There's a reason that single speed bikes are becoming more and more popular among cyclists all over the world. Often referred to as the purest form of cycling, single speed bikes have their own unique style and can be used for commuting, going on adventures, running errands, racing, tricks and much more.
If you're thinking about buying a single-speed bike or even if you already have one, it's important to know everything there is to know about them.
What are single speed bikes?
Single speed bikes are a great option for anyone looking to get around town and have fun—and if you're not sure what they are, here's your quick primer.
A single speed bike is a bicycle with one gear ratio as opposed to the usual multi-speed gears used by most bikes. Although the setups can vary, the general underlying concept is that you have one sprocket at the rear, one chainring and no derailleurs needed to switch between gears.
Benefits of riding single speed bikes
Single speed bikes are all the rage these days. They've been around for a while, but they're getting more and more popular as people realise how much fun they are to ride. If you're looking to upgrade your old bike or get a new one, here are five top benefits of choosing single speed bikes:
1. They’re light!
Single-speed bikes are lighter in weight than geared bikes. There's less to carry and the ride is smoother, making it so that you can take your single speed bike anywhere!
The best part about this type of bike is that you can ride it all around town - from work, to the park, and even on trails. The fact that you don't have gears makes them easy to transport from place to place.
If you live in a busy city, don't worry. You can carry them up stairs, onto trains, and even up escalators if you have to.
2. They’re easy to maintain and repair.
The simplicity of a single speed bike's setup makes it easy to maintain and repair, both because fewer parts could break and because the lack of complicated gears means that there's less that could go wrong.
However, we always recommend cyclists carry a bike tool kit with the essentials in case anything happens unexpectedly.
3. They’re affordable!
The lack of extra components and added weight also means that these bikes are cheaper than their geared counterparts—a big plus if you're trying to save some money!
Generally, expect to pay anywhere from £350-£600 for a decent-quality bike that will last you for a long time. For the best deal, look to purchase a bike with a lifetime warranty.
Additionally, you won’t have to worry about adjusting gears or replacing broken parts in a single speed bike either, which can save you money in the long run when it comes to servicing costs.
4. They keep you fit.
The single speed bike is a classic with a new twist—it's designed to be ridden at a constant, comfortable speed, which is excellent for commuting and/or long rides where you want to take in the scenery. This means riding a single speed bike is a great way to get fit and stay fit.
Undoubtedly, once you get into the habit of riding your bike places, you will start to see a positive change in your physical condition. You'll feel more energised, healthier, and lean!
5. They increase your concentration and agility.
Riding a single speed bike requires you to be in tune with your body and what the bike is doing at all times, which means you have to focus on your balance and coordination as well.
Once you get the hang of it, you'll also be able to react quickly to any obstacles that come your way, which will make you more agile.
Types of single speed bikes
The first thing to understand is that you can use any bike to ride single speed. There are some limitations depending on the type of riding you do, but in general, if you have a frame and wheels that are compatible with your preferred style of riding, you can convert it into a single speed.
It’s important to note that there are many different kinds of bikes out there and each one has its own specific purpose. Therefore, it’s best to choose the right bike for your needs before deciding on what kind of gearing system will be best for it.
How do single speed bikes work?
Single speed bikes are a fun, straightforward ride.
There will be only one gear setting. This means that if you want to pedal faster while going up a hill, you have to put more energy into your pedalling, but if you want to go downhill more quickly you can freewheel without worrying about shifting down gears.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How to brake on a single speed bike?
If you're riding a single-speed bike, you have only one gear to use when you come to a stop. Put simply, the key is to use the same momentum that got you going to help slow you down when it's time for a stop.
If your bike has hand brakes, there will be an arm on each side of the handlebars that pulls on the cable. By squeezing these levers, you apply tension in the cables, which runs through the brake pads and slows your wheels.
Also, next time you want to come to a stop in an area where you feel safe to try new things, practice alternative ways to brake. They may feel strange at first, but after a few tries, you'll be braking like a pro.
Which is better, fixed gear or single-speed bikes?
Single-speed and fixed gear are both types of gearless bikes, so people sometimes think they're interchangeable. They aren't, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't choose one or the other.
Depending on your lifestyle, either one could be the perfect option for you.
The major difference is that fixed gear bikes do not have a freewheel mechanism—a device in the rear hub of your wheel that allows you to coast without pedalling.
Having said that, some single speed bikes can be adapted into fixed gear bikes. As is the case with Steed Bikes, which are delivered as single-speed, but our clever design allows you to switch between the two.
Research to find out which type of bike is the best for your specific needs. If you're not sure how to go about this, book a test ride and learn about five common mistakes people make when purchasing a fixed gear bike.
Single speed bikes are a great way to get around for a number of reasons. They're fun, low maintenance and easy to use. They're also robust, simple, and keep riders from getting confused about which gear they should be in.
With all these benefits it's clear that a single speed bike is a great choice for any rider who wants to focus on the pure fun of riding.