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It’s hard to imagine any avid cyclist that wouldn’t fall in love with the simplicity and minimalist approach of fixie bikes.
The idea of driving without gears or riding with one speed doesn’t only mean less stress but also implies more fun and straightforward experience.
Luckily, the market is filled with a lot of fixie bikes that are very affordable. Although this is good news, the difficulty comes with finding the right model, especially when you’re looking to buy “cheap.”
It is common for junk products to have a ridiculously low price tag; as a result, it’s very easy to make mistakes when you’re shopping on a budget.
But not to worry, we’ve done the hard work of separating the chaff from the wheat, so you can make a clean jump to the best fixed gear bikes under 300.
Whether you’re riding for fitness or just wish to cruise downtown, you will definitely find something in the mix for you.
But before we jump into the review, let’s look at the major benefits and limitations of a fixed gear bike.
Fixed Gear Bikes Comparison 2021
Last update on 2021-03-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Benefits and Drawbacks of Fixed Gear Bikes
Let’s start with the advantages;
Become a Better Rider
It will interest you to know that most of the pro road riders we have today were once fixie bike addicts.
In other words, riding a fixed gear bike can make you a better rider generally.
For instance, with a fixie bike, you learn a good pedaling technique that enables you to produce more power as you engage the entire pedal stroke.
This is in contrast to what a lot of riders do (especially non-fixie riders). They basically “stomp” on the bike pedals, which reduces efficiency.
Increase Your Cadence
One of the major benefits of riding a fixed gear is that it increases your cadence.
This is expected since you’re made to pedal faster on the bike. This consequently improves your top-end speed as a rider.
Thus, you’re most likely to see an improvement in your overall skills and performance when you bring your experience riding on a fixie bike to a standard road bike.
Less Maintenance and Repairs
Another huge advantage that the fixed-gear bikes offer over other bike types is that they are generally easier to maintain.
They have a less complicated design with fewer parts and components.
As a result, they usually have fewer repairs and require minimal upkeep.
In other words, when you’re using a fixed bike, you spend more time on the road and spend less money on repairs.
What about the disadvantages?
More Hard Work
This is quite obvious. Since you’re riding fixed gear, you have to do all the work with your knees.
As a result, your legs are always pedaling, and there’s hardly any time to rest.
While this is very good for workouts, it makes such bikes harder to use compared to standard options.
Best Fixed Gear Bikes Under $300 Review
So, what are the best fixie bikes that come cheap? Let’s find out in our top ten list.
Retrospec Harper Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike
To kick off our list, we have one of the most affordable fixie bikes in the market, the Retrospec Harper Urban Commuter.
For less than 300 bucks, this is arguably the best you can get in terms of performance and quality.
You can easily tell this from the high rating it has received online and its excellent reviews.
In terms of features, you shouldn’t expect much, which is absolutely reasonable considering how much you’re paying for the bike.
But you can rest assured it has a quite commendable performance, which is obviously what matters.
When purchasing a fixed gear bike, or any bike for that matter, the frame and the build are the first things to look out for.
You want to get something that not only works but is also comfortable to use and long-lasting.
Thankfully, the Retrospec Harper doesn’t fail in this area.
The bike has a steel frame that is not only built to last but also strong and non-aggressive.
It has an upright stance, which is quite comfortable and provides good visibility on the road.
Furthermore, the inclusion of flat handlebars, together with their bullhorns, also allows for a richer racing experience. We think the paint finish is also decent for its price.
Interestingly, like most high-end models, the bike also features a flip-flop hub, which allows you to switch between fixed gear and freewheel.
It uses 30mm deep-v rims paired with Kenda West 700 x 23c tires and comes with two sets of caliper Promax brakes, which are really efficient.
Although the crankset is somewhat basic, it still offers adequate gearing for flat terrains as well as mild hills.
Overall, this is a great option if you’re looking for something affordable that guarantees a smooth and comfortable ride.
You will be amazed at the speed it provides for both street and track racing.
