If you’ve decided you need a bike to get around on, single-speed bikes are the perfect choice for getting from point A to point B.
Whether this is your commute to work, college or even for casual use, single-speed bikes are a fun way to get around.
If you’re looking for a functional yet affordable bike you can’t go far wrong with a single-speed or fixed gear bike.
Single-speed and fixed gear bikes are generally very affordable, and shopping smart can land you a bike that requires little maintenance for years to come.
Here are our top picks for the best single speed and fixed gear bikes for daily commuters and casual cyclists.
- 1 The Best Single Speed and Fixed Gear Bikes
- 1.1 1. Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike
- 1.2 2. State Bicycle Fixed Gear/Fixie Single Speed Bike
- 1.3 3. Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike
- 1.4 4. SXL Expressway Aluminum Urban Single Speed
- 1.5 5. 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Bike
- 1.6 6. Retrospec Critical Cycles Classic Single-Speed Bike
- 1.7 7. Retrospec Critical Cycles Harper Coaster Fixie Style Single-Speed Bike
- 1.8 8. SE Bikes Draft Lite Single Speed Bike
- 1.9 9. Raleigh Bikes Back Alley Urban Single Speed Bike
The Best Single Speed and Fixed Gear Bikes
1. Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike
Here’s a fine example of a single-speed bike that’s speedy, looks great and holds good value for money. The frame has an appealing classic feel to it, and the durable steel design means it’s nice and sturdy. The fact it is a steel frame doesn’t mean it’s heavy, weighing between 22 and 25 pounds depending on which size you choose.
Thanks to the flip-flop rear hub you get a choice between riding fixed and free-wheel. Both are great options, with free-wheel more suited to those of you who enjoy coasting.
Features of the Pure Fix Original Single Speed Bike include:
- Lightweight steel frame is durable and responsive
- Comfortable stock saddle
- Ships 90% assembled
- Lifetime warranty on frame and one-year on components
Putting together this bike is simple; It’s shipped 90 percent assembled, and you get video instructions for full assembly. Overall this is an exquisite bike that we’d recommend to anyone looking for a high-quality single-speed.
2. State Bicycle Fixed Gear/Fixie Single Speed Bike
State Bicycle’s excellent Flip-flip hub Single speed bike is the perfect choice for those who want to switch between a fixed gear bike and one that can coast when the feeling takes you.
With a sturdy steel frame that comes with a long 5 year warranty, you can rest assured that this bike can take a battering. The 40mm deep-v style wheels are fantastic for the price and you won’t be wanting to replace them any time soon.
Features of the State Bicycle Fixed Gear Single Speed Bike include:
- Wonderfully balanced steel frame
- Great wheelset as standard
- 5 year-warranty
- Easy to switch between fixie and single speed
All in all, this bike offers some of the best value we’ve seen in a single speed for a long time. The Wulf (matte-black) color looks stunning too and gives off the impression it’s far more expensive than it actually is.
3. Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike
If you’re looking for an eye-catching bike for urban cycling or your daily commute, the Takara Kabuto is an excellent option. The distinctive blue frame on light blue wheels makes it a real eye-catcher. If that color doesn’t do it for you, there’s also a green finish available.
This is another bike that comes with a rear flip-flop allowing you to choose between fixed gear and free-wheeling. In terms of construction; the frame is made from Tig-welded steel, the rims and hub are made of alloy.
Features of the Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike include:
- Excellent build quality for such an affordable bike
- Rear flip-flop hub
- Rides quietly
- Frame feels very solid
On the whole, this is a bike that looks great and feels great to ride. It’s one that you can see yourself keeping for a good few years before needing to make upgrades.
4. SXL Expressway Aluminum Urban Single Speed
One of our personal favorites on this list, the SXL Expressway has a simplistic beauty to it and performs as well as any mid-ranged single speed bike we’ve ever tried.
A lightweight 6061 aluminum frame supports tires up to 700x32c and comes equipped with Chao Yang 700x25c’s as standard. The clean internal cabling makes this bike a joy to behold as well as ride.
Features of the SXL Expressway Aluminum Single Speed bike include:
- Gorgeous minimalist appeal
- Incredible stopping power
- Flip-flop hub
- Unbelievably cheap for the quality
If you’re looking for something a little above the budget bike range, this is the one. Front and rear this bike handles like a dream and looks better than most fixie bikes around today.
