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7 Best Single Speed Bikes Reviewed – UK

November 2, 2016

Single speed bikes take cycling back to basics. If you want simple, lightweight, low maintenance cycling then a single speed bike is the way forward. Single speed cycling has boomed in recent years which has created a new wave of single speed manufactures, but what are the best single speed bikes on the market today? Here at Pedaloff we have tried, tested and reviewed dozens of single speed bikes and narrowed them down to the 7 best single speed bikes on the market today.

Why Choose A Single Speed?

Single speed bikes have become more and more common in recent years with the main attractions being simplicity and durability. Single speed bikes, as you may have guessed, have one single gear. The more traditional multi-gear bikes have derailleur that allows you to switch between different sized gears. Each gear relates to the amount of times the wheel rotates in relation to the hub, making it easier to pedal on inclines.

Single speed bikes get rid of the derailleur and all the other gears leaving just one, mid-ranged gear. The simplicity of the drivetrain means that the only moving parts on single speed bikes are the cranks, wheels and brakes which means there is a lot less to go wrong.

single-speed-gear

As well as simplicity, single speed bikes are also renowned for there durability. Mainly because there is less to go wrong but also because they are easy to maintain. Single speed bikes have horizontal dropouts at the rear of the frame which, as the chain stretches naturally over time, allows you to adjust and maintain the tension in the chain. This cannot be achieved in multi-gear bikes because there needs to be some slack in the chain to allow it to fit on both the larger and smaller gears.

Because single speeds have much fewer parts than multi-geared bikes you also lose a lot of weight from the bike. A lighter bike means less weight for you to pedal around, especially if you only have one gear to choose.

Single Speed Bikes – The Disadvantages

The simplicity of a single speed bike can also point to its downfall. Having one gear improves weight, simplicity and durability, however, you will soon trade all of those if you need to tackle rapidly changing terrain. Single speeds are popular in cities like New York and London because of their predominantly flat terrain.  If you are considering a move from a multi-geared bike the a single speed, our suggestion is select the middle gear on your bike and try just using that gear for your commute or regular ride. If its not too tough and you enjoy it then make the leap to single speed or Fixie.

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What is a Fixie?

Fixed gear bikes commonly known as “Fixie’s” have been around for a many years and have always been the go-to bike for inner-city, urban riders like couriers and messengers. Fixie bikes belong to the single speed bike group, however, they have the freewheel mechanism removed. The freewheel mechanism is what allows the rider to stop pedalling and coast which means on a fixie, if the rear wheel is spinning then so are the pedals. Because of this, fixie bikes allow you to simplify the bike even further by removing the brakes, you then have to control the bikes speed through your legs, slowing down the rotation of the pedals. This takes some time and a fair amount of road rash to master so we suggest beginners start on a single speed bike and progress on to a fixie.

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7 Best Single Speed Bikes

Chappelli Vintage 2016 Review

See Latest Price Herechappelli vintage single speed 2016 best single speed bikes

Top Features of the Chappelli Vintage Single Speed (2016)

CrMo frame and forks
Single Speed Drivetrain
Hand stitched leather tape
Tektro 539 brakes
Flip/Flop rear hub
Gumwall tyres
Standard Chappelli warranty: 10 years on frame & 1 year on parts

The Chappelli vintage does what it says on the tin by giving you the classic vintage bike look. Chappelli have always prided themselves on combining high quality components with beautiful, classic styling which gives the 1950’s look without the 1950’s reliability.

The Chappelli vintage’s raked forks with crowns, vintage cranks and thin style silver rims all pay homage to the classic 50’s rider. Along with this you get a real quality look and feel from the brown leather, studded style saddle and the the quality continues with the hand stitched bar tape.

As you can see from the other bikes in our best single speed bikes list, the “modern look” single speed dominates the market, however, we had to put in the Chappelli because of its quality and styling. This doesn’t come a huge cost either. For under £400 you get so much for your money and if you like simplicity with a vintage look then this is the single speed for you.

 

Eastway Esaki T1 2016 Review

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eastway esaki t1 2016 single speed best single speed bikesTop Features of the Eastway Esaki T1 (2016)

Custom butted 6061 aluminium frame
SRAM Omnium chainset
Halo Aerotrack Wheelset(flip-flop rear hub)
48x16t ratio
Continental Ultrasport 700x23c tyres
Fizik Aliante saddle
Ritchey finishing kit
Supplied with both front and rear brake
7.8kg – based on 56cm model

The Eastway Esaki T1 one is a track bike built to handle the city. the opposite end of the spectrum to the Chappelli Vintage is built to go all out with tight and fast styled geometry.

The Esaki T1 is the most expensive single speed in our top seven, however, you still get great value for money with a custom butted aluminium frame with the highly respected Halo Aerotrack wheelset. Both of these help bring the kerb weight of this bike down to an impressive 7.8kg. The high spec continues with SRAM Omnium chainset and Fizik Aliante which are renowned for their comfort.

The high-spec tight geometry gives the bike an aura of solidity and strength, while being lightweight and responsive. We didn’t test the Esaki on the track but other online reviews have said you get great performance for the price. From our on the road testing we wouldn’t recommended the Esaki for a beginner, however, if you’re an experienced single speed rider and you’re ready to splash some cash then the Asaki is the best single speed bike for you.

