For clarification purposes, a single speed bike is that one which has only one gear that is fixed on the rear wheel. Having this fixed gear means that you will have to paddle to have the bike moving. Such bikes do not require shifters, chaining (double or triple) cranksets, or derailleurs. The absence of these parts makes the bike easy to maintain and clean. Since it's a simple bike without many components and with only one gear, it is normally light in weight, easy to maintain, and repair. Such bikes are ideal for those who are commuters.
So how do you choose the perfect single speed bike?
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing such a bike. Below are some of the most important things to look out for:
Which is the best gear?
Because it is a one gear bike, it is a fundamental factor to have the right one. For instance, if the gear has a lot of resistance, then definitely you will have to stop at every steep landscape. On the other hand, if the bike has a little gear, you will have to constantly be spinning the legs to get yourself on the motion. Since the ration between the rear and front chaining is used to determine the gear, commuters will find it ideal if they are using a gear of about 65 – 7 inches. As for track cycles, they probably need a gear with larger inches. Actually, the gear inches increase with the wideness of the tire.
And what about the bike's size?
This is another important area to be keen on when selecting a single speed bike. Most people have regretted purchasing a bike of the wrong size because they get uncomfortable when riding due to it being either too small or too big. To avoid this, make sure that you see the specifications of the bike. Better still is when you try it out, like a sample ride to see if it really fits you.
When it comes to the wheels, the majority think that this is purely aesthetic. In reality, there is a difference in performance when it comes to wheel types.
- If you choose a 30mm wheelset, it is considered to be the lightest and offers a perfect balance between rigidity and weight. It will be the ideal choice for those who commute.
- On the other hand, wheels of 42mm (deep-v) rims weigh a little bit more and are perfect for those looking to put some power to prevent flexing.
- Lastly, the mag wheels are known to be the heaviest of all. People prefer it because it gives the bike an appealing loo, but when it comes to weight, it is a drawback.
Handlebars: The actually are available in very many sizes and shapes. Here, it is the choice of one which can determine which is the best, though some bars are the best fit for specific applications. Examples of such handlebars include: Drop handlebars, straight bars, riser bars, and bullhorns.
Bearings: This is the part which basically runs the bike's hubs, headset, and the bottom bracket. In the market, you will find two types of bearings, which are:
- Scaled bearings: This type has one single unit which houses the bearings. The unit is directly pushed into the hub / frame. Bikes with this bearing spin freely and smoothly than those with open bearings. Because they got rubber seals that protect the bearings, they are easily maintained as particles or elements do not get into the bearings.
- Open bearings: It is an open system of bearings supported with a cone and cup structure. Such a system requires a lot of maintenance for it to operate smoothly.
In short when looking for a single speed bike:
When selecting the best single speed bikes , the above factors can be very helpful. Never rush in choosing any bike because of its appearance. Such a mistake comes along with regrets. Now well the bike's size, the type bearing it has, the wheel system, and most importantly the type of gear.