What Is a Fixed Gear
Over the last few years, fixed-gear bicycles, or “fixies” as they’re referred to in the cycling community, have grown in popularity and are fast becoming mainstream.
Basically, the fixed-gear bicycle has a drivetrain but does not have a freewheel mechanism.
Very early on, the freewheel mechanism was designed; however, the fixed-gear
Of late, the fixie has garnered somewhat of a cult following among the population, particularly amongst urban cyclists commuting to and from work.
The benefit of having a freewheel is that it allows the pedals to remain stationary, which lets the rider “coast” without having to pedal; unfortunately, on a fixie, because there is no freehub, you can’t “coast.”
The vast majority of fixed-gear bikes only have one brake, and most are single-speed. Some fixed-gear bikes have no brake at all, which I must admit does take some time to get used to.
In a hurry? See our best inexpensive choices
What Are Fixed Gear Bikes Good For?
One of the primary features of a fixed gear
Another big attraction to the fixed gear
The chain also has less wear and tear, meaning they are much easier to maintain, and you don’t need to worry about replacing or damaging expensive parts like derailleurs.
What’s The Difference Between Fixed Gear And Single Speed Bikes?
To the untrained eye, both the fixed gear
Fixed gear bikes do not have a freewheel as opposed to their single-speed counterpart, which does. This means when you stop pedaling on a single-speed
Single-speed bikes have brakes like a conventional
Some people are very put off because fixies don’t have gears; it can be especially troublesome for a newbie to cycling.
The other downside to having no brakes is that it can put undue stress on your knees as you either need to slow down to stop by controlling the pedal stroke or put your feet out on the ground to stop.
Our Top Cheap Fixed Gear & Single Speed
Bikes under $300 or $500
1. Runner-Up: 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed
- Ergonomic frame with classic lines
- Ultra smooth 2” cruiser tires
- Available in multiple speeds to fit your lifestyle
- Ideal for casual to up-tempo rides across multiple types of terrain
- Not intended for high-speed or aggressive off-road rides
Cruise with style on the supremely comfortable Around The Block women’s or men’s
2. Runner-Up: 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed
- Lightweight Full Aluminum Frame and Fork
- 30mm Deep V Double-Walled Alloy Wheels
- Ride Fixed Gear or Freewheel with a Flip-Flop Hub
- Including front and rear brakes
- Suitable for commuters
The 6KU fixed gear
It’s an affordable
The 6KU is very flexible in terms of the components you can purchase to outfit your
Assembly is super easy, and only the most essential tools are needed to assemble the 6KU; plus, with a price tag of only a few hundred dollars is very affordable.
An amazon reviewer gave five stars and was very complimentary: “I was surprised to find zero reviews on this
Fixie bikes, in general, offer several features that other bikes don’t, and the 6KU doesn’t let you down. Brakes, in particular, are one area that riders can make their own.
Many riders use backpedaling to slow down or stop instead of using the regular rim brakes. Others like to take the rim brake off, which gives the
3. Best Premium Quality: Priority Ace Single Speed & Freewheel
- Weight: 10.0 kg
- Frame: Aluminium
- Fork: Carbon
- Wheels: 700c
- Brakes: Rim
A one-of-a-kind perspective dealt in two suits. Both feature an athletic geometry, wide flat bars for leverage, dual hand brakes, our signature race seat, Gates Carbon Drive, and unique flip-flop rear hub. The Ace of Clubs takes a recreational approach with features that drive its simplicity, while The Ace of Spades doubles down on performance.
4. Best Under $300: Golden Cycles Single Speed Fixed Gear
- FRAME: High Tensile Steel Fully Tig-Welded FORK: 1-1/8″ Steel Fork BRAKES: Front & Rear
- HEADSET: 1-1/8″ Neco Headset HANDLEBAR: Alloy Custom Riser Bars
- CHAINRING CRANK: Alloy 46T BOTTOM BRACKET: Sealed Bearing 68mm
- WHEELS: 45mm Deep Alloy Rims HUBS: 32Hole Sealed Bearing Flip Flop Hub
- TIRES: 700c x 25 Kenda PEDALS: BMX Platform
The Golden cycles fixie is one of the most popular fixed-gear bikes on the market today. The
Many owners of the Golden Cycles Fixie report that the
There are some cons to point with, the primary one being a hard saddle which is not ideal for long rides. The Kenda tires are not the best quality, if I’m honest, especially if you’re looking to go off-road.
With a 4.5 star total rating on Amazon, the
Overall it’s an excellent
5. Best Entry Level: Retrospec Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear
- Includes a flip-flop hub so you can ride fixed or with a freewheel
- Premium hand-built, tig-welded, high-tensile strength steel frame absorbs the bumps in the road and is as durable as can be
- Comes standard with 30mm deep-v rims, Kenda Kwest 700 x 28C tires, KMC chain, VP freestyle pedals, and two sets of brakes
- All of the components required for a super smooth ride. All of our bikes have a weight limit of 220 lbs.
