Undefeated II: Stiff Frame Equipped Over A Stiff Drink?

State Bicycle Co. Undefeated II track bike

With beefy aluminum tubing, a tapered fork, an eye-melting paint scheme and a digestible price tag, State Bicycle Co.’s Undefeated II checks many attractive boxes for the flamboyant trackie on a budget. Yet the full build of this stiff-sprinting rig includes some head-scratching part choices for riders who specialize in turning left, and those who are considering the Undefeated II as an affordable track racer should consider building up this frame from scratch.

State Bicycle Co. Undefeated II track bike

First, the frame: State’s Undefeated II is a 4 pound, 11 ounce (size 62cm) 7005 aluminum platform, with old-school-oversize rounded tube profiles, a new-school tapered headtube and a full-carbon fork. The frame features stainless rear dropout inserts, and trackies will be delighted to know it does not include water bottle bosses.

State Bicycle Co. Undefeated II track bike

The paint deserves a mention on its own – you will gasp when you see the sunlight catch what State calls the “black prism” colorway. There are rainbow iridescent flecks all throughout this otherwise murdered-out aesthetic, and the way it catches bright sunlight leaves you lightheaded. Photos just can’t do it justice. It’s spiritual. 10 out of 5 stars.

Ride quality for the Undefeated frame is excellent. At Portland Oregon’s Alpenrose Velodrome, the Undefeated was clearly stiffer than this tester’s old-school steel racing rig. The frame handles hard acceleration with great stability, and the stiffness from the tapered fork was noticeable. At speed, the Undefeated feels very stable and predictable. It’s a frame that just works.

State Bicycle Co. Undefeated II track bike

On to the parts list, starting with the highlights. The Undefeated ships with the Essor USA Bolt track wheelset, which includes a semi-aero rim profile and attractive high-flange hubs featuring large cutouts. The hubs turn smoothly, and the wheels feel plenty stiff. State describes this wheelset, at 2,200 grams, as light enough to race but durable enough for the street. I would call these wheels “just fine,” but low hanging fruit for upgrade. The Michelin Dynamic Sports tires wrapping the wheelset are nice and grippy.

The no-name saddle is another unexpected highlight, one I initially wrote off as a fashion statement. The suede surface does a great job gently holding a rider’s rear end in perfect place, and a flared back offers a nice platform for hard efforts. I wonder about long-term durability, but I’ll admit, it was great!

State Bicycle Co. Undefeated II track bike

Now for the head scratchers – this 62 centimeter-size Undefeated ships with 175 millimeter crankarms, which many would consider appropriate for an equivalently sized road rig but too long for track use. (Other sizes are spec’d with 170mm crankarms – ed.) This Essor Aerodash crankset marks other positive boxes with a true-to-track chainring sizing and an aerodynamic closed spider design, but this is a part to swap for velodrome use.

The top tube of the Undefeated is also rather short to ship with a stubby 90 millimeter stem, and the wide road handlebars feel out of place for the velodrome.

So add it up: riding this fully built Undefeated at the track means swapping a crank at a minimum, with the possibility of swapping a stem and handlebar to get everything dialed in. Throw in a wheelset upgrade and possibly even a saddle, and you can see how building from scratch is the better option for the track.

State makes no mention of velodrome use in its promotional materials for the Undefeated II, branding this bike as a fixie criterium machine. Yet I argue the frame is a great option for a rider on a budget, costing only $580. Full builds retail for $980, and my 62cm test unit comes in at 17 pounds even.

Pirelli Brings The Speed With The Zero TT

Pirelli P Zero Velo TT Tire

As someone who has tried dozens of different tires, I’ve yet to find a model that genuinely stands out for performance. In fact, I figured all modern “race” tires were more or less the same. That has changed with the Pirelli P Zero Velo TT.

Easily the best-performing clincher tire I’ve ever used, the Pirelli P Zero Velo TT is an incredibly fast, grippy and lightweight option that inspires great confidence in handling and achieves great speed in acceleration. Devoid of tread and lacking any puncture-resistant band, this 165-gram, 23mm-only tire is a great choice for time trialists, criterium racers, trackies and anyone looking to go as fast as their legs will carry them.

This tester has grown accustomed to the tiny squeaks of his usual clincher tires while traversing the 43-degree banking of Portland Oregon’s Alpenrose Velodrome at slower speeds. That sound, I assume, is the product of tiny slips of the tire. Yet the Velo TT simply planted on the pavement, and this tester could ride much more confidently and with more safety along that familiar surface. The difference was startling.

Pirelli P Zero Velo TT Tire

This isn’t a tire for going slowly, though. The Velo TT spins up with a great ease due to very light weight, and the tire smooths out bumps on high-speed sprints. Foreshadowing this ride quality was the experience of simply installing the tires, which are incredibly supple and mounted easily.

In such a controlled environment, it’s hard to evaluate puncture resistance. Pirelli offers several models with puncture-resistant features, and while the company claims the compound of the Velo TT can resist punctures to a degree, I believe it’s safe to assume other options would be more suited to long rides or races.

Yet across a well-manicured surface during a criterium, time trial or track race, the P Zero Velo TT will provide an undeniable advantage.