Are you new to cycling or looking for something more challenging yet more thrilling? Do you want a faster way to burn out those extra calories while riding on the road? If yes, we know exactly what you are looking for, and today we will be giving you tips on buying the best single speed bikes that you need right now.
Single-speed bikes are so popular because of their simplicity, lightweight, and ease of maintenance. Since there are numerous brands with numerous models, getting the right one could be difficult for you.
Fret not! Today, we'll be talking about a list of game-changing bikes on the market. Go through all the reviews carefully to have a better understanding of these types of bikes and make an informed buying decision.
Why You Should Trust Us
Gearbikesreview gleams with success in coming up with the most impartial online reviews, yet our strive for authenticity continues. Our expert bike mechanics, innovative designers, and award-winning racers dedicate hundreds of hard-working hours together in a bid to avoid errors in our market research. We boast of objectivity in our elaborate reviews and how-to blogs that our readers are highly benefited from.
It would be redundant to say we maintain our neutrality and maintain no connection with any particular brand or manufacturer for monetary gains. Our mission is to provide our readers with as much valid and useful information about our reviewed bikes and gear as possible, so they can make their own buying decision.
How We Picked These Products
Our selection process comprised extensive online market research and a series of physical testing of our shortlisted bike models. First, we spent over 30 hours of vehement online research in a bid to track down 25 highest rated models with maximum positive user reviews.
Since our interest was to pick the top 10 models for sale, we recruited a group of volunteers to help us determine the quality of these bikes. Then we conducted field-test sessions on our primary selections over the next couple of weeks. During our test rides, we closely monitored and analyzed each of the item's build quality, features, smoothness, speed, riding comfort, design, ergonomics, braking, and durability. Based on these categories we did the comparisons and came up with 10 champions.
We also met other professional riders, bike mechanics and industry experts for their opinion about the products we've selected. As expected, they gave those items many positive ratings. Based on that we ranked the final 10 and proceeded to create final reviews.
Our 10 Best Single Speed Bike List
So, what's the best single speed bike out there? Well, a single model may not be the right answer. We have a list of ultimate models for you to choose from in the following section. Make sure you don't miss any useful information.
Other Good Brands & Tested Models
During our research, we came across hundreds of famed brands and their popular models. Not all of them made it to our list. However, if you are into further market research, make sure you don't miss out on these names:
Niner, Trek (popular model- Stache, Superfly, Crockett), Surly (popular model- Cross Check, Karate Monkey), Kona, Cinelli, Bianchi, Specialized (popular model- Langster), Charge (popular lineup- Plug), Felt, Firmstrong (popular model- Urban Lady, Bruiser), Pinnacle, Schwinn, Dahon (popular for their folding models), Pinarello, Gravity (G29 SS), Giant, Masi, Mongoose (popular model- Sinsure), Foffa, All City, Peugeot, SE Bikes (popular for their vintage models), Norco, Mach City, Cannondale, Pivot (popular model- LES), Motobecane, State (popular model- 6061 Black Label), Genesis, Nashbar, Planet X, Huffy (popular for their 20 and 24-inch models), and Redline (popular model- Monocog 29ER).
Types of Single-Speed Bikes
Single speed gear system is a classical system for bicycles and there are several types of such bikes, including BMX bicycles, children's bicycles, classic commuter bikes (both men's and women's models), cruisers, single speed E-bikes, belt drive bikes, track racing bikes, single speed fat tire bikes, folding 1 speed bikes and unicycles.
You can also find single speed cyclocross (CX), road and mountain bike (MTB) models.
In terms of wheel size, these bikes cover a whole spectrum of sizes, including 24-inch, 26-inch, 29-inch and 650b wheels.
Single-Speed vs. Fixed Gear
First, it's crucial to have a little idea of what a single-speed bike is.
As the name implies, a single-speed comes with a freewheel mechanism that allows it to run on one gear ratio. This bike doesn't have specialized gearing components like hubs, derailleur, and shifters for changing the speed.
You may have seen both single speed and fixed gear bikes. Although they're similar, yet they differ. This difference is in the hub's makeup as well as the connection between the drivetrain and cog. A single-speed (one speed) bicycle has a freewheel rear hub allowing you to rotate freely in only one direction. This component will enable you to still ride without engaging the pedals since the cranks don't turn.
In a fixed gear bike, the cog and the hub are together. It means when the pedal is turning, the cog will always turn. Here, the crank and rear wheel move at the same speed. Since there's no freewheel action, the bike can move backward when the pedal is rotating back. Another way to bring your bike to a halt is to stop pedaling in either direction.
Single-speed bikes are cheaper and lighter than their multi-gear counterparts since they have less complicated parts. Also, they demand less maintenance that makes them ideal for all weather conditions. Most importantly, you'll have the freedom to cruise the roads with either fixed or Freewheel rides. Surprisingly, they have better drivetrain efficiency because of the straight chain line.
