How is Navy bike calculated?

There are a few key factors that go into calculating a Navy bike score for the Physical Readiness Test (PRT). The Navy bike score measures cardiovascular fitness and endurance through cycling. Let’s take a closer look at how the Navy bike test works and how the score is determined.

Navy PRT Bike Test Overview

The Navy PRT bike test involves cycling for 12 minutes on a stationary bike to assess cardiovascular endurance. The goal is to cycle as far as possible within the 12 minute time period.

Bikes used for the PRT must meet certain calibration standards and cannot have preset programs or resistant controls. The bikes are calibrated for accuracy and the distance readings are rounded down to the nearest 10 meter increment.

Prior to starting the test, height and weight measurements are taken to input into the bike calculator. Proper cycling technique and safety procedures are also reviewed.

During the test, Sailors pedal at a self-selected pace for 12 minutes. They can pedal sitting or standing, but cannot stop pedaling during the test. DISTANCE cycled is recorded at the end of 12 minutes and input into the bike calculator to determine the score.

Scoring Standards

The Navy bike test scoring standards are based on age and gender. Minimum and maximum distances are set for each age group. Males and females have different minimum/maximum distances due to physiological differences.

The bike score is calculated by taking the distance cycled and plugging it into the Navy PRT bike calculator. This calculator accounts for age and gender to determine the corresponding score on a scale of 0-100 points.

Here is an overview of the Navy bike test scoring standards by age group and gender:

Age Group Minimum Distance (Male) Maximum Distance (Male) Minimum Distance (Female) Maximum Distance (Female)
17-19 12,400 meters 14,000 meters 10,500 meters 11,800 meters
20-24 12,100 meters 13,700 meters 10,200 meters 11,500 meters
25-29 11,800 meters 13,400 meters 9,900 meters 11,200 meters
30-34 11,500 meters 13,100 meters 9,600 meters 10,900 meters
35-39 11,100 meters 12,800 meters 9,300 meters 10,600 meters
40-44 10,800 meters 12,500 meters 9,000 meters 10,300 meters
45-49 10,500 meters 12,100 meters 8,700 meters 10,000 meters
50-54 10,100 meters 11,800 meters 8,400 meters 9,700 meters
55-59 9,800 meters 11,400 meters 8,100 meters 9,400 meters
60+ 9,500 meters 11,000 meters 7,800 meters 9,100 meters

Bike Score Calculation

To determine the actual bike score, the total distance cycled in 12 minutes is plugged into the PRT bike calculator formula:

Bike Score = 100 x (Distance – Minimum Distance) / (Maximum Distance – Minimum Distance)

The calculator accounts for the minimum and maximum distances for each age group and gender. It then calculates where the Sailor’s performance falls within that range to produce a bike score between 0-100 points.

For example, if a 32 year old male cycles 12,300 meters, the calculation would be:

Minimum Distance for 30-34 males = 11,500 meters

Maximum Distance for 30-34 males = 13,100 meters

Distance Cycled = 12,300 meters

Bike Score = 100 x (12,300 – 11,500) / (13,100 – 11,500) = 81 points

The calculator automates this formula to generate the bike score once the distance cycled and Sailor demographics are input.

How to Improve Navy Bike Score

Here are some tips to help improve your Navy PRT bike score:

Cardiovascular Training

Focus on cardiovascular conditioning to build endurance. Engage in cardio exercise 4-5 days per week like running, swimming, biking, rowing, or using elliptical trainers. Work up to being able to sustain 60+ minutes of continuous cardio training.

Interval Training

Incorporate interval training into your workouts. Interval training alternates between higher and lower intensity activity. For example, you might do a sprint for 1 minute followed by a slower pace for 2 minutes, repeating for 20-30 minutes total. Intervals help improve cardiovascular capacity.

Bike Specific Training

Make cycling a regular part of your training regimen. Cycle at least 2 times per week, working up to biking for 60+ minutes continuously. Make sure you practice on a stationary bike similar to the one used for the PRT test.

Maintain Proper Form & Pacing

When cycling during training and for the PRT, use proper form and bike settings. Adjust the seat height so your legs extend almost fully during the pedal downstroke. Use smooth, consistent pedaling rather than mashing. Pedal at a pace of 60+ RPMs.

Improve Leg Strength

Having stronger legs will allow you to pedal faster and apply more force. Do leg strengthening exercises like squats, lunges, calf raises, and leg presses. Make sure to strength train 2-3 days per week in addition to cardio.

Rest & Recovery

Don’t overtrain. Allow 1-2 rest days per week for your body to recover. Get adequate sleep (7-9 hours per night) and eat a healthy diet. Stay well hydrated before, during, and after workouts.

