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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 08-24-14, 09:53 AM   #1
heymatthew
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A Review (Rant) of State Bicycle Co. (City Bike)

Hello all,
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.

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Old 08-24-14, 01:52 PM   #2
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Well we tried getting our point across but no... you had to find out for yourself 1st hand.
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Old 08-24-14, 02:23 PM   #3
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I think we all knew this from the get go.
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Old 08-24-14, 02:52 PM   #4
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Well we tried getting our point across but no... you had to find out for yourself 1st hand.
Are you speaking generally or am I missing something? I hadn't asked about them on this forum. I did a little research and most people seem to think State is on-par with BD and the like. Which I would generally agree with in terms of overall frame quality.

In terms of organization and overall QC, I'd say they are a bit behind the competition.

Anyway, she's happy, but I won't buy from them in the future. I would encourage others to consider buying from them only if it's going through a bike shop first.
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Old 08-24-14, 02:52 PM   #5
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My buddy bought the Wutang State Bike. Boat anchor heavy, ****ty quality. He chewed through it in a couple months then bought a Felt.
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Old 08-24-14, 02:53 PM   #6
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I think we all knew this from the get go.
Most reviews I read were about how good/bad the bikes were. I felt this was slightly different as States bikes are pretty run of the mill in terms of $500 and under bikes like Kilos, Windsors, etc.
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Old 08-24-14, 02:54 PM   #7
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Are you speaking generally or am I missing something? I hadn't asked about them on this forum. I did a little research and most people seem to think State is on-par with BD and the like. Which I would generally agree with in terms of overall frame quality.

In terms of organization and overall QC, I'd say they are a bit behind the competition.

Anyway, she's happy, but I won't buy from them in the future. I would encourage others to consider buying from them only if it's going through a bike shop first.
Not sure what who you heard that from but for a fact there's been people on here who are not* impartial about state and who received discounts from them for their "PR" services. And were able to get away with it because they were not outright doing it. Anyhow, brand opinion should be taken as a general consensus from around here....
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Old 08-24-14, 03:01 PM   #8
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Not sure what who you heard that from but for a fact there's been people on here who are not* impartial about state and who received discounts from them for their "PR" services. And were able to get away with it because they were not outright doing it. Anyhow, brand opinion should be taken as a general consensus from around here....
hmmm. That's interesting to know.

It's not a terrible bike, just not worth the trouble. I'd give it a 5/10. If I hadn't had to go through all the headache, I'd probably only give it a 7/10 max. I had a Windsor Hour that was about the same in terms of overall quality.

Weird about the PR stuff though...
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Old 08-24-14, 03:06 PM   #9
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Weird about the PR stuff though...
You should've gotten a Leuky bike instead, they upgraded me for free and threw in a free kit! They're the best!
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Old 08-24-14, 03:15 PM   #10
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You should've gotten a Leuky bike instead, they upgraded me for free and threw in a free kit! They're the best!
Haha! Next time I will. You'll be the first person I talk to before buying anything.
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Old 08-25-14, 07:00 AM   #11
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HeyMatthew; Have to ponder two things: 1) If the goal was equal to a Walmart cruiser, why not just buy one from Wally for 1/4 the cost, less hassles, ability to inspect it hands on, and easy return-ability; 2) If you had bought from BikesDirect previously and had good experiences with them, why not be a repeat customer and buy your lady one from there (they have quite a few that should do)?

Just thinking, asking.

/K
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Old 08-25-14, 07:11 AM   #12
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HeyMatthew; Have to ponder two things: 1) If the goal was equal to a Walmart cruiser, why not just buy one from Wally for 1/4 the cost, less hassles, ability to inspect it hands on, and easy return-ability; 2) If you had bought from BikesDirect previously and had good experiences with them, why not be a repeat customer and buy your lady one from there (they have quite a few that should do)?

Just thinking, asking.

/K
Those are both really good questions:

1. I didn't buy one from Walmart because she didn't like how "fat" the Walmart bikes were. She wanted something a little more sleek, if that makes any sense. I was honestly being a little hopeful and had thought we might get lucky and the State bike would be better than those anyway, but in reality, they're pretty much on-par with them. Which isn't a bad thing at all. I rode Walmart bikes for years as a kid until my dad got tired of replacing them and bought me a Trek when I was 12 and he's still riding that bike today. I outgrew it and am almost a foot taller than he is so he got to inherit my bike... but he's got an old cherry red Volkscycle that he bought in college that I've got my eye on that I'll get one day... But I digress. Essentially, she didn't like the "beach cruiser" look of the bikes at Walmart and most of the "sleeker" bikes were Schwinns with multiple gears and she really wanted a single speed.

