Nick Was High in LA on His Purple Haze 160mm Sklar Hardtail

Nick Was High in LA on His Purple Haze 160mm Sklar Hardtail
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by Nicholas Haig-Arack

I first met Adam Sklar a few years ago while riding bikes with a bunch of frame builder friends in Santa Cruz. I was impressed by the character of Sklar’s bikes – those flattened swoops are pretty sweet, can’t deny it – but it was Adam’s personality and lighthearted approach to riding that made me really appreciate his brand. Our paths crossed again in Moab for the most fun week ever and I was convinced that I wanted a bike from Adam. Fast-forward a few months and imagine my stoke when he asked me to do drawings for Sklar Bikes! Since then we’ve been cultivating a cross-country creative partnership, one that emphasizes creativity, exploration, and good times.

I asked Adam to build me a mountain bike and it immediately became a much bigger project than I had envisioned. Since NAHBS was right around the corner, we decided to make this a fancy show bike. I left the frame design up to Adam – I think my only direction was “make it shreddy.” It is. With 29 x 2.5 tires, a slack headtube angle and plenty of reach, this thing feels like a monster truck.

I drew up a few different paint schemes and worked closely with Spectrum Paint and Powder to figure out what would work best, then I left it up to them to make it a reality. And it’s not a fancy showbike without some component bling, so we got Chris King, ENVE, Fox, SRAM,White Industries, Maxxis, and WTB in on the deal. Basically the best of the best for a totally modern 160mm hardtail bruiser.

The purple bike took its maiden voyage on a road trip to Santa Cruz and Los Angeles last week. Kyle Kelley and Cache took me on a rock-rolling tour of Chilao and a hair-raising loop at Chantry Flat, where we saw the pack mules and met a man who hikes with his cat. All in all, it was a great trip and the perfect way to get to know my bitchin’ new Sklar bike.

If you see me out there on this thing, don’t hesitate to say hello!

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Follow Nick on Instagram, follow Sklar on Instagram and follow Kyle on Instagram.

  • Andrew Mc

    So. Good.

  • nothingfuture

    Long travel hardtails will always have a place in my heart.

  • Erik Hillard

    Beautiful!

    • Nicholas Haig-Arack

      Thanks Erik – can’t wait to check out your Retrotec once it’s built! That thing looks gorgeous.

  • Ted Barbeau

    Small world! I got to ride with Nick a few weeks ago. His chill demeanor (and unassuming glasses!) belie the fact that he absolutely rips.

    • Nicholas Haig-Arack

      Thanks Ted! Let’s ride again soon.

  • Armand

    Perfect.

  • Alexander Ryll

    Super rad!

  • Kyle Marmesh

    Holy shit, purple with enve ;)

  • Best two days!

  • Robert

    Nice lines.

  • Richard

    Holy gold freewheel and anodized master link, Batman!

    • Yep! That’s SRAM’s XX1 Eagle kit.

      • Nicholas Haig-Arack

        CA CAWWW!

  • SlowPokePete

    Loved that bike (and the paint) when I saw it in Hartford!

  • Peter Chesworth

    Young Mr Sklar has an eye for the line and balance of a frame. Hard to define.

    • Nicholas Haig-Arack

      His bikes are purely Classic, with just enough swoops to make my Romantic heart go boom. Your comment reminded me of a passage from a book I haven’t read in a while:

      “A classical understanding sees the world primarily as underlying form itself. A romantic understandig sees it primarily in term of immediate appearance. If you were to show an engine or a mechanical drawing or electronic schematic to a romantic it is unlikely he would see much of interest in it. Is has no appeal because the reality he sees is its surface. Dull, complex lists of names, lines and numbers. Nothing interesting. But if you were to show the same blueprint of schematic or give the same description to a classical person he might look at it and then become fascinated by it because he sees that within the lines and shapes and symbols is a tremendous richness of underlying form.

      The romantic mode is primarily inspirational, imaginative, creative, intuïtive. Feelings rather than facts predominate. “Art” when it is opposed to “Science” is often romantic. It does not proceed by reason or by laws. It proceeds by feeling, intuition and esthetic conscience. […]

      The classic mode, by contrast, proceeds by reason and by laws – which are themselves underlying forms of thought and behaviour. […]

      Although surface ugliness is often found in the classic mode of understanding it is not inherent in it. There is a classic esthetic which romantics often miss because of its subtlety. The classic style is straightforward, unadorned, unemotional, economical and carefully proportioned. Its purpose is not to inspire emotionally, but to bring order out of chaos and make the unknown known. It is not an esthetically free and natural style. It is esthetically restrained. Everything is under control. Its value is measured in terms of the skill with which this control is maintained.

      To a romantic this classic mode often appears dull, awkward and ugly, like mechanical maintenance itself. Everything is in terms of pieces and parts and components and relationships. Nothing is figured out until it’s run through the computer a dozen times. Everything’s got to be measured and proved. Oppressive. Heavy. Endlessly grey. the death force.

      Within the classic mode, however, the romantic has some appearances of his own. Frivolous, irrational, erratic, untrustworthy, interested primarily in pleasureseeking. Shallow. Of no substance. Often a parasite who cannot of will not carry his own weight. A real drag on society. By now these battle lines should sound a little familiar.

      This is the source of the trouble. Persons tend to think and feel exclusively in one mode or the other and in doing so tend to misunderstand and underestimate what the other mode is all about. But no one is willing to give up the truth as he sees it, and as far as I know, no one now living has any real reconciliation of these truths or modes. There is no paint at which these visions of reality are unified.

      And so in recent times we have seen a huge split develop between a classic culture and a romantic counterculture – two world growingly alienated and hateful toward each other with everyone wondering if it will always be this way, a house divided against itself. No one wants it really – despite what his antagonists in the other dimension might think.”

      – Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

  • arlcyclist

    The paint is so good and even better in person. When I first saw the bike in Hartford I wondered what the tie in was with Kitsbow, whose logo on the seat tube has since been covered by a GSC sticker.

    • It’s a long story that I’m sure people don’t want online.

  • Love this bike! Can’t wait to shreddddd with it in a few weeks!!

  • slickfast

    YAAAAASS this was one of my top 3 favorites at NAHBS. Just an impeccable machine, beautifully executed and with a SICK paint job to boot. It’s crazy how it’s so centered feeling even though it’s an outrageous bike. SUCH SWEETNESS