If you’re looking to find out the benefits of owning a single speed bicycle, then you’re most likely either looking for a new bike, or you are perhaps wondering what it is that makes owners of single speed bike so happy. There are some excellent advantages to owning a single speed bicycle, instead of another type of bike, such as a multi-speed bicycle. But before we get onto the benefits, there’s something that we need to understand.
What is a Single Speed Bicycle?
To use the simplest terms available, a single speed bicycle is a bike that has a single gear ratio. This means that they do not have any components for altering the gear ratio. Unlike a multi-speed bicycle, a single speed bike won’t have hub gearing or derailleur gears. Single speed bicycles will usually have a freewheel mechanism. This offers you the ability to coast.
Single speed bicycles are a large umbrella that includes several types of bicycles, such as commuter bikes, BMXs, Fixie bikes, cruiser bikes, and often bikes that are used on tracks will be single speed bicycles too.
What are the Biggest Benefits of Owning a Single Speed Bike?
Single speed bicycles have no shortage of fans. Here are some of the main benefits of owning a single speed bicycle:
They Don’t Require Much Maintenance
Not everyone wants to be constantly fiddling around with their bike. Unlike a multi-speed bicycle, there isn’t a lot on a single speed bike that you need to keep an eye on. There are no derailleurs. In fact, all you need to do is make sure your tires are pumped up, that your brakes are in good condition and adjusted correctly, and finally that the chain is taut. That’s it.
No Chain Rub
Chain rub is a common issue with bicycles that have a front derailleur. As a single speed bicycle doesn’t have one of these, and the chain goes from the chainring to the sprocket at an angle, then you won’t encounter this problem.
Silent and Efficient to Ride
A single speed bicycle will always give you a beautiful, smooth ride. These are lighter bikes than those with derailleurs. You are also more connected with the terrain you’re cycling on because you don’t have gears to deal with every inconsistency in the road. It is only you and the bicycle, your exertion produces the results, rather than the gears.
Better and Easier Braking
The speed at which you go on a single speed bicycle will be dependent on the speed at which you are pedaling. But this also means that the more resistance that the single speed cyclist uses against the pedal motion means that the speed will reduce. This allows for a braking system that resembles that of a car. This isn’t possible on a multi-gear bicycle.
Since single speed bicycles are a lot simpler than geared bicycles, then they lack all the extras that will cost you more dollars. But it isn’t just the money that you pay upfront for a single speed bicycle that is low. There isn’t a lot to go wrong on a single speed bike, so you’re not going to need to replace parts all the time. The ease of maintenance also translates into affordability.
It’s Better for Your Fitness Levels
If you don’t have any gears, then you’ve got to rely on yourself to do everything. Of course, the more exertion that you put into your pedals, then the fitter you will become. A single speed bicycle can help you burn calories while getting you from A to B.
There Are Fewer Distractions
One of the biggest problems people have when they are riding a multi-gear bicycle is that they are constantly thinking about the gears if they should change gears, if they are in the right gear, and so on. It is a distraction that you will not have if you are cycling on a single speed bicycle.
What Type of Terrain is a Single Speed Bike Suited To?
Of course, if you’re looking for a bike to go riding trails, then you’re probably not going to choose a single speed bicycle. This type of bike is better suited to roads or only slightly undulating terrain. Then again, a single speed bicycle can get you up to a hill. You just need to build up some momentum as you approach it, then, as long as you pedal hard, you’ll get up the hill with a lot less effort than you would imagine.
Should You Buy a Single Speed Bicycle?
If you’re looking for a versatile bicycle that comes at a low price, then a single speed bicycle is a solid investment. There is a multitude of types of single speed bicycles, so it won’t be hard to find one that suits your needs. Cyclists who live in cities or who do short journeys on relatively flat terrain will be more than happy with a single speed bicycle. Casual cyclists don’t need a host of fancy extras on their bikes.
The more parts to your bicycle, then the more maintenance and upkeep costs that come with them. A single speed bicycle will suit the vast majority of cyclists. If you buy one, then you’ll very quickly understand just how many benefits of owning a single speed bicycle there are.
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In the battle of single speed versus geared bikes, cyclists will be firmly behind one or the other. There are advantages to each of them, and, of course, there are disadvantages too. Before we get to the pros and cons of single-speed bikes and geared bikes, let’s understand what the key differences between the two types are.
What Is the Difference Between a Single-Speed Bike and a Geared Bike?
