Fixed Gear, Freehub and Standard Threaded Wheels Compared

As a very brief summary:

  • Fixed Gear Threaded Wheels - Most people doing a single speed conversion buy a fixed gear wheel. This wheel can be used for freewheel riding and for properly secured fixed gear riding. A properly secured fixed sprocket can allow one to be able to use a bicycle with only a front hand brake. However for a Mountain Bike or Hybrid Bike single speed conversion to get a fixed gear threaded wheel almost always requires us buying an expensive hub. Because of this it's usually not cost effective.
  • Freehub Wheels - For 130mm and 135mm modern road, hybrid and mountain bike frames. These are for freewheel use only and allow for easy adjustment of sprocket for a perfectly straight chain than threaded hubs. Many modern frames require a tensioner anyway so one is already stuck with a freewheel option.
  • Standard Threaded Wheels - Are most suitable for freewheel riding. Fixed gear sprockets can be fitted to them but not in a very secure way and therefore The this kind of wheel must always be ridden with two hand brakes. Many older multi speed bikes will have a wheel with this kind of hub. Usually the the wheel will be configured in a way which makes single speed riding impossible without mechanical work being done on the wheel, but often this can be done. Buying a brand new standard threaded wheel has no benefit over a getting a fixed gear threaded wheel so is only likely to be sensible in the rare instances when it's cheaper.