 

Pure Fix Cycles India Review

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pure fixie india best single speed bikes

Top Features of the Pure Fix India

  • Frame: Hi-Ten Steel
  • Fork: Hi-Ten Steel
  • Headset: 1 1/8″ Alloy
  • BB Set: Sealed Cartridge 68mm/110.5mm
  • Crankset: 43cm Micro: 40T x 160mm Alloy; 47cm-64cm: 44T x 165mm Alloy
  • Rims: 45mm deep-dish Double-Walled Alloy
  • Chain: KMC 1/8″
  • Rear Cog: 16T Flip Flop Hub

The Pure Fix India turns heads from Brooklyn to Bangalore with its load yellow detailing that really stands out from the black frame. Pure Fix are relatively new onto the cycling scene and they bring with them the new era of single speed bikes with the India being no exception.

The first thing you notice with the Pure Fix India is the weight from the Hi-Ten steel frame, however, if this is just city run around for you and you’re not doing huge distances then it won’t effect you too much. the stock grips do a great job of dampening the road vibrations but the one major downside to the Pure Fix India is the lack of rear break. No rear break is fine if you’ve got the rear wheel set to fixed, however, just a front brake is dangerous on single speed.

You cant deny that this is a good single speed bike £300. If you’re after a cheap, stylish run around then this is the single speed for you.

Creme Vinyl Doppio 2016 Review

See Latest Price Herecreme vinyl doppio best single speed bikes

Top Features of the Creme Vinyl Doppio

  • Simple, light and easy to maintain
  • Beautiful lugged frame and fork feels great
  • Eye-catching powder coat paint job and clear coat for great looks and durability
  • Manufacturer’s lifetime warranty for frame and fork
  • Hand built in Europe

Much like the Chappelle Vintage the Creme Vinyl Doppio brings the vintage look into the modern age, however, this is the next step-up in quality.

No stone is left upturned when it comes to detailing. From the hand polished high profile rims to the Dia Compe stainless steel brake guides which give lovely clean lines when the brakes are fitted and leaves the frame untarnished if you want to go fixie.

Although £600+ this single speed is great value for money. The cromoly tubed frame keeps the weight down and gives such a smooth ride which is backed up by the San Marco Roll leather saddle. If you want a high quality 50’s vintage single speed then Creme Vinyl Doppio is the best single speed bike for you.

 

Kona Paddy Wagon Flat 2016 Review

See Latest Price Herekona paddy wagon flat 2016 best single speed bikes

Top Features of the Kona Paddy Wagon Flat (2016)

Reynolds 520 Butted Cromoly frame
Kona Classic Road steel fork
Sealed cartridge bearing hubs
Flip-flop rear wheel for singlespeed or fixed gear
Continental 60tpi 28c tires
Alloy flatbars
Kona finishing kit

Its very rare that Kona don’t make it into our top bike reviews and the best single speed bikes is no exception. If you’re a track rider, inner-city commuter or hipster the Paddy Wagon Flat covers all bases. The flat bar gives an aggressive riding stance with easy, responsive handling which is perfect for weaving.

The weight of the bike is kept down by the stunning Reynolds 520 butted cromoly frame. The rigid Kona classic road steel forks give the bike a very responsive feel and counteracts the rigors of urban roads.

For under £450 you get a lot of Kona here along with their world renowned reliability. If you want simply styling, great performance and reliability with your single speed bike then the Kona Paddy Wagon Flat is the one for you.

 

Chappelli Modern 2016 Review

See Latest Price Herechappelli modern 2016 best single speed bikes

Top Features of the Chappelli Modern (2016)

CrMo frame and forks
Flip/Flop rear hub with 44/18T gear ratio
Lasco 165mm fixie crank
42mm deep dish rims
Tektro 539 brakes
Chappelli tessellated saddle
Total weight only 10.4-10.8kg
Standard Chappelli warranty: 10 years on frame & 1 year on parts

Chappelli take a step into the 21st century with the Chappelli Modern. In contrast to their 50’s styled Chappelli Vintage which also makes our list, the Chappelli modern looks at home in today’s inner cities.

The Modern has really distinct styling with its 42mm deep dish rims and black frame which contrasts with the brown, tessellated saddle. The steel frame brings the kerb weight up to around 10kg, however, the bike is far from sluggish once you get going.

At under £300 the Modern the perfect entry level single speed bike for a city commuter. If you’re looking so a comfortable modern single speed bike then this is the bike for you.

 

Pure Fix Cycles Juliet Review

See Latest Price Herepure fixie juliet best single speed bikes

Top Features of the Pure Fix Juliet 

  • Frame: Hi-Ten Steel
  • Fork: Hi-Ten Steel
  • Headset: 1 1/8″ Alloy
  • BB Set: Sealed Cartridge 68mm/110.5mm
  • Crankset: 43cm Micro: 40T x 160mm Alloy; 47cm-64cm: 44T x 165mm Alloy
  • Rims: 45mm deep-dish Double-Walled Alloy

This is the second Pure Fix to make it into the best single speed bikes list and its for good reason. Pure Fix take the simplicity of a single speed to the next level with its bare looking black on black features.

The aluminium flat bars and big wheels give an go faster riding stance which allows you to control the bike much easier at speed. The Juliet is made for  inner-city commuting and looks the part too.

Much like with the India the main downside to the Pure Fix Juliet is the lack of rear brakes. Again, no rear brakes are fine when you have the fixed wheel set-up but its very dangerous weaving through traffic on a single speed with no rear brake. If you want a stylish single speed and you’re hands on enough to fit some rear brakes then go for the Pure Fix Juliet.

Conclusion

Because of the diverse range of bikes in our best single speed bikes list we cannot pick an outright winner. From vintage to modern, high-end to affordable we have covered all the bases but have been sure to bring you the best of each. If you are looking to venture in to the world of single speed or upgrade your current bike then this top seven list is all you need to see. If you have any questions or comments then please let us know using the comments section below.

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