“This is the first time I’ve done anything like this and I’m pretty sure I was the only person who didn’t wear a skin suit or ride clipped in.” – Matt
OK… here it goes…
It’s hard to prevent myself from venting about certain hot button topics that get under my skin when it comes to bicycle or product reviews. My goal in each item I bring to your attention is to present my transparent honesty that will help you make better educated decisions when you dedicate your hard earned money to a product I throw up here.
I have been working with State Bicycle Co. (SBCo.) for a few years now through things as simple as race sponsorships to working bicycle collaboration like the Megalith. SBCo. has been absolutely great to work with and work hard to resolve any issues that arise when working from afar. With that said, I have yet to receive a bicycle from them that was in a rideable condition. What does that mean? It means that although each SBCo. bicycle is shipped 90% assembled, it doesn’t mean adding 10% of your wrenching skills will allow you to head out the door and have fun. SBCo. mentions this with their statement “We strongly encourage having your bike professionally assembled” and I second that.
Some things you may not notice when you receive your 90% built State Bicycle is your wheels needing to be trued, checking/tightening all bolts properly, and checking welds for cracks or misalignments. You will need to have your SBCo. receive a full professional “once over” when you get it in to make sure nothing needs replaced. IF you do find something off with your new ride, State Bicycle Co. WILL expedite a quick turn around to resolve any issues. Their customer service is excellent but that doesn’t mean you should have to sacrifice anything due to poor manufacturing. SBCo. needs to hear your unique stories (if any) to better improve their process and bring you better builds at an affordable price.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not condemning State Bicycle Co. at all, just doing my best to set your expectations when buying a State Bicycle. Once you get your SBCo. dialed you’ll be in love. Fact.
OK… there’s the critique… now onto the AWESOME that is the SS Pulsar!!
Take any aggravation, agitation, or frustration I may have had getting the Pulsar up and riding; crumble that up, and throw it into the fire. THIS. BICYCLE. KILLS IT!!!
You know all the folks that say “Steel Is Real?” Yeah… that statement couldn’t be more true. Smooth. As. Butter!!! The weight isn’t bad at all. I bounced off of obstacles and smashed through sandy Florida single track, falling in love just a little bit more with each pedal stroke. I changed out the tires for some Kenda Small Block 8’s, swapped out the stock brake leavers for Shimano XT’s, and had to change out the front fork (for now) due to a brake mount weld misalignment. Not to worry though… the DKlein designed fork (my favorite piece of this collaboration) is already on it’s way to my front door. Seriously folks… this is my second favorite shredsled ridden to date! One ride is all it took!!
I love the SS Pulsar due to its simplicity, cost, function, and detailed styling from Dustin Klein. For stronger riders you will need to change out the rear cog. I spun out on the way to the trail and couldn’t keep up while on the trail, but that was on mostly flat ground. I’ll give the Pulsar a go on the mountains in North Alabama before I make a decision on gearing. BUT I love that it would be that simple, just like a track ratio per say, and simple is key for me at least.
To sum all that up… I support State Bicycle Co. They’ve been great supporters of this thing I call FOLLY and have been since day one. As State Bicycle Co. goes down this road of getting more folks awesome bicycles for less money, there seems to be a drop off point that hinders quality. I don’t manufacture bicycles and have no clue what goes into that process. All I know is that on new bike day I want to grip and rip. I’m sure we can all relate to that. Cheers!
RIDE x CREATEFor product reviews, ride recaps, and updates on the State Bicycle Co. SS Pulsar gearing ratios follow along on our Instagram.
Ok… sooo… like, it’s Florida and you wouldn’t think the “mountain biking” would be all that much fun; well, you would be wrong. There are no mountains per say (in the Santa Rosa Beach area) but there is tons of single track that are filled with hidden roots, quicksand, mounds of loose pine straw, logging trail detours, and muddy deep pools of water around blind turns filled with more sand that is even sludgier, sucking in your wheels and losing all tracking… IN LOVE WITH IT ALL!!
For me, it’s the unexpected terrain Florida presents that made me so pumped on it. You wouldn’t really need a MTB actually. It’s more so perfect for cyclocross but I just received the State Bicycle Co. Ridged SS Pulsar and brought it along for the ride. It rode like a dream (move on that later).
I meet up with Team Loblolly ringleader Adam McAnulty a few years back and have enjoyed following along via Instagram as he and the team travel from race to race spreading Loblolly shrednanigans. We’ve never been able to meet up at the same time and go out to ride so this was pretty sweet to ride and wreck together. Speaking of wrecking… I’m pretty sure everyone ate it at least twice before the ride was over. Like I said… the terrain was crazier than it appeared even for the experienced locals. I decided to tackle a tree and then completely lost traction going around a sandy corner, pummeling to the ground. After that my confidence level was pretty low on bike handling skills. As I got used to the corners and deep sand pits I started building momentum again, gripping the handlebars white knuckle status.
