The fixed-gear bicycles, also known as fixies, are perhaps the grandfather of almost every type of bike you see on the road today.
They belong to the era long before freewheels and derailleurs when there was only one ever-spinning gear, and the Tour de France was a fixed-gear event. But over time, almost everything evolved, and bikes were not an exception.
With more information and technology being put to use, the bikes became more advanced in terms of comfort, style, and specifications. But even today, fixies remain the best choices for time trials, track racing, and bike messenger use.
After all, it allows the riders to enjoy the reliance on pedals for moving forward and stopping; something you don’t get to experience on any other bike.
Moreover, when you are connected to your bicycle without any freewheel, how you pedal will solely control your bike’s behavior, a connection, and a sense of control that is often missing in all other types of bikes. However, fixie bike, something that was often seen thrashing laps, is now more frequently seen on the urban streets.
Today, anything that is simplistic and offers a single speed comes under the umbrella of fixie bikes. Here you get some background intel on what fixie bikes are and a review of some of the best fixed-gear bikes on the market.
But before we get into the details and specifications of some of the best fixies on the market, it is essential to understand what is fixie bike. So let’s get started.
Best Fixies – Reviews & Buying guide for 2020
Overall Winner: 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike
- Size: Available in 6 sizes ranging fromXX-Small, X-Small, Small, Medium, Large and X-Large
- Frame: Light Aluminium Frame
- Weight: 30.5 pounds
- Tires & Wheels: 30mm Deep V Double-Walled Alloy Wheels
- Best for: Commuters who prefer convenience and ease of maintenance on a budget.
- Constructed with a lightweight aluminum frame.
- The bike requires less maintenance compared to other multi-gear bikes.
- Comes with a flip-flop hub that allows riders to convert the bike from a freewheel or a fixed one.
- Front and rear brakes for more control.
- Stylish and is available in a variety of sizes and colors.
- Includes free tools for assembly and service.
- The flip-flop hub offers uneven resistance.
- Inadequate handlebar grip
- Can be used in freewheel mode or with a fixed speed depending upon your choice.
The 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike is one of the best fixie bikes under $500 that offers style, simplicity and ease of maintenance. It is a comfortable fixie bike with raised handlebars that is best for commutes over longer or running errands.
The affordable fixie is available in a variety of colors and sizes, so the bike has something to offer people of all sizes and personalities. Moreover, this bike comes with a flip-flop hub, which gives the rider the flexibility to use the bike in freewheel mode or in a fixed mode.
The 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike is indeed the best fixie that you can get on a budget.
Runner Up: Schwinn Kedzie Single-Speed Fixie Road Bike
- Size: Standard Size for average height (ranging between 5’8” and 6’5”)
- Frame: Schwinn steel racing frame
- Weight: 31 pounds
- Tires and Wheels: Alloy 32h rims, 700c tires
- Best for: Urban commute
- Sturdy and durable with wheels fitted with alloy.
- Responsive to turns.
- Comes with a comfortable seat.
- Front and rear gears for better control.
- Offers a high speed ride with a flip-flop hub.
- While it is best for urban commute, it is not suitable for rough terrains.
- Sturdy and durable despite an absolute entry level budget price for under $200.
- A flip-flop hub allows you to switch between fixed gear and single speed.
- A chain guard to protect your wardrobe as you commute to work.
The Schwinn Kedzie Single-Speed Fixie Road Bike is a durable and reliable fixed gear bike. While it is one of the best budget fixies, it comes with a flip flop hub and many other features that make it an excellent urban commute choice.
This budget, fixed gear bike, is available in a single-size and comes in two colors. Moreover, the riser handlebars add more to grip, style, comfort. While the bike is not designed for rough terrains, the 700c wheels and 32h alloy rims can withstand the urban roads’ rough conditions.
Alternative: Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Bike
- Size: 58 cm/Large
- Frame: Handcrafted steel frame
- Weight: 31.2 pounds
- Tires and Wheels: 32-hole alloy wheels and 700 x 32 tires.
- Best for: Track cycling, urban riders who expect efficiency and speed.
- Available in stylish color themes to suit your personality.
- Durable wheels for better performance.
- Flip-flop hub that allows to switch between fixed-gear and single speed.
- Sturdy, handcrafted frame specifically designed for track cycling.
- Flat bars and comfortable seat provide easy riding.
- High quality, sensitive brakes
- Available in a single size.
- Inner tubes may burst and need replacement.
- Highly affordable fixie bike with specifically designed frame suitable for track cycling.
