Best Fixed Gear Bikes in 2017 – Guide & Reviews

Best Fixed Gear Bikes

Here are five of the most popular fixed gear bikes that you can find for a reasonable price. In the guide below, I’ve reviewed each of these five popular bicycle models and shared some of the strengths of each. I’ve also shared tips on picking the right fixed gear bicycle for you.

Introduction to The Best Fixed Gear Bikes

Just what is a fixed gear bicycle? Technically, fixed gear bicycles are designed without a freewheel in the hub of the rear wheel. What this means for riders is that you can’t “coast.” Every time your fixed gear bicycle is moving, the pedals will be moving as well.

The term “fixed gear” is often applied to all single speed bicycles though, and can refer to bicycles that have a freewheel hub attached to the rear wheel but only have one gear.

Fixed gear bicycles have become incredibly popular recently because of their simplicity. They don’t require as much maintenance as bikes with gears, are less likely to break, and can still get you from point A to point B a lot faster than walking.

In this guide, I’ll share my review of five of the most popular fixed gear bicycles that you can get for an affordable price. But first, here are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing a fixed gear bicycle.

Recomended 5 Best Fixed Gear Bikes

My reviews of five of the most popular fixed gear bicycles that you can get or an affordable price keep all of these considerations and more in mind.

1. Pure Fix Cycles Urban Fixie Road Bike

Pure Fix Cycles Fixed Gear Single Speed Urban Fixie Road Bike

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While it may be priced a bit higher than the previous affordable fixed gear options on this list, the Single Speed Pure Fix still Urban Fixie Road Bike packs a lot of value into an affordable package.

Here are some of the coolest features about this entry level model from Pure Fix.

Huge Potential for Customization

Whereas most companies offer their bicycles in a few color combinations, Pure Fix takes customization a step further, with a huge number of color combinations to choose from.

Echo Black/Red, Romeo White, Mike Black/White, Whiskey Gloss Grey/Blue, November Blue/Silver, Quebec White/Black, and X-Ray Cream/Mint Green are just a few of the color combinations available.

As you can see, Pure Fix loves customization, and their Fixed Gear Single Speed Urban Fixie Road Bike has a huge number of combinations to choose from.

The more you like the way your bike looks, the more likely you will be to ride it, so think about what combination you are looking for.

Easily Removable Front Brake

Riding with a front brake is definitely recommended for fixed gear cyclists, but some more experienced riders choose to do without.

Once you are good at riding fixed gear, you can brake by pedaling backward and skidding, so a front brake is seen by some as just extra weight.

The Fixed Gear Urban Fixie Road Bike makes it easy to take off your front brake if you would like to, and it only takes one tool to completely remove it.

Name Brand Components

The componentry on the Fixed Gear Single Speed Urban Fixie Road Bike is definitely a step-up from the cheapest priced models you will find in this guide.

Each of these fixed gear bicycles comes with some good quality tires and tubes, name brand grips, and an ndustry leading chain.

Swapping out parts is one of the things that makes fixies so fun, but starting with good quality componentry you can rely on is a smart choice.

Deep Dish 50mm Wheels

The wheel style on the Fixed Gear Single Speed Urban Fixie Road Bike looks and feels cool, with “deep dish” style rims that provide more color on your bicycle.

Deep dish rims also have some functional benefit, as they are more aerodynamic when biking in areas that don’t have lots of wind.

Highlighted Features

  • Fixie bicycle with deep-dish 50mm wheels
  • Easily removable front brake
  • Tig-welded steel frame is built to last
  • Oury Grips and KMC Chain

2. Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike

Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike

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This fixed gear bike combines all of the best parts of a fixed speed in one cheap package.

If you are looking for a cheap, functional, easy to ride, urban commuter at an unbeatable price, look no further than the Takara Kabuto. 

Here are some of its coolest features.

Easy To Change “Flip-Flop” Hub

For many riders, fixed gear can be intimidating, and it can take some time to learn to ride the style well. But luckily, the Takara Kabuto comes with a rear “flip-flop” hub that makes it easy to change this bicycle into single speed while you are learning and practicing.

All you need to do to change from fixed gear to single speed is take the rear wheel off and “flip” it around. Very few tools are needed, and you won’t need to make any changes to the wheel or bicycle other than flipping the wheel around.

This feature makes it easy to start riding the Kabuto right away, even if you need to spend a little time learning to ride fixed gear.

Multiple Fun Color Schemes To Choose From

This bicycle’s look can be easily customized upon ordering thanks to the three different color schemes that you can easily choose from.

Choose black and green for a black frame with green tires, components, and decals. Or choose black and yellow for a black frame with yellow decals, or green and blue for a green frame with blue decals.

Each option comes with the same components and frame, just in different colors. Each can be further customized down the road by replacing parts as you see fit, but these three color schemes will get you started with a very stylish look.

Tig-welded Steel Horizontal Drop Outs

The Takara Kabuto bikes is made from good quality tig-welded steel that should last years and years, and this is especially important for a fixed gear bicycle with horizontal dropouts.

