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Opinions on the State Thunderbird SSCX?

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Opinions on the State Thunderbird SSCX?

Old 09-21-15, 07:15 PM
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digita6
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Opinions on the State Thunderbird SSCX?

Hi, I've been looking to start racing SSCX, and have all the parts but frame. I like the look of the State Thunderbird in Black/Pink, but would like to hear some opinions on how it is as a race bike. Any thoughts?

Thunderbird Frame: Black & Pink - CycloCross (SSCX) & Off Road Bikes | State Bicycle Co.

Thanks!
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Old 09-22-15, 06:44 PM
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Just looking at the website, I have these thoughts:

1. The fork has an alloy steerer, so it theoretically loses a bit of the carbon benefit.
2. The tubes appear to be pretty simply round -- many bike brands claim that custom shaped tubes tune the feel of their aluminum frames.
3. The fact that a cable hanger is optional seems weird. What fills that space if you don't have one? Isn't that plate structurally part of the dropout?
4. The screws they're using to secure the eccentric bottom bracket seem kind of odd. You can turn pretty much any frame with a BB30/PF30 bottom bracket into a singlespeed with an eccentric bottom bracket from Beer Components or Problems Solvers. These both use screws through the bottom bracket face to hold it in place once you have it rotated where you want it. The State EBB looks like it would rely on lining up with screw holes, which would make the rotation angles stepped rather than continuous.
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Old 09-23-15, 12:03 PM
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Andy, thanks for your great observations. Is the main drawback of the alloy steerer on the fork the added weight? It seems like at least it would be less susceptible to cracking from overtightening. I read a review that praised the bottom bracket screw system, but I don't know much about it. I've never owned a single speed bike, so I'm not familiar with eccentric hubs/bottom brackets. I had thought that another option would be something like a White Industries ENO.

It looks like there is just a plate without a hanger portion that fills the spot instead of a full hanger. It does look to be a relatively simple, straight forward frame. But hey, it's $529 for frame and fork.
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Old 09-23-15, 12:43 PM
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There are people who say that an alloy steerer loses a lot of the vibration damping of a carbon fork. Like the tube shape (notice I said "bike brands claim..."), it's probably a relatively small effect, particularly on a wide tired bike. So, probably mostly weight -- about 250 grams is a typical difference.

If someone who has actually used that EBB says it works well, then I'd go with that. I'm just speculating on the design from the pictures.

An eccentric hub like the White Ind ENO will make any bike a singlespeed. The biggest drawback there is that it limits you to singlespeed freewheels. With a frame like the Thunderbird you can use whatever multi-geared rear hub you like with a single cog and spacers, which I think makes gearing changes a bit easier. The disc version of that hub also looks like a bit of a headache.

I think you're right that for $529 the State Thunderbird doesn't look bad at all. A point of comparison would be something like a Kona Jake the Snake frameset, which I think hits all the right points in the areas I mentioned but costs about $700 and you'd still need to buy your own headset and eccentric bottom bracket -- so around $900 to get to where the Thunderbird starts.
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Old 09-23-15, 01:32 PM
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FWIW, I contacted State, and the derailleur without the hanger has a "placeholder". See the below pic.
Attached Images
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thunderbird.jpg (93.1 KB, 72 views)
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Old 09-23-15, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
An eccentric hub like the White Ind ENO will make any bike a singlespeed. The biggest drawback there is that it limits you to singlespeed freewheels. With a frame like the Thunderbird you can use whatever multi-geared rear hub you like with a single cog and spacers, which I think makes gearing changes a bit easier. The disc version of that hub also looks like a bit of a headache.
Would you advocate using a standard 11sp freewheel with spacers/gearclamps over an SS specific hub like the non-Eccentric ENO?
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Old 09-23-15, 01:48 PM
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#natureboy
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Old 09-23-15, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by franswa View Post
The race-equivalent Nature Boy disc frame while perhaps a bit nicer with full carbon fork and 853 steel, is $1200--more than twice as much. It is nice, though.
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Old 09-23-15, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by digita6 View Post
Would you advocate using a standard 11sp freewheel with spacers/gearclamps over an SS specific hub like the non-Eccentric ENO?
If you have a frame setup that doesn't require a chain tensioner, I would. I have a decent singlespeed wheelset (A23 rims/Paul hubs) for my Jake the Snake, but I only use it for recreational/utility riding. When I race on that bike I use a different set of wheels with 10-speed Ultegra hubs and A23 rims.

By most accounts, the White Industries freehubs are the only ones that are race worthy, and they cost about $100 each. If you use and multi-speed freehub with spacers and a single cog, you can get the cogs for $30 (Surly) or if you want to splurge you can get Chris King cogs for $55. Different courses call for different gearing, so you'll probably want a couple. Plus, as I said, the gear changes are easier this way, and it gives you massive mud clearance between the chain and the spokes.
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Old 09-25-15, 03:34 AM
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Pretty bike. Really pretty. If you like it, Buy it!

More so than other categories, SS is about then rider, not the bike.

Around here, if you aren't a Cat I or II, you aren't going to see a top ten finish a anyway, so you might as well look good being slow.

SS is a blast. Enjoy the ride!
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Old 09-25-15, 12:19 PM
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report back if you get it. I am considering selling my nature boy and getting one of these for the option to use gears.
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Old 12-31-21, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Just looking at the website, I have these thoughts:

1. The fork has an alloy steerer, so it theoretically loses a bit of the carbon benefit.
2. The tubes appear to be pretty simply round -- many bike brands claim that custom shaped tubes tune the feel of their aluminum frames.
3. The fact that a cable hanger is optional seems weird. What fills that space if you don't have one? Isn't that plate structurally part of the dropout?
4. The screws they're using to secure the eccentric bottom bracket seem kind of odd. You can turn pretty much any frame with a BB30/PF30 bottom bracket into a singlespeed with an eccentric bottom bracket from Beer Components or Problems Solvers. These both use screws through the bottom bracket face to hold it in place once you have it rotated where you want it. The State EBB looks like it would rely on lining up with screw holes, which would make the rotation angles stepped rather than continuous.
Hi Andy K,
Great observations. Can I ask if you found out what size Hex key these two screws securing the Bottom Bracket take? I've recently bought a thunderbird secondhand. I love it so far. Have a new chainring and want to adjust the BB to tension it but the BB is pretty seized. I can't for the life of me figure out what size hex key these two bolts take? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated? Even if you knew the brand of Bottom Bracket they used?

Cheers Tom (reddreddz)
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