Fixed Gear Bikes are a pure joy to ride whether you are an experienced rider looking for a great training bike or someone just returning to the sport. There is a lot of competition in the fixie bike market. Some offerings are good while others are simply quickly thrown together import bikes that will break before you push the pedal the first time. We rounded up our top sellers and others that we were dying to try to help you buy the best fixed gear bikes.
Our Favorite Fixie Bikes
Critical Cycles Harper Coaster Fixed Gear Bike
We started our testing with probably the easiest to ride fixed gear bike on the market. The Harper Coaster features coaster brakes. To brake just stop pedalling. For those riders just getting back into the sport this would be our top choice.
The ride was fairly smooth but we would not recommend this for beat up streets. Due to it’s light weight frame you really feel all the bumps and potholes. The handle bars are nicely designed to allow for a straight up ride. Again making it easier for beginners.
Critical Cycles Harper Coaster Fixed Gear Bike Specs:
Sizes – 43cm, 49cm, 53cm, 57cm, and 61cm
Handlebars – Flat top
Easy to ride
The Harper Coaster is our top choice for ease of ride. If you are looking for something that is no frills and just want to enjoy a good ride this is your best bet.
Merax Fixed Gear Bike
The Merax fixed gear bike was a joy to ride. The setup time was less than most of the fixie bikes we tried. The components appear to be top notch with recognizable brand names. Merax gives you the option to have this be a single speed bike with disc brakes. If that is not your cup of tea then you can easily switch it back to a fixie with the flip flop hub.
The ride was about average for the fixies we tested. Kenda tires are not our favorite but they did a good job handling bumps on our local roads.
Merax Fixed Gear Bike Specs:
Sizes – 54 and 58 cm
Handlebars – Flat top
Optional Single Speed with Disc Brakes
The Merax fixed gear bike is a great overall choice as a fixed gear bike but the ability to have disc braking and single speed options make it even better.
6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Bike
The 6KU is one sexy looking fixed gear bike. This is my personal bike that I ride into town daily. It has help up for a season and a half with no real problems. There isn’t a day that goes by that I do not get compliments or asked what kind of bike it is. Everything from the handlebars down to the chain is top quality and has required little to no maintenance.
The ride on the 6KU is about as good as I have had on track style bike. It handles well and you don’t get beat up to badly if you hit a bump or pothole. I switch out the standard riser handle bars for bullhorns and the ride is still smooth.
6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Bike Specs:
Sizes – 47, 49, 52, 55, 58, and 61cm
Handlebars – Risers
Haven’t found one yet
The 6KU fixed gear bike is the best overall fixie we tested. If you are looking for top quality and a fun ride than this is surely the bike for you.
Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Bike
The Purefix is a solid budget offering with mostly high quality components. I wouldn’t classify this as premium as some of the components and welding jobs look a little haphazard. Based purely on looks it is easy to see why this is one of the top selling fixed gear bikes on the market.
The ride was pretty average. While I did not roll this over any real difficult spots some of the screws began to loosen. Might be my fault but I did not notice this on any other bike we tested.
Pure Fix Original Fixie Bike Specs:
Sizes – 47, 49, 52, 55, 58, 61 and 64 cm
Handlebars – Riser
The Purefix is a great option for an overall daily commuter bike and should hold up to many seasons of use. Its not our top pick as some of the components and welding look a little shoty.
Sole Bicycles Fixed Gear Bike
The Sole fixed gear bike has some stunning color options for both the frame and wheels. Based purely on looks it is a toss up between this bike and the State Bicycle offerings. Beyond looks this bike doesn’t really offer that much.
The welding was some of the worst we saw amongst any fixed gear bike we tested. Most of the components are cheap chinese parts.
Sole Bicycles Fixed Gear Specs:
Sizes – 49, 52, 55, and 59 cm
Handlebars – Commuter Style
If you are looking for a bike that looks good then this is a top choice. If you want your fixie to last a few years… look elsewhere.
Golden Cycles Fixed Gear Bike
Maybe I have been living under a rock or something but I had not heard much about the Golden Cycle fixed gear bike. I assumed it was a cheap Chinese outsource job. I was surprised to see that some quality components were used in this fixie.
The look and ride match up pretty well. Not the best looking bike but certainly cool with the right color choices. The ride wasn’t the most comfortable but would be great for a campus bike or shorter commutes.
Golden Cycles Fixed Gear Bike Specs:
Sizes – 41, 45, 48, 52, 55, and 59 cm
Handlebars – Commuter Style
Not all components are grade A
We could recommend this bike for anyone looking for a solid commuter fixie. Anything beyond that you might start to notice the cheaper components beginning to wear before a couple years of use.
Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike
The Takara Kabuto is one of my favorite road bike style fixies. It comes with a flip flop hub that enables it to become a fixie. You can also opt to have it set up like a road bike for longer commutes are if you need to break more often.
This fixie not only looks like a killer road bike but it rides like one too. While not as light as a true road bike you still get the feel of the road with the drop down handle bars. This makes for an exciting ride!
Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike Specs:
Sizes – Small, Medium and Large
Handlebars – Drop downs
Can be used as a beginner/training road bike
Not the best for beginners
If you are already a road biker than this would be a great option for a training bike. No need to mess with all the gears. Just keep pedalling and you will really feel the burn on hills with this setup.