All in all, if you need to gain better handling for the upcoming cyclocross season look no further than Flo Rida… I mean… what better combo than heading out for a few hours then take a dip in the ocean. Dreams really do come true!!
Here’s a photo recap of the ride. More photos via film once I get those developed.
RIDE x CREATE
It started out dark and geometrically charged, then swiftly turned to green rolling hills and beautiful country side. Couldn’t have asked for a better weekend of riding. I had zero agenda and it felt great!
It’s hard these days (for me at least) to step out my front door, pick a direction, and go. Every couple of months my schedule allows for the entire day to be filled with riding or whatever shenanigans I decided to subscribe to, and when that aligns with killer weekend weather… BAM!! Full on bliss.
Anyways… I hope your weekend had a similar story. Good weekends lead to good weeks.
RIDE x CREATE
Recent roll of things seen while riding on Kodak Tri-X 400.
Great work The Athletic x Argonaut Crew!
Thank god for Blevins Bicycle Co. (BBCo)!!! My Friday didn’t originally have plans to rip around the mountain on a Cannondale Habit but when my newly acquired ridged SS with new Shimano XT brakes (installed by BBCo) fell through due to a manufacturing issue I had to switch to plan B. Luckily BBCo saw the distress on my face and provided me with a Cannondale Habit for the weekend.
I’ve never ridden a Cannondale mountain bike let alone a Lefty suspension. It was pretty awesome to say the least. It felt really natural despite its looks. Honestly… I love the uniqueness of it. I know that Lefty’s are no new thing to the MTB world… just new to me and I’m into it.
If you’re in the North Alabama area I highly recommend hitting up Blevins Bicycle Co. and checking out their Cannondale mountain rippers. Good stuff all around!
Go to Topo Designs and check out more on the Topo x Chaco Collection. Fun stuff!
The best race pace group ride I’ve ever attended. Perfect 40 mile distance at about a 20mph average with breakaways, attacks, and climbing throughout rolling country hills. Heaven. On. Earth!
If yer in the North Alabama area and want to push it with a good group of folks I highly recommend attending this ride.
Go check out more info on the Kreme Delite Krusher Facebook Page. Good times all around!
HOTNESS!!! That’s one word to describe it. I couldn’t be MORE. AMPED! on the State Bicycle Co. & DKlein collaboration Pulsar SS 29er. As soon as I got the Pulsar out of the box I couldn’t rip the packaging off fast enough to check out Dustin’s design brought to mountain bike. It’s so rad on so many levels, not really sure how to put it all into words.
Dustin Klein has personally inspired me for years, like many of you, to ride x create. Not letting perceived limitations get you down, and to push past the fear of the unknown… well, that’s how he has inspired me at least. To ride with THAT vibe in tact will bring a smile to my face for many pedal strokes to come. Stoked!
Now… this entry level ripper isn’t going to have all the bells and whistles, and it shouldn’t for the price tag of $649 delivered; but it does have what you need to get out, have a killer time, and look good while doing so. Some of the things I did / noticed immediately when building it up:
- Flipped / dropped the stem (personal preference / will cut steer tube asap)
- Super comfy but solid fork flex
- GREAT grips that will grip heavily
- Bike weight lighter than expected
The entry level Pulsar SS is the perfect place to start for those that don’t know what direction they really want to go with their build, OR that just want a GREAT looking entry level ridged single speed. You can upgrade with better components and suspension fork if you would prefer. State Bicycle Co. has a couple different build options on their site. I recommend checking that out. Something I will never change on my personal Pulsar is the ridged fork. Dustin’s design is just too plain good to discard.
Some things I will change out immediately (aka this week): Brakes, chain, pedals, and cog. It’s not that I’m not ok with them as they came, I just have some extra goodies laying around waiting to be used.
I haven’t spent a lot of time on the Pulsar yet… but from my initial exploratory back woods gutter sessions, I’m really into it!! Great ride all around!!
I hope you enjoyed my initial take on the State Bicycle Co. & DKlein Pulsar SS 29er collaboration thus far. Make sure to follow along on our Instagram (@createfolly) for daily inside looks with my interaction on the Pulsar. I will be posting updates and exploration recaps on this two wheeled shred sled via the blog and the GRAM for many summer months to come. In the meantime, head over to State Bicycle Co. and check out more details on the Pulsar along with all the options you have when building your own.
RIDE x CREATE