Single Speed Bikes - A Comprehensive Buying Guide
1. Your Riding Style
Both single speed and fixies are ideal for commuting around the city on the bike pavements. But if you want to take some off-road courses or race with friends, don't take a hybrid model, instead, choose a mountain bike or a gravel bike with a sturdier frame and tires.
Many of the bikes for sale have either steel or aluminum frames. Steel frames are heavy but more durable while aluminum frames are light and comfortable for use on-road trails. Most expensive models have either titanium or carbon fiber frames. It's essential to consider the frame's size and shape as it'll determine your comfortability when riding.
Single-speed bikes usually come with flat, bullhorn, riser, or drop handlebars. Note that each of these types will impact on your ease of riding. For example, flat handlebars are short in length so you can turn in a corner easily. Bullhorn and riser handles are a bit curled to the back, allowing you to lean forward to get a good grip, especially when riding fast.
On the other hand, drop bars allow you to ride in a slightly lowered position that’s perfect for racing. Also, your seat's length and distance relative to the handlebar will influence your riding posture.
Bike saddles are the same in terms of design, but the best single speed bikes usually come with more padding for better comfort. If you are riding for hours each day, look for ones with springs since they provide better cushioning against road bumps.
5. Gear ratio
The gear ratio determines how fast you can go on the bike and it's given in 44:16 (2.75) or 46.16 (2.88). The 44.16 gearing system is suitable for leisure rides that need more acceleration but less speed. The 46.16 rating is more efficient and offers higher rates but less acceleration. It is excellent for racing, cruising, and commuting.
Many single speed bikes come with caliper brakes at the front which delivers superb stopping power. Although there are ones with disc brakes, they cost more. Most advanced users prefer models with coaster brakes since they bring you to a slow stop when pedaling backward.
The pedal is one of the most critical parts of the bike. It links your legs to the crankset, which in turn, moves the unit. Most buyers fail to pay attention to the pedals, although their performance depends on it. BMX types are simple and easier to use while clipless ones offer better control, yet tricky for beginners. Also, the pedals should be from high-quality and durable materials.
8. Depth of Rim
Single-speed bikes feature 700c tires on rims of 30mm – 40mm depth which is common in track and racing types.
As mentioned earlier, single-speed bikes have hubs with freewheel cogs that allows you to coast or cruise with ease. Almost all the models on this buying guide feature flip-flop hubs, which you'll quickly switch between fixed gear or single speed cog by remounting the rear wheel in reverse.
Most riders prefer the swept and narrow seat design which is common in racing bikes. As we said earlier, seats with good padding reduce the feeling of numbness and pains in the butt muscles. You need to carefully choose a seat for mountain bikes if they have a hardtail design.
Care & Maintenance Tips
If you really love your bike and want to enjoy all the benefits that these types of bicycles have to offer, you'll want to keep it always in good condition. To maintain your bike, here is a handy guide to consider. While some parts of the bike will need more attention than others, running a routine check on each of these components before hitting the streets will save you from many avoidable issues.
It's essential to check for signs of wear or cracks on the tires to prevent it from breaking down when you least expected. It's also good to inspect your tire's pressure level weekly. Try to adhere to the manufacturer's recommendations when inflating the tire.
Check for cracks, splits or dents on the side and also replace any of the worn out brake pads.
Each of the spokes should have equal tension. Riding with a loose spoke is life's threatening, so avoid it.
Tighten all the loose nuts on the wheel with a 15mm wrench. Raise the bike, and rotate the wheel to check if it's turning freely. If the wheel is moving towards the sides or rubs excessively with the brake pads, then there is an issue with axles or bearings.
Try to tilt the handlebar to any direction to check if the stem's bolts are tight. If there is a movement, loosen all the bolts, set the bar, and retighten until it's completely secure.
Check if the brakes are working by rotating the wheel and then engage the levers on the handlebar. If the stop is slow then the brake might need a replacement.
7. Bottom Bracket
If the pedals and crank are spinning without jamming when rotating backward on Freewheel, then the bracket bearings are in good condition. However, if the crank arm wobbles or the wheels don't run freely, the bottom bracket bearings need a replacement.
Using a wrench, check the tightness of your chainring bolts. Also, look at the chainring for broken or worn teeth.
9. Saddle & Seatpost
Try to shake the seat a little to check if it's secure to the seat post. If moving, tighten the bolts. Remove the seat post for lubrication every month. This will prevent it from sticking to the frame that makes it difficult to adjust.
10. Fixed Cog
It's also good to remove the wheel to see how secure the gear and lockring are. It's also the time to spin the crank backward to ensure it's running smoothly.
A Word from GearbikesReview
Having read this guide, we believe you're ready to choose the best single speed bikes matching your needs and budget. It's more than an ordinary investment since it concerns your health and comfort. All our products have been picked for these reasons so you wouldn't have any regrets.
Although these products are similar, sure, there are ones like Sixthreezeero and 6KU Aluminum models with more outstanding features. Also, this list includes some budget-choices for new buyers who may prefer to spend less money. Everything comes down to your preference - even if you prefer to build your own bike - since these items can meet the needs of different categories of riders.