Top 5 Cheap Fixie Frames: Reviews of Strong, Affordable Options
My Picks: The Best Cheap Fixed Gear Bicycle Frames
If you're new to fixed gear bicycles, and you want to build your own, chances are you have a few questions about the components you should use. And if you're like me, you probably want to build your fixie as cheaply as possible! Fortunately, they can be very inexpensive to put together, so you can be riding in no time without breaking the bank. Finding a good, cheap fixie frame is the first step.
One of the most beautiful things about fixed gear bicycles is the fact that you can totally customize them, building them from the ground up. This modularity allows your ride to be totally unique, and it's a lot of fun to plan and build.
In this article, I want to look at some of the best fixie frames you can find nowadays. While technically speaking you can use almost any frame to build upon, the best way to get started is to find one that's built specifically for the riding style you're after. Finding a good, cheap fixed gear bicycle frame isn't terribly difficult, but it can be confusing.
I'm going to show you five of my favorite cheap fixie frames, and I'll review each one. I will try to look at different types and looks, so you'll have some variety to choose from. I'll look at the materials, construction, rigidity, configuration and riding style of each one. Hopefully this will help you find an inexpensive fixie frame that works for you!
Let's get started.
Fixed Gear Frame Must Haves:
What Your Cheap Fixie Frame Needs To Look Like...
You can find bicycle frames of all shapes and sizes just about everywhere you look. Unfortunately, not every frame is suitable for a fixed gear bike. Let's take a look at a couple 'must haves' for your cheap fixed gear bicycle frame.
- Your fixie frame needs to be large enough to accommodate standard wheels. In most cases you won't be able to use a BMX frame or anything too small, because the forks need to be able to hold 700c wheels (the standard common size these days).
- You need horizontal dropouts or 'track fork ends'. With a fixie you'll need a nice taut chain. So, you'll need some room in the dropouts (where the rear wheel slots into place) so you can pull the whole wheel back and tighten up the chain. A loose frame seriously hinders your ability to ride. (See picture for a reference of what this looks like).
State Bicycle Co: A Cheap Fixed Gear Frame In Many Colours
A bicycle frame and fork that's affordable
The State Bicycle Co. has a ton of great stuff for anyone who's into tricking out their fixie, so they're a favourite of mine. They offer a cheap fixie frame in a variety of colours and sizes that's pretty much perfect for a highly customized build. They are light, fast, strong and unbranded, so they're an excellent choice all in all.
They offer their frames in chromoly steel, TIG welded for accuracy and integrity. They include track style fork dropouts on the rear, and they are set up specifically for track, fixie and single speed builds in mind. The best thing about these frames is the extreme variety of colour and size. If you don't find a combination that suits your fancy, you're probably extremely picky!
Like their wheels, I highly recommend these State Bicycle Co. frames for your cheap fixie build. With a price under $200 they are a great value.
Pure Fix: Cheap Fixie Frames With Excellent Build Quality
A highly affordable fixed gear bicycle frame set
Pure Fix is one of my favourite fixie brands, and their complete bikes are some of the best value items around. This is a solid frame for anyone seeking a great platform to built a track or fixed gear bicycle upon. It's actually shockingly inexpensive, and it's one of the cheapest fixie frames that includes forks.
The Pure Fix frameset has a high tensile steel construction, meaning it's lighter than average and extremely strong. It has 120mm rear spacing, perfect for the setup of most fixed gear wheelsets, meaning you can plug in a rear wheel and go.
It's also a very attractive frame with it's aggressive lines, subtle matte paint and minimalist approach. It's a superior basis for any build you'd want to do. Definitely one of the top contenders for cheaper fixie frames you should consider.
EighthInch Scrambler Track Fixed Gear Frame
Cheap, Strong Fixie Frame with Top Tup Gusseting
This EighthInch fixie frame is very cheap and is pretty high quality for the price. Frankly, you'll be hard pressed to find a better deal, money wise. At the time of this writing it's on sale for $125, and you get a fully painted chromoly frame and a seat post and forks: a difficult deal to beat!
This frame has very low profile cable stops (where brake cable housing fits in) so it has a very clean, sleek and minimalist look. Most cheap fixie frames eschew the cable guides, so this is a nice bonus feature.
The horizontal track dropouts make adding and removing the rear wheel and tightening the chain a very easy task.
The geometry is pretty standard for a road bike, and you'll probably find it comfortable if you prefer a mixed riding style. The tubing is standard sized and this frame would work for either a classic or modern look. It's a great cheap fixie frame and a good canvas to work with.
Inexpensive, cable guides, strong gusseted frame, great brand name, a good cheap fixie frame for sale.
Tommaso Augusta: A Good, Inexpensive Track Bike Frame
A fixed gear / track bike frame that's affordable and strong
The Tommaso Augusta is a little higher in price than the previous couple of frames we've looked at, but it's also a step above in terms of quality and construction. You can see by checking out the photos that these frames are well built and pretty slick looking. Notice those amazing forks!
Built with chromoly steel, the frame is extremely strong and light. It's pre-drilled for front and rear brakes, so if you prefer riding with a brake setup (my recommendation!) this is a good platform to start with. This frame can also accept fairly large tires if you prefer a bit more traction, up to 700x28 in clearance room.
Like most track frames it has track fork end dropouts making it ready for a fixed gear wheel setup out of the box. Overall the Tommaso Augusta is a beautiful frame, available in black, white and grey, and it's a good choice for a cheap fixie frame.
Vilano Chromoly Fixed Gear Frame
A cheap, chromoly fixie frame that looks great!
Vilano is a brand that's embraced the fixed gear style and aesthetic. This chromoly frameset is gorgeous and very affordable to pick up. Aside from being super strong for those of you who like to ride hard, this is a great looking and cheap fixie frame that will work for virtually any build. Available in many sizes, the frame is designed in a classic style and geometry. You're guaranteed to get some looks rolling on one of these.
It's a straightforward road design with a classic frame geometry. That makes it perfect for most riding styles. Check out the track fork ends with generous room, great for ensuring a taught chain.
Super light, fast and durable, this is about the best bang for your buck at this price range. It even comes with a fork, and for this low cost you can easily afford to purchase a pretty decent wheelset. A note: this style of frame tends to run a bit large in size, so keep that in mind when you're choosing yours. I recommend the Vilano Chromoly as one of the best inexpensive fixie frames out there.
Fixed Gear Bikes
Hey, building up a bike from a fixie frame is a lot of work! You may want to consider buying a complete bike and modifying it to suit your needs. Here are some examples of inexpensive starting points for fixed gear bikes. You can always strip down some of the parts and replace them with what you really want. The whole, complete bikes themselves aren't much more than the frames, so it's worth taking a look.
Cheap Fixed Gear Frames
The above is only a list of frames that I've had a great experience with. It's by no means exclusive. I do have a few more tips when it comes to tracking down cheaper fixed gear bike frames online. You want to protect yourself and avoid buying junk (and yes, there are some real junk frames available out there).
Cheaper fixie frames generally contain shoddy paint, poor metal quality and sub-par craftsmanship. The tubes will be misaligned, covered in burrs or simply not welded well. It's worth your time to do a bit of research and go for quality. All my recommendations are excellent quality, so consider taking a look at a few of them first.
- Avoid any 'no-name' brands, or any brands you've never heard of. If all else fails, try to find a review of the one you're looking at. Cheap fixed gear frames exist, even ones with brands, so don't compromise on this.
- Beware of shipping costs. Some online retailers will offer a super low rate, but make up the difference in shipping. Realistically, your frame shouldn't cost more than $30 to ship within the continental US.