As a cyclist, you also want to focus more on the riding and not the derailleur or the shifters. That’s also possible with a single-speed crankset.
Additionally, you want a crankset that’s easy to maintain and affordable. That also brings us to a single-speed crank systems.
So, yes, you are restricted to one gear, but such a drawback doesn’t measure up to the fantastic benefits of single-speed crank systems.
I’m going to recommend five best single-speed crank systems for your consideration. I’ll also provide you with a buying guide and answers to some frequently asked questions.
But first, let’s understand what a single-speed crank system is and why you should switch to it.
My Top 3 Recommended Single Speed Crankset
What’s a Single Speed Crankset?
Let’s first start with defining a crankset. A crankset is an essential component of the bike’s drivetrain that drives the rear wheel.
When it comes to a single-speed crankset, the cycling is only limited to one speed, thus the name single-speed.
When choosing a single-speed crankset, consider getting a modern design. They are lightweight for smooth cycling and come with bottom brackets to maximize their performance.
Also Read: Best Flat Pedals For Road Bike
Why You Should Buy the Best Single Speed Crankset
The biggest issue with multi-speed cranksets is that they have many parts and so they are likelier to develop mechanical problems.
Luckily for single-speed cranksets, they have fewer parts, and that means reduced mechanical issues and repair costs.
Also, having fewer parts mean that the cranksets are lightweight. So, you are likely to have an overall lightweight drivetrain.
A single speed crank system also improves your riding experience since you don’t have to focus on the derailleur or the shifters.
It’s generally simple to ride a bike with a single-speed crank system than a multi-speed one. That explains why most on-road cyclists prefer single-speed cranksets.
Furthermore, single-speed cranksets are cheaper than their competition. So, if you are looking for a budget crankset, switch to single-speed today!
Buying Guide for the Best Single Speed Crankset
Here are the essential considerations for buying a single-speed crankset:
- Tooth Count
Given that single-speed cranksets have one gear, you don’t have to bother about the gear number but the tooth number. It’s the tooth number that signifies the gear ratio, and it comes in the form of 32t, 36t, 44t, etc.
Usually, the higher the tooth count, the more challenging it is to push the bicycle. However, that comes with the advantage of helping you pedal faster.
So, what’s the bottom line? Well, if you want to ride smoothly, especially in hilly areas, go for a small tooth count. However, if all you want is speed, then go for a higher tooth count.
- Arm Length
The crank arm length is significant for two reasons. For one, it directly influences your riding speed. Two, it could affect your knee.
If we can start with speed, going for a more extended crank arm allows you to pedal with minimal effort and do it quicker. So, gearing becomes much more comfortable.
The problem is that it could be devastating to your knee if you are prone to knee pain. So, pick a shorter crank arm if you have a knee problem to reduce the risks of suffering knee pain.
However, you’ll not have as much leverage and power as when using a longer arm length. So, go for a longer arm length if you don’t have a knee problem and a shorter one if you have the medical problem.
The crankset’s weight influences the drivetrain’s overall weight. If you want to pedal efficiently, then pick a lightweight crankset. It’s also easier to reattach a lightweight single speed crankset since you can lift it easily.
So, consider checking its weight to ensure it is lightweight. Preferably, its weight shouldn’t exceed 700g. You should also consider lightweight materials like aluminum and plastic.
- Ease of Maintenance
You want a crankset that you can clean easily. That means going for easy-to-wipe off material like aluminum. It allows you to wipe off dust and mud easily.
The last thing you would want is a crankset that breaks down before you can even use it. That’s why warranties are necessary.
Warranties generally assure you of customer satisfaction by covering you against manufacturer-related defects for a specified period.
Cranksets generally do not come with extensive warranties. Most of them cover you for a year, which is reasonable.
Since a crankset is a very delicate component of the drivetrain, you’ve to buy it from a reputable company.
Many unknown brands out there that promise the best cranksets, but not all of them can be trusted.
So, instead of taking chances, pick a Shimano single speed crankset or any other reputable brand.
Here are some suggestions:
Types of Single-Speed Cranksets (Plus Recommendations)
Below are the most typical types of single-speed cranksets and recommendations:
1. Square Taper Crankset
(The Best Single Speed Crankset)
Square taper cranksets are the simplest in design and the most popular on the market. It’s like all fixies feature a square taper.
One reason to explain their popularity is the ease of installation. The maintenance is also easy.
Though they are not the most elegant cranksets out there, their functionality is unparalleled. So, in my view, square taper crankset single speed models are the best.
My Recommendation – CDHPOWER Single-Speed Crankset
If you are looking to switch to a 32t or 36t single-speed crankset, consider the CDHPOWER Single-Speed Crankset. The crankset comes in a forged aluminum alloy construction that makes it both lightweight and sturdy.
