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Single Speed Bikes: Good or Bad Fit for Missionaries

From the President of CTR Bikes

Right now there is a lot of “hype” about single speed bikes, or as they are often known, “fixies.” Make no mistake about it, single speed bikes have their place in the world of enthusiastic biking, but their use for missionary work is very questionable. Here are the reasons that a sturdy mountain bike style is best for our missionaries:

  • Even in the flattest cities there are still inclines and hills. Riding a single speed up even a moderate hill is akin to attempting to drive your car up a hill without gearing down. It is very difficult.
  • There is no such thing as “only-city” riding in almost any mission in this country. You will always be transferred to areas where roads and riding circumstances are much less than smooth city streets.
  • The wider tires and more defined treads of a mountain bike offer much safer stability in riding on the edges of roads and off the pavement where you will often find yourself. Narrow street tires are much less stable and can often relate to accidents.
  • Having only one gear means compromise. You don’t have a higher gear which means having to pedal faster to gain enough cruising speed, nor do you have a good climbing gear for those hills which means more exertion to get where you’re going.
  • Finally, eliminating gears does not rid you of maintenance concerns. The wheel hubs, pedal bottom bracket assembly and handlebar headsets all require vigilant maintenance, and they’re the same on “fixies” as on well-geared substantial mountain bikes.

CTR Bikes, as the number one supplier for U.S. missions, has 16 years of experience in providing the top bike brands in the country, and without a doubt we know that single speed bikes are definitely not the answer for our missionaries. We will not, in good conscience, offer them for missionary use.