For both the commuter looking for an easy-to-use Bike and the enthusiast looking for the next cycling challenge, single speed and fixed gear bikes are a category that can provide both, depending on what you’re looking for.
While many may assume that a single speed and a fixed gear (or “fixie”) bike are the same things, they are actually very different and are ridden by those wanting distinctive features in their bike of choice.
Single Speed Bikes
Single speed bikes are exactly what they sound like— one-speed bikes. For commuters and novice riders, this is good news. Single speed bikes are easy to use as there is no confusing gear shifting to deal with. They have less components, too, and are lighter in weight and easier to repair and maintain.
A single speed bike holds a distinctive difference over fixed gear bikes in their ability to coast or cruise, which can be helpful when going downhills or on longer rides—when your legs need a break from pedaling!
Fixed Gear Bikes
Fixed gear bikes, or fixies, are for those riders who want more of a connection with their bike and engagement on the road. While a big learning curve for beginners, fixies can become the bike of choice for many commuters and sports riders.
In a fixed gear bike, the main difference is that the cranks never stop turning, which means the pedals must always keep going. When the pedaling stops, the wheels stop—much like the first children’s bike a rider may have learned on. Because of this, many fixie riders choose to remove their hand brakes and control the bike completely with their legs and the pedals.
Best Fixed Gear Bikes and Cheap Single Speed Bikes
Looking at 10 highly-rated and reviewed fixie and single speed bikes on the internet, the Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike looks like the best pick for its many size and color options, lightweight but sturdy steel frame, and the warranties offered by Pure Cycles. It’s an affordable but well-made bike that can easily serve as both a single speed and as a fixie bike.
Best Single Speed Bikes - Comparisons
Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike
6KU Fixed Gear Fixie Urban Track Bike
Front & Rear
Critical Cycles Harper Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike
Front & Rear
Pure Fix Premium Fixed Gear Single Speed Bicycle
Golden Cycles Single Speed Fixed Gear Bike
Front & Rear
Vilano Rampage Fixed Gear Fixie Single Speed Road Bike
Front & Rear
State Bicycle Co.... Fixed Gear Fixie Single Speed Bike
Front & Rear
Fortified City Commuter Theft-Resistant Single Speed Bike
Front & Rear
Raleigh Bikes Back Alley Fixed Gear Steel City Bike
Front & Rear
SE Bikes Draft Lite Single Speed Bike
Front & Rear
1. Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike
Voted one of the best-fixed gear bikes, the Pure Fix Original is beautiful to behold and ride. Coming in seven sizes and 16 unique colors, it stands out in the crowd in the best way possible.
It features a sturdy steel frame and weighs in at 22-24 lbs., depending on the size. It has 700cc x 28mm wheels, which offers some great traction on varying terrain. The front brakes are removable for the full fixie experience, with the option of rear brakes.
The flip-flop hub allows the bike to be switched from fixed gear to freewheel, allowing for coasting if desired by the owner.
Pure Cycles stands behind their product, and offers a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty on the frame and a one-year manufacturer’s warranty on the components, as long as it’s assembled by a professional.
Reviewers noted that the bike was very easy to put together, and praised Pure Cycles’ responsive customer service. Others noted, however, that the brakes were not very effective, feeling somewhat unsafe to some.
Thanks to all its high ratings and the warranties offered by Pure Cycles, this bike looks like a great choice for those interested in learning the “fixie” way of life and riding.
2. 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike
Sharp looking and impressively reviewed, the 6KU Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie is another great choice for leisure riders and commuters. It comes in six sizes and five colors, with riser handlebars (some reviewers purchased previous models with bullhorn bars, but the company has since changed to risers).
This aluminum frame offers a lightweight bike at 21 lbs. and features 700cc x 25mm tires. The front and rear brakes are easily removed for the true fixie experience. The flip-flop hub offers a freewheel option to those riders who want to coast or give their legs a break from pedaling on their rides.
Reviewers shared that the bike arrived in great condition—some even noticed that the brakes were well calibrated after travel—and it was easy to finish assembling.
The bike features very large pedals, which were a plus to some, although others didn’t like them. Some reviewers also wished there were mounting points on the bike for a water bottle holder or storage basket.
For an easy to assemble a bike that offers flexibility to be used either as a fixed gear or a single speed bike, the 6KU Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie would be a good choice.
3. Critical Cycles Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike
The Critical Cycles Harper single-speed bike is a stylish choice for the serious commuter or leisure rider looking for a well-made but inexpensive single speed bike. It comes in 12 beautiful color choices, with six sizes to fit any rider.
The bike features a flip-flop hub, which can be changed between a single speed or fixed gear bike with the freewheel design. It offers two brakes for stopping power, riser handlebars, and 700cc x 23mm road-friendly tires.
This bike is made of durable and strong steel, and around 25 lbs. in weight, depending on the size ordered. Many reviewers noted that the bike was easy to put together, sharp looking, and had a very solid frame.
There are a number of negative reviews that mentioned that the bike arrived damaged, with chipped paint and sometimes rust. Others had trouble with missing parts. The wheels on the bike were troublesome for many reviewers, too, going flat within the first few rides on the bike.
For the new rider who is interested in a single speed bike, but wants the flexibility of exploring a fixed gear ride later, this bike looks like a great meeting point between the two worlds.
4. Pure Fix Premium Fixed Gear Single Speed Bicycle
Another Pure Cycles bicycle, the Premium Fixed Gear Single Speed bicycle’s main defining characteristic in comparison to the previously discussed Pure Cycles fixie is its material—it’s made of triple-butted aluminum for a very lightweight bike, around 19 lbs. depending on the size. Obviously, a lighter bike is going to offer better speed and momentum, so this is a great choice for those who want to ride on the open roads and long road distances.
The flip-flop rear wheel hub offers the flexibility of single speed or fixed gear to riders, and the drop handlebars and 700cc x 28mm tires can handle the road and any rough terrain.
The bike comes in four colors and seven sizes, and it features brand name components for tubes, pedals, the chain, and front brake. Pure Cycles offers a limited manufacturer’s warranty on the frame, too, as well as a one-year warranty on the components as long as it’s professionally assembled.
Is a Premium worth the higher cost than the Original? That depends—the few extra pounds it loses when switching to aluminum from steel may not seem like a lot, but for those who cycle over flat terrain often, it could make a huge difference.
5. Golden Cycles Single Speed Fixed Gear Bike with Front & Rear Brakes
A new name on the list, Golden Cycles manufactures the single speed fixed gear bike—a true “fixie” bike, for anyone who wants to ride a fixed gear without pouring a lot of money into a bike.
For an extremely reasonable price, this bike comes in seven sizes, which offers a good fit for those who are shorter or taller than average. It also comes in 19 fun and unique color combinations.
The bike frame and fork are high-quality steel, and the bike weighs in at about 23 lbs. (depending on the size). The bike has front and rear brakes for attaching if needed.
Reviewers shared that the packaging from the distributor was in good condition when they received it, that the tools needed were included except for a more common tool, and that the bike was easy to assemble. They were surprised at the quality of the components—how good they were for the price.
Others mentioned as well that the customer service department was helpful and went above and beyond in taking care of them.