You’ve surely heard people discuss their electric bike gear and argue which is best: single speed vs 7 speed?
Which e-bike gear is better will depend on your riding style and favorite routes. Single speeds usually are faster, cheaper, and last longer but have low torque. 7 speeds are excellent at riding uphill but cost more and need regular maintenance.
What is a Single Speed Electric Bike?
A single-speed electric bike is an ebike with one gear ratio, so it cannot change gears. This bike style has only one chainring and sprocket and lacks any shifters, hub gears, or derailleur hangers. When you pedal it, tension doesn’t change. Single speeds are the oldest and most straightforward kind of bike.
Also known as direct drives, these bikes have long-lasting batteries and durable motors. However, they need more energy to reach their top speeds and have lower ranges than geared motors.
Single-speed electric bikes are fast and quiet, excelling on the open road.
What is a 7 Speed Electric Bike?
7-speed electric bikes come with seven gears, giving them their name. In addition to the pedal assistance, this gearbox provides them plenty of torque or twisting force. As you pedal, the 7-speed adjusts its tension, letting you always ride efficiently.
Unlike a manual bicycle, you don’t have to change the gears on a 7-speed ebike as you ride. Instead, the geared motor changes automatically. This process is noisy, so 7 speeds aren’t silent rides.
If you often commute through hilly terrain, then a 7-speed is ideal. Their geared motors are versatile, letting you keep a constant pace even through rough terrain.
What is The Difference Between Single Speed and 7 Speed?
If you’re on a budget, choose a single speed eBike. They’re far cheaper, especially if you pick a cadence-based pedal assist.
They’re also far heavier since they need the extra size to balance their lack of torque. 7 speeds are lightweight by comparison, thanks to their small, compact motors. Unless you specifically choose an offroad option, a multi-speed eBike will weigh less than its single speed counterpart.
This weight also plays into the bike’s structure. Multi-speed eBikes tend to resemble their manual counterparts more and are stealthier alternatives. Single speeds are bulkier.
Top speed is another crucial difference between single-speed and multi-speed ebikes. While both outpace a manual bicycle, single-speed bikes are much faster. Their direct-drive motors sacrifice torque for high speeds, letting the quickest models race at over 28 mph.
In contrast, 7-speed eBikes often clock out at 20 mph or below. Don’t underestimate them, however. Their geared motors let them start and stop quickly, and they accelerate more rapidly.
Single speed eBikes win when it comes to maintenance, too. Their motors, batteries, and frames are straightforward and heavy-duty. These direct drive eBikes are the best choice if you aren’t mechanically savvy.
7-speed electric bikes have many more moving parts, particularly inside their geared motors. Not only that, but their gears grind together to generate twisting force. Although they’re lightweight, that comes at the cost of them wearing down quickly.
You’ll need to put more effort into cycling with a single speed eBike. Thanks to their low torque, they demand human input on an incline. Likewise,you’ll always have a lower range and battery life unless you carefully plot your routes over flat ground with few stops. Nevertheless, you’ll get wherever you’re going quickly.
In contrast, 7 speeds give a more consistent riding experience. Geared motors are efficient and versatile, letting you cruise up hills and accelerate quickly.
The Pros and Cons of The Different Speed of Electric Bikes
The Pros and Cons of a Single-Speed eBike?
The Pros and Cons of a 7-Speed eBike?
Single-Speed vs. 7-Speed Electric Bike, Which is Better?
The best eBike style depends on your riding habits and available budget. Neither electric bike style is always better than the other.
If you prioritize speed, ride mostly on flat terrain, or have a low budget, then a single speed is best. Choose a 7 speed eBike if you need a versatile bike that can handle rough terrain.
A high-quality 7 speed eBike is a significant investment, yes, but it is also a one-size-fits-all ride. Multi-speed bikes let you ignore terrain restrictions and enjoy powerful torque.
These bikes are easy to pedal and use while shifting. Their multi-speed geared motors ensure that these bikes are more flexible than single speeds and more versatile.
You can pedal a 7 speed eBike anywhere since its torque adapts to your terrain. Although they aren’t the fastest eBikes, they’re not slow either. A 7 speed’s vast terrain capabilities mean it’ll perform respectably anywhere from the city center to a hilly suburb.
Thanks to that flexibility, 7 speeds are the perfect bikes for riding up and downhill. They supplement their pedal assistance with powerful torque that takes the effort away from your body.
In contrast, single-speed eBikes have lightweight and speedy designs. On the open road, they’re fasted eBikes available. So, if you must commute over flat ground, then a direct-drive electric bike is the best way.
Unfortunately, single speeds underperform on hills. Even with pedal assistance, their low torque means that you’ll need strenuous effort to climb a slope. You’ll quickly drain the battery otherwise. The same rule is valid for traffic. Each time you start a direct drive eBike, you must manually put in a new burst of speed.
Once these eBikes get going, they’re incredibly efficient because of their low friction and torque.
Direct drive motors are also straightforward, heavy-study devices. You won’t have to worry about these low-friction motors needing regular repairs.
Last, remember that single speeds still have pedal assistance. Although the power from a direct drive motor requires more human input and is less adaptable, it will still outpace any manual bicycle. If you have inclines on your regular routes, you can still choose a single-speed eBike. It isn’t the ideal choice, but you’ll be surprised how much easier it is to use than a standard bicycle, mainly after you build up speed.
The debate of single-speed vs 7-speed electric bikes will likely continue forever, but it’s clear that each excels in specific situations. Single speeds are durable and fast, while 7-speed eBikes have high torque and remarkable versatility.