Why are Single Speed Bikes preferred over Gear Bikes for Early Childhood Riders

There are phenomenal physical benefits to cycling. For instance, it promotes balance, burns calories, refreshes energy level, and lightens the mood.

Cycling is one of the best pass time activities for Kids. Whether a single-speed or a multi-gear bike, kids just want to cruise for fun and recreational purposes. Much before gears got into the market, it was just a single-speed (bicycle) that was on monopoly.

As for kids, starting off with a single-speed or one-speed bike would be an ideal training task until they master speed, balance, footwork, braking system, and steering techniques. In this article, the focus is on – exploring why a conventional single speed bike (or gearless bikes) is recommended over gear bike for kids; especially during their early bike-riding days.

What are the common reasons why a single speed bike is recommended for kids over gear bikes, in their early childhood stage?
A typical single speed bike or one-speed bike enables a child to gain control on pedaling, steering, body balance, and foot brakes first, post which, they eventually graduate to a multi-speed bike. Therefore, a single-speed bicycle is preferred earlier.

What are the most common challenges of having a single-speed bike?

One of the main disadvantages of a single-speed bike is that it is not meant for all terrains. It cannot be a multi-terrain bike due to a lack of pedaling efficiency. The power output in the single-speed bikes cannot be compared with gear bikes. The pedaling speed is quite limited in hilly areas or mountains. In this aspect, multi-gear bikes would be the best option to tackle varied topography.
A single-speed bike is a good option for city riders who enjoy traveling over flat ground. So, there is no need for a derailleur. Also, it can be a pain to those who pedal uphill causing them some ache in the muscles or even some knee pain.
The child may not be able to go any faster with a single-speed bike, even after they would have mastered the art of pedaling because of its restricted gear power. This weakness could annoy their group mates on gear bikes until your child matches up to their peers’ speed by pedaling faster on the hills.

Other advantages of the single-speed bike:

Single-speed bikes are much affordable. They are budget-friendly. Lesser the components, the lesser the cost. Multi-geared bikes are costlier due to multiple components. Parents would recognize the benefit of having a budget-friendly kids bike to start with before they outgrow even that.
Single-speed bikes are great for their ability to cruise through long rides. They are also known for their safety and comfort feel. There are no technical complications to the bike as such. One can just hop on and ride away, without any experience in particular.
Single-speed bike problems can be fixed by the average rider, due to its simplicity. If they are not fixable by the rider himself, then most bike mechanics would be able to fix it even.
Single-speed bikes do not demand too much labor time. If there are any fixes, one can fix it in less time. The overall cost of fixing problems on a single speed bike is much lesser compared to a geared bike.
The weight of the bike is proportionate to the components on the bike. A single-speed bike is known for its basic components. Thus, it is comparatively lighter in terms of its overall weight than all gear bikes. Because the weight is less, the required power to move the bike is less, resulting in faster movement. The other great advantage of a single-speed bike is that it is easier to carry, especially if you are living in an apartment kind of setting.
Single-speed bikes are known for less maintenance than their multi-gear counterparts. A single-speed bike has only one chainring, one cog, and no derailleur.
Single-speed bikes come with coaster brakes which are pretty simpler and easier than the complex disc braking system. Due to lesser maintenance, there is a lesser expense on the bike.

Top Single-speed bikes to consider buying:

Image Products
AFFORDABLEMongoose Legion L80
Tri-Moly steel frame is durable with freestyle geometry
BEST BUDGETRedline Bikes Asset Freestyle BMX
Redline Monster PC ultra low profile pedals with sealed bearings
Expert bike geometry centers the weight between the rider’s hands and seat, creating a stable, agile riding experience.
JOYSTAR Kids Bike for Girls
It has Coaster brake is easy to provide phenomenal stopping power when needed, so they can stay in full control.
Razor Angel Girls' Bike
It has Strong steel frame and fork
Diamondback Bikes Mini Impression for Girls
It has Rear coaster brake for safe stopping
Guardian Kids Bikes Ethos
Each Guardian Bike comes with 30 day trial and Lifetime frame , so you can ride without worry
Framed Verdict BMX Bike
Carbon Steel Frame; Adjustable Seat and Handlebar; puncture-resistant EVA Foam tires; Lightweight; hand brake
Schwinn Koen Boy's Bike
Carbon Steel Frame; Adjustable Seat and Handlebar; puncture-resistant EVA Foam tires; Lightweight; hand brake
Huffy Moto X Boys Bike
This Boys bike has removable training wheels is great for beginning riders
Mongoose Legion Freestyle BMX Bike
The durable L40 features a Hi-Ten steel frame, removable brake mounts, mid BB shell, and a 20.5-inch top tube length.
Made of premium steel to survive the bumps of learning, the durable steel frame is backed by our limited lifetime warranty
Mayhem Riot Mini BMX Bike
Frame: Hi Ten Steel Tig Weld
Framed Impact 18 BMX Bike
The Framed alloy rear U-brake is mounted directly to the bike frame so it can consistently dole out reliable stopping power.
Razor High Roller BMX/Freestyle Bike
It has Strong High Tensil Steel Frame and Fork

When should children transition to a multi-speed bike?

As per the general observation, everything depends on the growth of your child. Also, every child’s cycling abilities are unique.

Nonetheless, once a child gains control on pedaling, steering, body balance, and foot brakes on a single-speed bike, they are considered ready for a multi-speed bike.

Multi-speed bike adds complexity to regular cycling and enhances cognitive and physical coordination skills in children. Multi-speed cycle trains a child to switch gears, moderate various speed limits appropriately, use the braking systems effectively, and simultaneously navigate pathways and adventures on the bike. The multi-speed bike makes cycling an elevated experience for children.

Oftentimes, multi-gear bikes are suggested to children who are 9-12 years of age. For all beginners on gears, the recommended speed range would be 6-10 speed.

On the other hand, it is also recommended for parents to teach/instruct their children on road rules and basic traffic rules before the kid’s scout around town with their multi-speed bike either alone or with their gang.


We hope this piece of information was resourceful to you. Do let us know if you have any more suggestions on the same topic.

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