Latest Guide: Best Fixed Gear Bikes Under $1000
Golden Cycles Single Speed Fixed Gear Bike
Available in different colors and sizes, the fixie bike collection by Golden Cycles is another confirmation that cheap doesn’t always mean low quality.
In fact, these bikes perform better than many higher priced models.
So, if you’re looking for something not only affordable but also reliable for fixed gear or single speed ride, you won’t be disappointed with this one.
The first thing you will notice about the bikes in this collection is that they have a sturdy build.
And this is largely due to the use of high-tensile Tig-welded steel for the construction of the frame just as we saw in the Retrospec Harper.
This makes them last longer than most standard fixie bikes in the 200 – 300 dollar range.
Besides its sturdy build, you will also be impressed with the simple, clean look of the frame no matter what color you choose.
We also love the fact that these bikes feature both front and rear brakes, which allows for better handling and precise stopping.
This makes them great for both city racing and outdoor exploration. Apart from being easy to install, the brakes are also removable. All you need is a good 5mm hex tool.
In terms of the grip these provide, we are not that impressed. You might need to wear gloves to deal with the thick protrusions, or you can change the grips altogether for something less generic and more comfortable.
Like the previous model we touched, this one also has a flip-flop, which allows you to switch between single speed and fixed gear.
This is great because it’s not every time you want to focus on control and pedal efficiency.
Sometimes, you might want to coast and cruise; having single speed or freewheel gives you that ability.
Furthermore, we found the bike’s crankset to be quite sturdy.
In fact, it was actually better than we expected for a product with its price. Most models in the same price range look flimsy, but this one is solid.
So, if you’re looking for a very affordable model that can take more abuse than its peers, then you won’t go wrong with this one.
Overall, this is a solid fixie that promises to provide a quality riding experience. We recommend it highly.
Related Guide: Road Bike vs tour bike comparison
6KU Aluminum Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike
If you do a lot of urban riding and you’re looking to switch to fixed gear, then this 6KU fixie has been specifically designed for you.
Even though this is meant to be a budget-friendly model, it still offers most of the things you can expect from a pricey model.
It caters both for the needs of those looking to get into cycling as a sport as well as those just looking for something they can use to move around town.
One of the first things you will notice about this model is that it uses riser bars instead of the regular drop bars you’re probably used to.
This makes it easier to navigate, so you can find your way through traffic and similar conditions in urban areas.
If you’re the type that pays so much attention to how your bike looks, then you will be glad to know that this one is available in 10 color options.
So you can pick the one that most suits your style and personality.
In addition, the bike features an oversized down tube for speed and greater efficiency.
The inclusion of a flip-flop hub also makes the transition from fixed to freewheel and vice versa easy and fast.
With 6061 aluminum frame and fork, this is one of the lightest models out there for its price.
This makes it much easier to handle and ensures you have a smooth ride every time. Front and rear brakes are also included for your safety.
However, one area we will like to see some improvement in the bike is in the thickness of the rims.
A 30mm deep V alloy wheels aren’t bad, but it could be better. While this is great for city ride, it might not hold well against very rough urban surfaces.
That said, this is still a great bike for its price. It easily beats a lot of models in the same category.
6KU Fixed Gear Single Speed Urban Fixie Road Bike
By now, you are already aware of the challenges that come with riding a variable gear bike in a city or town.
The constant changing of gears due to the traffic can be tiring and annoying. This makes fixed gears incredibly useful.
Our next fixed gear is another quality model from 6KU specifically designed for urban tracks.
So, if you’re looking for something you can use to commute to work or just ride around during the weekends, then this will make a great choice.
One of the first things you will notice about this bike is its elegant design and solid construction.
A lot of models that sell for the same price, although nice-looking, do not last for too long due to their shoddy construction.
The Urban Track Fixie is made with high-quality materials that ensure its durability.
To be more specific, it features aluminum alloy for its frame construction.
This is topped by a double-butted smooth weld finish for increased strength.
The use of aluminum for the components makes the entire bike lightweight, which is another plus.
