The Chris King Openhouse Single Speed Mountain Bike

“Show bikes” are always tough. As a builder, you often get invited to show off some company’s new products on a carefully built frame. It is an opportunity to be seen with the latest and greatest, but also an opportunity to show off as a builder, what you have to offer. You’ve likely seen myself and other builders putting out the gorgeous builds at shows and on the internet, decked out in the most expensive parts that money can buy. Those parts no doubt ride wonderfully, but as someone with a small brand and a voice in the industry I really want to make cycling a more inviting place. That is a hard thing to do when all I ever show are $15,000 bikes like these show bikes I am talking about. For that reason I decided to bring a nice simple bike to the King openhouse.

This 29er “klunk” inspired singlespeed is a nice versatile bike that is going to last its’ new owner a lifetime. This bike is designed to be simple and easy. Low maintenance with no gears, no suspension and mechanical disc brakes form Paul Components. You can hop on with out a worry and be on your way. That said it is ready to see some more serious duty with the option for gears and different tires sizes. From exploring townie trails to towing kids in a chariot, to weeklong bikepacking trips this is a great one bike to have and cherish.

Learn more about Sklar Custom Mountain Bikes here

David's 27.5 plus Steel Mountain Bike

With a big birthday on the horizon, David got in touch about a new custom mountain bike that he could take riding near his home in the Santa Monica mountains of California. David has been riding bikes for a while and knew what he wanted. Something that maintained a lot of the cross country efficiency of his current mountain bike, but something that would handle those chunky California downhills with a little more ease.

We went with 27.5 x 2.8 rubber to keep things nimble and cush. The rigid fork is suspension corrected so that David can easily swap it out for a 120-130mm fork when he decides he wants that. Sliding dropouts from Paragon Machine works also makes swapping between single speed and gears a breeze.

As David put it, he wanted a mountain bike to ride for the next 25 years and this is a great example of a versatile bike that can grow and change with you through different gearing, wheel sizes, suspension setups. A bike for the ages and something I am happy to put into the world.

The build was topped off with a killer fade from Spectrum Paint and Powderworks, Sram Eagle 12 speed, White industries cranks, Paul Boxcar stem, and that full bearing kit from Chris King in their new matte mango color option.

Learn more about Sklar custom steel mountain bikes here.

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

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

Mark's 29+ Single Speed

It is exciting to get to know folks through building bikes, and Mark is one who I have gotten to know pretty well. This is the third Sklar headed to his household down in Durango, CO and I could not be more excited. Mark has been romping around on my old 29+ singlespeed for the past few years but he was ready to trade it in for something fresh.

This is what we came up with. A little more "modern" XC geometry. Something Mark can shred around Durango every day. It is set up dedicated Singlespeed with Paragon Machineworks sliding dropouts, a PAUL SS hub and White industries freewheel - old school!

If Mark ever decided to put on some gears though, the frame has routing for a rear derailleur and it is as simple as swaping out the drive side slider. So easy!

I am excited for Mark to get out on this bike, I know that he rides a lot and I know that he rides well. I am hoping to make it down to Durango at some point and see it there in its natural habitat.

Read more about Sklar custom Mountain bikes here