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.

Bill's Custom Titanium All-Road with Couplers for Travel

Bill is a tall guy, and I like that with the suspension-corrected ENVE MTB fork, the frame looks proportional. But the size of this bike is one of its’ least notable aspects. Bill was looking for a new everyday bike, something that he could take out a few times a week on tarmac and get lost onto some trails and rougher roads on the weekends. Though pictured with the ENVE M525 wheels and 2.0” Maxxis tires, Bill will run the bike half the time with the ENVE G30’s and a 40c slick. Two setups to really tackle it all.

On top of the custom geometry and large tire accommodation, this bike splits in two for travel. An S&S Coupler splits the down tube. Undo the two seat tube binders, pull out the seat post and the frame is ready to fold up and put into a standard sized box to take advantage of that free checked bag when Bill is flying around the globe for work.

This build is all out. Chris King bearings all around with cranks from White Industries as well as Enve’s new gravel bar, post and fork and stem. Sram Force makes the gears shift. This bike should be great for Bill at home or on the road!

Learn more about Sklar Titanium All road and monstercross bikes here

Mal's Multi-surface drop bar bike

My friend Mal hit me up this winter looking for a frame that she could do a lot of different kinds of riding on. Something that she could race cross on in the Fall but also put in big gravel miles the rest of the year, working her way up to the Dirty Kanza 200 next year. Cool!

Luckily this fits in with a lot of the style bikes I not only build, but ride myself. Albeit I don’t think I will be seeing 200 miles of gravel in a day any time soon. Anyhow, we put together this nice build with some of my favorite components. Some nice light tubing from Columbus is going to keep this ride buttery smooth but real responsive for when it hits the cross course or some of those Seattle ups and downs. The geometry is pretty middle of the road between all-day comfort and aggressive race. We set up the handlebars so that they can get lowered for cross season with room to go up for those really big days if Mal finds herself needing that. Kitted up with 35c tires now, there is good clearance for a 45 or a lot of mud. A nice sweet spot for gravel bike tires.

The build uses a full Shimano Di2 Kit which is super clean and crisp. Mal is working with Shimano on a “multi-surface” bike project over the next couple of years.

All in all this is a sweet bike that can do a lot of different things! I know the one I ride like it has become my go-to this summer and I hope this does the same for Mal!

Read more about Sklar Custom All-road and gravel 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