A fixed gear rider performs a trick at last year's fixed-gear sprints. Photo courtesy of Danny Pagano.

Phoenix and Tucson tied for the title of the top Arizona city in the The Priceonomics Blog’s “Fixie Index,” which they used to gauge the nation’s most hipster-filled cities.

“Fixies (fixed gear bikes) are considered to be a strong indicator of hipsterness,”  The co-founder of Priceonomics.com said in his post.

So the Priceonomics.com team decided to run the numbers using their database of millions of bicycle listings to see which city had the most fixed gear riders per capita.

Tucson ranked 30th overall, while Phoenix came in at number 29, but the number of fixed gear bikes per capita was actually the same.

The top-10 cities on the list may come as a surprise. They were:

Orange County
Los Angeles
San Jose
San Francisco
Santa Barbara

The top bicycling cities ranked according to Priceonomics bike index.

The Price0nomics team also looked more broadly at the numbers to try to determine the most bike-centric cities in the nation. Here’s how they came up with the list.

Of course, we can look at the Priceonomics bicycle data more broadly to find out where lots of used bicycles are sold.  Our central assumption is that cities with large and vibrant secondhand markets should be the ones where many people are bicycling enthusiasts. While this assumption is not perfect, it’s better than most rankings of “bike friendly cities” where the rankings are just made up.

First, we look at raw volume of bicycles offered for sale by city to determine which are the largest markets. Obviously, this is biased toward larger cities where the average citizen may only have a lukewarm interest in biking.

The above analysis does not control for population and the Bay Area is much larger than the Portland metropolitan area. Instead, to build the official Priceonomics Rankings of Top Cities for Bicycling, we adjust for population to build an index of how many bikes per capita are for sale in each city (the Bike Index).

In the site’s bike index, Tucson ranks number 35, while Phoenix ranks 33rd overall.

The top-10 are:

San Francisco
Orange County

Lastly, they looked at the price of the used bikes being sold, to see which city had the highest prices. Tucson and Phoenix both had an average price of $200 per bike. That price placed the cities in the 70 and 71st spot.

Salt Lake city topped the list with the average price of a bike being $400.

Here are the top 10

Salt Lake City $400
Asheville $350
Greenville $300
Honolulu $300
Miami $300
Knoxville $275
New Orleans $275
San Francisco $260
Seattle $250
Bellingham $250

Of course while the data they used probably isn’t the best indicator for how bike friendly a city is, it is a unique way to look at the question.

The Price0nomics site can be useful to cyclists who are looking to purchase a bicycle because you can compare listings for similar bikes from around the country to ensure you get a fair price.

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