Photos + Words : Charlie Sears

Long Island, New York



When I first arrived on Long Island, the optimistic Californian in me loved not knowing where anything was and exploring the roads to find rad routes all around the island. After riding all around the island, culture shock set in and I realized that the roads are so incredibly dangerous and so incredibly bicycle UN-friendly that I came to the conclusion that the most fun and SAFEST place to ride is in the dirt / trails.

No cars, no traffic, no worries.

My ever faithful State Bicycle Co. Contender is not exactly meant to be a dirt bike… But I’ve always believed that the Contender is a chameleon so I had an idea…

With 25c tires, I noticed that there was quite a bit of clearance around my rear wheel. I also knew the Contender’s stock fork isn’t meant to accommodate a large tire in the front so I figured all I really needed to convert my bike into a trail shredder was a different fork and bigger tires…

So I gave it a shot :


^ The Kenda Small Block Eight 32c tire barely fits in the rear – BUTT – the Kenda Small Block Eight 32c tire DOES fit!


^ The All City Nature Boy Cross Fork is a steel 1 1/8″ fork with plenty of clearance. I have only ever used Caliper brakes but this fork (and most dirt / cx forks) will require Cantilever brakes or similar. Great stopping power – maybe just a bit different setup than what you’re used to. I got my fork through the good homies over at Retrogression.



Moral of the story :

The State Bicycle Co. Contender continues to amaze me with just how versatile it can be. I’ve had this bike since 2013 and have always referred to it as a ‘blank canvas’ – something you can easily upgrade to be whatever you want. Drop bars, Bullhorns, front racks, and now a trail conversion – I’ve never been more proud of this bike and I’ve never been this content with my current setup!




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