State Bicycle Co. 6061 Trail+ Fat Bike Review: Fat Bikes for All

This winter, Shaun Price took State’s 6061 Trail+ Fat Bike out around New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. It was his first time fat biking, making him the perfect test subject for this entry-level fat bike model from State. Today, Shaun reviews the 6061 Trail+’s riding characteristics, along with the impact of techy numbers, measurements, and geometry. As a first-time fat biker, he weighs in on the pros and cons of State’s accessible $999.99 ready-to-roll fat bike.

Quick Hits

  • 6061 Aluminum frame with A-Head fork
  • Shimano 9-speed drivetrain
  • 135 mm x 190 mm hub spacing
  • 26 x 4.5″ max recommended tire
  • Size range: Small 38 cm – XL 53 cm (Shaun reviewed Large 48 cm)
  • Price: $999.99 for complete builds

Fat Bike Curious

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s ever felt this way: pining for a rig in those cold winter months, or finding myself on a push-bike mission when I stumble into a sand pit on a deep rez adventure. This usually leads to scrolling social marketplaces, more recently the “Raddy Daddy” Bazaar, hoping to capitalize on someone trying to part ways with their fat bike.

Until the review period for the 6061 Trail+, I had never really ridden a fat bike. Er… I’d never done more than just cruise around a parking lot in the eyeshot of someone nice enough to loan me theirs. So, I’ve had a bit of a learning curve, which led to lots of experimentation and exploration. This also, in my opinion, made me exactly the consumer base State had in mind when developing the 6061. Just enough curiosity, along with desire and ingenuity to make it the bike what I want it to be.

Two Big Boxes

The unboxing process was pretty sweet and got me excited right away. Mostly because I saw the second box and immediately knew that the tires being delivered in their own box meant they were going to be chonky.

Naturally, I reached for the tire box first, excited to get a glimpse of the massive 4.5 warlocks. State went all in speccing the bike with 26″ x 4.5″ Kenda Juggernauts. At first glance, they looked to be more on the fast-rolling side of tread patterns. This turned out to be true, but the side lugs were also enough to catch me a few times while cornering through kitty litter.

Aesthetically, I loved the wild berry colorway right out of the box. More often than not, you’ll find me on a bright bike like this. Bikes are toys, they’re fun, and I think they should look fun. Functionally, the two things that immediately jumped out to me were the weight in the wheelset and the 28-tooth front chainring that came stock. When I felt the weight of the wheelset, I knew I was going to need all the help I could get pedaling up hills, and I was immediately thankful for those 28 teeth. As for the drivetrain, that chain ring is powering a 9-speed Altus drivetrain in the rear. There’s no clutch, but the 11-42 cassette in my mind is just about all you’d need when pairing with a stock 28T chain ring.

At this point, I knew I had the goods to get me rolling, but what about stopping? The Trail+ came with some Tektro mechanical brakes, which had me skeptical. I’ll admit, I grossly underestimated their stopping power. But after a handful of stops, bedding the brakes, and a few adjustments for cable settling they were more than adequate.

I knew I’d be opting for new pedals when I saw the stock ones were department-store-style plastic pedals with reflectors. The tires came delivered around 25 PSI and from what I had heard that was way too stiff.

I built-up the bike, did my regular bike check, torqued everything down, double-checked my derailleur limits and indexing (this was all perfect), and lastly let a little air out the tires. This was my first time seeing the bike built up, and it looked pretty sweet. I couldn’t wait to put some miles in on it.

The Chonk Learning Curve

My first ride on the rig took place at the Placitas, just north of Albuquerque, NM. For those of you not familiar, this trail system consists of pretty mellow climbs up, with choose-your-own descents ranging from green to black, with a handful of stupid fast blue descents if you know the trail well enough (shoutout to Bobsled).

My good homie (aka Eric Arce, aka PedalHomie, aka Bobsled Bandito) drove up I-40 to meet a handful of other ABQ local legends—Nick Safety, Mr. Doom, and Wavey Davi. We pulled up to the trailhead and unloaded the bike from inside my car (obviously, it did not fit on my bike rack). After we got the wheels on, I added a healthy amount of Stans to the tubes, because we live in the Southwest and have an abundance of bullheads/goatheads. I aired it up to around 16 PSI in the front and 12 in the rear—this would come back to haunt me later.

While getting ready to pedal, I encountered my first concern with this bike. The stock seat post was too short for me, which was by no means a deal breaker and was an easy fix/upgrade. For the first ride, I had the seat post at its maximum length and I still had a good bit of knee bend at the bottom of my pedal stroke, but plenty of room to drop the saddle for burly descents.

From working with first-time riders through a non-profit, Silver Stallion, I often see folks afraid to use their maximum pedal stroke with an adequately high saddle due to their lack of confidence when mounting and dismounting. I can’t help but think this played into a shorter seat post being specced. And for clarification, I am 5’10 and I was on the large frame.

On the Trail

Okay, let’s get to pedaling. At first, this bike took some getting used to. With a little bit of a longer stem, it felt squirrely. But after picking the brain of a local fat bike rider who was out on the trail, I learned having equal pressure in both front and rear tires was pretty important—thus the squirreliness.

This feeling wasn’t really present on the ascent, or on the chunkier, more controlled descents on slick rock (which did highlight the mechanical brake power and tire grip), but as soon as on got on smoother switchbacks and flow trails it felt like the bike wanted to wander and the rear wasn’t complying with how I wanted it to move.

