We’ve looked at the best road bikes, and we’ve looked at the best mountain bikes. We’ve even weighed the pros and cons of each. But today, we’re going to be diving deeper into a more specific type of bike… The best single speed bikes.
Typically used for cruising along flatter roads and commuting, a single speed, like the name suggests, only has one speed. There’s no changing gears or any complex mechanisms. It’s the most basic form of a bike there is. You simply pedal to get going and you’re on your way.
- 1 Benefits of a Single Speed Bike
- 2 Best Single Speed Bikes
- 2.1 6KU Aluminum Single Speed / Fixie
- 2.2 Golden Cycles Single Speed / Fixie
- 2.3 Schwinn Stites Single Speed / Fixie
- 2.4 Retrospec Harper Single Speed / Fixie
- 2.5 Schwinn Kedzie Lightweight Single Speed / Fixie
- 2.6 Vilano Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike
- 2.7 P3 Cycles Single Speed / Fixie
- 2.8 Sixthreezero Around The Block Women’s Single Speed Cruiser
- 2.9 Kulana Lakona Single Speed Beach Cruiser Bike
- 2.10 Schwinn Mikko Single Speed Beach Cruiser Bike
- 3 Conclusion
Many people may confuse a single speed with a fixed gear bike because they are both locked into one gear ratio. But, there is actually a critical difference. On a fixed gear (or fixie), if the bike is moving, the pedals are always moving. The only way to stop the pedals is to stop the bike. On a single speed, however, you can stop pedaling and coast while the bike is moving. This means that you can work up a good speed and continue moving while you are no longer pedaling.
They operate differently because with a fixie, they connect the rear cog of the bike to the rear hub, requiring the constant movement while this is not the case for the single speed.
While we will explore the 10 best single speed bikes for cruising, it’s important to note that many bikes can actually be either a single speed or a fixie if they have a flip-flop hub. This will allow you to flip the rear wheel one way to make it a single speed and the other way to make it a fixed gear. Many of the best single speed bikes we have listed today have this feature so if you’re unfamiliar with a fixie, you can always have the option to try it.
Benefits of a Single Speed Bike
There are actually several benefits to having a single speed. While there may be lots of people who prefer a bike that allows you to shift gears during certain situations and terrains, there are others who deem this as unnecessary. So, let’s explore why…
Single speed bikes require much less maintenance. It’s simple, really… The more mechanisms on a bike, the more likely it is to break down. So, by having one speed and not having to shift your bike, moving the gears and everything, there’s really just less opportunity for things to get moved out of place or messed up.
If you’re looking for a bike without a lot of fuss and you live in an area that has flatter surfaces, a single speed may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Similar to the maintenance example, if you have fewer mechanisms, it’s more affordable to make. There are fewer intricacies that require time and money to install, build, and manufacture. Simply put, a single speed bike is a simple bike to build and manufacture, making it more affordable for consumers!
If your budget is tight and you live in areas where the terrain is pretty consistent, this is another reason a single speed could be a wonderful option for you. Of course, if your neighborhood or cycling route is hilly and physically demanding, you’d have to explore different options.
Like I said above, most people use single speed bikes in areas where it is flat. Most people who live in cities will use them as commuter bikes. People who live or vacation near the beach will use them to cruise. But, the fact of the matter is, if you can’t shift gears and you reach a hill or a variance in the elevation, it’s going to be more strenuous on you.
While some may see this as a negative, you can also see it as a great workout. You’re working your legs more than you would with a traditional bike that has more gears and speeds, especially if you’re using your bike as a fixie.
Best Single Speed Bikes
As with all of our lists, these are in no particular order! We made our list of the best single speed bikes in a way that has a variety of distinct features and looks. We do this because what is best for one person may be completely different for another. Our goal is to share the best of the best with a little variety hoping to help you find exactly what you need!
- Lightweight Full Aluminum Frame and Fork
- 30mm Deep V Double-Walled Alloy Wheels
- Ride Fixed Gear or Freewheel with a Flip-Flop Hub
- Easy Maintenance and Upkeep
- Front and Rear Brakes Included
This lightweight single speed has a full aluminum frame and weighs a reported 29.7 pounds. It has a flip-flop hub, which allows riders to choose whether they want to ride fixed gear or freewheel.
At a lower price point, it has pretty spectacular reviews with over 650 certified purchasers rating it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Most boasted about the quality and sharp look. Other than the instructions being a little confusing, most seemed to love this reliable bike, which is why it made it on our list of the best single speed bikes.
