If you want to experience cycling in its purest form, look no further than a fixed-gear bike. There are no gears, no freewheeling, and (sometimes) no brakes — just the rider and the bicycle. This simple design dates back to the late 1800s, but it still has a cult following in the bike world.
Even still, in 2022, the humble fixed gear remains an important part of urban cycling. All over the world, there are clandestine alley cat races, sanctioned criteriums, and trick contests that keep the fixie community thriving.
But fixed-gear bicycles aren’t just for pro cyclists, track racers, and bike messengers. The fact is, fixies and single-speed bikes make an exciting commuter or even a quad-burning training alternative to a standard road bike. They’re a lot of fun once you get the hang of them.
But what makes a fixie ‘good,’ and what are the best-fixed gear, single-speed, or track bikes of the year? So, in this article, you will learn what a fixie is, what the best ones are, and how to choose one that’s right for you.
Editor’s note: This article was updated on January 31, 2022, to include additional information regarding the best fixed, single-speed, and track bikes.
Below are just three of our featured favorites. Scroll further down to see our full roundup, or click here.
What is a fixed gear bike?
To put it simply, a fixed-gear bicycle is a bike that has a drive train, or crank, has a fixed drive system to the driven gear, the cog linked to the rear wheel hub. If you turn the crank forward, the wheel will turn forward; if you spin the crank backward, the wheel will move backward.
This implies that this drive system will not be able to change between numerous gears and will only be accessible as a single-speed, leading many people to wrongly assume that single-speeds and fixed gears are the same things.
Because there is no opportunity to coast or stop pedaling due to the direct drivetrain on a fixed gear, the riding experience will be unlike any other for novice riders. This also implies that the luxury of a regulated ride with handbrakes will be a thing of the past, as your legs will now be not just the engine power but also the stopping force, providing the super-connected experience that many enthusiasts want.
What is a single-speed bike?
Single-speed bicycles often have a freewheel in the drivetrain, enabling the rider to stop pedaling while moving ahead, a technique known as coasting.
In order to save your sanity while still enjoying the benefits of a fixed-gear, many of the bikes on this list include ambidextrous rear wheel hubs known as flip flop hubs, which allow you to swiftly shift to single speed mode.
For the complete racing experience, you may choose a fixed gear, or you can swivel the rear wheel around to transition to a leisurely cruiser mode with a freewheel.
Due to consumer safety requirements, most of the bikes on our list will also come equipped with a complete set of hand brakes, so if constant pedaling fast isn’t your thing, you can relax your legs and still enjoy a fixie.
Benefits of a fixed gear bike
Fixed gear cycling is some of the most fun you can have on two wheels. And there are a ton of benefits to riding a fixed gear bike, including:
- Greater pedal efficiency
- Better cardio workout
- Fixed gear bikes are lightweight
- They require little maintenance
- Allow you to do freestyle tricks
If you want to see more advantages, check out our post on the benefits of a fixed gear bike.
However, before you can enjoy the benefits, it’s critical to consider what you want a bike for in the first place. If you want to race, you’ll want something with razor-sharp geometry and an emphasis on reducing both aerodynamic and mechanical drag.
Sounds slick, but the fact is, these types of bikes are uncomfortable for the majority of people. Most people prefer a comfort-oriented bicycle with upright seating and a large saddle, or a “café racer” that evokes the heavily chromed, thin-tubed racing bikes of the pre-World War I era, without the absolute focus on performance.
Thinking about this will help you choose the right bike. If you want to know what to consider when choosing a fixie, check out our post, or click here to scroll down to that section of the article.
Why we choose these bikes (ranking criteria)
We studied hundreds of reviews from real purchasers as well as expert testers to determine which bikes performed the best and were the most dependable, and we selected bikes at a variety of pricing ranges to ensure that everyone can find a fixie that suits their needs. We judged the bikes by the following criteria.
Let’s face it, we all want a good-looking bike. Thus, we selected these bikes based on their aesthetic appeal.
