Is a Single Speed Bike Good for Long Distance Riding?

When you are in the market for a bicycle, it can be hard to understand what type of bike will suit your needs. You have to also consider whether or not single speed is right for you and long distance riding.

A lot of people ask if singlespeed bikes are good enough for long distance rides or even short ones? Single-speed bicycles usually don’t come with gears so they cannot change between different speeds while pedaling; this means riders pedal at their constant speed, which can be good or bad depending on your biking style.

A single speed bicycle is perfect for riders who enjoy riding at a constant pace and want to go as fast as possible without stopping. For those looking into buying their first bike, this would be a great choice because it’s easy to learn how to ride and won’t cost you an arm and leg.

Is a Single Speed Bike Good for Long Distance Riding?

Yes, it is possible to ride for long distances on a fixed gear (single speed) bike. In fact, many people do it all the time.

However, you’ll need to build up your fitness and slowly increase the distance over time. This way, you’ll be able to avoid any potential problems and make the most of your cycling experience.

A single speed bike is a bicycle with only one gear. This gear is fixed and cannot be changed, which means that the rider has to pedal at all times in order to move the bike forward. While this setup might be fine for short rides around town, it is not optimal for long-distance riding.

The lack of gears prevents the rider from reaching optimal cadence (the number of revolutions per minute that a cyclist makes), which can cause excessive energy expenditure and lead to fatigue.

Nonetheless, single-speed bikes can be used for long distances if one has the will to do so.

Why a Single gear bike might not be ideal as a long distance bike

A single gear bike is not ideal for long distance riding because it does not allow the rider to reach their optimal cadence, which can cause them to expend more energy.

Additionally, if you are not used to riding a single gear bike, it can be difficult to ride long distances on it. You will need to build up your fitness and slowly increase the distance over time.

How to Train Yourself to Ride Long Distances on a Single Speed Bicycle

1. Set a Goal for Yourself

One of the best ways to stay motivated while riding a single speed bicycle is to set a goal for yourself. Whether it’s riding a certain distance in a day or week, or reaching a personal best time, having a goal will help you push yourself to keep cycling.

Riding at your optimal cadence is key to maximizing efficiency and minimizing fatigue. Optimal cadence will vary depending on your fitness level, but generally speaking, it falls between 60-80 rotations per minute.

You may find that you need to shift gears occasionally to maintain your optimal cadence. For example, if you’re climbing a hill and your cadence starts to drop below 60 RPM, you’ll want to shift to an easier gear to maintain efficiency.

2. Ride and Build Up Slowly Over Time for speed cycling

You’ll need to ride in low gear to build up your speed. This is because you don’t have the extra gear that you would on a multi-speed bicycle.

Riding in low gear will also make it easier to climb hills. You’ll want to keep your pedaling smooth and steady when you’re riding in low gear.

As you ride, you’ll gradually build up your speed. You may not be able to go as fast as you would on a multi-speed bicycle, but you’ll be able to ride for longer periods of time without getting tired.

Over time, you’ll be able to increase your speed and distance.

3. Break it Down into Chunks

You can’t just go out and ride 100 miles on your first attempt. That’s why it’s important to break down your goal into manageable chunks.

Start by riding a few miles every other day. Then, every week, add a few more miles to your rides. After a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to ride 20-30 miles in a single day.

Once you’re able to consistently ride long distances, you can start setting new goals, like riding 50 miles in a day or even 100 miles in a day.

But don’t forget to take regular breaks! Your body needs time to recover, especially if you’re pushing yourself to ride further than you ever have before.

And finally, pedal faster. The faster you pedal, the less time you’ll spend on the bike, and the less likely you are to get tired.

4. Ensure Proper Bike configuration

When configuring a fixie, it is important to make sure that the bike is properly sized for the rider. This is because a fixie is a road bike, and thus has a different geometry than a regular bicycle.

A steel frame is also better at absorbing bumps and impacts, making it a more comfortable ride. Additionally, it is cheaper to replace parts on a single speed bike than on a regular bicycle.

5. Make Sure You Have a Decent Saddle

When you are training to ride long distances on a single speed bicycle, it is important to have a comfortable saddle. This will help you avoid saddle sores and other problems that can occur when you are riding for long periods of time.

However, it can be difficult to find a good saddle that fits the needs of cyclists. There are many different types of saddles on the market, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you.

If you are having trouble finding a comfortable saddle, it is important to keep your drivetrain components clean and lubricated. This will help to extend the lifespan of your saddle and make it more comfortable to ride.

Which bike is best for long distance touring?

What is the appeal of a single-speed bike?

1. Simplicity

Single speed bikes are simpler than geared bikes. They have one gear ratio and eliminate the need for derailleurs and shifters. This makes them lighter and more affordable than geared bikes.

Single speed bikes have a stronger, thicker chain that is less likely to break. This makes them ideal for riding in all weather conditions.

These bikes are less complicated than geared bikes and require less maintenance. This makes them perfect for riders who want to enjoy the ride without worrying about their bike.

