How Fast Can A Mountain Bike Go?


There is so much you can do with your mountain bike, and there are various speeds for taking it out in different settings. It is essential to know the speed of your mountain bike before taking it out into different environments and riding it in different directions. The average rate that a mountain bike can go is around ten mph which translates to 16 kph. What about going uphill and downhill? If you take your mountain bike uphill, the average speed is around eight mph or 13 kph. The average rate is approximately 12 mph or 19 kph if you go downhill. There are so many speeds that your mountain bike can have, and let’s start talking about how fast it can go on singletrack trails.

How Fast Can A Mountain Bike Go On Singletrack Trails?

Those avid mountain bikers or are starting will want to know how fast they can go on singletrack trails. A study conducted in 2017 by Southern Utah University showed tested this out. The study had participants riding their mountain bikes in the Three Peaks National Recreation Area, and the trail consisted of packed dirt, sand, and rock. Some elevation gradually increased up to 250 feet or 75 meters over four miles or nearly six km.

The participants had plenty of experience riding mountain bikes. The study found that the average speed for the mountain bike was around 10.2 miles per hour or 16 kph. The mountain bikers can go faster, but it may not be safe to do so if there are many rocks in the area. Therefore, the safest speed is just around 10.2 miles per hour.

What about the speed of electric mountain bikes or e-MTBs? There is a difference in the average speeds of both. Let’s go over those right now.

The Speed Of Mountain Bikes Vs. Electric Mountain Bikes

How does the speed of a mountain bike compare to an electric mountain bike or e-MTB? A 2019 study conducted compared the speed between the two bikes. The study had participants riding both types over a trail that measured over five and a half miles or nine km that was 700 feet high. The elevation caused the bikers to increase their speed as the most intense segment of the trail was a five percent incline over one mile or one and a half km.

The finding from that study; the mountain bike with an average speed of around nine mph or 14 kph was four mph or seven kph slower than the e-MTB. Is that a surprise? Not at all, considering that the e-MTB has an electric motor for power assistance, whereas you have to pedal hard on the mountain bike. Therefore, it is safe to say that the e-MTB rides much faster than a mountain bike. So, if you are new to mountain biking, should you stick to a regular one or go right to an e-MTB? That depends greatly on your comfort level, but it probably is a good idea to start with a standard mountain bike to get used to riding it before going to an e-MTB. That is considering that the e-MTB is faster. The determination was that an e-MTB’s average speed is around 13 mph or 21 kpm when riding singletrack.

Now, let’s go over how fast a mountain bike goes when going downhill. There is a significant difference in the speed of it going uphill, cross-country, and downhill.

How Fast Does A Mountain Bike Go When Riding Downhill?

How quickly does a mountain bike go when you ride it downhill? It will most definitely ride faster than it would if you were going cross country or uphill. A study conducted in 2006 by the University of Central Lancashire in the UK determined that the average speed of a mountain bike going downhill was from 11 to 17 mph, or 17 to 27 kph. The maximum speed was 21 to 27 mph or 33 to 44 kph.

The study involved racers riding mountain bikes on a mile-long which is close to two km long trails with an elevation of 571 feet or 174 meters. There was also a study from 2012 that involved experienced male mountain bike racers who were participating in the 2010 International German Downhill Championships, which concluded that the average speed going downhill was around 20 mph or 32 kph.

The study took place involved a one-mile area which is also one and a half km with an elevation drop of 1,210 feet or 370 meters. The region consisted of complex singletrack trails and roads with gravel and forest roads, as well as many twists, turns, and jumps.

Here is an interesting fact. The French sportsman Eric Barone was mountain biking on snow in March of 2017 for a speed-setting event. When he went downhill, his speed was 141 mph or 227 kph. He used a prototype bike, and Barone has hit some speed records in different areas. That is quite incredible, and that is not something that the average individual should ever attempt, even if you are an experienced mountain biker. There will probably be more record speeds for those who are avid mountain bikers as well over time.


The question is, how fast can a mountain bike go? The answer to that depends as you will find that it can go at different speeds in different settings, whether uphill, cross-country, or downhill. There is also a difference in speed between the regular mountain bike and the electric mountain bike. If you are a new mountain biker, you may want to start with a standard mountain bike as the motor on the e-MTB will cause it to go faster, especially if going downhill. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the speed of the mountain bike. French sportsman Eric Barone set a record in a speed-setting event in March of 2017 as he went mountain biking with a prototype bike on snow. His speed was 141 mph or 227 kph. That is certainly a record.