Also known as fixies, fixed gear bikes are some of the most popular models of bikes which are available. They come in a variety of styles and can be found in bike models suitable for riders of any experience level. They’re also easier to care for and maintain and can make riding a breeze.
These bikes are fantastic for a nice relaxed ride, but the market is large and it can be difficult to know if you’re getting the right bike for you.
We’ve picked out some of the best models of fixed-gear bikes and reviewed each of them. We’ll highlight their key features, ideal uses, and the pros and cons of every model. That way, you’ll be able to buy with confidence.
We’ve also provided a short buying guide at the end of the article, and some additional information upfront to make sure you genuinely have everything you need to make an educated decision.
Let’s get started!
What is a Fixed Gear Bike?
A fixed gear bike is a bike which doesn’t have a gearing system that allows you to change the transmission of energy between the pedals and the wheels of your bike. A gearing system also allows you to coast, so on a true fixie you won’t to be able to coast either.
These bikes are very simple machines, but they’re great for getting from A to B. They come in a range of styles, but you’re most likely to see them with a road bike frame, and with variable options for tires. People use fixies for all kinds of riding, but if you’ve only ever used a geared bike, there can be a bit of a learning curve with them.
Why Buy a Fixed Gear Bike?
Fixed gear bikes may seem like they are less versatile initially, but that’s far from true. With practice and the required muscle, you can do just as much on a fixie bike as you can on a geared bike.
Fixie bikes can also be a better fitness choice. They help you build more muscle as the bike isn’t doing as much of the work for you. They also force you to learn greater leg-control, and how to pedal at widely variable beats and speeds.
Pedaling is also smoother on a fixie. That’s not because fixed gear bikes truly eliminate the pressure-free part of the pedaling arc, as some people believe, but rather because the motion of a fixed gear bike is more likely to carry the pedal through the loose section without losing any momentum.
Many people are mostly drawn to fixie bikes because they are a low maintenance, easy to clean, easy to repair option. Owning a fixie rather than a geared bike can really cut down on the long-term costs of bike ownership, both in terms of time and money.
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The Best Fixed Gear Bikes
Now that we’ve talked about some reasons why you might want a fixed gear bike, it’s time to take a look at some of the best options which are available right now. We’ve chosen bikes for a variety of tastes, skill levels, and personal preferences.
As we’re highlighting the features of each bike, reading this review can help you find a bike right now, and you’ll also learn more about what to look for in your next fixie as well.
1. Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike – Best OverallPure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike
This bike offers a lot of the best features of a fixie bike, namely low maintenance requirements and lower overall weight, without being a true fixie. This bike does have a single gearing option which allows riders to coast, and this makes riding downhill significantly easier.
Pure’s Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Bike is made from a lightweight (31.4 lbs) but durable aluminum alloy. This means that it’s strong enough to withstand the occasional fall or minor crash without any problems. TIG-welded seams also make it much less likely for the seams to fail, which is the most common weak-point on most bikes.
This bike is designed with a high saddle and lower handlebars. As with racing bikes and road bikes, this fixie will put you in a highly aerodynamic position and reduce the work you need to do in order to gain speed. Between this design and the large road tires, this fixie can be a real speedster.
2. 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike – Best Commuter Bike6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike
This is another fixie which allows coasting, even though a true fixed gear bike would not. This isn’t a bad thing though, particularly if you’re trying to commute in a hilly city!
Made from an aluminum alloy, the seams on this bike’s frame have additional reinforcements which makes them stronger than typical bike seams, and this reduces one of the bigger points of failure without adding to the weight of the frame.
At only 19 lbs, this lightweight bike is easy to get up to speed and maintains its speed well. Its braking system is reliable and easy to use, without requiring a lot of hand strength. This combination makes a bike which can stop on a dime and is just as easy to get back up to speed.
3. Raleigh Bikes Back Alley Fixed Gear Steel City Bike – Best Classic DesignRaleigh Bikes Back Alley Fixed Gear Steel City Bike
Raleigh is something of a household name in the United States, and its bikes match the name with classic design and construction principles. This bike is no exception. It doesn’t have many frills, but it does have a comfortable saddle, a slightly higher handlebar profile, and thicker puncture-resistant tires.