To ensure speed is balanced with control, the bike also comes equipped with a riser handlebar.
The wide and low design of the bars provides agility while keeping you in a laid back position. This allows having greater vision ahead.
Flip-flop is another nice feature included in the bike to enable you to ride fixed gear and also coast.
The front and rear brakes that come with the bike are quite reliable and will enable you to achieve precise stopping, which is essential for your safety.
Related Review: Cyclocross Wheels buying guide
State Bicycle Fixed Gear/Fixie Bike
State Bicycle Co. is a well-respected brand with several lines of high-quality bikes.
Their fixed gear collection comes in various price options, all of which are comparatively cheap.
For under 300, this Fixie Single Speed model is one of the best you will find.
When it comes to aesthetics, there are very few brands that do it better than State Bicycle.
Their line of fixed gear bikes has some of the most beautiful models around.
So, with this ride, you do not only get a fixie with good quality but also one that looks really nice – thanks to its matte black finish.
We are also impressed with the 43mm deep V wheelset, which stands up well against bumps. They provide a smooth ride, especially on urban tracks.
The bike has a pretty decent construction for its price. Both the frame and fork are made of high-quality steel alloy, which makes them strong and tough.
They are also designed to minimize vibration so you can have a smooth ride.
Even though the frame is made of steel, it is still lightweight, so you can expect more leverage on the bike.
Like all the models we’ve looked at, this one also features a flip-flop hub, which gives you more flexibility with your ride.
It also comes equipped with a standard front brake, which enables you to stop when you need to.
One of the best things we like about this bike is that it operates quietly, especially when coasting.
This is definitely a huge plus considering the fact that most geared bikes make a lot of clicking noise.
The bars are designed to put you in an aerodynamic riding position, which is great for achieving high speeds.
In fact, you could conclude that this bike is specifically built for speed.
Unfortunately, no instruction manual is provided with the bike, so it might require professional assembly.
Retrospec Harper Critical Coaster
If you’re looking for an affordable fixie that is built with comfort in mind, then you will not be disappointed with the Critical Coaster by Retrospec.
The first thing you will notice about the bike is its sleek style, which makes it very attractive.
You will be impressed with the high tensile steel frame, which is built to last you a long time.
In fact, the durability offered by this model is comparable to what you get with more priced options.
So, you can really trust on the ability of the bike to do well on rough urban roads.
The riser bars are designed to allow you to ride in an upright position. This takes the strain off your back, so you can ride more comfortably and thus last longer on the road.
Although the bike has a weight capacity of 220 pounds, it can still handle up to 250 pounds.
But we don’t recommend going beyond the labeled weight just to be on the safe side.
Interestingly, the bike is available in various color options, so you can choose the one that appeals most to you.
Maintenance is pretty easy, and all the tools you need are supplied with the bike. Coaster brakes are included for easy and convenient shopping, especially when you’re still trying to get used to the bike.
Luckily, these are quite intuitive to use and don’t require you to grip the handle when applying them. To engage them, all you need to do is simply pedal backward.
More so, this brake type does not feature any external elements, so they basically require little to no maintenance.
RALEIGH Rush Hour Bike
If you’re looking for a bike that has a clean look and offers reliable performance, then the Raleigh Rush Hour would make a great choice.
The bike is specifically targeted towards those who are eager to try out fixed gear.
Just as the name suggests, it is designed for quick set-up, thus the name Rush Hour. The name also implies that the bike is built for speed.
Moreover, the bike comes 85 percent assembled, which basically leaves you with less work to do.
It is one of the most complete options you will find out there. To start using the bike, all you have to do is adjust certain components and inflate the wheels, and you’re all set to go.
Besides coming almost complete, the bike also has an elegant design. In fact, it’s one of the rockstar models for those who are fans of minimalism. It also features brakes that you can remove anytime you want.
Although we are not too impressed with the foot straps, it still manages to provide adequate control for beginners. The handlebars are also OK.
The bike grips and saddle are designed to put you in an aggressive stance, which is typical of urban street riding.
