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Is Pure Fix the Best Bicycle $399 Can Buy?

Here’s the deal — fixed gear bikes blend the ultimate in utility and speed, making them excellent choices for commuters, racers, and casual cyclists alike. Pure Fix is the original name in fixed gear bikes, having kicked off the fixie craze with their high value yet affordable bikes.

Ducking out to a friend’s house on the other side of town? Slap a handlebar bag from your Pure Fix’s handlebars and roll out. Are you hustling around the city doing Uber Eats deliveries? The simplicity and speed of a fixie are second to none for a workhorse bike.

Over the years, the sheer number of fixed gear bike brands has soared, giving Pure Fix a run for its money. How do Pure Fix bikes stand up to the competition in 2021?

To find out, we rode a $399 Pure Fix Original Series bike day in, day out through the dry, wet, heat, and cold. Here’s what we found out.

What we liked about the Pure Fix Bike

If you’re researching fixed gear bikes before buying, then you’ve no doubt come across the age-old fixed gear versus single-speed debate. In a nutshell, fixed gear bikes don’t allow you to backpedal, whereas single speed bikes do.

Why does this matter? Mainly, it comes down to braking. A fixed gear bike doesn’t require brakes to stop. Instead, just slow the rear wheel by applying backpedal force. In contrast, a single-speed bike requires rim or disc brakes to slow down.

What makes Pure Fix bikes shine is you don’t have to choose one or the other. They come with an alloy flip-flop hub that allows you to switch back and forth between fixed and single-speed as needed.

Having this versatility allowed us to ride fixed through the city when commuting to the office or cruising the local bike lanes on days off. On days where the riding was hillier, flipping the hub to single-speed and relying on the 40T crankset made grinding the hills a breeze.

In fact, there was rarely a moment when our Pure Fix bike couldn’t adapt to the situation. It’s light enough to lift it when taking the train, agile enough to thread through traffic, and plenty fast thanks to a race-inspired geometry that stays comfortable for all-day riding.

Bike maintenance is also incredibly simple — Pure Fix fixed gear bikes have fewer parts (no derailleurs or shifters), so far less can go wrong. So, at $399, they’re an excellent long term value.

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What we didn’t love (spoiler: it’s not a big deal)

Because of its solid spec, including excellent WTB Thickslick tires and hassle-free riding experience, there wasn’t much room for improvement aboard the Pure Fix bike.

However, just for the sake of nit-picking, we would appreciate more cog size options from Pure Fix to narrow down the right gear for your terrain. If you live in a particularly hilly place such as San Francisco, Pure Fix’s stock 15T fixed cog might not cut it for you.

Nit-picks aside, the Pure Fix Original Series bike is an excellent all-around choice for urban cycling of any kind.

Runner-up fixed gear bike choices

Pure Fix fixed gear bikes are beloved classics, but there are a few unique options out there if you’re looking for something different.

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State Bicycle Wulf Fixed Gear Bike, $299-$325

Like the Pure Fix bike, State Bicycle’s Wulf fixie comes with a flip-flop hub and a slightly easier 16T fixed cog. Weight-wise, the Wulf and Pure Fix are comparable. The main difference is geometry — the Wulf is a bit racier and comes with deeper aero-section wheels.

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Fyxation Eastside Single Speed Bike, $449

If you’re always going to rely on brakes, then choosing a single speed bike like the Fyxation Eastside is a sound choice. Although slightly pricier than the Pure Fix bike, the Eastside offers a higher-end chromoly build and track racing geometry — all in a feathery 23lb package.

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Online retailer of Throne Cycles, State Bicycle, ZF Bikes and Cinelli.