How Fast Does a Mountain Bike Go?

How fast can you go with a mountain bike

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How fast can my mountain bike go? If you too are wondering that question then you are in the right place.

Size, bike gears, type of the bike, trail conditions, and weather conditions are some of the factors I considered when answering this question.

What’s the Average Speed?

An average cyclist will go at a speed of 19mph on the road. The speed will then go to highs of 14mph after picking a trail.

Complex rising conditions and other factors to consider while maneuvering the trail cannot allow the rider to go any faster.

For downhill riding, a mountain bike can go up to 19kph. Electronic mountain bikes are quicker. They can go to a speed of up to 19 mph on a single lane.

Experienced cyclists will often argue that bikes can be fast enough depending on speed gears, 7 and 21-speed.

21-Speed Gear Bike. How Fast Is It?

Ever heard of a 21-speed bike? This is a mountain bike based on 3 gears on the front and 7 more gears on the rear.

The top-notch gears fit on this bike allow you to increase your speed either uphill or downhill. Cyclists must then learn the art of joining the set of gears provided to improve and reduce the bike’s speed.

A 21-speed bike allows you to pedal through rough mountain terrain at the highest possible speed while still maintain proper safety on corners and downhill sections.

It’s a very comfortable bike, thanks to the many gears provided. Cyclists prefer this bike for competitions due to the highest speed possible.

How Fast Can You Pedal a Bike?

There are many MTBs in the market. The toughest question troubling a beginner cyclist is which bike to ride and the highest achievable speeds.

Most beginners will cycle at an average of 10 to 14 mph on the road. Achieving high speed on the road is fulfilling, making it easier to achieve a high speed of up to 18mph if you have previous fitness experience in sports or athletics.

On a straight road, professional cyclists can go to a high speed of between 25 to 28 mph. A 14mph for a starter is quite fair, don’t get discouraged by watching professionals who make it seem so easy while they have been practicing for years.

Average Speed on Single Tracks

A single-track trail will have downhill and uphill and challenging terrain with mud levels and rocks that will affect your cycling speed.

For an average biker, a single-track riding on a mountain bike is around 9 mph, equivalent to 15 kph. However, the speed can be outrun by most advanced riders, while beginners might find a hard time catching up. Body fitness plays a huge role.

The average Speed difference between mountain and road bikes

On flat pavement, a road bike is likely to go 7 mph faster than a mountain bike. The resistance and weight of the bike on the road could cause the whole difference.

A downhill ride with a mountain bike reaches speeds of around 31 to 37 mph, while a road bike averages 43 to 49 mph, an entire 12mph difference.

However, with the necessary fitness and bike setup, a mountain bike can keep up with the road bike, as you will see later in this article.

A mountain bike has several components which increase tractions and reduce attainable speed on the road; however, remember the mountain bike is entirely made for off-road and does pretty fine.

Why is Mountain Bike Not as Fast as Road Bikes?

If you have been on a road bike, you must attest that the difference in speed is quite significant. Here are some reasons I believe limits the highest speed realizable by mountain bikes.

Mountain bikes are heavier. To put it more straightforward, everything in a mountain bike is much heavier.

Pedaling a mountain bike on the road requires more energy. Assuming a mountain biker and a road biker are riding at the same speed, the mountain biker will be doing a lot of work to keep the pace.

MTB tires have more resistance. Some MTB have up to 29” with reduced pressure to increase wheel resistance and boost the bike’s grip on rock and rough terrain.

Increased resistance on the road increases drags, and undoubtedly, it can’t go faster, but it improves safety since it’s designed for rough terrain.

Mountain bikes need tires with more grip for maximum stability on the trails. Applying the tire knobs on the road will slow you down.

It absorbs your pedal power, meaning you have to pedal faster with more energy to increase the bike’s speed.

Mountain bikes have an upright attack position to easily ride off-road, rocks, and holes without noticing.

It is an aerodynamic meant to increase stability on the trail. When used on the road increases wind resistance and slows you down a lot.

The most important feature of a mountain bike is suspension. There’s suspension on the front and rear tires for increased speed to ride over roots and rocks. While maintaining cycling speed. On the road, the suspensions absorb the pedaling force and retards high speed.

Mountain bikes encounter rough terrain with extending tree roots, sharp objects and sharp rocks.

To prevent puncture, they have a low psi, which helps grip and absorb impact. A lower pressure increases drag and reduce the highest attainable speed.

How to Increase Average Speed on a Mountain Bike

Some cyclists prefer using mountain bikes on the road and still manage to attain higher speeds. Check out the tips I have compiled that will boost the speed of a mountain bike.

Tires. 26ers and 29ers won’t help on the road. First, change the tires. Thin tires make the bike light and reduce drag. The tires must be slick and knobless to increase rolling. Increase psi too.

Get rise of suspension on both tires entirely. You won’t encounter any rocks and roots on the road.

A flat pavement requires maximum pedal force to attain high speed. All your pedal power will now reflect on high speeds.

Most mountain bikers prefer clipped pedals for more effortless pedaling. If you want to pedal faster, clips will slow you down. Directing all your force on each pedal stroke increases your biking speed significantly.

Adjust your handlebars. Narrow handlebars have easier control at high speed. Remember to lower them as low as they can go.

High speed requires a different aerodynamic body position. Mountain cycling body style increases its stability on rough terrain, but road cycling reduces drag to the lowest levels possible.

Maintain a lower body position tucking in your elbows, lowering your head and shoulders.

Replace the mountain bike fork with a rigid fork. Mountain bike’s fork absorbs impact through travel bouncing. Travel bouncing on roads reduces speed.

A rigid fork helps boost your pedaling power, especially if you choose to stand on the pedals.

Most mountain bikes use up to 3 chainrings, each weighing around 150 grams. One chainring will still work for road cycling, saving close to half a kilo.

Reduced weight on the road leads to faster speed, as in the trail where more weight is absorbed, you move faster.

Tips And Tricks to Make Mountain Bike Faster on Mountain Trails

If you are preparing for a race, high speed is non-negotiable. Here are a few tricks I have confirmed and have helped boost my biking speed.

Tire tread selection. While aggressive treads help boost biking traction, excessive treads will slow you down.

Replace your treads with less aggressive ones if you have gathered some biking experience with adequate body controls.

Optimizing tire pressure would help you increase your speed limits. Lower psi increases traction and rolling resistance. Research the trail you expect to run on to understand the pressure to maintain.

If it’s not that rocky, 25-35 psi will work fine. A mini pump is thus an effective gear to keep the pressure on the proper levels.

Lubricate the drivetrain—proper lubrication increases pedaling efficiency. More energy is saved and directed to pedaling, which increases cycling speeds.

Use the appropriate lubrication depending on the riding condition. In rainy seasons, a wet lube has greater efficiency and will last longer.

Align your Brakes. Brakes will do a perfect job of slowing down where you need to, but they will slow you down entirely if not correctly aligned.

Make sure they only rub when engaged. Check the caliper’s functionality, the wrench, and the brake rotor. In case the caliper knocks to one side, it could cause rubbing.

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Written By

From riding to school since the age of 13, attending BMX races and events with his dad to himself conquering 50+ trails across the globe. For Rob, his Giant Stance 29 2 2020 is the friend that makes everything better. He is also a proud member of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

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