Who knew there were so many types of bikes?
You probably rode something similar to a fixed gear bike, or fixie bike, when you were a kid. They don’t have gears and require a little more work to get going and stopping.
I wasn’t sure if a fixie bike was for me so I headed out to give a few a try.
I was pleasantly surprised! I had never felt so involved in a bike ride.
It’s more than just the scenery or getting from point A to point B. It’s about feeling your feet pedal and progress. I felt in control and alive.
While I don’t always rely on a fixie bike, I do love the trips that I get to ride one on. Check out my favorite cheap fixie bikes, along with a few tips on getting the most out of your fixie experience.
1. Pure Fix Original
Want color choices? How about nearly 30 of them?
The Pure Fix has something for everyone in their cheap fixed gear bikes.
The bikes also have a flip-flop rear hub that gives you plenty of flexibility when it comes to riding your bike the way you want.
I really love riding the fixed gear, especially because there’s a front brake present for emergencies. That way, I don’t have to focus on any fancy stops. I can instead focus on my riding.
I was more than satisfied with my purchase.
2. Critical Cycles Urban Road Bike
This bike impressed me right away.
It’s hand-built steel frame makes it unique, along with the horizontal dropouts found in its design.
I loved that it came ready to assemble and included all the tools I would need to get the job done.
The bike handled really well. The ride was smooth, even when I hit a few bumps along the way!
Overall, I would recommend this bike to both new and experienced fixie bike riders. It has a little something for everyone.
3. Vilano Single Speed Road Bike
Vilano makes some really amazing cheap single speed bikes, so I was excited to check out this model.
The design looked great, and it functioned pretty well.
I would recommend this for anyone interested in trying a fixed gear bike for the first time or a single speed since there’s a flip-flop hub.
While some components of the bike might not feel like the highest of quality, it’s a great starter bike that can teach you want you need to know about riding a fixie.
4. Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Bike
Takara offers some great bikes, including this fixed version with front and rear hand brakes for your convenience.
It has 700c alloy wheels. It also features a sporty design and a strong frame.
The bike shipped neatly, which isn’t always the case with bikes that need to be assembled. I’ve found this bike to be very fast, light and comfortable.
For the price, you really can’t beat it. If you need a good commuter bike, definitely consider this one!
5. Retrospec Mantra Fixie Bicycle
I loved the style of this bike! The available color options were awesome.
It had plenty of great functional features as well, such as platform pedals, a kickstand mount, and a water bottle mount.
This bike had it all to begin with, and then plenty of extras really made it stick out.
The only issue was that there weren’t any assembly instructions with the bike. I did have to do a couple Internet searches to make sure that I had things right, but eventually, I did get it put together.
6. Vilano Rampage
The Vilano fixie is another flip-flop hub sporting bike, allowing you to change it from a fixed gear bike to a single speed bike in a flash.
This model includes free platform pedals and features a bright color scheme that’s sure to attract some attention.
I’ve really put this bike through a beating since I got it a few weeks ago. I’ve taken it down some pretty rough trails and it’s held up just fine. I’m incredibly impressed with this bike.
7. 6KU Aluminum
The design of this bike is simple, yet sleek.
It’s not the cheapest fixie bike, but the price is fair for what you're getting.
You can pick from 10 different colors, which is always fun and not offered by many other manufacturers.
The bike is also very lightweight, which is a huge plus for me because I have to lug it up four flights of stairs every day.
I found that the bike performed much better than anticipated. I still use it regularly as my simple errand bike.
8. Critical Cycles Harper Coaster Commuter Bike
This is a great bike for a rider who wants the ease of a cruise, but the sleek and modern look of a fixie.
When you want to look trendy but don’t want to be inconvenienced, this bike offers the best combo.
I’ve found myself enjoying riding just a bit more when I use this bike. It never gives me any trouble. I haven’t upgraded anything, either.
Straight from the box, it’s a great bike to get you through your casual biking needs. You’ll get everything you need to put this bike together.
9. Takara Renzo Fixie Bike
Need a bright bike that you won’t miss?
The Takara Renzo is fun and bright with an aluminum frame that keeps the bike light, while a steel fork helps to eliminate the bumps and dips in the road.
I’ve had this bike for a couple years now, and it’s holding up just fine. You’re getting a steal for the price, as long as you maintain the bike.
If it lasts as long as mine has, you’ll be more than happy with your Takara experience!
10. Kent Thruster Men's Fixie Bike
Here’s a bright and bold bike that will have everyone looking your way.
It has a steel frame and fork, making it a bit heavy, but incredibly durable. It also features alloy brakes in the front and rear.
I love riding this bike to work. My trip isn’t too long or difficult, but I just seem to enjoy it so much more on the Kent!
If you stick mostly with sidewalks or paved streets, give this bike a try. It really helps you feel connected to biking.
What is a Fixie Bike?
A fixie bike is the common term given to a fixed-wheel or a fixed-gear bicycle. A fixie bike features a drivetrain without a freewheel mechanism.
In recent years, the fixie bike has become a popular alternative for many dedicated bicyclists, as they offer a few unique advantages compared to bikes with several gears.
Are Fixie Bikes Good for Commuting?
Yes, cheap fixie bikes are great for commuting!
Part of the reason that many like to ride a bike is for the exercise benefit. If you’re trying to lose a bit of weight by biking, a fixie bike can help.
Because the wheel can only turn when the pedals are going around, you’re forced to stay in motion, even when going downhill.
Cheap fixed gear bikes are also easy to maintain. They have less parts than a multi-gear bike, meaning that there’s less of a chance for something to go wrong with your bike.
This can save you time and money. Also, cheap fixie bikes keep you more involved in your ride.
