How Fast Does a Mountain Bike Go? (Answered)

How Fast Does a Mountain Bike Go?

Just like formula one racing, there are people who love to participate in bicycle marathons and especially “mountain bike racing”. These marathons are held every year in different parts of the world, but mostly in the USA, and people belonging to different cultures and social groups participate in them wholeheartedly.

Taking part in a race is all fun and games but there are several factors that are to be kept in mind before getting yourself registered for such an event.

The most important factor is choosing the right type of mountain bike for it, which is not only excellent in the terms of speed but in control as well.

How fast does a mountain bike go?

There is a wide range of mountain bikes that differ from each other based on:

  • Design and structure
  • Gear controls
  • Tires
  • Speed
  • Suspension
  • Performance
  • Weight
  • Model and so on.

All these factors depend on each other and are responsible for the efficient performance of a bike. A hiker or someone who loves to climb on rocks with their beautiful ride focus on the efficiency of their bike very seriously and thinks twice before buying the perfect ride.

So, we can say that all these factors are very important in determining the speed of a mountain bike. For instance,

An average cyclist considers:

  • 17mph is an average speed of a mountain bike on plain road
  • However, on treks and bumpy routes, the speed of the bike automatically drops to 14mph because of the hard surface and rocky pathways.

Mountain bike’s speed on flat roads

Recent research showed that the speed of a mountain bike varies because of the track as well. If the mountain bikers are riding through a single super flat track having no bumps at all:

  • The speed can go up to 23 mph with 300 watts of power output.
  • However, if the grade is increased to 5%, a dramatic drop in the speed of the mountain bike is observed which is 12.4 mph.

Tires of a mountain bike and its speed

Another important factor that affects the speed of the mountain bike is the width of its tires. MTB tires are wider than normal road bike tires, and since wider tires have better rolling resistance than narrower tires, therefore the speed and efficiency of a mountain bike are greatly affected automatically.

  • A mountain bike’s top speed ranges from 35 to 38 mph. Most riders could reach this speed with 2 inches of knobby tires.

Also, read:

Can I Ride a Mountain Bike on the Road?

Effect of gears on the speed of mountain bike

The gear system of mountain bikes comes in three basic categories and these gearing options have a vast effect on the speed of the bike.

  • Low
  • Medium and
  • High

A low gear enables the rider to drive at a relatively slow speed of 14-15 mph while retaining stability and making it ideal for unpaved roads.

A medium gear provides slightly more speed than 18- 19 mph and is great for speedier rides on flat ground. It enables the rider to keep cruising at a decent pace while still having enough power to overcome the bumps and hills.

The high gear gives the maximum speed to the mountain bike, exceedingly somewhere between 25 to 30 mph, and is best suited for steep and sloppy lands. When riding at top speed, the rider is expected to face a lot of air resistance and much less control.


The manufacturers of mountain bikes mostly fulfill all the needs of a rider but still, it is advised for the beginners to start with the low-gear speed MTB as it gives them great control over their ride and it’s easy for them to dodge any major injuries.

However, if someone is a professional and goes out on exploring high hills and mountains every other weekend, it is best for them to go for high gear MTB as it gives them the edge to pedal less and jump over the rocks more efficiently and quickly.

How Fast Does a Mountain Bike Go Up a Hill?

Mountain bikes are designed to go up hills. The higher the hill, the more power you need to pedal. You can comfortably ride at a steep hill at 3-4 kph with the lowest gear. The average speed of Mountain bikes in the hilly area is up to 12 kph. You’ll also need to be more aware of your surroundings and make sure you stay on the bike path.

How Fast Does a Mountain Bike Go?

Mountain bikes can go as fast as you want them to. They’re all geared to go as fast as you can pedal. road bikes typically have more gears than mountain bikes, which gives you more options when it comes to how fast you can go.

Is a Road Bike Faster Than a Mountain Bike?

A road bike is 15% faster than a Mountain bike. But it depends on the rider, the terrain, and the route. Road bikes are lighter and more aerodynamic than mountain bikes. Road bikes are also more efficient on flat terrain but lose out in off-road terrain. Indeed, a road bike is faster in most cases but not in all.

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