If you’ve decided you need to a bike to get around on, single speed bikes are perfect for getting from point A to point B. Whether this is your commute to work, college or even for casual use single speed bikes are a fun way to get around.
Single speed bikes (sometimes known as fixies) have a classic look that really help them stand out. Modern road or mountain bikes come with so many features, that single-speed bikes look distinctively minimal in comparison. If you’re looking for a functional yet affordable bike you can’t go far wrong with a single speed set of wheels.
- 1 Best Single Speed Bikes
- 2 Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike
- 3 Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike
- 4 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Bike
- 5 Retrospec Critical Cycles Classic Single-Speed Bike
- 6 Retrospec Critical Cycles Harper Coaster Fixie Style Single-Speed Bike
- 7 Buying a Single-Speed Bike
- 8 Conclusion
Best Single Speed Bikes
Although single-speed bikes are generally light on the pocket, you still need to make sure you’re buying a good bike. We’ve rounded up some great single-speed bikes for those of you looking for a good bargain and a sturdy ride.
Here’s a list of the 5 best single speed bikes.
Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike
Here’s a fine example of a single-speed bike that’s speedy, looks great and holds good value for money. The frame has an appealing classic feel to it, and the durable steel design means it’s nice and sturdy. The fact it’s doesn’t mean it’s heavy, weighing between 22 and 25 pounds depending on which size you choose.
Thanks to the flip-flop rear hub you get a choice between riding fixed and free-wheel. Both are great options, with free-wheel more suited to those of you who enjoy coasting. Putting together this bike is simple; It’s shipped 90 percent assembled, and you get video instructions for full assembly. Overall this is an exquisite bike that we’d recommend to anyone looking for a high-quality single-speed.
Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike
If you’re looking for an eye-catching bike for urban cycling or your daily commute, the Takara Kabuto is an excellent option. The distinctive blue frame on light blue wheels makes it a real eye-catcher. If that color doesn’t do it for you, there’s also a green finish available.
This is another bike that comes with a rear flip-flop allowing you to choose between fixed gear and free-wheeling. In terms of construction; the frame is made from Tig-welded steel, the rims and hub are made of alloy. On the whole, this is a bike that looks great and feels great to ride.
6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Bike
If you’re looking for a single-speed bike that’s designed to be light; you’ll love this model’s lightweight aluminum frame. You also get Kenda tires along with a Novatec flip-flop hub that allows fixed and free-wheel riding.
If you regularly like to clean or adjust your breaks, you’ll be pleased to hear that both the front and rear breaks are easily removable. Whether you’re good with your hands or not, you’ll find this bike is straightforward to assemble and won’t take you long. This is a brilliant single-speed bike, it’s highly recommended for anyone looking for a lightweight option.
Retrospec Critical Cycles Classic Single-Speed Bike
Next on the list we’ve got an excellent single-speed bike from Retrospec. The bike is made from hand-built steel, leaving it with a durable but surprisingly lightweight feel to it. You’re able to change between single-speed and fixed gearing thanks to the flip-flop hub.
You get low profile VP platform BMX pedals, which are made of plastic but can easily be upgraded should you feel the need to. The bike will come with around 15 percent assembly needed which won’t take you too long. This is a nice looking, lightweight and affordable bike that we’re a big fan of.
Retrospec Critical Cycles Harper Coaster Fixie Style Single-Speed Bike
If you’re looking for a cheap but cheerful bike to get you from A to B, this is an excellent choice. We love this single-speed bike for a few reasons; it’s wallet-friendly as well as highly functional and great quality.
If you’re working on a budget but want something durable, you’ll be pleased with the hand made tig-welded steel frame. It’s very well built using durable material but this certainly doesn’t make it feel heavy. You get Kenda commuter tires, VP freestyle peddles and a KMC chain. Overall this is an excellent bike period, but it’s specifically great for those of you working to a strict budget.
Buying a Single-Speed Bike
Single speed bikes are growing in popularity among bicycling enthusiasts. They boil bike riding down to its simplest, purest form. Most children’s bike are single speed and riding one as an adult can help you recapture that early joy of pedaling full speed down the sidewalk.
Fixies are a type of single speed bike that have been growing in popularity.
What is a Fixie?
Most bikes are designed in a way that allows the wheel and cog to spin independently from each other. In a fixie, your moving the pedals is what controls the cog.