2. Reliability

A single-speed bike is more reliable than a multi-speed bike because there are fewer moving parts. With fewer parts, there is less that can go wrong. It eliminates the possibility of a derailleur bending and going into the spokes. This can lead to a complete failure of the wheel.

3. Low price

The appeal of a single-speed bike is its low price. A single-speed bike is cheaper than a geared bicycle because you have fewer parts to maintain. Fixies are also cheaper than geared bicycles.

4. Strength

Riding a single-speed bike is a great way to get your legs stronger over time. The resistance of pedaling a bike with only one gear will help to build muscle and endurance.

Riding a geared bike will feel like cheating. The gears on a bike can make pedaling easier, but they can also take away from the workout.

5. Mental Toughness

Mental toughness is the ability to push through difficult situations. Riding a single-speed bike requires a touch of tough character.

You can’t coast on a single-speed bike – you have to pedal the entire time. This makes it tougher than riding a bike with gears.

Riding a single-speed bike is more challenging than riding a bike on the same level of difficulty. This is because you can’t take a break from pedaling on a single-speed bike. You have to be mentally tough to keep pedaling even when you’re tired.

This is because you can’t shift gears on a single-speed bike. You have to pedal the entire time, no matter how steep the hill is.

6. Street Credibility

A single-speed bike has street credibility that is hard to beat. It’s the original bicycle, after all. And in recent years, it’s made a comeback as a stylish and practical choice for city riding.

You don’t have to worry about shifting gears, and you can focus on pedaling. A single-speed bike is more efficient than a bike with multiple gears. That’s because there are fewer moving parts, so there’s less friction and resistance.

7. Transfer of Power

A single-speed bike has a more direct transfer of power to the rear wheel, which makes it more efficient.

The lack of a derailleur means that there is no gear shifting, which makes the bike more direct. The gains made by using a single-speed bike are too small to be worth it on a long tour.

What are the downsides of single speed bikes?

1. Inefficiency

Single speed bikes are less efficient than geared bikes because they only have one gear ratio. This means that you will have to pedal more slowly on uphill sections and you won’t be able to go as fast on downhill sections.

2. Joint Pain

Single speed bikes can cause joint pain. When you ride a bike, the pedals put strain on your knees. If you don’t have gears, you have to pedal faster to go uphill, which can put even more strain on your joints.

Gearing a bike reduces the strain on the joints. By shifting gears, you can pedaled at a lower rate, which is beneficial for people with joint pain.

4. Mental Stress

Single speed bikes can be difficult to pedal up hills. This can be frustrating for riders who are used to being able to shift gears. They can be mentally exhausting because riders have to pedal the entire time.

It can be mentally exhausting because riders have to pedal the entire time. This can lead to mental fatigue and make it difficult to concentrate on anything else.

5. Greater Fatigue

While you may not feel it at first, single speed bikes require more energy than standard bikes. This is due to the lack of gears, which means that you’re constantly pedaling at the same pace. This can lead to fatigue, especially if you’re riding for long periods of time.

If you’re riding in a city, then this is something you’re likely to notice and enjoy! The extra effort required to ride a single speed bike can actually help you burn more calories, which can offset the increased fatigue.

6. Limited cargo

While a single speed can theoretically be outfitted to carry cargo, it’s not going to be as practical as a bike with gears. If you’re looking to use your bike for commuting or running errands, you’ll likely be better off with a bike that has a rear rack and the ability to carry panniers.

Is a long-distance ride on a single-speed gear bike possible?

1. Fatigue

Fatigue can accumulate and become quite pronounced when touring/riding long distances. A single-speed bike is lighter because it has fewer components. This results in fatigue which can accumulate and become quite pronounced when touring/riding long distances.

There are two main types of fatigue:

  1. Muscular fatigue, is caused by the muscles working harder than they’re used to.
  2. Mental fatigue, is caused by the rider becoming bored or tired of pedaling.

To avoid fatigue, it’s important to take breaks often, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy foods.

2. Joint pain

Cycling constantly on a fixed gear, especially the higher ones, can cause all sorts of injuries and distresses on parts of your body like the hips or knees.

Gearing two-wheelers can reduce pressure from such leg or body parts as they allow the riders to find the most suitable gear combination that matches each terrain and their abilities.

3. Restricted cargo

Single-speed cargo bikes are not suitable for carrying cargo because they do not have mounting points. This makes it difficult to attach anything to the bike.

Single-speed cargo bikes are difficult to pedal at a fast pace with additional weight. This makes them less ideal for longer rides.

4. Hills

Hills can be difficult to ride on a single-speed gear bike. You may need to dismount and walk up the hill.

The following are some tips for riding hills on a fixed gear bike:

  1. Use a lower gear to make it easier to pedal.
  2. Stand up when riding uphill. This will give you more power.
  3. Don’t be afraid to dismount and walk up the hill if needed.

Fixed gear bikes are not the best option for long-distance rides. If you are planning on doing a lot of hill climbing, you may want to consider a mountain bike (MTB).


Yes, a single speed bike can be good for long distance riding. You just have to be careful to consider comfort, ease of use, and versatility when choosing a bike for your commute.

Anna Stones