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Fixed gear bikes which are often referred to as fixies have been around for some time. They are becoming a rare breed of bikes which is making it harder to find a good fixie bike. Fixies are looked at as the hipster style of bike. They are common among a specific crowd but not commonplace in the entire cycling community. Since fixies are becoming less common, many bike shops don’t carry these bikes. Due to this, it is very common to buy fixies online or used through private sellers or eBay rather than from a bike shop.
In addition to many shops not carrying these bikes, many bike shops don’t have the tools or know-how to work on these bikes. So, if you get a fixed gear bike make sure you find a good bike shop that knows how to work on your specific fixed gear bike.
What is a Fixie Bike?
A fixed gear bike, commonly referred to as a fixie in the fixed gear community, is a bike with 1 gear that is fixed. Having a fixed gear means that the pedal movement is fixed to the movement of the back wheel. This means you can pedal both forward and backward and there isn’t a brake on the pedals.
When you pedal forward the rear wheel spins forward. When you pedal backward, the rear wheel spins backward. This allows you to slide and do tricks on the bike which is why fixies cater to a specific crowd.
It’s worth noting that when riding a fixie your pedaling is fixed to the rotation of the back wheel, so, you can’t stop pedaling to coast while the bike is moving. Riding a fixie can be more tiring for this reason. If you stop pedaling with force you’ll slide and if you try to coast the pedals will push you up and off the saddle. This can be very dangerous and shouldn’t be attempted.
Since you can essentially brake with the pedals, many people remove the rear brake from the handlebars. However, unlike a brake where you barely have to press down, with a fixed gear bike, you have to apply enough force to stop the back wheel from spinning, while the momentum is pushing you forward. This makes you go into a slide. This can be very difficult so, many people prefer to add or keep a rear brake on their fixie.
The 5 Best Fixie Brands of 2021
- State Bicycle Co.
- Golden Cycles
Top 7 Fixie Bikes of 2021
- Cinelli Tipo Pista Track Bike (Editor’s Pick)
- State Bicycle The Undefeated II Edition
- State Bicycle Co. 4130 Fixie Bikes
- 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie (Best Budget Fixie)
- Schwinn Kedzie Single-Speed Fixie Road Bike, Lightweight Frame for City Riding
- Golden Cycles Single Speed Fixed Gear Bike with Front & Rear Brakes
- Retrospec Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Bike
1. Cinelli Tipo Pista Track Bike Review
Cinelli is an amazing bicycle company founded in 1947 by Cino Cinelli. Cino Cinelli was a professional racer and a perfectionist. Within 20 years of founding Cinelli became an industry leader in handlebars and stem manufacturing. From there they continued to progress as a company and are now an industry leader in fixed gear bikes.
Cinelli also runs an amazing competitive team. Team Cinelli Chrome won the Red Hook Crit World Championship in 2015. The Red Hook Crit is a huge race where riders ride brakeless fixed gear bikes.
The Cinelli Tipo Pista is an amazing fixed gear bike made by Cinelli. It features a black and grey frame with silver branding. The handlebars are covered with pink tape that gives the bike a little bit of style. Many Cinelli bikes are plain colored but have an accent color that makes them pop.
This Cinelli Track Bike has an aluminum frame which reduces weight compared to the many other fixed gear bikes on the market. Typically if a fixed gear bike is very cheap, in the range of a few hundred dollars, it will be made of steel. A steel bike weighs a lot more than aluminum or carbon fiber bikes so they make you a little slower. Steel is the heaviest, then aluminum. Carbon fiber is the lightest but carbon fiber bikes will typically cost a couple of thousand dollars even for a fixed gear bike.
For a casual rider, the weight of the bike won’t matter much other than for basic handling and storage of the bike. For example, lifting the bike to put on a car’s roof rack. However, for more competitive riders, the lighter the bike the faster you will be able to ride. Professional riders and competitive riders do everything they can to make their bike lighter to shave fractions of seconds off their times.
The Cinelli Tipo Pista also comes with drop bars and standard caliper brakes. It has a front and rear brake which is the safest way to ride but many fixie riders take their brakes off. The drop bars allow you to be more aerodynamic when riding fast.
Overall, the Cinelli Tipo Pista is a great fixed gear bike. It isn’t the best of the best, bikes can cost anywhere from a couple hundred to 15-20 thousand dollars. So, while this is an amazing fixed gear bike, there are others out there that are better but the bang for your buck of this bike, can’t be beaten!