While this article covers bikes with varying price ranges, we highlight affordability as a benefit. We selected these bikes based on how reasonable their pricing as compared to their features.
This is without a doubt one of the most important criteria of any bike, but it’s perhaps more important on a fixie. We select fixed gear bikes that emphasize lightweight as a desirable feature.
Every bike comes with a set of different features. Some are better than others. We selected these fixed gear and track bikes on their advertised features.
If a manufacturer does not honor its warranty, it’s unlikely that it believes in its product. We selected bikes that have a multi-year warranty.
The 10 Best complete fixed gear, single speed, and track bikes of 2022
Below are the best fixed-gear, single-speed, and track bikes that you can buy right now.
Best fixed gear bike for beginners
This bike is the best for those who are new to fixed gear cycling.
The best fixed gear bike for beginners – Retrospec Harper
Check out the Retrospec Harper if you’re looking for a low-cost fixie that nonetheless looks good and rides well. The Harper is designed for cruising and commuting around the city, and it is as basic and low-maintenance as a fixie can get, but that doesn’t make it uninteresting.
Harper personifies the fixie as a low-cost commuter. With a flat bar, front and rear brakes, and 700c x 28mm tires, this is an excellent pick for someone with a short commute or a desire to spend as little money as possible.
The Harpe features a flip-flop hub (at an additional cost). The rear wheel has two gears, one fixed and one freewheel, so you may ride fixed or single-speed by just rotating the back wheel over. Switching out of fixed-gear mode may provide a pleasant break for your legs and head, and it’s useful if a fixie-averse buddy wants to borrow your bicycle.
Click here to check the most current price of the Retrospec Harper.
Best overall fixed gear bike
This bike is the best for those who already ride a fixie and want a sweet upgrade with excellent performance.
Finding the appropriate combination of strong attack-oriented geometry and daily rideability in a fixed gear may be a challenge that few bike manufacturers can master.
The State Bicycle 6061 Black Label V2 is a bold aluminum and carbon construction meant to command the pavement in every situation, designed to smash sprints as well as stack miles on sunny weekends.
A complete carbon fork softens the impact of these ultra-rigid and compliant components, providing just enough flexibility to allow for a smooth ride on tough metropolitan streets.
The hefty components package includes CNC’d crank arms and the choice of wide riser bars, providing you with a sufficiently sturdy cockpit for launching an assault, whether in the crit or just hanging out with your buds.
Click here to check the most current price of the State Bicycle Co. 6061 Black Label V2
Best value fixed gear bike
This bike is the best for those who are on a tight budget.
This surprisingly low-cost fixie borrows styling cues from the track and the street. One of the differences between this bike and the others is that it is composed of aluminum rather than steel. This material not only reduces weight (the 6KU weighs 18 to 22 pounds depending on size), but it also enables the frame design to be more aggressive and sleek looking without being uncomfortable to ride.
This bike takes things up a level in terms of appearance as well. The deep-walled wheels are reminiscent of track bikes, but they aren’t so deep that you’ll be blown in the wind. The riser handlebars are also outfitted with comfortable Oury grips, which provide a classic feel while being highly contemporary and useful.
This is a great option for those who want a great-looking truck lite bike, but don’t want to actually hit the velodrome.
Click here to check the most current price of the 6KU Urban Track Fixed Gear Bike.
Most popular fixed gear bike
This bike is the best for those who want a bike that is well-reviewed and reliable for most people.
Wabi Cycles is a beloved brand, and for good reason. The Wabi lightning is one of the more popular and best-reviewed bikes out there. At just 18 pounds (alleged), the Wabi Lightning is quick enough for racing but stylish enough to put outside a Chelsea coffee shop. Credit goes to the Columbus Spirit tubing, which was manufactured in Italy and delivered to Taiwan for assembly into a rocketship frame. Everything about the Lightning, from the handlebar curve to the gears, can be changed.
Click here to check the most current price of the Wabi Lightning.
Most prestigious fixed gear bike
This bike is the best for those who love the classic Italian racing scene.
