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Choosing the Right Bike for Your Riding Distance

Hey guys, Dustin here, CEO of sixthreezero. Today I want to talk to you about what bike you should ride for what distances. We get a lot of questions, people asking, "I want to go a couple of miles. What bike is right for me?" We're going to talk about that. But before we do, don't forget, comment below if you have any questions, subscribe to our channel, because we're going to keep releasing content, answering your questions. And of course, reach out to us at the team at if you need anything at all from us. So, let's jump into it. To answer this question, there's really no specific answer. If you're going to ride a mile, I could tell you that you could do a single-speed. However, if that one mile is uphill, you might prefer to have gears. So, I'm going to give you some generalizations.

However, don't hold me to this. It's not an exact science. I'm going to give you some rough ideas of what type of bike... Actually more specifically, what gears would be good for what type of distances. So, let's start at a short-range. Let's just say, you're going to do about a zero. Well, you're not going to ride zero, but let's say half a mile to a two-mile ride. What type of bike would be good for that? Well, if it's strictly a flatland ride and really no hills, my suggestion would be something very, very simple, like a single-speed cruiser. In the case of sixthreezero, that would be something like the Around the Block. Really simple, really easy, very low maintenance. It's going to get you to where you need to go and it'll be reliable. The good thing about keeping the bike as simple as possible for the type of riding you're going to do is really on the maintenance side more than anything.

When you go with a single-speed cruiser like the Around the Block, it's very little maintenance. The brakes are coaster brakes and the gear system is a single-speed. So, there's no really need to lubricate the chain very frequently. Obviously, maybe every year or so it's always good to do that. But very simple, very reliable. Now, if you're going to go zero or half a mile to two miles, but you have some hills, my suggestion would be to go up to a 7-speed and I would go to an external derailleur depending on the size of the hills. Now, if the hill is pretty vertical, it's nice to have a wider variance of gears so you have a really easy peddling gear to get up a hill. I like a 7-speed over a 3-speed for hills because it gives you that variance and the first gear is much easier to pedal on a 7-speed versus a 3-speed.

So, let's say now you're going to go somewhere in the two-mile to 10-mile range. Actually, let's go two to five miles, and we'll go five to 10. So if you're going to be riding in the two-mile to five-mile range, I would also potentially recommend a single-speed bike depending on the terrain and depending on how fast you want to go. For instance, we ride very frequently in Hermosa Beach here and there's a five-mile ride people like to do up and down Hermosa to Redondo, Manhattan Beach, and you can ride easily five to eight miles and a single-speed is really sufficient because it's very smooth, it's very flat, and there's actually a max speed limit in that location of about eight miles an hour. So really you don't need the gears to perform faster because you can't really go faster and you're riding for the leisure aspect of it.

So again, if you're going to be doing a five-mile ride in those kinds of conditions, I think a single-speed is a great option. Now, if you're going to be doing a two to five-mile ride and there are hills, and you're looking to sweat and it's going to be a little bit of a workout, then I would say pump up to a 7-speed. This is if there are hills, okay? If there are hills, I recommend the 7-speed in the two to the five-mile range because it's going to be easier to get up and down the hills, again, giving you the gear variants. Now, if you're just looking for a little extra speed in the two to the five-mile range, but there's maybe not hills, then I would recommend a 3-speed. A 3-speed's great because it gives you a little bit more variance in the gears, but again, very simple and easy to use and very low maintenance.

So if you don't have to jump up to the 7-speed, which will be better for the hills, staying in the 3-speed for very flat terrain and smooth-rolling is a much better decision. Now, let's talk about five to 10-mile rides. What I said before still holds true. If it's five to 10 miles, very flat terrain, my suggestion would be 3-speed. I would say if you're consistently going to ride five to 10 miles, it'll be nice to have some kind of gears, especially for the back half of that ride or coming back, and having the 3-speed is going to allow you to get going a little bit faster than if you had the single-speed, but again, that's for strictly flat terrain. Now again, same as before, five to 10 miles, hills, more aggressive, I would say bump up to a 7-speed.

Now, I would say if you're on the 10-mile range and you're really looking to get going very fast and you want it to be for exercise or perhaps you have some very aggressive hills, that's when I would start to consider the 21-speed. Now, generally speaking, most people riding for recreation don't need a 21-speed. However, if you're looking to get some exercise out of that 10-mile ride and really push yourself, then the 21-speed I think is a good option. And with our bikes, the Around the Block and the EVRYjourney, and I believe Pave n' Trails also have 21-speeds. Those are some good options for those longer distances. And then anything above 10 miles per ride, I would say stick strictly to a 7-speed or a 21-speed.

These are the bikes like the Reach Your Destination, obviously Pave n' Trail, EVRYjourney, Around the Block, all have those options. But over 10 miles you're really going to want different gears, different gear variation, different gear ratios because as your legs get tired, you can back off the gears to ease the restriction on the pedaling. And then if you want to get going faster, you can increase the gear to allow that. So, you're going to really want those gears as you get over 10 miles. And then once you get into riding over 20 miles a ride, I would say your best bet is really to look for a 21-speed. Again, I think a 7-speed is fine and it will do the job, but a 21-speed might just be a better option to have the ability to adjust the derailleur in 21 different ways versus only seven different ways.

Now, not to say that if you're riding 20 miles plus... There are lots of people out there who ride 20 miles plus in a ride every single day, and they have a 7-speed. That suits them fine. I'm just saying, generally speaking, it might be good at that point in time to look at a 21-speed. Or if it's not a 21-speed, maybe something greater than 7-speeds, but less than 21-speed. There's sometimes some 15-speeds or 16-speeds out there as well, so that's an option. So with that said, I hope that helps. Like I said before, it's not an exact science. That's just a general rule of thumb. The distance of the ride isn't the only thing that matters when choosing what type of gears or how many gears. Obviously, the type of terrain is a big deal. I personally have written a single-speed 10 miles plus when I'm going about four miles an hour and just doing it leisurely, hanging out with friends.

So if that's something you're comfortable with, that is an option as well. Although if you're riding 20 miles plus on single-speed multiple days a week, it's going to start to get tiring and you might start to wish you had a few gears. So, I hope that's helpful. Any questions at all, or any thoughts or ideas, please comment below. Or don't hesitate to reach out to us at or you can reach us by phone, (310) 982-2877. And don't forget on top of our website, if you go to, we have a body fit tool. You can put in all of your information, take the quiz, and we will recommend a bike that's best for you. And you can also customize, choose your colors, add accessories, do whatever you need. And we have e-bikes now. Excuse me.

So check out e-bikes, those are a great option, and you can... Pretty soon you'll be able to customize those as well. And lastly, don't forget, we have a lifetime warranty, 365 days. If you buy from us... Or sorry, I take that back. We have a 365-day test ride policy. So if you buy from us, you don't love your bike in 365 days, you can send it back. No questions ask. We pay all the fees, expenses, nothing out of your pocket, and we have a lifetime warranty. So over the lifetime of your bike, if you have any problems at all, contact us, we'll take care of it. So, thanks and enjoy the ride.


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