Gears are the difference. A single-speed bike only has a single gear ratio. The two most common gear ratios on single speed bikes are 44/16 and 46/16, this means that they will have either 44 or 46 teeth in the chainring, and then 16 teeth on the rear cog.
A geared bike will feature a gearing system. This will usually be either derailleur gears or a gearing hub. It is possible to have two gear changing mechanisms on a geared bike. For example, a geared bike might have both rear and front derailleur gears. The type of derailleur used will also affect the number of chainrings on the bike. The number of possible gear ratios available on the geared bike will depend on the number of chainrings and also the number of sprockets in the cog set.
Pros and Cons of Single Speed Bikes
+ Single-speed bikes are very low maintenance. They don’t have the same number of components as a geared bike, as they don’t have derailleurs or a gearing hub. Because there isn’t an abundance of moving parts, then you don’t have to worry about parts needing to be realigned or getting things snagged in the moving parts.
There really isn’t a lot that you have to think about when you own a single-speed bike. Of course, you’ve got to keep an eye on your tires, check your brakes occasionally, and make sure that the chain hasn’t become loose, and that’s it.
+ Price is another thing in favor of single-speed bikes. Because there are fewer parts, then you can purchase a single-speed bike for less money than a geared bike. Also, there aren’t as many parts on a single-speed bike as there are on a geared bike, so there isn’t a lot that can break, so you’ll spend less on replacement parts.
+ Single-speed bikes are harder to ride, as you don’t have all the help of multiple gears to get you easily up hills or over rough terrain. This is a pro because it means you must cycle harder. As a result, you’ll find yourself becoming much fitter than you would be if you rode a geared bike.
+ Single-speed bikes are also much lighter than geared bikes, for the simple reason that there’s nowhere near the same amount of parts on them. If your bike is lightweight, then it is easier to ride and maneuver, and it’s also just more practical and portable too.
– The lack of gearing means that you are severely limited in what you can do on a single-speed bike. While it is possible to climb hills, especially if you get up some momentum as you approach it, this type of cycling is better suited to a geared bike, as it will require a lot less exertion.
Then again, a benefit of a single-speed bike is when you go down the hill, you can coast, thanks to the freewheel mechanism, and you don’t have to worry about spinning out.
– Top speeds are limited on a single-speed bike. This is because the cyclist’s cadence will top out at some point, whereas when you can change gears then more revolutions per minute are possible.
There is, however, a lot of debate in the cycling community about whether a single-speed bike or a geared bike can get faster speeds, but it tends to depend on the terrain and whether the bike is going uphill or downhill.
Pros and Cons of Geared Bikes
+ The biggest advantage to a geared bike is that the inclusion of a derailleur or a gearing hub mean that hills or undulating terrains are far easier and efficient to cycle on. There isn’t any need for tremendous amounts of exertion when going uphill. As a result, you don’t need to be in incredible physical shape to ride a geared bike.
+ A geared bike is generally more efficient to cycle. To reach high speeds on flat surfaces, then nowhere near the same power is required in comparison to a single-speed bike.
+ Some geared bikes can have up to thirty gears on them. That, of course, means that these bikes are extremely versatile. There is a gear for every speed, every terrain, and every purpose you want out of your bike.
– A geared bike will almost always be louder than a single-speed bike to ride, especially as the single-speed bike has a freewheel mechanism so that you can coast. Then again, owners of geared bikes will tell you that if you keep the gear train well-maintained, then the bike should be silent.
– A geared bike has a lot more on it than a single-speed bike. That means it will be heavier and more cumbersome. This is a matter of taste, however, as some cyclists prefer the sturdiness of a geared bike, and the benefits that the multiple gears give you has to come at a cost.
Is a Geared Bike Faster Than a Single-Speed Bike?
There is a lot of disagreement about this in the cycling community. A geared bike doesn’t have the same limitations as a single-speed bike. It is also better suited to going uphill. But riders of single-speed bikes will tell you that because they don’t have to rely on the gearing mechanisms then they are able to reach higher top speed.
Also, when going downhill or on flat surfaces, then the lightness of a single-speed bike comes into its own. The one thing that all cyclists agree on, though, is that a fast rider will be fast whether they are on a single-speed bike or a geared bike.
Who Should Buy a Single-Speed Bike?
There are several types of bikes that are part of the single-speed category. Each of these will be better suited to different cyclists. For example, a commuter will love a single-speed commuter or road bike because of its simplicity.
