Single speed bikes are a popular option for people living in towns and cities. They are relatively cheap compared to multi-gear and are also simpler to ride.
Are you looking to find an affordable single speed bike online? If so, you’re in the right place.
Buying any type of bike online comes with its own challenges. But it’s hard to overlook the huge savings when compared to a local bike shop. We’ve seen bikes selling online for 50% less than some local shops.
Here’s our top three single speed bikes available online:
We’ve simplified the research process and made it easier to find an affordable single speed bike.
A top rated bike has fewer parts that can go wrong. The lack of a derailleur on this style decreases its weight and also eliminates the “jingling” associated with a multi-geared. Riding one is certainly a different experience if you’re used to multiple gears.
We understand it can be tough to sift through all the bikes out there. Here are our top three choices below.
Our Top 3 Single Speed Bikes
1. Pure Fix Cycles Single Speed Urban
The Pure Fix Cycles Urban is a stylish model with a flip-flop rear hub. It’s available in over 15 different colors and five sizes, making it one of the most customizable in this product class. It is also built with a steel frame for increased durability.
It has received excellent reviews on Amazon, with over five hundred reviews of four or five stars. One reviewer, named “dTonaz”, says it feels lightweight and is great for commuting. He also says that he hasn’t had a single problem with the tires despite some heavy riding. Another cyclist, called “Aaron Meyers,” says that the bike is a lot of fun to ride.
Several reviewers mention that the tires are low-quality, although they also state that the rest of the bike is excellent. The tire problems seem to have been fixed in later batches though, as more recent reviewers say they have rode over 1500 miles on it without issue.
2. Giordano Rapido Single Speed
If you’re looking for an affordable bike then the Rapido is a good choice. It is built with an aluminum frame, rims and hub. It also has alloy side pull brakes and Kenda tires.
A reviewer called “Nicole Gallicchio” was especially satisfied with the quality of the bike considering the low price. She also mentioned that it’s the perfect low-budget option for riding around town.
One reviewer mentions that it is quite heavy compared with other options. The drop bars, in particular, are heavier than they need to be. This is unlikely to cause a problem if you just want a bike for short journeys though, and the drop bars are simple to replace if the weight is a problem.
3. Sole Bicycles Single Speed Urban
This model is the most expensive of the three, costing around $400. For your money you get a high-tensile steel frame and fork plus a flip-flop rear hub. The hubs are also large profile for a smoother ride. Aside from its technical specifications, it is stylish and available in eight different color schemes.
One reviewer called “James Standley” highly recommends the bike for anyone, including experienced riders. He mentions assembly was straightforward and that it’s an excellent choice for riding around a town or city.
The seat of this model isn’t as comfortable as other products in this category. This is one of the few flaws of the bike though, and is straightforward to fix. Most reviewers agree that the overall value for money is excellent.
Overview Of Single Speed Bikes
There is sometimes confusion between fixed gear and single speed. Fixed gear bikes don’t have a freewheel, which means you can’t coast and the pedals always turn with the wheel.
Other types have a freewheel – they just don’t have multiple gears. Deciding between a fixie and a one-speed is a matter of preference. Some people prefer being able to coast, while others enjoy a fixed gear style. We’ll talk more about the positives and negatives of each a bit later.
It can seem like there are a near-infinite number of bicycles available. Just visiting your local cycling store can be overwhelming – and that’s before you even start looking online. This can make choosing one a frustrating process.
If you want to buy one but aren’t sure where to start, we want to make your search easier. We’ve summarized the most important factors when choosing this style below.
Single Speed Bike Buyer’s Guide
Fixie or Freewheel?
Deciding whether you want a fixed gear or single speed with a freewheel is probably the most important decision you need to make. There are benefits to both, but it’s essential to understand the differences.
This type of bicycle has a freewheel that provides a riding experience that’s much closer to a multi-gear. While it has a fixed gear ratio, you can still coast down hills when you need a break.
Coasting isn’t just useful for taking a rest though. Sometimes it can be safer to coast, especially if you accidentally hit a hole in the road. During unexpected situations it can help to not have to keep pedaling at the speed of your wheels. There are several reasons why you might want to choose a fixie though. Some of the benefits of a fixed gear bike include:
Riding a fixie is even more of a workout than a regular single speed. Not only do you have one gear, but you can’t coast.
People who ride fixies often develop a smoother riding style. This can be safer, especially in bad weather conditions. Experienced riders can pedal backwards instead of using a brake. This isn’t a technique recommended.
As a general rule, if you are used to a multi-gear it’s a good idea to start with a single speed freewheel. Making the transition can be jarring and takes some practice, so it’s a good idea to avoid the additional change of not being able to coast.
The good news is that you may not need to decide between the two. In recent years, many new models have been released with a flip-flop rear hub. These let you switch between freewheel and fixed gear by flipping the rear wheel, giving you the best of both worlds.
Which Type of Bike Do You Need?
While road bicycles are most commonly associated with single speed configurations, mountain and hybrid models are also available with this style. The best one for you depends on the type of riding you plan on doing.
If you ride off-road, even for short periods, then you shouldn’t choose a road bicycle. The frames can’t withstand long periods on bumpy terrain, and are also uncomfortable when not on flat surfaces. If you mainly plan on riding on roads but need to be able to cycle on footpaths too, then a hybrid is probably the best option.
Because it only has one gear, it follows that you should think carefully about the ratio you want. The ratio should be low enough so that you can get up hills, but not too low that flat riding is difficult. If you choose a fixie, then the ratio shouldn’t be so low that your pedals are out of control when going downhill.
The best ratio depends on the type of bike you are buying. For mountain biking, you probably need a slightly lower ratio than for a road bike.
The two most important components when buying any style are the frame and the wheels. The frame is the skeleton, and has a big effect on the ride comfort and overall weight. Wheels also affect the weight, and determine the bike’s responsiveness and grip during varying weather conditions.
A bonus of buying a one speed is that you don’t have to worry about which derailleur to choose. These are often the first thing multi-gear cyclists look at when buying a new bike, and there is always heated debate about which manufacturer builds the best. Buying a one speed will let you bypass this topic completely.
Single speed are relatively cheap, durable and – most importantly – fun to ride. If you need one for getting around town, or just want to experience a different style of riding, you can’t go wrong with this style of bicycle.
The most important considerations are the type of bike and whether to buy a fixie. Fortunately, many bikes now come with a flip-flop rear hub, so you can switch between freewheel and fixed gear whenever you feel like it.
If you aren’t sure which one to buy, we recommend the Pure Fix Cycles – it’s our top rated single speed bike for 2015. It comes with stylish deep-dish wheels, a flip-flop rear hub and a strong steel frame. The huge range of colors and sizes are also a bonus.