Around $700 - Available on Amazon.com
Lightweight, drivetrain, durability, performance
Wheelset, no water bottle cage
This bike is incredibly fast, efficient, and fun. This is a natural progression from an entry-level fixie if you’re trying to get a little more out of your riding, or even training.
If you’re ready to move on from an entry-level fixed gear, or if you’re simply looking for an incredibly fast bike that can be used for the track and the street, it can be hard to find a good combination of both.
True track bikes aren’t hard to find, but they can get pretty steep in regards to price, and they are definitely not good for urban use. On the other hand, there are a lot of fixies that claim to be a sort of track bike, but really aren’t all that different from any other.
State Bicycle Co. has an excellent solution in the form of their Black Label bike. The Black Label can hold its own on the track, but is equally equipped to take on the rigors of urban riding, and all that comes with it.
The result is an incredibly fast and lightweight fixed gear that offers one of the most efficient and fun rides you’ll find. This bike can fly, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get it to take off in the first place.
This is a high-end fixie in every way, although it’s not priced to high for those with a mid-range budget.
INTRODUCING THE STATE BLACK LABEL
The Black Label’s speed qualities are instantly recognizable. The bike has a sleek track look, complete with the fatter bottom tube, a shorter stem with lower drop down handlebars, and a slightly-raised rear chain stay.
It really is one of those bikes that looks serious. You see the Black Label, and you know what it can do. It looks fast, and it is fast.
Better yet, you can select from a wide range of frame colors, with none of the excessive rim flair that comes with other color combinations you may see a lot of times.
Overall, the Black Label has an aggressive design that is geared for high speeds and quick handling.
The frame is made from 6061 aluminum aero material, and is paired with an Essor carbon fiber fork. This gives the front end quite a bit of shock absorption, and of course keep the weight down.
A PU race saddle with versatile steel rail posts compliment the drop down Pista handlebars very well. The average riding position favors leaning forwards, but you can adjust things to accommodate more of a relaxed and casual riding stance, without sacrificing too much speed and efficiency.
Although not pictured in most of the bike’s listing photos, it does in fact come with dual caliper brakes, so you can equip one, both, or none at all.
Those that do install the brakes will notice how smooth they feel, and offer plenty of control over your slowing and emergency stops.
A limited edition Galaxy 46T crankset is paired with 32Hx14G high flange sealed bearings, for an overall gearing ratio of 46:15.
The drivetrain as a whole feels very snappy and responsive, with perfect chain tensioning for getting the most out of your pedaling. A freewheel option is included on the rear hub as well.
The wheelset consists of CST 700x23c tires and deep profile 43mm rims. The wheelset on its own feels a bit heavy, but when the full bike is equipped, it is still surprisingly light. The added wheel weight does offer a little more stability and momentum at higher speeds.
Most of all, we love how this bike rides. There’s nothing like riding a track-ready fixie at high speeds, feeling the road beneath you as you negotiate turns and accelerate on flatter portions. Using hand brakes with it does not decrease the fun at all, and they add more control as it is.
The frame is very light, and pairs well with the heavier wheelset. Everything works together in perfect symmetry, giving the Black Label a very cohesive feel. Yes, it can fly on a track, but it is very much at home on city streets.
The drivetrain feels very tight in a good way. You really feel like you’re getting the most out of each push, and the gearing ratio is ideal for higher speeds when you really want to get going. Think of the most fun you’ve had on normal road bike, and multiply it by 10.
Despite its track feel the Black Label is very durable, provides a solid amount of shock absorption, and includes a wheelset that won’t buckle after a small bump. Oh, and we love the color choices.
Not everyone is going to like the tight feel of the headset, but this can be addressed in other ways if you’d like to upgrade, or swap one out. The weight of the wheelset may seem a little strange to some as well, but you get used to it pretty quickly.
The lack of water bottle cage holders was a bit strange to us. We understand that it's a sleek track bike, but it’s still for street use as well, so leaving out this aspect seemed unnecessary.
Definitely save some extra cash to get this professionally assembled. With a bike like this, you want to be sure that everything is exactly how it needs to be so you can get the most out of it. If you want to customize it a little, get some handlebar tape in your color of choice.
Not much else to say about the Black Label. This bike is incredibly fast, efficient, and fun. This is a natural progression from an entry-level fixie if you’re trying to get a little more out of your riding, or even training.
The frame is light and solid, which also means you can make this a bike you can hold on to over the year for the long run while you upgrade and replace components as needed. For under $800, it’s a steal.
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