Single gear and fixed gear bikes both have one gear. The biggest difference between them is that a fixed-gear bike does not have a freewheel while a single-speed bike has it. But both bikes offer almost equal facilities to the biker. Even though they are identical in almost every aspect, there are some differences. And, knowing these differences will help you to decide which bike is the most suitable for you.
So, today I am coming with the basic discussion about fixed and single-speed gear bikes, what they are preferable or good, the key differences between them, their benefits and failings of them, and so on. That’s why please read our full article to know which is the best bike or what for.
What Is a Fixed Gear Bike?
A fixed gear bike is a bike in which gear is fixed. The paddle of this bike is connected to the rear cog. And, when the wheel turns, the paddle also turns; and when the wheel stops, the paddle also stops. This bike is sometimes also called Fixie.
So yes, you can take a rest occasionally while paddling on a normal bike. But a fixed gear bike has to be paddled continuously. Because on a normal bike, turning the wheel has nothing to do with turning the paddle. That means you can move the paddle back and forth while the wheel rotates or even keep the paddle stationary.
But in a fixed gear bike, the paddle will rotate as long as the wheel rotates. If the paddle goes backward, the wheel will also go backward. If the paddle is stationary, the wheel will also be standing. As this bike has one gear, you can’t shift gears. And, that’s why a fixed-gear bike is not perfect for uphill and long-distance riding. Moreover, you can’t rest your feet as long as the spinning wheel, meaning you can’t paddle freely.
- Although there are positive things, paddling continuously keeps the bike at the same speed and keeps you physically fit. Besides, braking is slightly tricky in Fixie. But through long practice, you can master the braking quickly.
Are Fixed Gear Bikes Preferable?
Yes! In some cases, Fixed Gear bikes are better than any others.
There are many reasons to call fixed gear bikes better:
- straight chain line,
- short-length chain,
- no use of extra brake,
- lightweight, backward,
- and forward riding facility.
Due to these features, the rider feels comfortable using Fixie, making fixed-gear bikes better.
Let’s see which features and facilities fixed gear bikes are better options for users:
1. Paddle Effeminacy:
Because the Fixie’s chain is short and straight, extra power is transmitted to the paddle. As a result, the wheels turn faster, and the bicycle runs fast. This task requires the rider to exert extra energy.
But this process is inconvenient and tiring for regular and long-distance riders because of the additional pressure on their legs. To avoid this inconvenience, he can use pedal straps or toe clips.
2. Physical Exercise:
One of the best benefits of Fixie is that it helps you stay physically fit. As there is no use of additional gear, derailleur, or brake, this bike has to be ridden only by applying physical strength.
If you want to ride fast, you need to paddle hard, and if you want to ride slowly, you need to apply less force on the paddle. Thus, due to the controlled use of physical energy, blood circulation in the body is normal, and the organs are active. As a result, the ability to work in the body is created and the body remains fit.
3. Lightweight And Portable:
The low weight makes the Fixie unique from other bikes. Due to the absence of gear and other components, this bike is light in weight.
Furthermore, it is easy to carry due to its lightweight. If you live in a multi-storied building and there are no elevators, then you don’t need to worry. Because you can carry your Fixie by hand, the bike does not need to be stored in extra space, and you can keep it under the bed or the cupboard easily if you want.
On the other hand, because of the extra components and heavy weight of the geared bike, you cannot store it anywhere.
4. Fast Bike:
Fixed gear bikes are very popular among racers and are widely used in racing.
Since it is used in racing, speed is a common feature of this bike. All modern technologies are used to make this bike fast. Also, continuously paddling and less weight also make it more speedy.
5. Less Expensive And Easy Maintenance:
The use of fewer components in the Fixie makes it less expensive than other bikes. Gear, derailleur, shifter, and other parts make a bike expensive. Since a fixed gear bike does not have more than one gear and other equipment is less. So typically, this bike is cheaper.
Due to fewer components, this bike is easy to maintain and less expensive. You don’t have to worry about using lubricant in the chain of this bike and tightening the chain, whether the gear is right or not. Because this bike does not have complicated equipment, it can be easily maintained by washing it regularly and keeping it clean.
But For What A Fixed Gear Bike Is Really Good?
