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State 6061 Black Label Review: Best Gravel Bike Under $ 2,000

Home »Cycling» State 6061 Black Label Review: Best Gravel Bike Under $ 2,000

Cycling can be expensive. This need not be. State Bicycle Co.’s 6061 Black Label All-Road is a capable gravel bike that is offered at an affordable price.

If you’re a cyclist, you likely already have two bikes – one for the street and one for Mountain biking. With the gravel boom, many cyclists point the rubber in a different direction, on country roads.

Arguably safer, a great way to explore your local garden, and a fantastic workout. But many of us look at our wallets, scratch our heads, and ask if we really need a third bike.

6061 State Black Label All-Road could be the answer. The bike is based on the brand’s classy Black Label range and is fast and flexible. And at $ 1,400, it’s attractively priced.

In short: the best gravel bike under $ 2,000

There are faster gravel bikes with progressive geometry, more attachment points, suspension and even dropper posts. But if you are looking for money, State Bicycling Co.’s is it 6061 Black Label All-Road ($ 1,400) is hard to beat.

All cables are routed internally through the aluminum frame for a clean, aesthetic appearance. There’s room for 700c or 650b wheels attached to the bike with 12mm thru axles, and the tires are wrapped in Vittoria rubber.

Ride on roads or equip it for rugged bikepacking tours. Arguably the best gravel bike under $ 2,000, it’s functional and has options for an upgrade.

State Bicycle Co. 6061 Black Label All-Road

  • Frame: aluminum
  • Fork: Carbon, 12mm thru axle
  • Scope: 700c x 45c / 650b x 2.2 “
  • Brakes: Mechanical Tektro disc brakes, flat mount, 160mm front and rear rotors
  • Chainring: State Bicycle Co. brand, All-Road 1 forged 6061 aluminum 40T
  • Cassette: 11-42T 11-speed
  • Weight (on our scales): 21 lb. 13 oz.
  • Price: $ 1,399

State 6061 Black Label All-Road (gravel) bike rating

Earlier this spring, GearJunkie tested more than 20 gravel bikes in the Utah, Arizona desert. We’ve seen all of the flavors of yum on two wheels. Front suspension bikes with dropper posts to spec for carbon components that pushed the lid off everyone’s box full of bike envy.

Most of these motorcycles started at $ 4,000. Depending on your preferred component build, bikes can cost over $ 10,000. When you consider that this is more than my truck’s Kelly Blue Book value, it’s undoubtedly a lot of money.

Testing gravel bikes in Utah; Photo credit: Steve Graepel

State targets price (with upgrades)

The state, however, sits proudly on the other end of the spectrum. The brand is committed to making cycling accessible and selling their bikes flat rate with upgrade options. The 6061 Black Label All-Road can be yours for a fixed price of $ 1,400.

The bike comes standard with 650b or 700c wheels (of your choice), a carbon fork and a 1x drive train (40t x 11-42t).

State has a few upgrade options, including the Monster Carbon Fork (a lighter, three-point fork for $ 180), pedals ($ 20), and two bottle cages ($ 20 for alloys and $ 70 for one Pair of carbon cages). You can even classify it with a Brooks saddle ($ 130).

Most impressive, however, might be the option to purchase both 700c and 650b wheels for an additional $ 400. Both sets are equipped with inflated tires, rotors and a matching cassette that makes it easier to change the wheels.

This option allows you to effectively ride the sidewalk on Saturday and then swap in thicker 650b wheels in time for the Sunday morning waffle ride.

State_AllRoad_3_4_front_DSC05814The All-Road offers ample tire clearance for the stock 47mm and more if you need it

Click on all of the drop-down optionsand a full-featured 6061 is $ 2,200.

To keep prices down, State uses in-house branded parts (stem, flared bars, cranks, and seat post). The brakes are mechanical and the frame is made of proven 6061 aluminum.

Although our All-Road ships with SRAM Apex, all future builds will ship with State’s proprietary drivetrain, which offers comparable transmissions.

These are fair tradeoffs to keep the price below $ 1,400. If you should ever want to upgrade parts, there is no proprietary technology that prohibits the expansion of the All-Road with higher specified parts.

