Advantages and disadvantages of single-speed bikes

Advantages and disadvantages of single-speed bikes

If you enjoy cycling for the simple pleasure of pedaling and are not really concerned with distance or speed, a single-speed bike may be for you. With just one gear you don’t have to worry about shifting and you can focus on the joy of pedaling. However, this type of bicycle has its limitations and certainly, a single-speed will not be the most indicated in all conditions.

This time we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of single-speed so you can decide if one of these is what you need.

Difference between single-speed and fixies

The term single-speed refers to any single speed bike, specifically freewheel or freewheel. This differentiates them from their sisters, the fixies (or fixed gear) , characterized by having a fixed pinion. At first glance the single-speed and the fixies might seem the same, since the difference between them is hidden in the rear hub.

The single-speed freewheel or freewheel allows the rear wheel to keep turning even when the pedals are not moving. This quality allows you to keep going without pedaling ( coasting ). On the other hand, in the fixies, whenever the rear wheel is in motion, the pedals will be as well. You have to pedal at all times.

Advantages and disadvantages of using a single speed

When thinking about the possibility of using a bicycle with only one speed, you may be skeptical. After all, why should you limit your possibilities? Like everything in this life, single-speeds have disadvantages, but also many advantages.

Disadvantages of single-speed bikes

The main disadvantage is, of course, that you cannot change gears. As a consequence of this, a greater effort must be made on the climbs, you have the feeling of pedaling in the air on the descents and the obligation to maintain the same pedaling resistance on the plane. For these reasons it can be considered a less versatile and efficient bicycle in certain situations.

Advantages of single-speed bikes

However, precisely the characteristics that could be considered disadvantageous represent the main advantages of single-speed . These bikes require much less maintenance than derailleur bikes. You also save the weight of the linings, whips, derailleurs, controls, chainrings and pinions.

The fact that a single speed involves more effort uphill and pedaling at a high cadence downhill gives you a very good workout. Plus, not having to think about shifting puts your focus on pedaling only.