It’s also distinct in that the bike frame is made from steel, but it’s still a lightweight bike overall. It weighs in at 25.4 lbs, which is slightly heavier than the lightest adult bikes, but it’s far from being heavy.
The fact that the tires are thicker and designed to handle typical street debris you find in urban and suburban areas adds to the overall durability. This makes it a good rural bike too, as it can handle gravel better than most city bikes, and is less likely to get a flat when riding over screws and other sharp debris.
4. Golden Cycles Single Speed Fixed Gear Bike with Front & Rear Brakes – Best for Long DistancesGolden Cycles Single Speed Fixed Gear Bike with Front & Rear Brakes
This bike combines some of the best features of other fixies – lightweight design, larger wheels, and low handlebar design – to create a well-balanced bike which will serve you well over longer distances.
It’s not an ultralight bike, but it is balanced between the low weight you need for speed and the slightly heavier weight you need to help balance the bike and lower its center of gravity. The lower handlebar design and raised saddle help with this by concentrating your weight in a lower area.
The result is a highly maneuverable bike with both front and rear brakes for enhanced control. This bike is made from durable steel, which is another point in its favor for longer rides and commutes. The TIG-welded seams are strong and reliable, and the frame itself is unlikely to crack or dent, even if you fall.
5. Retrospec Bicycles Mantra V2 Single Speed Fixed Gear BicycleRetrospec Bicycles Mantra V2 Single Speed Fixed Gear Bicycle
This slightly older model of fixie comes with high quality construction for a lower price than you’d expect from this quality. This means that you get a better and more reliable bike, as well as one which is easier to ride, and affordable.
As with other bikes we’ve discussed in this article so far, this isn’t a true fixie. Instead, as a single speed bike it offers coasting, which can make it an easier bike to ride. The front and rear brake design makes this a good bike for urban riding, but the design is also durable enough for rural roads with the addition of thicker tires.
It also has the advantage of being a highly customizable bike, and is available in 8 colors. Sizing availability varies as this is an older model, but there are usually several sizes to choose from. However, the tubes and tires on this bike aren’t the best, so you may want to budget to replace these.
6. Schwinn Stites Single-Speed Fixie Bike – Best High EndSchwinn Stites Single-Speed Fixie Bike
Schwinn is another iconic brand, and this fixie is no exception to the brand’s usual quality. Its design is bright, beautiful, and highly effective. It comes with a good set of tires which are durable and designed to last. Spokes are strong and unlikely to become damaged with regular use.
The braking system is particularly effective on this model. The dual caliper system, combined with front and rear wheel braking, is consistent and easy to use. The bike is also designed with tall aluminum rims, which improve braking smoothness, and prevent shuddering and vibration.
The urban unisex saddle is reasonably comfortable, but you may still want to replace it with a saddle with more padding.
However, this bike is a little more expensive than some of the alternatives, so it’s best for consumers who already know they like fixies, or who are fans of the Schwinn brand.
7. Vilano Rampage Fixed Gear Fixie Single Speed Road Bike – Best Simple DesignVilano Rampage Fixed Gear Fixie Single Speed Road Bike
This bike is a plainer black design, but don’t let its looks fool you. This simple bike is a workhorse and a joy to ride. You can switch between a true fixed gear bike as well as a single speed (coasting bike) with ease. It’s also designed to make pedaling easier.
The height difference between the saddle and the pedals is ergonomic, which maximizes the power you can put into each pedaling motion. The lower handlebars are aerodynamic, which reduces drag and makes it easier to accelerate.
The reliable braking design also lets you stop quickly, which is perfect for commuting or riding on crowded city streets.
The high walled wheels are matched by the same style of anodized hubs, which makes for an attractive wheel design, and adds a slight touch of flair to this bike’s otherwise plain style. You will probably want to upgrade the saddle, however, as its padding is a little thin.
8. Big Shot Bikes | Prime-Line | Fixie | Track Bike | Single Speed or Fixed Gear Options – Best Unisex BikeBig Shot Bikes | Prime Line | Fixie | Track Bike | Single Speed or Fixed Gear Options
This design makes earns the title of best unisex thanks to a balanced design which makes this bike flexible for differing heights and strengths of men and women. The unisex saddle may require an upgrade, but if you need to share your bike, this is a good option.
