Have you been searching for the best single speed road bikes? A lot of folks prefer these bikes because of the flexibility they offer. These bikes don’t require a lot of maintenance, are easy to use and don’t lack in the aesthetics department either. Yes they’re not ideal for hill riding, but if you’re just looking for a commuter bike, the single speed will be more than sufficient.
But which one should you buy? This is where our guide will be able to help. I have gone over the many single speed bikes online and narrowed the list down to the top 5.
But before we go over the actual reviews, let’s take a look at the factors that buyers should assess. One of the mistakes new bikers make is assuming they’re all alike, but nothing is further from the truth; these bikes have different components and it has an effect on performance and reliability.
How to Choose the Best Single Speed Road Bikes
It’s easy enough to buy a bike online, but if you want to get the most value for your money – and have a smooth riding experience – it’s best to spend some time learning the essentials. Here are the biggest factors that a prospective buyer needs to look into.
Single Speed vs. Fixie
A single speed bike has one freewheel on its rear hub, and this feature allows you to coast. A fixed gear bike does not allow this because of fundamental differences in design. The fixed gear vs. single speed debate has been going on for a long time, but to sum it up:
- Single speed bikes require less effort and is easier to ride
- Fixed gear bikes provide greater maneuverability
- Single speed bikes are more ideal for long rides as they won’t tire you out
- Fixed gear bikes are more appropriate for training
- Most bikes have a flip flop hub that lets you change from single speed to fixed gear and back
Think about the gear ratio carefully as single speed bikes have just one. The ideal set up is for the ratio to be low so you can climb uphill but at the same time not too low the bike becomes difficult to use. Generally, a road bike has a higher gear ratio than a mountain bike.
The wheels have a direct effect on the bike’s weight and how well it’s going to respond. Grip is always important but even more so when the weather conditions become unpredictable. One good thing about purchasing a single speed is you don’t have to be concerned about the derailleur and other components.
- The flip flop hub will depend on what types of activities you’re going to do with the bike. If you’re going to use the bike for climbing, the flip flop must let you go into a higher gear so you don’t expend too much energy.
- Hub rear: there are different types of hub rear, but the best is the one that provides consistent engagement. An aluminum hub is good enough for beginners and casual riders, but for serious riding a diamond or steel rear hub is recommended.
- Chain: the bike chain can affect your bike’s performance. It is not much of an exaggeration to say the chain’s function is similar to an engine so it needs to be compatible with the cassettes.
The frame is the biggest component of your bike as it hooks up the pedals, seats and handlebars. Look for a bicycle frame that is durable and lightweight, and fortunately there are many options.
- Steel is strong and can last a long time. However it can be a bit heavy.
- Aluminum is one of the more popular options as it is durable and lightweight. Aluminum frames are also affordable, making it an attractive prospect for new riders.
- Titanium frames are not yet commonplace, but it combines many of the best features of aluminum and steel. These frames also provide good shock absorption.
Other components you should look into are the handlebars and saddle. The comfort level is a matter of personal preference, and it is easy enough to replace as are the pedals. With regards to the handlebars you can choose from several designs like flat barhandles, dropbars, butterfly design and so on.
The pedals on a bike can be easily upgraded. There is a lot of debate about this, but the general consensus is that for commuting and casual use, there is no need to replace them. However it is matter of personal preference.
Recommended Single Speed Road Bike Reviews
1. Hiland Road City Bike 700C Wheels with Single-Speed
Looking for a city bike can be challenging. It’s not all wheels set on a frame that is up to the task. It is made of steel which is durable but has the downside of being heavy. This is a single-speed bicycle that is designed for city commuting, meaning that it does well on flat smooth roads. The retro design is appealing and attractive. The design can also be described as being simple.
The single gear makes the ride on flat surfaces such as city roads, more enjoyable. It also has a 125mm grip length.
- It has a single-speed making it great for city roads
- One wheel can carry over 140pounds
- it has a comfortable seat
- it’s easy to assemble
- the 700c wheels help provide you with greater speed
- It may be heavy for some because it is made of steel
- It may not do so well on gravel roads
2. Mercier Kilo TT Deluxe Reynolds 520 Steel Single Speed Track Bike Fixie Fixed Gear Bicycle
Are you considering buying the Mercier Kilo TT deluxe Reynolds 520 steel single-speed track bike fixie fixed-gear bicycle? This is a single-speed fixed-gear bicycle. The frame and fork are both made of steel which is generally heavier than the materials used to make other bicycles. For your safety, the bicycle has alloy rims that are fitted with a machined braking surface.
It also has high flange hubs with a sealed ball bearing axle. In addition to this, it has a custom flat crown track. It is drilled for both front and back brakes. On the downside, this bike tends to be on the higher end. If you’re on a budget, this may be a bit of a tough pill to swallow.
- It is a versatile bicycle
- it is durable
- it has a good braking surface
- It is on the higher end of the pricing
- It does not come with a freewheel
3. Vilano Classic Urban Commuter Single Speed Bike Dutch Style City Road Bicycle
The Vilano Classic Urban is nominally a fixed gear bike, but its flip flop hub makes it easy to switch to single speed.
Built for urban use, the Classic Urban is fitted with a classic curved fork and geometry frame are comprised of high tensile steel.
The Vilano is not a fancy bike but it gets the job done and works nicely for commuting or leisure riding. The bike is equipped with 700c tires for enhanced surface contact and stability.
The Vilano is designed for novice and experienced bikers alike, and in terms of longevity it’s going to last a long time.
- Free platform pedals
- Forged alloy crank
- 45mm double walled Deep-V wheels
- Dutch styled
4. Golden Cycles Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Road Bike
The Golden Cycle is a well-crafted bike that’s easy enough for new cyclists yet has enough features to satisfy experienced riders.
It’s available in different sizes and has the features you’d expect from a quality bike like a 1-1/8″ Neco headset, high tensile steel frame and 700c x 25 Kenda tires.
The Golden Cycle is freewheel out of the box but there is a flip flop hub if you want to change gears.
The bike’s performance doesn’t get affected much whether you’re using it for commuting or just for fun. The heavy duty construction also makes it ideal for urban riding.
- 700c x 25 Kenda tires
- 45mm deep alloy rims
- Sealed bearing flip flop hub
- Alloy 46T chain ring crank
5. State Bicycle Co Fixed Gear Fixie Single Speed BikeCheck Price
State Bicycle Co is a combo single speed / fixed gear bike, and it’s one of the most customizable in the market.
Aside from the base model there are several handlebars, frame sizes and other options available.
It’s built for long term use and it’s capable of going thousands of miles without breaking.
The bike is smooth and it doesn’t make a lot of sound while using it. Changing the components does not require a lot of expertise either.
- 3 piece forged aluminum alloy crankset
- 1-1/8″ threadless A-head headset
- Lightweight 4130 chromoly fork and frame
- 700C aluminum track wheels
Final Verdict on Single Speed Road Bikes
The appeal of the best single speed road bikes is easy to see. Unlike other bikes they are simpler to use and don’t have any gears or derailleur. With a growing number of people opting to ride bikes to work and for leisure, it only makes sense to buy one.
With the top 5 single speed bikes, it’s easier now to find the right bike to meet your requirements. Rather than spend hours browsing the web looking for the right bike, you can just pick and choose from the list here.