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Fixie bikes started trending in the early 2010s, but they’ve been around for a long time mostly among hipsters and bicycling enthusiasts. In this decade they’ve gained popularity amongst a wider array of people and nowadays they are considered just another bike type instead of an obscure gimmick. Thanks to this shift fixie bikes are now available in all price ranges, and today we are having a look at the best cheap fixie bikes.
Cheap Fixed Gear Bikes Compared
|Photo||Fixie bike||Details||Check on Amazon|
|State Bicycle Co. Ashton||Brakes: Front & Rear|
Color choices: 18
Frame size: 49-62
Frame material: Chromoly
|Pure Cycles Pure Fix Original||Brakes: Front|
Color choices: 22
Frame size: 47-64
Frame material: Steel
|6KU Urban Track Bike||Brakes: Front & Rear|
Color choices: 5
Frame size: 47-61
Frame material: Aluminum
|Critical Cycles Classic With Pista Drop Bars||Brakes: Front|
Color choices: 8
Frame size: 43-60
Frame material: Steel
|Golden Cycles||Brakes: Front & Rear|
Color choices: 18
Frame size: 41-63
Frame material: Steel
|Vilano Edge||Brakes: Rear (both on the drop bar version)|
Color choices: 6
Frame size: 50-58
Frame material: Steel
What Is A Fixie Bike?
The term “fixie” is short for fixed gear bike, meaning that the bike has no freewheel mechanism. In practice this means that the pedals are spinning whenever the rear wheel is spinning. If you are having troubles comprehending the concept have a quick look at this explanation video by Pure Cycles.
Fixies are sometimes mixed up with single speed bikes, because they both have only one gear. However, single speed bikes are freewheel, meaning that the pedals don’t rotate with the rear wheel. In other words, single speed bikes allow coasting.
Traditionally fixed gear bikes have no brakes, but luckily most of the consumer models do. This is because originally fixies were used for velodrome track racing. Even if a fixie bike doesn’t have brakes in the traditional sense it does not mean that it’s practically brakeless. You can always brake by slowing down the rotation of the pedals with your feet. This is called skid stopping.
An experienced fixie rider without handbrakes will slow down even more efficiently than an average Joe on a freewheel bike.
Why Are Fixed Gear Bikes Popular?
The biggest draw of fixie bikes is the fact that they are simply classy. Removing everything but the absolute necessities does not only make a bike good looking but also easy to maintain, repair and even build by yourself.
The driving experience is also different. Most fixie drivers would probably describe the experience as “being one” with your bike – you have more control. Getting used to fixed gear naturally takes a while if you’ve ridden freewheel bikes all your life (as you most likely have), but once you get used to it you will understand the metaphor.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s hop on to our picks! You can find individual reviews from below the comparison table.
Cheap Fixie Bikes - Our Best Picks For 2020
Quite obviously the term “cheap” is subjective, but we tried our best to remain reasonable. One a bit more expensive, one a bit cheaper and the rest are what we think would be the middle ground when talking about budget fixie bikes.
If you are purchasing your first fixed gear bike we recommend getting one that has a flip-flop hub. It means that you can switch between fixed gear and single speed with freewheel coasting. It’s a handy feature to have in the beginning: you can first get yourself familiar with the feel of the bike in general. Not to mention that you probably don’t want to jump straight into traffic on your way to work if you’ve never ridden a fixie before.
For your convenience we’ve only included bikes that have flip-flop hubs on them.
State Bicycle Co. Ashton
- State Bicycle co. Fixed gear/single speed bike
- New sealed bearing flip/flop hub means you can switch between fixed gear and single-speed with coasting
- Lightweight 4130 Chromalloy frame set – superior to hi-tensile steel frames
- Front and rear radius brakes included (Not pictured for aesthetic purposes)
- Handlebar option: bullhorns wrapped with bar tape
State Bicycle Co. is an Arizona based company, originally formed in 2009 by three “cycling addicts with big dreams” as they put it. They are specialized in the fixed gear / single speed niche but also manufacture some fat bikes and cyclocross bikes.
Judging by their Ashton model you can definitely tell that they indeed are rider-developed. First of all, if you’ve been blessed with even the tiniest piece of taste for aesthetics you are going to have a hard time deciding between the 18 different colors on offer. They are all just simply fabulous.
The bike rides like a charm, smooth and quiet without any creaks whatsoever. The chromoly frame feels exceptionally well made in the price range while still remaining light. They claim that it is “superior” to the hi-tensile steel frames that most of our budget fixies have and we think it’s a perfectly believable statement.
The saddle is the only part that we’d change – it’s not very comfortable. Luckily it’s also the easiest part to replace even if you are a complete beginner with bikes.
