The Pure Fix Original is our pick for the best single-speed bike to get in 2018. Click here to buy it on Amazon.
Single-speed bikes are the most simple kind of bicycles, which is why they have a wide appeal. People use them because they’re light, cheap, and easy to use. There’s no complicated multi-gear system or derailleurs involved.
A common misconception in the biking community is that the term “single-speed bike” is synonymous with “fixie bike”. A single-speed bicycle is not necessary a fixed-gear bicycle. But most fixed-gear bicycles are single speed.
In this article I’ll explain the terms in detail below. I’ll also talk about the advantages of using single-speed bicycles and what purposes they’re best suited for.
But first, here are our picks for the 15 best single-speed and fixie bicycles to get in 2018.
1. Pure Fix Original
Pure Cycles is a brand that’s known for making fixie and single-speed bicycles, and this is one of their best. This actually functions both as a fixed-gear bike and a freewheel. You can alternate between the two using its flip flop rear hub. it allows you to switch between fixed gear and freewheel. This gives the bike a lot of versatility, because you can change the rear hub depending on how you’re riding.
If you’re cruising along and riding casually, then a freewheel mechanism is the best option. It lets you coast freely without any restrictions or lagging behind. But if you’re doing more focused riding, then you can easily switch to fixed-gear. This makes you much more connected to the road, and it tightens the bicycle’s mechanism. This lets you ride faster, and is great for racing, exercising, or commuting to work/school. With a fixie bike, you’re still limited in how many gears you can use, since it’s fixed. So that’s something you still have to be aware of. Though for many people, a fixed gear is enough for their purposes. It has many advantages like making the ride and experience much lighter. This bike weighs only around 22 pounds, which makes it very light for a bicycle. It has deep dish 32mm wheels, 32-hole alloy rims, and an alloy hub. It has a high quality and is one of the best-rated bikes on this list. Click the button above to go to its product page and learn more.
2. Playdate Bike Club Standard
Playdate Bikes Club Standard is a very durable single-speed bicycle with a premium-quality design. It has a chromoly 4130 steel frame, which is a sturdy frame used for the welding of all kinds of vehicles, even aircraft carriers. It doesn’t bend or break easily and it extends the bicycle’s life by a couple years at least. Despite being strong, it doesn’t feel overbearing or heavy. The bike in total weighs only 23 pounds, making it as light as any other one speed bike. This bike is also very highly rated; it currently has a perfect 5-star rating on Amazon.
The design of this bike is polished and smartly structured. It has chromoly crown forks with fender mounts, that work with the frame to give better structural integrity. The frame also has rear-facing track drop outs. The chrome alloy frame is also used for the handlebars, which are designed as high-rise. It resembles a BMX bike, though it’s more versatile than a BMX bike. It has front and rear brakes with dual pivot caliper. The wheel has a flip-flop hub, so it can alternative between fixie and non-fixie. The wheels are 32-hole double wall rims. The design is very striking; it’s made with spotless steel that looks great. The bike also performs really well, and it can be used for various purposes, including road cycling and commuting. This is one of the more expensive single-speed bikes, so you have to pay a bit more, but you also get better quality and performance.
3. Around The Block Women’s Cruiser
This is one of the best women’s bicycles, period. It also comes in a 7-speed model, but this review is about the single-speed model. As the name suggests, it’s a cruiser bike that’s ideal for casual riding. This is a near flawless bicycle that has everything you’d want. It’s lightweight, simple, performs well, high-quality, and very affordable. It costs just under $200 right now, so it’s very cheap for a fixie bike of its quality. There’s a lot of stuff to fit into this short review.
