wet roads can cause your bike to skid, leading to knee or elbow injuries. Therefore, if you know that it is going to rain today, you should take a day off to read a book or participate in other leisure activities.

In addition, it is essential to equip yourself with the proper safety gear. So, when riding 20 miles, you should wear a helmet, elbow, and knee pads. Always prepare for the worst!

Frequently Asked Questions

cycling 20 miles faq

1. Is Biking 20 Miles Hard?

If you regularly engage in physical activity, such as jogging, hitting the gym, or swimming, biking 20 miles shouldn’t be a big deal.

However, you do not have to hit 20 miles on the first day. The best thing is to start with 5 miles a day and then gradually increase the distance. Once your body adjusts to the distance, you can expect to achieve this milestone in under an hour.

2. What is a good pace for a 20-mile cycle ride?

17 mph is the appropriate speed for a 20 mile bike ride.

Maintaining this speed throughout the journey will take you about one hour and 40 minutes to reach your destination. If you are fit enough, try running at 20 mph.

3. Is biking 20 miles a day too much?

If you are a beginner, cycling 20 miles per day is too much for you. However, once your body adjusts to the distance, you will not feel it that much.

4. What happens if I bike 20 miles a day?

This healthy habit offers you numerous benefits. Some of them include:

  • Best for heart’s health
  • Best for your joints
  • Maintains your weight
  • It keeps your mind fresh
  • Reduces Stress

5. What is the average road bike speed?

If you are a professional rider, it is not difficult to maintain a speed of 25 mph. However, an average person will reach a speed of 17 mph. This average speed may be slightly higher or lower, depending on the factors mentioned above.


I think you’ve your own answer on how long to ride 20 miles on a bike? It can take you an hour or two hours to cycle 20 miles, depending on your fitness level, your route’s terrain, the bike you ride, the weather conditions, and so on.

In general, cycling 20 miles a day is a healthy habit; and 20 miles per hour is a respectable goal that should not be difficult to achieve when you exercise and cycle regularly.

Whether you ride for fun or prepare for a race, do not forget to have fun and enjoy your surroundings. Most importantly, do not compare yourself to other cyclists. Just be persistent; your health and speed will improve day by day.

Thank you for reading! Hope you like this article on how long does it take to bike 20 miles. Please share this article with other cyclists.