Adam Sklar has been building bikes for five years now. Among his first customers was Sam, a good friend from high school. Sam had Adam build him a single speed 29er, but Sklar #4 has since been through many iterations over the years. Recently, Sam was feeling like his original Sklar, while abundant with character and nostalgia, was ready to give way to a new Sklar. Adam’s style has certainly developed over his time building bikes, and Sam wanted to honor his friend’s success by commissioning another frame. (more…)
One of my personal favorite 29’rs just got a facelift and a new, lower, slacker brother. The Ripley is back and better than ever. With new cable routing, a threaded BB, bigger tire clearance, stiffer eccentric cores and many other improvements, the new Ripley is sure to deliver one hell of a fun time on the trails. For those wanting an even rowdier option, the new Ripley LS gets lower and slacker (from a 69.2° to a 67.5° head tube angle in the large) to excel at downhill blasting.
Head over to Ibis to check out more information on the Ripley, and to your local dealer to check one out!
Before we begin let me give you a little background about who I am and how I found myself writing this review. I grew up in Bishop, CA. I raced mountain bikes there as a kid. Then I stopped, the reason is a tired story, and one that you have most likely heard before, it has to do with hormones, cars, beers, and girls. When I moved to Santa Barbara, CA to attend college and I started working at a shop called Velo Pro. This is where I started riding downhill bikes. Then I stopped, did some rock climbing, school, babe chasing, etc. A decade ago I moved to Portland, OR and once again I found myself at a shop, working at the Fat Tire Farm and riding downhill bikes. This is where it gets interesting. First came seat droppers and with it a yearn to explore more trails. I started riding trail bikes, then picked up riding road bikes and cross bikes. For the past three years I worked for Chris King, and my job gave me the chance to ride a wide variety of bikes. Through mutual friends and shared adventures John and I became friends and I have been lucky to post a couple rides and adventurers all the while sharing with him some of my favorite MTB videos and articles from around the web. It turned out that John needed a bike reviewed, so here I am. Lets get started.
Todd from Black Cat Bicycles knows a thing or two about mountain bikes. Living in Santa Cruz provides a more than ideal testing ground for everything related to dirt. Over the years, he’s dialed in the geometry on his hardtails and recently, this process culminated in what he’s dubbed the Thunder Monkey.
A few months back, Todd emailed me asking if I wanted to review a production bike he was making. His description was right up my alley “slack and low 29r with a tight rear end.” Some time passed and this incredible frame showed up at Mellow Johnny’s to be built up with various SRAM and RockShox products.
Since then, I’ve been putting this bike through the hell that is Central Texas limestone. How does a bike designed to conquer Santa Cruz bide in Texas? Damn well. Check out more below.
Niner now offers their Ros 9+ as a frame and fork, allowing you to build yours as you see fit. There’s been a lot of buzz around this frame and after spending a lot of time around one in Los Angeles over the past few weeks, I gotta say that I’m impressed. It looks great and comes from a company like Niner that knows a thing or two about making highly shredable 29rs…
Check out specs for the Ros 9+ frameset at Niner Bikes.
As an introductory pre-order offer, Twin Six has some great pricing on their Standard 29 Ti hardtail frames. For $1700, you get a T6 Standard 3.25 titanium tubing, QR (135) or thru-axle (142) compatible, wishbone stays and other details. Check out more information at Twin Six!
Ritchey Master P-29er
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley
Have you ever seen a bike that makes you wanna say uhhhh! Uhhhh! Na na na na! Na na na na!!!
Well… that’s kind of what this Ritchey P-29er did for me. So I took a picture and put it up on Instagram to see if I could get a nice call and response going. Next thing I knew I had 1,000 people on Instagram screaming “uhhhh! Uhhhh! Na na na na!!!” so of course I decided it’d be best to take more photos of this amazing bike to share them here.
Graham, the colonel of this muthaf<3kin' tank is definitely pulling rank!
XTR everything. He's even rocking XTR Safety Wire on those disk brakes. Thomson this and Thomson that, Ritchey where many lack. But the wheels, I'm in love with the wheels! White Industries hubs tied to the Blunt SS (full polish) and some 2.40 gumwall Ardents! I don't think anything could make this build any better. From the nips to the grips, it's dialed. The only thing Graham says he'll be changing down the road will be a wider Ritchey Classic Handlebar - this one was cut down to look and feel more classic.
Time to get faded(Red,white, and blue foo), pass me the dojah and say uhhhh! Uhhhh! Na na na na! Na na na na!!!
Follow Kyle on Instagram
When South African, World Cup champion Burry Stander suffered a tragic death on a training ride in 2013, Specialized lost not only one of their riders, but one of their family members. To honor his death, they released an S-Works Epic 29r under their Specialized Projects line.
Based on their FACT World Cup geometry, this flashy frame is covered in a sparkly orange paint, adorned with African art and features a graphic inspired by the South African flag and Stander’s unique personality. The resulting product makes for an orange blur that glows in the late-afternoon sun (and is rather hard to photograph).
As far as tech is concerned, this S-Works Epic frame features a FOX/Specialized remote Mini-Brain with AUTOSAG, pushing 95mm of travel and a Rock Shox Sid Brain. Built with Sram XO1 and rolling on Roval Control SL 29 with Maxxis Ardent gumwalls set up tubeless, this thing is ready for blast off.
While I’m sure it’d take a while to truly grasp what this frame represents, Jonathan has taken quite a liking to it. All I can say is damn, look at those chain stays!
Phil runs the finishing department at Indy Fab, where recently, he was able to design, build and design the paint for his newest bike. This steel Deluxe MTB, built around a Paragon Machine Works chainstay yoke. This allows builders to have clearance for a 3″ 29er tire, along with ensuring chainrings and cranks will fit the stays, using a 68mm wide bottom bracket shell.
This Deluxe is rolling on Industry Nine hubs, Stans Hugo rims with the new Bontrager Chucacabra tires. Drivetrain is Sram X01 1×11 groupset with gripshifts and the bike is very stoppy thanks to the Avid BB7s mechanical disc brakes. Those 3″ tires fit just fine in the Bontrager carbon 29r fork, and Phil painted the Bontrager seatpost to match, along with the stem.
The color is PPG’s liquid crystal Candy Apple Red, with black on white decals. See more below!
The history of the Humu within the Kona lineup dates back to 1992, mountain bikes were a lot different back then, which might explain its early design. Double top tube, moto-inspired handlebars and the body language of a beach cruiser, moreso than a MTB.
These days, simpler can still be better and just as fun, which is why the modern Humu comes with Kona’s original P2 fork, but gets modern upgrades like sliding dropouts, disc brakes and 29 inch wheels. Now let’s see some footage of it shredding dirt!
Check it out at Kona.