Urban Outfitters Fixie: $400. Achieving Hipster Chic: Priceless.
Fixed-gears are the gazelles of the bicycle world: simple, elegant, and more than a tad dangerous for the inexperienced rider. They're called "fixed-gear" because they have the rear cog attached ("fixed") to the rear wheel of the bicycle, which means the rider has to continuously pedal to keep the bike moving. Some models are even too cool for brakes. But since it's illegal to ride without brakes in most cities -- and stupid in every city -- Urban Outfitters has done their due diligence and included brakes on their model, called the Aristotle (because spending $400 on a send-away fixie is obviously very logical).
Representatives from a couple of local bike shops say $400 isn't an outrageous price for a fixie, although they also say the price is similar ($400 to $650-plus) at a bike shop and you'll probably end up paying a shop anyhow for assembly help and replacement parts. "Steven" of Pedal Revolution says that because fixies have so few parts, those parts see a lot of wear and tear -- i.e. if the parts are cheap and unreliable, it's likely they'll go fast.
Although Steven said that the Urban Outfitters label could symbolize the final death knell to the fixie fascination, he's just happy to see anything out there that will get more people riding bikes. That being said, people who are ordering their first bike from a chain clothing store should know exactly what they're buying -- in addition to the ticket to instant hipsterdom.
Upon ordering the Aristotle, which is described on the Urban Outfitters Web site as a "singlespeed bike with a flip-flop hub," you will receive your custom-made bike in a big cardboard box, 90-percent assembled by the Urban Outfitters Bike Shop (an amalgamation of the clothing store and Florida-based Republic Bike), and 10 percent in pieces. The flip-flop part means that if you're not ready for the weirdness of riding a fixie, the rear wheel can be flipped and made into a regular old unfashionable bike again.