Budget bike outfit State Bicycles has added some interesting affordable upgrades to boost your MTB or gravel bikepacking bike performance. The new products include an alloy cargo fork cage, two sets of budget brakes, and some cargo bib shorts.
First up are these rather ornate-looking 5250 aluminum fork cages which allow you to strap big bottles, dry bags, or pineapples with ease. Designed to mount to standard water bottle bosses, they're also compatible with other unorthodox bolt patterns too.
Each cage has an impressive load-bearing capacity of 25lbs (11kgs) although before you load it to the max we recommend checking the limit of your mounting point, especially carbon fork mounts which are often only rated to 3kgs of capacity.
The cage doesn't come with straps, but State discounts the straps to $5 if you buy them with the cage, or double up and save almost $20 when you buy a two-pack and include straps.
The rack itself has a claimed weight of 168g (without straps, 246g with straps) and the cages cost $24.99 each. If you want to save a little more weight, State Bicycles also sells a four-pack of Grade 5 titanium bolts for $12.99 in three different finishes; Oli Slick, Raw Ti, and Black.
Riders love to debate about what product or standard is best however there is one thing that almost everyone can unanimously agree on, mechanical disc brakes suck.
Unfortunately, a lot of the best budget gravel bikes come with them fitted and to upgrade to a hydraulic system adds a lot of expense as you need to replace the levers as well. The new All-Road Cable-Actuated Hydraulic Disc Brake Caliper is a budget alternative, using your existing cable brake levers to actuate a two-piston hydraulic caliper which should give considerably more braking force than mechanical alternatives.
The calipers are flat mount to be compatible with all modern gravel bikes and are designed to work with 160mm rotors (also 140mm compatible). The set up should be straightforward forward too, simply aligning the caliper and setting the cable tension correctly.
Calipers are said to weigh 173g for the front caliper and 157g for the rear. A single caliper costs $59.99, or you can have a pair for just $99.99
If you have flat bars rather than drop bars on your bike, then upgrading your brakes is considerably easier and State Bicycles have released a budget flat-mount hydraulic brake set.
The brakes use mineral oil for easier servicing and are designed for 160mm rotors (140mm compatible). State offers two hose sizes, either XS/SM (front 800mm / rear 1400mm) or MD/LG (front 800mm / rear 1450mm) hose lengths. The brake set retails for a very reasonable $89.99.
Last but not least, State Bicycles has added a pair of All-Road Cargo bib shorts which they say have a performance cut and are made from a rich-colored Lycra with a quick drying and breathable upper mesh. The shorts feature two cargo pockets on the legs for handy mid-ride storage.
The shorts come in either black or olive colorways and sizes from small to 2XL, although State doesn't appear to offer specific men's and women's versions. The shorts are priced at $79.99.
Head over to Statebicycle.com for more details.