Just bought a Ghoul...
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  1. #1
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    Just bought a Ghoul...

    I just purchased a State Bicycle Co. Ghoul.



    https://www.statebicycle.com/collect...ul-core-line-1

    I tried ordering via the State Bicycle website, but they were out of stock in my size (Medium 54cm) so, I went the Amazon route and found it available. I'll post a bit more once the bike arrives.

    The idea with the bike is to create a single speed grocery getter. Our local grocery store is relatively close by and a single speed bike with racks and panniers should work well for the occasional run. We'll see how it goes.
    Last edited by Opus51569; 04-20-2020 at 01:41 PM.
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

    I was "social distancing" before it was cool.

  2. #2
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    I like it! For the exact reason you stated... I could totally see buying one of those as the "I only mildly care if it gets stolen or abused" bike to actually use around town. Not only that, I bet you're going to enjoy riding such a simple bike... it's darn near as simple as the BMX bikes I used to ride 30 years ago.

    I'll be curious as to what you think of it once you get it. My biggest concern for that price would be the brakes... I'd expect they'll be less than stellar ;-)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
    I like it! For the exact reason you stated... I could totally see buying one of those as the "I only mildly care if it gets stolen or abused" bike to actually use around town. Not only that, I bet you're going to enjoy riding such a simple bike... it's darn near as simple as the BMX bikes I used to ride 30 years ago.

    I'll be curious as to what you think of it once you get it. My biggest concern for that price would be the brakes... I'd expect they'll be less than stellar ;-)
    Thanks. I've got a set of Shimano R451s with some KoolStops I can put on it if the stock brakes don't do the job. We'll see what happens.
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

    I was "social distancing" before it was cool.

  4. #4
    xxl
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    I bought one of these for my son, after he'd had two bikes stolen from him (and who the f*ck steals fifty-year-old entry-level Japanese bikes, anyway?), and it's been worth every penny. You can tell where they cut costs to meet the price point, but the end product rides nicely enough, and seems durable. And as Poor In Richfield says, it's a bike that doesn't have much to go wrong on it, and cheap enough that if things do go wrong, BFD. I was able to score mine for $200 on clearance.

    I call it The Ghost Bike of Taiwan.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxl View Post
    I bought one of these for my son, after he'd had two bikes stolen from him (and who the f*ck steals fifty-year-old entry-level Japanese bikes, anyway?), and it's been worth every penny. You can tell where they cut costs to meet the price point, but the end product rides nicely enough, and seems durable. And as Poor In Richfield says, it's a bike that doesn't have much to go wrong on it, and cheap enough that if things do go wrong, BFD. I was able to score mine for $200 on clearance.

    I call it The Ghost Bike of Taiwan.
    Nice! The bike should be arriving on Monday, but we'll see if Amazon chooses to delay it as a lower priority item or not. I'm glad you found it durable. That was a priority and something that is difficult to gauge without being able to test ride one. I e-mailed State about the maximum weight capacity for the bike and they told me 300lbs, so it should be okay. For me, the wheels and the frame are my biggest concern. Most everything else I can upgrade from the parts bin if/when I need to.
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

    I was "social distancing" before it was cool.

  6. #6
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    Are you going to customize the bike when you get it? I.e., maybe throw some color on it? I think get all creative with some spray paint and custom paint the frame. That way, should some conehead steal the bike, it'll be super easy to identify because there are no other bikes like it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
    Are you going to customize the bike when you get it? I.e., maybe throw some color on it? I think get all creative with some spray paint and custom paint the frame. That way, should some conehead steal the bike, it'll be super easy to identify because there are no other bikes like it.
    No plans to do any color changes yet. I'm okay with the monochromatic look for this one. Racks, panniers, VP platforms and a Brooks B-17 will go on immediately, and the Shimano brakes and Kool-Stops if necessary. I'm not too worried about theft. It will live in the garage when it isn't on the road, and the grocery store has bike racks right in the front. I use a combination of cable and U-locks. A thief can still take it, of course, but I try not to make it easy.
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

    I was "social distancing" before it was cool.

