State Bicycle Co. Warhawk: At The Finish- by Guitar Ted
The time on the State Bicycle Co. Warhawk has come to an end for our purposes of this review. There has been more riding, but not much has changed as far as my impressions of this bike. If you missed the last update you can check that out here. Now let’s get on to the bottom line on this handsome rig.
The State Bicycle Co. Warhawk was a bit of a surprise for me. That coming from how well mannered this bike is on some of the most severe gravel conditions you could imagine. The stability, tracking manners, and lack of buzz from rougher sections of road is not something I expect to find in a sub-$750.00 bicycle. The Warhawk has a shorter wheelbase than many gravel bikes, but it doesn’t seem to affect the ride negatively as you might think. Even when the Warhawk did eventually want to swap ends on me, I was able to steer out of it, and it wasn’t hard to do. All this with 37mm tires, which is the maximum width the bike can handle, by the way.
It certainly was uncanny, and the Warhawk ranks amongst the best gravel bikes I have ridden in terms of ride feel and handling. I can highly recommend the bike on those terms alone.
There were some things I certainly wasn’t excited about concerning the Warhawk though. It’s aforementioned limited tire clearances being one of those. Now, a 35mm tire or so may be all you’d ever want or need. Okay then, this bike won’t disappoint you. However, I cannot help but think how much more capable and fun this bike would be with 40mm-45mm tires and maybe even poofy 650B tires.
Then there is the issue with limited braze ons with this bike. You get two water bottle mounts. You could fit a rack, but that’s it. Full fenders on a single speed bike would be nice as this bike would be a wonderful winter hack, or sloppy season bike where a person could choose this over a derailleur equipped bike, not trash that, and still get a great ride experience. Maybe having fork mounted bottle cage mounts would also encourage longer rides. The Warhawk rides so well, I can’t help but want to see support for longer rides as a possibility.
At The Finish: In the configuration we received the Warhawk in, it retails for $729.99. What can you even compare this bike to? There are not many single speed gravel bikes! I mean, we are talking a very niche segment of the market. I feel that for what the Warhawk has shown me, it is a good value, with a couple of downfalls. The gearing out of the box was too low, and the tire clearances in the rear are too tight. You can fix the gearing, but you are stuck with the minimal tire clearance. Riding on gravel shows that the Warhawk has stability and smoothness. Find the right gearing combination and this bike could be ridden all day, as long as that day is a dry one.
If you can get by the limitations of the Warhawk- dedicated single speed, limited tire clearances, and limited versatility- then you will be rewarded with one of the better handling, better riding gravel/all road/commuter rigs you can find. For the dollar amount that State Bicycle Co. asks for this bike, I cannot find anything in my experience that compares to how nice it handles and how fun it is to ride. Maybe making the modifications to this bike I suggest here would ruin that. In that case, leave a good thing alone, but one can dream. Otherwise, I can highly recommend this bike as gravel road bike and really, just a great bike to ride.
NOTE- The State Bicycle Co. Warhawk was sent out for test and review to Riding Gravel at no charge. We are not being bribed, nor paid for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.