Sample fixed gear bicycles on JensonUSA
Fixed gear bicycles (or single speed bicycles) are arguably the most dynamic bicycles there is on the market. They show beauty and functionality in simplicity. Single speed bikes are bicycles that run on only one gear ratio. With that being said, these types of bicycles do not have any methods of changing bicycle gears because of their simplistic and caveman design.
A lot of us have experienced, in one way or another, being on a single speed bicycle when we were young, and have probably forgotten about these beautiful creations because of the fast changing world that we live in today. But I can assure you that fixed gear bicycles are here to stay. Many contemporary designs of fixed gear bicycles are incorporated in modern day bikes, including cruisers bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes and more types of bicycles.
Single Speed Bicycle Types
Single speed bicycles are divided into two broad groups depending on whether they have a freewheel mechanism or not.
Fixed Gear Bicycle
This type of single gear bicycle is distinguished from the rest due to the fact that it does not have a freewheel mechanism. This means that as long as the back wheel is turning then the pedals will be moving as well.
To stop the bike, the rider is supposed to apply pressure to the bicycle pedals to stop them from moving. Some cruisers bicycles are known to have this feature.
Single Speed Bicycle With Freewheel Mechanism
The other fixed gear bicycle mechanism category is the group that comes with a free wheel mechanism. Riders on these bikes can stop the pedals while the rear wheel continues rolling. In this case to stop the bikes cyclists use bicycle brakes.
A Note for The Shaft driven Bicycle***
It is important to note that shaft driven bicycles i.e. those that use a shaft instead of a chain to transfer motion to the rear wheel usually has a collection of gears at the rear wheel hub. These bikes tend to be difficult to maintain due to the complex nature of the gears at the wheel hub.
Single Speed Bikes vs. Chainless Bikes
Some are mixing up the “single speed bicycle” with the “chainless bicycle”. A chainless bicycle (also known as a “shaft driven bicycle” or a “dynamic bicycle”) basically uses a drive shaft instead of a bicycle chain as propulsion mechanism. Still, chainless bicycles can have multiple gear ratios, and not only a single speed.
Fixed Gear Bicycles – Pro’s and Con’s
There are a few factors that sets the fixed gear bicycle apart from the multiple gear ratio or multiple speed bicycle.
Fixed gear bicycles are basically cheaper than their multiple gear counterparts. Most of them are lighter and simpler to maintain because of nonexistent gearing systems. Maintenance, efficiency, and a stronger base are also traits of single speed bikes. Since simplicity is one of the goals of fixed gear bicycles, they are constructed without suspensions, or with only front suspensions.
A fixed-gear bicycle offers only a single gear ratio, so it is quite difficult to pedal in steep hills. From the other hand, these bikes are limited in their top speed, as it determined by the ability of the cyclist to pedal fast.
Mountain and Road Fixed Gear Bicycles?
Single Speed Mountain Bikes
Unlike old mountain bikes that were designed with single speed ratios, new single speed mountain bikes fitted with these are designed to have easier and slower gear ratios. This makes climbing hills easier and faster. Take a look at the 17″ Redline Gray Monocog Mountain Bike
Single Speed Road Bikes
If road bike cycling is considered then the single speed bicycle is designed to have a higher gear ratio for fast riding.
Where to Buy Fixed Gear Bicycles?
If you are interested in buying fixed gear bicycles you can buy them in one of these trusted online stores:
Moving To Fixed Gear Bicycles...
If we were talking about shifting to chainless bicycle I would say - It is impossible, but alteration from multiple geared bicycles into single speed bikes is possible, and is not uncommon. This is done through the removal of the derailleur and the other parts associated with multiple geared bicycles. A simple way for the conversion is by using pre-existing crankset and freewheel. This also requires the bicycle chain to be trimmed down to the desired gear length. Though this is much cheaper, the result is less efficient. A better way is by replacing the freewheel and changing the rear wheel.