  8. #8
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    Unpacking.

    Bike arrived yesterday. Here's a pro tip for anyone who orders a bike online. When your bike box arrives inside a second box... be worried. I opened the plain outer box (after the UPS guy had left) to discover significant damage to the State Bicycle box inside.



    That's the axle nut from the front wheel sticking out of the hole. It's supposed to have a plastic cover protecting it, but that was gone. Sooo... right off the bat, I'm thinking "great" I'm going to have to send it back. Turns out, though, there was no damage. Whew.

    Set up and initial thoughts.

    • Frame: Heavy Hi-tensile steel. Paint is decent but contact points (rack mounts, dropout/axle interface, seat post collar/seat tube, etc.) cause it to flake pretty easily.
    • Wheels: Needed to be stress-relieved and trued out of the box. We'll see how long it lasts before needing to be re-trued. Sealed bearings spin smooth. No binding, play or grit. Tires measure 25mm, but I am so used to 28s or 32s that these look really narrow.
    • Drivetrain: Square taper crank, also with sealed bearings, is secure and spins freely. Tightened both the fixie cog and the freewheel in back per the instructions. No problems. Freewheel sounds like a beehive chasing you...
    • Headset: This was overly compressed and grinding out of the box. Pulled the fork to discover almost no lube on the races or headset bearings. So, I took apart everything, wiped out the small amount of old grease and applied a generous helping of Phil Wood and reinstalled the forks. Much improved.
    • Everything else: Seatpost and saddle come as one unit and installed easily with some grease. Comes with plastic pedals. Brakes are pre-attached to the frame and fork, all you need to do is install the levers on the handlebar (packaged separately).


    So, all in all, aside from the spokes needing some love and attention, it all went together as expected. But, of course, I was never going to use it as a stock bike:



    Here it is after applying some items from the parts bin:
    • Brooks B-17 instead of the narrow stock saddle
    • Lezyne black bottle cage (there are bosses for one bottle on the downtube)
    • Velo Orange Cigne stem ('cuz I likes my bars high)
    • Shimano brakes and Kool-Stop pads (I used the stock cables and housing that came with the bike)
    • VP platform pedals.

    A few laps around the block made me realize that the 44/16 ratio was fine for just me tooling around, but if I'm going to add racks and panniers, I might want something a bit easier to pedal. So, I found a RaceFace 1X chainring (130BCD, 40t) and swapped it out for the stock one. Now it's 40/16. I also had to remove a link from the chain to keep proper tension. Fortunately, the stock chain comes with a quick-link so it made the process pretty easy.

    Once I had a decent roller, I went to work on the racks:



    They went on with a little modification. For the front, I needed to put in a spacer on the lower bolts at the bottom of the fork. The fork bosses sit on the inside of the fork blade (meant more for fenders) so the spacer allows the legs of the front rack to clear it. On the rear rack, it was the typical problem of the rack mounts on the seat stays running right into the brake calipers. I've had this issue on multiple bikes in the past. The solution in this case was to take a round metal file to the mounting arm of the rack to carve/curve it around the brake caliper to allow it to function.

    Overall and Next Steps:

    Overall, for $324 (with the bullhorn bar option) I would say you get what you pay for... and maybe a little more. The quality seems decent. The looks/aesthetic are pretty good I think. Most folks could ride the bike right out of the box and have a decent commuter. The test for me will be in durability over time. My concern is the spokes and the freewheel holding up to both my weight and the weight of a load of groceries.

    I have two changes I'll want to make that will require some additional money.

    Tires: There's nothing wrong with them. They are 25c as spec. But for me they feel way too narrow for the kind of riding I'll be doing. State recommends no more than 28c so I will start there and go larger if they'll fit the frame.

    Handlebars: This one is on me. I ordered the bullhorns because I liked the look of them. What I didn't realize (though it's right there in the description of the bike) is that they are more narrow than the 46cm drop bars I'm used to. In retrospect I should have saved $25 and stuck with the standard riser bars. But if I'm going to get something else, I'm toying with either trying to find a wider bullhorn (preferably a 46cm if such a creature exists) or, I might go with a trekking bar to get the extra width and hand positions.