This single speed crankset-700 comes as a complete set, featuring the right and left crank arms and chainrings. Its arm length is 165mm, which is enough to promote faster and comfortable pedaling.
It weighs 515g if you exclude the bottom bracket and come with a 1/8 inch chainring. So, it means that the teeth size is also 1/8 inches.
2. Single-Speed Crankset 44T
A single-speed crankset 44t comes with 44 teeth, just like the name is suggesting. So, they are a good option when you want to ride faster.
The cranksets come with stronger arms and are aesthetically pleasing. Plus, they promise an aggressive ride, especially on flat roads.
A majority of single-speed crankset 44t models are lightweight and come in durable materials.
My Recommendation – Retrospec Fixed-Gear Crank Single-Speed
The Retrospec Fixed-Gear Crank Single-Speed is a lightweight three-piece crankset that’s built for optimal strength and cycling reliability.
Its arm length is 170mm, enough to help you ride faster without overlapping. The arm length is also stronger to give you an aggressive ride.
3. Single-Speed Crankset 46T
A single-speed crankset 46t contains 46 teeth, and so it enjoys a high gear ratio. You’ll have a smooth ride with such a crankset, especially on a level road.
These cranksets come equipped with the right tooth chainring and come in a variety of arm lengths. Also, expect these cranksets to come in lightweight constructions like most single-speed cranksets.
MY Recommendation – Origin8 Track/SS Crankset
The Origin8 Track/SS Crankset doubles up as a single-speed crankset and track crankset. So, it’s made for all kinds of roads.
This crankset comes in forged aluminum construction and weighs 1.6 pounds, thus reasonably lightweight.
The single speed bike crank comes in a beautiful design that gives your bike a high-end look. It has a 1/8 inch chainring and is available in three different sizes.
4. Single-Speed Crankset 48T
If you are looking for a higher gear ratio, then you’ve to go for a higher tooth count. Well, you can’t go wrong with a 48t model if you want more tooth count. It comes with 48 teeth.
These cranksets are high performers and come in solid constructions to serve you longer. They also promise a smooth ride, thus great for on-road cycling.
My Recommendation – CYSKY Single-Speed Crankset 48T
The CYSKY Single-Speed Crankset 48T comes in a forged aluminum alloy construction, which makes it lightweight and easy to clean. The aluminum material also gives it optimal strength and solidity.
The 48t crankset single speed is compatible with a 9/16 inch pedal and has a 130 BCD. So, it doesn’t just suit single-speed bikes but also fixed-gear cycles, road bikes, and track bicycles.
Bonus – SRAM S300 Courier Crankset
The SRAM S300 Courier Crankset is another amazing single speed mountain bike crankset that comes at a budget price. It has a professional cleaner look that’s also aesthetically pleasing.
The parts are easy to clean and feature reasonably durable construction. This crankset comes with a set of washers, which comfortably fit the crank arms.
Most of the parts are plastic, save for the outer cups that are aluminum. The spindle quality is also impressive, and you don’t have to worry about rough pedal edges.
The crankset is also lighter (2.8 pounds) than its predecessor and promises a smoother ride.
1. What’s A Crankset?
A crankset is an essential component of the drivetrain. It’s attached to both the chain and pedals to help drive the rear wheel.
Typically, a crankset features crank arms and chainrings. It’s centrally located on the bike’s frame to facilitate proper movement of the wheel when you pedal.
2. Which Is The Best Single-Speed Crank System?
That will be the square taper. The crankset is not just simple in design but also reliable in performance.
It’s lightweight and readily available. So, finding its replacement is not hard. Moreover, these cranksets are easy to install, mostly DIY.
My top recommended square taper crank system is the CDHPOWER Single-Speed Crankset. It’s the best single speed crankset MTB model.
3. How Can I Buy The Best Crankset?
You have to consider several things to ensure that your new crankset is compatible with your drivetrain. For starters, you have to check its tooth count and crank arm to ensure they match what you want.
You also need to check the chainring number and bottom bracket length to ensure they are correct.
Additionally, consider a crankset that is lightweight, easy to maintain, and affordable.
4. How Can I Remove A Crankset?
It starts with first loosening the bolts that hold the crankset in place. Remember also to unscrew the bolt that crosses the crank-puller.
The trick here is to ensure you unscrew and remove every single bolt that holds the crankset. Once you’ve managed that, you can go ahead and detach the crankset.
5. How Can I Attach A Newly-Bought Crankset?
Before you can think of attaching a newly-bought crankset, you’ve to remove the older one. After that, wipe the area where you want to fit the new crankset before placing it gently.
The next thing is to tighten its bolts. You should, however, not over tighten the bolts to avoid damaging the bracket bearings.
Generally, the best single speed crankset is a good idea if you want an easy-to-maintain, affordable, and simple-to-move crankset. It’s also a good option if you want to avoid expensive mechanical issues.
So, switch to the crank system today to simplify your riding experience!
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