5. 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Bike
If you’re looking for a single-speed track bike that’s designed to be light; you’ll love this model’s lightweight aluminum frame. You also get Kenda tires along with a Novatec flip-flop hub that allows fixed and free-wheel riding.
If you regularly like to clean or adjust your breaks, you’ll be pleased to hear that both the front and rear breaks are easily removable. Whether you’re good with your hands or not, you’ll find this bike is straightforward to assemble and won’t take you long.
Features of the 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Bike include:
- 6061 Aluminum lightweight frame
- Novatec flip-flop hub is superb
- Easy to remove the front and rear brakes
- Frame and fork are unrivaled in this price range
This is a brilliant single-speed track bike, we’d highly recommend it for anyone looking for a lightweight alternative to steel-framed single speed bikes.
6. Retrospec Critical Cycles Classic Single-Speed Bike
Next on the list, we’ve got an excellent single-speed bike from Retrospec. This wonderful fixed gear bike is made from hand-built steel, leaving it with a durable but surprisingly lightweight feel to it. You’re easily able to change between single-speed and fixed gearing thanks to the flip-flop hub.
You get low profile VP platform BMX pedals, which are made of plastic but can easily be upgraded should you feel the need to.
Features of the Retrospec Critical Cycles Classic Single Speed Bike include:
- Stunning appearance
- Premium hand-built steel frame
- Low-profile BMX pedals
- Fun and comfortable bullhorn handlebars
The bike will come with around 15 percent assembly needed which won’t take you too long. It’s a lovely looking, lightweight and affordable bike that we’re a big fan of.
7. Retrospec Critical Cycles Harper Coaster Fixie Style Single-Speed Bike
If you’re looking for a cheap but cheerful fixed gear bike to get you from A to B, this is an excellent choice. We love this single-speed bike for a few reasons; it’s wallet-friendly as well as highly functional and great quality.
If you’re working on a budget but want something durable, you’ll be pleased with the hand made tig-welded steel frame. It’s very well built using durable material but this certainly doesn’t make it feel heavy.
Features of the Retrospec Critical Cycles Harper Coaster Bike include:
- Sleek style and quiet riding
- High-tensile strength steel frame is super durable
- Comes with tools to help you maintain the bike
- Very affordable
You get Kenda commuter tires, VP freestyle peddles and a KMC chain. Overall this is an excellent bike period, but it’s specifically great for those of you working to a strict budget.
8. SE Bikes Draft Lite Single Speed Bike
Another super fixed gear bike that comes with a flip-flop hub, this SE Bikes Draft Lite model is one of our favorites for urban cyclists.
For the price, you get an outstandingly well made fixed gear bike that handles well and comes with Promax front and rear alloy brakes that work exceptionally well. Aside from a firm seat, there’s little else about this bike that you’d want to upgrade straight away.
Features of the SE Bikes Draft Lite Single Speed Bike include:
- Lovely eye-catching design and multiple color options
- Some of the best brakes on a budget fixie bike
- Easy to assemble
- Very well priced
Assembly is straightforward and takes no longer than 15 minutes if you have any experience with bikes at all. Fitting the front brake is the part I usually dread the most with self-assembly bikes, but it’s straightforward enough here.
9. Raleigh Bikes Back Alley Urban Single Speed Bike
For urban cycles and daily workhorses, we’ve always had a soft spot for Raleigh Bikes. This Back Alley Urban fixed gear bike is a classic example of why.
A flip-flop rear hub allows for all the fun Raleigh bikes aim to deliver, and each and every part feels quality. Assembly is a breeze if you’re familiar with bikes and the frame geometry is outstandingly comfortable.
Features of the Raleigh Back Alley Urban Single Speed Bike include:
- High Raleigh build quality throughout
- Easy assembly
- Super fun and comfortable to ride
- Rear brakes feel excellent
We’d recommend this to anyone looking for a reliable fixed gear bike to make their daily commute on. It’s quiet, durable, affordable, and fun. What more can you ask for?
Buying a Single-Speed Bike
Single speed bikes are growing in popularity among bicycling enthusiasts. They boil bike riding down to its simplest, purest form. Most children’s bikes are single speed and riding one as an adult can help you recapture that early joy of pedaling full speed down the sidewalk.
Fixies are a type of single speed bike that have been growing in popularity in recent years.
What is a Fixie?
Most bikes are designed in a way that allows the wheel and cog to spin independently from each other. In a fixie, your moving the pedals is what controls the cog.
