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The last few years we've seen a ton of newcomers to the fixed gear bike scene and it seems like every time I see a new company selling "fixies" their prices for their complete fixed gear bikes get lower and lower. Just today I saw an ad in Urban Velo for a new company called Critical Cycles. They have no contact info on their website and there's no other info on the web about them other than that they sell a complete fixed gear bike direct to consumer for $219 with free shipping. What? I've always said the cheap fixie companies are competing with each other in a race to the bottom and these guys have proved me right again.
When I first saw the guys at State Bicycle Company selling a fixed gear bike for $429.00 with free shipping I thought there was no way anybody could touch that. Then the boys from Pure Fix came along and started selling fixed gear bikes for $325.00 and they were quickly followed by Retrospec, Zycle Fix, Sole Bicycles... the list goes on. Pretty much all you need to start a bike company is now is a web browser to find a factory in China and a little bit of cash. Now these guys that sell the $325 fixie also sell their bikes to shops so there's obviously money to be made discounting a $325 fixie by about 40% so shops can make money selling them.
Just the other day I found a new company on Google called Aerofix that sells a $299 fixie with free shipping to the customer, free lights and free pedal straps. When you look close enough it's pretty easy to tell that Aerofix is the direct to consumer side of PureFix Cycles. This way they can sell direct to consumer without offending their shops and still make some good money in the process. Pretty smart move!
Now you have the guys at Critical Cycles that are probably working the same factories as the guys just listed but they are cool with buying a complete fixed gear bike out of China for about $100 and selling direct to consumer for $219. When you account for shipping/import duties to bring these bikes in and the cost of free freight to consumers, these guys can't be making that much per bike and for whoever is running Critical Cycles that's obviously not an issue.
I can't wait to see the $150 fixie. That should be good!