The Best Cheap Fixed Gear Wheels:
Fixed Gear Wheelset Reviews and Tips
If you are looking for a good set of cheap fixed gear wheels for your fixie project, you're probably aware that there is a ton of choice out there. It's totally overwhelming trying to find a decent set because there are literally thousands of brands and configurations available. Rather than roll the dice on a random set, you should educate yourself before you fork out the cash.
This article is intended to help you pick out a good set of cheap fixed gear wheels that will be high quality and last a long time. I will endeavor to help you identify the potential duds, and help you put your hard earned income into a great set with quality components.
To do this, we'll talk about what makes up a fixed gear wheel set, and the components that manufacturers can typically cut costs on. We'll review a few great sets you can buy, and talk about some good brands to keep in mind.
Let's get started and learn about what to look for in good, cheap fixed gear wheels.
Amazon Price: $118.97 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 18, 2016)
Components of a Fixed Gear Wheel Set:
Cheap Fixed Gear Wheels
All fixed gear wheel sets are comprised of the same primary equipment, and we'll talk about those here, and what to watch out for in each component. Each wheelset is composed of a set of hubs, each laced to a set of rims with spokes.
The number of spokes in a set of cheap fixed gear wheels can vary greatly, but you can usually expect anywhere from 28 to 36 spokes. Contrary to popular believe, fewer spokes does not mean a wheel is stronger or better made. Fewer spokes means lower strength, though the difference between 28 and 36 is pretty negligible.
Cheap fixed gear wheelsets can tend to have a lower spoke count to save on costs. Just be careful that your wheel is laced properly. If there are stretches of 3 or 4 inches of the rim without a spoke, watch out!
One problem people can face with cheap fixed gear wheels is that spokes can be stripped, bent or poorly tightened. In the rush to put the wheel together, the manufacturer may neglect proper care and attention. Be sure to check the tension of the spokes on your cheap fixie wheels before taking it out for a ride.
A bicycle rim is a pretty integral part of the operation, so it's worthwhile to make sure your cheap fixed gear wheelset comes with a quality pair. The typical rim size in these sets is 700c, as it will commonly fit with most road bicycle frames. It's not uncommon to find 26, 27 and 29 inch rims laced to fixed gear hubs, but 700c is by far the most popular.
You'll probably find you have a few options with a cheap fixed gear wheelset. You can choose between machined or non-machined rims. Machined rims are better for brakes, but if you plan to ride brakeless you may prefer a non-machined surface aesthetically. You can also find regular, double-walled and 'deep V' rims too. Double walled and deep V rims are stronger, with an outer and an inner wall, so they're definitely a good buy. Plus they look great!
Look out for no name rim brands, and watch out for any with bends, burs in the metal, or just cheap looking metal in general. A good rim set should be straight, light, and true!
A fixed gear wheel set, whether cheap or expensive, will include hubs. While the front hub will be pretty standard, the rear hub must be fixed gear specific. A fixed gear hub has two sets of threads, each running in opposite directions. One set is for tightening on the fixed gear chain cog, the other is for tightening on a lock ring to keep that cog in place.
Sometimes cheaper fixed gear wheels won't have great threads on these hubs. You need the threads to be clean, clear, and strong, with plenty of 'meat' to them. A very common problem with cheap fixed gear wheelsets is there won't be enough thread for the lock ring to fit onto. That is very dangerous!
Many inexpensive fixie wheel sets will have a flip flop hub. This means that you can attach a fixed gear cog to one side, and a freewheel cog to the other. If you can find one of these for a reasonable price, it's a great buy!
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(price as of Aug 18, 2016)
Vuelta Zerolite Pro Track 700c Wheelset:
Cheap Fixed Gear Wheels for Sale
The Vuelta Zerolite Pro Track wheelset is a really amazing deal based on the components involved and the price. While it won't blow you away quality wise, it's a solid set that really looks quite nice. Vuelta wheels are well known and have a pretty good reputation.
One of the reasons the Vuelta Zerolite is a good cheap fixed gear wheelset for you to consider is that it comes with a flip flop rear hub. You'll have to buy a freewheel separately, but since you can get the whole package for about $100, you can easily afford that extra expense!
With CNC machined sidewalls for brake compatibility, 32h front and rear rims (meaning 32 spokes per wheel), a 16t fixed gear cog and lockring, and beautiful double-walled rims, this is a really great buy for the intro fixie rider.
Amazon Price: $216.00 $210.90 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 18, 2016)
State Bicycle Co. - Gold w/ Black Deep V Wheelset
Cheap Fixed Gear Wheelsets For Sale
If you've read any of my other articles on bikes, you'll know that I'm a big fan of the State Bicycle Co. and their fantastic fixed gear bicycles and equipment. This wheelset is no exception: it's a quality build with great components, and one you should think about.
Aside from being drop dead gorgeous with gold deep profile rims and hubs, it comes with a flip flop rear hub with a 16t cog and lockring. The hubs are Quando, and the rims are 32 hole and can support 23c 700c tires. It's a little bit more expensive than the Vuelta set, but the deep v rims are stunning and the components are great. Plus, at around $170, it's still an amazing deal comparatively speaking.