Fixed gear bikes are becoming popular among people, especially for their simple design.
As this bike has no extra components, this bike is easy to use and low in price. And, people have started using fixed-gear bikes for various purposes such as racing on flat roads, commuters’ intentions, delivery service, fitness, and rough weather.
❖ Race On The Flat Road
Fixed Gear bicycles are suitable for flat roads. Moreover, light in weight and fewer components are used, the paddle is connected with the rear cog, more power is transmitted to the paddle, and continuously paddling makes this bike faster.
Commuter-purpose fixed gear is simple and easy to understand. No use of extra gears and other components like other bikes. So, it is a good choice for city commuting. Because this bike is easy to ride and fast, they can use it to go to the office, market, and other places.
But it is not suitable for school-going children to ride this bike. Because, in most cases, no brake is used on this bike, it is difficult for students to stop this bike. But if someone feels comfort by riding Fixie or Fixed Gear bikes, then he/she can use this type of bike.
❖ Delivery Work
We all can understand why Courier service requires a fast bike. Because they always want to deliver the desired product to the consumer in a short period. To fulfill that purpose, usually, they remove the brake and cable from their bikes and supply them to the workers. At this present arena, they frequently use fixed-gear bikes for this work.
❖ To Keep Fitness
Fixed gear bike is the best choice for those who want to do cycling to keep themselves fit.
As a fixie uses no extra gear and does not use any components that increase the speed of the bike, cycling this bike requires full physical strength. As a result, the blood circulation in the body is normal, the breath increases, and the performance of the body increases.
❖ Best For Rough Weather
It is risky to use a geared bike or a general bike in rough weather. Because the roads are slippery due to rain and snow, the bicycle brake may not work correctly. Also, water accumulated on the road has the potential to damage the bicycle’s gears or other parts.
But on a fixed-gear bike, does not have extra gear and equipment, so it can cycle freely in rough weather.
Now, What Is A Single-Speed Bike?
A single-speed bike is a bike that has only one gear, and there is no additional derailleur, gear, or shifter in this bike.
In this bike, the wheel rotates independently. So bikers can take the paddle forward or backward or keep it stationary while turning the wheel.
- Turning the wheel has nothing to do with turning the paddle. Here is the main difference between a fixed-gear and a single-speed bike.
The single-speed bike has a break. So that if you want to stop the cycle, you must use the brake. As it’s a simple and easily understandable bike, it is an excellent choice for all ages and novice riders.
Are Single-Speed Bikes Suitable?
Yes! Single speed bike is more than suitable in many cases. As there is no additional gear, derailleur, or shifter in this bike, the weight of this bike is also less.
Moreover, as there are no additional components, the maintenance cost is also low and affordable.
- Can be easily sorted and carried.
- Can easily be converted into a multiple-gear bike.
- With a simple structure and no extra components, there is no chance of any element being damaged.
- A single-speed bike is suitable for any weather.
For these specific reasons, single-speed bikes are better.
Let’s know in detail the justifications for why a single-speed bike is better.
1. Low Maintenance:
The single-speed bike does not have gear, shifter, derailleurs, and other components.
As the components are fewer, the replacement cost is also less. So, this bike is easy to maintain. This bike can be maintained by regular use and care. Furthermore, Single-speed bikes are popular with off-road riders as they don’t have a derailleur.
Multiple-gear bikes cost more because of additional components such as snifters, gears, derailleurs, cassettes, etc.
On the contrary, since a single-speed bike does not have additional gears and other components, its manufacturing cost is low. And, the cost of replacing any equipment is also low and cheaper than others. That’s why a single-speed bike is an affordable bike.
Due to the use of fewer components, the weight of the single-speed bike is also less. And who doesn’t know that riding a lightweight bike requires less energy? As the weight is less, the speed of the bike also increases. So, city and commuter riders have put this lightweight bike at the top of their choice.
Due to its low weight, this bike can be easily carried. Especially those who live in high-rise buildings and those who do not have elevators in their buildings. No reason to worry for them. You can carry the lightweight bike by hand and take it to your home.
You can easily store a single-speed bike as it is lightweight and does not require extra space like other types of bikes. Especially in urban areas where space is limited, this bike can be easily stored in a small space even if there is absolutely no space, you can hang the bike.
