Ask Prolly: What’s A Good Beginner Fixed Freestyle Bike? Jul 30, 2010

I get so many emails from readers and from now on, when I get a re-occurring question, I’m going to address it in a post. In recent weeks, I must have answered this one question countless times:

“What’s a good beginner sfixed freestyle bike? I need a bike that can take a little bit of tricking and not break the bank.”

To which I’ve replied, each time to check out the Gran Royale Lurker, pictured above…

and the Subrosa Malum (pictured here) for complete street fixed builds under $600. If you’re looking to spend a little more, there’s also the Bens Cycle Bruiser economy builds for $900. All three offer super solid rides and can handle beginner-tricking. There’s no sense in dropping over a grand on a bike designed to withstand BMX tricks unless you’re sure that’s what you want. I always recommend people try something out first before investing a ton of money. For the longest time, my bike of choice for beginners was the Surly Steamroller. Now, with unicrown forks more common, it makes more sense to go with one of the three aforementioned builds.

Edit: A reader brought to my attention the Redline Urbis as another bike in the under $600 pricepoint. Solid build for sure. Disk-brake front too. Can you think of other options? Send them my way!

Hopefully this answers a few questions. Got something else you’d like to ask me? Feel free to email me!

Gran Royale Lurker
Subrosa Fixed?

  • hellachunky

    subrosa malum 10′, not a good trick bike, i hated mines!

  • Naturally, everyone has their opinions. I know a few people who love theirs!

  • bill

    I have an 09 Subrosa Malum. I had to replace everything on it so far besides cranks, seat, seat post, and seat post clamp. Everything that went wrong with it seemed to happen at the same time, about a year and a few months after I bought it. Besides that it has been great.

    The frame feels very durable, and even better as a whole bike when you upgrade the parts.

  • for ballers on a (tighter) budget…. the Vilano Zulu

    also 2011 Malums are supposed to ship out today. at $700 with bmx cranks and shadow parts, i think it’s worth the extra $100 over the 2010 pictured in the post

  • mutiny

    I’ve been rolling a fuji track as my first fix. the only thing i’ve had to swap out so far is the rims (which i did within 6 months of getting it) and i’ve been rolling ever since. It’s my daily rider/work commuter/fun times bike that i’ve had for almost 2 years. I’m getting closer to being able to wheelies and bunny hops without being too sketch. Stock, it retails for around $600 canadian so should be cheaper down where you guys are.


  • Parker

    I’m a big fan of the styling and the ability to customize the Eighth Inch Scrambler…but I’m not sure how it would handle the beating of FGFS

  • Joey

    I agree with what the other guy said up there was the Vilano Zulu. It’s what I call the “bikesdirect” version of an FGFS bike. Starting at $300 comes in four different colors (oooo fancy!). Now all the parts on there are probably totally crap but as a beginner you wouldn’t be doing 5 stairs or off ramps or anything. It’s a solid base at $300 and won’t break the bank at all. At least it’s CrMo and not aluminum like the PK Ripper.

  • e

    dont forget that if you buy a malum on dans comp you can google for that 20% off and free shipping coupon code
    out the door for under 500!

  • So, my shop received one of the 40 Urbis models shipped to the US about two and a half months ago and within a day, both the fixed-side hub threading and the disc brake crapped out. They are the absolute worst quality components which could be spec’d on this bike. I would not recommend it to anyone until they put at least a Formula-level rear hub and Avid-level disc brake on the bike. The frameset seemed durable enough, and the rims are a very deep profile as you can tell from the picture, but the parts that stop the bike were not up to snuff and left our shop very disappointed. Caveat blah blah.

  • Jarshy

    I’ve had my Urbis for about 3 months, and the only complaint I have is the rear hub. Other than that the bike is super solid. I commute on it everyday, and have hucked down a few stairsets on it with no issues arising. As for the disc brake, I only use it in emergency situations. The bike is still fixed after all.

  • Yeah I bought a Malum and all the parts are shite. Upgrades make it way more solid. As is, its… loose.

  • Vas

    i personally like my Malum. had it for a few months now and besides tires/grips/pedals its all solid. im sure the wheels are machine built so they need some attention the first few weeks. got it on dans for 550 shipped – really cant go wrong with this complete.

    check out my mini reviews here

  • slag10

    no love for the Mongoose Cachet? ._.

  • J

    Are we gonna have more “ask Prollys” ? I’d love to see more product shootouts and so forth, like “Hey Prolls – what’s the best $700 track frame for stomping in the City: EAI BK, MKE Cream City or Cinelli Gazzetta? Cause the answer to that question is my next frame.

  • J

    Oh, and what about IRO? No love? Or are they not tricky enough for this grouping? They certainly are in the price range, and the builds are decent for the $$$. Just askin’.

  • Lookin more at fixed freestyle bikes. Maybe I should change the title of the post…

  • Rico

    How’s the bruiser Econ build?

  • The Tommaso bikes are great, but from what I’ve seen they’re not really set up for fixed freestyle. I’ve seen some prototypes of a bike that may end up in production and sold on Giantnerd from BAMF Bikes that is though… May be something to keep your eye out for. It might be about the same price as some of the Tommaso bikes too..

  • sennen

    is the 2011 NS Bikes Analog as good as the other ones???

  • Zachary

    On amazon there a actual fixed gear freestyle that can with stand bmx tricks its a pure fix fgfs it cost 400 and theres a state bike co for almost 600