- Hand crafted steel frame with an angled fork.
The Takara Sugiyama Bike is a highly affordable fixie bike constructed from a handcrafted steel frame ideal for track cycling. Despite its lower price, you get a stylish fixie with versatile features.
The sturdy 32-hole alloy wheels and loud 700 x 32 tires, the Takara Sugiyama is capable of withstanding not-so-smooth urban roads. The bike is indeed one of the best budget fixies for urban commuters.
Alternative: Schwinn Stites Single-Speed Fixie Bike
- Size: 55 cm/Medium, 58 cm/Large
- Frame: Schwinn Steel Racing Frame
- Weight: 28 pounds
- Tires and Wheels: 700C
- Best for: City riding
- Sturdy frame and comfortable saddle.
- The 46 x 18 tooth gear ratio is great for urban cycling.
- Despite less weight, the bike is strong enough to get you through uneven urban surfaces.
- A flip-flop hub
- Front and rear brakes for better road grip.
- Brake quality is not impressive.
- Chain may break
- The instruction manual is not user friendly.
- Constructed with a Schwinn steel racing frame and fork for a comfortable and reliable ride.
- Excellent value for money.
The cool, and classic looking Schwinn Stites Single-Speed Fixie Bike is a great value for money (one of the best fixie bikes under $1,000). It is affordable, light in weight, stylish, and comfortable. What more do you expect from an excellent fixie bike?
This fixie bike comes with a flip-flop hub that gives riders the ability to switch between fixed gear and single speed. Designed for the urban commute, the front, and rear brakes provide extra grip and comfort to the riders.
Best Budget: Golden Cycles Single Speed Fixed Gear Bike
- Size: Available in a variety of sizes. 41 cm, 45 cm, 48 cm, 52 cm, 55 cm, 59 cm and 63 cm.
- Frame: High-Ten steel frame
- Weight: Varies with the Size
- Tires and Wheels: 45mm Deep V wheels and 700x25c Chaoyang tires
- Best for: Affordable urban commute
- Stylish bikes that differentiate Golden Cycles from other budget bikes.
- Flip-flop hub for easy switching.
- Durable frame
- Alloy caliper front and rear brakes
- Alloy riser handlebars.
- Vibrant color combinations
- The manufacturer does not have enough industry experience.
- Quality and style on a budget.
- High-tensile, Tig-welded steel frame is constructed to last.
The Golden Cycles Single Speed Fixed Gear Bike is the best budget fixie bike but since there are so many fixie bikes available within this range, what makes this one different?
The choice depends on a lot of small things when all other major features are the same. These small differences make this fixie the best budget choice, whether it is their vibrant color combinations, a comfortable saddle, or the alloy riser handlebars.
But it is not just about the small things; it is constructed with a High Tensile Steel Fully Tig-Welded frame that is built to last. The durable wheels and tires add to the bike’s life, and their extra width makes them ideal for the urban commute.
What is Fixie Bike?
A fixed gear bike, also known as a fixie, belongs to an exciting category of bikes. While they are not very different from a regular bike that you see on the road, there is one basic difference that sets fixies apart and that is the fixed-gear of this type of bike.
If you already have some basic understanding of a regular bike’s components, it would be much easier to understand a fixie bike, but even if you don’t know, understanding fixie bikes is easy.
Simply put, a fixie bike is a single-speed bike with a single gear, often known as the fixed gear, and hence the bike gets its name.
So what does having a single/fixed gear means?
This means that as you are riding a bike, you will have to rely on your pedals completely both for moving forward (or backward) and for stopping. A fixed-gear bike continues to move forward as long as you pedal it, but the minute you stop pedaling, your bike will stop.
Technically, in a regular bike, the cog (which is a metal piece that holds your chain) has ball bearings. With the help of these bearings, the wheel spins freely even when you are not pedaling.
Hence the bike continues to move, a phenomenon known as freewheeling. On the other hand, if you have a fixed gear bike, the cog is attached to the rear wheel. So your wheels only move as long as you are pedaling.
Apart from the technical difference, fixed gear bikes are more simplistic, which differentiates fixed gear bikes with other bikes.
And while almost all other bikes have evolved over the years, the fixie design hasn’t changed much in the past few years. Now that you are clear on what a fixie bike is, it is time to get started with a review of some of the best fixie bikes on the market.
Things to Consider When Buying a Fixie Bike
Almost every rider who enjoys biking in its purest form prefers to buy a fixie bike. But do you know what factors you need to consider making a purchase decision?
