Bicycle Speed: What’s the Fastest You Can Go? (Unlock Secrets)

Explore the limits of cycling speed and learn how to ride faster, safely.

Ever pushed the pedals to the metal and wondered just how fast you could go on two wheels? What’s the top speed a bicycle can reach? Dive into the thrilling world of cycling speeds and learn a thing or two about pushing limits.

If you fancy building up your own speedster, be wary of the pitfalls with insights on avoiding common mistakes when building a fixie.

Key takeaways

  • The top speed a bicycle can reach is 89.59 mph set by the Eta Speedbike.
  • Factors such as aerodynamics, bike maintenance, and gearing can significantly impact your cycling speed.
  • High speeds bring both exhilaration and risk, so always prioritize safety.

What’s the top speed a bicycle can reach?

When it comes to bicycles hitting top speed, the sky—or should I say, the road—is the limit. Typically, a fit cyclist can crank up to around 25-30 mph on a flat surface. But introduce a bit of innovation and the game changes completely.

Featured image for a blog post called bicycle speed whats the fastest you can go unlock secrets.
Featured image for a blog post called bicycle speed whats the fastest you can go unlock secrets.

We’re not just talking fixies or track bikes here; we’re hitting the heights of streamlined, engineered beasts known as HPVs (Human-Powered Vehicles).

The current record for an HPV is a jaw-dropping 89.59 mph, set by Todd Reichert in the Eta Speedbike, a bullet-shaped marvel designed to slice through the air like a hot knife through butter. Now, let’s bring it back to the realm of us mere mortals on our beloved fixies.

  • Factors affecting top speed:
    • Aerodynamics of the rider and the bike
    • Rider’s power output and endurance
    • Road incline and surface condition
  • The phenomenal factor of drafting: experienced in the peloton or behind a dragster, allowing cyclists to hit speeds like Denise Mueller-Korenek’s 183.9 mph record.
  • Bike specs and setup: Get the lowdown on choosing the right components for your speed chase, whether it’s finding the best fixie bikes or selecting the perfect gear ratio for your ride.

Now, I’m no engineer, and my fixie isn’t exactly a high-tech, aerodynamic speed machine, but here’s what I think about all this speed business. Dean Karnazes once said, “Run when you can, walk if you have to…but never give up!” I reckon the same goes for cycling. It’s one thing to blaze a trail down the asphalt; it’s another to enjoy the ride, the burn in your quads, and the wind whipping past your ears.

There are times when I’m tearing through the streets of New York, weaving between taxicabs, when I feel like I’m flying. I heard a story about this guy who was descending a hill so fast that his bike started shaking uncontrollably—turned out he had a case of the dreaded “speed wobble.” Not something you see in the movies, sure, but it’s a real rush when you’re in control. Stay sharp, choose the right gear, and maybe you’ll set your own personal best, just make sure you know what does backpedaling mean and how to handle your speed.

Of course, some people in Hollywood have tried to show what the thrill of speed feels like on two wheels. Remember that scene from “Premium Rush” where JGL’s character is bobbing and weaving through the bustling New York streets? That cinematic adrenaline people feel, that’s the heart-pumping excitement us cyclists thrive on—minus the Hollywood stunts, of course.

My favorite bike (at the moment):

State Bicycle Co. Black Label 6061

Best overall fixed gear bike state bicycle co 6061 black label v2
My favorite bike (at the moment):

State Bicycle Co. Black Label 6061

This is my daily ride, my trusty Black Label It’s lightweight and beautifully crafted. It looks like a beast and rides like one too. I upgraded the saddle, but everything else is pretty much as it was out of the box. I highly recommend it.

How fast can bicycles really go?

The speed a bicycle can reach depends on several factors, such as the rider’s power output, bicycle design, and environmental conditions. On a standard road bike, riders can typically hit speeds around 25-30 mph on flat ground.

What are cycling speed records?

