This is my first question on here so please take it easy :)

I will be relocating to Surrey (UK) in 2 weeks due to being offered a new job (as a software developer) and I am thinking of (finally) treating myself to a fixed-gear bike.

I usually drive to work due to the fact that the weather is usually quite rubbish where I currently live (UK - north west), and also due to the fact that I can't get to work all sweaty as I work in an office, but have cycled during the summer on a cheap "fat-tyre" bike and although it was very hard work I loved it.

I love bicycles and I have always wanted a bike that looks cool and that doesn't cost an arm and a leg - those that are +£300 are a no-no so I have come across the Restrospec Siddhartha fixie - however they only sell them in the USA (haven't yet found a UK dealer)

So I have three questions:

1- Will this bike be suitable for someone like myself that will use it to commute to work (around 15 miles roundtrip) and go for rides whenever I feel like it and at weekends?

2- Do you know anyone selling this bike in the UK?

3- Could you recommend me similar style bikes (fixie) that have clean design and are <£200?

Thanks in advance for your help and advice

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    If you are buying a mass-produced factory bike, and not a custom bike, you basically get what you pay for. There is lots of competition in the industry, and there is little-to-no room to undercut the other guy. That isn't to say you have to spend $2000 on a bike, but be prepared to spend at least $400 US or closer to $600 US (or your local equivalent) if you want a bike that you will want to ride every day. Around $1000 is probably the top end of what you should spend unless you are competing in races. That may seem like a lot, but in my area, that's only about 12 months worth of bus passes. – Kibbee Sep 24 '13 at 12:40
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    Are you sure you a fixed-gear bike is practical as well as "looking cool"? Does Surrey have hills? I found that my 18 km (11 mile) each-way commute took me just over an hour each way: on city roads (in traffic so stop-and-go), mostly flat with only occasional/minor hills. I used my gears to maximize my speed (lower gear to accelerate, higher gears for top-speed cruising): IMO that would have more difficult, and/or slower, without gears. Also, the bike you're suggesting doesn't have a front-wheel brake. If you can't spend +£300 for a new bike, then a 2nd-hand bike might be worth considering. – ChrisW Sep 24 '13 at 12:45
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    Good call @ChrisW A fixed gear bike without another brake is not only dangerous, but also illegal in most places, including the UK. Not sure how much the fine is, but a decently equipped bike could start to look quite cheap after a couple fines. – Kibbee Sep 24 '13 at 12:54
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    @ChrisW As per this article, bikes must have both a front and back brake to be legal in the UK. The only exception for not having 2 brakes is on children's bikes, or on pennyfarthings and such where the axle is directly connected to the crank arms, without any gearing. – Kibbee Sep 24 '13 at 13:26
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    That's a single-speed bike, not a fixie. There are people who happily commute commute miles over hills on fixed gear or single speed bikes, but I wouldn't recommend it as a first bike. With a £200 budget, I'd look for second hand bikes, ideally from a local store where you can ask for advice, or eBay or Gumtree etc.. – armb Sep 24 '13 at 13:31

I love to surf the internet for the ultimate bike. However, I always end up going to my local friendly bike shop and making my selection with their advice. The ultimate internet bike will not be able to compete with getting the attention of a local mechanic. Most of the local guys will also take pride in the bike that they sold you and give you free service for the small jobs.

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  • Thanks for your reply. I couldn't agree more with you however the trouble with the "local shops" is that their prices are ridiculous (at least round where I live) and if they are cheap then that's because the bike is of a make that nobody has ever heard of. – user8221 Sep 24 '13 at 12:23