Here are 5 things that can help you make the right choice.
Your Existing Skill Level
Are you a cycling enthusiast who loves riding fixie bikes, or is this the first time you are making a purchase decision?
If you an enthusiast who enjoys fixed gear bikes, then even a bike without a flip-flop hub would be your best choice.
But if you are a beginner with little or no experience of fixie biking, you may have to choose a fixie bike a flip-flop hub so you can get the benefit of freewheeling as you stop pedaling for a little rest. Continuous pedaling can take a toll on your knees and leg muscles, especially if you are a beginner.
Your Purpose of Buying a Bike
How do you intend to use the bike? For urban commute? Or track cycling? Moreover, is your commute smooth and straightforward, or are you planning to learn some new tricks over your fixie bike?
Having a clarity of purpose that you want to accomplish with your fixie bike will help you make the right choice.
Perhaps the best part about fixie is that you can find it under every budget. You have the option to choose between really cheap and affordable fixie bikes (under $300) or some really cool fixies a little over $500.
Again your preference and purpose will determine the amount of money you are willing to spend on a fixie bike.
Quality of Frame
One of the most critical factors that you need to consider when choosing a fixie bike is the frame’s quality. You can find a variety of structures ranging from steel to aluminum.
Once again, how often you ride the bike and how you intend to use it will determine the type of frame you will choose. Aluminum frames are lighter, but they dent easily; however, high-tensile steel frames are more durable but a little more expensive.
Fixie bikes come in a variety of sizes that are designed to suit riders of varying heights, so you need to find out the best size according to your height and body type. In some fixies, the choice is simple as the bike comes in a standard size.
However, many other types of fixie bikes come in a variety of sizes. You can easily find out the right size by looking at the size guide.
But if you are a first-time fixie buyer, it is best to schedule an appointment to visit a bike store and physically test the bike. This will ensure that you pick the size that best suits your height and body type.
Since fixie bikes are one of the most simplistic types of bikes, the choice is fairly simple. But if you are new to cycling, it is best to use the knowledge of some experienced riders and combine it with your own intuition so you can make a more informed decision.
Fixie Bikes FAQ
Why Use a Fixie Bike Over a Multi Gear One?
By looking at what are fixie bikes, you would know that riding a fixie bike is difficult so why invest in one?
There are quite a few reasons why riders around the world use fixie bike instead of a multi-geared one.
Fixie Bike are Low on Maintenance
Since fixie bikes have a simplistic design and fairly easy mechanism, they have fewer components compared to a geared bike.
And because there are only a few moving parts, fixie bikes are generally low on maintenance. However, you need to keep a check on the tires, brakes, and chain and make sure they are working properly to avoid any accidents.
Fixie Bikes are More Affordable
Another factor that is in favor of fixie bikes is the price. Since the bike is simpler and has fewer parts, you can easily find a great fixie bike at a price as low as $300. And this low price does not mean poor quality. Fixie bikes as cheap as $250 are durable and sturdy and can serve you for years.
Another advantage comes with the low price of replacement parts. Since the parts are simple, you can easily replace it without breaking your bank.
Fixie Bikes Offer More Health Benefits
Riding a fixie bike is difficult. After all, your body is moving as long as your bike is. In that case, longer commutes can be tough.
But if you are a pro at cycling and a fitness enthusiast, you would rather look at this difficult commute’s benefits. Since riding a fixie bike is tough, it provides greater health benefits to your cardiac health and an improved overall fitness level.
Fixie Bikes are Lighter in Weight
Compared to geared bikes, fixie bikes are lighter in weight, and again, the reason is fewer components, which is another reason people use fixie bikes instead of geared bikes.
They are simply practical and easy to carry compared to other heavier types of bikes. Moreover, a fixed gear bike is less noisy compared to bikes with multiple gears.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Fixie Bikes
Fixed-gear bikes are simple, affordable, and lightweight, but they are not for every rider. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of fixie bikes.
They are Simple
Essentially, the fixie bikes are minimalist bikes. All that is included in a fixie bike are the essentials you need to ride, a pair of pedals, a seat, a chain, handlebars, and a pair of wheels and a single-gear (hence a fixed gear bike).
Light in Weight
The simple design and minimalistic features provide one of the biggest advantages to the riders, and that is the fixed-gear bikes are light in weight and hence faster. This is exactly why fixed gear bikes are the perfect choice for urban riders who prefer speed and comfort.
Low on Maintenance
Since the bike is essentially simple, there are no added components that enhance the bike’s performance. There are no fancy features, and accessories and when there is lesser gear means there is a lesser need for repair and maintenance.
