Adam and His Sklunker

There are some bikes that deserve more than to be shot at NAHBS. THat’s what I told myself anyway with this bike. When Adam brought his “Sklunker” to Connecticut this year for the show, he asked if I wanted to shoot it. My answer was “hell no! we’ll shoot it in Bozeman instead.” His face lit up since we had only briefly talked about hanging out in Montana briefly and already I was committed. Fast forward a few months and here we are, amidst the green grass and high mountains of this quaint little mountain town.

Now, going into this, I should note a conversation Cam from Falconer and I had, specifically about Wade from Vulture Cycles’ bike I shot. Wade was stoked to see the photos, but he texted with Cam expressing, “John’s photos are rad, but he called it a klunker and it’s a cruiser!” Inside the klunker elite, there is a known misnomer they are particularly sensitive to. You see, single speed, coaster brake, hand-brakeless bikes like Adam’s are called “cruisers” and geared bikes, with brakes are called “klunkers.” The problem is, most people call coaster brake, single speed bikes “klunkers.” At some point, if there is an accepted misnomer, does it become acceptable? Well, maybe amidst that population, but the purists will always hold true. For the purposes of this article, I’m calling this bike the “Sklunker” because that’s what Adam calls it. Perhaps one day I’ll rope Cam or Wade into writing an article about the “klunker” versus “cruiser” debate, but for now, I’ll leave it at that.

Back to this bike. Adam had a good amount of scrap tubing laying around when NAHBS approached. Earlier in the year, he bought a tube bender to make unicrown forks, which he tested out before deciding to build the matching frame. He didn’t build this bike to bring to NAHBS, it just happened in a serendipitous way. So, he had the fork, and frame, but what about the parts? His buddy Corbin from Black Sheep makes these heat sink cooler hub shell clamp on jammers that prolong the lifespan of coaster brakes and reduces the wear and tear on the shell. They’re called Flat Out. They’re $100 and are pretty neat!

So Adam pulled together some parts, made a half-assed attempt at drillium cranks, pulled the steel bars from his fatbike and began to build up the Sklunker. He built up some wheels, including a NOS Nukeproof hub he had, put the beefiest tires he could fit in the frame and fork, and boom, he had a pretty slick bike. Worthy of NAHBS even, but not planned specifically for the event.

For finishing, he consulted his painter, a local hot rod artist, and Steve from Alter Cycles on a patina wash spray – which is essentially an acid-base used to cause steel to oxidize at a rapid rate – which he applied in his shop sink, and then Adam coated the frame, fork, and bars with wax.

The result is one of the slickest bikes I’ve seen come from the workshop of Sklar Bikes and I’m sure you all will enjoy this one!

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  • Nicholas Petersen

    Love it.

  • Daniel Powell

    THOSE BARS!

  • Love these photos!

    I did bring this bike to NAHBS to ride around town and do the pre-show nutmeg tour with Bennedict, but this bike is actually a result of me testing my new (last summer) Unicrown fork blade bender. I built the fork and it needed a frame to go along with it, so the Sklunk was born! I love riding this bike around on the town trails or wherever. When your job is to nerd out on bikes all day there is something comforting about being able to have this much fun on a bike made out of scrap tubing with no hand brakes and (hardly any) fancy parts!

    • Chris Valente

      “Well shoot i got this new fancy fork, guess I need a frame to go with ‘er!” #framebuilderproblems #notreallyaproblem

  • Peter Hedman

    + 1 for the SRAM brake lever clamp to tie down the coaster brake torque arm…

    • I loved that detail. Screams “parts bin build.”

  • AJ Tendick

    What are the two mounts on the handlebars for?

    • They were for a basket when the bars were on his fatbike, but it didn’t work out so well in the end.

    • Basket mount!
      This bike tends to turn square baskets into… not square baskets though.

      • Brian Richard Walbergh

        Yeah… I have “custom formed” a lot of baskets too.

        • I always wondered how a four-sided rectangle can turn into a 12-sided dodecagon! haha! All of mine are so bent.

      • AJ Tendick

        haha, that’s awesome.

  • Patrick Jonathan Neitzey

    dig the dropper lever under the saddle, modern “hite-rite”-ish

    • Speed Up dropper! it’s only $60 from QBP and nothing inside other than a spring. Super simple.