Essentially, however fast you pedal your bike is how fast it is going to go. Exciting, right?
Another cool feature of this system is you can actually move backward, something that multi-speed bikes generally won’t do.
Advantages of a Fixie
Due to the simplicity of these bikes, they are easy to assemble, maintain, and ride. They do not have a lot of extra parts so they are very lightweight.
Anyone who regularly needs to take their bike upstairs will appreciate their lightweight design. Being lightweight, they are easy to maneuver around a busy city. Also, they are relatively cheap due to the lack of complicated parts.
If you are looking for a commuter bike, a fixie is a great option. They are not built for speed, but rather simplicity. A fixie is likely to last you a long time with very little maintenance. Commuters find they can ride these bikes year round. The rider is in control of his or her speed so they can easily handle winter conditions. The set-up of these bikes make them easy to ride in the city, especially if the commute is decently flat.
Fixed gear bikes have a very efficient drive train, so almost all of the energy used when pedaling is transferred into motion.
Things to Consider When Buying a Fixie
Even these simple bicycles have some different options available. The following is a list of things to consider when buying one:
- Where you want to ride your bike: a fixie is ideal for city riding on pavement. If you plan on using your bike on trails or other off-road environments, you will need to find a fixie with wider wheels. You may also want to consider getting a hybrid.
- How much you are willing to spend: even though the bikes are generally cheaper than others, there is still a wide range of prices. The more expensive bikes tend to have better seats, pedals, and tires. They also usually weigh less. That said, you can find good quality bikes at the lower end of the price scale.
- What it is made of: you can find fixies made of either steel or aluminum. While the steel is sturdier and may stand up to time better, the aluminum is much lighter.
- How comfortable it is: the style and material of the seat, or “saddle,” can greatly impact how often you want to ride it. The height and style of the handlebars can also affect how long you can ride the bike comfortably.
- The size you need: When buying your fixie, be sure you know exactly how tall you are. This is especially true if you are shopping online and cannot sit on the bike before you buy it. There are a lot of size options for fixies and you want to get the right one so that you can ride safely and comfortably.
Are Fixies and Single Speed Bikes the Same Thing?
Basically, a single-speed bike is exactly what it sounds like. It has a single gear ratio. That means no hub gearing or derailleur gears.
In many ways, they are the same as a fixie. The main difference is you can coast while riding a single-speed bike.
This is impossible on a fixie. So, while almost all fixies are single speed, not all single speeds are fixies.
What allows a single speed to coast is the freewheel mechanism. Many bikes on the market today can convert back and forth between fixed wheel and freewheel. To do this, you’ll usually need to buy a specialized single speed wheelset. If you have never had either type of bike, you may be relieved to know that you simply have to remove the back wheel and turn it around.
The braking styles are often different between these two styles of bikes. It is considered trendy for fixed wheel bikes to have no brakes or very limited ones. Instead, the rider must stop the pedals from turning suddenly to cause the bike to stop moving. This can be as tricky as it sounds.
Freewheel single speed bicycles have traditional braking systems. For many reasons, a beginner may prefer a freewheel single speed bike over a fixie. This is because they are easier to learn how to ride. The ride is often smoother and having full braking capabilities is a big perk when you are learning anything new.
BMX and cruiser bikes are single speed. If you are shopping for a BMX bike, you need the freewheel capability in order to perform tricks. Cruising without the freewheel wouldn’t really be cruising.
Advantages of a Freewheel Single Speed
Freewheel single speed bikes are so similar to fixies that they have almost identical advantages. The main advantage a freewheel bike has over a fixed wheel one is that you can relax while riding it.
A fixed wheel bike takes a lot of planning and you have to maintain focus. For people looking for a more leisurely ride, a freewheeling bike is a better option.
Cruising downhill is a big part of a bike ride for people, and it is something a fixed wheel bike simply can’t give you. Riding a freewheel bike allows you to enjoy the scenery and the day.
At the end of the day, a single-speed bike is a good option for anyone looking for a daily commuter. Whether you decide to ride fixed or free really boils down to personal preference. Luckily, most bikes will allow you to ride either way.
The inexpensive price, lightweight design, and simplicity of these bikes are just some of the things these bikes have to offer. Finding the right single speed bike for you can add exercise, mobility, and joy to your daily life.