    So, that's the State Bicycle Co. Ghoul thus far. I'll update later once there's something new to report.
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    Last edited by Opus51569; 05-03-2020 at 06:45 AM.
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

    I was "social distancing" before it was cool.

  9. #9
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    A quick update.

    I decided to try a set of trekking bars. They are on order. I also had a spare Panaracer Pasela 28c tire that I put on the front. I've ordered a matching one to go on the rear.

    In the meantime, I was curious about tire clearance, so I tried installing a 32c Continental UltraSport tire from another bike. I can confirm that the 32c does fit... but just barely. If you go that route, for the rear tire install it on the rim deflated. That will let you slide the wheel far enough into rear dropouts to get the chain back on. Once you pull the wheel back to get proper chain tension, you'll see there is still a few millimeters of clearance after the tire is inflated. 28c tires will fit with plenty of room to spare. The best compromise would be a 30c tire I suppose.
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

    I was "social distancing" before it was cool.

  10. #10
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    A little fun with brakes...

    I had decided to swap the stock brakes with a set of Shimano's I had in the parts bin. Then I remembered that I also had a set of SRAM Apex brakes in white as well. So, I took a little to 0000 steel wool to de-badge both calipers and did a little mix and match:





    So, mismatched but still sticking with the monochrome. Meanwhile, the Panaracer has arrived and the trekking bars are installed. It's maiden voyage and first grocery run will be tomorrow. I'll snap a few pics of the "finished" product and post them soon.
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    Last edited by Opus51569; 05-10-2020 at 05:53 PM.
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

    I was "social distancing" before it was cool.

  11. #11
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    The maiden voyage / shake-out ride was a success. I even managed to bring home a dozen eggs without scrambling them in the panniers.







    The Panaracter Paselas are on. I like the tan sidewall.

    The trekking bars are from Upanbike and have a rise to them. Normally for me that would be a bonus, but given the height of that stem, I decided to flip the bars upside down so the rise becomes a slight drop instead. It still puts the bar flats level with the saddle and it makes them look a little bit like pursuit bars. I also chose to double-wrap the bars because they are a pretty small diameter. They came with foam grips which I elected not to install and I went with some old Fizik black tape that I had instead.

    So, that's the State Bicycle Co. Ghoul for now. I'll post back at some point with an update on how it does.
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    Last edited by Opus51569; 05-11-2020 at 09:12 AM.
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

    I was "social distancing" before it was cool.

  12. #12
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    Looks great!
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

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  13. #13
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    Thanks. It's been a fun diversion so far. Another grocery (read: booze) run tomorrow. .
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

    I was "social distancing" before it was cool.

  14. #14
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    Put a few more miles on the Ghoul and made a few more changes...



    After a few loaded (no pun intended) “grocery” runs, I decided to add a 20t freewheel to the back. This puts my gearing at 40-20 which seems just about perfect for leisurely cruising. Sure, I spin out on even a moderate downhill, but taking off from a standing start is much easier on the knees. I kept the stock 16t freewheel on the other side of the flip-flop hub.

    The other big change is the bars. After a few rides, it became clear that the “trekking” bars were overkill for the simple, short trips this bike will be doing. So, I decided to go with a Ritchey flat bar. It’s stoopid-wide (720mm) and has a 9 degree back sweep. That wide stance gives me better control of the heavy, racked front end and the sweep is very comfortable. I added some Bontrager grips I had in the parts bin.



    The other change is more aesthetic. I swapped the black B-17 saddle for one I had dyed red a while back. It breaks up the monochrome but it does pick up more of the oak on the racks and the tan sidewalls.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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    Last edited by Opus51569; 1 Week Ago at 05:23 AM.
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

    I was "social distancing" before it was cool.

  15. #15
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    About those grips.....i recommend oury,
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

  16. #16
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    I’ll check them out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

    I was "social distancing" before it was cool.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opus51569 View Post
    I’ll check them out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The oury just feel good in your hands, not sure if they like it... but who cares
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

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