Joe's Titanium Monstercross

This bike was built for my Japanese distributor, SimWorks.

The Monstercross category has been a big one for Sklar in the past few years. Perhaps it is my penchant for riding bikes on dirt and my disdain for getting in a car that attracted me to this style of bike and ultimately to designing and building so many of them. There is a really fun balance to strike between the pavement and single track ends of the spectrum when designing a gravel bike and tuning finding the perfect spot on that spectrum for each rider is a treat to be able to do.

In the case of Joe’s Titanium monstercross here, Joe had spent a lot of time riding track bikes in the city and this bike would help him to venture more off road, so we went with something a little more on the snappy and responsive side, which makes a really consistently handling bike and something that is equally fun on and off the dirt.

Titanium is a great material for this type of build. While the reduced weight is a nice perk, the subtle damping of titanium makes for a supremely comfortable ride and a very nicely tracking bike.

We went with 27.5 x 2.1” tires for this build, which look very proportional on this build. Simworks topped of the build with goodies from Enve, Paul Components, a Sklar Titanium seatpost and Chris King bearings.

All in all this bike is one that Joe can hop on and see where the day takes him, and that is what it is really all about.

Learn more about Sklar Monstercross and all road bikes here.

Ben's Steel Hybrid Flat Bar Gravel Bike

I have the privilege of building one-off, purpose build, custom bikes every day. As the industry has struggled to define the “gravel category” I have just been over here building bikes that make sense for their riders. In an attempt to show my discontent with the need to slap a label on every last thing, I have called these flat bar gravel bikes Hybrids, because that is silly and labels don’t matter.

Anyhow, on to Ben’s bike…

Ben is one of the pals who got me in to riding bicycles back in the day. Growing up in Boulder, he got to spend a lot of time training and racing to be a super fast cross country racer. Needless to say, Ben can ride a bike really, really well. Anyhow, when Ben’s gravel bike was stolen last fall he knew he wanted to replace it with something better suited for his riding style. We decided on this all arounder gravel bike with a flat bar (which he can swap out for drops and a shorter stem if he ever likes) and simple 1x11 gearing.

While its’ geometry and handlebar may be reminiscent of a mountain bike, the frame is constructed from beautifully butted tubing for a light and snappy ride that only steel can have.

The build is classic workhorse parts with an emphasis on American made goods from White Industries. He also went with a Sklar titanium seatpost and some polished bits from Paul Component.

I am happy to have been on this sweet ride and excited to have it take him anywhere he cares to go!

Prototype Steel Mountain Bike

Mountain bike geometry is crazy. I am not going to say that road bikes have stayed exactly the same forever, but for the most part they have. For me it is funny to think how few things have changed in bicycles over the last hundred years yet we find ourselves with new trends that seem to break through some barrier of design. This bike is on the bleeding edge of the latest “forward geometry” trend that has been “pioneered” by some kooky bike designers over in the UK. To me this geometry makes sense, and while I haven’t gone all out in the past I have put these principles into use on my frames since the get go.

Forward geometry places the rider, you guessed it, further forward. I think of bike geometry as a several contact points. You have your wheels, the only two points that contact the ground, then you have where your hands go, your feet and finally your butt. Where you place these points in space determines how the bike handles, then you get to determine how to connect those dots. With this design I started with the front center distance that I thought would “perfectly” distribute my weight between the wheels, a normally unheard of 830mm. Then to put my handlebars in the correct position I moved the headtube back to 66.5 degrees with one hundred and twenty something millimeters of trail. Between the front center and trail we are going to have a really stable handling bike, so we shorten the stem as short as we can go to decrease the steering axis. This eliminates wheel flop and allows the bike to not handle like a totally dead fish. To keep the reach in check the seat tube gets brought up to 74 degrees, which is on the steep side, but conveniently, on the modern MTB you are either in your climbing position or your dropper is down. This works out nicely. A short chain stay keeps the overall wheelbase in check, A lower bottom bracket makes rear wheel steering through corners fun.

Yeah. That is how we got here. Make sense?

Anyhow, lots of ideas look good on paper, I am looking forward to testing these in the field. Later this year I will be releasing some stock geometry mountain bikes (think built to order) and this is the prototype for that, I really think this could be the one.

Thanks for reading, let me know if you have any thoughts or questions on this stuff in the comments.

-Adam

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.