single speedfixed gear bikes one gear for simplicity 1
single speedfixed gear bikes one gear for simplicity 1

Are you tired of the complexities of multi-gear bicycles? Look no further than single speed/fixed gear bikes! With just one gear to worry about, these bikes provide a simple and straightforward riding experience. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a beginner looking for a hassle-free option, single speed/fixed gear bikes offer a refreshing simplicity that enhances your biking adventures. Say goodbye to gear shifting and hello to a more laid-back and enjoyable ride.

Benefits of Single Speed/Fixed Gear Bikes

Low maintenance

One of the major benefits of single speed and fixed gear bikes is their low maintenance requirements. With fewer moving parts compared to bikes with multiple gears, there is less that can go wrong and less that needs to be regularly maintained or repaired. This means fewer trips to the bike shop and less money spent on maintenance, allowing you to spend more time enjoying the simple pleasure of riding.

Simple design

Single speed and fixed gear bikes have a simple design that reflects their minimalist nature. They typically have fewer components and a more streamlined appearance compared to bikes with multiple gears. This simplicity not only contributes to their low maintenance requirements but also makes them easier to understand and work on for riders who enjoy tinkering with their own bikes.

Ease of use

Operating a single speed or fixed gear bike is straightforward and intuitive. With just one gear, there is no need to think about shifting or choosing the right gear for the terrain. This makes riding a single speed or fixed gear bike a more relaxed and enjoyable experience, allowing you to focus on the ride itself rather than constantly thinking about gear changes.


Single speed and fixed gear bikes are often more affordable than their multi-gear counterparts. With fewer components and a simpler design, these bikes can be produced and sold at a lower cost, making them a great option for riders on a budget. Additionally, the reduced maintenance requirements can save you money in the long run, as you won’t need to spend as much on repairs or replacements.


Due to their minimalist design, single speed and fixed gear bikes are often lighter in weight compared to bikes with multiple gears. This can make them easier to handle and maneuver, especially in urban environments where quick accelerations and agile movements are necessary. The lightweight nature of these bikes also contributes to a more efficient and responsive ride.

Improved pedaling technique

Riding a single speed or fixed gear bike can help improve your pedaling technique. Without the option to shift gears, you are forced to rely on your own strength and technique to conquer different terrains. This can lead to increased leg strength and a smoother pedal stroke, improving your overall cycling efficiency and performance.

Types of Single Speed/Fixed Gear Bikes

Single Speed Bikes

Single speed bikes are the simplest form of single speed/fixed gear bikes. They have a single gear ratio and do not have the option to switch between a fixed gear and a freewheel (coasting) mode. Single speed bikes are popular among commuters and urban riders for their simplicity and low maintenance requirements.

Fixed Gear Bikes

Fixed gear bikes, also known as “fixies,” are similar to single speed bikes but have an additional feature: a fixed gear. In a fixed gear bike, the rear cog is directly connected to the rear wheel, meaning that when the wheels are turning, the pedals are too. This creates a connection between the rider and the bike, allowing for a unique and engaging riding experience.

Flip-Flop Hub Bikes

Flip-flop hub bikes offer the best of both worlds: the option to switch between a single speed mode and a fixed gear mode. These bikes feature a rear hub with a cog on each side, one for fixed gear riding and one for single speed riding with a freewheel. This versatility makes flip-flop hub bikes a popular choice for riders who want to experience both styles of riding.

Components of Single Speed/Fixed Gear Bikes


The frame of a single speed or fixed gear bike plays a crucial role in providing stability, strength, and comfort. These bikes often feature a simple, but sturdy, frame design made from materials such as steel, aluminum, or carbon fiber. The choice of frame material can impact the weight, stiffness, and overall ride quality of the bike.