- Frame: High tensile steel fully tig-welded fork: 1-1/8" steel fork brakes: Front & rear
- Headset: 1-1/8" neco headset handlebar: Alloy custom riser bars
- Chainring crank: Alloy 46t bottom bracket: Sealed bearing 68mm
- Wheels: 45mm deep alloy rims hubs: 32hole sealed bearing flip flop hub
This Golden Cycles single speed is more affordable and lighter than the 6KU weighing in at 24 pounds. It also comes equipped with a flip-flop hub. Interestingly, it may be lighter but they actually made it of steel.
In terms of reviews, it received a glowing rating as well with 4.4 out of 5 stars. Many loved the ease and little maintenance. The only consistent negatives I could find were that some people didn’t love the actual feel and symmetry of the handlebars, which really comes down to preference and feel.
- Dive into the world of fixed-gear cycling with the Schwinn Stites Fixie Bicycle. This fixie bike features a Schwinn steel racing frame and fork for a responsive, reliable ride.
- In true fixed-gear fashion, a 46T by 18T single-speed drivetrain with flip-flop hub propels this bike. The frame measures 58 centimeters.
- 700C wheels offer strength and performance during commutes.
- Designed for city riding, alloy front and rear caliper brakes deliver precise stops while Schwinn urban seats and grips add comfort and style.
- This men's bike ships ready to be assembled, with a limited lifetime warranty, and 700C wheels.
Schwinn is a household name for bikes, so of course one of their bikes would make it on our list of the best single speed bikes. It’s a great commuter with a flip-flop hub, allowing you to use it as a fixie or a single speed.
While the ratings aren’t as beloved as the two above, it still received 3.8 out of 5 stars. Some shared frustration with the break quality and occasional squeaks. But, I think it’s important to point out that even though I couldn’t find a listing for the weight limit, there was a reviewer who shared that he was 335 pounds and rode this bike with ease. So, if you’re looking for a commuter and are on the heavier side, this would be an excellent option for you!
- Includes a flip-flop hub so you can ride fixed or with a freewheel
- Premium hand-built, tig-welded, high-tensile strength steel frame absorbs the bumps in the road and is as durable as can be
- Comes standard with 30mm deep-v rims, Kenda Kwest 700 x 28C tires, KMC chain, VP freestyle pedals, and two sets of brakes
- All of the components required for a super smooth ride. All of our bikes have a weight limit of 220 lbs.
- Includes all the tools you need for building and maintaining your own bicycle
This Retrospec Harper Single Speed bike has a steel frame and a flip-flop hub. They report it to offer a really smooth ride for those within the weight limit of 220 pounds.
With a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars, reviewers loved the feel of the ride and quality. One reviewer commented that many of the low ratings were because of improper assembly, suggesting that if the assembly concerns or frustrates you, you should simply take it to a bike shop. That way, you won’t have to stress.
- Dive into the world of fixed-gear cycling with the Schwinn Kedzie 700C Fixie Bicycle. This fixie bike features a Schwinn steel racing frame and fork for a responsive, reliable ride.
- In true fixed-gear fashion, a 46T by 18T single-speed drivetrain with flip-flop hub propels this bike (fixed cog sold separately).
- 700C wheels with 32H alloy rims offer strength and performance during commutes.
- Designed for city riding, alloy front and rear caliper brakes deliver precise stops, while Schwinn urban seat and grips add comfort and style.
- This men's bike ships ready to be assembled, has a limited lifetime warranty, and the wheels measure 700C.
Here’s another Schwinn for our best single speed bikes review! This is a more affordable option with a flip-flop hub and boasts a super lightweight frame, but actually weighs in at 31 pounds.
Like the Retrospec, it also received 4.1 out of 5 stars. Any Amazon negative reviews had less to do with the actual bike, but with the people delivering the bikes out. So, if this one is at your price point, it would be a pretty solid choice since the reviews would be much higher if you ordered straight from the manufacturer and avoided the shipping frustrations others faced.
- Lightweight aluminum folding bike with coaster brake
- Quickly and easily folds for storage
- Great urban commuter in flat areas
- Folds quickly to 12" x 32" x 25"
- Super Lightweight - Weighs only 21.5 lbs.
