State Bicycle Co. has been bucking that trend for years with some of the most affordable bikes in the industry. The brand, which cut its teeth with stylish, affordable fixies, has expanded its range to include carbon race and all-road bikes that are capable of taking on serious contests.
Generally, most major bicycle brands hinge their designs around aluminum, carbon, or titanium. And lower-end components have been getting “wireless” upgrades and tweaks that shave off ounces and slightly increase efficiency but continue pushing prices up.
While State Bicycle Co. has expanded to fill the needs of much more serious riders, it also continues to honor its roots by offering affordable options, including steel frames. The brand’s pricing won’t make first-time bike purchasers chuckle and immediately look to another brand or department store.
State bills its 4130 All-Road chromoly steel bike as its most capable bike ever, featuring a widely customizable range of components and wheel options for a starting price of just $899. As refreshing as it is to see a bike for less than $1,000 that promises to be a capable rig for bikepacking, commuting, and all-road adventuring, I wondered what the tradeoffs would be compared to something that goes for $400-500 more.
I spent several weeks carving up singletrack, gravel, road, and bike paths on the base drop-bar model of the 4130 All-Road.
In short: The State Bicycle Co. 4130 All-Road is a comfortable, fully capable, and versatile bike for the casual rider. While there is clearly some room for improvement, there is also a lot to love, especially for the price. And the bike is infinitely and easily upgradeable.
- Frame material 4130 chromoly steel
- Fork material 4130 chromoly steel
- Wheels State Bicycle Co. tubeless-capable 650b or 700c
- Drivetrain State Bicycle Co. 1x, 42t x 11-42
- Very affordable pricing
- Many affordable upgrade options
- Comfortable and stable frame geometry
- Plentiful mounting bosses on frame and fork
- Weak mechanical disc brakes (upgradeable)
State 4130 All-Road Basics
The State Bicycle Co. 4130 All-Road starts with a chromoly steel frame that comes loaded with multiple mounting bosses that are ideal for attaching fenders or other baggage and accessories. The standard fork features four mounting bosses on each leg, while the frame includes attachment points at the top of the rear triangle and two bottle cage mounts inside the front triangle. The front triangle is spacious enough to fit two bottles and additional packs or strap-on equipment with ease.
I rode the base model of the 4130 All-Road, so all of the components on the bike carried the State brand. I did not take advantage of a single bell or whistle that buyers can add before purchase. That’s worth noting because you can change just about any part of this bike, from the drivetrain or fork to rims, tires, and cockpit to suit any particular needs or wants. That will, however, raise the price.
The 4130 All-Road comes with the option of 650b or 700c wheels. Buyers can also opt to select both for an upcharge, creating a two-for-one bike straight out of the gate.
I opted for 650b wheels, which I felt would be more versatile for variable riding conditions. The wheels are tubeless capable but come with Vittoria Barzo 2.1-inch tires, which are not.
The bike included a State-branded 1×11 drivetrain with a 42t chainring, an 11-42t cassette, and State-branded mechanical disc brakes.
State 4130 All-Road First Impressions
Out of the box, the State All-Road 4130 looked sharp. Mine came in the rugged Raw Phosphate color, which isn’t really a paint job at all. It’s raw metal where you can see the golden flash of weld burns peaking through at the gear mounts, which I felt added a cool bit of flair. The bike comes in several other colors that look cleaner, but I liked the rawness of the finish. It really made me appreciate and notice the metal.
State also says this finish will develop its own patina over time, adding an even more unique look.
Putting the bike together was easy enough, although it did not come with any tools. A pedal wrench and a few hex keys were enough to get it together in a few minutes. Luckily, no significant issues arose during assembly. My brake cables needed considerable adjusting, but it was ready to ride out of the box other than that. Remember that you’d need to take the bike to a shop for assembly to take advantage of State’s warranty.
The frame itself is pretty thin compared to frames with larger diameters that I’m used to, which makes sense for heavier steel. And yes, I did feel the bike’s weight while moving it around, but it isn’t excessively heavy for the material and build. All told, the bike looked great and seemed like it would function just fine.
State Bicycle Co. 4130 All-Road Ride Review
As I started putting miles into the bike, I immediately noticed how the combination of the steel frame and wide 650b tires absolutely ate up vibrations on the road. The bike rode comfortably, providing reliable support and a planted feel that inspired confidence while cruising.
On gravel, that feeling became even more pronounced. Since the bike is heavier, it felt like a tank charging forward over rocks and roots while still being nimble and quick on the flats and downhills.
I constantly popped off small lips and curbs, letting the wheels bring me back to the tarmac with a well-cushioned feel.
Climbing was a little more challenging with the weight of the steel frame and 42t max range on the cassette, but the drivetrain shifted smoothly and functioned perfectly.
My only qualm with the bike was its brakes. The State Bicycle Co. All-Road 1 Flat-Mount Disc brakes with 160mm rotors felt pretty underpowered, especially for disc brakes. I found myself having to pull the levers extremely hard to bring the bike to a stop. They really felt more like rim brakes than the disc brakes I’m used to.
I felt like the brakes could be adequate for road riding, gravel, or commuting, where riders can see far ahead and anticipate stops well in advance. However, bringing the bike to a full stop unexpectedly or quickly required considerable force from my hands. This made it a bit tricky to control on twisty single track or around traffic. It also meant that moving fast required much more attention and caution.
At $899, the State 4130 All-Road is among the most affordable capable gravel bikes available. It comes in various options, including drop or flat-bar builds with 650b or 700c tires that can quickly change the bike from an off-road adventurer to a sleek urban commuter with the turn of a few bolts.
Most of the components performed great, and the bike’s geometry was comfortable and fun. Even for a rigid rig, the combination of large tires and beefy steel frame begs to be taken off-road to gobble up chunkier terrain.
The stock brakes needed improvement. But like all other components on the bike, State offers a hydraulic disc brake upgrade at purchase for an extra $100 that still keeps a complete build right at $1,000. With that upgrade, I’d have trouble finding anything I didn’t like about the bike, and it would still come in considerably cheaper than most other options out there.
At the end of the day, the State All-Road 4130 felt like an extremely versatile do-it-all bike for the casual rider. The steel frame provided support and peace of mind, and the ability to easily upgrade parts meant this bike could grow with you.