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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

26 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
140 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best women’s fixed gear bikes

Last Updated July 2020

Sometimes you want a bare-bones cycling experience, without worrying about when to change gears or keeping up with continual maintenance. Women's fixed gear bikes — known to many cycling enthusiasts as “fixies” — have just one gear. This not only makes things simpler while riding, but it also means the bike is far lighter and requires little upkeep. 

Perhaps the first thing to learn is the difference between a fixed gear and single speed bike, since they're related but not exactly the same. You should learn a little about brakes and braking on fixed gear bikes, as you can brake using your pedals, so additional brakes aren't 100% necessary. You may also want to consider factors such as frame size, handlebars, and even color. 

Keep reading to learn more about women's fixed gear bikes so you can find your perfect model. You might also find your dream bike in our top five recommendations! 

Since you can adjust your speed using your pedals, many cyclists feel more in control of and more connected to a fixed gear bike.

Key considerations

Single speed vs. fixed gear

Some people use the terms "fixed gear" and "single speed" interchangeably, but it isn't that simple. While it’s true that a fixed gear bike is also a single speed bike, not all single speed bikes are fixed gear bikes, so choose carefully. 

Single speed: A single speed bike is any bike that has just one gear. 

Fixed gear: A fixed gear bike has just one gear, but it also has a fixed hub, meaning you're unable to freewheel or coast. When the back wheel is turning on a fixed gear bike, your cranks are turning, too, which can be tricky to get used to because you need to keep pedaling whenever you're moving. 

The benefit of choosing a fixed gear bike is that you can use pressure on your pedals to slow and stop your bike without the use of a brake. When you get used to this, it can feel more intuitive than using a hand-operated brake. These bikes are also great for track or velodrome racing, whether you want to take it up seriously or just dabble in it for fun. 

Some fixed gear bikes give you the option of switching from fixed gear to freewheel single speed, giving you the best of both worlds. 

Brakes

Since fixed gear bikes can pedal backward as well as forward, you can use this pedal resistance to slow and stop your bike. This means that, technically, you don't need brakes to stop a fixed gear bike. Track fixies that are designed for racing never have brakes, but many road fixies have brakes for added safety and peace of mind. Until you're confident using your pedals to stop your bike, hand-operated brakes are nice to have as a safety net. 

What's more, in many states and cities, it's a legal requirement to have at least front-wheel brakes on any bike you intend to ride on the road, regardless of whether you can stop it using pedal power. You should think carefully before buying a fixed gear bike without brakes if you intend to ride it on the road. You may need to have brakes installed professionally before you can legally ride it on public streets.

Gear

You only get one gear on your fixed gear bike, so which gear should you have? If you have too much resistance, you'll need to pedal with a lot of force, which can wear you out. If you have too little resistance, you'll end up pedaling extremely quickly. 

The gear, measured in inches, is created by the ratio between the front and rear chainrings. For most casual cyclists, something around 65 to 75 inches is ideal. Bear in mind that because fixed gear bikes are lightweight, you may be able to deal with a little more resistance than you're used to. If you're unsure how to set up your bike for various levels of resistance, the staff at a cycle shop can sort this out for you. 

FOR YOUR SAFETY

If you're new to fixed gear bikes, choose somewhere safe to ride it for the first time, since there's a knack to braking and you must remember to keep pedaling constantly.

Features

Handlebars

The handlebars on a fixie are often set low to give you a forward-leaning position when riding, which is great for bike couriers and others who want to zip around at speed. If you prefer a more upright position while cycling, look for a bike with higher handlebars to allow for that riding position. Any fixed gear bike designed for racing should put the rider in a forward-leaning position because this reduces drag and allows you to move faster. 

Frame size

Fixed gear bikes often don't offer much variety in the way of frame size, which can be challenging for shorter women. Most women need a frame size somewhere between 45 and 58 centimeters, depending on their height. You might need to shop around a little, but you should be able to find a women's fixed gear bike with an appropriate frame size to meet your needs. 

Color

While the color of your bike isn't exactly going to change its performance, you might as well choose a bike with a color palette or pattern that you like, especially if you're trying to pick between several options with comparable features. 

DID YOU KNOW?

You may need to think ahead more when riding a fixed gear bike, so stay alert. A fixie isn't the best choice if you're looking for a relaxing ride.

Women’s fixed gear bike prices

Inexpensive: Basic women's fixed gear bikes cost roughly $150 to $300. You can find some decent models in this price range, but don't expect anything fancy. 

Mid-range: These women's fixed gear bikes cost roughly $300 to $500. These are great bikes for road riding and may have brakes to make riding on the roads safer or give you the option to switch to freewheel single gear mode. 

Expensive: High-end women's fixed gear bikes cost from $500 to well over $1,000. This includes track bikes that are built for racing but aren't necessarily practical for cycling on the road or on cycle paths. 

EXPERT TIP

Consider what you'll be using your fixed gear bike for. It's worth spending extra if you want to race or do tricks, but you can get a decent basic bike for a low price.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Work on your speed control. Learning to climb hills and control your speed on descent requires some practice. Be careful not to get ahead of yourself. Exercise caution while you're still getting used to it. 

  • Keep it simple with frame material. It's best to stick to a fixed-gear bike with a basic steel frame. Carbon fiber frames are all but nonexistent in this category, and an aluminum frame will give you a bumpy ride and dent too easily. 

  • Prioritize a quality frameset and wheelset. Other components are relatively cheap and easy to switch out if they don't make the grade.

 

  • Consider your knees. Fixed gear bikes are tougher on the knees. This is something to consider if you have any significant knee injuries or ever suffer from knee pain. 

Women's fixed gear bikes are often considered good winter bikes since you'll need to pedal more, thus making the most of limited cycling time, plus there are fewer parts to get damaged by grit and excess moisture.

FAQ

Q. What's the difference between track and road fixed gear bikes? 
A. Track bikes are made for racing, whereas road bikes are for general cycling. While you can theoretically ride a track fixie on the road (assuming you fit brakes if necessary to comply with local laws), it isn't necessarily a bright idea. Fixed gear bikes designed for track use have extremely quick handling and a stiff ride, which might be good for racing but can mean you lack the control you need for riding on the road. 

 

Q. Are women's fixed gear bikes any different from men's fixed gear bikes? 
A. In short, no. You'll find little to no difference between women's fixed gear bikes and men's fixed gear bikes other than a smaller frame size to accommodate shorter riders. Some also have a shorter reach between the seat and the handlebars, too, so shorter cyclists don't need to stretch uncomfortably to reach them. Of course, women can be short and men can be tall, so a "women's" bike might be a better fit for a short man and a "men's" bike might be a better fit for a tall woman. In the past, women's bikes had a sloped top tube because this was easier to ride when wearing long skirts, but most women's fixed gear bikes have a straight top tube. 

 

Q. How easy are fixed gear bikes to maintain? 
A. Because they have fewer parts than standard bikes, they're extremely easy to maintain. You should occasionally check that the nuts are properly tightened and wipe any dirt off the frame, but that's about it. Bikes with multiple gears, on the other hand, have cassettes, derailleurs, and cables that need to be checked, cleaned, and maintained.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
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    Melinda
    Web Producer
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    Steph
    Web Producer

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