You will also appreciate the stopping power the caliper brakes provide.
Interestingly, the bike uses Kenda tires, which hold up well even on wet streets.
The only frustration we have with the Rush Hour is that it’s somewhat heavy for a fixed gear bike. Notwithstanding, it’s still a great bargain for its price.
Retrospec Critical Cycles Harper Urban Commuter Bike
Bottom of Form
Another awesome fixie bike from Retrospec that offers good performance and strength for under 300 dollars is the Harper Critical Cycles.
Like the other models we’ve reviewed so far, this bike is made of high-quality materials, which make it durable and tough.
To be more specific, the frame is made of high tensile steel and is tig-welded to withstand impacts from bumps.
It also uses Kenda Kwest tires, which are great for urban tracks.
Like many high-end models, it features a flip-flop hub which allows for easy transition between freewheel and fixed gear. This is definitely one of the best features of the bike.
Two brake sets are also included for your safety, especially when starting out with fixed gear riding.
Also, instead of one wall, the rim walls are doubled, which provides additional durability.
The bike has a weight limit of 220 pounds, which makes it suitable for most riders.
Its various color options and design make it easy to adapt it to your style.
Interestingly, all the components are customizable, so you can always have them replaced with another brand if you want something different.
This makes the bike one of the more versatile options out there and an ideal choice for those who wish to customize their own fixie bike.
The components are all designed to help you get aggressive when you accelerate. So this is not just some basic fixie bike.
The bike is also lightweight and sleek, which makes it easier to handle.
In addition, all the tools you need to build and maintain the bicycle are supplied with your order.
Schwinn Kedzie Single-Speed Fixie Road Bike
Another good fixie bike you might consider for city riding is the Schwinn Kedzie fixed gear bike.
While Schwinn may not be a famous brand, they are well-respected and have shown they can become a market leader in the years to come.
The Kedzie Fixie Bike is one of their best budget-friendly bikes so far.
Even though it comes cheap compared to high-end models, it still offers a great deal of strength and stability.
Apart from being lightweight, the machine features 32H alloy rims that ensure you have a smooth ride throughout your commute.
It has a frame that is designed to makes it easy to beat any traffic you encounter as you race around the city.
You will also be impressed with the set and grips as they ensure you ride with comfort and style.
The bike also features front and rear alloy caliper brakes to enable you to stop when you need to.
This is an important feature for a fixed gear to have if you’re just getting started.
The steel frame construction doesn’t only make the bike long-lasting but also responsive.
You will find the seat comfortable enough for long hours ride without fatigue.
Our major displeasure with this bike is that it’s quite heavy. But you can still reduce the weight by removing the chain guard.
Overall, this is a cool fixie bike that brings a lot to the table for a small price.
Thruster 700C Urban Fixie Bike
To round up the list, we have the 700C Urban Fixie Bike by Thruster. While it may not be as efficient or high performing as the other models we’ve reviewed, it is still a good deal for around 100 bucks.
Once you get it out of the pack and put it together, you will be glad you made the investment.
For what we know, this is an amazing bike that is very easy to assemble.
Even if this is your first time assembling something like this, you will still be able to do fine.
All the parts of the bike come brand new with no flaws, unlike what happens with many products when they are delivered.
You may not like the stickers on the bike if you’re the type that prefers your bike to look simple and minimalistic.
But we don’t think there’s anything wrong with the design. It still looks relatively simple and fun to ride.
The bike also has a lightweight design, so you don’t have to worry too much about moving it from one location to another.
Just place it in your vehicle’s trunk and transport it to wherever you want.
We will also like to mention that the frame is built to last, though it’s not as durable as most of the options we’ve considered above.
Even then, it’s still a good deal, given how much you’re paying for the bike.
The major thing we weren’t so impressed with is the bike pedals. They are not exceptional and could be improved.
Notwithstanding, this is still a great fixie for its price. So, it’s definitely worthy of making into the list of the best fixed gear bikes under 300.
