The many types of bicycles nowadays rooted from the different needs of riders. Gear ratios is one of the most fundamental differences among bikes. A single-speed bike only has one gear ratio; the pedals only propel the bike at one speed. A multi gear bicycle usually uses derailleurs to switch various cog sizes, providing the pedals a dynamic range of speed rotations for different incline levels. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks for different types of riders.
SINGLE SPEED BICYCLE
The freewheel and fixed gear which are the two types of single speed bikes, use a single-gear ratio to propel the cyclist. A fixed gear bike has a fixed rear cassette that keeps the pedals spinning any time the two wheels are turning. A freewheel bike can coast freely when the bicycle is moving, without the need to pedal continuously. The simple design of a single speed bicycle make it ideal for many different riders, from novices to experts. A single speed bike uses a chain tensioner or horizontal dropouts in order to keep chain tension, since there is no derailleurs on the rear or front of the bike.
MULTI SPEED BICYCLE
A bike with multiple gears is more complex compared to a single-speed bike. A multi gear bicycle maintains tension on the chain since it uses a spring-loaded arm. A cable attached to the shifter pulls the derailleur arm away from or toward the bike, which pulls the chain up and down the front chainrings or back cassette. This action is done by small ramps on the chainring and cassette, which moves the chain to the next gear under lateral tension.
Advantages and Drawbacks of Bicycle Gearing Ratios
A simple speed bike is a minimalist design, making it easier to repair and maintain. Without derailleurs, a single gear bike is usually lighter and cheaper than a multi speed bicycle. A multiple-speed bicycle earns its complexity by outperforming the single-speed bike at high speeds and on sharp climbs. The range of a multiple-geared bicycle offsets the increased cost, weight and complexity for many riders.
Choosing A Bicycle
Choosing between a single-speed and multiple-speed bicycle depends on the conditions you expect to face. Many people who ride in primarily flat areas choose single speeds for the simplicity, and rarely run into a hill large enough to warrant multiple gears. In addition, mountain bikers will often run a single-speed configuration to prevent becoming stuck due to a broken derailleur. A multiple-geared bicycle makes much more sense for competitive road riders and anyone who expects to run into hills. When properly maintained, a multiple-geared bicycle can last nearly as long as a single-speed between maintenance, and is the ideal setup for most types of cyclists.