Retrospec Mantra Fixie Bicycle
Retrospec helped bring fixie bikes back to the forefront over the past decade. With their classic styling and a price point that is hard to beat you saw them everywhere. This was my first fixed gear bike after giving up on road biking awhile back.
It did everything I needed it to do. Smooth ride to and from class and literally no maintenance. While other bikes have become more popular and matched their price point this is still a great option for everyone from advanced to beginner riders.
Retrospec Mantra Fixie Bicycle Specs:
Sizes – 43, 49, 53, 57, and 60 cm
Handlebars – Commuter Style
Nothing special separates it from the competition.
A solid all around bike that would be great for all types of buyers.
State Bicycle Co Fixed Gear Fixie Bike
Did we save the best for last? Well, if you are looking for the most stylish fixie than this is probably your top choice. With that added swag you are going to have to boost your budget by almost 2x v comparable fixed gear bikes.
The State Bicycle Co Fixed Gear bike performs very well and is built very sturdy. It is not the lightest bike we tested. In fact, it was one of the heavier ones. With that added weight the ride was less jarring and much smoother.
State Bicycle Co Fixed Gear Fixie Bike Specs:
Sizes – 46, 49, 52, 55, 59, and 62 cm
Handlebars – Bullhorn
If it weren’t for the extreme cost difference with this and 6KU we might have made the case for the State fixed gear bike. We would recommend this bike if you are buying purely on looks and budget isn’t a top concern.
Best Fixed Gear Bike Buying Guide
Your first consideration should be weight. Let’s face it, you don’t want to haul around a tank when commuting. Especially if you live in a dorm, apartment or have to lift it on top of your car.
Weight also affects the overall ride of your fixed gear bike. The lighter the bike the more you tend to feel bumps and bounces. A heavier bike will help absorb the vibrations. There are ways to lessen the vibrations so you can choose lighter bikes if that is what you want.
Fixed Gear Bikes are all about the ride. No need for fussy wires and complicated parts. Just pedal and go. Weight has an affect on the ride along with seat type, construction material and handle bar type. Look for a fixie bike with a comfortable seat especially if it is on the lighter side.
If you plan on riding on less than smooth track like conditions like most riders be sure to choose a bike with either bullhorn handlebars or risers. These help absorb shock.
It irks me when fixie bike brands offer little sizing offerings or some arbitrary denominator like small, medium or large. Are they lazy? Maybe. The more sizing offerings seems to correlate with better construction. Might be a coincidence but more likely they have better construction standards.
When choosing a fixie bike size make sure to lookup a sizing chart and match that to the correct size. Some people have longer or shorter legs proportionately so look for a bigger or smaller bike accordingly.
Who doesn’t want their bike to look nice? Or at least care about the way it looks. I tend to go for the matte black finishes as you can’t really tell if they are expensive or not from afar so it is less likely to draw the eye of bike thieves. There are so many color combination choices offered by many of the leading fixed gear bike companies it is almost too hard to decide.
Along with colors the handlebars make a huge difference is aesthetic. Some prefer the bullhorn or drop-down racing look while others like the simplicity of risers. Take some time to research the options and what looks/feels best before committing. You can always replace the handlebars if you don’t like the way they look on your fixie and you could also change the grips or wrap color easily.
It’s pretty easy to tell the companies that manufacture their own products and those that get their bikes made in China. The first way to tell is by the welding marks. Some look downright ugly while others you barely notice.
Also, if the bike you are looking at looks EXACTLY like another company, chances are they are from Alibaba. I won’t name names but you would be surprised at some of the top selling, well respected brands just buy from Alibaba.
Best Fixed Gear Bike FAQ
How do you brake a fixed gear bike?
You don’t. Well you can but be prepared for a downhill stretch. You have to keep pedaling if you don’t have coaster brakes or hand brakes. Fixed geared bikes are essentially track bikes meant for flat surfaces. If you live in a hilly area you will want to be extremely careful or opt for a coaster braking system.
Do fixie bikes last longer?
Yes! With so few parts and limited maintenance fixed gear bikes tend to last longer than traditional bikes with gears. You can treat fixies like crap and they will still perform fairly well for many years. If you stay on top of simple cleaning and lubing you might have a bike for a lifetime.
Are fixie bikes better than commuter bikes for beginners?
Yes and no. If you live in a flat area and don’t need to stop very often than fixies are a great option. However, if you live in hilly areas or have stop lights and stop signs throughout your route it might be better to opt for a coaster fixie bike or commuter bike with brakes.
Can you ride fixed gear bikes on trails?
No as they come in the box. However, you can modify them with different tires and they could handle light trails or sandy roads better. If you are looking for a bike that can handle this type of riding you are better off looking for an older mountain bike that you can modify to become a fixed gear. This will allow for more room for wider wheels which help get you through trail like conditions.
Should I buy a complete bike or build one?
Either way is fine. If you don’t want to go through all hassle of finding the right parts to match the right frame you are better off choosing a complete bike. If you are comfortable working on bikes you will probably have more fun building one yourself. Even so, you can customize the crap out of some of the fixed gear bikes from State or Purefix with different handlebars and color combos to get the exact fixie bike you want.