If you're new to cycling, or if you're getting back into it after years of letting your bike languish in the garage, one thing is certain: the world of bikes is a big one. Between the different kinds of bikes and all the accessories that go with them, you could spend hours in a store just trying to figure out where to begin. But if you're looking for a new bike and have been wondering how single speed bikes compare to others, we're here to help.
Single speed bikes are a thing of beauty and a joy to ride. They appeal to cyclists because they're simple, reliable and take less time to maintain than other kinds of bikes.
In this blog post, we'll talk about how single-speed bikes differ from other types of bikes, what they're best used for, and how they can make your life easier. We'll also cover some tips on choosing the right single-speed bike for you.
What is a single speed bike?
Single speed bikes are the very definition of uncomplicated cycling. Just like it sounds, it's a bike without gears. That means no shifters on the handlebars or derailleurs on the frame—the single gear ratio is fixed, meaning there's no option for easier or harder pedalling.
If you’re looking for a simple, reliable and enjoyable way to get from A to B, a single speed bike should be your first choice.
What are the advantages of a single speed bike?
Single speed bikes are the best thing to happen to bicycles since someone put pedals and brakes on them.
Because they only have one speed, it may seem like it limits your options, but there are actually many advantages to riding on a single speed bike that make it a great choice for beginners as well as more experienced riders.
There are fewer parts to break. Single speed bikes have fewer parts than bikes with additional speeds—which means fewer potential problems and less maintenance needed over time.
You won't need to spend as much money maintaining them. The less maintenance a bike needs, the less money you'll have to spend on it. Without additional gear shifts and brakes, single speed bikes offer an affordable option.
They're lightweight. Additional gears and brakes can add weight to a bicycle—and when you're trying to keep up your momentum on a ride, every ounce counts!
This also makes a big difference if you have to carry your bike upstairs or take it on public transportation.
They look cool! Simplicity is in style—and nothing says simple like single speed bikes. If you want something that's easy on the eyes and easy on the wallet, keep cycling in this direction!
Must-have accessories for a single speed bike
When you get a new bike, it's important to make sure that you have the essentials. The minimum accessories you should own when you have a single speed bike are:
Lock: A lock is a must when you have a bike, especially if you want to park your bike in a busy area. It will help prevent thieves from stealing your precious two-wheeled companion.
We recommend Litelok locks. Made in the UK and accredited by the world's most reputable lock testing organisations, they're light, durable, and nearly impossible to break!
Bell: This is what alerts other people on the street that you're coming up behind them. It's the polite and safe way to inform pedestrians that they might be in your way and they should please move aside. A bell can help avoid collisions and accidents.
Chainguard: This protects your fingers and keeps your pant legs from getting caught in the chain or dirtying themselves by rubbing against it as you ride.
Splash guards: In some places with lots of rain, this is an essential item. They prevent water from splashing up onto your clothes and making them dirty or wet.
Lights: They are really necessary for safety reasons. Visibility is essential if you want to be safe while cycling at night. Get some lights for your handlebars and pedals to let others know where you are going, especially cars passing by.
Helmet: They aren't just an accessory—they're a necessity. A helmet will allow you to feel confident about any road or trail you want to explore.
It's good to find one that fits well, allowing for movement without slipping off your head or being too tight. We recommend Dashel Helmets, they're made in the UK and are fully recyclable, they’re light, safe and comfortable. They look great too!
Reflective jacket: What if you're riding late at night? The reflective fabric of this jacket will help drivers see you when visibility is low.
Pedal&Co's jackets are fashionable and durable, made in East London using mostly eco-friendly materials.
What is the difference between a “single speed bike” and a “fixed-gear” bike?
The main difference between single speed and fixed gear bikes is that single speed bikes have a freewheel, which allows the rider to coast, while fixed gear bikes do not.
However, both single-speed and fixed-gear bikes have a single front chainring and single rear cog. All Steed Bikes are packaged as single-speed, but our clever design allows you to convert them to a fixed-gear easily. This versatility at an affordable price point definitely makes the Steed Stallion the best single speed bike for beginners.
Why should beginners choose a single speed bike?
With the sleek look of a high-performance road bike combined with the low cost and minimal maintenance of a cruiser, many beginners are drawn to the simplicity and affordability of single speed bikes.
They're lighter than multi-gear bikes because they don't have multiple brake cables, shifters, or derailleurs. This also makes them easier to clean and maintain.
They're great for people who want a bike that's simple, easy to ride, and stylish—and they only have one gear, so you can coast!
Their light weight also makes them ideal for getting around cities and navigating tight spaces with traffic. The average person doesn't need all of those gears anyway!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What features or components should you look for when buying a single speed bike?
Although single speed bikes are less fussy than other types of bikes, there are still some key features that you should look out for when making your choice.
When you're looking for a single speed bike, there are three components you should look for:
The first thing you should be looking for are eyelets on the frame. You will need to carry some essential items with you at all times like your water bottle or food for long commutes. A well-fitted bicycle frame with eyelets allows mounting of these items without affecting the balance of the bicycle or causing discomfort to the rider.
A good-quality bike should also come with either a warranty or a lifetime guarantee. This means that if there is anything wrong with your bike when it arrives (and this is very rare), then you'll be able to return it immediately and get a replacement sent out to you at no extra cost.
Finally, you want to make sure that your bike uses quality materials throughout—not only will it make your bike more durable and your ride more secure, but it will definitely give you that luxury feel we all look for!
Are single speed bikes good for commuting?
Single speed bikes are a great option for commuters. They are inexpensive, lightweight, and provide for a great way to incorporate some exercise into their daily routine. We particularly recommend Steed Bikes’ own Thoroughbred model for commuting, which has been reviewed at 4.5/5 stars by the Cyclist Magazine and voted Best Commuter Bike by GQ Magazine.
If you're new to cycling, it can be hard to decide which kind of bike is right for you. There are a number of types, and even within those categories, the choices can be overwhelming. One thing's for sure, though: single speed bikes are a great choice for any cyclist looking for an uncomplicated ride.