The fastest bicycles and riders in the world can match car speeds in the right circumstances. However, since these bikes are human-powered, most of the rate depends on how physically fit and experienced the rider is.
Other factors like ideal weather and riding conditions, wind, aerodynamics, and road slope also affect your top speed. How fast can a 21-speed bike go?
A typical 21-speed bike can reach speeds over 100 kilometers per hour or almost 70 mph. Some custom draft bikes can move substantially faster, but the average rider pedals around 10-15 miles per hour. Since the human is the power source for a bicycle, the actual top speed is determined by the rider.
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Is 21 Speed Bike Fast
Most 21-speed bikes are fast, which is to say, they are typically aerodynamic and capable of reaching a high speed.
The multiple gears provide a slight advantage in shifting because they are closer in size, making shifting smoother. Smooth-shifting can help contribute to a consistent rate of travel.
As odd as it sounds, the ‘speed’ on a bike is a misnomer. It has almost nothing to do with how fast a bike can go.
I say almost because, as Popular Mechanics explains, “A lower, easier gear, with the smaller chainring up front and a larger cog in the back, lets you accelerate faster. This helps you get started from a stop or when you’re climbing a steep hill.”
The small chainring to large cog combo only helps you move faster as you start to move the bike.
What Is The Maximum Speed Of 21 Gear Cycle
The maximum speed of a 21 gear cycle generally depends on the rider. However, a very fit rider on a well-made bike can reach speeds up to 110 kilometers per hour.
Predictably, those speeds are easier to get on a downhill slope.
A couple of factors can aid in reaching these speeds. A sharp downhill angle on the road will help.
Likewise, picking a smooth, paved stretch without curves or hills can help you get up to the maximum speed on your bike.
How Fast Can A 21 Speed Bike Go Mph
Doing the math to figure out how fast a 110 kph bike is in miles per hour is relatively simple.
The speed in mph is equal to kilometers per hour divided by 1.609344 because 1k = 1.609344 miles.
In this case, the top speed works out to 68.3508 miles per hour.
How Fast Can A 21 Speed Mountain Bike Go
The expected top speed for a 21-speed mountain bike is around 30 mph. However, a typical beginning rider will only be able to reach speeds of 10-15 miles per hour or half the maximum.
After some training, the rider can get closer to 20 mph, but maintaining that speed on an MTB is especially difficult.
For one thing, the knobby tires, which are great for traction on dirt trails and mountain descents, will slow you down on the pavement.
Downhill trails can be fast and thrilling. Still, mountain bikes have to tackle rock beds, tree roots, and other natural hazards, so it’s hard to gain consistent speed.
According to Dangerous Roads.org, a website dedicated to dangerous and beautiful places to ride a bike, “Austrian downhill rider Max Stöckl broke the world speed record for stock mountain bikes on gravel, in the Atacama desert of Chile, reaching an incredible top speed of over 167 km/h (104 miles per hour). ”
Despite the unmodified bike, these speeds would be impossible for regular untrained riders. Max is a professional and a specialist.
Which Is Faster: 7 Speed, 9 Speed, 18 Speed, Or 21 Speed Bike
Most 7-18 speed bikes are a little bit slower than a 21-speed, but not for the reasons you’d expect.
A rider pedaling their fastest on a long, straight, flat road in the same weather will achieve the same maximum speed regardless of the number of gears on the bike.
However, 21-speed bikes are usually road bikes or specialized MTBs made for aerodynamics or high-speed downhill descents.
The chart below shows the typical max speeds.
Which Bike Is Fastest
|Number Of Bike Speeds||Top Speed|
|7 Speed||32- 35.4 kph or 20-22 mph|
|9 Speed||32- 35.4 kph or 20-22 mph (Recumbent and specialty bikes can move faster than this, up to 80 mph drafting and downhill when ridden by a professional.)|
|18 Speed||32- 35.4 kph or 20-22 mph|
|21 Speed||110 kph or 68.3508 mph|
How To Make A 21 Speed Bike Go Faster
Every rider should know how to make a 21-speed bike go faster, if only for fun. Fortunately, there are many ways to catch a little more speed.
Below I’ve created a quick list so you can get to your top mph. Please use these tips with caution and with appropriate safety equipment.
- Plan Your Route – Choose the road you ride on carefully. Check it for potholes, debris issues, and any other damage that would slow down a bike.
- Head Downhill – Riding downhill is a unique skill because it requires a ton of focus, but it will certainly get your adrenaline and wheels going.
- Check The Weather – Not only should you avoid rain, sleet, hail, snow, and fog, but remember to check the winds before you ride. A headwind will push back against you and slow you down. Alternately a good breeze behind you will add to your speed effortlessly.
- Learn to Shift – Shifting correctly at the right time before you lose speed will help you average a faster rate over long distances.
- Keep It Clean – As unusual as it sounds, a clean bike will move faster than a dirty bike.
- Do Your Maintenance – Another undervalued bike-speed-increasing tool is basic maintenance. Good, not-worn tires and a greased bike chain can add to your speed.
- Learn To Draft – According to Liv-Cycling, “Drafting occurs when a cyclist moves into an area of low pressure behind another cyclist, reducing the wind resistance and the amount of energy required to pedal.” You can do the same thing with other road vehicles like cars and trucks to gain speed and use less energy.
- Join A Peloton – A peloton is a group of cyclists. By joining a peloton, you are guaranteed to move faster because there’s always someone to draft behind except when it’s your turn at the head of the pack.
- Watch Your Posture – Proper posture, especially on an aerodynamic road bike, will help you gain speed.
- Adjust Everything – From saddle height to pedal tension and crank length, an adequately adjusted bicycle is a faster bicycle.
Do you need even more information on how to get every fractional speed gain out of your bike? I recommend watching this video from Cycling Weekly.
CW discusses some upgrades you can make to a bicycle in the video that will help it go faster.
Helpful Tips To Know About How Fast A 21 Speed Bike Can Go
A 21-speed bike can only go as fast as the rider, weather, and road conditions allow. Happily, there are lots of ways to improve your speed.
Here are a few more helpful tips to know about how fast a 21-speed bike can go.
- Speeds on a bike indicate how many gears it has. They aren’t about maximum speed but rather the ability to maintain cadence over inclines and declines.
- The best way to move faster on your bike is to improve your fitness level. Building more muscle by hitting the gym, riding more, or otherwise working out will also help increase your speed.
Most 21-speed bike riders only average 10-15 miles per hour riding. Meanwhile, professionals can often reach speeds up to 110 kph or 68.3508 mph.
However, in genuinely ideal circumstances, with a wind at your back, the ability to draft, or a sharp downhill slope, you could potentially go much faster, even on an unmodified 21-speed bicycle.
The limit of a bike’s speed is all about how physically fit the rider is, having exceptional circumstances, and how well built the bicycle is so it doesn’t experience a mechanical failure at high speeds.