This has a beach cruiser design, due to the curved steel frame and wide tires. The design works really well for a single-speed bicycle, because of its simplicity. It comes in a variety of beautiful colors, like coral, light plum, mint green, and teal blue. The frame is 17-inch and made from steel. The wheel size is 16-inches and they’re made from aluminum. The tires are very high quality; they have black double-walled rims. The bike is suited for riders between the heights of 5 feet and 6 feet. It has a very smooth configuration and is ideal for riding on the road and commuting within a city. It’s also a comfortable ride. The upright handlebars have a swept-back design that relax the rider’s shoulders. The seat is an extra wide cruiser saddle, so it’s comfortable to sit on and it absorbs most jumps. Overall, this bike’s strongest points are its simplicity and reliability. You can use it for all your road biking and cruising needs.
4. Around The Block Men’s Cruiser
This is the male version bike of the Around The Block cruiser bicycle. It has a 19-inch steel frame in a curved beach cruiser shape. The bike weighs a total of 35-40 pounds. It’s slightly heavier than a fixie bike, like the Pure Fix Original for example. So while it’s not as portable and easy to carry as other fixie bikes, it still is lighter than a multi-gear bicycle. It’s still a lightweight bicycle. The design is very durable. The wheels are made from aluminum and have wide whitewall tires. The rims are double-walled. Double-walled rims are stronger than single-wall rims. They’re also heavier, which explains why this bike heavier than some of the other single-speed ones. The extra weight in double-walled rims is worth it, because it gives the bike better protection and durability.
This bike’s performance and versatility are what make it really great. It has an upright position with swept-back handlebars that keep the rider’s shoulders back and downward. This leads to healthier shoulders and better posture. This bike is also very customizable. You can add baskets, rear racks, and cup holders to it. Around The Block takes great care to make their bicycle versatile and user-friendly. With these different accessories, you can use the bike for a variety of purposes, such as commuting, exercising, and cruising. The bike is recommended for riders between the heights of 5 feet and 6’2″. It comes 85% assembled, so you only need to do some minor assembly when trying it for the first time.
5. Firmstrong Urban Beach Cruiser
Firmstrong’s Urban beach cruiser is similar to the Around The Block bicycles. The version pictured here is the women’s bicycle. There’s also the male version of this bike, which you can find by clicking the button above. This bike has a very colorful set of designs which you can choose from. Some of these include chrome, purple, pink, yellow, and matte black. You can go to its product page to find over a dozen different colors and designs that this bike is available in. It also comes in multi-speed versions.
It has a curved beach cruiser design and a 15.5 inch steel frame. The bike weighs a total of around 30 pounds, making it pretty light. The wheel size is a regular 26-inch. What I especially like about this bike is how comfortable and easy to use it is. The balloon tires are smooth and allow for a cushy ride. These tires are some of the most smooth and light in our whole list, and they work perfectly on roads and even off-road areas like beaches. The bike has coaster brakes which are very responsive. Braking is very simple in single-speed bicycles, and this bike takes advantage of the simplicity. Coaster brakes are ideal for cruise bikes and are generally considered the best kinds of brakes for freewheel bicycles. Last, but not least, this bike has a very clean and well-made design. It’s one of the best-looking bikes on this list.
6. Fortified City Commuter
This is one of the best fixed-gear bikes. It has a slick and modern road-styled design made from a lightweight aluminum frame. The frame is designed to withstand long city commutes. It’s rust-resistant and weighs only 23 pounds. A bike that’s used regularly on the road needs to be built with sturdy aluminum steel like this. Plus, when you use a bicycle for commuting a lot, you will need to park it outside. It could be in a bicycle parking space, or somewhere outside your place of work or study. Whatever the case is, you need strong protection for the bike. Bike theft in cities is common. Luckily, this bike is built to be theft-resistant. It custom security bolts that keep the bike locked tightly. Having a security bolt like this puts your mind at ease, whenever you’re at work or college. It takes off the worry about the bicycle getting stolen.
This bike is one of the toughest on this list. It has puncture-resistance tires that can ride in almost any condition without wearing out. This is among the many reasons why it’s a good urban bicycle. This also makes it very reliable. It has a streamlined design and good visibility with reflective decals to make it safe for continuous road use. Plus, this bike is popular among both women and men, and is accommodating of a wide range of riders. As long as you fall below its weight limit of 270 pounds, you can use it. And if you need to commute around the city, then this is the ideal choice.
