Home / Blog / State 6061 All

State 6061 All

Jun 21, 2024Jun 21, 2024

State Bicycle Co. has built its reputation by making affordable bikes with reliable performance.

While State Bicycle Co. got its start in the mid-aughts fixie craze, the Arizona-based manufacturer has since applied the same workman’s approach to bikes that ride well but don’t break the bank in the road and gravel realms.

So, it’s no surprise that State is in the first wave of manufacturers taking advantage of SRAM’s Apex AXS, the newest, budget-conscious electronic groupset. And as of now, it’s the most affordable and, arguably, the most enjoyable way to experience the tech wave, which seems to be coming for the whole industry.

I spent a few weeks putting State’s 6061 All-Road Apex XPLS AXS to the test, riding local gravel roads, tarmac, and singletrack on everything from high-mileage days to short errand runs. My thoughts? It’s a whole lot to like. Fast and fun, the State 6061 with Apex AXS XPLR offers affordably bundled tech for riders looking for a capable all-rounder that keeps up with the latest cycling trends.

Are there faster bikes out there? Sure, but State’s business model isn’t predicated on gram counting. The brand focuses on bikes that perform well at a reasonable cost, no easy feat in today’s cycling landscape. And with the addition of SRAM’s Apex AXS to State’s tried and true 6061 skeleton, an already good bike becomes even better.

In short: For $2,400, there isn’t a better deal for a gravel/all-road bicycle. A capable and fun bike with electronic shifting for a price that some cyclists pay for a wheelset is welcome and refreshing.

The State 6061 All-Road frame weighs just 2.5 pounds, complete with top tube mounts and other bikepacking-leaning design elements. I’d love to see an updated version of the 6061 aluminum frame include more mounting options. Expanded mounting options have become industry standard on many new gravel bikes. Though I have to imagine not reinventing the frame is what allowed State to bring this AXS version to market so quickly and affordably.

At 22.4 pounds for my 58cm fully built version, State isn’t winning any awards for the lightest bike out there. But they’re squarely in the weight class of other aluminum-frame, carbon-fork gravel bikes at this price range. Some examples are the base models of Salsa’s Journeyer or Canyon’s Grizl.

State equips the 6061 All-Road aluminum frame with a vibration-damping carbon that includes a single mounting point on each leg. The company offers the option to upgrade to its “Monster Fork” for $189. It’s optimized for dirt roads and has three mounting points per side.

Each fork has enough clearance to run 700c wheels with up to 45c tires or 650b wheels with 55c tires. I tested the stock option of 700c with 38mm tires, which State shipped with Vittoria tires. The wheels are also from State’s in-house production, aluminum with stainless steel spokes and tubeless compatible.

State’s website is endlessly customizable, so it’ll sell you a tubeless upgrade kit ($50) if you’d like. And not just that — there are myriad upgrade options: Brooks saddles ($130), a Zipp carbon wheelset ($1,300), and even locks and handlebar bag add-ons. State keeps prices down by using in-house components, and this customization feature is a clever tool.

The handlebars are also State’s in-house All-Road bars. At 420mm, I was concerned they would be too narrow, but I found that they were efficiently designed. The angle of the drop bar flare felt comfortable with my hands on the hoods or down in the drops. They are narrow (I’d love some more space to fit a bigger handlebar bag for touring), but they were perfect for daily use.

The one major pain point was the thin bar tape — even when wearing gloves, my hands got sore. An easy aftermarket fix, but a gripe nonetheless.

The only real problem I had with the 6061’s performance was State’s seat post and Black Label saddle. It had a habit of wiggling loose from the saddle clamp during big efforts, resulting in some choice words and soreness. I replaced the bolt and didn’t have any problems after, but the saddle’s build and width didn’t work for me even while steady.

The real differentiator of this bike, though, is SRAM’s new Apex AXS groupset. Barely 6 weeks on the market, State was quickest to the draw to rolling out this new budget-friendly electronic groupset theoretically capable of bringing wireless shifting to the masses.

