State Bicycle Co. Releases a $400, 27.5" Klunker

Nov 25, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  

To many people, gravel biking is a way to simplify their riding and take it back to the early 90s when you didn't need 40' doubles or death-defying rock slabs to get your thrills, and a canal towpath could be classified as 'fairly technical'. Well, what if you could take it back even further, all the way back to the Repack Races of the 70s and the Klunkers raced by the forefathers of the sport.

The legendary names associated with that scene such as Charlie Kelly, Gary Fisher and Fred Wolf, all used converted beach cruisers to get their kicks on the fire roads of Marin County and now you can emulate them thanks to State Bicycle Co.'s new Klunker.

The seat tube mounted bottle opener is an included extra for use on IPAs only, presumably
The main difference between this bike and the ones used by those pioneers comes in the wheel size. This State Klunker comes with 27.5" wheels that are clad in 2.3" wide WTB Vigilante tires. Other than that, you're looking at a back-to-basics approach with a steel frame, a 30” extra-wide V-bar with 7" rise and Vans Grips. As you would expect on a Klunker tribute bike, braking is down via a coaster that you need to backpedal to engage, although hopefully you won't have to repack it with grease as much as the classic models. The bike should be run singlespeed and uses a 42t chainring with a 22t cog.

The bars are 30" 762mm wide with a rise of 7" (178mm)
This "retro-style leatherette" saddle is a clear nod to Brooks.

State aren't the only brand to bring back the Klunker and Transition's similar version apparently sold very well a few years ago. State's Klunker is available in one size only designed to fit riders from 5'5" to 6'3" and comes with a 5-year warranty. It is on sale now for $399.99. More info, here.


82 Comments

  • 49 5
 When are bike and bike tool manufacturers going to realize open a beer bottle is the easiest thing to do.

"Hey fellow hip youths, check out this cool bike...it has a BEER bottle opener! Wild, right? Who comes up with the groundbreaking ideas?"
  • 28 0
 I've used nearly all of my bicycle's components to open a beer bottle at least once. I might have a problem
  • 180 3
 When are bike mfgrs going to stop Assuming that every mountain biker is a group riding bro-brah alcoholic frat boy? Some of us are solo rider stoners...
  • 52 0
 @unrooted: So you're saying we want a grinder in the bottom bracket?
  • 13 0
 @unrooted: well that's why everyone has a gear stash box in the frame now; you're well served.
  • 13 0
 @fabdemaere: Only if there's a head-tube bong.
  • 2 0
 Well this bottle opener really misses the point though. It's missing a bottle cage IMO.

I would be great to have a cage that securely holds glass bottles (and maybe cans) and has a bottle opener included.
  • 18 0
 @unrooted: this bike does have "3 D.U.I.s" written all over it though.
  • 1 0
 @fabdemaere: Grinds with every pedal stroke.
  • 4 0
 @unrooted: I prefer short sections of brake hose to do lines off my toptube.
  • 4 1
 @lukeisdumb: one more reason to ride solo...so I don’t have to listen to you drone on about your crazy coked up product ideas...or methy conspiracy theories...
  • 6 0
 @plyawn: I think a gear stash box must have a different meaning in the US...
  • 11 0
 @unrooted: you need a specialized, S.W.A.T = store weed and tings.
  • 1 0
 @fabdemaere: Well, I mean that kinda sounds cool.
  • 6 0
 @unrooted: a custom one hitter in the new one-up edc thingy would be nice!
  • 1 0
 @unrooted: then you can use your Bic lighter for a bottle opener if you need quench your thirst
  • 4 0
 @fabdemaere: Get a RF BB, it will be a grinder in a month
  • 2 0
 @fabdemaere: gives a whole different meaning to grinding your way up climbs. Genius.
  • 1 0
 @IluvRIDING: Get an @stashers bag. Insulated bike bags made for this exact purpose.
  • 1 0
 @mammal: this needs to be a thing.
  • 3 0
 @RonSauce: I was about to say the same thing. I know a guy with a similar clunker but he’s got an internally geared hub and 4 DUI’s. Maybe the fourth one upgrades the hub?
  • 43 0
 Only a puppy kicker doesn't like this for $400
  • 2 0
 Agreed. Also, thanks for introducing me to a new insult. "puppy kicker" an especially low form of life lol
  • 42 0
 The bike of the post-Covid recession is here
  • 7 0
 Too real.
  • 9 0
 And mountain biking might be better for it!
  • 29 0
 Friends, Romans, Countryman: please buy this, so there can be a larger "klunker crit" race scene. It's the pinnacle of the sport.

