Best Single Speed City Bike - Guide and Review
Are you among those scouring bike shops and websites for the best single speed city bike? You’re part of a growing number of men and women who prefer to commute by bicycle as it’s more convenient and healthy.
There was a time when cycling was limited to the sports minded, but that is no longer the case as can be seen by the number of people using it.
But how do you find a “city bike”? It isn’t as easy as it sounds because not all bikes are ideal for commuting or city riding. With this review guide we’re going to remove the confusion and make sure you end up with the right bike.
Before we dive straight into the reviews, we should assess the factors that come with purchasing a high quality city bike.
How to Choose the Best Single Speed City Bike
You know how easy it is to buy a bike in a shop or online, but you should take a moment to consider what features are essential. Some bikes are barebones while others have all the bells and whistles, but the following are the most important.
This one is obvious but unfortunately is overlooked. It would be a mistake to assume that city riding doesn’t take as much toll on a bike as going off-road. If you’re commuting to work on a bike, the frame, suspension and brakes must be able to withstand the rigors of daily use.
- Look for bikes that use well-known brand components so you won’t have trouble finding a replacement. Even if you’re careful with the bike, the time will come when you will need to get new parts, so they have to be easy to order.
- Make sure you have a decent set of repair and maintenance tools to keep your bike in good shape. Even if the bike is well made, it is essential you conduct maintenance checks so it doesn’t break down while you’re in the middle of the road. These bikes sometimes come with build and maintenance tools, but it’s better to have your own set so you’re ready for anything.
The bike frame needs to be aluminum or lightweight steel as they provide the right combination of durability and reliability. When we talk about durability we don’t just mean the frame but the other components as well.
- The tires need to be puncture resistant. Even if you don’t go off-road a lot, there is no telling when you’ll stumble on some rocks or debris. The thicker the tires the better, and the ones included in most city bikes are good. However if you find they don’t last, it isn’t hard to shop for a replacement as tire sizes are standard.
- Durability should not compromise the bike’s maneuverability however. Make sure the bike allows you to quickly switch speeds when necessary. This is especially important if you have to spend hours on the road commuting.
We cannot emphasize this enough: whether you’re a new rider or an experienced one, make sure the bike is equipped with safety features like the following.
- The brakes need to be responsive. If something large suddenly crosses in front of you, you must be able to hit the brakes on quickly. The brakes that ship with your bike should be good enough, but just like other parts they can be replaced with other types.
- The bike should be light enough to carry and not get in the way when it’s not needed. For safety reasons however, strength should not be compromised in favor of lightness. If you’re going to ride at night, the pedals or other parts of the bike must illuminate or glow in the dark.
People ride bikes to work because it is convenient, and you can make it even more so by taking the following into consideration.
- A short bike with the wheels close together is the ideal setup for city riding. This setup also makes it easy to make turns and maneuver into tight curves. The seat must also be comfortable and of the right height so you’re not hunched over and uncomfortable.
- Look for high quality wheels because they play a major role in determining how comfortable the bike will be. The quality of the frame also has a direct effect on the bike so don’t settle for anything less than high quality aluminum or steel.
Will you use the bike exclusively for city riding or will you use it for off-road riding as well? This will determine what type of bike you need to buy. Upgrading is also part of a rider’s life so consider how easy or hard the bike parts will be to replace. Budget will always be a factor, but there are now a lot of affordable city bikes.
Recommended Product Reviews
We have gone over the salient points of buying a city bike, so now it’s time we checked out the top sellers. I spent a lot of time going through the various city bikes and picked out only the best of the best.
1. Critical Cycles Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike
The Harper was built with comfort in mind, so as you ride you’re sitting upright and relaxed.
With its KMC chain, solid tires and dependable brakes, you’re assured of comfort, and it’s good for your back too.
The Deep-V rims and the freestyle pedals work together well and allows for continuous riding. The Wanda tires are extra thick and have greater resistance to punctures and shock.
The front and rear brakes are responsive, giving you better control of your bike’s speed, stopping and handling. If you’re new to bikes and want some assurance, this one will provide it for you.
- Available in different colors
- Fixed-gear/single-speed Track frame is hand built steel
- Flip flop hub for convenient switching from fixed gear to single speed
- VP freestyle pedals
2. Vilano Women's Classic Urban Commuter Single Speed Bike
The Vilano is one of the most popular city bikes for women as it combines efficiency with performance.
This 700c single speed bike is fitted with several features found only in top quality models like mustache handlebars and free platform pedals.
The bike requires some assembly, but the major components are pre-assembled so putting it all together won’t take long. The bike is not just fully functional but nicely designed too, and the quality extends all the way to the saddle and wheels. Performance wise it is also dependable.
- Classic style is perfect for riding in the city
- Specially designed handlebars provide maximum comfort
- Solid, durable steel frame
- Comes with coaster brake for convenient braking
3. Projekt City - 20" inch City Bike Compact Folding Single Speed Uno College Bicycle
The Projekt City bike was built for the urban setting, period. After reaching your destination you can fold the bike, and it has several features to keep you comfortable.
Mud guards are built-in to protect you from dirt and debris, and there is safety reflectors included as well.
The bike requires some assembly but the process is intuitive enough even a new rider can do it. The bike has a built in rack for storing goods and other items you plan to carry. In terms of riding experience it is smooth and comfortable even for long stretches.
- 20" inflatable air tires
- Rear coaster braking
- Seat height is adjustable
- Can be folded to fit in your car
4. Critical Cycles Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Urban Road Bike
Like other Critical Cycles, this is a hand-built bike for city riding and cruising. Right off you will see it sports a tig-welded steel frame for dependability and reliability.
Other notable parts are its KMC chain, Sunrun freewheel, Protek cranks and Promax brakes.
Aside from the brand name components, the bike includes a Cone wrench and Allen wenches so you can build and maintain the Critical Cycle bike.
The only parts you need to actually put on the bike are the pedals, seat, handlebars and tires. The wheels are a bit thin but they hold up well even when used on a regular basis. The seat needs to be installed but it is not hard to do.
- Available in ten color combinations
- Sold in three sizes: small (49cm), medium (53cm), large (57cm)
- Building and maintenance tools included
- Flip flop hub for single speed and fixed gear
5. Pure Fix Premium Fixed Gear Single Speed Bicycle
This bike has been constructed from the ground up for city riding and it shows in the components and design.
It includes among others Tektro front brake, Kenda Tubes and pre-wrapped drop bars.
The bike is equipped with a well-designed flip flop hub for fixed gear or single speed riding. The 700x28c deep dish tires are smooth and puncture resistant. Even with regular use, the tires will hold up.
- KMC chain
- Wellgo pedals for comfortable riding
- Comfortable riding in city environments
- Pro Series triple-butted 4130 full chromoly frame for lightness and durability
Back in the days bikes were used either for sports or for fitness, but the popularity of city bikes have changed that perception. Commuting on bikes has proven to be practical, convenient and good for the body as well.
It’s never too late to start riding a bike, and I recommend buying any of the bikes above for an enjoyable riding experience. Everyone has their own opinion about the best single speed city bike, but I can assure you the bikes above are of the highest quality.