7. Golden Cycles Single-Speed Fixie
Golden Cycles’ Fixie is a colorful bike that comes in a few different designs, all of which you can view on its product page. It has an impressive set of features. The frame is hi-tensile steel and is tig welded. In simple terms, this means the frame is welded using an advanced technique to make it stronger. A welding torch is slowly and carefully used to carve out this bike’s frame and make it incredibly durable. And the results in the bike show. It also has alloy handlebars and alloy rims. This bike’s whole structure is built from quality, durable materials that tell you it lasts a long time.
This bicycle has a flip-flop rear hub, which means that it can alternate between non-fixed and fixed-gear. This gives the bike a lot more versatility because depending on where you’re riding, you’ll want to use a different freewheel mechanism. For example, a freewheel mode is best suited for slow riding and cruising, while a fixed-gear is better for road cycling. The fact that you can alternate between the two is a big advantage, since it means you can use this bike for different purposes. This bike is overall very smooth, mainly due to the wheels and pedals. It will require some assembly, but like most of these bicycles it comes about 80% assembled. It would be nice if it came with an instruction manual (it doesn’t), but for most people that isn’t necessary. You just need to put together the front wheel, pedals, handlebars, and seat. You also need a wrench to tighten the screws.
8. In The Barrel Beach Cruiser
This is another single-speed bicycle by sixthreezero, which is a popular bicycle company that makes a variety of bikes. They’re also made the Around The Block cruiser bikes. This bike is known as In The Barrel, and is designed for male cyclists. Right off the bat, this has one of the coolest designs that I’ve seen in a bicycle. It’s an all-matte black design with a smooth and curved frame. The frame is 18 inches and extendable. Having a uniform color on a bicycle is not common, but it works really well. It gives the bike a better and simpler look. Combined with the fact that it’s a single-speed bike, it looks like a bike that’s great for light and casual use. You can also get it in the 3-speed and 7-speed versions if you’re looking for a more versatile use.
This bike has all the qualities you would want in a cruiser. The pedals are rubber block comfort pedals for easy, low-impact, and smooth pedaling. The seat is very comfortable. It’s a bubble saddle that makes the cyclist more relaxed while pedaling the bike, compared to some of the tougher models. With this bike, you can cruise at anywhere between the speeds of 3 and 15 MPH. So you can also use it for road cycling, and not just casual use. The simplicity of the single-speed bike really shines here. It has a forward-pedaling mechanism, with no cables, and a lightweight design.
9. Dahon Single-Speed Folding Bike
Single-speed bicycles come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s no surprise that one of them is a folding bike. This Dahon folding bike is very lightweight and compact; it’s ideal for urban commuting. It has a chromoly frame that as a total weight of 24.2 pounds. Of course, the real compactness comes from the fact that it is a foldable frame. There is a magnetic latch that holds the bike frame together when it’s folded. The latch is very safe, and it even has a secondary lock for extra security. The bike’s structural integrity is in no way compromised by the foldable frame, because its latch and lock are strong.
This bike is a favorite among urban commuters due to its simple design. It can be folded and carried anywhere, such as inside a building. It can also be stored inside, which is a luxury you don’t get with non-foldable bikes. This is why foldable bikes of all kinds are popular with commuters, whether’re they’re electric or mountain. This one’s a simple, single-speed road bicycle, so it’s considerably easier to use. It has one rear coaster brake. It’s very important for road bikes to have a break. Some single-speed bikes don’t have brakes at all, and while that’s fine for certain purposes, it won’t fly for a commuter bike. Dahon folding bike has a weight limit of 230 pounds, which is very impressive for a small and light bike like this. It can be used by cyclists of nearly every size.