While you’re weaving your way through busy roads, full of cars that are stopping and starting, then you won’t need to worry about changing gears all the time or trying to figure out if you’re in the wrong gear. A BMX is a single-speed bicycle too, so if you’re into off-road biking and doing tricks and stunts, then you’ll want a single-speed BMX bike.
Who Should Buy a Geared Bike?
Geared bikes appeal to cyclists who want to ride on hilly terrain or want to do mountain biking. They are also ideal for cyclists who wish to minimize exertion and instead use a more efficient bicycle that won’t kill you every time you have climb a hill.
If you don’t mind spending the extra cash on a geared bike and also don’t mind the higher-maintenance that is required, then a geared bike is a solid investment, as it is far more versatile than a single-speed bike, and is better suited to a variety of terrains.
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Single speed bikes have always been the most commonly sold and purchased bikes in the world. They’re generally cheaper, they have a whole lot fewer problems due to having fewer moving parts, and you don’t have to concern yourself with changing gears… Ever! Not only that, but the common misconception that it’s harder to get up hills isn’t always true. All you need is a bit of momentum and you’ll cruise right up without a problem!
Instead of asking you to search for countless hours through review websites, videos, and blogs, we’ve done it all for you! In fact, we’ve done all the research necessary to provide you with the 9 best single speed bikes on the market. Don’t worry about all the extra searching, just grab your bike and hit the trails!
Have you been trying to find an eco-friendly way to navigate the streets in your hometown? The Raleigh New 2018 Rush Hour Complete City Bike offers a low-profile, slim build that lets you slip and cruise through the tightest traffic imaginable. The narrow nature of this street bike also results in a lightweight design.
Being lightweight is crucial for single speed bikes, as it allows them to move quickly and gain momentum in an instant. You’ll be able to pick up your bike and hit the road in a matter of seconds, without worrying about having to push the pedals too hard. On top of that, a lightweight bike means less falling, and even if you do fall, it’ll be much less harmful to you and the bike.
A wide variety of sizes are offered, because there’s no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ single speed bike. Even three inches of height can change the way you ride your bike, so you’ll want to pick your exact measurements. Adjust the seat and handlebars as you wish with the front-leaning setup.
+ Lightweight and easy to handle without a problem
+ Several sizes to choose from in order to ensure that you’re comfortable
+ Adjustable handlebars and seat
Why We Like It – We like this Raleigh single speed bike because it promotes inner-city commuting over even more car traffic. Pick up your bike and get to work before the drivers can!
The Pure Fix Original Fixed Single Speed Fixie Bike is all about getting around the town at your own pace. Whether you’re planning on cruising for exercise or racing through the streets to get from A to B, this bike is definitely worth looking into. Much like the previous bike on the list, it’s ultra-lightweight and narrow.
One of the great features about this product is that you can select from a plethora of sizes and colors. XX-Small, Small, Medium, and Large are all available for your choosing. The colors include Juliet Matte Black, Uniform Sand, Echo Black & Red, and plenty more. Have a look for yourself and choose whatever best suits your style!
The steel frame on the bike is one of the most durable options around. Although nobody wants to drop, crash, or scratch their new bicycle up, it’s always nice to know that it won’t break. When it arrives at your house, it’s almost completely assembled. Tighten a few screws, follow the simple instructions, and soon enough you’ll be riding it in no time.
+ A wide array of colors and sizes to choose from
+ Lightweight but incredibly durable construction
+ Flat handlebars and an adjustable seat
Why We Like It – It’s hard not to like a single speed bike that has no many different customizable options! Whatever your size, color preference, or arrangement is, it’s all up to you
3. Critical Cycles Classic Fixed-Gear Single-Speed Bike
The simplistic throw-back design of the Critical Cycles Classic Fixed-Gear Single-Speed Bike screams vintage. If you’re heavily into the appearance of your bicycles, you might want to look more into this one. The crimson color of the frame matches beautifully with the while handlebars and seat, along with the extra-large rims.
This bike is almost completely assembled. All that you need are a few tools and some screws to put it together, all of which are included in the package. The pedals have straps on them to keep your feet in line, and there’s also a mounted water bottle holder. Quickly toggle the brakes with the left handlebar grip.
You’ll notice that it’s made to be a forward-leaning bicycle, which is widely accepted as a great way to increase speed and promote a healthy posture. Slide the seat up and down to adjust it exactly as you need. The narrow tubes used to allow you to slide in and out of tight spaces without getting caught up.