State_AllRoad_Drivetrain_DSC05801

Geometry and technical data

The heart of every bike is the geometry of the frame. Longer chainstays feel more “flexible” and stable on longer journeys. A shorter wheelbase increases stiffness, which translates into a nimble, nimble ride.

At the front end, a fork rake (or offset) measures the horizontal distance between the hub and the steering axle. This affects the “track” of the bike or the “footprint” of the tire behind the hub axle. A longer distance gives the bike more stability, while a shorter distance makes the bike turn faster.

Black Label is State’s race-focused model. It was introduced by State as an aluminum line with both performance and affordability in mind. Originally released as a fixed gear bike, it was designed for racing but is durable enough to be used as a city commuter.

The All-Road 6061 is derived from this pedigree and transmits a lively geometry. The standover is high and the bottom bracket corresponds to the standard racing bike numbers. Overall, the ride gets you over the bars more than you’d expect from a performance road bike.

The fork offset is short at 45 mm. This increases the track of the bike and gives it more ability on rough roads and in slower corners. State supplies a carbon fork with every All-Road that adequately dampens the vibrations on the road and reduces weight.

For those who want to keep an eye out, we’ve added the following 6061 geometry chart:

State_Bicycle_Co_6061_All_road_Geometry

Ride tested

While geometry is a good indicator of how to use the bike, it doesn’t always turn out to be correct. For example, we tested Kona’s Libre DL, which had the longest wheelbase of any motorcycles we tested.

Based on this number, you can assume that it excels on long, straight journeys. It does, but it also had the most playful ride in our tests.

The all-road numbers are more transparent. The geometry gets you over the bars and gives it a slope for the road. But his path is longer and helps him feel safer on single trails.

It was neither downright aggressive nor upright and tour-oriented. Instead, it fell into the middle of the pack during our tests on gravel week.

And that’s where the state probably wants it. The bike can be ridden with 700c wheels. If you use 650b wheels you can tackle single trails.

State_All_road_ride_DSC05913

One of my favorite local rides starts on the street and hops on dusty trails before draining into the neighborhood pastry shop. Equipped with 47mm tires, I had a little trouble keeping up with my driving partner on asphalt.

But when we hit the dirt, the bike was let go and I could really hammer away. This is likely due to the shorter offset in the fork. It gives the bike a longer trail and therefore feels much more responsive carving single trails at slower speeds regulated by the trail.

After the ride, my mate commented on how versatile the bike was and probably the only bike he would need to ride our local trails. Now it’s always better to talk about tiny cups of coffee and croissants on a bike, but I have to agree. If your trails are rolling instead of rollicks, a gravel bike is perfectly acceptable and a workable compromise.

Limits

State’s Black Label trickle-down effect is reaching its limits. The handlebar is narrow. While this helps urban drivers overcome tight slots between traffic, it affects the handling of the All-Road on rough descents.

That is, the bars flicker a bit in the drop. It’s amazing what a few extra millimeters of confidence can reward.

While swapping out the handlebars isn’t uncommon, adding attachment points for water bottles isn’t uncommon. And there just aren’t that many on the all-road – there are only two pairs in the main triangle.

If you’re looking for more, you can upgrade to the monster fork, which has three bosses on each blade. If you choose this route, the cheapest way to do it is to buy the bike. The Monster fork is a $ 180 upgrade by bike versus $ 290 aftermarket.

State_allroad_drop_handlebars_DSC05810

Who is the State All-Road ‘Gravel Bike’ for?

For those who have a mountain bike and a racing bike, the all-road is an affordable way to keep up with gravel. But it may be even better as a gateway bike for mountain bikers on their way back to the road.

The manners will be familiar to the way. And with simple and affordable pricing, State makes it easy to use as both.

If you can only get one set of wheels due to the maneuverability of the trail, we recommend setting up 650b with 47mm tires.

Advantages:

  • Inexpensive and simple pricing
  • The price includes a carbon fork with the option to upgrade to a bike wrap friendly monster fork
  • The aluminum frame is light and stiff
  • Versatility; supports both 700mm or 650b wheels, both with thru axles

Disadvantage:

  • Top tube mounts and down tube mounts for long distance rides are missing
  • The handlebars are narrow and limit control over technical trails and descents
  • Limited options (48, 51, 54, 58)

Check the price at State Bicycle

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