Single-speed bikes are the actual OG bike type. If you’re looking for a quick commute or just a casual stroll without too much effort, this type is the perfect fit for you.
So, make sure to stick with us till the end of this read on the best single speed bikes.
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4 Single Speed Bikes – Reviewed
Currently among the best sellers on Amazon, this 31lbs (14.1kg) ride is an excellent product from Schwinn. The bike is a labelled as a single speed fixie with a flip flop hub.
The bike makes a perfect commuter bike and is too heavy for racing due to the steel frame.
The gearing ratio is set at 46:18 with a set of riser handlebars which is quite uncommon in single-speed bikes.
As expected, the bike has 700c tires and alloy rims.
- Flip Flop Hub
- Ideal for taller riders due to a high standover height
A classic with a retro look from sixthreezero.
This is your typical cruiser bike and will turn heads when you pull up to the beach on one.
Probably the best part about this bike is that it offers 6 different varieties with different gear options. It comes in 1, 3, 7, and 21 gears along with 2 electric versions with a 250W and 500W motor.
We will focus on the single-speed bike.
The bike has a 19” steel frame with a steel fork and weight around 40lbs(18.1kg).
Again, we see a 46:18 gearing ratio which is quite common. The bike sports either 26” or 24” inch wheels with 2.125” tires.
The handlebars are quite wide and have foam grips for comfort. The spring saddle is also another great feature.
- 6 different variations
- Spring saddle
- Rear rack
- A bit on the heavy side
Another single-speed Fixie’s with a flip flop hub this time from 6KU.
This is probably the best affordable single speed bike with a mere weight of 24lbs (10.9kg). The most unique feature of this bike is probably the fact that it has 17 colors to choose from. The bike is far from boring with the wheelset made to match the color of the frame.
The bike frame is made of steel and comes in 4 sizes ranging from small to extra large.
The gearing ratio is set 46:16 which is slightly lower than the two previous bikes but is pretty much the same.
6KU ships the bikes with a doubled wall alloy rim set coupled with 700 x25c Kenda tires.
- 17 colors
- Flip Flop hub
- Sleek and modern
- Flimsy paddles
The best value single speed bike on our list is from Takara Tomy.
An entry-level road bike which is a bit heavy to be considered a road bike at 35.21lbs (15.9kg).
The bike is quite vibrant, to begin with, and offers 4 color choices to the customer. The frame is again made of steel and is questionable for a road bike. This kabuto also features a flip flop hub.
The ratio is set at 44:16 and is used to turn 700x32c Kenda tires.
- Padded seat
- Racing tires
- Quite heavy
Why consider a single speed bike in the first place?
Simply put, single-gear bikes are the real OGs, the real deal. Back in 1903, during the inaugural Tour de France, riders didn’t have gears to assist them. It was raw power, just them and their single gear bikes.
Apart from the minimal maintenance and aesthetics, they work wonders for individuals who are training and trying to improve their technique.
Given their minimal weight and durability, you can also find several single speed commuter bikes.
Fixie vs Single Speed: Is there a Difference?
If you looked for single speed bikes online, another term that you’ll see popping up is ‘Fixie or Fixed Gear’.
Both these terms can be used to replace each other but there is a slight difference.
A fixed speed bike is a single gear bike without the free wheel mechanism and instead has a fixed cog connected to the rear hub. So, when the wheels move the pedals and cog also move. There is no coasting.
Size and Fit
I always like to try out my bikes before buying them because size charts can be quite off sometimes. A bigger size can always be reduced rather than vice versa.
An important aspect to consider is the standover height. Ideally, there should be a gap of at least 1-inch between your crotch and the main tube of the bike when you stand with your feet grounded on either side.
You are probably wondering why I’m talking about gears on a SINGLE SPEED bike buying guide.
Something you should know is that single gear bikes have a variety of gear ratios. This determines your ability to climb inclined roads and the rate at which you should pedal.
The gearing ratios are determined by the ratios of the teeth between the chainrings in the front and back. If you want to go fast and don’t plan on climbing any inclines, you should ideally go for a higher gearing ratio. An average commuter would prefer a lower gear ratio to make those quick stops in traffic jams or signals.
This is also seen between road and mountain bikes, where the former has a higher number of gears for speed than the latter.
So what exactly does the ratio mean?
For each cycle of the crank, the back-wheel turns at a multiple depending on the ratio. For example, in a 2:1 gearing ratio, the back wheel turns exactly twice for each cycle of the crank.
As usual, bike frames come in aluminum, steel, carbon fiber, and even titanium.
Aluminum alloys are the most common when it comes to general frame material, but you find quite a few steel frames as well.
Steel: There are two types of steel frames namely Chromoly and Hi-Tensile. The former is the more expensive variant and offers excellent absorption of vibrations. It is also quite lightweight when compared to the latter.
Hi-tensile is cheaper and the heavy variant which gives steel frames a bad name in the biking community.
Aluminum: Frames made from aluminum are cheap and lightweight. Therefore aluminum single speed bikes offer a good compromise between weight, robustness, and cost. Aluminum alloys are quite rigid but have inferior shock absorption capabilities. So, don’t be surprised if you find aluminum alloy bikes with steel or carbon frame.
Carbon Fiber: The lightest of all and also super expensive. Bikes that are made for speed usually have this type of frame.
Titanium: If you plan on buying a single bike to use for a lifetime, consider a titanium frame. That’s all I have to say about this type of frame.
Drop-Bar: Similar to that of a road bike, these consider aerodynamics and will require an aggressive riding position.
Flat bars: Another common type of handlebars for single-gear bikes. This requires a more upright position and has narrow brakes.
What does this mean to you?
Easier maneuvering and cornering.
Wheels and Tires
Most single gear bikes come with 700c tires. The closer your single speed is to a racing bike, the narrower your tires will be, just like those on bikes meant for the track.
If you encounter some trail on your way to work, you might have to consider larger tires.
We come to the end of our piece on single speed bikes. If you are just starting or discovering your passion for cycling, it might a good idea to start the old-fashioned way and build up the technique.
Single-speed bikes are also quite cheap and can be easily maintained. So, if you are not looking for a bike investment, a single-speed bike might just be your best bet.