With $12,000 e-MTBs on the market, we asked ourselves, “what is the minimum you need in a bike to have fun?”… This is a wild ride, presented by Cjell Moné’s writing and Joshua Weinberg’s vision. Enjoy!
Swipe, BMX video, swipe, oh, nice curved top tube, super-sharp photo of a gorgeous frame sitting on OSB, @sklarbikes. Swipe, snowboard video, swipe, oh, (pulls phone away and back in toward the eye), brain knots and unknots, those seat stays are hard to comprehend @oddity_cycles.
Swipe, surf video, swipe…AD for an OG Klunker from State. Swipe, swipe, swipe, backswipe backswipe backswipe….$399?! Shut up. The lines on that thing aren’t half bad. Swipe, swipe… Backswipe backswipe… I can’t stop looking at this affordable klunker from State. It comes with Kenda chunky 27.5 x 2.2 tires, a 1 1/8 threadless fork, and pretty decent lines. Not a huge fan of the chrome riser bars, but hey those Vans grips…hmm hmmm. $399?!
I hate it. It’s got to be a cheap shitty bike. But I don’t hate it… No, no, no, I hate this thing. I make the same thing for 6x the cost. Hate it. Buuuut, coaster only, black finish, one size…kinda smart…I need to hate this and keep swiping. Swipe swipe, (puts down phone, holds chin in contemplative pose).
I knew these were going to be under a lot of Christmas cacti in Arizona this winter, but how do I plug in? I gotta show how badass any old bike can be with a set of fly bars and a rattle can paint job. I gotta make the dopest State OG Klunkers imaginable. I just have to find some homies in Phoenix (State’s homebase), and sell them on the most fliest State Klunker builds possible – deck them out the best I know how.
And then let everyone love/hate them with me. As I see it, it’s hard to hate on a $400 no-nonsense klunker mountain bike with the least moving parts possible. Could be fixed I suppose, but you get what I’m saying.
Anyway. I wanted to make a couple of these as baddddd as possible. Wheels. Tires. Bars. Stem. Well, mostly everything. I’ll tell you one thing – I didn’t throw away much from the original state builds, other than the reflectors maybe. They are very respectable stock builds for under four benjies. And, while I didn’t get an exact weight on them, they are not nearly as heavy as they look. My ‘62 Schwinn weighs 38 lbs and the OGs are lighter.
Let’s start with Josh’s bike. The man behind the barrage of vintage media here. He shot that film on Super 8 and took the photos you see with his collection of film cameras older than many of you reading this. I wanted him on a throwback-y steed.
The machined sidewall USA-made Cliffhanger rims, laced to our rebuilt Shimano hubs with tan sidewall 2.2 Hans Damfs in 27.5, were a guaranteed fit on the OG Klunker frame. Throw the 3.5″ rise brazed Meal Replacement Bar (MRB) to replace the State chrome risers and matchy tan odyssey grips to add some cruise to this cruiser. A silver 6-bolt bmx Thomson stem and seatpost round out the legit build (the post was like 25.4 or something funky, but leave it to Thomson to stock those for us).
My better half, Erika, knocked it out of the park with the paint job on both bikes. The diamond fade with a silver accent on Josh’s bike was about as classic as we could get. She’s got a degree in painting, and it shows (well, maybe not in rattle canning klunkers, but a canvas is a canvas), and is no slouch using the vinyl cutter either.
I wanted to take Bryan’s build in a different direction, well, really the same direction, but different. For the wheels, I thought going 26 and chubby would be a hot move on one of these 27.5 x 2.2 frame/forks. Erika, who is also our in-house wheel builder, let me lace the 48h radial front and she took care of the hub rebuild and lacing the rear to wider Velocity Duallys. Paid full pop on eBay for two 26 x 2.8 Minions, but we just had to have them.
The wheel/tire combo juuust fit in the frame and cleared the fork just fine. Bryan’s bike made me finally cave and make new dedicated squisher tool for the chainstays, providing a little bump for some extra breathing room. Seat stay clearance just made the “acceptable” mark. 26” PLUS. YES.
Turning the flyness dial up even more for Bryan’s rig, we went with a titanium spindle White Industries bottom bracket, ENO cranks, and black Thomson bling in all the right places (including seat clamp). And, dang, that leather Selle Italia saddle. It’s One Less Brooks I say. Well, I don’t really say that, but the Selle saddle is pretty damn cool.
Bryan’s bike also got a MRB (a full 4.5” rise) topped off with Odyssey grips. And oooo, oooo, oooo, Erika hooked up another OG diamond fade on the frame fork – flat black over the gloss black state finish. My beloved can run a rattle can with the best of them.
Don’t you just hate these cheap klunker things? They’re an assault on every sensibility of the informed Radavist reader. But it’s just something about the stripped-down coaster bike for everyone. It makes so much sense. Hopping them up with our premium coaster wheels and bars made sense to us too. Hope you can dig.