You have to remain in the moment and concentrate on your motions. This will help you to enjoy the ride while feeling connected to what’s going on around you.
This connection and intense focus on your actions will also keep you safer. It’s hard to zone out while on a fixie bike, or be taken by surprise.
Are Fixie Bikes Hard to Ride?
If you’ve never ridden a fixie bike before, it can take a little getting used to. But once you adjust to the simplicity of it, riding a fixie bike is incredibly easy to do.
The concept is simple. When you pedal, the bike moves. When you stop, so does the bike.
The part that some people struggle with is staying in control on hills, both traveling up and down. This is just a matter of technique and endurance, though. Once you conquer a few inclines and descents, you’ll be a pro in no time.
Fixie Bike Riding Tips
In order to help you get the most out of your fixie bike experience, I’ve put together a few of my top tips for new riders and the urban cyclist.
Choose the Right Gear
If you want to find the best cheap fixie, you’ll want to make sure that your bike is using the best gear for the terrain you’re about to tackle. If you’re headed to rough, steep terrain, you’ll want to choose a gear that will help you climb to the top of the hills but will be heavy enough to keep you in control when it’s time to go back down. You'll want to pick a gear that keeps you safe and keeps your ride enjoyable.
Handle Like a Pro
Cheap fixie bikes take a little more finesse to manage. When pedaling over rocky and rough roads, make sure that you hover just a little above your seat. Let your knees absorb the impact and then sit back down once you hit smoother ground. Also, when making turns, avoid leaning too much. This can cause your pedals to scrape on the ground, which can be dangerous for a number of reasons. Instead, make wider arcs when changing course.
Choose the Right Frame
While this is always an important tip for bike riding, it’s even more important when riding a fixie bike. You want to make sure that you can easily reach the pedals and the ground when stopped. If your bike is too small or too large for you, you won’t be able to control it safely.
Wear the Right Clothing
You’ll always want to be wearing shorts or tight pants when riding a fixie bike. Wearing loose clothing poses a risk as fabric can become caught in the chain and result in a crash or injury.
How to Stop
If you’re used to riding a geared bike, knowing how to stop on a fixie bike might not be something you’ve picked up. In order to stop, you’ll have to lock up the rear wheel. Once locked, you’ll be able to skid to a stop.
To do this, simply pedal backward. This will stop the rear wheel from moving. You can then balance without the bike moving by applying even pressure to both pedals.
When you’re ready to go again, lift up the back wheel so that you can position the pedals in a comfortable position, hop on, and pedal off.
Fixie Bikes Vs Single Speed
While cheap fixies and single speed bikes are similar, there are a few differences between the two.
Both types of bikes are low maintenance, lightweight, and come in under budget. In fact, it’s easy to find cheap fixie bikes under 200.
They have a custom appearance and don’t offer derailleurs, shifters or multiple chain rings.
However, a fixie bike has limited or no braking capabilities, making them a bit difficult to ride as a beginner. You also can’t coast down a hill or cruise without pedaling.
The tires are usually very skinny, which gives you a natural feel for your riding surface.
A single speed bike does allow you to brake, and they’re easy to ride. These are usually the types of bikes children learn on.
You can coast along with your momentum and remain in a comfortable sitting position. Your ride should be soft and smooth for the most part, even if you’re riding on a bumpy surface.
Pro and Cons of a Fixed Gear Bike
Still not sure if a fixie bike is for you? Take a look at this list of pros and cons which should be able to help you make a decision.
Simple Riding Style
Without gears or shifters, riding a fixie bike is about as simple as it gets. When you want to move forward, pedal forward. When you want to slow down or go backwards, pedal backward. It’s a very engaged riding experience that lets you get the most out of your biking. You’ll feel completely in control. Because there’s less involved with the bike, you’ll also find plenty of cheap fixie bikes under 150.
Movement Never Stops
If you bike with fitness in mind, riding a fixie bike is a great advantage. Because you have to constantly remain in motion to keep your bike moving, you’ll always be burning calories and working muscles. There aren't many other types of physical exercise that keep you moving as much as riding a fixie bike does.
If you’re riding on flat surfaces the majority of the time, you can build up some pretty impressive speed with your fixie bike. They’re incredibly lightweight and can really fly. Just make sure you know how to handle your bike before heading out to busy streets.
Because there are so few parts on a fixie bike, you'll spend less time at the bike shop and more time on the road enjoying the ride. Cheap fixies are very low maintenance. If they do need a repair, the cost is typically low.
Takes Some Practice
Very few people can hop onto a fixie bike and have the motions down in a few seconds. It takes a little training and work to understand how to ride these types of cheap single speed bikes. If you’re in need of a bike that will allow you to hop on and go, a fixie might not be the best option.
You’ll be working the entire time you’re on a fixie bike. You have to keep pedaling or you won’t move. Also, if you’re hoping to bike to lose weight, there are other options out there that might help you reach your goal a bit quicker. For example, a hybrid mountain bike allows you to take on more difficult trails and give your muscles a workout they won’t soon forget.
A fixie bike works best on flat and smooth surfaces. If you’re just heading down the street on a flat sidewalk, a fixie bike is great. However, most people cover a wide range of terrains while biking. If you don’t want to be limited to the sidewalk, a fixie bike might not be the best option for you.
While there isn’t much maintenance with a fixed gear bike, you do need to keep a lookout for slacking chains that can add a lot of stress to your bike. If you’ve ever dealt with a snapped chain before, you know how frustrating this can be.
Overall, a fixed gear bike can allow you to get moving quickly while remaining completely engaged in your biking experience. Like the folding mountain bike, fixie bikes are beginning to make a trendy statement in the biking industry and are proving to be more than just a fad.
If you’re looking for a unique riding experience, a fixed gear bike is a great option to consider.