Single Speed bikes have been increasing in popularity recently. But are they any good for mountain biking? Here we’ll review the 8 best single-speed mountain bikes on the market.
If it’s your first bike then and you aren’t looking at geared bikes then this article will help you choose your first ride for single speed bikes.
I tested 8 single-speed mountain bikes and found the Niner Bikes Sir 9 to be the best overall bike.
Over the years, we’ve tested hundreds of mountain and racing bikes. From extreme downhill to daily commuters, we’ve spent thousands of hours on the trails rating bicycles.
This article will cover our picks for the best singlespeed mountain bike. We’ve also included tons more info about single-speed bikes after the reviews. Here we’ve highlighted what you should look for in a single-speed bike and why you should ride one.
As for our top pick, the Sir 9 from Niner checks off all the boxes and meets our requirements. This makes it the best overall single-speed bike on the market.
Of course, it might not be the best for everyone, and we’ve included plenty of other options that might be best for you. From premium models to bikes for kids, we’ve covered a wide range of single-speed bikes.
If you are looking at fixed gear bikes
Ready to learn more about single-speed mountain bikes? Below we will review our picks for the 8 best single-speed mountain bikes.
Niner Bikes Sir 9 – Best Overall Fully Built Single Speed Mountain Bike
Our choice for the best overall single-speed mountain bike has everything you would want out of a fixed gear bike. The Sir 9 from Niner is a fantastic geared bike filled with features. This lightweight and durable bike looks great and performs even better.
This bike comes in medium to premium price points and is available in five trim options. Every model is based on a frame composed of Reynolds 853 Steel. We found this frame to be incredibly well designed and crafted. You should expect to get decades of fun out of this bike’s frame.
You’ll also find premium components on every trim package. From dropper posts to the handlebars, every component of the Sir 9 has been chosen to meet stringent quality tests.
If you are looking for an all-around amazing single-speed bike, the Sir 9 beats out the competition.
- 29-inch wheels provide plenty of speed and control.
- All the components are designed for serious mountain biking.
- You can purchase the Sir 9 frame only and fully customize this bike to your liking.
- Available in small, medium, large, and extra-large frame sizes.
- Tons of customization options make this bike ideal for any rider.
Spot Rocker SS – Best Premium Single Speed Mountain Bike
The Spot Rocker SS has you covered if you want to go all out on a single-speed mountain bike purchase. The 6-star build level on this bike offers premium components at a premium price. This bike is for serious mountain bikers ready to tackle the most challenging terrain and downhills.
The carbon frame is a standout feature on the Rocker SS. While it may look pretty, it’s also tough and extremely rugged. It’s also extremely light, making it ideal for single-speed riders who want to shave off a few pounds from their ride.
Other key components that impressed us on the Rocker SS include the carbon fiber belt drive that helps you gain speed quickly and maintain it. You’ll have no problem keeping up with your friends on this single-speed bike.
The cabling on this bike is seamless and beautiful. The frame is filled with guides that integrate the brake cables into the tube, giving the bike a seamless look and finish. It also makes it easy to service the cables when needed.
We also found this bike pleasant to ride due to its modern geometry, dropper post, and steep seat tube angle. You can also choose between 27.5-plus or 29-inch tires to match your riding style. All in all, this bike is filled with premium features and components.
- The Fox Factory Float suspension feels excellent on tough downhills.
- Available in four sizes that should fit most riders.
- Both the matte black and matte hot tomato finishes look fantastic.
Avasta Urban Commuter – Best for Bike Commuters
Do you spend more time on paved or gravel roads than on the downhill? The Avasta Urban Commuter might be the best bike for you. This single-speed bike features a hybrid geometry that makes it comfortable to ride on roads, light trails, or gravel. While we won’t suggest this for extreme trails, this bike is an ideal daily rider.
The fixed gear bike transmission and minimal moving parts make this bike a great commuter bike. Whether you have to ride in snow or rain, you won’t have to worry about parts getting covered in dirt or slush during a ride.
- Flip-Flop hub allows for coaster brake or freewheel.
- Comes 85% assembled.
- Steel frame and rigid fork.
- Available in 47cm, 50cm, 54cm, and 58cm frame sizes.
