Mountain Bike Speed Everything That You Need To Know About

Updated on 09/16/2021
BY Jim Felt

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From the riding experience of both professional and recreational riders, mountain bikes are not the ones with the fastest speed among all the bike types. But do you actually know how fast you are on your mountain bike?

Knowing your current mountain bike speed can help to estimate your daily route, track your training as well as monitoring your cycling experience. Let’s learn more about the average speed of riding a mountain bike to help you achieve these goals.

Average Speed of  Mountain Bikes

Average Speed of  Mountain Bikes

The average speed of mountain bikes for single-track riding is 10mph.

Meanwhile, professional mountain bike riders can reach 20 mph on the road in good condition. However, if the condition is not favorable, it can be reduced to around 14mph.

Here is the article for the best mountain bike for under 500 dollars, where you can find some high-quality MTBs and its details, including the speed.

If you are curious about the peak speed of riding a mountain bike, you can learn about it here:

Downhill Mountain Bike Speed

The average speed of downhill mountain bikes is approximately 44.8 mph. The highest downhill mountain bike speed is recorded at 55 mph. The lowest speed is recorded at 37.2 mph.

The speed of going uphill with a downhill mountain bike is more complicated to estimate due to the variety of slope grades. It is around 8 mph.

The result from that experiment indicates that many factors can make your bike go slower. For example, rolling resistance, gear ratio, and body position are some of them. You should pay attention to these factors to improve your overall speed of mountain biking.

Off-Road Mountain Bike Speed

Off-Road Mountain Bike Speed

The average off-road mountain bike speed will be approximately 9mph. The smallest speed of off-road riding is 3 mph. Besides, the peak speed is 17 mph for off-road riding at a very ideal condition.

There are differences in the overall speed of mountain biking on-road and off-road. The majority of cyclists calculated their off-road biking speed to be two-thirds or one-third of their on-road speed.

Cross-Country (XC) Mountain Bike Speed

Cross-Country (XC) Mountain Bike Speed

The average speed of a cross-country mountain bike is 9mph. The peak speed of experienced cross-country mountain bikers can reach 18mph in favorable conditions. The lowest speed for cross country MTB riding is 4 mph.

The terrain and elevation are the most challenging factors when going on a cross country mountain bike (XC). The physically demanding laps and the techniques required to complete the routes also pitch in. Cross-country mountain bikers will have to race on flat surfaces and other tough terrains such as muds and hurdles.

In case you are interested in how to go fast on cross-country mountain bikes:

Trail Mountain Bike Speed

The average trail mountain bike speed is 6.98 mph. The peak speed for experienced cyclists is 15 mph, while the lowest one is 3 mph.

In most circumstances, there will be the average speed for the trails listed on the single-track. The more technically demanding the trail is, the slower the power output.

Let’s visit the top 12 best trail mountain bikes in 2021. The products are the most popular ones, and cover speed and other details of trail MTBs, including design, weight, and more.

Mountain Bike Speed vs. E-Mountain Bike Speed

Mountain Bike Speed vs. E-Mountain Bike Speed

The winner in the duel of mountain bike speed vs. E-mountain bike speed is the electric model. Both E-mountain bikes with and without pedal support have greater average speed than the normal mountain bike.

Here are some comparisons of the riding speed of mountain bike and E-mountain bike:

Speed Mountain bike E-mountain bike
Average speed on single track10 mph
  • 13 mph (with pedal assistance)
  • 9 mph (without pedal assistance)
Peak speed on single track20 mph28 mph (with pedal assistance)
Lowest speed7 mph20 mph

You can learn more about the peak speed of E-mountain bikes in this video:

Mountain Bike Speed vs. Road Bike Speed

Mountain Bike Speed vs. Road Bike Speed

Many people often have two minds about mountain bike speed vs. road bike speed. Because they are both popular types of bike for amateur and professional cyclists alike.

Below is a short comparison of mountain bike speed vs road bike speed. As can be seen from the table, road bikes, on average, are faster.

SpeedMountain bike Road bike
Average speed on single track10 mph15 mph
Average speed of novice riders7-10 mph10-12 mph
Average speed of experienced riders17 mph20-24 mph
Peak speed20 mph24 mph
Lowest speed7 mph10 mph

Additionally, the speed of riding a road bike relies on the road bike models. You can visit the top 14 best road bikes under $500 for more details of each model. Speed is also included in this article.

This video will reveal the comparison of road bikes and mountain bikes:

How to Increase your Average Speed on Mountain Bikes

How to Increase your Average Speed on Mountain Bikes

By increasing your riding speed, you can improve your stamina, cycling techniques, and power output. Here are some of the methods to increase your average speed on mountain bikes:

Step 1: Get in the right riding position.

Adjusting your body position to be more aerodynamic and flexible will help you to ride a mountain bike faster.

The ideal position would be lower front-end and higher saddle:

  1. You can make your handlebar narrower for extra aerodynamics.
  2. Your elbow should create a 90-degree angle to reduce air resistance.

Step 2: Let’s change your tires.

Rolling resistance can drag the mountain bike speed down considerably. You should try upgrading your bike tires into lower rolling resistant, higher-quality ones compatible with your wheel sizes.

Step 3: Reduce your body weight.

Weight Reduction

Your body weight contributes to the total weight when mountain biking. The gravity causes rolling resistance and, in turn, makes you ride slower.

Keeping fit will both help to reduce the total rolling resistance and improve your health conditions.

Step 4: Focus on cycling training.

Experienced cyclists took time and effort in training to improve their physique and technique; so their average cycling speed is faster.

One type of training that beginners and intermediate-level cyclists should practice to improve their riding speed is interval training:

  1. You should try cycling to exceed your current average mountain bike riding speed on the road as long as you can.
  2. Then you can take a rest and repeat the first step.
  3. Gradually, you will increase your average speed for mountain biking.

You can also learn the tips and tricks to go faster on mountain bikes here:

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The Author

Jim Felt

Jim Felt, a man with a genuine love of speed. A man who designed his very first triathlon frame for Johnny O’Mara – the star of Motorcross at “The O-Show” – then got big successes in 1990. In 1994, Felt incorporated with Answer Products to launch his brand, starting a 7-year relationship until 2000. In 2001, Jim Felt relaunched the Feltracing brand in conjunction with Michael Müllmann and Bill Duehring. Our product lines were then expanded into a full line of commuter bikes, cruisers, MTBs, MBX, even road and tri bikes. The total number of models were up to 140 distributed in 27 countries.



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