Cycling has always been a big deal in Italy. For almost 130 years, the Bianchi brand has been associated with top-tier racing bikes, and the Pista fixed gear pays respect to the innumerable pedal strokes that paved the path for current cycle sports.
The Chromoly steel frame is offered as a race-ready type without any braze-ons which means no mounts for a water bottle cage and certainly no rack or fenders — this bike is all business. With an FSA crankset mounted to a monstrous 48 tooth chainring driving a 16 tooth gear, you’d best be ready for the Pista. This is without a doubt one of the more classic, classy fixies on our list.
Click here to check the most current price of the Bianchi Pista.
Best belt drive fixed gear bike
This bike is the best for those who are looking to try something completely new in their biking experience.
This one is truly one of a kind. The Ace of Spades does something few fixies can: it removes the nuisance that comes aligned with bike chains. chains stretch with time, generating a sag in tension and making you tweak with the wheel position on occasion; if it’s too loose, you lose the smooth power transmission that makes fixies so quick and exciting.
Instead of a chain, this bike has a Gates Carbon Drive belt, which is found on every Priority bike. It will never stretch rust, break, or need lubrication, ensuring that you always have optimal tension and maximum energy return with every pedal stroke.
This bike is absolutely beautiful. A steel frame nearly always looks good in black, and the white dip on the fork, seat, and chainstays adds a lovely accent. The 22-pound alloy/carbon fiber machine is also equipped with a rack and panniers, which is unusual for fixed gear bikes but a good enhancement for commuting or transporting a picnic to the park.
This bike is by default a single-speed bike. To ride this bike fixed, you’ll need one extra component — a 20T CDX Fixed Gear Sprocket ($80) — but it’s well worth it.
Click here to check the most current price of the Priority Bicycles Ace of Spades.
Most customizable fixed gear bike
This bike is the best for those who want to customize everything on a bike.
If you’re looking for a bike that has excellent reviews from just about everyone, look no further than the Surly Steamroller.
The Steamroller frameset is constructed from double-butted 4130 tubings, giving a ride quality that Surly claims are “smoother than a swig of whiskey in winter.” Despite its looks, the bike’s geometry definitely leans more towards the road than the track.
It’s hard to pin the bike down to one particular role, and it’s perhaps better to think of it as more of a single-speed platform that you can use for pretty much any task.
You only need to look briefly through the Surly image gallery for the Steamroller to see examples of the huge number of variations that the Steamroller has been built into over the years. This is just one of the many reasons people love the Steamroller.
Click here to check the most current price of the Surly Steamroller.
Best upgrade fixed gear bike
This bike is the best for those who already ride a fixie but want an upgrade.
While it is difficult to state that one bike will be the ideal ride in all situations, everyone can agree that there are certain bikes that simply appear to be fun everywhere they go. The Aventon Cordoba sets out to be the fixed gear bike that is fun to ride anywhere.
With its aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork, and modest geometry, this bike works equally well in an alley cat as it does on the boardwalk or city streets. With a slacker geometry than some of the more race-bred kits, this bike seems like it may be fine for an all-day ride into the hills, but the lightweight and compliant components spec will have the steed ready to hurl down on cross-town sprints.
Not to mention it’s one of the best-looking bikes around. Take a look at that color. The coyote tan one is by far my favorite.
Click here to check the most current price of the Aventon Cordoba
Best performance fixed gear bike
This bike is the best for the serious cyclist who cares about speed, efficiency, and above all, performance.
Specialized makes amazing bikes. Simple as that. And this one is no exception. The A1 aluminum frame arcs with variable width tubing join perfectly to a carbon fiber fork for well-balanced cracking compliance and ride quality, thanks to patented technologies used in the fabrication of practically all parts of this bike. The Langster is hot and ready to bash bars on the track or the street, thanks to a slew of Specialized factory components and available in menacing black or heroic red hues.
The alloy square taper crankset with 48T chainring is rigid and durable, and it’s meant to endure for years. The Langster is a strong contender on both the track and the streets thanks to its A1 Premium Aluminum frame with track-specific geometry, completely modified tubing, and remarkable overall stiffness.