The drivetrain of a single speed or fixed gear bike consists of the chainring, cog, and chain. The simplicity of the drivetrain is one of the defining features of these bikes. For single speed bikes, the chainring and cog are typically matched, giving you one gear ratio. In fixed gear bikes, the cog is directly connected to the rear wheel, creating a fixed gear ratio. The selection of chainring and cog sizes determines the gear ratio of the bike.


While some riders choose to ride their single speed or fixed gear bikes without brakes, many countries and jurisdictions require the use of at least one brake for safety reasons. The choice of brakes for these bikes can vary, with options such as caliper brakes, cantilever brakes, or even disc brakes. It is important to choose brakes that provide sufficient stopping power and control for your riding style and environment.

Wheels and Tires

The wheels and tires of a single speed or fixed gear bike can greatly impact its performance and ride quality. These bikes often feature lightweight wheels with minimal spokes for improved aerodynamics and responsiveness. The choice of tires can vary depending on the intended use of the bike, with options ranging from slick tires for urban riding to wider tires with more traction for off-road adventures.

Single Speed/Fixed Gear Bikes - One Gear For Simplicity

Choosing the Right Gear Ratio

Consider your fitness level

When selecting the gear ratio for your single speed or fixed gear bike, it is important to consider your own fitness level and strength as a rider. A lower gear ratio, with a smaller chainring and larger cog, will be easier to pedal and better suited for riders who are just starting or have less leg strength. A higher gear ratio, with a larger chainring and smaller cog, will provide more resistance and be better suited for experienced or stronger riders.

Assess your riding environment

The terrain and conditions of your typical riding environment should also be taken into account when choosing the right gear ratio. If you frequently encounter steep hills or challenging terrain, a lower gear ratio may be more suitable to help you climb with ease. On the other hand, if you ride mostly on flat or rolling terrain, a higher gear ratio may allow you to achieve faster speeds with less effort.

Experiment with different ratios

Finding the perfect gear ratio for your single speed or fixed gear bike may require some trial and error. It is recommended to experiment with different gear ratios to find the one that feels the most comfortable and efficient for your riding style and preferences. You can do this by swapping out the chainring or cog, or by using a flip-flop hub bike that allows for easy gear ratio changes.

Consult with experienced riders

If you are unsure about which gear ratio to choose, it can be helpful to consult with experienced riders or visit a local bike shop. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific needs and riding style. Their expertise can help ensure that you select a gear ratio that allows you to enjoy your single speed or fixed gear bike to the fullest.

Maintaining and Upgrading Single Speed/Fixed Gear Bikes

Cleaning and lubricating the drivetrain

Regular cleaning and lubrication of your single speed or fixed gear bike’s drivetrain is essential for maintaining its performance and longevity. This involves removing any dirt or debris from the chain, chainring, and cog, and applying a lubricant to ensure smooth and efficient movement. By keeping your drivetrain clean and properly lubricated, you can reduce friction, prevent rust, and extend the life of your bike’s components.

Inspecting and adjusting brakes

If your single speed or fixed gear bike is equipped with brakes, it is important to regularly inspect them for wear and adjust them as needed. This involves checking the brake pads for signs of wear or damage, ensuring they make proper contact with the braking surface, and adjusting the cable tension for optimal braking performance. Properly functioning brakes are essential for your safety and the safety of those around you.

Replacing worn components

Over time, the components of your single speed or fixed gear bike may wear out and require replacement. This can include the chain, chainring, cog, brake pads, or even the wheels. It is important to regularly inspect your bike’s components for signs of wear, such as a stretched chain or worn brake pads, and replace them as necessary. By replacing worn components, you can ensure that your bike continues to perform at its best and avoid potential safety issues.

Upgrading to higher quality parts

As you become more experienced with your single speed or fixed gear bike, you may decide to upgrade certain components to enhance its performance or customize its style. Upgrading to higher quality parts, such as a lighter wheelset, a more advanced drivetrain, or more efficient brakes, can improve your riding experience and allow you to push the limits of your bike’s capabilities. However, it is important to carefully consider the compatibility of the upgraded parts with your bike’s frame and other components.