10. 6KU Aluminum Fixie Bike
This is a fixed-gear and single-speed bicycle by 6KU. 6KU is a popular brand that makes urban bicycles, and this is one of their finest products. One of the top features that makes this bike great is the lightweight design. The frame is made from an aluminum material that manages to feel very light, while not compromising the bike’s structural strength. It’s very smooth and has been welded with great care. The method that they say they used is called 6061 double butted alloy smooth welding. It really makes the bike’s design shine and look very smooth. The bicycle weighs a mere 21 pounds, making it one of the lightest single-speed bicycles ever, and the lightest one on this list so far.
The bike’s performance is another area where it shines. It has a flip-flop hub, which is a great asset for a single-speed bike to have, particularly one that’s used for commuting a lot. A flip-flop hub lets you switch between freewheel and fixed-gear easily. This makes it easier to ride the bike in different places. Freewheel is better for casual riding and fixed-gear is better for riding on the road. This bike has both front and rear brakes, giving the rider extra safety. It’s built from high-quality materials. Besides the frame, it also has durable alloy fork with a size of 1 and 1/8 inches. The wheels help give you a very smooth ride, due to their 30 mm double wall from the inside. Overall, this is a high-performance bike that’s very durable and safe.
11. Vilano Urbana Single-Speed Folding Bike
This is another single-speed folding bike, and it’s by Vilano. It’s much cheaper then the Dahon bicycle. It’s one of the cheapest single-speed bikes in the market, and it’s one of the few that costs less than $200. Despite being a low-cost bike, it’s also one of the highest-rated ones in the market. The strongest points of this bike are its compactness and performance.
It weighs only 21.5 pounds. The weight, combined by the fact that it has a foldable frame, makes this a very portable bicycle. You can store it anywhere inside the house, such as in the basement or a closet. This is really convenient because you often have to find a bicycle parking space outside the house. In most countries, those aren’t common, so you end up having to keep the bike in your house. And that takes up plenty of space. With folding bikes can be easily stored anywhere. This also makes them great for commuting to school or work. You can simply keep it inside a locker and carry it around. But the bike’s strong point is not just in its portability. It also performs really well on the road, whether it’s for casual cycling or for commuting. Another thing that I really like about this bicycle is that it’s customizable. You can easily add modifications to it, such as a rear rack or a water bottle. All of these features make it a great, resourceful, and reliable single-speed commuter bike.
12. Dublin Single-Speed Fixie Bike
This bike is pretty unique for a single-speed. It has a race-styled design and geometry. Despite the design, it’s a regular road bike, but with more streamline and less drag. It has an overall well-made design. It has both front and rear dual caliper brakes. Caliper brakes are known for being very advanced and strong; they’re usually found in cars and other automobiles. These brakes bring the bicycle to a quick and steady halt, with minimal friction. The fact that this bike has both front and rear brakes is good, because there are some fixie bikes that don’t have brakes at all. This may be fine for kid’s bikes, but it’s dangerous when you’re driving on the road. Some fixie bikes have one brake, but not dual brakes. This bike’s dual brakes make it safer and more secure than many other bikes on this list. It also helps that the brakes the responsive and high-quality.
While this is a multi-purpose bike, its most common use is for personal transport and commuting. Lots of cyclists use it to get to work or school everyday. It has good reviews by people who describe this bike as a commuter. It’s reliable and transports you to your work pretty quickly. On top of that, it’s lightweight, which not only makes the journey easier but also makes it easier to store or carry it anywhere. Overall, it has nearly all of the features that you need in a road bike for commuting and transport.
13. Critical Cycles Classic
This single-speed bicycle has a sleek design and unique features. It’s made by Critical Cycles, a brand that makes good-quality road bikes and kids’ bikes. This bike is built from handmade premium steel and weighs around 24 pounds. It’s a lightweight but sturdy alloy. One of the unique features is a barspin clearance. If you don’t know, that’s a BMX bike trick used by some riders. It indicates the flexibility and sporty nature of this bicycles. It also means that it’s durable, since it can withstand BMX tricks like that.