You get the option of a true fixed gear bike, with no coasting but added control through the pedals, or a single speed fixie which can coast downhill and across lone flat areas. This flexibility makes this bike a lot easier to ride, and also makes it suitable for a wider variety of terrain types.
This bike is designed for a racetrack but comes with a hint of nostalgia from the classic design. It is meant to look as sleek as it rides, and it succeeds on both counts.
The slimmer frame may look delicate at first, but it’s highly durable. Reducing the width of the frame bars also reduces the overall weight and drag, meaning that this bike can achieve impressive acceleration with the right cyclist on board.
9. Retrospec Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike – Best CraftmanshipRetrospec Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike
If craftsmanship is a primary concern for you as a consumer, this bike might be the best option. This is because the frame is hand-constructed, with reliable TIG-welded seams and other strong construction principles, meaning that you get a more durable and reliable frame than average – even better than other frames built using similar techniques.
This bike is also designed to offer an incredibly smooth ride. While it doesn’t have a true suspension system, this bike is as bump-free as you can get without one.
However, this means that this bike tops out at 220 lbs. That’s a respectable weight, but still slightly lower than you can get from some other bike options. This bike is best for people who are looking for a good commuter bike or racing bike, but it is not ideal for users who are looking to lose some weight.
One major advantage with this system is that in addition to its superior craftsmanship, the bike comes with all the tools you’ll need for assembly and regular maintenance.
10. Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Bike – Best Large BikeTakara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Bike
The first thing you’ll probably notice about the Takara Sugiyama fixie is its size. This is a longer bike which stretches out so it can accommodate taller and heavier cyclists with ease. The longer profile changes maneuverability, meaning it requires a slightly different technique, without making it either easier or more difficult to guide.
The frame and fork are both TIG welded, which adds durability to the seams and reduces the likelihood of the seams becoming a point of failure in the event of a crash or a fall.
It also has the urban adaptation of both front and rear hand brakes. Its design allows you to stop quickly, without shuddering or experiencing any vibration.
However, this is a true fixie, so you aren’t going to be able to coast on this bike. This means that this bike requires a slightly higher skill level, and even experienced cyclists will probably find themselves gaining additional muscle if they ride this bike regularly. This can make this bike a wonderful training aid, or a truly difficult bike, depending on your temperament and how many hills you ride.
11. Throne Phantom Series (Limited) – Complete Track BikeThrone Phantom Series (Limited) Complete Track Bike
It’s easy to see why this limited-edition bike is in such high demand. It’s a fixie which combines the aesthetic appeal of classical road bikes with the thicker more in your face qualities of a good mountain bike. In truth, it’s a track bike, and it’s good for experienced cyclists who want to add something a little different to their typical bike riding routine.
However, as a limited-edition bike, when its initial model run is sold out, you can expect this bike’s price to increase significantly. It may not be worth the price, except for true biking enthusiasts.
This bike comes with a particularly thin saddle. This is fine for cyclists who want to ride this bike as a trick bike, but might be uncomfortable for commuters and more casual cyclists. Consider budgeting for a new saddle, unless you’re only going to ride this bike occasionally.
However, the aluminum alloy frame, carbon alloy fork, and other details on this bike are impressively durable. This is a bike which will see you through many years of use, as long as you maintain it properly.
Don’t just take our word for the best-fixed gear bikes. This buying guide is designed to help you choose the right kind of bike for you, as well as which features might require an upgrade from the standard.
Single-speed vs. Fixed Gear
The biggest factor you’ll need to consider when buying a fixie is whether you want a true fixie or a single speed bike. The primary difference between the two is that a single-speed bike offers a mode which allows for coasting, while a true fixie will require you to keep pedaling, even when riding downhill.
Most bikes on this list are single speed bikes. These bikes are generally more popular than true fixies, mostly because there is less of a learning curve in riding them. That’s not to say that riding a fixie is difficult. Rather, riding a true fixie is quite different from riding your childhood 7-speed.