If you would like to learn more about this bike, click the button below.
2. State Bicycle Co Fixie The Undefeated Edition Review
State Bicycle Co. is a newer bike company, they were founded in 2009 but they have quickly grown to be an industry leader in cycling. They have mainly focused on fixed gear bikes, city commuter bikes, and aluminum track bikes since they were founded, but in recent years they have started manufacturing geared road bikes.
In addition to their specializing in fixed gear bikes and city commuters, they design a number of different cycling accessories, such as clothes, helmets, lights, and bike parts.
State Bicycle Co. releases quality parts and bikes while maintaining unique designs. Each of their designs is a limited edition design. So when you buy a State Bicycle Co. fixed gear you’re buying a very unique fixie with a limited number of them. They make really cool fixed gear bikes and for each model, when they sell out, no more bikes of that model are produced.
The State Bicycle Co. Undefeated II is no different. Only a handful of these bikes were manufactured, so when they sell out, you’ll have to find this through a private seller.
The State Bicycle Undefeated II features an aluminum frame with a black and white design. Attached to the frame are premium SRAM Omnium Cranks. The wheelset is an Essor USA Bolt 31 wheelset. The Essor Wheelset is very lightweight. These wheels are perfect for racing but durable enough for road riding.
The Undefeated II bike also has a flip flop hub so you can switch between single speed and fixed gear riding very easily.
The State Bicycle Co. Undefeated II Fixed Gear Bike is a great fixed gear bike. If you’re looking for a good fixed gear bike that will stand out and not many people have this bike is amazing. If you would like to learn more, click the button below!
3. State Bicycle Co. 4130 Fixed Gear Bikes Review
State Bicycle Co. is an amazing biking company that was founded in 2009 and is quickly becoming an industry leader in cycling. They originally focused on single speed and fixed gear bikes but have recently ventured into road bikes.
State Bicycle Co. is known for its unique designs. Every model/design they have for a bike is a limited edition bike, they only make a select number of each model and when it sells out they decommission that design. So, when you buy a State Bicycle Co. bike, it’s unlikely that you run across many people that have the same bike as you.
The State Bicycle 4130 Van Damme is another great bike by State Bicycle Co. I love the design and accents of this bike. The white and black frame with the red and yellow accents looks amazing.
The 4130 Van Damme has a Chromoly Steel frame, so it’s going to be a bit heavier than the State Bicycle Co. Undefeated II but it’s a great city cruiser bike. It comes with internal brake cable mounting to give it a cleaner look and so the cables don’t get in the way. One feature that I really like about the bike is it comes with a built in chain tensioner.
On my bike, not the Van Damme, one problem that I’ve had when reinstalling my rear wheel is getting the chain tension back to my ideal setting. So the fact this bike comes with a built-in chain tensioner for easy adjustment is great.
State Bicycle Co. makes great bikes and I’m sure you’ll love the 4130 Van Damme. If you would like to learn more about this bike or other State Bicycle Co. Bikes, click the button below.
4. 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike
6KU is another bike that is a great commuter bike. This specific 6KU Bike has an aluminum frame so it will be a bit lighter than the other steel frame commuter bikes on this list.
I put the 6KU bike below the steel frame State Bicycle Co. bike slightly because of brand recognition. They are both solid bikes, but State Bicycle Co. uses better parts and has a better reputation when it comes to the durability and quality of their bikes.
However, this doesn’t mean the 6KU is a bad bike at all. Their goal is to bring affordable fixed gear bikes to the public that are still of good quality.
So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive aluminum frame fixed gear bike, the 6KU will be the best bang for your buck. Having an aluminum frame will make your bike lighter overall and easier to handle for storage and maintenance. Although a steel frame bike can be a little more durable.
The 6KU aluminum track bike comes with caliper front and rear brakes, a flip flop hub for switching between fixed and single speed, and deep V double walled alloy wheels. It’s also offered in either black or white.
I recommend either the 6KU aluminum frame fixie or the Golden Cycles fixie listed next for the best budget fixie.
5. Schwinn Kedzie Single-Speed Fixie Review
Schwinn is a great bike company that has stood the test of time. Schwinn has been making bikes since 1898 and they are a well known bike company. They are a well rounded bike company, they offer everything from simple fixed gear bikes to road and mountain bikes and they even have e-bikes. Over the years they’ve honed their skills and made some amazing bikes.