Essentially, how fast you pedal your bike is how fast it is going to go. Exciting, right?
Another cool feature of this system is you can actually move backward, something that multi-speed bikes generally won’t do.
Advantages of a Fixie
Due to the simplicity of these bikes, they are easy to assemble, maintain, and ride. They do not have a lot of extra parts so they are very lightweight.
Anyone who regularly needs to take their bike upstairs will appreciate their lightweight design. Being lightweight, they are easy to maneuver around a busy city. Also, they are relatively cheap due to the lack of complicated parts.
If you are looking for a commuter bike, a fixie is a great option. They are not built for speed, but rather simplicity. A fixie is likely to last you a long time with very little maintenance.
Commuters find they can ride these bikes year-round. The rider is in control of his or her speed so they can easily handle winter conditions. The set-up of these one gear bikes makes them easy to ride in the city, especially if the commute is decently flat.
Fixed gear bikes have a very efficient drive train, so almost all of the energy used when pedaling is transferred into motion.
Things to Consider When Buying a Fixie
Even these simple bicycles have some different options available. The following is a list of things to consider when buying one:
- Where you want to ride your bike: a fixie is ideal for city riding on pavement. If you plan on using your bike on trails or other off-road environments, you will need to find a fixie with wider wheels. You may also want to consider getting a hybrid.
- How much you are willing to spend: even though the bikes are generally cheaper than others, there is still a wide range of prices. The more expensive bikes tend to have better seats, pedals, and tires. They also usually weigh less. That said, you can find good quality bikes at the lower end of the price scale.
- What it is made of: you can find fixies made of either steel or aluminum. While the steel is sturdier and may stand up to time better, the aluminum is much lighter.
- How comfortable it is: the style and material of the seat, or “saddle,” can greatly impact how often you want to ride it. The height and style of the handlebars can also affect how long you can ride the bike comfortably.
- The size you need: When buying your fixie, be sure you know exactly how tall you are. This is especially true if you are shopping online and cannot sit on the bike before you buy it. There are a lot of size options for fixies and you want to get the right one so that you can ride safely and comfortably.
Are Fixies and Single Speed Bikes the Same Thing?
Basically, a single-speed bike is exactly what it sounds like. It has a single gear ratio. That means no hub gearing or derailleur gears.
In many ways, they are the same as a fixie. The main difference is you can coast while riding a single-speed bike.
This is impossible on a fixie. So, while almost all fixies are single speed, not all single speeds are fixies.
What allows a single speed to coast is the freewheel mechanism. Many bikes on the market today can convert back and forth between fixed wheel and freewheel. To do this, you’ll usually need to buy a specialized single speed wheelset. If you have never had either type of bike, you may be relieved to know that you simply have to remove the back wheel and turn it around.
The braking styles are often different between these two styles of bikes. It is considered trendy for fixed wheel bikes to have no brakes or very limited ones. Instead, the rider must stop the pedals from turning suddenly to cause the bike to stop moving. This can be as tricky as it sounds.
Freewheel single speed bicycles have traditional braking systems. For many reasons, a beginner may prefer a freewheel single speed bike over a fixie. This is because they are easier to learn how to ride. The ride is often smoother and having full braking capabilities is a big perk when you are learning anything new.
BMX and cruiser bikes are single speed. If you are shopping for a BMX bike, you need the freewheel capability in order to perform tricks. Cruising without the freewheel wouldn’t really be cruising.
Advantages of a Freewheel Single Speed
Freewheel single speed bikes are so similar to fixies that they have almost identical advantages. The main advantage a freewheel bike has over a fixed wheel one is that you can relax and coast while riding it.
Riding fixed gear bikes requires more route planning and you have to maintain focus. For people looking for a more leisurely ride, a freewheeling bike is a better option.
Cruising downhill is a big part of a bike ride for people, and it is something a fixed wheel bike simply can’t give you. Riding a freewheel bike allows you to enjoy the scenery and the day without your legs spinning faster than it is comfortable.
All in all, a single-speed bike is a brilliant option for anyone looking for a daily commuting bike. Whether you decide to ride fixed gear or freewheel really boils down to personal preference. Luckily, most bikes will allow you to ride either way through a flip-flop hub.
The inexpensive price, lightweight design, and simplicity of these bikes are just some of the things these bikes have to offer. Finding the right single speed bike for you can add exercise, mobility, and joy to your daily life.