Is the State Bicycle Co. Klunker the deal of the Summer? Somewhere back around 2015, I saw a story about the Asylum Hank that I ride today. I brought it up during one of our early Dose of Fat Podcasts and ordered one in early ’16. That bike gets as much attention as my fat bike when I post photos and draws attention at every trailhead. Hank was a screaming deal and when people ask where they can find one, I have to tell them that they might find one used one day, but they’re no longer available. So I’m sending up a flair to anybody that’s looking for something similar. An out-of-the-box Klunker will probably rub klunker purist’s rhubarb. If you have the means to build something from an old frame and parts, ¡a tada madre! If you want to see what State cooked up, keep on reading.
In addition to hosting his own podcast, Chewey is a State Bicycle Co. Dealer. He sells them out of a van down by the river! The first batch of these things sold out a long time ago, but there’s a new container due to hit our shores soon. Chewey (in his infinite knowledge) built a couple of these new Klunkers and he’s spent some time out in the woods with one, so we thought that we’d ask him what he thinks.
We’re curious what you think about the bike right out of the box. How’d the bike build up?
- As with most State bikes, they come mostly assembled. With the Klunkers there is so little to do. Handle bars, saddle, front wheel. Check everything over and away ya go ( side note, State asks that you have a shop assemble your bike if you have it shipped direct to you). It took me a couple of rides to get the saddle height were I wanted it, but that has more to do with the one size frame thingy rather than me being a picky shit about saddle height.
What’s up with those tall bars? BMX? What bars do you run?
- The BMX style bars are common and as far as I’m concerned a must. The rise of the bars may differ per rider’s likes, but this set up is spot on.
So how does it fly?
- We got these bikes ( Free and Easy) while the weather here in MN was still snow and crappy. I hate to say this, but I didn’t want to mess up this pretty bike so it sat in the shop until the weather improved ( I know, slap me). So once the sun came out and the trail dried up, I finally got out into the dirt. The first ride was on a wide-open double-track trail. It was fun but left me wanting more dirt. So I bombed over to the river trail and did a flat winding mile-long test. All that did was make me want more dirt. So now I’ve taken it out to my local trails and really did an off-road ride with it. The gearing is perfect ( the rider is in horrible shape though), the handling on tight trails was silly fun, climbing was good, descending at first was concerning. I didn’t want to skid around all the switchbacks, but once I figured out what I was comfortable with as far as speed into corners the grin grew even wider. I hooked up with a friend and his 2 young boys and rode some of the flatter trails again, I’m hooked, this thing is a #%(&ing riot. Lastly, I took it out for an evening around town. If you’re riding this for speed, you may need to change up the gearing (no I don’t know what the ratio is, that shits too nerdy for me to worry about). But for bar hopping, paved trail with a few urban short cuts it was awesome.
Do you think that’s a good value for what the bike rides like?
- The stock black Klunker retails for $420.69 and the Grateful Dead models (2 different themes ) go for $549.99, these are direct from State while the black is available through dealers or online. Are they a good value? Hell ya. Is it cheaper to build a klunker out of an old beater? Maybe but probably not. I did forget to mention these come with 27.5 wheels. It really is a great upgrade.
Please explain to an old geezer how to ride a coaster brake on punchy singletrack?
- Coaster brake riding in the dirt is an easy art to pick up. It’s all up to the comfort zone of the rider. If you get out with guys like Rob Bauer, Matt Whitman, James Rooke, hang on for dear life. These guys can tear it up on a klunker. Me, I’ll cruise along and enjoy the sites.
Klunkers – with the industry having all of the supply chain delays, it’s the perfect time to build a klunker. Should we hold a klunker festival this summer?
- Building a klunker might be a little easier than other bikes at the moment with the parts shortage going on, but it’s a klunker, find a coaster brake bike and hit the road/dirt whatever. It’ll be fun ( maybe not easy). It’s all about style on the bike not bling. Should we host a festival ? Maybe … Joe Kisley has had one. Unfortunately I was laid up and couldn’t make it ( crash related but not a klunker crash ). But then again, Klunker is a bicycle choice, like single speed or full squishy suspension (No, ebiking is not a choice, it’s a reaction to a brain malfunction ). So put on a bicycling event and see who shows up. I’m not ready to say Klunkers will take over the world…. Just yet.
So that’s it for this episode of Klunkedelic! Do you have some of that klunky funk that you’d like to share? Drop us a line and let us know what’s up in your neck of the woods! Email your Klunkedelic questions comments and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll have the gnomes down in the mailroom send you some sweet stickers! We’ve got klunker stickers.