Schwinn makes bikes of all levels. They have bikes that cost a few hundred dollars all the way up to $5,000 but don’t worry, this fixie doesn’t cost $5,000 dollars or anywhere close to that.
I’m actually a big fan of Schwinn bikes, my current fixie is an old Schwinn model from I believe 2009. So, I may be a little biased, but I love my bike. It’s a baby blue Schwinn Madison, I love the look of the bike and haven’t had any problems with the bike since I got it. No, I haven’t owned it since 2009 but the previous owner had only ridden it once and had it hung up in his garage for years so I got it in like-new condition. I also have a decent amount of upgraded parts on my bike but overall the Schwinn has held up very well.
The Schwinn Kedzie features a steel frame, so as mentioned previously it’s going to be a bit heavier than an aluminum or carbon fiber frame but the price of the steel frame fixies are typically way less than the lighter materials.
The Kedzie also comes with a flip flop hub that lets you switch between single speed and fixed riding quickly! In addition to that, the bike comes with front and rear alloy brakes and wheels.
The Schwinn Kedzie is a great bike option, if you would like to learn more about the Schwinn Kedzie, click the button below.
6. Golden Cycles Single Speed Fixed Gear Bike Review
Golden Cycles is a great commuter bike company. Unlike Cinelli and State Bicycle Co., Golden Cycles doesn’t really focus on making ultralight race-ready bikes. Their bikes are steel which means they’re a little heavier. The goal of Golden Cycles is to bring reasonably priced commuter bikes to the masses.
The Golden Cycles Fixed Gear bike is one of the best budget fixies on the market. All Golden Cycles Bikes are just a few hundred dollars at the time of writing this article. There’s no denying that there are better bikes out there. Cycling is a sport where you pay for speed and quality.
If you buy an inexpensive bike, it may be great for casual riding, but it won’t be super light or extremely aerodynamic. So, if you plan on competing, you’ll want to buy a higher-end bike or you’ll end up working way harder than the other racers just to keep up. Weight and aerodynamics is a huge factor of how fast you can ride.
This Golden Cycles Fixie features a 46 tooth chainring and a 16t cog on the back wheel. This gives you a default gearing ratio of 46:16 which comes out to 76 gear inches. The back wheel also features a flip flop hub on the back so you can switch between single speed and fixed gear.
The Golden Cycles Fixed Gear Bike also comes with front and rear brakes. Riding fixed with brakes is the safest way to ride. The front and rear brakes are both Alloy Caliper Brakes. While it comes with brakes, they know that many people remove the brakes. So, they made sure they’re very easy to remove the brakes. So, you can go brakeless.
Overall the Golden Cycles Fixie is a great bang for your buck. If you would like to learn more about this bike, click the button below.
7. Retrospec Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Bike
Retrospec is another budget fixie brand. They were founded in 2009 and their goal is to get more people active outside in an affordable manner. They started with bikes but they also now sell skateboards, paddleboards, snow & exercise equipment, and more. One of the Retrospec accessories that I have on my bike currently is their pedal straps.
The Retrospec Harper comes in 4 different colors and multiple sizes. The colors include Slate Grey (pictured), Atlantic Blue, Matte Black, and Retrospec Sage Green.
As with many of the other fixed gears, their bikes also come with a flip flop hub on the rear wheel so you can switch between single speed and fixed gear.
The Harper frame is made of premium high tensile steel. Which adds some durability to the build.
The fixie also comes with 30mm deep-v rims and Kenda Kwest 700x28c tires.
The Retrospec Harper is a great budget fixie. If you would like to learn more about this bike, click the button below.
Buyers’ Guide: How to choose the best fixie for you
People choose to ride fixed for many reasons including a great workout, the style aspect, or because they enjoy sliding and doing tricks on a fixie that you couldn’t do on other bikes. While everyone’s reason for riding fixed may be different, there’s a bunch of things that should be taken into consideration when choosing the best fixie for you. In this guide, we’ll cover the major decision points when choosing your fixed gear bike.
The size of a bike is something that isn’t considered very often when looking at bikes online. People often forget that they should look at the sizing chart to make sure the bike is the proper size for their height. When you buy a buy in store, you get to sit on the bike and see how it feels. So, it’s easy to forget bikes actually come in different sizes.
If you’re really tall you’re going to need to make sure you get a large or x-large bike and if you’re short you’ll probably need a small or x-small. However, this all depends on the brand of bike and the country the bike was designed in.