2. I'm still kicking myself for not buying a BD bike. I should have, I know. But she had her heart set on this one and I just gave it a shot. She and I rode bikes together all over downtown Charleston, SC when we first met. In fact, we lived in this tiny, ****ty apartment and hated it, but we loved being able to get on our bikes and ride the historic district. I guess I got a little nostalgic and let that supersede my best judgement. Call me a romantic.

Honestly, I wouldn't be all that upset if it were just my bike, but the fact that it's hers and she's kinda disappointed sucks. BUT... It's all put together now, minus the rear fender and she said she likes the bike better without the fenders so that saves me the trouble of finding a suitable nut for them. I think I'll still find the appropriate hardware, but in the meantime, it's working and the basket is cute and the bell is dinging and she can put fresh fruits and veggies in her re-usable bags and... Oh God... She's European.

Thanks for asking though. I asked myself the same things when I was building it. Sort of like... "Grumble, grumble, fricken, ricken, why didn't I get a Walmart bike?" LOL!
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Old 08-25-14, 07:15 AM   #13
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HeyMatthew; Have to ponder two things: 1) If the goal was equal to a Walmart cruiser, why not just buy one from Wally for 1/4 the cost, less hassles, ability to inspect it hands on, and easy return-ability; 2) If you had bought from BikesDirect previously and had good experiences with them, why not be a repeat customer and buy your lady one from there (they have quite a few that should do)?
I assume you haven't been involved with a woman who follows style blogs. They get stylistic ideas so embedded in their desires that nothing else will satisfy them.
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Old 08-25-14, 07:16 AM   #14
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I assume you haven't been involved with a woman who follows style blogs. They get stylistic ideas so embedded in their desires that nothing else will satisfy them.
Bless you, kind sir!
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Old 08-25-14, 10:37 AM   #15
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I assume you haven't been involved with a woman who follows style blogs. They get stylistic ideas so embedded in their desires that nothing else will satisfy them.
The sqrl browses purseforum as much as I does bike forum
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Old 02-10-15, 05:29 PM   #16
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State Bicycle is a fashion bicycle, similar to any other "fashion" item you can buy. If you go to Nordstrom, you can buy a top of the line watch for a couple thousand dollars, or you can buy a fashion watch with a Burberry brand on it for about $400 that is made by a big factory. The same can be said for almost any type of product, there's always a top-end functional product, a fashion product, and a budget product. Typically the fashion and budget items are closer in quality to the fashion and top-end.

That's life. I recently bought a State Bicycle cruiser as well, and guess what, I know it's not a Colnago or a BMW, it's a Wal Mart bike with nice aesthetic qualities that you pay a bit more for.
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Old 02-10-15, 06:55 PM   #17
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I dunno. In the end it sounds like the Mrs. is quite happy. Yes, State could tighten up several things - like making sure they ship ALL of the bike on initial order, and actually ensuring that a support call is handled correctly - but other than that it sounds like she got the bike she wanted and is happy with it, no? Your pain is of the short term variety and is a hell of a lot better than you getting her a bike from BD that she ends up feeling is a 'compromise' because it wasn't exactly what she wanted. (not slagging BD, but I know about 'expectations'.) The real test is how the bike performs going forward.
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Old 02-10-15, 07:34 PM   #18
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That's life. I recently bought a State Bicycle cruiser as well, and guess what, I know it's not a Colnago or a BMW, it's a Wal Mart bike with nice aesthetic qualities that you pay a bit more for.
I think you should've bought a leukybike instead....
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Old 02-12-15, 12:21 AM   #19
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I feel like you could have taken a older "english racer" era/style and done a semi restoration and get the same look and style but with better quality and a vintage factor for the same or a little more.

But Not everybody wants to deal with that type of project. I also understand that it is frustrating to pay decent money for a product and to receive it in less than 100% condition.

All that being sad, state bikes look cool, but thats about where it ends. They use generic parts for the most part, even throughout their nicer models.
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Old 02-12-15, 09:03 AM   #20
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Reading through this six month old thread I could help but wonder why the OP didn't save a great deal of hassle and head to the hardware store right off for the missing nuts and bolts. Seems like the $.48 would have been worth the hassle.
Aside from that, how is the bike holding up, if even being ridden at all?
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Old 04-11-15, 09:16 PM   #21
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I feel like you could have taken a older "english racer" era/style and done a semi restoration and get the same look and style but with better quality and a vintage factor for the same or a little more.

But Not everybody wants to deal with that type of project. I also understand that it is frustrating to pay decent money for a product and to receive it in less than 100% condition.

All that being sad, state bikes look cool, but thats about where it ends. They use generic parts for the most part, even throughout their nicer models.
Agreed. I have mixed feelings about my State. I am slowly replacing every part that it came with AND i bought the 2nd best model you can buy!

Do I have regrets?.... eh, not really. Am I going to replace the frame at some point?... most likely.
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