Cycling Techniques for Single Speed/Fixed Gear Bikes

Pedal stroke efficiency

Riding a single speed or fixed gear bike can help improve your pedal stroke efficiency. With only one gear, you are forced to make the most of each pedal stroke, focusing on a smooth and even power delivery throughout the entire rotation. This can enhance your overall cycling technique and translate to improved performance on any type of bike.

Cadence control

Maintaining a consistent cadence, or pedal speed, is crucial when riding a single speed or fixed gear bike. With no gears to shift, you must rely on your own pedal speed to match the demands of the terrain or your desired pace. Practicing cadence control can help you better understand your own pedaling rhythm and improve your ability to sustain a steady and efficient cadence.

Brakeless riding

Some riders may choose to ride their single speed or fixed gear bikes without brakes, also known as riding “brakeless.” This requires a high level of skill and control, as you must rely on your own leg strength and cadence control to slow down or stop. Brakeless riding can be exhilarating and rewarding for experienced riders but should only be attempted by those who have developed the necessary skills and can ride safely within their limits.


Trackstanding is the art of balancing on your bike without moving forward or backward. This skill is particularly useful when riding a fixed gear bike, as it allows you to momentarily pause without putting a foot down or unclipping from the pedals. Trackstanding requires a combination of balance, core strength, and precise pedal and brake control. Practicing trackstanding can improve your overall bike handling skills and make you more confident and in control of your single speed or fixed gear bike.

Single Speed/Fixed Gear Bikes for Commuting

Sustainable and eco-friendly transportation

Using a single speed or fixed gear bike for commuting can be a sustainable and eco-friendly transportation choice. By opting for a bike instead of a car or public transportation, you reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment. Single speed and fixed gear bikes are also more energy-efficient compared to bikes with multiple gears, making them a greener transportation option.

Navigating urban traffic

Single speed and fixed gear bikes are well-suited for navigating through urban traffic. The simplicity of these bikes allows for quick and agile movements, making it easier to weave through cars and handle tight turns. The lightweight nature of these bikes also contributes to their maneuverability, allowing you to deftly maneuver around obstacles and through congested city streets.

Easy to park and store

Parking and storing a single speed or fixed gear bike is often easier compared to larger and bulkier bikes. These bikes can be locked up to standard bike racks, or even brought indoors and stored in tight spaces. Their compact size and lightweight nature make them more convenient for commuters who need to park and store their bikes in limited urban spaces such as small apartments or office buildings.

Promotes a healthy lifestyle

Using a single speed or fixed gear bike for commuting promotes a healthy and active lifestyle. Regular exercise through cycling can improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and help manage weight. Additionally, the physical and mental benefits of cycling, such as reduced stress and increased energy levels, can positively impact your overall well-being and quality of life.

Risks and Considerations of Single Speed/Fixed Gear Bikes

Limited gear options

The main drawback of single speed and fixed gear bikes is their limited gear options. With only one gear ratio, you may find it challenging to tackle steep hills or maintain high speeds on flat terrain. Riders who frequently encounter diverse terrain may prefer the versatility of multi-gear bikes. However, with the right gear ratio selection and proper training, many riders successfully navigate various terrains on single speed or fixed gear bikes.

No coasting

Riding a fixed gear bike requires constant movement and engagement. Unlike bikes with a freewheel, which allow for coasting and resting your legs, fixed gear bikes require continuous pedal motion. This can be tiring for riders who are not accustomed to the constant leg movement. However, some riders enjoy the direct connection and feedback that fixed gear riding provides, finding it more engaging and satisfying.

Limited braking power

Single speed and fixed gear bikes generally have fewer brake options compared to bikes with multiple gears. This can result in limited braking power, especially in wet or slippery conditions. It is important to regularly inspect and maintain your brakes to ensure they are functioning at their best. Additionally, practicing proper braking techniques and allowing for increased stopping distances can help compensate for the reduced braking power.