The FACT carbon fork from Specialized boosts front-end stiffness while also delivering great steering responsiveness for the track.
Click here to check the most current price of the Specialized Langster.
Most expensive fixed gear bike
This bike is the best for those who pay extreme attention to craftsmanship and have deep pockets.
Dosnoventa was founded in October 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, as a result of two old friends and well-known city riders sharing a common interest. Since then, the Dosnoventa family has continued to expand, with eleven new frame models hitting the market. The name translates to 290, or the bottom bracket height (29cm) of every bike in their line.
Dosnoventa’s mission is to provide their crew with a great product made from only the best materials, with careful attention to aesthetics, geometry, and image, and built by the best craftsmen, all at a very competitive price.
As a result, Dosnoventa is now known for its quality, style, and authenticity, and riders all over the world prefer Dosnoventa frames. But this attention to detail comes at a cost. They are very expensive. To say the least. The Dosnoventa Tokyo costs around $4,000. Wow. But they are hand-built in Italy after all, so maybe the price point is appropriate.
Click here to check the current price of the Dosnoventa Tokyo.
What to consider when buying a fixed gear bike (thigns to look for)
The more you know ahead of time; the more enjoyable your purchase will be. Here are the most crucial considerations to make when purchasing a fixed gear bike.
Choosing the right size for your fixed gear bike is crucial. Your steering and pedaling efficiency will suffer if you choose a bike that is either too large or too small for you. Because of the additional control required by fixed gears, selecting the proper size is critical.
Fortunately, the vast majority of fixed gear bikes are available in numerous sizes, and not just small, medium, or large. Check out our post on choosing a bike size to help you pick the right size. Also, check out the bike fit calculator for additional data points.
Fixed gear bikes are known for benign lightweight, but not all are as lightweight as advertised, so make sure to check out the weight specifications.
Consider models that weigh 20-22 pounds, have a mid-range gear ratio, and come equipped with a hand brake when you’re shopping for a hefty commuter bike.
You don’t have to categorize yourself in these categories, but it helps to explore your motivations for owning a fixie.
A solid comprehension of a fixed gear bike comes from having a proper understanding of its fundamental components. Here are the primary ones you need to be acquainted with.
4. Frame material
It all begins with the frame. Fixed gear bikes often feature a road bike-type frame. This provides the bike some extra reaction and control, which helps with speed and maneuverability too.
You’ll experience a lot of bumps and shocks on the road on any bike. The frame material may assist with that.
Steel frames provide a little more comfort and, as you might have imagined, are far stronger than aluminum frames.
Aluminum frames are lighter than steel frames, but they are stiff, and you will feel almost every bump on the road. It’s a trade-off that comes down to personal choice.
The hub and drive train are one of the most significant components. Because a fixed-gear bike is all about that one fixed gear
Sealed hubs are normally recommended since they keep dirt and moisture out and reduce maintenance.
Flip Flop hubs are also a smart idea since they allow you to rotate the wheel over for freewheel riding, which you may occasionally find useful
The remainder of the drivetrain is made up of the front crank and rear cog, the size of which determines the bike’s gear ratio. Larger cranks will have greater top speeds but will accelerate more slowly.
The handlebars of a fixie play an important part in defining how it steers as well as your overall comfort and riding posture.
Handlebars that curve upwards on the sides are more comfortable to ride but may not be appealing to everyone.
Shorter handlebars, as well as a totally flat design, are favored among fixie purists. Bullhorns and lowered handlebars are other choices, depending on your preferences and riding style.
The saddle of a fixed gear may vary substantially. Road and racing saddles are quite prevalent, but some riders prefer something a bit more comfy, even if it doesn’t seem as stylish.
Fixed gear bike saddles are, for the most part, road bike saddles. Some may have a more aggressive form as well.
The saddle’s angle adjustment has a significant impact on how comfortable it feels for you and your body size.
