The new Core Line Wulf looks even better in person than in the pictures, and performs better than can be expected without destroying your wallet
Last Update: December 2017 (Updated Core Line model selection)
The State Bicycle Co Wulf is versatile single or fixed-speed bike crafted from steel. The overall concept is to be minimalistic with a slight racing look. This bike has more than first expected considering its low price. The color is black, but not the standard black. It is matte black which seems to incorporate gray shade into it.
To get that complete look, the black color is mixed with silver on rims and clamps and other small details. As far as the details go, it has no big logos and texts except for the wolf-head logo on top and down tube. However, the box comes with different stickers so you can customize your bike as you like.
Minimalism stands out in every aspect on this bike regarding the components. Here’s the exception – brakes. They are easily adjustable dual-pivot caliper brakes. What differs from ordinary V-brakes (which are often used on single-speeders), is the design and ability to set it up better. I remember from early ages the V-brakes only aligned sometimes, even after hours of fiddling. However, if you get to know side-pull brakes, this Wulf proves to have an accurate approach to aligning the calipers.
Since the handlebar is a riser bar, you can use it in the lower or higher position. I tested both on this review. If you want higher, you should adjust the brake levers too, just 30 secs. The brakes work as most non-disc brakes do, they need some more power to activate them but once you’re used of it, they will stop you. The grips (made by Vans) gave a good strong grip. If you want to lower the handlebar, you can take away the spacers.
It comes with plastic pedals. They are known to get out of order, but they rode okay when tested for review. Pedals are always something that is up to user preference anyway.
This Wulf has deep section rims of 4cm, where the brake contact surface is silver. I’ve seen other Wulf pictures where this area is black too. You want to inflate the Kenda 25c tires with around 6 BAR to get a smooth ride and avoid snake-bite.
One of the first things you’ll notice on this bike is the fact that there are two chainrings (called flip-flop hub) on the rear. Many of the bikes are either fixed or single gear. If you don’t know the difference between those two, here they are:
State Bicycle Co has made it easy to change between single or fixed gear. It takes about 5 minutes on the Wulf and other Core Line models. You can also easily use the chain tensioner to get the tension right. Trying fixed gear for the first time needs some attention because you need to relearn some aspects to make sure you’re riding safely.
PS! There is no quick release levers (good for thieves!), so you need a wrench for it!
The Wulf arrived partially assembled. The only things you need to assemble are front wheel (putting it on the bike), seat (with seatpost and clamp), pedals, and handlebar. The brakes are preset but you may want to adjust those. Since it has side pull caliper brakes, they need a slightly different approach than with V-brakes.
One thing I must mention in this review – the bike came with some minor scratches on it. The frame was well wrapped for protection but it seems like one piece of padding moved which caused slight friction. However, the scratches could barely be seen so it was just okay for me, it didn’t affect the bike.
For tools, you will need 4mm, 5mm, and 6mm Hex tools and for the pedals, a wrench. That’s pretty much all unless you want add reflectors, then a Philips is a must too. Altogether it should take between 15-60 minutes (depending on your skill level). Always re-tighten all of the bolts before going outside!
IMPORTANT! State Bicycle Co warranty is only void when it is professionally assembled. I did not because I am familiar with it. I suggest that when you’re not sure or you are the person who always has difficulties, take it to your local bike shop or order assembly from Amazon. It’s the only way you get warranty!
If assembled by professionals, the Core Line bikes have 5 year warranty on the frame and 1-2 years on selected components.
The Core Line Wulf model has three sizes available:
We did also test with a 6’5“rider and there was enough saddle height and length from knees to the handlebar. So we suggest that up to 6’5“ you’ll probably find this bike’s large size comfortable.
State Cycles have other models in their Core Line too. They all sell from $299 to $499. The Core Line is meant for daily riders, without spending money for a build that you actually don’t need.
We took the State Bicycle’s Wulf out where it belongs, the city streets. To be honest, it was a real head turner! Wherever we decided to take some pictures, people slowed their walk and checked out the bike. They weren’t just noticing it, but looking the details!
To be honest, it was a real head turner!
When riding, the narrow handlebar takes some time to get used to, especially if you used wide handlebars before. The bike is sturdy and looks minimalistic. The geometry seems to work fine. The handlebar and saddle height also felt natural.
It rolls on both paved and cobblestone streets with ease. As an avid rider, it makes it clear that the Wulf is suitable for everyday riders. You can’t expect high performance or racing pedigree from this bike, but none the less it does a good job.
My wife said: “Actually, do you have another bike stand? It can stand out in our apartment for a while. It has pretty cool design“
You can add fenders and bottle-cage for your need without damaging the overall look. The total weight without those are 24.5lbs for the M model. It does feel little bit heavy but it’s because I’m used to riding light carbon bikes. When looking at similar bikes, they are all around same weight range.
To wrap it up, the Wulf definitely has the build to stand out compared to other similar bikes. With the $299 price, you are definitely getting your money’s worth. This bike isn’t meant for competition but enjoying around the city! It is pure joy!
How it rolls?