Adam’s Prototype Sklar Rover Single Pivot Steel Full Suspension

Bikes. People love seeing bikes. Especially ones made by this feller, Adam Sklar. I’m going with my gut here, which is telling me to share this bike, before the story of how we got to where this unique shred sled was photographed. I’m assuming you’ve probably figured out that we spent last week in the Moab, Utah area, which is where we linked up with some people from Bozeman, Minneapolis, Tuscon, Philly and Los Angeles.

We initially rolled through Fruita, then out to Klondike Bluff, a singletrack area between Moab and Green River, to ride trails, check out dinosaur tracks, rock hound, and enjoy all that Utah has to offer. It was here, that I shot one of the wildest Sklars to date – sorry Benedict!

Let’s backpedal a bit first. This zone – the high desert – has been the stage for various experiments over the years, primarily through the US Government and entities like NASA. You see, when NASA was developing their rovers, robotics and other technologies, they chose certain high desert test sites. Many of which are now open to the public today and are truly unique pockets of interestingness in what can be otherwise deemed as vast, open desert. All this makes sense and while I doubt that’s what motivated Adam to bring this bike to Utah, it does, however, make for some post-happenstance rationalization and storytelling. Hey, I love the desert and all the weird idiosyncratic tales associated with it!

As you’ve probably concluded already, from looking at these photos, this is a first for Adam; at least in outwardly sharing the final product, a single pivot full suspension. At first, I thought the bike might have been titanium, but then I saw the brazing and realized, it’d be pretty difficult to take on a ti version first, since Adam primarily works in steel. This frame’s suspension design is straightforward and simple; Adam commented during the shoot that other suspension design’s patents are opening this year, making it possible for small builders to use other pivot designs, without having to pay costly licensing fees. Perhaps those are too complex for these kinds of bikes, or perhaps they’re the kind of challenge that people like Adam would like to pursue. Eventually…

We’ll call this bike a prototype because, truthfully, Adam isn’t sure how well it’ll hold up to rowdy riding. If it does, however, it could pop into Sklar’s offerings and if that’s the case, sign me up!

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  • Bluejaystr

    Beautiful! I know metallurgy is a science of its own but why is the structural integrity of this thing questioned by not being titanium or aluminum?

    • I don’t think it’s being questioned. I’m just noting that Adam primarily uses steel for bikes and only recently began using titanium…

  • Michael McAleer

    Already finding ways to reappropriate the White Industries headset…

  • Willy Don Gouda

    Thats crazy to think that there are patents on rear suspension design. Also hard to imagine this build being straightforward and simple. I get a headache even imagining where to begin! great execution

  • benreed

    *Swipes Right*

    • Chris Valente

      damn you took my IG related topical joke bro.

  • Nicholas Petersen

    This is amazing. I love the headset being used as a pivot bearing.

  • This bike is SO FUN!
    Maybe I’ll offer suspension frames some day… Lots of testing ahead though!
    For the record, this is actually my second single pivot and third sus bike. Here’s a picture I definitely shouldn’t be sharing. Sklar number 8? Somewhere in the first ten… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/aaec64756395729fcf92e277226eb7224607c9b7532ede2175147ec2eeafed7c.jpg .

    • Hell yeah! Chunky monkey!

    • Guillaume Désy

      a little steep but overall ok

    • earle.b

      That one spurred me to finally get going on building mine that was pretty much the same. Eventually the rear end broke on mine back just past the cantilevered bit. But it survived a few years of abuse including a Whistler EWS and lots of technical Shore riding. Now if I could just find more hours in a day to build it’s replacement.

    • wonderfullll!

  • Andrewthemaker

    Beautiful frame as always from Sklar. I would love a mid-long travel 29er FS with that much interior frame space for bikepacking.

  • Jimmy

    In your experience, how do those White Ind. rings work with the Eagle chains/cassettes?

  • AaronBenjamin

    No mention of the MRP Ribbon? They’re assembled and individually dyno-tested in the USA. Love mine.

    • Zero mentions of any component. The way I approach shoots like this is either showcasing the bike with riding shots (bigger picture) or a component break down (bike check.)

  • boomforeal

    i know the horst link patent expired a few years ago (there was lots of chatter and speculation leading up to that event); which suspension designs’ patents are ending this year?

    • Great! I run them on three bikes.

    • Adam rambled off a few, but I didn’t have my phone to take notes. Perhaps @disqus_q7ZAYzIeke:disqus can chime in?

    • earle.b

      Is VPP still a valid patent? Maybe something from DW? Not sure.

      With the move to 1x drivetrain a single main pivot can be well optimized. The biggest thing you miss out on is being able to get a low anti-rise. Some might argue the pedal kickback is a touch high but it’s not bad.

      DW split pivot / Trek ABP would be the one design that would have me start playing with adding in the extra pivots. Or you could go full floater if you really hated brake squat.

      • I thought it was VPP but didn’t wanna say for sure. I think D-Link is still a ways out.

      • boomforeal

        i feel like vpp and the rest of the mini link varietals require more engineering chops than a small shop/frame builder would be able to bring to bear — but i’d love to see someone demystify that design

        split pivot/abp makes more sense (as a small shop frame design) because it’s basically a linkage driven single pivot, with the advantage that decouples brake force from suspension function, and should be easier to tune — but how accessible is the concurrent axle/pivot hardware?

  • I haven’t really wanted a dual sus for a while, but this has it, real frame space, two bottles and it’s made by someone rad.

  • Peperbek

    This looks to me like my mid nineties Litespeed full suspension bike. Beautifull to look at, intricate welding but the question is, is ti with a design like this the right material to make a full susser.

  • ez

    It would be great to have more small builders dip their toes into full-squish trail bikes. There are plenty of slightly larger (e.g. not one man) shops who work in Aluminum (Guerrilla Gravity, Lenz, Durango Bike Company, REEB) or Ti (Kent Eriksen, Moots… well did work), but not so many working with steel. IIRC the problem was always machining the pivots: if you’re working in steel they tend to be big and, thus, heavy. Or perhaps they’d be too flexy, like those already mentioned terrible Ti Litspeeds. But then again, there was that moment in time when all of those East Coast folks were building 40 lb steel DH bikes… http://forums.mtbr.com/attachments/downhill-freeride/337103d1203717518-new-brooklyn-machine-works-dh-bike-sr8-1.jpg

    Either way, it’d be cool to have more options, especially if you could get something curvy, bespoke and interesting. None of those other companies are really doing “full custom” the way one man shops do. (Semi-custom or just “Made in the US” is what you get… nothing wrong with that, but diversity and all)

  • Guillaume Désy

    single pivtos rules!!!! Complicated designe patented or not offer little more benefices

  • Peter Chesworth

    Again, lovely work from this young Sklar fellow. Very courageous, too, as a lone builder to fiddle in the suspension space with all them standards, pivots, springs, gas, oil, seals, bearings’n stuff.

  • Pascal K

    hot damn!

  • DODGERDISCIPLE

    Way to go, Adam! Nothing wrong with stepping outside the box! Refreshing to see a custom builder build something other than a hardtail. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that! ;-) )

  • Jon Severson

    How much travel front and rear?

  • How well does the bottle cage work on the bottom of the down tube? Will it hold bottles when getting rowdy?

    • Paul Deutsch

      Imma guess the King cage will hold it right tight.

    • Didn’t loose my second bottle on Ahab, so I’m gonna say it works pretty great!

  • Massimo Amodeo

    I’d vote the rider as best tomac face ever.