Fixed gear bikes are particularly popular for commuting and urban transportation, but their usefulness may go much beyond that. Identifying your future bike’s primary function and use might help you pick the one that is perfect for you.
Those who are wanting to ride a fixie more casually about the neighborhood will have more options, as brakeless versions will normally be alright, and the bike’s design and aesthetic receive a bit more attention too.
Fitness and training riders who utilize their fixed gear bikes will want a model that emphasizes comfort and performance, including improved drivetrain components, reduced weight, and maybe even clipless pedals or holsters.
Fixed gear bike grips provide several opportunities to express your unique design preferences. BMX-style rubber grips are popular among urban riders who want to emulate the appearance of a street fixie. Others like to use taped grips.
Rubber grips will be the most comfortable, but grips are one of the simplest things to replace on a bike, so don’t put too much emphasis on them while purchasing; you can always swap them out later.
If you want to see this discussed in more detail, take a look at this video called Beginner’s Guide to Online Fixed Gear Bike Shopping from the Zach Gallardo YouTube Channel.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Is single-speed better than gears?
Single-speed bikes are not necessarily better than geared bikes. And vice versa. They are used for different things and serve different purposes. Single-speed bikes are far lighter and look amazing. The geared bikes temp to be faster and you can climb Hills with them a little easier obviously. It’s all about what you’re using the bike for.
Are fixed gear bikes still popular?
Yes, fixed gear bikes are still popular. There is a very strong scene behind the fixed gear. While it may not be as it was in 2008, the fixed gear scene is alive and well. As a matter of fact. There are many new fixed gear-only companies popping up all the time.
Can you stop pedaling on a fixed gear bike?
No. You cannot stop pedaling on a fixed gear bike because your pedals are directly attached to the drivetrain, which spins when the rear wheel spins. You can however stop pedaling on a single-speed bike, which uses a Freewheel COG.
Are fixed gear bikes cheaper than other bikes?
Generally speaking, fixed gear bikes will be the least expensive bikes on the market because they don’t have expensive Gering to deal with. They are as basic as a bike can get, So they tend to be less expensive than road or mountain bikes.
Is fixed gear dangerous?
Every bike has some element of danger to it. Fixed gear bikes are associated as dangerous by some people because some Riders choose to ride without brakes. This is unadvised and can lead to injury. Also, if you are a beginner oh, you might not be used to the pedals constantly spinning, which might catch you off-guard and throw you off the bike. However, with a little practice, you fix your bike is no more dangerous than any other bike.
The fixed gear is the most basic type of bicycle, and despite tremendous technological advancements over the years, these racing bikes remain to exemplify the essential ethos of cycling — man connecting to machines. The sensation of being attached to the bicycle with direct drive is an unparalleled experience.
We hope you now have a better idea of what you’re looking for When it comes to searching for your own fixed gear bike. As previously said, all of these bikes are excellent, with the majority of them catering to certain budgets or riding types.
Just remember to use the criteria we discussed in the post, and you’ll find the ideal single-speed bike for you.
In this article, we covered what a fixie is, what the best fixie ones of the year are, and how to choose the right one for you. Here are some key takeaways:
- Best fixed gear bike for beginners – Retrospec Harper
- Best overall fixed gear bike – State Bicycle Co. 6061 Black Label V2
- Best value fixed gear bike – 6KU Urban Track Fixed Gear Bike
- Most popular fixed gear bike – Wabi Lightning
- Most prestigious Fixed Gear Bike – Bianchi Pista
- Best Belt Drive Fixed Gear Bike – Priority Bicycles Ace of Spades
- Most customizable fixed gear bike – Surly Steamroller
- Best upgrade fixed gear bike – Aventon cordoba
- Best performance fixed gear bike – Specialized Langster
- Most expensive fixed gear bike – Dosnoventa Tokyo
So, are you ready for your first fixie, single-speed, or track bike? or are you looking for your 2022 upgrade? Let us know in the comments below (we read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out our full blog for more tips and tricks on everything fixie. Thanks for reading, and stay fixed.