Buying a Fixie at the Best Price

Fixies are gaining popularity around the UK; here’s how you can get your hands on one.


Image by BiERLOS a.k.a. photörhead.ch via Flickr
Image by BiERLOS a.k.a. photörhead.ch via Flickr

It seems that fixed gear bikes are all the rage in the UK, and why wouldn’t they be? They are lightweight, manoeuvrable, easy to manage and affordable; never mind their economic benefits. They are a great option for eco-friendly commuters and a fantastic alternative to road bikes which, unless you pay a fortune for, can be heavy and unpleasant to ride all the time. So if you’re on the lookout for a ‘fixie’ but don’t want to doll out more than you can, here’s how to get a fixed gear bike at under £400.

1. Buy an Old Convert

You won’t have to look around for too long to find someone who has converted their old road bike into a fixed gear one. Classic 70’s and 80’s bikes are fairly easy to convert and a lot of people are doing it in their own private capacity. This is a good way to get a fixie for a good price, but you can’t be assured of quality, care, and assurance when you do it this way. That’s not to say that most private sellers are edgy deals, but there is a distinct lack of accountability to think of here.

2. Buy it Online

Sites like Amazon are a good place to look, but then you get the same problem with accountability. There are a lot of mass-produced cheap knock-offs out there so only buy from a seller on Amazon if you trust them. Otherwise have a look at websites of established sellers, you’d be pleasantly surprised to find that there is no shortage of companies selling cheap fixie bikes in the UK. One of the biggest advantages to buying from an online store is that you can often customise the fixie to build, which means you can either splash out on uniqueness, or rein it in to lower the cost.

3. Convert it yourself

If you’re fairly technically minded and you have an old bike lying around, then you could attempt to make your own. If you have the right frame (one with horizontal dropouts) then all you’d need is a new chain and a new rear wheel. It might take a few attempts, but if you are careful and do a bit of research first, you might be able to do it. YouTube has some great videos that will take you through the process if you have the time and patience to pull a bike apart. You will still have to buy a few parts, like the rear wheel, a new chain and probably some spacers, but it won’t cost you that much to do.

4. Check out Local Dealers

The rise in fixie demand in the UK means that you will be able to find them at just about any cycling shop. The trouble is that this rise in demand has also led to a justification for higher prices. So if you’re going for the local dealer option, look hard, there are good deals out there you just have to go and find them. The nice thing about buying from an actual store is that you are guaranteed a product made to standard, so the chain is less likely to slip off while you’re riding, because someone installed a cheap track cog. If anything is wrong with the fixie after you’ve bought it, a business is more likely to sort it out for you.

Before you go off and do it, test one out for a couple of minutes, particularly if you haven’t ridden a fixie before. It feels quite different to a road bike and can seem a little harrowing at first. But it won’t take long before you get used to it, and you’ll start to notice all the benefits of having a fixed gear system. They also don’t have to cost a fortune, just look right and you’ll get a deal that suits you.

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