Five Good, Cheap Fixie Bikes Under $300 Reviews
My 5 Picks: Best Fixed Gear Bikes for Below $300
I love riding fixed gears. They are tons of fun to ride, super responsive and quick, and there's a sense of feel and simplicity that's hard to describe. I also believe that this kind of riding should be inexpensive and easy to get into. Fortunately, there are many cheap fixie bikes under $300 for sale out there today, and you can take advantage of these great deals.Image Credit: Appie Verschoor
I'm writing this article to help anyone who is new to this type of bicycle and wants to get into riding one on the cheaper end of things. I'm going to take a look at a few of my favorites for under $300, and rate them based on their brand, ride-ability, materials and components involved, and overall ride experience.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it's a good start for you if you're new to fixies in general. I'll do my best to explain the components and what the terminology means. If I've lost you at any point, please leave me a comment and I'll respond to any questions you might have. Also, if you're looking at one under $300 that's not on this list and you want my opinion, leave a comment and I'll give you my honest opinion.
Bikes We'll Be Reviewing:
Here is an overview of the bikes we'll be reviewing in this article. I'll be taking a close look at each one, so read on for in-depth information about each of the models listed here.
If you have questions or comments about any of the bikes seen here (or anywhere, really) please don't hesitate to leave a comment below, I'd love to help out.
- Critical Cycles Fixed Gear
- Vilano Edge
- Takara Sugiyama
- Vilano Fixie
- Retrospec Siddhartha
- Takara Blacktop
What Makes Up an Inexpensive Fixie
If you're new to fixed gear bikes, here's a primer. You don't need to know every component on the bike and how it all works, but it's good to know the basic components and difference from traditional bicycles.
- Fixed Rear Wheel: The primary different between a conventional freewheeled bike and a fixie is the fixed rear wheel. This means that the rear cog where the chain attaches doesn't spin backwards, but is fixed to the wheel. All fixed gears have this feature.
- Flip-Flop Hub: Many of these bikes, including many priced under $300, have a flip-flop hub. This means that there is a fixed gear cog on one side of the wheel, and the option for a freewheel on the other side. If you want to be able to pedal backwards (and coast), you just flip the wheel around.
- Track Style Dropouts: In order to adjust the chain to the right level of tautness, even a cheaper fixed gear bike must have track friendly rear dropouts. These are the slots into which the wheel sits. As long as there is some room to move the wheel back and forth in the slots, it should work.
Critical Cycles: A Cheap Single Speed/Fixed Gear Bike
Critical Cycles makes an awesome fixed gear bike. It has some excellent features, and suits an adventurous rider. The TIG welded steel frame is strong and quite light, and the bike itself comes with a flip-flop hub, so you can easily flip the wheel to the side with the Sunrun freewheel for coasting. If you're looking for an urban warrior, this is a great option to look at.
This is probably the ideal cheap starter bike for anyone looking to get into fixie tricks and stunts, since it has components set up perfectly for that style of riding. It has a sealed bottom bracket for smooth pedalling and low maintenance, a set of BMX style riser bars with excellent spin clearance, and Promax brakes for extra stopping power. The rims are deep V and are double walled for added strength and rigidity. It's available in small, medium and large, and in lots of different color schemes. Did I mention it even comes with a cone wrench and 3 allen wrenches so you can do some maintenance?
Long story short, you get a lot for your money with this bike, and for well under $300 it's basically a great bargain.
Vilano: A good, cheap fixed gear well under $300
When you find a great brand name for a decent price, it's an easy decision to make. When you find an unbelievable price with an unknown brand, it's a bit of a tougher call! Vilano is relatively unknown brand when compared to the bigger ones, but it's one I'm familiar with and I've been very impressed.
This bike has a chromoly frame for superior strength, rigidity and dependability. It has a forged alloy Tec9 crankset with a 46 tooth chainring on the front, and a 16 tooth freewheel on the back. The gearing is great for all-around riding styles, and you can even tackle a hill or two. It has a flip-flop rear hub, and it even comes with a freewheel attached to the other side, a nice bonus! It even comes with toe clips.
This fixie is also nice to look at and would make a good basis for a buildup, since it's got very little overt branding on it. Check it out, you might be impressed by this newer brand.
Takara Sugiyama: Low Cost Fixie Bike Under $300
Another newer brand (you're probably seeing a pattern here), Takara is nevertheless gaining a good reputation for producing excellent road bicycles, fixie bikes and components. Just check out the reviews: these are nice bikes and the owners are noticing. The best part is the price point, which is unbelievably affordable. I really dig the flat bars and 'custom' style look this one has.