- Includes all the tools you need for building and maintaining your own bicycle
The Harper Fixie comes in several different colors, and they offer a large variety of combinations in terms of components and color combos. The quality of the paint is second to none and has a lovely gloss finish.
The frame is made from incredibly lightweight, durable steel, and the lack of moving parts is a massive bonus when it comes to maintaining the
The Harper Single-Speed is an incredibly inexpensive
There are a few negative reviews out there, but overall, the Harper Single-Speed is a good alternative; one happy customer commented, “I will rate this
At the end of the day, the Harper Single-Speed is an excellent entry-level
6. Also Great: Kilo TT Mercier Reynolds 520
- Single Speed Reynolds 520 Cromoly Steel Frame and Fork
- 16t 1/2 x 3/32 single speed cog
- Flip Flop Hub for Fixed Gear and Single Speed Freewheel ( freewheel not included)
- Double Walled Alloy Rims with Machined Braking Surface
- High Flange Hubs with Sealed Ball Bearing Axle
Kilo TT Mercier Reynolds 520 presents the rider/consumer with several features that make this
The bottom line is the Kilo TT Mercier Reynolds 520 is an excellent
What To Look For When Buying A Budget Fixed Gear
Whether you’re new to fixed gear bikes or an experienced rider, many factors need to be considered before spending your hard-earned cash.
Fixed gear bikes are straightforward to maintain due to the limited number of expensive moving parts such as derailleurs, gear shifters, twin cranks, and even brakes in many cases. But in saying that, you need to look for a
Brakes are a vital feature to consider, and obviously, they offer an amount of safety and peace of mind for the rider. Many fixed-gear riders stop by using their feet to drag along the ground. I suggest looking for a fixie that comes equipped with either one or two brakes.
What is the primary reason most people out there ride a
A Great Training Tool
Fixies are an excellent training tool, and if you’re a rider who is struggling with an imperfect technical pedaling stroke, then the fixie is for you. The reason being is that your pedal stroke combines directly to the rear wheel, so feedback is instant and smooth.
Your ability to “spin” is vastly improved because of the need to pedal continuously. “Spinning” refers to pedaling at high revolutions, generally between 85-100 rpm; spinning is a much more efficient way to ride when compared to grinding in lower gears.
Bike Or Fixie?
One factor about the fixed gear
The primary reason track bikes don’t use or need brakes is because they are really only riding in one direction on a closed track.
Track bikes are also designed to be incredibly lightweight and aero for maximum speed and efficiency. Most governing bodies prohibit using brakes for indoor track bikes because the races are fast and the surfaces are smooth, which helps encourage more exciting races.
Choosing the correct gear ratio is of paramount importance; you want to find a balance that allows you to get up the hills easily enough and enable you to control your descent back down.
When it comes to choosing cranksets, it’s always best to select cranks that are a little bit shorter in length than ones you’re typically used to.
The reason for this is quite simple; the shorter the crank arm is, the faster you can spin, and as mentioned above, spinning is an incredibly effective way to cycle for long distances.
Other Important Factors
As the name suggests, fixies only come equipped with one gear, so when it comes time to purchase your fixie, choosing the best components is essential.
Factors that you must take into consideration are:
- Where you intend to ride your
- How long will you be riding
- What kinds of distances will be you riding
- How often you plan to ride your fixie
- The terrain; is it flat or hilly?
- What are your current
- Are you an experienced “fixie” rider or a newbie to the sport
As we’ve mentioned, earlier fixies are an excellent way for newbies to get into the sport of cycling, and because the bikes offer stylish designs, they are fun to ride. I love the fact that you can upgrade nearly every component on a fixed gear
The only thing that will hold you back is your imagination; the sky’s the limit when it comes to transforming your fixie into a beast that separates your
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Fixies Bad For Your Knees?
Riding a fixed-gear bike can put a lot of stress on the knees, especially if the fixie you are riding does not have brakes.
This forces you to use your legs to stop the bike, putting a tremendous amount of stress on your knees. However, in saying this, once you are used to riding a fixie, braking becomes much easier.
Are Fixies Good For Beginners?
Most cycling experts and coaches recommend a bike that allows you to change gears for a beginner.
Having gears is more comfortable to brake and slow down, but it also allows you to ride much further, increasing not only your fitness but your riding experience too. Once comfortable on a geared bike, then a fixie can be a lot of fun.
How Fast Can You Go On A Fixed Gear Bike?
The vast majority of fixed gear bikes are built to a higher gear ratio, such as 3:1. This is because it’s tough to “coast” on the downhills; the downside is it’s much tougher heading back up. Your average speed is probably going to be somewhere around 10-15mph.
Can Fixie Bikes Go Up Hills?
Yes and no; Although you can pedal uphill, fixed gear bikes are not ideal. They are used on the track because of their simplicity and the fact you can produce high speeds with fixies. Overall I’d steer clear of the hills if I were you.
Overall, fixies are a fun way of riding a
I would highly recommend outfitting your fixie with at least one set of brakes; it’s better to be safe than sorry, and after all riding, your
Fixies are an inexpensive way to get into cycling and promote a smoother pedal stroke and provide a fun, energetic workout.