So a fixie bike requires much less maintenance compared to geared-bikes. However, you will still need to keep a check on the brakes, chain, and tires for best performance.
Another advantage of fixie bikes is that they are pocket friendly. The simplistic design and fewer components make it a cheaper option compared to other types of bikes. You can find some of the best and most expensive fixie bikes within a decent price range.
Safer Option During Wet Conditions
Fixie bikes offer closer contact with the road, and with a fixed-gear and no freewheeling, a fixie bike is the safest bike, especially during wet conditions. If you live in an area that is likely to experience more rain throughout the year, it is best to go for a fixie bike.
If you have ridden a fixie bike, you would know that no other type of biking is as fun as riding a fixie bike. The control you get as you pedal and the connection with the road you experience is something you can only get when riding a fixie bike.
There are some other advantages of riding a fixie bike, including better cardiac health and improved general fitness levels.
The above-highlighted advantages come at a cost, so let’s look at some of the disadvantages of having a fixie bike.
Riding Uphill Challenging
Since there are no gears, going uphill is challenging. You will need to work a lot more when climbing uphill.
Going Downhill is Equally Tough
As much as you will have to work for riding uphill, you will have to put in a lot of effort as you go down the hill. Since freewheeling is not an option, you will have to continually pedal as you go down the hill. Having a flip-flop hub can help you resolve this issue.
Pressure on Knees
Constant pedaling puts a lot of strain on your knees, especially if you are a beginner, and steep surfaces are a part of your commute.
Having information regarding the pros and cons of a fixie bike will aid in making a more confident choice.
Are Fixie Bikes Better for Commuting?
Fixie bikes are an excellent choice for commuting. They are simple, light in weight, and low on maintenance. All this sounds perfect for commuting bikes, right?
But while fixie bikes are a great choice for commuting, that is not always the case. Here are a few considerations that you must keep in mind if you are planning to use fixie bikes for commuting.
Riding Fixie Bikes is Difficult on Steep Surfaces
If your commute involves riding uphill, beware that steep hills can be challenging with fixie bikes since there are no gears.
Moreover, it is not just challenging to go uphill, but going downhill is another major challenge. Since there is no freewheeling when riding fixie bikes, you will need to continually pedal your bike as you go down the hill.
Fixie Bikes Do Not Have Brakes
Another reason why fixie bikes may not always be the best choice for the commute is that they don’t have brakes. This is not only concern over the hill but it can also be a challenge as you commute through the city and you need to stop your bike suddenly.
Fixie Bikes are Heavier
Most of the fixie bikes you find on the market are made up of steel and aluminum, and while there are no more components, the frame itself is heavier that adds to the bike’s weight. You can find fixie bikes that are light in weight, but you will have to spend more for that.
Carrying Your Bag is Tough
If you use a fixie for daily commute to work, one of the biggest challenges is that you cannot carry your bag on a fixie unless you have a backpack. And since you have to constantly pedal, carrying a backpack makes your ride even more difficult.
Fixies are almost as good as commuting as a geared bike is but again it is a matter of personal preference, budget and how you intend to use the bike. When using a fixie bike for commuting, make sure you keep the over mentioned factors in mind.
Are Most Vintage Bikes Fixies?
Bikes produced between 1920 and 1990s are typically classified as vintage bikes (with earlier dates open to debate). Typically, the frame of vintage bikes was made up of steel which was considered to the best material for manufacturing cycling frames.
So yes most vintage bikes are fixie bikes; however, not all vintage bikes are fixie. As technology improved and more manufacturers entered the industry, they started producing multi-geared bikes, which are now vintage bikes.
Making a purchase decision is always difficult but with all the above information at hand, hopefully, your choice for the best fixie bike would not be a tough one. That said, always keep the following story in mind when you plan to buy a fixie bike.
Alex, aged 12, had no prior knowledge of bikes. He didn’t have a bike and used to borrow it from his friends from time to time. He would simply cruise through the town on one of his friend’s bike without caring whether it was a fixie or a geared bike.
Years later, he realized that it was fixie bikes that he enjoyed the most but when he decided to invest in one at the age of 35, not-caring-what-he-bikes is still his attitude. But he chose the one that he enjoys riding on. And this applies to you as well.
Whether you are a first timer or an experienced fixie rider, know that everyone has a different choice (which is of course backed by reasoning). So instead of relying on other people’s options, try the bike yourself and choose the one that is best for you.