What exactly is a single speed bike?

For even the most experienced cyclist, there can still be some confusion about what a single speed bike actually is. You may have one and not know that’s what it’s called, or you may never have known they existed since you have only ridden bikes with multiple gears. If you are curious about what it means for a bike to be single speed, what the gears of a bike do, and what the benefits of a single-speed bike are, keep reading.

What Does Single Speed Mean?

Unlike bikes that have many gears, a bike that is single speed has only one. This means that the cyclist takes on the full responsibility and effort needed to pedal, whether that’s on a flat surface or up a steep incline.

Bikes that have multiple gears give the rider more choice about the pressure required to turn the wheels, whereas single speed bicycles limit the rider to however fast their own legs can go. This might at first sound like a disadvantage, but there are in fact plenty of benefits to owning a single speed bike.

What Are the Benefits of a Single-Speed Bike?

If you are already a keen cyclist but have never tried to ride a single speed bike, you might be doubtful about the advantages they could have over your own type of bike. Here are a few ways that single speed bikes can be better than other bikes:

Low Cost

Due to the fact that single speed bikes do not have as many components as other types of bike, they cost less to manufacture and assemble, meaning that they cost less for cyclists to buy. For people who are new to cycling, want a backup bike, or have a smaller budget, this can be a great reason to choose a single speed bike over another.


Again, since single-speed bikes are made with fewer parts, they weigh less than bikes with heavy gears and other extras. If you commute to work in a city, having a lighter bike can make it easier to get around and bring it onto public transport or store it in the office.

Easy to Care For

Some people enjoy having a complicated bicycle to maintain and repair as it can be an enjoyable and technical hobby. However, for people who see their bike as purely functional and would rather avoid needing to make adjustments to it, a single-speed bike is simple enough to avoid many aspects of wear and tear that can befall other types of bikes.

Should You Get a Single-Speed Bike?

If you are a cycling enthusiast who loves going on off-road, all-terrain adventures at top speeds, a single speed bike might not be for you. Some cyclists prefer the variety of choice when using a bike with multiple gears, but if you don’t need your bike for high speeds or steep slopes then a single speed bike could be perfect for you.

About the author
What exactly is a single speed bike? — Bike Hacks