Record-setting speeds are a marvel of human endeavor and technological refinement. The highest speed recorded on level ground, without external aids, for a human-powered vehicle is an astonishing 89.59 mph. For those of us sticking to upright positions and non-streamlined fixies, the speeds are naturally lower, but still impressive.

Supplemental image for a blog post called 'bicycle speed: what's the fastest you can go? (unlock secrets)'.
Supplemental image for a blog post called ‘bicycle speed: what’s the fastest you can go? (unlock secrets)’.

“Pushing your speedometer to its limits isn’t just about raw power; it’s also about smarts and strategy.”With the right technique, training, and gear, you might just surprise yourself with how fast you can go.

Cyclists might get a boost from drafting, where slipstreaming behind another vehicle allows for reduced air resistance. In such a scenario, Denise Mueller-Korenek reached a mind-blowing speed of 183.9 mph, thanks to the aerodynamic help from a dragster. Grab some wisdom on the magic of draft and wind resistance with insights on what does backpedaling mean.

Impact of bike types and parts on speed

Different bikes and components are better suited for varying types of riding and speed attainment.
Bike types: Discover why track bikes and fixies are lauded for their simplicity and how they cater to speed lovers.
Critical components: From the slickness of your chain to the type of bike saddle you choose, every part of your fixie or track bike can influence your speed.

Mechanical efficiency and its influence on speed

The mechanical efficiency of a bike tells us how much of the rider’s energy is successfully transferred to the wheels. – Transfer of power: A well-maintained bike with a clean, lubricated chain can see up to 99% energy transfer. – Gearing system losses: Be aware of the impact of gears on efficiency.

The more complex the system, the more potential energy lost. Optimize your bike with the right fixie bike handlebars to balance control and speed.

Supplemental image for a blog post called 'bicycle speed: what's the fastest you can go? (unlock secrets)'.
Supplemental image for a blog post called ‘bicycle speed: what’s the fastest you can go? (unlock secrets)’.

Energy output and input considerations

The human element plays a significant role in how fast you can pedal your bicycle.
Physical capability: Understand how your fitness level in terms of watts per kilogram can influence your cycling speed.
Energy and food intake: Learn how much power you need and what fuel your body requires to sustain high-speed cycling, especially when tackling inclines.

How do slopes and terrains affect cycling speed?

The way up is slower than the way down—that’s biking 101. But how much does an incline or the roughness of the terrain decrease your speed? – Uphill challenges: Get the scoop on how inclines demand more power and impact your bike’s speed, then grab the tools you need with a look at the best bike multi-tools for maintenance and adjustments.

  • Downhill rewards: On the flip side, going down a gentle slope can significantly increase your speed without extra effort.

When we pedal out en masse, whether it’s for a casual cruise or a critical mass, the air’s humming with one question: How fast can we go? This table lays out the hard facts about cycling speeds—from average Joe’s to record-breaking pros.

Cycling ScenarioSpeedPower OutputEnergy ExpendedOther Factors
Typical cyclist on flat ground15 mph typicalVaries by fitness (1.5 – 6.6 W/kg)60 W to maintain a moderate speedMost efficient self-powered transport
HPV speed record on level ground89.59 mphNot specifiedHighly efficient mechanicsEta Speedbike, streamlined design
Fastest upright bicycle (fully faired conditions)51 mphNot specifiedGeared towards speedRecord set in 1986 by Jim Glover
Speed in slipstream (drafting behind a vehicle)183.9 mphNot specifiedAssisted by aerodynamicsRecord set by Denise Mueller-Korenek, 2018
Climbing a gentle incline5-10 mphRequires increased powerMore energy needed to overcome gravityInclines demand more output
Cycling downhill (no pedaling)20-40 mph on a 5% slopeNone, gravity assistsMinimal energy expenditureSteeper inclines allow faster speeds
These speeds are influenced by factors such as aerodynamics, mechanical efficiency, and the rider’s physical condition. +:+

Record-breaking or not, every push on the pedals adds up to a story—to the record we set against our own limits.