State outfitted the 6061 All-Road with a gravel optimized 1x drivetrain, using SRAM’s XPLR 42T 12-speed rear cassette ranging from 11T to 42T. Like all 1xs, you lose some range on both the up and down, but overall I was usually happy with my gearing while riding this setup.

The groupset comes with SRAM’s hydraulic disc brakes and sleek shifters that operate off coin batteries. A barely noticeable integrated battery in the rear derailleur powers shifting — so barely noticeable that I almost left my garage with the battery still on the included charger for my inaugural ride.

Despite my reluctance to be battery-dependent when on two wheels, there’s no denying the electronic groupset was fun and responsive. It took some time to adjust muscle memory as I normally run more plebeian mechanical shifting. The physical response was more akin to clicking a mouse than the familiar connected friction of shifting through cables. But it became second nature quickly.

Initially, I had some trouble with the AXS skipping gears in both the lowest and highest gear. I had to finagle through a frustrating two down, one up to hit my cadence sweet spot on sprints. Thankfully, there’s an app for that. SRAM allows you to customize your electronic setup via an associated app, allowing you to troubleshoot shifting issues.

There’s an intriguing idea here. No more fiddling with your bike to smooth out derailleur issues; your phone will do it for you! But there’s some dissonance to that experience. Both my office printer and my derailleur required a firmware update on the same day. And while I’m happy to punt plenty of work to our eventual AI overlords, there’s something annoying about not being able to fix something with your hands and instead needing an IT degree.

In general, I’m disinclined to the app-ification of outdoor activities. As helpful as Strava, Trailforks, and RidewithGPS are to my cycling, one of the reasons being outside is so beneficial to me is it trades these screens for motion and anti-algorithm reality. So, I’m hesitant to add an app that controls the actual shifting ability of my bike.

On the other hand, I never ride without my Garmin head unit. I get upset if my ride stats don’t upload properly, and as a father of two and frequent forgetter of plugs, CO2, and spare tubes, I’m never on my bike without my phone. So, perhaps I’m creating an unnecessary mental dichotomy. I’m casting myself as a mechanically inclined luddite when, in truth, I’m depressingly plugged in.

As for the app and electronic shifting, they worked incredibly well, especially for the price point. I would worry about losing battery and connectivity on any backcountry rides. There’s a difference between fixing a steel cable on the road and having to navigate the inscrutable mass of wireless connectivity.

But when I get off my soapbox, the Apex AXS is responsive and reliable while also addressing a core problem with State’s in-line 6061 All-Road model. When customers do complain about the bike, it’s that State’s in-house groupest doesn’t hold up to its bigger-name cousins like SRAM and Shimano. Long term, this might be the most reliable version of the 6061 you can buy, with firmware updates and all.

The State 6061 All-Road SRAM Apex XPLR AXS was more appropriate for tarmac and dirt roads than true backcountry adventures. It fit more solidly into the commuter and daily rider category for me. The bike was certainly capable of an all-road application. But, it felt more at home on paved and dirt roads than burly gravel or singletrack.

Even with bigger tires, the frame geometry is more road and gravel racing adjacent than more rugged competitors. It is, after all, called the “All Road,” not “All Trail.”

The bottom line, though, is that State’s construction, paired with the SRAM’s AXS, produced a snappy and fun ride. When I got off the bike, I was excited to get back on again. And at the end of the day, why are we riding bikes if we aren’t having fun? The State 6061, especially with the SRAM AXS, is a hell of a lot of fun at a price that no other wireless shifting bike is close to right now.

The new 12-speed SRAM Apex groupsets come in electronic as well as mechanical options. The electronic version launches this summer. Read more…

While State Bicycle Co. got its start in the mid-aughts fixie craze, the Arizona-basedmanufacturer has since applied the same workman’s approach to bikes that ride well but don’t break the bank in the road and gravel realms. State’s 6061 All-Road Apex XPLS AXS In short: Salsa’s JourneyerCanyon’s GrizlglovesState was quickest to the draw6061 All-RoadApex AXS