In this post, we shall cover in-depth details on the following topics. Make your riding simple and more enjoyable!
- How to choose the best single speed mountain bike
- How to maintain a mountain bike
Single-speed mountain bikes are very versatile. You can use this bike to commute, for general fitness, sports, and even to explore the mountains terrains with your friends. Do you know single speed bike is good for you? Below, we have a detailed guide that will assist you to make a choice.
There are aspects that you should understand about yourself first before you decide on the best single speed bike.
- Know your preference and taste
- Know your terrain
- Understand your budget
Preference and taste
This is the general self-feeling towards different single speed bikes. You may be in love with a particular color, shape or even a model. You want to satisfy your feelings! When you are purchasing a bike, this may be some guiding factors.
The terrain is the most important factor when you are buying a single-speed bike. You can’t purchase a bike that will not be able to suit your environment. A bike that is specifically designed for smooth urban streets may not be suitable for mountain terrain. The best idea is to purchase a bike that will be perfect for various terrains. Some modern mountain bikes have been designed with all-terrain tires.
When you plan to purchase a single-speed bike, you have to consider your budget. But with many options available, a budget should not worry you. You can be able to get a good bike even with a small budget. Single-speed bikes come at cheap prices; therefore, if you have some cash left in your budget, you can buy high-end pedals, seat, and other components.
What should you consider in a single speed mountain bike?
The Frame Material
A frame is basically the bike’s body! It is the principal part of the single-speed bike because all other components are attached to it. The frame determines a bike’s cost, weight, durability, strength and riding experience. There are different materials used in the manufacture of bike frames.
Aluminum alloy is the widely used frame material for single speed bikes. Some high-end bike models have lightweight aluminum frames. However, high competition has seen some manufacturers design cheap, lightweight aluminum frame bikes.
Steel, titanium and carbon fiber are also used in the manufacture of bike frames. Carbon fiber is used in high-end single speed mountain bikes because it is lightweight and strong. Bikes made of carbon fiber are expensive due to the labor-intensive manufacturing process. Steel is very tough, cheap, but the main disadvantage is weight. If you want, lightweight bike steel may not be your choice. Titanium combines all the advantages of carbon fiber and steel. It is very strong and light. However, titanium is very expensive.
Based on the above frame materials, you will choose a bike, according to your budget and riding needs. City commuting and mountain climbing require a lightweight bike; thus, you may consider aluminum alloy or titanium. If you want a single-speed bike for general uses, then steel may be a perfect choice.
Full Suspension or Hardtail When you want to purchase a single-speed bike, you will have a choice between a full-suspension and a hardtail. Let’s look at each! Hardtail
Hardtail single speed bikes feature a suspension fork fitted to the front wheel only. The suspension is ensured by the wound steel coil spring. The front suspension greatly minimizes arm and hands exhaustion. It is also ideal for rough terrains as it improves control and steering. Some bikes have light and adjustable air-sprung forks.
If you want a cheap, single-speed bike for multiple uses, and a bike for quality riding experience then consider hardtail. These bikes are also mechanically simpler to maintain.
These are single speed mountain bikes with both wheels suspended. The front-wheel utilizes the same suspension mechanism as in hardtail. The rear wheel uses a pivoting frame for suspension. It is fixed to the pivoting frame and a rear shock-absorber.
Full-suspension bikes are a bit expensive and heavyweight. However, these single speed bikes are more comfortable and highly minimize fatigue while cycling. They also give you a higher speed on rough terrains.
If you want high-speed cycling on tough terrains, more control, comfort while riding and a quality bike worth the cost, then full-suspension single-speed bike will be your perfect choice.
Wheel Size Single speed bikes come in different wheel sizes. 26 Inch Wheels In the beginning, all-mountain bikes were designed with 26-inch wheels and it is still popular today. Other wheel sizes include 27.5 inches and 29 inches. 29 Inch Wheels These wheels have a larger diameter, more rubber, and large rim and thus, heavier. These bikes are slower. But the large ground contact area ensures more grip and there are also fewer chances of sliding.
If you are tall and want a more controllable bike with less speed, this is your choice. 27.5 Inch Wheels These wheels lie perfectly between 26 inches and 29 inch. 27.5-inch wheels. They combine the best aspect of the former wheels. They are lighter and can easily roll over obstacles. 27.5 wheels are faster than 29 inches and maneuverable like 26-inch wheels. They are ideal wheels for shorter riders. If you want to enjoy both benefits of 26 inch and 29-inch wheels, then your choice lies here! 24 Inch Wheels These wheels are designed for children. They comfortably accommodate the children’s height. They are also less costly as compared to the others.
Brakes A single speed bike can have either a disc or rim brakes. Disc brakes are directly connected to the wheel hub through brake rotor. We have hydraulic and a cable activated disc brakes. Hydraulic brakes are self-adjusting as the pads wear and offer strong braking with less effort. While cable activated brakes require manual adjustments as the pads wear. This breaking system is less costly to replace and also very consistent in braking. However, it is difficult to monitor the pads wear.
Rim brakes have pads that are attached to the wheel rims. This braking system is affordable and easy to monitor and replace worn pads. They may not be as powerful as disc brakes and they also require more finger effort for effective slowing and stopping. Brakes, wheel size, frame material, and Full Suspension or Hardtail are the most important aspect to consider when purchasing a single speed mountain bike.
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How to Maintain Speed Mountain Bike
Your bike is very important and therefore, you should maintain it all cost. Here are some tips to help you.
Keep your bike clean.
Frequently washing your bike can greatly extend its life!
Use general soap, a towel or sponge and a brush (old toothbrush may do) to clean all parts of the bike. The components that need regular cleaning include the frame, cassette, derailleurs, paddles, chainrings, and the seat. Also, grease the movable parts after cleaning if necessary.
Constantly check the brakes
Brakes are very vital because they enable you to control the bike’s speed. Ignoring the brakes can lead to injuries.
Always inspect the breaks for wear and replace any worn-out brake pads. You may only be required to replace the excessively worn-out brake pads.
Make sure your wheels are in place
Wheels hold tires and provide smoothness and stability while cycling. Always avoid wobbling by elevating your bike. Make sure your wheels don’t rub against the brakes. Replace damaged and dented wheels.
Inspect and fine-tune the drivetrain.
This includes the pedals, chainring, chain and the rear wheel cassette. The drivetrain is the system that transfers the power from your legs to the rear wheel thus, initiating movement.
Check both the rear and front tires
Tires provide traction with the ground. They allow smooth travel over a variety of terrains. Since tires act as a cushion, they are exposed to a lot of friction and ground objects.
Make sure to have ideal pressure in your tires. The pressure may vary with the bike model and also the terrain. Check for cracks and burst in your tires. Always change tubes that are in bad condition to prevent accidents and injuries.
Inspect and fix your cables
Cables may be oil caged in a plastic housing or coiled metal wire. Some cables are connected to the shifters, brakes and brake pads. They aid in gear changing and applying brakes to your single speed bike.
Check the cables for rust, dirt, and looseness. Cables that can’t be fixed require replacement.
Lubricate the movable parts of your bike
Lubrication is required on the chain and some components of the drivetrain. This makes the parts work efficiently and increases durability. Oil is also a good coat that prevents dirt from accumulating on the components of the bike.
Lubricate those parts frequently
If you keenly follow the above tips, you will amazingly increase your bike’s life and enjoy more comfortable riding.
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