The bike is built from high-quality materials. The wheels have deep-V double-wall rims that increase the sturdiness of the wheels. The double-wall rims give the wheels extra protection, and extend the life of the bicycle. It doesn’t puncture or wear out easily. The wheels also come with stainless steel spokes, for added durability. The bike also has a flip-flop rear hub to alternative between non-fixie and fixie modes. This gives you better range when riding on the road, versus cruising somewhere off-road. See the Pure Fix Original review to find out the differences between the freewheel and fixed-gear modes. This bike has BMX bike pedals. It also has bullhorn handlebars, soft rubber grips, and a comfort saddle. The different features are not only made from good materials, but they’re also look really good and add to the sleek design of the bicycle. It comes around 85% assemble, so you need to do a little bit of work before using it for the first time. It requires some tools and assembly.
14. Critical Cycles Harper Coaster
The Harper Coaster model by Critical Cycles is another good single-speed bicycle. It’s one of the cheapest ones (under $200) on this list, so it’s a great choice for people who are on a budget. It manages to be affordable while still having good features and performance. One of the best things about this bike is its sleek and lightweight design. It weighs 30 pounds. While it’s not as light as a few of the other bikes on this list, it still is lightweight for a road bicycle, and is easy to carry around. It’s impressive given the bike is built from a hi-tensile steel frame that’s tig-welded. This means that it’s been carefully crafted using advanced techniques to make the frame extra durable. The bike’s frame also just looks and feels very lightweight. It’s not as thick as some of the other single-speed bikes. There’s not much point of having a heavy and sluggish bike, since they’re supposed to be efficient and light.
Much like the Critical Cycles Classic model, this bike has quality features. It has commuter-designed tires with 30 mm deep-V rims. They ride smoothly and minimize the drag. They’re designed specifically for road use and personal transport. They’re rust-resistant and don’t wear out quickly. The bike also has a KMC chain and VP freestyle pedals. They work well with the design and function of the bicycle. The coaster brake is integrated into the pedals of the bike, and works by simply pedaling backwards. These brakes are soft and safe.
15. Vilano Rampage Fixie Bike
Last one on this list is the Vilano Rampage fixie bike. This is a standard bicycle that doesn’t particularly stand out or have very interesting features. It stands on its own as a solid bike. It has a flip-flop hub that lets the rider alternate between single-speed freewheel and fixed-gear easily. The geometry of this bike is sturdy. It has a tag-welded steel frame, along with alloy crank and fork. The bike weighs around 22 pounds, so it’s one of the lightest fixie bikes. Something I like about this bicycle is that it comes in a colorful set of designs and color combinations. You can get it in matte black, black/red, champagne/orange, grey/green, and matte blue.
This bike doesn’t just have a lightweight frame, but its functionality feels light too. It has 45 mm double-walled deep-V rims, along with anodized wheels. The tires are thick and large, which gives them good traction for riding on the road. The uses free platform pedals that are very smooth and work like clockwork to propel the bike. This is a very simple bicycle. But despite that, it still has front and rear brakes, which are important features. It uses alloy caliper brakes that are responsive and safe. This is a pretty average bicycle, and its strong points are the colorful designs and the Vilano brand value. Vilano is an established brand that makes a variety of different bicycles. They have a good reputation and considerable success.
Difference Between Single-Speed and Fixie Bikes
Since there is some confusion about fixed-gear bikes, I’m going to explain it here. Some people mistakenly think that single-speed bikes are the same as fixed-gear bikes, but that’s not true. Here are the defining characteristics of each of them:
A single-speed bicycle has a single gear ratio. This means that it can only achieve one speed using a gear. They don’t have any of the bike parts that change a bike’s gear ratio, like derailleurs and hub gearing.