In honor of my trusty Klunker, I'm off to shotgun some cheap warm shaken-up beers, then ghost ride it off a loading dock.
  • 15 0
 Looks like a fun bike, and like the article explains: it’s really fun being super scared on easy terrain, I miss going OTB on EVERY SINGLE RIDE!
  • 3 0
 That's why I sold my 1984 Peugeot Orient Express that I had restored. It was pretty to look at but god damn was it scary to ride on dirt.
  • 1 0
 @Avanwin: sometimes I wish I still had my bontrager with full xtr...then I remember how often I crashed that bike!
  • 16 0
 They found away around the parts shortage...
  • 2 0
 @maximesl: LOL THATS WHAT I THOUGHT!
  • 6 0
 They were not converted beach cruisers. They were converted classic paper-boy balloon tire bikes. Pre-war production was preferred. My first MTB experience was on a friend's converted Schwinn Excelsior with internal drum hubs front and rear, the rear also having a 3-speed drive, and a 5-sp Campy rear derailleur. It was awesome. Changed my life.
  • 4 0
 I was there...inch pitch pre war balloon tire bikes were the bike of choice...if you had one, you were the envy of the folks hauling their bikes up mt tam... ;-). happy times growing up in Marin.
  • 4 0
 That is without a doubt the coolest bike money can buy for $400. I would want another brake option and a better saddle clamp design. I get that it is retro, and slapping a Hite-Rite on one of these would look sick but if my fat ass seat bounced a curb drop that saddle clamp is toast.
  • 2 0
 Kona made the Humuhumunukunukuapa'a for almost 20 years. Those who know, know. Steel klunker with various wheel sizes and brake options over the years... Cool and unique builds. Kinda pricey for what it was... maybe no one here has one or forgot about um. This State bike looks pretty sweet for 4bills though.
  • 5 0
 Hell yes let's go shred ya'll.
  • 6 5
 Other companies have done the same thing, but with a rear disk brake (or at a minimum, mounts for such a brake).

Going for broke on a single speed rigid bike is fun and all, but in my experience, you often need to shut down such fun in a hurry - something that's not possible with a coaster brake.
  • 21 0
 Riding a Klunker is learning the art of commitment.
  • 7 0
 This reminded of the Transition Klunker video where those guys all pile up at like the second corner of Evolution
  • 1 0
 @djyosh: I did the same thing while filming both Klunking 1.. not ever sure what happened and just exploded. Such a funny clip
  • 1 0
 @djyosh: Good catch. Transition made a great video for a better looking bike. I like the ridiculously dirt bike bars on that one.

That said, if you're going to go for the "bespoke klunker," you might as well go big and get the Starling Migration, which, apart from the price tag, looks ridiculously fun.
  • 2 1
 In the very least they should come with disc tabs front and rear so you can run discs if you want.
  • 1 0
 @djyosh: I still have my Transition Klunker, love it. Mostly it's just my pub bike, but I ride it on trails sometimes. Trying to correctly time the vague braking from the rear coaster brake is an entertaining exercise in pointlessness!

This bike look s great, good value for sure.

:-D
  • 6 0
 I 100% want this
  • 1 0
 I had a state Fat Bike for a while, it was single speed, the chain stays were so flexy that with the chain tensioner removed and the chain correctly adjusted you could derail the chain just by a decent pedal crank because the chainline was so out of line.
  • 5 0
 i want one. i dont know why. but i do.
  • 1 0
 Looks sweet. Unfortunately everyone around here is so hip that we have fixed gear tracklocross races for old school shenanigans, and couldn't use this for those races since its so modern with those coaster brakes. Would be fun to try anyways, or build as a fixie....
  • 1 0
 Looks great for $400! I am actually considering getting one. I can't find any geo charts on the site though and it doesn't even say if the hubs are sealed bearing or not. Anyone have any recommendations for bikes similar to this one that won't break the bank?
  • 2 0
 sick AS F **** .shame you cant get them in the UK .. great basic no frills bike for just enjoying the ride .. every rider should have one to remind them what its all about
  • 1 0
 Also gutted - I guess its because UK/EU need two forms of braking on a bike to be street legal?

If only they drilled the fork crown, or seat stay bridge, and included a crappy BMX calliper/cable/lever in the box....
  • 3 0
 Comes with the distinct smell one only gets from items made in a sweat shop.
  • 2 0
 Cool too bad its just for mini people
  • 1 0
 I think this looks badass. If I lived in a community with connectivity I would definitely pick one up.
  • 2 0
 Down tube mega bong should be included. Screw the head tube!
  • 1 0
 dumpster diving will save $400, just sayin
  • 1 0
 Looks Great, Anyone have a Felt Burner for sale?
  • 4 3
 Finally, a bike for no-one.
  • 1 0
 Do the chainstays vary with each size?
  • 1 0
 yes
  • 1 0
 Im not sure exactly why, but I think I want one
  • 1 0
 When is the shredit coming out
  • 1 0
 Thought these things disappeared in the 1980's?
  • 1 0
 what's the head angle? And why?
  • 1 0
 Soon to be followed by a Klunker with a battery and motor....
  • 1 0
 is this coming to europe? please tell me this is coming to euroope.
  • 1 0
 Good news. They are shipping worldwide.
  • 1 0
 This is rad, will it ever make it to Europe, specifically Sweden?
  • 1 0
 Cromo or hiten?
  • 1 0
 For 400$ i would assume hiten and roller bearings over th place
  • 1 0
 42x22 is a MASSIVE gear.
  • 2 0
 For real MTB, yeah, but for the kind of bike paths this will get ridden on - seems reasonable. That's about what I run for SS CX.
  • 1 0
 Ya, I was thinking it would be a riot to ride from time to time on the local trails until I got to the gearing.
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: 2:1 ratio really isn't that tall and this is slightly lower than that. I rode SS for years with a 32×16 or 15.
  • 1 0
 This comment was not directed at you unrooted... My bad
  • 1 0
 Price is right.
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