The Takara Sugiyama is an attractive and basic single speed bike that is perfect for a newer rider. It comes with a fixed cog rear wheel and a freewheel (rare to get both out of the box) so it's a good deal for you if you want to try out both styles. The wheels are 700c alloy and very light, and the brakes (front and rear) are pretty effective, so no compromise on quality there! Getting all these nice, high quality components on a fixie costing under $300 is pretty rare.
Takara is worth a shot, and this is a really nice bike for a fantastic price. Check it out, and check out the next listing by the same company if you want something with a little bit of a different flavor.
Vilano: A cheap fixie below $300 that's fun & fast
The Vilano is great for anyone seeking an inexpensive fixed gear ride. The quality with Vilano products is actually pretty good, and this bike is no exception. This model includes a flip-flop rear hub that comes with both a 16t cog and a 16t freewheel so you can ride either way, your choice. I really like the distinctive rear frame. This bike is bullet-proof!
The frame is high tension steel and the rims are double walled, super strong and CNC machined so they're set up for brakes already (it comes with a front brake in place). The cool BMX style riser bars are comfortable and make bar spins nice and easy, in fact every model can bar spin out of the box. In blue, green, orange and black, it's hard to find a better deal than this.
It sometimes goes on sale for as low as $200
Retrospec Siddhartha: Fixed Gear Bike Style Without the Hassle
Retrospec is another newer name to the game, but they're quickly gaining a positive reputation, and they like to do things a little bit differently. The Retrospec Siddhartha is a retro fixie inspired single speed that looks great and performs well in most riding situations. It's one of my new favorites.
The Siddhartha has a single speed coaster brake rear hub for a mixed riding style and easy skidding if you prefer it, and the 16 tooth cog matches well with the 48 tooth chainring, best suited for flats and lighter hills. The frame is steel and is built for the perfect mix of fun and comfort. I like it because you won't be in pain but you won't look goofy either. The moustache handlebars give it a good retro French appeal.
What I like best about the Retrospec Siddhartha is that it's a fantastic platform for almost any build. The classic look frame is perfect for a wide variety of styles. You can buy this bike and add better parts and components as you can afford them. Definitely a nice one to check out.
Pacific Akula: A cheap, 'BMX styled' fixed gear bicycle
This last bike has a bit of a different flavour than the other ones we've been looking at so far. The Pacific Akula is neat because it sort of combines the best of two worlds: BMX and fixed gear styles. It has a more BMX styled stance than normal, but it also has many properties of a fixie too.
The Akula has 700c wheels with colourful, mismatched rubber on them. It has riser bars, which aren't usually seen on single speeds. Front and rear brakes are a nice addition, as is the modern steel frame. It's lacking a flip-flop rear hub, but the dual brakes make up for that omission.
It's unconventional, but in a cool way! Check out the Takara Blacktop, one of the nicest and most unique on this list.
Higher End Fixed Gear Bikes
I wanted to list a few higher end fixie bikes for sale to give you an idea of what's out there. You can definitely get a good ride for under $300, but fixed gears at a slightly higher price point can offer a lot more in terms of equipment, components, tuning and quality.
Here are a few bikes that exceed the review price but are definitely worth your time to take a look. If you have any questions about these bikes please feel free to post a comment below.
Brakes or No Brakes?
Planning to ride your cheap fixie bike without brakes?
If you're shopping around for an affordable fixed gear bike, you're probably also aware that many riders eschew brakes on their rides. The idea is that with a fixed gear bicycle, you can always lock up the rear wheel to 'skid stop'.
I get the trick factor, and it's fun to play around with, but I implore you to always ride with at least a single brake on your bike! Traffic is unpredictable, skid stops don't always work well on gravel or wet pavement, and frankly, it's bad on your knees to be skidding all the time. Not to mention, in many municipalities it's illegal to ride a bicycle with no brakes, so you're risking a ticket or fine.
All of the inexpensive fixie bikes reviewed here have brakes, and any manufacturer worth their salt will offer them as standard equipment. Get them, they're worth it.
Things To Watch Out For:
In any cheaper fixed gears, you should be wary of cheap parts. Avoid anything that you're iffy about. I know that a lot of people don't put much stock in brand names, but the fact is they are a good sign of the overall quality of the product. No-name brands are dangerous, and you should avoid them for the most part.
Also, before you take your first ride, make sure your fixie has been inspected and put together properly. You don't want to be riding on something half-baked. On fixed gears in particular, flaws in the drivetrain can be very dangerous.
I hope my list of low cost fixies helps you out. Good Luck!