Is A Single Speed Bike Faster Than A Geared Bike? (Explained)

A Single speed bike is not faster than or as fast as a geared bike. The geared bike is quite fast because it can shift its gears to gain speed rather than how fast the rider pedals. 

For many cyclists, deciding between a single-speed bike and a geared bike can be complicated. 

This is because each bike has its benefits and drawbacks. This has made choosing between single-speed and geared bikes a matter of preference.

In this article, we will compare the single-speed bike and the geared bike and check which bike is more efficient and which is the fastest for city riding.

What Is A Single Speed Bike?

A single-speed bike is a bike with a single gear. It has one gear alone and no additional gear to change the gear ratio of your bike. 

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Due to their lack of additional gears, they run a freewheel mechanism. This allows the rider to free roll without pedaling the bike. 

Many types of bikes utilize this gear type. They include classic commuter bikes, cruiser-type bicycles, and BMX bikes

The single-speed bike has a 46/16 gear ratio or 44/16, which means the bike’s chain ring has 44 or 46 teeth and 16 on the rear cog. 

What Is A Single Geared Bike?

A single-geared bike is a bike that utilizes many gear systems. There are two types of gears on this bike: the hub gears and derailleur gears.

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The hub gears are enclosed inside a case, while the derailleur gears have exposed components. 

These gears work the same way as our car gears. Just the way you shift gears in cars, you can do the same with the multiple gears in bikes. 

Shifting the gears will enable cyclists to adjust their pedaling rate. This feature greatly enhances the comfort and efficiency of riding on all types of terrains.

Single Speed vs Geared Speed

From our definition of these gears, you should understand that they have unique features that differentiate them from one another. 

However, to know which is good for you, we have to compare these types of gear.

Single Speed BikeSingle Geared Bike
Single-speed bikes have simple gear operating on a simple mechanismSingle geared bikes have multiple gears operating on multiple components and parts
Makes use of fewer parts and components to operateMakes use of additional features with two different gears
This bike requires less repairs and replacement parts in the long runThe multiple gear mechanism would require steady repairs, lubrication and parts replacement. 
Best option for exercising and to remain fitBest option for mountain and hilly rides
Single speed bikes are more lightweight than geared bikesSingle geared bikes come with more parts so they’re heavier than. 
Less versatile than multiple geared bikesMore versatile than single speed bike
Single speed bikes cannot run at the same speed as geared bikesThrough their ability to shift gear, the multiple geared bike can go faster than a single speed bike

How Fast Can A Single Speed Bike Go?

A single speed bike is the most suitable and low-maintenance bike used by people to get around the city. To move around, this bike can hit a speed of 20-30 km/hr.

Is A Single Speed Bike Faster Than A Geared Bike

The top speed a single-speed bike can go is limited by its gear ratio. This is restrictive of certain types of riding and would need some effort to ride uphill

Due to the single gear on this system, you can pedal up to 30 km/hr. You will stay within that limit because of how fast you should be pedaling. This is where a geared bike is better than a single speed bike. 

Are Single Speed Bikes Slower?

Single speed bikes are not as slow as people make them seem. They are fast in their right but less fast than multiple-geared bikes. 

The lack of multiple chains and gear means that the single-speed bike cannot exceed a specific limit. 

It is not slow, but it cannot pass a certain speed limit because you need to pedal very fast to reach a high-speed limit.

You can hit any speed limit depending on your energy capacity and effort to pedal fast. You will only hit the required speed limit if you cannot put in as much effort as possible.

In comparison with a multiple-geared bike, the single speed cannot keep up the same speed limit. 

The multiple gears have the advantage of different gear ratios with which they can cruise at high speed. 

Are Single-Speed Bikes More Efficient?

Single-speed bikes are more efficient than multiple-gear bikes because they lack features. If you drop the gears and loads of stuff that come with them, which include derailleurs, cassette, and shift/brake levers, the bike becomes sturdier and simpler. 

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With the lack of those features, the bike becomes simple and doesn’t require much maintenance on those parts. 

The single speed bike has a wider chain, sprocket, and chainring. With little maintenance here and there, these parts should last you a long time. 

The single-speed is also more efficient than the geared bike because the drivetrain chains don’t have to go through the derailleur pulley or operate at an angle.

Which Bike Is The Fastest For City Riding? 

The best bike for city riding is the Single Speed bike. They have become popular among riders around the world.

Cycling enthusiasts recommend using single-speed bikes for city riding because they have their style. 

You can use them for commuting, running errands, tricks, racing, going on adventures, and many more.

You can also ride it around town, which is the best thing. The fact that they don’t have gears make it easy to ride at a reduced effort and enjoy the wind around you while you ride. 

7 Benefits Of Single-Speed Bicycles 

In recent years, single-speed bikes have become increasingly popular. Despite their long history, they’re growing in popularity as people realize how much fun they are.

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If you’re considering getting a single-speed bike, here are a few benefits you will enjoy.

(i) Increased Agility and Concentration

Riding a single-speed bike requires your body to be in tune with your body and what the bike does. This means you’d have to focus on your coordination and balance. 

Once you get your balance and coordination right, you can react to sudden obstacles, making you more agile.

(ii) Increased Fitness

The single-speed system was designed to be ridden at a comfortable speed. This is the best option for taking long rides and commuting around the city. 

With this, you can keep yourself fit and maintain a good shape. Once you get used to riding, you will begin to see changes.

(iii) Affordability

These bikes are quite affordable because of the bike’s lack of extra weight and components. If you want to purchase this bike, you can expect to pay between $400 – $600 for decent quality

If you want the best deal, you have to get something with a warranty. This way, you won’t worry about getting repairs and changing parts.

(iv) Easy Repairs and Maintenance

Due to the single-speed’s simplicity, you can repair your bike parts and maintain them easily. 

The unavailability of parts that could break and the lack of complicated gears mean only a little will go wrong.

You can carry around a bike tool kit with all the essentials in case anything happens.

(v) Lightweight

Single-speed bikes are the lightweight bike of the bicycle family. Its ride is smoother, and there’s less to carry, making it easy to take this bike wherever. 

(vi) Efficiency 

Single-speed bikes have only one gear on the rear wheel which means less weight and maintenance. 

This one gear means the single-speed bike doesn’t lose traction when you’re changing speed. 

The motion of the bike is directly proportional to the rider’s pedaling. 

(vii) Versatility

With the single speed bike, you can do many things you won’t be able to do with the geared bicycle. 

For example, the single-gear transmission system of single-speed models makes them perfect for training. 

If you want more leg power, you can use the single-speed bike to travel long distances or move uphill. You can also cruise around using freewheel.


If you were considering which bike to buy between the single-speed and geared bike, that would depend on the purpose for which you need the bike. 

If you’re looking for a bike to ride around the city and to maintain Fitness, then the single speed bike is your answer. 

You should consider the geared bike if you need one in a competition or cross-country/mountain tour.

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I’ve been riding (bicycles) my entire life and am passionate about everything that comes along with it. I wouldn’t call myself a true “roadie”. I’m just a guy that loves riding because of the pure joy it brings.

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