Drew's Titanium trail bike - A Do-it-all Hardtail

It’s a mountain bike, the one you ride day in and day out. Drew get’s the importance of having a mountain bike that is capable and predictable and always there for you from the quick after work cruise to that big 3 week bike packing trip you have planned next summer. When you have a bike that you enjoy all of that riding on you know you have a winner. After retiring his previous mountain bike, which he spent six whole seasons on, this should be Drew’s new ride for a long time to come.

The titanium frame is going to be resilient and comfortable for the riding it will see between Bozeman, Tuscon and even some time in Los Angeles this winter. Drew is a tall guy and the fit on his last bike was less than perfect. Getting him on to something designed for his dimensions feels really good and from his first test ride it sounds like we did really well on that custom fit and sizing. The important numbers here for the curious geometry geeks are 815mm front center, 94mm trail (68* HT), 433mm Rear center and 318mm BB height (sagged).

For the build we went with my go-to “Smart money” build kit which features wheels from Industry Nine, Fox moving-bits with the Step Cast 34 fork and transfer post. Maxxis rubber is the best, Paul Components Boxcar stem, Enve M6 bar, White industries M30 crank and Sram GX Eagle with an X01 Cassette to save some rotational weight. In my opinion this build is right at the intersection of maximum performance and budget-minded builds. As we said with this bike - Predictable, reliable and just what you need.

This bike is going to spend its’ life in Bozeman and I am excited to get out on the trail with it and its owner come spring when the snow is all gone.

Learn more about Sklar custom Titanium Mountain Bikes here.

Alex's Titanium 29 x 2.6" MTB

Alex is one of my best riding pals, so building bikes for him is always fun. We do really similar riding here in Bozema - a mix of long logging road climbs, super rough rocky descents, smooth flowy singletrack and everything in between really. Often we ride from town too, so some efficiency is nice. That is why we went with a Ti frame, for that ride livelieness and to save a little weight. The bike is built around 29x2.6” wheels. I love that wheel size. It has a lot of the advantages of a plus bike without the crazy rolling weight and excessive rolling resistance. If there is a happy medium, this is it.

The build on this bike is just what I would run on a bike like this too - great wheels from Industry Nine, the trail 270 is a nice width for this tire. I’ve found the stiffness and durability of these wheels to be really awesome and their pricepoint is sort of unbelieveable for the quality and the fact that they are made in the USA. This is my go-to for an alloy MTB wheelset.
We went with other good MUSA parts from White Industries on the cranks and headset, a Paul stem of course, Fox suspension and the Eagle GX Group from SRAM. Killer build.

Anyhow, it has been fun seeing this thing shredding around this summer! I think my next MTB will look a lot like this.

Learn more about Sklar Custom Mountain Bikes here

Lori's Titanium All Road

When Lori first got in touch about a new bike, she told me that she was looking for her "forever bike". A transition from serious Cyclocross racing into more riding for fun with the occasional gravel event was on the horizon and she wanted a bike that not only would let her move into those longer more variable rides, but also something she could keep forever. A trusty bike, for any occasion. Titanium was the obvious choice for this build for those reasons. Harder to dent, no worries about rust, more comfort for spending all day on the bike and not to mention the fact that a well-built metal frame will surely outlast all of us. 

To compliment Lori's new frame, we went all-out on some really nice parts. Wheels, cockpit and controls from ENVE, Bearings from Chris King - It's hard to miss that matte punch - and shifting provided by SRAM Force, my go-to for the 1x all-road or gravel bike set ups. This frame and fork use flat mount brakes, and for as much as I dragged my heels going in... it's here to stay and certainly provides a clean look to the bike.

Lori's Bike is headed to the Northeast and I can't wait for her to get out and spend some time on it. These are the type of bikes that become the one you always reach for, and I hope that is the case for her.

Learn more about Sklar Titanium All-Road bikes here

Kipp's Titanium 29er for 2.6" Tires

First it was 2.2's then 2.4's then 3.0's then 2.8's but now the future is here and it is 2.6" wide!

I've been having this conversation with customers a lot. The plus tire craze took the hardtail world by storm and those massive 3" treads are really fun. We found out that low PSI is amazing and traction is good. But also we found out that heavy tires do make a difference and that much rubber leads to vulnerable sidewalls. Those reasons are why I for one am really psyched to see more 2.6" tires out in the world. This size offers just enough of that high volume to run a very pleasant tire pressure but still maintain a reasonable weight and durability of a tire. Expect to see 2.6" tires on all of my mountain bikes for the foreseeable future and if you are ordering a MTB from me, expect me to talk you into a set as well.

Anyhow, this post is more about Kipp's new ride. A sweet Titanium hardtail designed around 29x2.6" tires, a 140mm travel fork and 12 speed drivetrain. Kipp is tall and so this frame is pretty large. He plans on riding everything from rough singletrack to smoother jeep roads and the occasional gravel path. We went with a more "all day XC" fit for comfort and handling, and hung some parts on the frame that should last Kipp a really, really long time.

Anyhow, if I were to have just one bike, it would look a lot like this, albeit a little smaller. Can't wait for Kipp to get it out on the dirt!

Learn more about Sklar Custom Titanium Mountain Bikes here

Sklar All-road | A steel all arounder for gravel and more

Gravel grinders and All-road bikes are hot these days! These buzzword-laden names describe a type of bike that is, at the end of the day, a really versatile and fun bike. As I have described before, some of these bikes lean towards a "mountain bike with drop bars" while others are more of the "road bike with big tire clearance" category. This bike is closer to the latter. Road bike-ish geometry with clearance for a 700x45c or 27.5x2" tire. When I say road bike-ish I mean that the fit is similar to what you may see on a road bike, though the head tube is slightly taller and the stem just a touch shorter with an ever so slightly longer top tube. These very slight changes keep handling snappy and fun, but a lot nicer on the descents. A few mm of added bottom bracket height also helps with pedal strike off road while keeping the handling fun on roads paved or not. This bike uses super lightweight steel for a light and responsive ride. 

All that stuff is cool. But what does it actually mean?

What it means is that this bike is really fun for leaving your front door and seeing where the day takes you. It's good for that early season lunch ride where you plan on riding road, but you notice that a new trail has dried out. It's perfect for keeping up with your friends on road bikes when you want to, or hanging with friends on light trails too. It is also going to be fun (probably type 2) when I ride it 100 miles at the Lost and Found gravel ride in a few weeks.

If I could only have one bike, this would be it, and I can't wait to put more miles on it because this one is mine!

Lear more about Sklar All road and Monstercross bikes here

 

 

Billy's Ultra-Commuter, tourer, do-it-all bike

Billy lives in Portland where it's always nice to ride a bike. Whether it is a sunny summer day, or one of the other 360 days of the year. I kid! But really, Portland is a great city to bike commute and to recreate in, so we created this really special ride.

Though I may consider this a gravel bike, it has some serious influence from the randoneuring world. A higher handlebar height adds comfort for quick trips to the coffee shop or artisinal pencil sharpening store. This will also help with some of the off-pavé riding that Billy plans on doing when he loads this thing up for a weekend bikepacking trip or a spontaneous adventure ride.

The frame features a double top-tube. Homage to Bennedict's UltraNutmegger.

The custom fork features some nice NOS TrueTemper blades and clean mounts for the custom front rack that integrates seamlessly with a Wald basket. Basket packing is very hot in Portland these days.

Anyhow, this bike was great fun to build and I am happy to see it being ridden around!
 

Learn more about Sklar Gravel, commuter and all bikes drop bar here