^ ABOVE : The State Bicycle Co. Contender right out the box.
V BELOW : How my State Bicycle Co. Contender has evolved over the years.
The Contender is a blank canvas. A chameleon.
Leave it stock, race it out, rack it out. It can take it all.
This review was originally posted in 2013. Before owning this bike, I had only ridden BMX bikes, and aluminum road bikes. The State Bicycle Co. Contender is my first steel bike and right off the bat, I could not believe how cushy the ride was. The comfort of a steel frame is undeniable. I completely understand it now why people say, “steel is real.” Compared to aluminum frames, this bike almost felt like it had a bit of suspension.
And the way this whip handles is fantastic. The geometry isn’t too steep, nor too mellow which is great for a point A to B bike.
I look at my bike as my car. I haven’t owned a car for several years, so this bike is my main source of transportation. I’m not looking for the lightest, most high-tech components, and I’m not looking for a showstopper that could get picked off when I leave it locked up somewhere. I’m just looking for a solid bike that can handle daily abuse and the Contender completely meets these needs. It’s even drilled for a rear rack, which would come in handy if you ever feel that need.
All in all, you really can’t go wrong with the Contender (MSRP $649). I’d recommend this chariot to anyone looking for a sturdy single speed / fixed gear that won’t break the bank. All the components are top notch (sealed everything + carbon fiber fork) but easily upgradeable to anything you want. This bike would make a great daily cruiser or even a decent track bike.
It’s all up to you and your style.
HERE : http://www.statebicycle.com
So I’ve had this bike since 2013 and I stiiiiill can ONLY speak the utmost highest of this whip.
This bike has been on EVERY ride hosted under The Awarewolfs name as well as almost ALL my daily rides. This bike even made it through a 227-mile-in-one-day ride I did with Ride4Water. I’ve upgraded a lot of parts on this bike since I got it. Some upgrades were for aesthetics, some were for performance. I’m so happy to report that this bike, while it was entirely stock, had ZERO major break downs / catastrophes.
Here’s a few photos of this bike’s phases :
PHASE 1 :
^ That megaphone idea was intended for when I lead the Fullmoon Bikerides. The megaphone broke before I could use it though hahah You’re probably noticing the suicide brake lever – YES it works GREAT. Would I recommend using a suicide brake lever? Not really – unless you have good bike handling skills or simply want to avoid getting a ticket.
I rode the bike completely stock for about a week or so and after a few days, I switched to the parts you see above. The first changes I made were Hold Fast straps to Fly Bikes Pedals, ThickSlick tires, and Profile Design bullhorn bars.
PHASE 2 :
^ Phase 2 – I decided MTB bars and a basket are what I prefer for city smashing. The comfort of MTB bars is GREAT + it allows for easy hopping up curbs or over train tracks. The basket is obviously great for grocery shopping and beer runs.
PHASE 3 :
^ Phase 3 – After riding the stock wheels / crankset for two years, I wanted to switch out some parts strictly for aesthetics. With Retrogression‘s help, we decided to lace the Contender up with an IRD Crankset, H+Sun TB14s laced to All-City Sheriff hubs, a Cetma 5 Rail Rack and a Selle Italia Saddle. I’ve also got a Quadlock for my phone, and Knog lights front / back.
PHASE 4 :
Currently, I’ve converted the Contender in to a all-terrain shredder. Light trails and dirt conditions are not a problem now. I swapped out the fork and the tires are 32c Kenda Small Block Eights. I’ve had this set up since 2016 and don’t see me really changing it any time soon. For more on the conversion, follow this link HERE.
Photos / words : Charlie Sears
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.charliesears.co