Single-speed bikes can include a wide variety of bikes. This include cruiser bicycles, commuter bicycles, road bikes, mountain bikes, BMX bikes, and even unicycles. Fixed-gear bicycles are generally single-speed, but not all single-speed bicycles have a fixed gear.
An easy way to think about it is to look at the pedaling motion. In a single-speed bicycle, you’re operating on a freewheel mechanism. Which means that you can coast along with the bike without having to pedal. You still have to build up momentum by pedaling, though. But when you have momentum, or you’re riding downhill, you can just freewheel a single-speed bicycle.
A fixed-gear bicycle does not have a freewheel mechanism. This means that if the wheels are moving, the pedals will move too. So you have to constantly pedal the bike to keep it in motion. This can seem tiresome, but the advantage here is more focused pedaling for road cycling and racing.
A fixie bicycle is simpler than a multi-gear bicycle, because you don’t ever change gears. It stays fixed in one gear. If your bike has a flip-flop hub, you can change between the freewheel and fixed-gear modes. Most single-speed bicycles have a flip-flop hub because it gives them versatility. Sometimes cyclists just wanna cruise while keeping the pedals stationary.
Most fixed-gear bicycles are single-speed. So if you’re comparing between the two, this is an apt analogy to make: Fixed-gear bicycles are a subset of a larger set of single-speed bicycles. There can be multi-speed fixed-gear bicycles, but they’re rare and don’t work well. The extra hub gearing interferes with the braking and function of a fixie bike.
The following video demonstrates how a flip-flop hub works by alternating between fixed-gear and freewheel:
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Single-Speed Bicycles
Single-speed bikes are not for everyone, they’re well-suited for some purposes, but they’re not good for others. There are several advantages and disadvantages that come with using them. It depends a lot on what you’re using it for, and where you are biking.
The biggest advantage of a single-speed bicycle, and the main reason why people use it, is that it’s minimal. The price is a lot cheaper than a multi-gear mountain bike or a road bike. You can get a reliable one between $200 and $300, while mountain bikes of comparable quality would cost upwards of $400.
They are also very light, which makes them great for commuting and storage. Many are as light as 20 pounds. People like that because it feels less sluggish when biking. It’s also much easier to carry the bike whenever you need to, such as on a set of stairs. Storage is also easier, because you can store these bikes inside your home without too much hassle. These bikes have less parts, which reduces the weight. Some people don’t realize how much extra weight hub gearing, chain rings, etc. add.
The fact that single-speed bikes have mechanical simplicity is another advantage. There are usually no derailleurs, cables, shifters, cable carriers, mounting lugs, or multiple chain rings. These bikes often have better efficiency, because all those extra parts tend to create drag. The bike also just has a simpler look, which is preferable for people who don’t want an overly complex bike. They require less maintenance. They’re ideal for city commuting.
Single-speed bikes have limitations because of not having multiple gear ratios. You can only pedal on one gearing range, which gives you less room to increase or decrease the speed. It’s also difficult to pedal on uphill slopes, because you can’t change gears like you would on a mountain bike. They should only be ridden on flat surfaces, with very little sloping.
They are also slower than multi-speed bikes. The single gear ratio limits the top speed that it can achieve. You would be able to get to higher speeds on a mountain bike that has a higher gear ratio.
In short, they have less flexibility and versatility, and they cannot be driven on hilly areas.
In conclusion, Pure Fix Original is the single-speed bike with the best quality, performance, and design. The steel frame is hi-tensile and can withstand long use. The wheels are the ideal size for road cycling and commuting. It has a flip-flop rear hub that gives the rider more versatility by switching between freewheel and fixed-gear.
Single-speed bikes are a great choice for urban commuters, especially those who like to travel light. These bikes are mechanically simpler and cheap. When using a fixed-gear mode, they also give you more focus and a better connection with a road.
They can only achieve a limited number of gear ratios (just one). They also cannot ride on uphill areas, so these are some things to take into consideration.