What Makes a Perfect Fixed Gear Bike?
When shopping for a fixed gear bike, there are certain things you need to know in order to make the right choice. Let’s quickly look at them.
Skill Level and Experience
In order to ride a fixie bike successfully, you need to have more than a basic bicycle riding experience.
This is because unlike your regular road bikes, you have to maintain constant motion on the pedals, which can be very hard to achieve if you’re a newbie.
So, depending on your skills, it might take you some time to get used to a fixie.
If you just started honing your biking skills, we recommend purchasing a fixed gear model with brakes for emergency situations while you master other ways of stopping.
You can then progress to a brakeless model when you become comfortable.
Size of Bike
When choosing a road bike or a fixie, you have to be mindful of the size.
This is important because choosing the wrong size can affect the quality of your ride.
So, you don’t want to end up with something that is either too small or too big.
It is more difficult to optimize your pedal efficiency when you’re riding a bike that doesn’t suit your size.
You will also find it harder to control such a bike. As a result, your overall driving experience is affected.
Luckily, just like most bike types, fixed gears come in multiple sizes, so you can choose something that is perfect for your body.
Another thing you need to consider when choosing a fixed gear bike is what you want to use it for.
Most people purchase fixies for commuting, but it can also be put into other uses. Defining your purpose will enable you to choose the best model for it.
If you commute a lot, then you should pay more attention to the weight and efficiency of the bike.
You will need something that is lightweight, easy to control, and fast. A good example is a model that features a handbrake and mid-range gear ratio and weighs between 20 to 22 pounds.
However, if you are purchasing the bike for casual use (maybe to ride it around your area), then you might want to pay a little more attention to the bikes aesthetics and design.
A brakeless model will make a great choice if you’re not a novice.
You might also prioritize performance and comfort if you plan to use the bike for fitness purposes.
Although you don’t need to put yourself in any one of these categories, it’s still a good idea to know why you want to purchase a fixed gear bike.
Fixed Gear Bikes Frequently Asked Questions
Are fixie bikes fast?
Yes, they are. Single speed doesn’t imply less speed, but how fast you can pedal.
With just one gear to contend with, there’s far less resistance during transition. More so, these bikes are lightweight.
Can I commute with these bicycles?
Of course, you can. In fact, most people who use fixie bikes use them for commuting, and there are many reasons for this. First, as we indicated above, they are fast.
Secondly, they are easy to ride. There are several models targeted specifically towards beginners as well as those designed for more experienced riders.
Thirdly, as you already know, fixies are less costly compared to regular road bikes. This is why a lot of college students use them.
What is the difference between a single speed and a free wheel bike?
Beginners often have this confusion of choosing between a fixed gear bike and a free wheel.
Whether you call it a free wheel bike or a freewheeler, it doesn’t make any difference.
In bike jargon, both free wheel and single speed basically refer to the same thing. So, don’t be confused.
Why should I opt for a single speed over variable speed?
While it might boil down to individual preferences, single speed or fixed gear bikes have the advantage of being more affordable, lighter, and quieter.
They also require less maintenance and are usually more responsive than bikes with variable or multiple speeds.
Are fixed gear and single speed the same thing?
Not exactly. While all fixies can be taken as a single speed, all single speed is not fixed gear.
For instance, coasting can be done on a fixie bike but not on a fixie.
This is why almost all the fixie bikes we reviewed above are equipped with a flip-flop hub, which makes it possible to achieve coasting. Also, fixed gear bikes are not hard to ride like fixie bikes
There you have it – the best fixed gear bikes under 300. Hopefully, you now have enough information under your belt to choose your own fixie bike.
As you can see, all the models we reviewed above are sturdy, budget-friendly, and most will cater to certain riding styles.
So, make sure you follow our guidelines to pick the one that will best suit your needs.
To be on the safe side, make sure you avoid no-name brands. This is very important since you’re shopping cheap.
You don’t want something that would endanger your life. Even when your order arrives, have it inspected and make sure everything is working fine.
We wish you a fun and safe ride!