Maintain Ideal Body Weight

Keep your body weight within Navy standards to improve power-to-weight ratio. Excess body fat will make biking less efficient. Aim for a body fat percentage under 22% for males and under 33% for females.

Practice Bike Test Strategies

Test different pacing strategies like starting slower and speeding up versus starting fast and holding pace. Find what works best for you through practice tests. Mentally prepare for the 12 minute time period.

Consistent Training

Stick with your training program consistently for at least 8-12 weeks leading up to the PRT. Training must be progressive and sustained over time to build cardiovascular fitness.

Common Mistakes that Lower Bike Score

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when training for and taking the Navy PRT bike test:

Not Training Specifically for Bike Test

Some Sailors do general cardio training but don’t practice regularly on a stationary bike. Lack of bike-specific training can result in lower scores. Cycle at least twice weekly as part of training.

Poor Pacing & Going Out Too Fast

Adrenaline often causes Sailors to cycle at an unsustainable pace the first few minutes. They tire quickly and can’t maintain speed. Practice pacing for the full 12 minutes.

Poor Fueling & Hydration

Not eating properly before the test or staying hydrated can negatively impact performance. Follow diet recommendations and drink fluids regularly.

Not Adjusting Bike Settings

Having the seat position or handlebars poorly adjusted makes cycling less efficient and harder. Take time to adjust bike settings at the start of the test.

Incorrect Cycling Technique

Pedaling at too low of a cadence or using incorrect form wastes energy. Use proper form of ~60+ RPMs and a smooth pedal stroke.

Overtraining & Not Resting Enough

Too much training without adequate rest and recovery leads to overtraining. This lowers endurance for the test. Allow for proper rest days each week.

Illness or Injury

Being sick or injured on test day can significantly impact performance. Seek medical care and report any illness/injury that may affect your score.

Anxiety & Poor Mental Preparation

High anxiety about the test can cause you to start too fast. Mentally prepare before the test through visualization and positive self-talk.

How to Retake PRT Bike Test

If you receive a low bike score, you do have the option to re-take the test. Here is the retest policy:

Bike Retest Requirements

  • Must wait minimum 7 days between original test and retest
  • Only one retest is allowed
  • If you fail any portion of the PRT, you can retest all components
  • Your final score will be the better of the two scores

So if you receive a low bike score, retest when you are better prepared. Use the initial test as a learning experience. Identify areas needing improvement and work on those before the retest.

Tips for PRT Bike Retest

Here are some tips if you need to retake the Navy bike test:

  • Analyze what went wrong on original test and develop plan to improve
  • Up your training focus over the next 7+ days before retest
  • Get extra sleep and proper nutrition leading up to retest
  • Do short bike workouts to stay conditioned but avoid overtraining
  • Visualize meeting or exceeding the maximum distance for your age/gender
  • Use proper pacing and cycling form during the retest
  • Stay positive – remind yourself that you are better prepared

The bike retest gives you a second chance to meet or exceed the Navy PRT bike standards. Follow a targeted training plan and make the most of the opportunity.

Alternative Cardio Options for Navy PRT

If you are unable to take the standard Navy bike test due to injury or medical condition, there are alternative cardio options you can request through your command fitness leader.

Alternative cardio tests must accurately assess cardiovascular fitness while accommodating your limitations. Approved alternate tests include:

2k/5k Walk Test

This involves walking 2 kilometers or 5 kilometers on an indoor or outdoor track as fast as possible. Time to completion is used to assign a score based on Navy standards.

12-min Elliptical Test

This test involves using an elliptical trainer for 12 minutes, tracking distance covered to input into the bike calculator formula. Must use standard elliptical without arms or upper body involvement.

2k/5k Row Test

This test involves rowing either 2,000 meters or 5,000 meters on a Concept2 rowing machine. The time to completion generates the Navy PRT score.

12-min Swim Test

For this test, you swim laps for 12 continuous minutes. The total number of laps/meters determines Navy PRT score based on Navy standards.

Check with your command fitness leader regarding alternate test eligibility. You will need medical documentation of your limitation or injury. Alternate cardio tests allow all Sailors to complete PRT testing.


In summary, the Navy PRT bike test measures cardiovascular fitness by having Sailors cycle on a calibrated stationary bike for 12 minutes. The total distance cycled gets input into the bike calculator formula which accounts for age and gender to produce a bike score from 0-100 points.

Sailors should train specifically for the bike test by incorporating cardiovascular conditioning and cycling into their exercise regimen. Using proper pacing, form, and bike settings during the test is also key. Avoiding common training mistakes and optimally preparing through consistent practice will help achieve an excellent Navy PRT bike score.

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