5. Year-Round Usability:
The single-speed bike is suitable for those who cycle regularly as it is ideal for any weather, including winter, and summer.
And, due to fewer components in the bike, the bike is not damaged by rain, water, and excessive cold.
Also, this bike is easy to clean. So, you can use a single-speed bike all year round in any environment.
But For What A Simple Speed Bike Is Actually Good?
The simplicity of the single-speed bike makes it suitable for people of all ages. There is no complicity in it, and it is understandable. So, nowadays people are using simple speed bikes for various tasks.
Moreover, Fixed-Gear or Fixie bike is suitable for beginners who want to learn cycling. It is also good for physical fitness, commuters, and rough weather.
Let’s know about the issues in detail:
❖ For Beginners
A single-speed bike is the best bike to learn to cycle.
Generally, a beginner cyclist will not be able to use a geared bike properly. Since he has not cycled before, he will get confused when changing gear.
Apart from the novices, sometimes an experienced cyclist who has been cycling for a long time also often gets into trouble with changing the snifter.
As a single-speed bike does not have any gear, derailleur, or shifter, the biker is not likely to get confused. So anyone can cycle without trouble.
In short, a single-speed bike is a good choice for a beginner cyclist.
As single-speed bikes are less expensive, anyone who wants to ride on a cycle can afford them easily. And, the simple geometry and lightweight frame of this bike are comfortable for any ride. So, a single-speed bike is better for beginners.
❖ Keeping Physical Fitness
An excellent way to maintain fitness is cycling. By cycling, you can get physical exercise while reaching your destination.
And, as the single-speed bike does not have extra gear or any component that accelerates the speed of the bike, it needs to be ridden using full physical strength.
And, naturally, paddling hard will make the bike go faster, and paddling slowly will make the bike go slower. Thus, the organ is active, and this way a single-speed bike helps to maintain physical fitness.
The single-speed bike is mostly used for commuting purposes like a Commuter Bike as it is simple and easy to ride. So, people of all ages can use a single-speed bike for their commuter purpose.
For office goers, school goers, daily work, and traveling to the park, single-speed bikes are the top choice for everyone.
Then, What Are The Key Differences Between Fixed Gear And Single-Speed Bike?
Although simple and fixed gear bikes have many similarities, there are some differences. These differences must be apparent to a rider. Then he can easily select his preferred one between them.
So now, let’s look at the differences between fixed and single-gear bikes.
|Difference||Single Speed Bike||Fixed Gear Bike|
|Freewheel||Presence of Freewheel.||Absence of Freewheel.|
|Brake||It has a caliper brake.||It has a mechanical brake.|
|Riding Area||It is ideal for both hilly and flat terrain.||It is ideal for flat terrain.|
|Usability||Beginners and experienced riders can use it.||It is suitable for experienced riders.|
Well, Then- Fixed Gear VS Single Speed Bike: Which Is Better?
There are many similarities between fixed and single-speed bikes such as affordable price, lightweight design, easy maintenance, and simplicity.
Despite having so many similarities, some contrasts put one ahead of the other.
- For example, let’s talk about freewheel. The single-speed bike has a freewheel. So you can relax while paddling.
On the other hand, fixed-gear bikes do not have freewheels, so you have to paddle continuously. That means the paddle will rotate as long as the wheel turns.
- If we also consider the brake, we can see that a single-speed bike has a caliper brake. As a result, you can break easily. But to break a fixed-gear bike, you have to apply pressure on the rear wheel with your foot. It is somewhat risky and requires experience to perform this task.
So, between the two bikes, a single-speed bike is easy and suitable for everyone, especially novice bikers. On the other hand, riding a fixed-gear bike requires experience.
Fixie or Fixed-Gear, and Single-Speed bikes are best in their respective places. Both of them have a lot in common and provide the best facilities to the rider. But there are some differences too.
At last, I must admit that it is unreasonable to claim the best in a particular bike. So, Single-speed or Fixed-gear bikes should be selected based on who will ride the bike and in what environment. And, undoubtedly, these criteria of choosing will be the wise decision-making step in terms of selecting between these two bikes.