Single-speed bicycles are called as such because they use a single gear ratio. They do not have any derailleur system, hub gearing, or other types of gearing that other bikes have. They come in a variety of types – mountain, trek, road, and hybrid bikes, among others. Most bikes for kids are in this gearing category. Many cyclists prefer this type of bike mainly due to its simplicity in cost, maintenance, and other aspects. But there are also those who think it isn’t that practical.
Some people think that a single-speed type doesn’t satisfy their requirements for riding. If you need to travel through different terrains and road conditions, a multi-gear bicycle will suit your purpose better. When going uphill and downhill, you’d need the pedaling capability of a multi-gear type. It will help you ride easily and quickly if you stay in a location with different kinds of roads.
Multi-gear bicycles, of course, have more components than the single-speed types. The former needs derailleurs, chain rings, shifters, and other pieces before it can function completely. A single-speed bike requires much less – no derailleur, one cog, and one chain ring. Even the brake system of some of its models are more simplified that there’s no need for a rear drum or disc brakes.
Since a single-speed type has less components, it costs lower than its multi-gear counterpart. You’ll find it at a much more affordable price in the market, compared to other bikes. In addition, the cost of maintaining it is also much lower. Since it doesn’t have complicated systems and less parts to clean or replace, even a beginner can easily keep it in good condition. And if the time comes that you need to bring it to a repair shop, the mechanic won’t have a hard time fixing it. You won’t pay much for parts and labor.
Also because it doesn’t have many components, a single-speed bike weighs very light. Without the whole set of gears, multiple chain rings, and complex brake systems, this bicycle appeals to many people. You don’t need much effort to ride it and to store it. You need minimal power to pedal it forward. If you live in an apartment, you can easily lift it up the stairs.
So if you’ll just be riding around the city and don’t have that much variety of terrain to be concerned about, a bicycle of the single-speed type will serve you well, especially in terms of cost, maintenance, and everyday use.