My wife had been talking about getting a bike recently (yay!), but she spends a lot of time on style blogs looking at purses and bookshelf decoration and stickers and things and I guess she had come across this fad for "City Bikes" (or "Euro-style" Bikes). You know the type... Fenders, baskets and a bell. Swoop-back handlebars and a cute leather saddle. And a coaster brake, of course. So... She fell in love with the State Bicycle Co. Domingo Deluxe (you know, fenders and all). How could I say no? We ordered the bike and it came in rather promptly via UPS Ground from way out in Arizona. Upon arrival, the box looked great and when I unpacked it, everything looked good.
I immediately swapped out the ugly white tires for some nice Continental black ones that were a little tougher to stand up to our crappy roads here in South Carolina (6th worst in the nation in education AND streets). Okay, so I put the bike together, but immediately realized the rear fender was bent all to hell because they ship it with the stupid thing attached and all the bolts snugged down. So rather than having it shift during shipment, it just bends. No big deal, though, I can straighten it (and I did). All is good... Until I get to the racks and front fender. I was missing several bolts, nuts and washers to complete the build. Dammit. So, I salvaged bolts, nuts and washers from the fenders so that I could get her racks and basket on. Except I couldn't because the front basket planks were missing the hardware and the rear basket was missing a crucial bracket piece.
I decided to call State and they told me to send them an email with photos of the missing pieces (right... I'll photograph MISSING pieces). But, I photographed what I had and told them how many of each I needed. I tucked it all away in a clever little PDF and emailed it over. In the meantime, my wife decides she'll just ride her new steed sans baskets and fenders, but then we find that we're missing the seatpost screw to tighten it down. Again, I salvaged ANOTHER part from the fender assembly to get the seat post secured so she could at least enjoy the damn thing.
I got a response a couple of days later and a phone call to clarify one thing and the stuff was mailed to me USPS Priority. I received it mid-week this week and it looked like all was right with the world. I went out this morning to assemble everything and it went off without a hitch. Until I got to the rear fender. I'm STILL missing pieces. Even after I CLEARLY illustrated EXACTLY what I needed, they failed to put all the parts in the little plastic bag and mail it to me. Idiots.
Wait... Side note, because I know you must be thinking it... I took the fender OFF so clearly there has to be parts to put it back ON, right? Wrong. I salvaged parts from the rear fender (thinking there were replacement parts on the way) to attach other parts of the bike so she's still sans a rear fender. I'm pretty pissed at this point as it's too late to return it (and I wouldn't want to have to break it back down and ship it back anyway). She's down in the dumps because she feels like it's her fault that we got a crappy bike. And I'm just mad as hell because I don't understand how effing hard it is to make a basic checklist (in Chinese so the factory workers can read it) and say, "Okay, we need four of these, check. Seven of these, check. Three of these, check." Unfortunately, State Bicycle Co. and the idiots running their ****ty bicycle factory are incapable of this.
Sure, the bottle opener and free backpack are cute. And the bike is actually decent in terms of build and ride quality, but I'd sooner light myself on fire than buy anything else from State. Their customer service is good as they got me parts out immediately, but it shouldn't happen in the first place.
In terms of bikes, it's fine. No better or worse than a Walmart beach cruiser (except it costs like 4x the price). I love the paint color and my wife says it's comfy to ride and she's definitely enjoying it. I would say that if you're going to buy a State Bicycle Co. bike (which I wouldn't ever do again), get one from a shop. Let them deal with the missing screws and messed up parts. I should have just had it shipped to the bike shop in the first place (unfortunately, they're like an hour from me and I've ordered BD bikes and the like before so I figured I could do this one).
Anyway... State Bicycle might be inexpensive, but for the money, there are significantly better options out there. Also, if you've got a loved one that looks at style blogs and tells you they want a bike, convince them to get something other than a State Bicycle Co. City Bike, lest you be plagued by missing nuts and washers and screws. I'm going to take the two remaining bolts to Lowe's this afternoon and see if I can find some nuts to fit them. And then I'm going to buy them in bulk, maybe a 10lb bag or so, and ship them to State Bicycle and tell them to just toss a handful in with each bike they ship, just in case their factory forgot how to count again. For my wife, the bike is fine. It won't break the land speed record and it probably won't be around for our grandkids to ride (I'm hoping someone steals it before then so I don't have to look at the stupid thing), but it's a fine bike for getting her around with her friends and taking Saturday morning trips to the Farmer's Market and lunch and what not. And it gets us out spending time together so I guess it's not a total loss.
So... Rant ended. Stay away from State. But if you do feel gutsy enough to buy from them, count your nuts and bolts before you break everything down to assemble it because getting it packaged back up is a pain in the arse.