Increased leg fatigue

With only one gear ratio, single speed and fixed gear bikes often require more leg strength and endurance compared to bikes with multiple gears. Riding uphill or against strong headwinds can be particularly challenging as you must rely solely on your own leg power to overcome resistance. Building up your leg muscles and gradually increasing your fitness level can help reduce leg fatigue and make the riding experience more enjoyable.

Popular Brands of Single Speed/Fixed Gear Bikes

State Bicycle Co.

State Bicycle Co. is a popular brand known for its stylish and affordable single speed and fixed gear bikes. They offer a wide range of models, colors, and frame designs to suit different riding preferences and styles. State Bicycle Co. bikes are praised for their quality, durability, and attention to detail, making them a popular choice among urban riders and bike enthusiasts.

Pure Cycles

Pure Cycles is another well-known brand that offers a variety of single speed and fixed gear bikes at affordable prices. Their bikes are designed with simplicity, functionality, and style in mind. Pure Cycles bikes are highly regarded for their reliable performance, and they offer customization options that allow you to personalize your bike to your liking.


Cinelli is a renowned brand that has been producing high-quality bikes for several decades. They offer a range of single speed and fixed gear bikes that combine Italian craftsmanship with innovative design. Cinelli bikes are known for their precision, comfort, and durability, making them a favorite among discerning riders who appreciate both form and function.

All City Cycles

All City Cycles is a brand that specializes in producing versatile and performance-oriented single speed and fixed gear bikes. Their bikes are designed to handle a variety of riding conditions, from urban commuting to off-road adventures. All City Cycles bikes are admired for their durability, versatility, and attention to detail, making them a popular choice for riders who demand a high level of performance from their bikes.


Single speed and fixed gear bikes offer numerous benefits, from their low maintenance requirements and simple design to their affordability and lightweight nature. These bikes can improve your pedaling technique and provide a unique and engaging riding experience. With the right gear ratio selection, regular maintenance, and proper cycling techniques, you can fully enjoy the advantages of single speed and fixed gear bikes. Whether you choose to use them for commuting or leisure riding, these bikes can promote a sustainable lifestyle and a healthier, more active routine. Explore the various options from popular brands such as State Bicycle Co., Pure Cycles, Cinelli, and All City Cycles, and find the perfect single speed or fixed gear bike that suits your needs and style. So go ahead, embrace the simplicity and freedom of single speed and fixed gear bikes, and rediscover the joy of cycling.

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Leigh Donovan
Hi there! I'm Leigh Donovan, and I am thrilled to be the bike expert behind As a passionate cyclist and industry professional, I have dedicated my life to everything bike-related. With years of experience under my belt, I have had the privilege of competing at the highest level and coaching aspiring riders to reach their full potential. My expertise spans various disciplines, including mountain biking, road cycling, and everything in between. What sets me apart is my deep understanding of the intricacies of bikes and my ability to break down complex concepts into practical tips that anyone can apply. Whether you're a beginner looking to enhance your skills or a seasoned rider seeking to take your performance to the next level, I'm here to guide you every step of the way. Through, I aim to share my knowledge and experience with fellow cycling enthusiasts. From equipment reviews and maintenance guides to training techniques and race strategies, I cover a wide range of topics that will help you make the most of your cycling journey. When it comes to writing, my philosophy is simple: to provide valuable and engaging content that resonates with my readers. I believe that cycling is not just a sport but a lifestyle, and I strive to inspire and empower individuals to embrace this incredible passion. In addition to my professional background, I am also a firm believer in the joy and camaraderie that cycling brings. I love connecting with fellow riders, exchanging stories, and being part of a vibrant community. So, whether you're a beginner or an experienced cyclist, let's embark on this exhilarating journey together. Visit for expert tips, insightful articles, and all things bike-related. I can't wait to share my knowledge and help you achieve your cycling goals. Ride on! Leigh Donovan