State Bicycles 4130 Road
The Best Bike For Having Fun
I have a few bikes. It’s not overwhelming, but there is a bike for just about every scenario. They are all very purposeful and serious, and they each have their use for which they are very specifically designed. I go out on rides, and people tell me to have fun, and it feels like the wrong description. I certainly do have fun, but it’s both more and less than that. Just saying have fun feels inadequate, and the bikes I have reflect that. When people see my bikes, they are impressed or intimidated. They are bikes that cyclists geek out over, and people who aren’t cyclists have a vague concept of them being expensive but mostly just don’t get them. Then there is the State Bicycles 4130 road.
The classic looks of the State Bicycles 4130 Road are relatable to everyone, not just cyclists.
It’s a bike everyone understands, and it’s a bike that brings a smile to people’s faces. It looks like what people who aren’t cyclists imagine road bikes look like, and everyone loves it’s style. In my stable of bikes, it’s not a bike that has a specific purpose, but the State 4130 road is the fun bike. I haven’t managed to make my way to the Portland Naked bike ride, but if I did, it would without a doubt, be on this bike. I can’t imagine mounting a computer on it, and wearing any kind of spandex on it would be completely ridiculous. Jumping on it brings a smile to my face everytime, and I think that’s the point.
Honestly, I can sum up the whole review by saying the State Bicycles 4130 road bike is a drop bar road bike that costs $550, and it’s fun. There are more purposefully built city bikes, but they are probably more expensive, and although some of them have features that make them better suited to the job of commuting, they are both less fun and less stylish.
It’s a fashion statement but it doesn’t skimp on performance.
A bike like this is about more than just getting the job done, it’s also a fashion statement. The State 4130 brings buckets of style with it, and it also does a variety of jobs pretty well. Despite its low price tag, it is well specced and sports a 1×8 drivetrain.
In the back, you’ll find a Sunrace RD-R81 derailleur with an 11-28 cassette, and upfront you’ll find a single 44 tooth chainring. The shifting happens on the downtube, and everywhere you look, there are beautiful details. The headtube badge and the beautiful CNC machined cranks are a couple of details that draw my eyes everytime I look in the direction of the 4130.
You’ll find modern sized 28mm tires in the box.
In the box, you’ll find 28mm tires, but there is clearance up to 32mm. This gives plenty of space for any modern road tire. The only thing that could use a little help out of the box are the brakes. Swap out the pads, and things will feel a lot better. You might also need to have the wheels trued up, I did, but once you do, they seem to hold well enough, and I haven’t found them to be particularly fragile.
The riding experience is further contributes to the fun. The geometry is steep enough that I couldn’t see when wearing a brimmed helmet, and the frame feels responsive. It’s a very traditional silhouette that feels responsive and agile without being twitchy.
Downtube shifting isn’t lightning fast for me, and I find the experience to be more like a single speed with different gearing options than a true multi speed bike. I’m also not a stellar bike handler, though, so I’m sure others will shift more frequently. As it is, I quite like the experience. Weaving through traffic on the flats doesn’t require much shifting, and not thinking about it suits me.
When I encounter a hill, it’s easy enough to change things. When you do shift, there is a satisfying click into the gear, and I’ve yet to drop the chain. The frame feels stiff enough, responsive, and always fun. When carrying the 22lb 10oz frame up a flight of stairs, I can tell it’s not one of my ultralight climbers bikes, but it’s not a chore, and I never feel overburdened around town. If you need to carry more, the frame accommodates front and rear racks.
It’s inexpensive, it’s fun, and it’s got style for days. It works if you need to aggressively work through traffic in an urban environment, but it’s also comfortable with mellow cruising on a relaxed multi-use path. Whatever you end up doing with it, the State Bicycles 4130 Road is a bike that brings smiles.