With all the subtypes of mountain bikes around, the best solution is to grab one of each. But since money doesn’t grow on trees, you’re limited in your choices. Under these circumstances, the single best selection for mountain biking is actually the single speed bike. If you’re skeptical, consider this list of 15 good reasons.
We’d have to say this is pretty obvious. It’s also the first benefit you’ll notice when you make the initial purchase. It’s not hard to figure out since various accoutrements like derailleur gears, shifters, and cassettes are nowhere to be found on a single speed mountain bike.
With fewer parts, there’s less that can go wrong.The absence of front and rear derailleurs means fewer teeth for dirt and gravel to get caught in. You also won’t have the cables controlling these devices breaking.
The same sparse number of parts that make single speed bikes reliable in motion also makes them easier to keep in proper order. Just think of all the lubricant you won’t be applying to an 18-speed cassette.
Easier Building Projects
Whether it’s for the challenge, the desire for a personal touch, or just to avoid buying a new bike when the current one gets damaged, building a mountain bike from parts can be attractive to lots of people. With fewer parts involved, one-speed mountain bikes are perfect for these projects.
Often, shifting between gears to match every little change in terrain and slope gets to be annoying. Besides, there’s really not much difference between individual gears if your bike is equipped with a few dozen of them. With a one-speed bike, just hop on and ride.
This is often the case on a dollar-to-dollar basis. Without all the extra components, a single-speed bike at the same price as a multi-geared mountain bike is going to feature more solid, high-quality parts than its complex counterpart.
We can all figure this one out by contemplating the experience of charging uphill without any low gears to shift into. With one speed, your leg muscles are going to be stomping down hard on the pedals. The steeper the grade, the more work you’ll have to do.
The lack of low gears forces you to deal with situations calling for them by planning ahead and using alternate techniques to overcome obstacles. It might make sense to round the mountain instead of heading straight up. It might also be a good time to dismount and walk the bike up the trail.
Hitting rough patches without lower gears to fall back on forces you to rely on balance to a greater degree than ever before. If these occasions weren’t enough, the fact that you’ll be standing up on the pedals practically the whole time you’re going uphill will advance your expertise.
Unless the single gear on the mountain bike is very low, maintaining momentum nearly all the time is vital for getting around. You’ll learn to take advantage of any opportunity to pick up speed.
Appreciating the Terrain
In order to get the best performance out of a one-speed bike, you’ll have to know the lay of the land in more detail than ever before. You’ll discover whole new things about even familiar turf.
Low gears mean lots of spinning to cover a short stretch of trail. It spares your legs but it’s slow-going. You’ll need a lot of time to get in a good workout. The intensity of a one-speed bike ride packs all that exercise into a shorter period of time.
If a single-speed bike puts more physical effort in a brief amount of time, imagine what it’ll do if you devote the same amount of time you’d normally reserve for multi-gear bike rides. A side benefit is sound sleep afterwards.
We all first learned how to ride a bike by using a single speed model. Hopping on a single speed mountain bike will take you back to when you first mastered balancing yourself on two wheels. When your feet originally experienced the sensation of pressing against pedals to generate motion, it was without interference from a cluster of gears that constantly required switching.
Single speed bikes might have a look from the past, but they also currently have a look that’s in style. We’ve all seen more people riding about on these bikes, and it seems a disproportionate number are hipsters. Still, if you’re into keeping up with fashion trends, you might as well extend this to your two-wheeling experiences.