Dropouts are the part of the bicycle frame where the rear tire sits, and horizontal dropouts are especially useful for fixed gear riding. But they need to be made from high-quality metal since they take so much stress, and the Kabuto lives up to that need.

Alloy Rims and Hub

Compared to straight up steel, alloy rims and hubs are much lighter.

While weight may not be quite as important in fixed gear bicycles as in some other bike styles, it’s still good to cut down on weight wherever you can, and the alloy rims and hubs on the Kabuto save you some weight.

Highlighted Features

  • Rear Flip flop Hub
  • Fits Riders from 5 ft 8 inch to 6 ft tall
  • 31-inch stand over clearance
  • Alloy side pool breaks

3. Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Bike

Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Bike

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Another offering from Takara, Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Bike is another incredible value with some great perks that make it different from the other Takara model on this list.

Here are some of the Sugiyama’s coolest features.

Flat Style Handlebars

Many fixed gear bicycles come with “drop” style rams horn handlebars, which look like the handlebars that you see on professional road cyclists’ bikes.

However, drop bars can be uncomfortable to inexperienced riders or riders with back problems. The Sugiyama solves these problems by coming standard with flat style handlebars.

Flat handlebars are somewhat standard on fixed gear or “fixie” bikes because they let you ride at a more upright position.

This is more comfortable for novice riders. But it also gives you a better range of visibility, which is important in urban areas where fixies are often ridden.

“Flip-Flop” Style Rear Hub

Just like the other offering from Takara on this list, the Sugiyama comes equipped with an easy to change “flipflop” style rear hub. This lets users change between single speed and fixed gear style riding, which is a feature for those still learning to ride fixed gear.

Again, this modification only requires a few tools and is easily within the skill set of even a complete bicycling amateur.

Especially if you aren’t super familiar with fixed gear bicycles, having the option to ride single speed with a freewheel hub is super useful.

Front and Rear Hand Brakes

Many fixed gear bicycles come equipped with a front brake only, since rear brakes aren’t very much use for fixed gear riding.

However, the Takara Sugiyama has both a front and back brake equipped, which is a great feature for single speed riding. Having two brakes adds an element of safety, and will make it easier to ride single speed well.

If you don’t like riding with two brakes, it’s easy enough to remove the rear once you get comfortable with fixed riding, but having both is a great option as well.

Tig-welded Steel Frame and Fork

All of the components of the frame set for this bicycle are tig-welded steel, which should be high- quality enough to last years and keep you riding safely.

Having a fork that is also tig-welded steel is also great, and will protect your bike from major damages if you ever run into anything.

Highlighted Features

  • Handcrafted steel frame Bike
  • 32-hole alloy wheels
  • Frond and rear alloy side pull breaks
  • Freewheel single-speed modes

4. Critical Cycles Fixie Urban Road Bike

Critical Cycles Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Urban Road Bike

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Another steel fixed gear bicycle that is very budget friendly, the Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Urban Road Bike is a very solid choice for a high-quality riding experience. 

Here are some of the coolest features that earned it a spot on this list.

Hand Built Quality

Critical Cycles takes a lot of pride in their product, as evidenced by the fact that their Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Urban Road Bike is all hand built. The steel is high-quality as well, providing for a very well built ride that you can count on.

While this is certainly a budget pick, there is still an artisanal quality to this bicycle thanks to its handbuilt design.

Comes With Tools for Assembly And Maintenance

Every bicycle on this list comes shipped with a small bit of assembly required, but Critical Cycles makes this assembly easy by sending you the tools you need to put the Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Urban Road Bike together.

The few basic tools they send you are also well suited to keeping your bike well maintained and tuned up as you ride.

Even if you have very little experience working on bikes, getting your own starter tool kit to start your learning journey is a great incentive to hone your skill set.

Many Different Sizes to Choose From

While most fixed gear bicycles only have a few sizes to choose from, the Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Urban Road Bike comes in 5 sizes for a more specific fit.

The smallest 43cm frame is great for children and fits riders smaller than 4’10. With 49cm, 53cm, 57cm, and 60cm options to choose from as well, Critical Cycles has a model to fit every sized rider like a glove.

High-Quality Brand Name Components

Another company that doesn’t try to pass off a lower quality product with off-brand components and parts, Critical Cycles equips the Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Urban Road Bike with some great name brand components to get you started.

From headset and bottom bracket, to wheels and tires, to brakes and chain rings, everything on this bike is name brand and reliable.

If you are looking for a fixie that will last, the high-quality componentry on this model make it a great pick.

Highlighted Features

  • Super Deep-V Double Wall Rims
  • Flip-Flop Hub
  • Freewheel and Fixed-Gear Cogs on Wheelset
  • Available in all size.

5. Vilano Fixie Single Speed Road Bike

Vilano Fixed Gear Bike Fixie Single Speed Road Bike

Editor Rating:

The Vilano Fixed Gear Bike is a great choice for beginner riders that want a straightforward choice that will get the job done in style.

This is another budget friendly option. Here are some of the coolest features of the Vilano Fixed Gear Bike.

Completely Unbranded Design

Vilano takes a minimalist approach to their decor design, which leaves customers with a great product that isn’t cluttered by branding or overly complicated designs.