Pure Cycles Pure Fix Original
- Fixed gear single speed fixie bicycle with deep-dish 50mm wheels
- Flip-flop rear wheel hub allows changing from single-speed to fixed gear with ease
- High-tensile, fully Tig-welded steel frame is built to last
- Easily removable front brake; Wheelset: Pure Cycles 40mm Deep-Dish 32-Hole Rims, Alloy Flip-Flop Hubs; Chain:KMC Z-410; Handlebar:Pure Cycles alloy 30mm Riser;Stem:Pure Cycles Alloy;Grips:Pure Cycles Rubber, No Flange
- Brand name components include Kenda Tires and Tubes, Oury Grips and KMC Chain
Pure Cycles is a Los Angeles based company established in 2010. Even though the company is relatively young they’ve already gained a massive popularity with their affordable yet excellent bikes. At the time of writing this the Pure Fix Original has over 1.000 reviews on Amazon, which is an insane number. They also have a fantastic YouTube channel which is worth subscribing even if you end up buying any other bike. Be warned though: watching their content will cause serious fixie fever.
Pure Fix Original will also treat you with a premium-like ride. The TIG-welded steel frame is as sturdy as they get but it’s also understandably heavier than the chromoly of Ashton. As a matter of fact, all of the components have such quality feel to them that they completely surprised us.
The only complaint we have about this fixie is the “thickslick” tires. They are simply poor and you will have to buy new tires sooner or later, which is kind of confusing when everything else is so well made.
If we had to pick only two alternatives to show you we would choose the Ashton and the Pure Fix Original. These two are just a level above the rest, which isn’t that surprising considering that they are a tad more expensive too.
6KU Urban Track Bike
- 6061 double butted alloy smooth welding
- 32H F/R flip-flop hub for optional fixed or free wheel riding
- 1 1/8 inch alloy fork
- 30mm deep V double wall alloy wheels with a flip-flop hub
- Easy removable front/rear brakes
6KU is another California based bike company that is focused on fixed gear bikes but offers a few other options too.
The aluminum framed Urban Track model from 6KU is another great “value for money” alternative, though the “small parts” feel a little bit cheaper than the ones above. Nothing too major though, and a regular Sunday bicyclist probably couldn’t tell the difference even if they got to compare the bikes side by side.
The most important parts 6KU gets just right. Frame is sturdy and the welds are exceptional for the price. The tires are a lot better than on the Pure Fix Original and the handlebars have probably the best grip of all our picks.
The creaky flip-flop hub is a disappointment, but we are not certain if we just had bad luck with it. Saddle could also be more comfortable but it’s something you can expect with fixies of this price range.
Critical Cycles Classic With Pista Drop Bars
Critical Cycles is the bike brand of Westridge Outdoors, which is a more general sports & outdoors gear maker than any of the previously mentioned firms. They also make affordable cruiser bikes for example.
Some fixie purists think that a real fixie should have drop bars. Just by having a look at the Critical Cycles Classic we can have a hunch of where this is coming from – the pista drop bars combined with the thin frame make an absolutely incredible, timeless look.
Just like with the 6KU Urban Track, Critical Cycles get a lot more right than wrong and it’s overall a solid fixie considering the price. The tubes and brake pads will probably need replacing if you are riding more than occasionally, but then again they are the parts you will eventually replace with every bike.
Note: the “pista” on the handle bars basically means that they are thinner than your usual drop bars. We absolutely loved them (especially from the aesthetic perspective!) but some riders probably won’t.
Golden Cycles Fixie
- 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
Golden Cycles is again an “inhouse” brand sold by yet another California based company, City Grounds. Their model/naming policy on their website is rather confusing as all the different colors of the same bike are individually named, but if you decide to buy one from Amazon you can browse them all under the same product page.
Quality-wise the Golden Cycles is so much like the Critical Cycles Classic that it feels a bit pointless to go on an elaborate ramble. Not great, not bad. Excellent bang for your buck and a good, cheap entry-level fixie bike.
- Frame: 700c Hi-Ten Fixed Gear/SS (120mm rear spacing with horizontal dropouts)
- Wheel set: 30mm Deep-V Double Wall with Flip-Flop (Freewheel and Fixed Cog 16T)
- Riser Alloy Handlebars
- Unique Colors
Vilano Edge made it to our list purely because it is CHEAP even on a list full of budget bikes. That being said it’s also the only one that immediately had a cheap feel to it, which is quite surprising considering that it seems like a pretty popular choice based on our research. If you are dying to get your hands on a fixed gear bike but want to invest only a minimal amount of money, Vilano Edge is your choice. For all others there are plenty of better options on the market.
Last update on 2019-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API