+ Unique throwback vintage design
+ Easily pull the brakes on the left handlebar
+ Assemble the bicycle quickly with the provided tools and equipment
Why We Like It – The slick design is only matched by the lightweight ease of control that this bicycle has. Strap your feet to the pedals and cruise to your next destination.
It’s widely accepted that aluminum is among the best materials to craft single speed bikes out of. Since it’s so lightweight and incredibly durable, aluminum is suitable for nearly any style of bicycle. The 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike an aluminum frame and alloy wheels for the ultimate quick-moving, lightweight combination.
There are more than enough colors and sizes to choose from. The sizes include 47 centimeters through 58 centimeters, so choose whichever fits you. Colors include White & Black, Tennis Ball Yellow, Black, and Navy Blue & Black. With so many options, this bicycle is definitely one that you’ll be able to make your own.
The flat handlebars let you use it as a fast road bike or a casual beach cruiser. You can set it to lean forward or work like your typical upright bicycle. Both the handlebars and the seat are adjustable, so feel free to move them around as much as you’d like. You’ll have instant access to brakes on the right and the left side of the bars.
+ Uses lightweight, durable aluminum throughout the frame
+ A multitude of colors and sizes to customize
+ Quickly stop the bicycle with two braking locations
Why We Like It – Having so many color and size options is a huge bonus for any bicycle. The fact that this one employs strong brakes, adjustable handlebars, and alloy wheels make it all the better.
5. sixthreezero Around the Block Men’s Cruiser Bike
Another vintage single speed bicycle is the sixthreezero Around the Block Men’s Cruiser Bike. This beach cruiser boasts an exaggerated curved frame that pulls eyes immediately. The mounting rack on the backside of the bicycle is perfect for baskets, panniers, and a multitude of other mountable fixtures.
Choose between 24-inch and 26-inch wheels to match your height and overall comfort preferences. While two inches might not seem like a big difference, it can affect what terrain you can take on. You also want to make sure that your feet can comfortably sit flat on the ground with whichever size you choose.
The tread on this sixthreezero single speed bike is made to overcome more than just a typical ride through the town. It can overcome roots, small rocks or pebbles, grass, and more. You might not be using it for mountain biking, but it has the capabilities to cruise right over most inner-city obstacles.
+ Mounting rack on the back end of the bicycle
+ Two different wheel sizes to choose from
+ Three separate color combinations available
Why We Like It – Being able to mount whatever you need to on the back is a huge plus to any bicycle. With a few colors and a couple of sizes, you’re off to a good start.
The Golden Cycles Single Speed Fixed Gear Bike uses a super flat seat cushion to keep you in line with the handlebars. This unique seating formation helps you conquer inclines and declines around town much easier while relieving stress from your back. Adjust the seat and the handlebars to fit right with your riding style.
If you enjoy having a seemingly endless supply of colors and designs to choose from, you’ll find this bike to be a match made in Heaven. Asphalt, Vader, Striker, and Betty are just several of the 25+ color options for this bicycle. There are also 7 different sizes, which works for pretty much any adult.
Stop the bicycle within a second with the alloy caliper brakes that cover the front and rear wheels. It’s always better to have brakes on both since it can stop your momentum twice as fast. The steel welded frame holds together better than nearly any cycling material on the planet, so leave those worries behind.
+ All kinds of colors and designs to view prior to selecting your bike
+ Brakes for the front and rear of the bike
+ Adjustable seat to relieve back pain
Why We Like It – This has to be one of the most customizable single speed bikes around. It’s very rare to have the number of options that this one presents
7. Retrospec Critical Cycles Classic Fixed-Gear Single-Speed Track Bike
If you’re simply searching for a single speed bicycle that’s relaxing, comfortable, and easy to handle, read on. The Retrospec Critical Cycles Classic Fixed-Gear Single-Speed Track Bike uses bullhorn handles (facing forward instead of backward) so allow you to lean forward or sit upright on your journey.
Three colors, Celeste, Matte Black, and White, are available for you to choose from. X Small, Small, Medium, Large, and X Large are the main sizes to accommodate the buyer. Look at the corresponding sizing chart from the company and pick whatever works best for your riding situation.
This bike comes nearly fully assembled, so all you have to do to get road ready is tighten up a few nuts and bolts. All of the supplies are provided upon arrival, making it even easier for you to set up. The thin, low-tread tires let you glide up and down city streets without grabbing too much traction and heat from the ground.
+ Uses bullhorn handlebars for your comfort
+ Easy assembly process that comes with everything you need
+ Choose between three colors and 4 to 5 sizes
Why We Like It – Bullhorn handlebars are becoming more and rarer these days, so it’s nice to see a high-quality single speed bike that still uses them.