So, make sure you look at the sizing chart for each bike. If you click the button below the bikes listed above, it will take you to an information page where you can see the sizing chart and other important information.
Handle Bar Type
There are 3 major types of handle bars that come standard on fixies.
The most common type of handlebar that comes standard is the straight bar. This is the type of handlebar most people expect on a regular bike. It’s just a bar that goes straight across. Typically a straight handlebar comes with the brakes already attached.
The straight handlebar is good for casual riding. If you’re planning on sliding, doing tricks, or going on long rides, the other handlebars may be a better fit.
Bullhorn Handle Bars
Bullhorn handlebars are great, they’re what I currently have on my bike. Some bikes come standard with bullhorns but it’s more common for them to come with straight bars.
With bullhorns, you can use them just like straight bars by resting your hands near the middle of the bar or you can lean forward and place your hands on the horns giving you a more comfortable position and making you more aerodynamic. Although these aren’t as aero as the drop bars.
Overall bullhorns give you a good balance between casual riding and aggressive riding. I ride 30+ miles on my bullhorns without a problem. Except when it’s super windy, that’s when I wish I had drop bars.
Drop bars are the most aerodynamic bars you’ll find on a fixie. There are handlebars that are more aerodynamic but you’ll typically have to install them after receiving your bike. Drop bars are ideal for longer more aggressive rides.
When you put your hands in the drop bars, you are able to get lower and cut through the wind so it takes less effort to pedal. Also, with drop bars, you’re in a pretty relaxed position. It’s great to go into your drops and just cruise.
I don’t recommend drop bars if you’re going to be casually riding or city riding but if you plan on going on long aggressive rides, drops are your best bet. The reason I don’t have drops on my bike is because I do casual rides and city rides as well as long rides. I prefer my bull horns for city rides and I’m comfortable riding long rides with my bullhorns too. So, I just stick to my bullhorns.
When it comes to riding a fixed gear bike or a single speed bike, something that you’ll come across and is worth knowing is your gearing ratio. Your gearing ratio is the ratio between the number of teeth on the chainring and the number of teeth on the rear cog.
The reason your gear ratio is so important even for a new rider on a fixed gear is you only have one gear. So unlike on a road bike, you can’t just switch to an easier gear to climb a hill or a faster gear for flat riding. You have to find the perfect balance between the 2. Otherwise, you’ll end up not being able to keep up with your friends on flat ground or having to walk your bike up relatively small hills.
I personally ride on a 48:15 (3.20) gearing ratio, which is great for me, but I’m an all-around athlete and go on regular 50 mile plus rides on this gearing ratio. For a new rider, this gearing ratio can be difficult especially when climbing hills.
For newer riders and/or more casual riders I’d recommend a gearing ratio around 48:18 (2.67), this gearing ratio doesn’t put too much strain on your legs but can still maintain a decent pace on flat grown.
The higher the gearing ratio or gear, the slower you have to pedal to go fast, but the more force is required to pedal. So having a high gear ratio can make pedaling at slow speeds, climbing hills, or starting off from a stop very difficult.
However, having too low of a gear ratio will make you have to pedal very fast just to keep an average pace. It can feel like you’re pedaling 100 mph to move at 5 mph. So, it’s important to find a comfortable middle ground.
Brakes vs Brakeless
With a fixed gear bike, it’s commonly stated, you can’t stop pedaling while the bike is moving but that’s not completely true. To be more correct, your pedaling is tied to the rotation of the back wheel. If you stop pedaling with enough force, the back wheel will stop rotating and you will slide.
Many fixed-gear riders are familiar with this and become very good at sliding to stop and avoid accidents. So, many fixie riders, take their brakes off and ride brakeless. This can be very dangerous and in some places illegal. So, do this at your own risk.
When buying a fixed gear bike, there are some companies or private sellers that will sell the bikes without brakes. For some, this may not be a problem, but if you aren’t experienced with riding brakeless, then you should make sure the fixie you buy comes with brakes. Brakes are something that many people assume a bike comes with but when it comes to fixies this isn’t always the case.
There’s a lot that goes into picking out the best fixed gear bike for your needs. I’ve tried to cover the most important aspects in this buyers’ guide and I’ve covered some of the best fixie bikes on the market in the list above. I hope that this list and buyers’ guide has helped you choose the best fixie for you.