A derailleur gear set is one of the greatest inventions on a multi-speed bike. This intelligent system gives almost anybody a chance to effectively power themselves over any type of terrain with the right choice of sprockets and chainrings. Unlike multi-speed bikes, single speed bikes come with a single speed ratio. They are fitted with a single chain ring at the bottom bracket and one sprocket at the back wheel. Single speed bicycles do not come with hub gearing, derailleur gears or any other methods of varying the gear ratio found in multi-speed bikes. Briefly stated, you cannot shift gears on a single speed bike like you do on a multi-speed bike.
You might be asking yourself, “Why would somebody prefer riding a bicycle with a single gearing system over the one with multiple gears?” Well, worry not because this article will disclose to you the benefits of single speed bikes over multi-speed bikes.
Benefits of Single Speed Bikes Over Multi-Speed Bikes
Low Cost of Maintenance
Single speed bikes do not come with as many moving parts as multi-speed bikes. They do not have rear or front shifters and derailleurs that cause bicycle malfunctions in most cases. The only thing that might worry a single speed bike owner/ rider is maintaining the bike’s chain tension, brake adjustment and tire pressure. As a result, the cost of maintenance of a single speed bike is relatively lower than that of a multi-speed bike.
Simple and Efficient
When things get simple, life gets easier. The same principle applies when riding a bicycle. With a single speed bicycle, you do not need to worry about shifting gears. All you have to do is to get onto the bicycle and begin riding. Since the only moving parts on a single-speed bike are the brakes, wheels and cranks, adjustment over time is simple and minimal. Most of your effort directly goes into forward propulsion instead of being lost through friction at the rear derailleur’s jockey wheels.
A huge chunk of the cost of a new bike lies within the drivetrain which entails shifters, derailleurs, cassette, cables, crank set, and housing. Fortunately, most of these parts do not exist on a single speed bicycle hence significantly reducing the retail price of the bike. It is important to note that affordability in this context does not refer to the value of the bike because when comparing a $600 single speed bicycle to a $600 multi-speed bike; you are more likely to get a single speed bicycle with a better quality wheel set, frame and bearings than the multi-speed bike.
Perfect for Training.
When it comes to training, a single speed bicycle is your trusted companion. Because this bike is just limited to using a single gear ratio, you will be forced to use more effort to power the bicycle efficiently, especially on hilly terrains. This act gets you to fully exercise your slow or fast twitching muscle fibers. Furthermore, riding a single speed bicycle helps you to study the road better to understand the effect of different terrains. When you eventually switch to using a multi-speed bicycle, you will find it easy to judge the appropriate gear ratio to use for climbs and the amount of effort you need to put in.
Wrapping it up…
Single speed bicycles are mostly preferred by many because they are durable, cheap to maintain and simple. However, their lack of multiple speeds means that you cannot shift to a smaller cog at high speeds or a larger cog for uphill riding. Regardless of the few existing limitations, single speed bikes remain affordable, simple, stylish and fun.