Surly Lowside – Best BMX Style Single Speed Bike
BMX is in a revitalization period and many manufacturers are busy designing new and improved BMX models. Surly is known for its amazing bikes and fat bikes and the Lowside BMX bike is no exception. This bike is great for singletrack trails, cruising around town, or the skate park.
Building on the nostalgia factor, you’ll love this bike if you grew up on BMX as a kid. The single-speed transmission makes it fun and easy to pick up the bike and go wherever you want. But don’t let this bike’s simplicity fool you. It’s still a fully capable extreme single-track mountain bike.
Just like every other Surly bike, the Lowside is fully customizable and you can add components from your favorite manufacturers to this bike.
- The Lowside has a great “cool factor” with its design.
- Great for trick riding, skate parks, or halfpipe.
- Available in extra small, small, medium, large, and extra-large frame sizes.
Redline Monocog – Best Budget-Friendly Single Speed Mountain Bike
While some of the bikes on this list reach thousands of dollars, not everyone can afford that much money for a bike. The Redline Monocog is an affordable option for serious mountain bikers that want to enjoy single-speed riding on a budget.
Featuring a Chromoly steel frame and fork, this bike delivers on the simplicity and ease of use of single-speed bikes. Ideal for mountain trails or commuting to work, we found the Monocog to be enjoyable to ride on all types of terrain.
Keeping it simple, the Monocog has no suspension fork and every component is designed to be easy to maintain. If you are looking for a bike that will rarely see the inside of your local bike maintenance shop, this is one of the best options on our list.
Braking is also simplified on this bike. The Monocog uses a set of Tektro mechanical disc brakes that offer great stopping power and are easy to maintain.
- No front suspension can make extreme riding difficult.
- Available in small, medium, large, and extra-large frame sizes.
- 29” tires help you ride faster and longer.
Dynacraft Crusher – Best Single Speed Fat Tire Mountain Bike
Do you prefer to ride fat bikes on the trail? The Dynacraft Crusher should meet your needs. Available in 26” for adults and 20” for kids, this bike will handle all types of rough terrain, from trails to beaches.
Fat bikes offer a unique riding experience and can be ridden in harsh weather conditions or on soft ground. The Crusher has no problems riding in deep snow or sandy beaches. The single-speed transmission also means fewer problems during these types of rides.
Combining single speed with a fat tire will give you a great workout as well. You’ll need to exert more energy to get those big tires spinning, but in the end, it will be rewarding.
- The front and rear disc brakes provide great stopping power and speed control.
- The steel frame is quite heavy but is extremely durable.
- The 20-inch model features a rear coaster brake instead of dual disc brakes.
Raleigh Rowdy – Best Single Speed Mountain Bike for Kids
For kids that are ready to hit the trails, the Raleigh Rowdy is an ideal starter bike. This bike is ideal for kids up to seven years old and comes with 16” or 24” wheels.
Rowdy made this bike lightweight by using an aluminum frame. At only 19 pounds, this is one of the lightest kids’ bikes we tested. While light, the aluminum frame is incredibly durable and will withstand tough riding and daily use for most kids.
The one-speed transmission lets your kids concentrate on riding and exercise instead of the gears. One speed also means fewer parts to break, so your kids should be able to enjoy this bike for years without a visit to the bike shops for repair.
- Comes in 16” or 24” wheel size.
- Front and Rear alloy V brakes give excellent stopping power and speed control.
- Available in blue, green, and orange finishes.
Joystar Neo – Best Single Speed Mountain Bike for Toddlers
It’s never too early to get your kids started on the trail. This single-speed bike is ideal for toddlers from 3-10 years and comes in three sizes that can fit most children. Available in black, blue, or pink, the Joystar Neo will make any aspiring child biker excited.
The Neo has a Hi-Ten steel frame and fork that offers excellent durability and impact resistance. It will easily handle the falls and impacts related to learning how to ride a bike.
Featuring a front caliper brake and a rear coaster brake, your child will have full control over the bike’s speed and help them learn how to maintain safe riding speeds.
Speaking of safety, the big, knobby tires and training wheels will ensure your child is safe and upright at all times while riding.
