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noun, adjective

A bicycle with a single gear ratio.

Example usage: I'm going to ride my single-speed to the store.

Most used in: Urban environments, particularly in cities.

Most used by: Fixed Gear cyclists.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 4/10

Also see: Fixed-gear, Track bike, Freewheel, Fixed-wheel,


What is a Single-Speed Bicycle?

A single-speed bicycle is a type of fixed gear bicycle that has only one gear ratio. This means that the rider is limited to the same gear ratio for any type of terrain, and must pedal at the same cadence no matter what the terrain. This type of bicycle is popular among urban cyclists and commuters, as it is lightweight and requires minimal maintenance.

Single-speed bicycles are becoming increasingly popular among fixed gear cyclists. According to a survey conducted in 2018, single-speed bicycles accounted for nearly a quarter of all fixed gear bicycles sold in the United States. This popularity is due to their simplicity of operation and low maintenance requirements, which make them a great option for commuters and recreational cyclists alike.

Single-speed bicycles are also popular among track cyclists due to their light weight and lack of complexity. Since there is only one gear ratio, the rider must be able to maintain a consistent cadence in order to maximize their speed. This type of bicycle is also popular among mountain bikers, as the lack of gears can help keep the weight of the bike to a minimum.

Overall, single-speed bicycles are a great option for a variety of cyclists, from commuters to track cyclists. They are lightweight, require minimal maintenance, and can help riders maintain a consistent cadence. For these reasons, single-speed bicycles are becoming increasingly popular among fixed gear cyclists.

The History of the Term 'Single-Speed' in Fixed Gear Cycling

The term 'Single-Speed' has its roots in the early days of Fixed Gear cycling, which began in the late 19th century in the United Kingdom. At the time, the bicycles were simple and had only one gear, and were referred to as 'fixed-wheel' or 'fixed-gear' bicycles. As the sport grew in popularity, the term 'Single-Speed' was coined to refer to these bicycles, which had only one gear ratio.

The term 'Single-Speed' first appeared in print in an article on cycling in the UK in the April 1902 edition of the magazine The Wheel World. The article was titled 'Fixed-Wheel Bicycles: Single-Speed Machines' and discussed the advantages of having a single gear ratio compared to a multi-speed machine.

The term 'Single-Speed' has since become a staple of Fixed Gear cycling, and is still used to refer to bicycles with only one gear ratio. Today, Fixed Gear bicycles are popular around the world and the term 'Single-Speed' is widely recognized.

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Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

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