A single-speed bike, as you may have deduced, only comes equipped with a single gear ratio. As a result, you won’t find components such as hub gearing or shifts, derailleur gears, levers, chainrings, and other moving parts that help vary the gear ratio on a single-speed bike.
How does it work? It features a freewheel mechanism (cog) that rotates freely on one side with the other side locked.
So, when you stop pedaling, the cranks (pedal arms) on the single-speed stop turning whereas the back wheel continues with its motion, enabling you to ride the freewheel bicycle on cruise mode without having to pedal consistently as you would need to while riding fixed-gear bikes.
Single-speed bicycles, over the years, have managed to garner quite the following. Many people are bowled over by a single-speed bike’s simplicity and mode of operation.
There are other benefits too to owning a single-speed bicycle. Have a look at them and tell me you aren’t impressed.
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Top 8 Advantages of High-End Single-Speed Bikes
1. Simplicity and Lightweight Design
As I briefly mentioned earlier, a single-speed bike, such as a BMX bike, only consists of a single transmission ratio. Therefore, it doesn’t come with components such as derailleurs, shifters, chainrings—components you’d usually find in a multi-geared bike.
As a result, single-speed bikes are far lighter than road bikes, mountain bikes, or other multi-gear bikes. Now, lighter bikes not only require less energy to ride around but are also easy to carry, making them portable beyond belief.
It also helps that riding such a bicycle comes easy as you wouldn’t need to concentrate on timing your pedal strokes as you’d have to on a fixed-gear bike. Plus, there are no gears to navigate through either on a single-speed.
Riders love single-speeds for this simplicity.
2. Easy and Low Maintenance
Since a one-geared bicycle barely has any moving component installed into it, there isn’t much maintenance work to be done on single-speed bikes. As long as you clean and lubricate your chain regularly and look after your chain tension, you’re good to go.
Meanwhile, multi-speed geared bikes (mountain bikes) come equipped with complex components such as gear, chain ring, shifters, gear, derailleurs—all of which must work together in tandem, in complete harmony. However, maintaining such harmony on such bikes doesn’t come easy.
The geared road bike or mountain bike can easily fall apart even when a single part of the gearing system fails to perform its task.
The fact that a one- geared bicycle comes with fewer parts means it costs far less than other multi-gear bikes. Plus, it also helps that the parts of a single-speed bike are less expensive than those on multi-gear bikes.
So, if you can’t do without a commuter bike, but don’t have much cash to spare, consider a single-speed cycle.
4. Top Mechanical Efficiency
A single-speed bicycle that has been fitted with a properly lubricated chain has been found to achieve 99% of mechanical efficiency. Meanwhile, top range multi-speed bikes can struggle to even break into the 90% efficiency bracket.
You see, a one-geared bicycle isn’t subjected to the friction inherent in the derailleur gearbox’s pulley and sprockets of a multi-speed cycle.
On top of that, a single-speed cycle’s sole rear sprocket is space-efficient unlike the cassettes of multi-speeds. With the rear wheel spoke of a single-speed created to be more symmetric, the wheel benefits tremendously and becomes as efficient and durable as it can be.
5. Fitness Benefits for Riders
A single-speed bicycle only comes with one gear. Therefore, irrespective of the terrain you ride on, how fast you go is directly related to how fast you pedal.
In essence, you’d have to solely rely on your legs’ pedaling power to get the single-speed cycle moving forward—which is very challenging.
Just imagine riding a single-speed bicycle on steep hill terrains without multiple gears. Such a mountain biking task is tough even for the most experienced professionals.
Meanwhile, multi-speed bikes have numerous gear options, enabling the rider to pedal with fewer strokes and easy credence as the ride gets tougher, especially when climbing up a hill. Multi-speed bicycles offer the mechanical benefit of the gear ratio, helping you get through a tough ride with minimum effort.
No matter your fitness level, a single-geared bike will considerably improve your health and life.
6. Commuting Purposes
There’s no other bike that performs as well as a single-speed bicycle for commuting purposes.
A single-speed bike is available for purchase in various attractive styles and types, catering to the hipster and those with varying riding style. Plus, they usually offer you sections to mount your saddle bags, handlebar bags, and trunk bags, allowing you to store your valuables securely in a compact way while you ride.
Having the choice of storing loads on a bike can be especially useful during city rides.
If you’d like to convert your single-speed bicycle into a multi-speed bike, you can do so with minimum fuss. There are numerous helpful tutorial videos online to assist you too.
All you’d need are a few readily-available equipment such as rear derailleur, shifter pod, shift cables, variable-speed cog set, flip flop hub, multi-sprocket cassettes, rear wheel with multi-sprocket hub, single-speed frame with drop-out design, etc., and you’re ready to go.
Also, if you don’t have the confidence to follow through with the task, you can always have the single-speed bicycle transformed with help from your local bike shop.
8. Cruise Mode
When riding a single-speed bike, you don’t need to focus on timing your pedal strokes, nor will you have to worry about shifting gears. Plus, unlike a fixed gear bike, it doesn’t come to an abrupt stop as soon as you stop pedaling.
In a nutshell, a single-speed bicycle doesn’t need you to be engaged with the cycle all the time, giving you the opportunity to enjoy your riding session the way it should be enjoyed—with bike conversations, the gust of wind breezing through your skin, and with your eyes feasting on majestic sceneries.
Read Also: Single Speed vs Fixed Gear: What’s the Difference?
If you’re looking to pedal with less force and credence, especially on hill terrains, the one-gear bike isn’t for you. However, if you prefer a commuter bike that has easy maintenance and is designed for the minimalist, a single-speed bicycle will serve you well.
For those looking to up their fitness levels, a one-gear bike can prove to be an inspired choice as it doesn´t have multiple gear ratios to assist the rider during tougher rides.
It also helps that single gear bicycles come with an easy-to-use braking system, making them far more convenient for people than multi-speeds or bicycle types with fixed gear ratios.
In hindsight, single-speed bicycles can considerably improve the skills of cyclists and riders. After all, without the mechanical advantages of a gearing system, you’d have to read the trail well, concentrate on your pedaling techniques, and more often than not, navigate trails through raw power alone, thus helping you become a stronger, better rider.
There’s no such thing as a useless single-geared bicycle. So, add one to your cart and go through with the payment.