- Choose from a 16, 18, or 20-inch frame to match your child’s size.
- Includes training wheels, safety reflectors, bike bell, chain guard, and kickstand.
- Simple to assemble and is delivered 85% assembled.
- Features an adjustable seat and handlebar.
Things to Look for in a Single Speed Mountain Bike
Would you like to do some more research on single-speed mountain bikes? Below, we’ve highlighted some of the key components and features you should look for in a single-speed mountain bike.
One of the best advantages of a single-speed bike is its simplicity. Due to this, you’ll want a simple and lightweight frame. You should avoid full-suspension frames and opt for a hardtail frame.
Frames are crafted from steel, aluminum alloy, titanium, or carbon fiber. Steel is the heaviest option, yet the least expensive. Titanium and carbon fiber frames are incredibly lightweight but could add thousands of dollars to the price of the bike.
All these frame materials work great for single-speed bikes and you should consider cost, weight, and durability before deciding on a bike frame for your new bike.
For single-speed bikes, riders can choose between short-travel suspension forks or rigid forks.
Suspension forks will improve your ride quality on trails but add complexity to the bike. Rigid forks will make for a stiffer ride but have no moving parts and work great for bikers that want to simplify their bike.
Since you only have one speed on these bikes, you’ll want to get the bike as light as possible to sustain speeds and momentum. Every component you add will add weight to the bike and increase the amount of energy you’ll need to expand during intense rides or steep inclines.
Single-speed riders tend to keep their builds minimalist. The fewer moving parts on the bike, the better. This style design also helps keep the bike’s weight lower and will help you maintain speed while on the bike.
Why You Should Ride a Single Speed Mountain Bike
While single-speed mountain bikes may be a small and niche market, they do have a dedicated fan and user base. If you’re still not sure you should ride a single-speed mountain bike, here are some of the best reasons you should pick one up for your next mountain bike trip.
They Have Fewer Parts and Are Easier to Maintain
Since these bikes only have one speed, they have far fewer moving parts than a traditional mountain bike.
Routine maintenance on a single-speed bike normally involves inflating your tires and lubing your chain. If you’re not an adept bike mechanic, a single-speed might be perfect for you. It will spend less time in the shop for repairs and will have much lower maintenance costs than a traditional mountain bike.
This also makes them more crash-resistant since they have fewer parts that can break during a crash or impact.
Singlespeed Mountain Bikes are Less Expensive
Since single-speed mountain bike has fewer parts, they end up being less expensive for similar style models. While you can go all out and spend thousands on a carbon fiber single-speed bike, the bike would still be less expensive than a fully-customized multi-gear bike.
You also won’t need to invest in expensive cassettes, derailleur parts, shifters, cables, or housings. This means less cost over time due to repairs or damage.
Increase your Fitness Levels
When you only have one speed, you will be forced to exert more energy during inclines or to maintain high speeds on the trails. You won’t have any easy riding while on a single speed.
This makes a single-speed bike an excellent workout compared to other mountain bikes.
Gain a Better Understanding of Momentum on your Bike
Riding a single-speed will help you learn how to maintain momentum on your bike. Whether you are stuck in traffic or on a steep incline, you’ll have no low gears to get you up to speed on these bikes.
Riding a single-speed will improve your understanding of how to build speed during the right opportunities and to roll and carry speed during others. You’ll also start choosing more efficient lines while on the trails to maintain your speed and momentum.
Get a Fresh Look at the Trail
If you frequent the same trails or mountains often, you may start to burn out if it’s always the same experience. Riding a single-speed on those same trails can give you a brand new experience and keep you excited for your next ride.
A single-speed will help you find new and fun ways to ride your favorite local trails.
Summary of the Best Single Speed Mountain Bikes
After extensive testing, we found the Niner Sir 9 to be the best overall option on our list. This bike features an incredible and beautiful build. It is available in several trim levels and can meet the needs of beginner and professional riders.
If the Sir 9 is out of your price range, the Monocog from Redline is a mid-tier bike at an affordable price. It’s a great daily rider and can handle tough terrain, downhills, and singletrack.
We hope this article was informative and that you can use this information to buy your first or next single-speed mountain bike either from local bike shop or from Amazon.