Are you interested in buying the best single speed mountain bike but not sure where to start? I know what that is like as I had difficulty finding a suitable mountain bike as well.
There are lots to choose from yes, but that is precisely the problem first time buyers are facing. If you want to get the most out of the bike, it must be the right fit. Even though these bikes may look familiar, the features vary.
To make things easier for you, I have reviewed the top mountain bikes so you don’t have to spend hours scouring the web. I’ve highlighted their most important features, plus there is a comprehensive buyer’s guide as well.
One of the things first time buyers complain about is information overload, as a lot of websites provide too much data. I have cut down the fat and just focused on the essentials here.
How to Choose the Best Single Speed Mountain Bike
Buying a mountain bike requires some thinking and planning. You have to look not just as the cost but also the style, features and your fitness level. Here are some suggestions that might help.
Mountain Bike Style
There are several styles to choose from:
- Trail Bikes: this is the most widely used and your best bet. If you want to do a lot of descents and climbs and ride the nearby trailheads, a trail bike will do. A typical trail bike has 67–69° head-tube angle and suspension travel of 120 to 140 mm.
- Cross-Country Bikes: the emphasis is on speed and climbing. Consider this if you want to be competitive and want more of a race bike type. Most cross country bikes have a head tube angle of 71 inches and 80 to 100 mm suspension travel.
- Fat Bikes: these bikes have oversized tires ranging from 3.7 in. to 5 inches. This is another good choice for beginners as it provides excellent traction, is forgiving and can ride sand and snow.
- All-Mountain Bikes: this is the more powerful version of the trail bike. This is for experienced riders who want to get into more complex accents, steeper climbs and more powerful features. These bikes usually have 140 to 170 mm suspension travel and a head tube angle of 65 to 68”.
Rigid mountain bikes don’t have any suspension and are rare, while hardtail suspension is usually found in cross country and on mountain bikes, and they are cheaper than full suspension.
For beginners, full suspension is recommended as it is forgiving and absorbs a lot of shock. While a full suspension bike can handle a lot, it could affect energy transfer during an ascent. To prevent this, look for full suspension bikes that allow rear suspension locking.
Options include 26 in., 27.5 in. and 29 in. Kids’ mountain bikes are 24 in. There was a time when 26 in. wheels were the standard, but now you can find a lot of other sizes and options available.
The most popular is aluminum alloy and it should do fine in most situations as it is light yet durable. However you can also find bicycle frames made of carbon fiber, titanium or steel.
Steel is solid but a bit too heavy for mountain bikes. Carbon fiber and titanium, while versatile, are too expensive. As your riding skills improve you may want to upgrade to titanium but for now aluminum or lightweight steel will do.
Mountain bike come in S, M and L sizes and there isn’t much difference across the various brands. If you’re not sure, it’s best to go with a smaller frame as it’s easier to work around than a frame that’s too large. As always you should test ride a bike before committing to it.
No matter what type of mountain bike you buy, you must have the essential repair and maintenance tools to keep your ride in good condition. The good news is you don’t need to spend a lot of money for it, and most bikes are bundled with these tools.
Don’t forget about the brakes. There are two basic types, disc brakes and rim brakes, and each one has its pros and cons. For beginners however, disc brakes are more suitable as it requires less effort and performs well in wet and steep terrains.
Recommended Single Speed Mountain Bike Reviews
Knowing what features to look for in these bikes makes it easier to understand the characteristics of the following mountain bikes and why they stand out. Let’s have a closer look.
1. Mongoose Men’s R4726WM DJ-682 Jumping Bike
One of the more notable features on the Jumping Bike is its rear linear pull brake that ensures solid stopping power.
The frame and fork are made of lightweight steel. While most steel frames are heavy, this frame has been specially designed to improve handling and reduce weight. This 3 piece single speed micro drive allows for superior gearing similar to what you get in professional level bikes.
- 2.3″ tires
- Micro drive gear
- Rear linear pull brake
- 3 piece tubular crank
2. Nashbar Single-Speed 29er Mountain Bike
One of the main features of the bike is the Tektro Novela mechanical disc brakes that ensure it stops when you want it to without resistance.
The aluminum frame body is light but durable, and it’s a more versatile than a steel frame. The frame also makes the Nashbar ideal for use in different types of weather.
- Available in five sizes, small, medium, large and extra large
- The bike is mostly assembled
- Rigid chromoly fork
- Provides a smooth riding performance
3. Critical Cycles Classic Fixed-Gear Single-Speed Track Bike
Among the most notable features are the Wanda tires, Pro Max brakes, KMC chain and Sun Run freewheel.
The bike has been optimized for riding in the city and this is evident with its tig-welded frame and 43mm stars super deep V rims. The sealed bottom bracket also does an effective job of keeping moisture out of the bike.
The bike is also equipped with a flip flop hub so you can switch from a single speed to a fixed gear without any trouble.
- 85% of the bike is pre-built
- Kraton rubber grips with Pursuit bullhorn handlebars
- Lightweight alloy chain wheel
- Low profile VP Platform BMX pedals
4. Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike
Among its top features are the Neco headset, custom hubs and V-Drome saddle for comfort and style.
The bike is made out of superior components such as KMC chain, Oury Grips and Kenda Tires and Tubes. The Pure Fix was built with versatility in mind, and this is most evident from its 50 mm wheels.
- Easy to remove front brake and general low maintenance
- Steel frame is tig-welded and high tensile
- Flip flop rear wheel hub for easy switching from fixed gear to single speed
5. Merax® Finiss 26″ Aluminum 21 Speed Mg Alloy Wheel Mountain Bike
Far from it actually, as its performance is smooth and reliable. While easy enough for new riders, there is plenty here to keep experienced riders satisfied.
The frame is constructed out of solid but lightweight magnesium alloy that provides stability without dragging the bike down. The disc brakes on the bike are very responsive and don’t require a lot of effort, ideal for new riders. Another noteworthy aspect is most of the bike is pre-assembled so in just a few minutes you will be ready to go.
- Mechanical disc brakes system front and center
- Shimano 21-speed derailleurs and shifters
- Aluminum mechanical lock out suspension
- Lightweight magnesium alloy wheels
Final Verdict on Single Speed Mountain Bikes
A lot of folks want to take up mountain biking but simply don’t know where to begin. There just seems to be too much information and confusion deciding which one to buy. If you went through our buyer’s guidelines and reviews however, you now know where to start your quest to get the best single speed mountain bike.
I would recommend you buy any of the five bikes we reviewed as they’re suitable for novices, and at the same time provide enough features to satisfy experienced riders. So what are you waiting for? Good luck!