The speed of a single speed bike depends partly on how fast you cycle. If your single speed bike is a fixed gear, then you can expect to go from 60 mph on open roads to over 100 mph with 105T chainring.
What confuses many beginners is the word single speed. The word single here doesn’t mean any specific speed. It just means that the bike has only one speed because it only has one gear. The opposite of single speed bike is multiple or variable speed bike.
Now, let’s check out these in more details.
Single Speed Bike Basics
A single speed bike can also be referred to as a freewheeler. It has only one gear or drivetrain to propel the bike forward.
Riding a single speed bike is super easy because you can pedal without using too much force. Many folks use single speed bikes to cruise around town, run quick errands, or riding up and down hills.
You can also coast on a single speed bike. Coasting simply means riding without putting your feet on the pedals. This can give you some minutes of relaxing during long rides.
Single Speed Bikes: Advantages & Disadvantages
There are many advantages you can get when choosing a single speed bike. Firstly, it’s lighter. Because it has only one gear and no derailleurs, the overall weight of the bike is considerably lighter than multiple speed bike. Some single speed bikes only weigh around 20 or over 30 lbs.
Secondly, single speed bikes are easier to ride. You don’t need to use a lot of force to propel the bike forward. Thanks to the efficient gear ratio, you get a lot of wheel turns with just one pedal stroke. You can even travel up and down hills safely on a single speed.
Many single speed bikes are also cheaper than multiple speed bikes. You can get a good one for around $100 to over $200. Maintaining a single speed bike is also less time-consuming and easier for beginners.
The disadvantage of a single speed bike is that it may not give you enough power to ride over tough terrains. Unlike comfort bikes or many mountain bikes, single speeds usually don’t have suspension forks.
So, if you have severe back pain, a regular single speed bike might not be for you. Also, if you want to have a nice work out with your bike, you may consider choosing a fixed gear model.
Technically speaking, a fixed gear is a single speed. However, it is designed more specifically for training or exercising. So, a single speed bike in this case might not give you the best workout for your legs.
How Fast Can Single Speed Bikes Go?
The speed of a single speed bike depends on how fast you pedal, the traffic, the road condition, and many more factors. To give you a more concrete answer, The average bike speed around 10-15 mph is considered fast already.
If you equip your bike with a monstrous gear, then you can go up to 60 mph on open road. A professional, Tom Donhou, wants to take fixed gear single speed up to 100 mph with a chainring up to 17 inches in diameter.
So, those are the numbers you can keep in mind when thinking about the speed of a single speed bike.
Single Speed vs Fixed Gear
This is a hot debate in the cycling world. So, what’s the difference between these two?
Basically, you can coast on a single speed. However, you can’t coast on a fixed gear.
It’s much easier to ride a single speed bike than a fixed gear. On a single speed, you can find traditional hand brakes. On many fixed gear models, they take off the hand brakes to do barspin tricks.
For beginners, single speed bikes are easier to get used to. However, fixed gear gives you a more connected feel of the road and better control of the overall bike once you’ve got used to it.
When you should choose a single speed bike:
- Casual rides, weekend rides, commutes, errands
- Want simple maintenance
- Want an easy-to-use bike for beginners
When you should choose a fixed gear:
- Training, exercising
- Want to do tricks
- Want more connectedness with the road
Best Single Speed Bike Brands
6KU has one of the most popular single speed bikes on the market. Their bikes win the hearts of many users because they are high-quality, well-designed, and highly functional. Many models have 2-in-1 flip flop hubs so you can easily switch between two riding modes. One of the best choices for your money.
Vilano makes good bikes for urban riding. Their products can fit folks up to 230 lbs. Assembling is easy for many folks. Also, because of the sweet price, many riders think Vilano bikes are a steal. Definitely worth the money. You can check out Vilano fixed gear if you’re interested.
Pure Cycles produces one of the most-loved bikes there is. You can check out their Pure Fix Original model, the one many riders use for their daily commutes or weekend cruise. The bike maker also has models for bigger riders about 6’4” and 260 lbs. Aesthetically, Pure Cycles bikes look awesome. A brand to keep in mind when you’re shopping here.
Retrospec is famous for their Harper bikes. What many folks love about this brand is their price. You can get a decent bike for only over $100. If you like, you can get the hand brake. You can also get your own coaster brake if that’s something you’re interested in. Plus, their bikes look good and make the riders look cool riding them.
State Bicycle is an established brand in the cycling world. You can check out their 6061 Black Label series. Those are snappy bikes that ride smoothly even over rough terrains. Although State bikes are a bit more expensive, they certainly deliver on many critical aspects. Plus, you’ll get good customer care with every purchase.
Now you know what speed a single speed bike is. We hope you’re not confused. As a recap, the speed of a single speed bike is up to how fast you can pedal. Many folks can ride their bikes around 10-15 mph. On open roads, you can reach up to 60 mph. If you’re crazy like the expert Donhou, then try 100 mph. In any case, hope you got the clear answer. Have a fun, safe ride and we’ll see you next time on the blog!