Are single speed bikes fast?

What Is A Single Speed Bike?

Basically, a single speed bike is a bike with only one gear. It’s the true core of any bicycles. This is a minimalist design that many types of bikes were born from.

On multiple speed bikes, you’ll find several gears at the front chainring and some more at the rear hub. This makes maintenance a very pesky task from time to time. Also, the bike can be noisy.

With single speed bikes, you don’t have to change gears. You don’t have to worry about the tension of the chain or whatnot. You just pedal away with one simple speed. It’s as simple as that.

Many people use single speed bikes to cruise around town, to the beach, to school, or even on trails. They are fast and reliable. You can also get some great exercise after riding the bike.

Why Are Single Speed Bikes Fast?

wheel set folding bike installed
wheel set folding bike installed

Lightweight

First of all, it’s lightweight. There are no unnecessary or fancy parts on a single speed bike. You’ll find brakes, the frame, a gear, handlebars, a seat, and the pedals on the bike.

All of these components together make up a total weight of about 20 – 30 lbs. This is very manageable for riders. Some can even pick the bike up and carry it on their shoulders with no problem.

The general idea is simple. An elephant can never be faster than a cheetah, right? Because it’s much heavier. In the same way with a lightweight single speed bike, you’ll be able to control and propel your bike much faster and easier.

Gears

Or should we say gear! There’s only one gear fixed at the rear wheel of the bike. But, don’t be mistaken. Single speed bikes are slightly different than fixed gear bikes.

Although the two types sport only one gear, single speed bikes have a freewheel mechanism that allows you to coast while fixies don’t.

With only one gear, you can save time changing from one gear to another. Generally speaking, it can be quite fussy having to shift gears every time you’re approaching a hill or going downhill.

You can’t do it very easily while you’re already on the hill. So, you generally have to do it a minute or two beforehand. This can be troublesome for some beginners. It will slow you down at times.

Without gears, you’ll have no shifting issues whatsoever. You can enjoy riding uphills just as much as coasting downhill fast on a single speed bike.

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Rider

you can achieve much better speed on your bikes
you can achieve much better speed on your bikes

Part of what makes single speed bikes fast is you, the rider. If you live in hilly areas like in Utah or California, you’ll enjoy the workout you can get from riding a single speed bike.

Compared to fixie bikes, single speed bikes are a bit easier to ride. You don’t have to use much power to propel the bike. However, it does give you some very nice and rewarding experience.

If you want the bike to go faster, you just need to pedal faster. It’s especially fun when you pedal fast to go uphills. You’ll grow very strong leg muscles and endurance thanks to this as well.

Coasting down hills on single speeds feels amazing! It’s so great because your legs can have some rest after hours of pedaling. The bike is even faster when going downhills. You can expect speeds up to 30 MPH.

Efficiency

The design of a single speed bike, or any types of bikes really, is very efficient. They want to minimize the loss of energy. This is to give you the highest distance out of every pedal stroke. Honestly, we really admire the people who thought of this simple, incredible invention.

If you look closely at single speed bikes, you’ll find the big round thing at the pedals, right. They call that disc the chainring. On the ring, there are teeth. And on those teeth is the chain.

The chain is also connected to the rear cog at the rear wheel. You see that smaller cog at the back right. It also has teeth.

The true difference lies in the number of teeth the chainring and the rear cog has. They always make the chainring bigger than the rear cog. Why is this?

Energy

First of all, it’s to multiply your energy. For example, when you turn a 25-teeth chainring one full round (one pedal stroke), the 9-teeth rear cog will turn and rotate the wheels about 2.7 full rounds.

We simply take 25 divided by 9 to get 2.7. So now, by just pedaling one time, you’ll be able to move the wheels 2.7 times! That’s the power of energy multiplication! Fast and amazing!

Safety

Second of all, they design the bike this way to ensure the maximum safety for you. Because single speed bikes have a freewheel mechanism, you will need to make sure the pedals are not turning too fast.

If the pedals turn way too fast, you may not be able to keep up with them. This can be particularly dangerous when riding downhills. That’s why getting 2 wheel turns out of every 1 pedal stroke makes sure you’re always faster than the rotating pedals.

It’s not only a clever design, but it’s also efficient and safe.

Other Advantages of Single Speed Bikes

Cute couple on bike ride
Cute couple on bike ride

Besides being fast, singles speed bikes also have some more advantages.

Quiet

Because there are no gears cracking on the bike, it runs super quiet. This will give riders peace of mind when enjoying their rides.

Responsive

Single speed bikes are responsive. You can stop easily in any situations.

Good for tricks

You can even do tricks with your single speed. In fact, you can also ride it on trails if you like. Jumping, skidding, or whipping is no problem with the bike. The grip is also pretty good.

Fun

Finally, it’s fun to ride a single speed.

Bring Home a Single Speed!

Bike 3 speed shifter left
Bike 3 speed shifter left

We hope the post was informative and helpful to you. You may have a few ideas in mind right now whether or not to buy a single speed bike. In our opinion, single speeds are cheap compared to other models. Regardless of your choice, hope you’ll have lots of fun riding! Thanks for joining us!