State Bicycle Co. Cargo Cage & All-Road Disc Brake Calipers: At The Finish
Note: I received the products mentioned in this review at no charge to me. State Bicycle Co. did not bribe me, nor are they paying me for this review. I always strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.
It is time to close out the review of the State Bicycle Co. components I was sent back in August to test. I’ll cover the Cargo Cage and Molded Straps first, then we’ll get to the brake calipers. If you’ve missed all the spec data and introduction to this post, Click Here.
State Bicycle Co Cargo Cage & Molded Straps:
Back in mid-August I received the State Bicycle Co. Cargo Cage and the Molded Straps that you can get with that cage. I immediately mounted that to my Singular Cycles Gryphon Mk3 and mounted a stuff sack filled with cargo as well.
The cage held up well and never was an issue. I did like that there are several ways to mount things to it. All the odd shapes cut into the aluminum cage make for a lot of options to attach straps, bungees, or the Molded Straps, which were really pretty slick, by the way.
I only received one of the Cargo Cages so I matched it up with a Salsa HD Anything Cage. The Salsa cage can only be mounted in one way, while I was able to mount the State cage lower, which is an advantage to some degree if you can get away with a lower center of gravity and not get into trouble hitting things where you ride. I can do that, and I appreciated the option to mount the State cage lower.
The cage functions well and has options. But its looks might be too kitschy for some. It’s fine, but I could have done without the unnecessary “cuteness”. Matched with the excellent Molded Cargo Straps this can be a great way to carry stuff on a bikepacking rig. So, in the end I can say it is good, as long as you get on with the design look.
All-Road Disc Brake Calipers:
I posted back in August about my first impressions concerning these brake calipers. (See that HERE) Since then I have ridden these mostly in a loaded (the bike had a fully racked and bagged set up with cargo) state. That, I figured, would test these calipers in a more stressful state than just riding them with an unloaded bike.
First of all, I think it bears consideration that your levers , cable, and housings will have a great bearing on braking feel and performance. As well, so will the way that they are set up, So, there are a lot of variables here that could negatively or positively affect the outcome of the braking performance.
In my case I was using standard, box-stock brake housing, brass ferrules, and standard stainless steel cables. I have had the pleasure of setting up hundreds of mechanical brake calipers over the years. So, I kind of know what it is I am looking for in a set up. It really makes a big difference in feel and performance, so if you aren’t getting what you are after, maybe someone else that has experience with setting up various brakes can help. Just a thought to chew on….
Now, with all that in mind I will say that these brakes are really quite good. I am sure some of my “modulation feel” I am getting is actually losses in the standard cable housing, but even so, the hydraulic caliper makes up for some of that by increasing efficiency in use to the point that I found it very easy to apply more than enough power to haul me and my rig down to zero mph in a big hurry.
And fine-tuned braking was top-notch as well. So, no “on-off”, no modulation feel here. No “super-mushy”, low power affair either. But these work pretty much like a lot of drop bar, fully hydraulic set ups will work. And they are really quiet. At least my set up is.
The All Road Calipers are no slouches then, and the most stunning thing is that you can score a pair for a “C note”. That’s just outrageous, in my opinion. Out of all my bikes, the Shimano GRX brakes are really the only brakes I have (disc brakes) that I would say are really better brakes than these are. But again – The set up, the cables, housings, ferrules, and levers all will affect the outcome, and that is a LOT of variables. So, let’s say that the potential for great performance is here.
But for a hundred bucks? You could do a lot worse, and many competing products are much more expensive. So, consider these with the advisement that you will need to have good complimentary components in the system to get the most out of the All Road Calipers.
At The Finish: Overall, I was really pleased with these components. Especially with the brake calipers, which I feel are an astounding value at the asking price. Pair these up with a quality housing, cable, and lever and I think you’d be hard-pressed to say that they were anything but excellent. Are there better brakes? Yes, of course there are, but nothing anywhere near the price for this pair. Throw in the cost of levers and cables/housings and it still comes out on top here.
The cage was a bit of kit where I wasn’t super fond of the looks, but in terms of usage I had absolutely no complaints at all. It is a rock-solid cage. Now, I imagine it can be broken, and being aluminum, that would not surprise me if I heard that someone managed to bust one of these. However; if you are prudent in how you use it, not expecting it to carry overly large or heavy objects, then I think it would last quite some time in the wild. Overall I give the Cargo Cage a passing grade. There are probably less cute, more robust cages, but again, this one is pretty reasonably priced.