Got $1,000 for a New Bicycle? State's 6061 Trail+ Might Be the Fat Tire Machine for You

6061 Trail+ 11 photos
Photo: State Bicycle Co.
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In the search for the most affordable and do-it-all bicycles out there, I've arrived at none other than State Bicycle Co. It's here that we find the 6061 Trail+ fat tire bike. Best of all, it's going for a rather affordable $1,000.
Folks, the name State Bicycle Co. is bound to sound rather new to you. That's because unlike timeless greats the likes of Trek, Cannondale, Giant, and several others, State is a rather new kid on the block. However, they've been making a name for themselves by giving the public simple, capable, and affordable bicycles, one of which is the 6061 Trail+.

Now, before we go on, it's important to understand what a fat tire is and isn't and what it's good for, and all that starts off with the most stand-apart trait of these bikes: those massive rubbers. Why a fat tire as opposed to a classic MTB or road slick? It all boils down to contact patches.

Because fatties, as they're often called, often bear a cross-section of at least 3 inches, riders have the benefit of higher levels of grip and also allow riders to "float" on the terrain they're encountering. Because of this, these babies are often seen riding through sand and even snow; those knobs help, too. Then, there's the subject of suspension due to the space created between the ground and the bike's rim.

6061 Trail\+
Photo: State Bicycle Co.
Sure, all that sounds great, but there are clear downsides to this. If you're looking to whip this baby's backend like a pro, you may actually need to be one, as it's no easy task. Turning and other front-end maneuvers are also much harder to perform. Then there's a matter of keeping such clunkers going, but if you're looking for a solid cruiser that offers a rather plush ride, fatties may be the way to go.

As for what the Trail+ is meant to achieve, that's exactly what we're here for, and the tires are our starting point. For this two-wheeling specimen, State has chosen to throw on just about the widest tires the market has to offer, a set of Kenda Juggernaut with a 4.5-inch cross-section. All that's set on a 26-inch rim, so it's a beast, to say the least.

Up next, the reason why the Trail+ is named the way it is has to do with the frame-building material. As you may have guessed, that "6061" stands for nothing else than good old aluminum, and this is precisely the material and fork are crafted from. While the tires come in as hunks of added mass, State chose this alloy to help reduce weight as much as possible. Just how much, we don't know; State makes no mention of this on its website.

6061 Trail\+
Photo: State Bicycle Co.
Before we continue with the rest of the 6061's magic, allow me to point out that State has designed this bike to be your go-to urban mobility solution. How, you say? If you've taken a closer look at the frame, you may have noticed countless cargo mounts tattered all over.

What does all this mean for future owners of this aluminum two-wheeler? A couple of things, actually. The first is that this bicycle can be used as a means to an end for getting to work, bringing home some groceries, or hauling a trailer behind it. You are sure to feel a burn, however.

But it also means that you'll have a rather adventure-ready machine just sitting around in your garage. If you're into getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life during the weekend, load up your Trail+ with water, food, and camping essentials and camp out on the edge of town or further. Speaking of further, throw it onto the back of your RV, and, well, you can figure out the rest. Not bad for $1,000 (€925 at current exchange rates).

6061 Trail\+
Photo: State Bicycle Co.
Now, as we near the end of the 6061's goodies, don't expect to see the highest-tier gear around. After all, you are only paying $1,000 for this hunk of alloy. That said, State throws on an easy-to-use 9-speed drivetrain from Shimano, moving a KMC chain around a Prowheel crankset and 11-42T cassette.

The only problem I have with this bike is the brakes. As standard, State throws on a pair of cable-driven brakes from Tektro, biting down on 180 mm (7.1 in) rotors. The rotors are fine in my book, but a set of hydraulic pushers would really hit a sweet spot in terms of stopping power, especially if you're loaded to the brim with cargo.

Nonetheless, there's definitely a bit of wiggle-room in terms of adding some extra gear to the Trail+, and the fact that cargo racks, fenders, and even water bottle cages aren't included as standard, you'll clearly need to drop an extra buck to truly optimize this fatty for adventures. Personally, I'd work in a better set of brakes and even a higher-tier drivetrain, and for around $1,500, I'd be set with a rather solid do-it-all machine. Just be sure to keep both tires on the ground at all times and wear a helmet; it's a wild world out there.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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