If you’re looking for a bike as a way of becoming more active, remembering some childhood nostalgia, or even for riding with your children, you’ll probably want a single speed. Single-speed bikes have the advantage of requiring less maintenance and repair than a geared bike, but they operate similarly to a geared bike.
Both kinds of fixie will ultimately encourage more muscle growth, which makes them great training bikes and fitness bikes. Just make sure you get the right height for your build and fitness level.
Get a professional fit at a bike store if you aren’t sure which height is right for you. They’ll be able to advise you on the height, style of bike, and other details to make sure you get the right model.
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Fork & Frame
The fork on your bike is the part which holds the front wheel. On some bikes, the fork doesn’t do much, just providing steering leverage and absorbing some of the shock and vibration from impact. Others have their own suspension systems, which absorb considerably more of the shock.
For most people riding a fixie, a road fork will do. If you’re looking for a strong metal, then aluminum alloy, steel, or a carbon alloy are good choices. It’s not uncommon for your fork to be made from a different metal to the rest of the frame as the fork will take more stress than the frame.
On a fixie, you probably won’t need a BMX-style or other highly specialized fork. However, if you have pre-existing injuries, are purchasing the bike for a senior, or are concerned about too much vibration for other reasons, a suspension fork may be a worthwhile investment.
The more specialized the fork, and the higher quality the materials, the more expensive both the fork and the bike will be.
For your frame, there are two ideal factors: lightweight and durability. This is why most bike frames are currently made from aluminum alloy. However, a thinner steel frame might be a better choice if you’re likely to be riding in more technically difficult areas, or if you want something which is a little more durable overall.
Also look for the seam quality. TIG-welded seams are a good option, but you should also look to make sure the seams re smooth, without any gaps or excess bubbling.
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Most fixies have relatively low handlebars like a race bike or a road bike. If you have a back injury, look for taller handlebars, or consult with a bike expert to see if your bike can be modified for a more upright riding position.
Longer handlebars offer you more leverage, but also make the bike itself wider and more unwieldy. Some people prefer up or downturned handlebars because gripping the extensions provides additional leverage.
Tires and Wheels
Wheels on a fixie should be large. High profile rims can give you extra braking space, as well as a touch of added flash and flair. The large wheels themselves make accelerating easier and improve the rate of energy transfer between the pedals and the wheels.
Tires should be moderately thick on most fixies. They will generally come with road tires, which are tall, thin, and have minimal tread. This style of tire offers a lot of speed but doesn’t have as much grip or control. You can sometimes trade these tires for a version with better grip, but you should never exceed the width of tire the wheels are designed for.
Adding rim tape can extend the life of your tires. Look for tires which are made from high-quality rubber. If they feel cheap in your hand, they probably are and will require more maintenance and earlier replacement.
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Brakes are one of the most important safety features of any bike, but the kind of brakes you need depends on how you will ride the bike.
If you’re a relatively casual cyclist and are looking for a fixie due to the lower maintenance costs, you might be alright with a single brake, usually on the front.
However, if you’re considering racing your fixie, commuting with it, taking a technically difficult route, or you live in an urban area, you should look for a dual brake system. Dual brakes are mounted one break on each wheel. The front brake is softer, allowing you to slow down in a controlled manner; the rear brake has a firmer grip, which helps you stop the bike quicker.
Brakes also require occasional tightening and eventually require replacement. It’s a good idea to perform a brake check every time you ride, just in case. Brakes are an area where higher quality is almost never a bad thing. Buy the best brakes you can afford, and consider upgrading occasionally when they wear out.
There you have it. Not only have we looked at 11 of the best-fixed gear bike models on the market right now, but we’ve also looked at what makes a good fixie, and why you might want a fixie rather than another type of bike.
Keep the tips in our buying guide in mind even if you decide to shop for a bike which isn’t on our list. These features will help you pick a good bike, regardless of the brand or style of bike you purchase.
Overall, our top pick bike, the Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike wins due to its solid frame design, durable fork, and effective dual braking system. It might not have the best in every single feature, but it has a combination which works well together for the best overall bike.
Hopefully, you’re not only more confident about purchasing one of these bikes, but also in making an educated decision for your next bike in more general terms.