The Vilano Fixed Gear Bike doesn’t have any permanent branded material on it at all, which makes it very easy to customize as you choose. A big part of fixed gear culture is decorating and customizing your own bike how you like, and the lack of branding from Vilano makes this easy.

You can cover this bike with stickers, use paint markers to draw your own designs, or even take it into a shop to get custom paint work done. All without existing branding materials getting in your way.

Steel Frame With Alloy Seatpost and Stem

In general, steel is the best choice of frame material for fixed gear bicycles, and the Vilano Fixed Gear Bike is built from good quality hi-ten steel.

However, steel is also heavy, and this bicycle has some parts made from an alloy that smartly drop the bike’s weight.

The seatpost and stem are both made from lighter alloy, but neither of these parts needs to be as damage resistant or sturdy. This means you get a slightly lighter ride without sacrificing on sturdiness.

“Flip-Flop” Hub

Another entry level fixed gear bicycle with a flippable dual single speed and fixed gear rear tire, the Vilano makes it easy to learn fixed riding while staying safe with a single speed while you build up your skills.

Like the other options on this list with a “flip-flop” hub, you don’t need lots of tools or bike knowledge for easily “flip” these wheel between riding styles.

Good Sizing Options

The Vilano Fixed Gear Bike has a few size options available, making it easier to find a bike that fits your stature. The smallest sized frame is 50cm, and is a good fit for people 5’-5’5”.

The medium sized 54cm frame is good for riders’ heights 5’6” to 6’, and the largest 58cm frame is good for riders 6’ and up.

These sizing options do a great job of assuring that no matter what size rider you are, you will be able to find a frame from Vilano that fits well.

Highlighted Features

  • 700c Fixed Gear Frame
  • 700c 1 1/8" Threadless Fork
  • Rear hub flip flop
  • Free Pedals

Final Verdict

If you are looking for a fast, environmentally sustainable way to get around your city or wherever you live, a fixed gear bicycle is a very reliable choice. Each of the bikes in this guide provide a great blend of quality and value, and will get you moving for a very reasonable price.

Choose any of the five bikes above, and you will have a quality, well designed product that will last you years and provide countless hours of use.

The best things about a fixed gear bike are reliability, price, and ease of use. And every bike I reviewed above excels in each of these categories. Pick any of the five fixed gear bicycles above for a high-quality product that you can rely on for your bike based transportation needs.

How to Choose Best Fixed Gear Bikes

With so many manufacturers and so many models in the market for single speed and fixed gear bicycles, it’s a good idea to keep a few things in mind when choosing a bike that’s right for you. Here’re a few considerations to remember.

Our friends from Pure Fix Cycles have a detailed video on Fixed Gear Bicycle, before reading our own guideline, just have a look what they got to say:

Size and Fit

Whenever purchasing a bicycle, you want to be sure that you are choosing a frame size that is right for you. A bike that is too big can be cumbersome and awkward to ride, and a bike that is too small can damage your joints severely.

With fixed gear bicycles, sizing is especially important. Since your feet never leave the pedals and the pedals never stop moving, a lot of pressure is put on your knees, and a bike that is too big or too small can cause serious injury.

Most fixed gear bicycles have adjustable seats that can help you find the right fit your leg length, but never choose a frame that will be too large or too small for you.

Build Material

Usually, in the biking world, the lighter the bike, the better. In most bicycle styles, bike frames and components can be made from many different materials, with some being lighter than others.

However, most fixed gear bicycles are made of only one of two materials, hi-ten steel and chromoly steel.

Hi-ten is cheaper but also heavier. Investing in a good chromoly steel frame is a smart choice, as you will have a lighter ride for as long as you keep your new fixed gear bicycle.

Just make sure to stay away from carbon fiber and aluminum fixed gear bicycles for the most part. These materials are lighter and often used for other bicycle styles, but not suited to fixed gear riding.

Your Skill Level

Riding a fixed gear bicycle isn’t very much like riding a typical geared bicycle. The balancing is the same, and your body will be making some of the same motions, but not having the ability to coast changes the whole feel of riding.

If you have never ridden a fixed gear bicycle before, make sure to keep your skill level in mind when making a purchase. Look for a fixed gear with a “flip-flop” rear hub that can be changed to a setting that lets you coast.

And always make sure to have a front brake mounted on your fixed gear bicycle. Once you sharpen your skills, you may not need one, but riding without a break when you are first learning is very dangerous.

Components

The parts on your bicycle, from the wheels to seat to pedals, will be an important thing to keep in mind when making a fixed gear bicycle purchase.

For most bicycles, it will be easy to swap out parts as you go, and add your own upgrades as parts wear out. But you still want to keep a few things in mind where componentry is concerned.

Make sure to choose a bike that looks cool to you. You will be more likely to ride it, and choosing a bike with components that are a cool color and look good together is easy with so many options out there.

Other Considerations

Aside from the considerations above, you will also want to keep in mind price, brand, why you are buying a bicycle, your health, and other considerations when purchasing a fixed gear bicycle.

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About the Author Matthew R. Duncan

I am proud to be the go-to guy among my circle for bike advice. I take it personally when someone I know buys a new bike without consulting me first!

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