After making my way back to the trailhead to put equal pressure back in my tires, it was time to climb back up for a second descent. Up until this point, the weight of the bike wasn’t an issue (41 lb for size large), but I quickly began feeling it rolling into and up smaller punchier inclines. As far as feeling the weight, the bike felt like any other bike on gradual inclines and flat gravel roads, but when I’d roll into a steep hill/climb I felt that the pedaling got stiffer, almost quicker than I could find the gears for. Again, I feel like this bike’s target audience isn’t a seasoned technical climber but someone curious, who wants to dip their feet into the fat bike world.

I can’t stress how much equalizing the tire pressure turned this into a completely different bike. We hit Bobsled trail, a pretty straightforward flowy blue trail, with a handful of smaller table tops perfect for building confidence, or fast no-brake shredding for more advanced riders. This is one of the places the bike shined. The combination of the weight and wider footprint of the tires made me feel planted. At this point, I didn’t notice the longer stem length, which may have actually helped a lot with the nearly flat cornering down the trail.

Again, there was a little bit of a learning curve when it came to preloading and hitting the table tops. Around the third or fourth tabletop I got my timing down and was clearing every one the trail had to offer. At speed, it almost felt like an enduro bike, which let me be a bit more playful and feel more comfortable throwing the bike around.

However, the playfulness was short-lived. It didn’t take long before the weight of the bike made itself known again. By the end of the first section, my back was cooked from preloading and pulling the bike over the table tops. It felt like I had just finished a set of rows and lat pulls, but thanks to another rider smoking his tire I had some time to recover. We rolled back to the trailhead and called it a day.

Second Chances

My hometown of Fort Defiance, AZ, is located in northern Arizona and sits at just under 7,000 feet elevation. Like most other places, we’ve had a relatively mild winter and when we finally got some snow, I took the bike out again with Lorenzo, Silver Stallion coach and rider.

Again, the combination of weight and wide-tire footprint shined. The bike cut through fresh snowy singletrack, offered the perfect amount of flotation in other places, and even showed off a little when it came to climbing in the snow. This is by far the biggest pro of the bike: it creates the opportunity and the desire to ride in conditions that sideline others.

A few days later, I took the bike up the Defiance Plateau which usually gets more snow and holds it longer than in the valley. This time, I submitted and found most of the snow missed the plateau and traverse. I dropped in to descend and found myself in a bit of a mud pit, too deep in to climb back out so I continued forward. This is where the 9-speed Altus became my unlikely hero.

Unlike most current 12-speed 1x systems, where the smallest bit of mud and pine needle mix can cause dropped chains all day, the Altus handled debris like a champ. Another way this bike offers confidence and reliability to those like me making bad decisions and those looking for a rig to take care of them when they find themselves in less-than-ideal ride conditions.

The Glow Up

First things first, pedals. I didn’t even unpackage the stock pedals and immediately opted for the first pair of composite hand-me-downs I could get. (Thanks to Nick over at Send it Safely for the Kona Wah Wahs.) For anyone unfamiliar, a number of companies offer their own version of composite pedals with steel pins usually in the $50 price range.

Second, I wanted to see how this bike would feel if it was close to how I’d want to set it up for long-term use. So I swapped the bars and stem. I borrowed a pair of 35 mm Enve risers. Of course, ENVE bars aren’t budget-oriented like the frameset, but they were free for me to borrow, along with a 50 mm stem. If anything I’d suggest PNW Range bars and stem for the best quality-to-cost upgrades. I also swapped the seatpost for a taller entry-level post.

All together, upgrading these “simple” contact points put me in a more comfortable ride position and added some sensitivity to the handling of the bike which I was a huge fan of. Up to this point, I felt like I was riding someone else’s bike. But simply changing these intimate details added comfort and inspired confidence.

Wrap Up

The Trail+ is a great rig for the price! Yes, it has its quirks, but for its price, it’s hard not to see value in this bike, especially for anyone who is fat bike curious and might have spare parts around the garage to make it their own.

Plus, the drivetrain has proven to be simply more reliable than expected. It proved itself time and time again, through sand, snow, mud, and multiple riders. Not everyone is looking to brave the elements, but it’s nice to know Altus 9-speed has your back if you do. When the new batch of Trail+ arrives to State next month, I’m told they will feature Shimano Avilio rear derailleurs that allow a wider range cassette.


  • Value, a complete ready-to-roll fat bike for under $1,000
  • “Accessible” price point for beginning riders and fat bike-curious riders
  • The Wildberry colorway is a hitter (personal opinion)
  • The weight and tire width makes the bike feel planted, which offers stability for novice/beginner riders
  • The Altus drivetrain is not as sensitive as a 12-speed (small hanger tweaks don’t have as much of an impact on performance)
  • Altus also performed super well in mud and snow
  • 28T chainring compensates for low-range cassette
  • Rigid bike is low-maintenance


  • It’s heavy and you can feel it after longer rides and immediate steep inclines
  • Stock seatpost may be too short for riders on the taller side of the sizing chart
  • The longer stem and flattish bars accentuate the feeling of older bike geometry
  • The cassette has a narrow range
  • Altus derailleur does not have a clutch (but I never dropped a chain)
  • Wheelset is not tubeless ready

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