Best Single Speed Commuter Bike - Guide and Review
Have you been looking for the best single speed commuter bike and hadn’t much luck? There is actually increasing demand for commuter bikes today as a lot of people have become interested in biking as it’s healthy and convenient. It is also a practical alternative to other forms of transport that could get you stuck in traffic.
But how do you find a good bike? Not all bikes are meant for commuting and some are better than others. I have had this problem myself so I decided to write these reviews so you can have your pick of the best here.
In addition I’ve included some buying tips so you will be able to find the ideal bike. As the following will show, there are a lot of things you need to mull over prior to making a purchase.
How to Choose the Best Single Speed Commuter Bike
Here are the features you should look for, and we will also go over some of the factors you need to consider.
- The frame is usually made of steel and the rider’s position is more comfortable compared to other bikes. The positon and geometry have been designed so you can ride faster without exerting as much effort. The general rule when it comes to frames is find one that is lightweight and durable.
- The wheels and tires are built out of heavy duty materials to withstand regular commuting. Most of them also have fenders. A growing number of commuter bikes now have special features and parts, but generally they’re still simpler than other bikes.
- Single vs. multiple gears: most bikes for commuting have one gear (fixed or single speed). Multiple gears are recommended if you’re going to use the bike for fitness, but if you’re using it to go to work, a single gear will be enough.
Manufacturers go out of their way to make their product stand out, but these bikes share some common features.
- Take a good look at the area you have to cross and if there are alienate roads or routes you can take. When it comes to terrain, the overall durability of the bike must be considered including the frame and tires.
- Going over these roads may take time, but keep in mind that the feel will be different when you’re on a bike than a car. Some roads and alternative routes you breeze through while on a car could be harder on a single speed
Are the roads in your area smooth? Is it flat or are there hills to cross? Will there be areas besides pavement you have to ride across?
You can find a cheap bike anywhere, but if you’re going to use the bike extensively get a quality product.
- Are you going to use the bike every day? There’s also the question of how long you’ll be riding. If it’s going to be 30 minutes to an hour on diverse terrain, a quality bike is a must. Buying a bike is easy, but you have got to make sure it is a quality product. In the past you had to spend a lot of money to buy a good bike, but competition among companies has reduced the cost by a significant amount.
- Capacity: you need to bring stuff to work like a laptop or hygienic products. If you’re going to carry a lot, look for a bike that allows you to attach a bag to it. This will not be an issue if you are a light commuter however.
Are you physically fit? In that case you can buy any type of bike, but if you’re recovering from an injury or have problems with your back or hip, comfort will be paramount.
- Even if you are recovering from an injury, do not let that be a reason not to ride on a bike. In fact riding a bike is one of the quickest and most effective ways to get back in shape.
- For elderly people or those who are out of shape, pay close attention to the saddle and seating position. If you’re going to spend a lot of time on the bike, comfort should be a priority. And remember that you can replace the parts if they’re no longer comfortable or something better is available.
Look for a lightweight and compact bike you can quickly store while at work. And don’t forget that maintenance and upgrades come with the package. If you’re not the type who likes to tinker with their bikes, look for one that has most components pre-assembled.
Recommended Product Reviews
The following are the top commuter bikes available. In the following reviews we’ll highlight their most important features and what you can expect from each one.
1. Critical Cycles Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike
The Harper is an easy bike to navigate and doesn’t have as many components as other fixed gear models.
It’s also ideal for new riders because there’s less chance you will accidentally damage parts.
The bike is durable yet light, which makes it appropriate for commuting and being constantly on the move.
The Harper comes with a flip flop hub that makes riding more convenient. There is a freewheel fixed gear and single speed on the cogs so you can ride the way you want.
- Maintenance and building tools included
- Available in different colors
- VP freestyle pedals
- Wanda commuter tires
2. Critical Cycles Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Urban Road Bike
This fixed gear bike has been constructed for the commuter who demands convenience and functionality.
The steel frame is tig-welded and has a component set and horizontal dropouts for commuting, riding around and just having fun with your bike.
The flip flop hub allows you to ride the bike and change cogs quickly. In addition the Wanda tires have been developed specifically for city cruising. The bottom brackets are sealed, ensuring dirt and other particles won’t be able to get in the bike.
- Available in several color combinations and sizes
- Has a Protek 3-Piece Crank with light chain wheel
- Pro-Max Brakes, Well-Go Pedals and Wanda tires standard
- Neco Headset
3. Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike (Large)
The Takara bike is an affordable alternative to the more commuting bikes but it doesn’t lack in terms of functionality.
It doesn’t have the fancy components present in other bikes, but if you’re after simplicity the Takara will do nicely.
The flip flop hub on the rear wheel is just one of the nice features here. Just as important is the way the bike is able to balance, accelerate and decelerate without requiring too much effort.
The built is solid and the handling is very responsive. The frame provides sufficient toe clearance so there’s no need to worry about your foot getting hit by the wheel.
- Suitable for riders 5’10” to 6’2”
- Alloy side pull brakes
- Tig-welded steel frame
- Rear flip flop hub for freewheel or fixed gear
4. Vilano Women's Classic Urban Commuter Single Speed Bike
The Vilano Women’s Classic is a 700c bike built expressly for the city rider.
The frame, geometry and handlebars combine to give the bike a classic look and feel.
The saddle ensures you ride in comfort, while the 700c solid frame keeps the bike stable. There is some assembly needed, but the instructions are straightforward and easy to follow. Once you’ve put the whole thing together you’ve got a smooth riding bike.
- Kickstand and free platform pedals included
- Coaster brake
- Relaxed geometry with solid frame
- Comfort grip moustache handlebars
5. Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike (medium)
The Takara is pleasing to the eye, and in spite of the lack of fancy components gets the job done as far as commuting is concerned.
Available in small, medium and large sizes, the Takara also has a tig-welded steel frame and a classic commuter bike geometry.
The flip flop hub is well implemented and making the switch from freewheel to fixed gears is very easy.
The bike is very responsive and does what it’s supposed to do. Unlike with cheap bikes, it doesn’t feel like you’re wrestling with the handlebars when trying to make a turn.
- Stand over clearance is 33 inches
- Alloy side pull brakes
- Rear flip flop hub
- 58-centimeter center top tube, single speed
There are just a few more things I want to add. If you’re going to buy a bike for the first time, it’s imperative you learn as much about it as possible. I am not just talking about a specific type but bikes in general. The more you know the more specific you can be about the features.
This can take time yes, but with the reviews and tips above your search for the best single speed commuter bike should be easier. I would recommend you try any of the five here, as they’re very capable of taking you where you need to go in the city.