The Milngavie cyclist was in third at the first two time checks but eventually finished fifth, 64 seconds slower than New Zealand's gold medallist Linda Villumsen and 16 seconds off claiming her second Commonwealth Games medal.
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And the 20-year-old admitted she had misjudged the length of the 29.6-kilometre course, which started and finished in Glasgow Green and took in parts of North Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire.
Archibald, who posted a time of 43 minutes and 30.01 seconds, said: "I had far too much left at the end. It's a really long finishing straight and I suddenly realised 'good God, look how fast a bike can go'.
"I enjoyed the section with the lumps and twists, that's what I really love to ride, and I just lost it in those long drags.
"It's a mental thing, I knew that's what I was going to struggle with. I was tootling along thinking 'try harder man, try harder', and seeing the heart-rate drop. I'm going to have to work on that flat pain.
"The only thing that was keeping me going on the country lanes was the crowd."
Archibald, who won bronze on the track in the 25km points race, added: "I've been in time trials before where I've got the distance wrong and I've hit the wall, and it's a good thing to do because you see how you can get through that.
"If that finishing straight had been a kilometre further, I could have properly emptied myself and I'm pretty annoyed that I've not done that."