This is definitely one of the most unique bikes on our list of best single speed bikes! Because it is a folding bike, it is so versatile and will be incredibly easy to store if you live in an area or home where storage is sparse. It’s only 20 inches with an aluminum frame that only weighs 21.5 pounds! It arrives mostly assembled in a large box, but there is no mention of a flip-flop hub.
With it being sturdy and good quality, it received a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. There’s not really any common thread of a complaint for this one. If you like the unique style and the price point is right, it seems like this may be the bike for you!
- Single Speed: Little maintenance
- Aluminum Frame: Very Lightweight, compatible for your commute
- 700x25 Tires
- Front and Rear Caliper Brakes
- Flip Flop Hub: You decide how you ride
The P3 is more of a traditional fixie on our list of best single speed bikes as opposed to the one in our number 6 spot. It’s aluminum and has a flip-flop hub!
It, by far, has the best rating with a 4.9 out of 5! But, I think it’s important to note that there are only reviews for it in the double digits. Even though there are excellent reviews, I think it’s promising that they are so favorable! Many compare it to the 6KU, stating that it is a more affordable option that doesn’t sacrifice much of the quality or look!
- Classic, curvy women's beach cruiser bicycle with 17-inch durable steel frame; ideal for casual, comfortable riding around the neighborhood
- Upright riding style keeps your back and shoulders comfortable; dual-spring saddle and wide cruiser handlebar with foam grips
- Single-speed bike great for cruising on flat terrain; pedal-backwards coaster brakes for easy stopping
- 26-inch, 2.125-inch wide aluminum wheels with large waffle tread tires provide a cushioned ride for easy rolling
- Blacked-out components for added style; includes rear rack for optional baskets and panniers
Not only is this one of the most affordable options, it also has more of a unique look that is more reminiscent of a beach cruiser. Made for women, this may not be the bike for you if you are the other gender, but if it’s your taste, go for it! It’s got an area on the back where you can store things and has wider set handlebars. It does not, however, mention a flip-flop hub, so it may not be for you if that’s something you’re looking for.
It also has one of the highest ratings with over 400 reviewers giving it a 4.7 out of 5 stars. Most boast of its quality and that it is easy to use with only a few mentioning struggles with assembly. So, if you’re wanting a certain vibe with your single speed bike, this may be the one for you!
- Durable steel cruiser frame is perfect for the beach or around the neighborhood. Fits riders 4’0” to 5’0” tall.
- Single speed drivetrain is easy to use and maintain.
- Rear coaster (pedal) brake provides intuitive stopping power.
- Fenders help protect you from splashes and dust while adding vintage flair.
- Extra-large spring saddle and upright riding position provide a comfortable ride.
Another cruiser look, but in a unisex option, they make this bike of durable steel. Similar to the Sixthreezero above, it does not mention a fixie option.
The reviews are good with a 4.1 out of 5 rating, but I would caution that they specifically built this bike for individuals between 4 feet and 5 feet tall. So, if you are smaller, this could work. Otherwise, you may be better off picking another bike from our list of best single speed bikes.
- Featuring a wide, dual-spring padded cruiser seat and classic cruiser handlebars, this bike provides an upright and comfortable riding position
- Ideal for riders between – 5’ 4” to 6’ 2” tall | Wheel size – 26” x 2.1” | Frame size – 17” | Pedals – ½
- Single speed drive train is easy to use and maintain
- Intuitive rear coaster brake (pedal backwards to stop) provides simple stopping power, while the included retro fenders keep you clean and dry
- The durable steel cruiser frame and fork make for a smooth ride while the 26-inch x 2.1-inch wide tires provide added stability | The Schwinn Huron comes ready to be assembled
We’ve got one final Schwinn for our last bike on our list of the top 10 best single speed bikes for cruising. It’s a normal size, noting that it is best for riders between–5’ 4” to 6’ 2” tall. It also has that signature cruiser look similar to the previous two.
It has 4.3 out of 5 stars with over 900 ratings, which is quite excellent! So, if you are on the taller side and you’re looking for this style, this may be your best pick.
In this article of the 10 best single speed bikes, we discussed what a single speed bike is and the difference between a single speed and a fixed gear (fixie).
With a fixed gear, if the bike is moving, the pedals are moving. On a single speed, you can stop the pedals while coasting. Most of the best single speed bikes listed on this article come with a flip-flop hub, which means you can have either a single speed bike or a fixed gear bike.
We also covered the benefits of best single speed bikes. With single speeds there is less maintenance, they are more affordable than bikes with gears, and you can get a great workout!