As commuters we don’t want to be faffing around fixing our bikes everyday or week or faffing around with a folding bike. We lead very busy lifestyles and we need our bikes to be working 100% of the time and not to have to take it in for repairs constantly. This is what makes single speed bikes perfect for commuting; especially in a largely flat city like London (sure there are some hills but London is mostly flat) What are the best single speed bikes for commuting?
Single speed bikes are the perfect option for commuters because they offer a low maintenance and much cheaper alternative to Road Bikes. There are less complicated parts on a single speed bike so they are mechanically very simple to own and maintain, requiring you to only check the brakes and chain tension every now and then.
All you need to properly fix any issues on a single speed bike is a small set of allen keys and spanner or socket to remove the wheels. That’s it. Both of these items fit nicely inside even the smallest backpack or bag. There is no fiddly chain business with the chain derailer or messy hydraulic breaks. This also makes them incredibly light and fast!
Single speed bikes also feature a ‘flip-flop’ rear wheel to switch between free wheeling and fixed gear. With the dominance of the British Cycling team at Rio fixed gear is gaining massive popularity for even casual cyclists and commuters. Olympic track bikes are set up with a fixed gear to really push the speed limits of bikes and the Athletes that ride them.
Single speed bikes also look so much nicer than other bikes because of the minimalism of single speed bikes.
Best Single Speed Bikes For Commuting
Vilano Rampage Single Speed Road Bike Review
Vilano are experts at producing quality, affordable bikes and the Vilano Rampage Single Speed bike is no different. It looks amazing with its minimalist styling and array of colours. I go for all black every time because it looks a little bit better in my opinion. However, the The Vilano Rampage single speed still looks good in all its colours. Blue in particular. The Vilano is a clean looking bike.
The Vilano Rampage not only looks the part but rides like a bike much more expensive than it is. This is an entry level bike that feels like a professional bike when you’re riding it. It feels like you can go much faster than usual and manoeuvre very effectively through traffic, parks etc.
The breaks on the Vilano are ok. The rims are painted all the way up to the breaking surface which leads to the paint being stripped off by the breaks and not locking onto the wheel properly. You can get around this by getting break pads that are made for painted rims and just swapping them over. You don’t want the breaks to fail but you also shouldn’t let a £5 part put you off this fantastic bike.
As an entry level single speed bike this can’t be beaten. I would get a pair of drop bars because i prefer them but otherwise this is the best bike you’ll get for anywhere near the price range.
Be sure to check out the reviews on amazon
Retrospec Bicycles Mantra Review
The next on the list from Retrospec is the Retrospec Mantra. The Mantra is slightly more expensive than the Vilano above but offers a few improvements.
Firstly, the Mantra is lighter than the Vilano, only slightly. It also comes with a nicer seat and handlebars and a smoother looking chain set up. The frame sits a little differently putting the rider a bit higher to focus on getting power into the pedals. This is a great feature for the average commuter. You are able to get yourself into a better position for generating power therefore you expend less effort to get the bike up to speed.
The peddle straps are another handy feature that the Vilano misses. With the straps you can use the full peddle rotation to power the bike rather than just an up-down peddle movement. The amount of torque you can produce on this bike is incredible. You will be powering through the city no problem on the Retrospec Mantra.
You can pick up a Mantra over at Amazon
Pure Fix Cycles Original Fixie Bicycle
Simplicity, Elegance, Urban. The Pure Fix Cycles Original Fixie is a perfect bike for the odd 10 mile journey to work. It is more than capable of comfortably riding 60 miles through the country but for something like that you would need gears. Pure Fix are specialists in fixed gear and single speed bikes and the Original Fixie benefits from that specialism.
In Navy Blue/Silver the Original Fixie is the best looking bike on this list. The retro look is sure to get heads turning. Just like the Vilano; the Original Fixie would benefit from a pair of drop bars to complete the retro look and feel of this bike but the set of risers that it comes with get the job down and look pretty good anyway.
The Pure Fix Original Fixie weighs approximately 10.5kg. Light enough to carry up and down stairs but sturdy enough to feel secure on the road.
To summarise: the Pure Fix Original Fixie is one hell of a bike. It’s stylish, light and fast and comes with some amazing parts as standard. You would be hard pressed to find a better bike for the money.
The Pure Fix Original is available on Amazon in the UK
Surprise Entry – Vilano Aluminium Road Bike 21 Speed
This Vilano Road Bike is not a single speed bike. Sorry.
But, it has the look and feel of one. It is simple, sleek and light. The Vilano is perfect for commuting in cities that are a little bit hillier than London thanks to its 21 gears. This bike is literally a single speed bike with gears and I love it. The design is minimal and it looks absolutely fantastic in the flesh. Black from nose to tail and like something crafted by Hephaestus himself. Marvellous.
The Vilano 21 speed weighs only 10.9kg out of the box making it one of the lightest bikes in its class. With this comes speed. Without effort the Vilano 21 speed glides effortlessly down the street overtaking everything in sight. Getting from A to B on The Vilano is no effort, all fun. Commuting to work is the highlight of the day on one of these. Commuting home is even better.