Should I buy a fixed gear?

Hey guys, I wasn’t sure where to put an introduction/advice request so I assumed here would be appropriate.

I’m a 20 year old guy, lean and fit, with no interest in maintaining a car and all the expenses that go with it. I am fond of using public transport and am looking for the right urban bike to take me on short journeys; 5-10kms daily.

I really love the minimalist style of a single speed bike, I currently ride some old mountain bike and never change from the max gear. I am not looking for a bike to be a hipster; I am doing this because I prefer to not own a car and keep fit and genuinely like the look of fixed geared bikes.

I want to spend a bit of money on a bike, up to $800 and hope it lasts a while, and a modified custom older frame would be great. However I am not sure if I want to lose the ability to coast, even though I could handle it. I have no real desire to do any tricks. Also I am unsure whether or not a fixed gear bike will attract bad attention to me.

I am wondering what you guys would suggest and where you could recommend I find a good quality bike to suit.

Thanks in advance :]

start by using the ‘search’ feature and you will find many threads here about such issues. Then if you have more specific q’s come again.

Sorry, I’ll do that.

Mind you, as cool and elitist it feels to ask someone to use the search function; this is a discussion forum and I don’t think the data of this thread is too heavy.

oh snap


A fixed gear would be fine for your needs, as would a single speed. For 800, you would be better off buying a bike off the shelf (there are heaps to choose from in that price range) and then modifying it to suit you. Almost all off the shelf bikes come with flip flop hubs meaning you can run fixed or single. Riding a fixed gear will not draw negative attention to you, which is something you seemed worried about. The worst i have ever gotten is being called a hipster cunt. Anyone who knows me knows i am certianly not the former, possibly the latter. So long as you obey the road rules, wear a helmet and run a brake, the cops wont have any real beef with you. All that said many people here choose not to run brakes and bells for various reasons.

So yes, if you have the money, a fixed gear/single speed would be ideal. And no, it wont bring you unwanted attention. That is unless you put on a pink aerospoke and matching top tube pad.

Hope this helps

Haha, It does, thank you.

Are there any other ranges you could recommend besides KHS?

The urban soul looks pretty perfect.

well i really like KHS (i ride one myself) but the Cell’s do good tings from what i hear. Schwinn Madison, despite some naysayers, was a great commuter for two years for me. Almost all major brands have at least one single speed bike in their range now because of the huge demand. Google is your friend in this case. Check out some of your local bike shops too, cos they may want to get rid of last years stock still and may have specials.
Do not buy an Industrie bike.

Avanti now do one called “solo”. Cro-Mo steel frame and fork, Sugino Messenger cranks and a range of colours. RRP around 900.00.

Apollo also do the ‘Salt’ and the ‘Pepper’
And Giant does a ‘Bowery’

my 2 cents for the fuji classic or pro track. biased. haha

dont forget the second hand market, just stay away from ‘special edition industrie bikes’ :wink:

Second the KHS.

Only problem with off the shelf bikes is that most of the time their stock wheelset are rubbish, so you’ll break heaps of spokes and they’ll go pretty wobbly pretty quickly.

But for $800 and your first fixie an off the shelf its still your best option. :slight_smile:

Cellbikes take on their Cell Mallet 2 against most of the under $1000 off the rack fixe/single speeds.

The Mallet would be hard to beat: chromoly and sturdy wheels for $500

try SE bikes out too and try Felt bikes, they have got a model called brougham?? or something for around the $800, Fuji have some nice bikes as well, hell, there is so many you can get for around $800~ post up the bike you eventually get on the forum :wink:

Thanks for the advice guys. The cell mallet looks great, but a little gaudy.

How do the parts compare to the more expensive bikes? I wouldn’t be buying into some cheap cop out?

Also, what size would you recommend for a 5’11 long legged guy?

I really want something light with a less bight color scheme.

How hard would it be for me to order the bike in parts; including a retro frame and put it together?

That’s kinda silly question to ask… Like any thing you can spend as much as you want…
If you have a price bracket then name it and take the advice on board…

Well naturally I want it to be cost effective. I am thinking perhaps buy the parts and a vintage frame and assemble it myself with some help.

I just wonder how complicated it is to get the right parts.

It seems better than paying for a premade, brand name bike

its not complicated at all really, just have to spend some time doing research into what you want to use your fixed gear for, and what budget best suits you.

best idea if your feeling the need to build your own, is to find an old complete road bike, and spend some time taking it apart and put it back together again. for me this is the best way to learn the ins and outs of any mechanical thing whether it be a bike, car, camera whatever.

then when you have decided what type of budget/standard you want to build your bike up to, then go ahead. and remember, u can always upgrade later.

the satisfaction you get from building your own (if your mechanically minded like most on the forums would be) far outweighs the short satisfaction you get from buying an ‘off the shelf’ bike in my opinion. built, not bought. ftw.

I don’t think its going to be cheapest way. Okay maybe for a singlespeed conversion on a beater but not a fixed gear. But if you build your own you will end up with a bike you’ll probably like better. Compatibility of parts is always the biggest hurdle when building.

I’d start by reading up on it and then going to a swap meet.

Conversions only work out cheaper when you have time to wait for bargains to come up on forums like this and ebog, etc. Once you start adding up all the bits and pieces if you are starting from a frame with nothing on it it gets expensive pretty fast. But it is also the best way to learn, and the thrill of building something slowly over time is pretty appealing. I’d say buy an off the shelf and keep your eye out for a nice old frame as well. You’ll soon find after riding around for a while that you’ll probably want to have a few bikes for different things (pub bike, work bike, polo bike, etc.) and you can be slowly building your “dream” bike while you still have a bike to get you around. I too am car-less and have been saved many a time by having other bikes to use, it’s always good to have backups!