More cycling speed tips

Pushing your speedometer to its limits isn’t just about raw power; it’s also about smarts and strategy. To squeeze every ounce of velocity out of your ride, consider these extra tips.

  • Tune your bike: Regular maintenance can up efficiency and speed.
  • Aerodynamic posture: Lower your torso and tuck in your elbows.
  • Lightweight gear: Shed the extra grams where you can.
  • Intervals: Mix short sprints into your rides to build speed endurance.
  • Climb more: It builds strength, which translates to speed on flats.
  • Hydrate wisely: Dehydration can sap your energy and slow you down.

In the push for maximum pedal speed, the do’s and don’ts can sometimes blur like the scenery whizzing by. Keep these guidelines handy as a checkpoint for your riding tactics.

Learn proper pedaling techniqueNeglect bike fitting
Incorporate interval trainingOverlook the importance of rest
Focus on core strengthSkimp on nutrition
Wear appropriate cycling gearDisregard safety precautions
Use a bike suited to your activitiesUnderestimate the importance of hydration
Proper preparation can lead to accelerated progress. Remember, it’s not just about moving quickly—it’s also about making quick moves wisely.

Advantages and disadvantages of pushing bicycle speeds

Exploring the highs and lows of pushing the needle on your speedometer can teach you a lot about your boundaries, your bike, and the thrill of the ride.


  • Builds leg strength and cardiovascular endurance.
  • Increases cycling skill and overall biking efficiency.
  • Provides a sense of accomplishment and thrill.
  • Improves time trial performances and race results.


  • Increases risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Requires higher levels of focus and energy.
  • Can lead to quicker wear and tear on the bicycle.
  • Demands more intense physical training and recovery.

Understanding these pros and cons will guide you to make decisions that balance the thrill of speed with the practicality and safety required in cycling. Whether you’re racing or just enjoying the breeze, always ride smart.

If you are a visual learner, check out this video titled ‘Top 5 FASTEST ELECTRIC BIKES In The World You Can Buy’

A video titled “Top 5 FASTEST ELECTRIC BIKES In The World You Can Buy” from the “Glame ” YouTube channel.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What’s the best way to increase my average cycling speed?

Improving your average speed is a blend of endurance training, strength workouts, and proper bike maintenance. Adding interval training into your cycling routine can boost your cardiovascular capacity, while weight training can improve leg strength for better power output. Don’t overlook the importance of a well-maintained bike, as even things like tire pressure and chain lubrication can make a noticeable difference.

Is it safe to try and reach high speeds on public roads?

It’s thrilling to hit high speeds, but safety always comes first, especially on public roads. Be mindful of traffic laws, road conditions, and your surroundings. Wear appropriate gear and ensure your bike is in top condition.

Practice high-speed cycling in controlled environments like closed tracks or during sanctioned cycling events where risks are minimized.

Can I increase my cycling speed without professional training?

Absolutely! While professional training can provide structured programs and tailored advice, you can certainly make significant gains on your own. Focus on consistent practice, gradually building your endurance and strength, and paying attention to your diet and hydration.

Use resources like cycling blogs, connect with fellow cycling enthusiasts, and learn from more experienced riders to improve your technique and speed.

Final thoughts

In the race to reach top bicycle speeds, it’s clear that there’s much more at play than simply pedaling harder. Be it the mechanical marvels setting records or daily rides through busy streets, speed is a dance of physics, physiology, and passion. As you chase down your next personal best, remember to blend power with wisdom, and always keep safety in the driver’s seat.

How fast have you gone on your bike, and what’s your next goal? Did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below I read and reply to every comment.

If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on cycling speed. Thanks for reading and keep spinning those wheels with intent and intensity.

Bradley Knight Image
Written by Bradley Knight, Staff Writer

Hey there! My name is Bradley, and I've been riding fixed for years. I love all the joy and pain that comes with this unique style of cycling and the passionate community that drives it. If you love fixed-gear bikes, this is the place for you.

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Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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