8. sixthreezero Around the Block Women’s Cruiser Bike
The counterpart of the sixthreezero Around the Block Men’s Cruiser Bike comes with the same high-quality standards, plus a few minor tweaks to make it more comfortable for the woman. For example, they reduced the overall frame size as well as the seat level to accommodate. These small changes make a world of a difference.
The tire sizes stay the same as the men’s version at 24 and 26 inches. Again, you should always choose whichever setting lets your feet touch the ground evenly. This will ensure that you can start and stop your bike with ease and be able to stand without falling over when you’re not accelerating forward.
Another great feature of this bike is that it has a multitude of fantastic colors to view. Coral, Mint Green, Cream, and many other options are available to you. Much like the Around the Block bike for men, the women’s model comes almost completely assembled. Strap a few pieces together once you get it, and you’re all set.
+ Smaller frame and lower seat
+ Several color options to select
+ Comfortable beach cruiser design
Why We Like It – It’s not too often that you a bicycle specifically made for men or women. This sixthreezero model is a great example of something we need more of.
Another fantastic women’s bike is the Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser Bicycle. The strong curvature of its frame gives you a laid-back feeling while cruising around town, whether it’s to work or for leisure. As a single speed bike, you don’t have to concern yourself with switching gears or slowing down before hills.
With an incredibly wide variety of colors and designs available, Firmstrong truly thought of everything to satisfy their customer’s desires. Army Green, Baby Blue, Vanilla, Matte Brown, and all sorts of other color combinations are up for grabs. With 24-inch and 26-inch wheels, the only question is: Which one will you choose?
The durable steel frame is matched with lightweight aluminum rims to make it the strongest built possible while still maintaining easy handling. Designed for women from 5 feet to 6 feet tall, most women can use the 26-inch bike. For those who are shorter than 5 feet tall, consider the 24-inch option.
+ Made with a massive amount of color combinations
+ Steel frame and aluminum rims come stock with this bike
+ Works for women of all heights depending on the wheel size
Why We Like It – Beach cruisers are some of the most fun single speed bicycles around. Leaning back and riding around is incredibly fun, and all of these color options let you show your true style.
Single Speed Bikes Buyer’s Guide
Now that you’ve seen the best of the best single speed bikes the internet has to offer, you’re able to narrow down the massive amounts of competition. While it’s always nice to have ten to choose from instead of ten thousand, we’re sure you still might have a few questions to ask prior to making your pick.
In order to help you find your perfect single speed bicycle match, we’ve made this quick buyer’s guide. Hopefully, we’ve answered all of your questions below!
What safety features should you look for to find the best single speed bike?
Any bike that claims to be the best should always focus their efforts on safety. Without a strong build and a good set of brakes, you should skip right over it! However, all of the bikes on this list have both boxes checked. Steel and aluminum are generally the top two choices, so try to find something that uses one or both of them. This will ensure that you can avoid fall damage and weather problems down the road, as long as you take care of your gear properly.
Brakes should always be positioned by the handlebars unless you’re using a beach cruiser. Since your hands always rest there, it’s nice to have such quick access to them in case you need to stop immediately. For even better safety on your brakes, opt for one that has a brake on both sides of the handlebars.
This will let you stop the front and back at the same time, although it’s not essential. Staying in control of your speed and stopping power is one of the most important aspects of cycling. If you’re an expert, you should still have handle brakes!
Should you have an adjustable set of handlebars or seat?
Yes and no. While it’s entirely up to you, being able to adjust your bicycle to suit your comfort needs is a huge plus for any cyclist. What might seem like a tiny ache right now will escalate to a nagging pain 30 minutes down the road? Instead of settling for annoying pain, simply adjust the seat and/or handlebars until you feel comfortable. It takes only a few seconds, and you’ll be pain-free!
That being said, beach cruisers are in their own league. An adjustable set of handlebars isn’t really necessary on a beach cruiser simply due to the fact that their handlebars are generally massive. They stick back to accommodate for almost any sized person, so you shouldn’t ever have to fix them around too much.
However, the seat is still great to be adjustable. Again, every single speed bike on this list has adjustable seats, and most of them have adjustable handlebars. It’s all up to your comfort more than anything else!
Cycling is an excellent way to enjoy your time outdoors, get some exercise in, and participate in friendly competitions. Single speed bikes have come a long way, and we all of the new modern technological advancements implemented, you’re bound to find the right one for you