  • chrismoustache

    Reminds me of a cruiser I built solely around a 2 Speed Bendix Kickback salvaged from an old Sears Spaceliner. It was multi speed, but no levers or cables, so I think it still counted as a cruiser.

    • Nice, I had a SA 2 speed on here for a while. The two gears is awesome but that hub did not last long. Shimano CB110 for life.

  • vulturewade

    Sklunker it is! Such a rad bike, one of my favorites! You can just tell by looking at it that it’s a blast to shred. I’ve got a soft spot for bullmoose bars too built some for the Smith Rock bike.

  • Dave Pelletier

    This bike speaks to me on so many levels. Outstanding.

  • nothingfuture

    I love this bike- to be clear. And the finish. And the spec. And and and.

    I could just never ride it. Mostly because I’m an idiot with coaster brakes. Give me anything else to ride- fixed, single, disc, rim, drum, whatever- I’m totally set. All good. Happy. Put me on a coaster and every bit of skill I’ve ever developed just evaporates into nothing instantly.

  • Angel Herrera

    That bike is hideous in all the right ways.

  • Anthony Ip

    my favorite sklar bike – muriatic acid wash finish is dope.

  • Robert Gruber

    I love this.

    What wheels and hubs?

    • Shimano CB110 rear, 90’s Nukeproof front, Stans Flow’s

      • Nicholas Petersen

        That front hub is so damn cool. I need one.

  • Mike Kimbro

    That’s real nice, Sklark.

  • terriblemcnaughton

    So glad to see this bike thoroughly documented. The whole build is on point. Is there any way the internet can convince you to make a run of those most shreddy handlebars Adam?

    • I have been asked many, many times. I’m gonna hold out for a few more asks…

      • terriblemcnaughton

        That would rule (begins to feverishly create copious fake accounts to increase asks and wait patiently).

        • spencer harding

          My thoughts exactly

      • Jason Rides Bikes

        Consider this an ask, especially if you can maybe do a few different sweeps on them. I’d love a 15-20* (maybe more…) bend for my Full Sus, but the Pug/Jones will happily sit with the Loop bars

      • Brian Richard Walbergh

        One more ask…

      • Skateajawnn

        what pedals are you running?

  • Mike Major

    It’s like the backwoods, down-and-dirty version of Speedvagen Urban Racer…
    I like this much better.

    • I like that both exist and address similar uses, but with different results. That’s why I love documenting framebuilder’s brain childs, and running this site in general. In the end, they’re both just bikes. :-)

    • suburban racer!

  • Alek

    What’s the story with the mirrored King logo on the headset?

    • A lot of people invert their King headsets that way. The cups are symmetrical. One story I heard was you display a new King in upright, but if you buy it used or swap it from bike to bike, you invert it. This was years back / shop lore and so take it with a grain of salt. Other people do it because you can / it annoys purists, etc

      • earle.b

        I forget where I read it now, but somewhere Rick Hunter commented on how / why the upside down King headset thing started. Or was it Ferrentino…dammit now I really can’t remember. But pretty sure it started with that crew of OG’s back in the early singlespeed days.

        • All I know is NYC bike messengers were doing it in the early days of CKPC as well. I’m sure a lot of it started in the grassroots scenes around the same time.

      • Alek

        Ha, somehow never noticed this before. Thanks!

    • Jason Rides Bikes

      I’m running two upper King cups technically on my Jones Plus with the truss fork. Bottom one upside down, upper one right side up!!

    • might as well cause you can, right? I suppose that sums up this whole build.

  • Happy you waited to shoot this thing outside. That bike is still one of my favs I saw at NAHBS this year. Can’t believe that sticker hasn’t rubbed off yet! Haha

  • Rick

    Suuuuper dooper.

  • Great color!

  • Flavio San

    Campandgoslow, that’s genius, it took me a minute to read it the proper way.

    Oxidized Sklar is super nice, is it obtained by polishing the logo and then with acid over?

    • Yep, I masked off the logo when I patina’d it. Then left it outside for two years. I put a fresh coat of paste wax on whenever the rust starts to get out of hand.

      • Flavio San

        Thanks :-)

    • Theodor Rzad

      An old riding buddy used to quip “CRAMPandgoslow”…;)

  • Bas Rotgans

    I heart everything. The stance of the bike, the finish, the handlebars, that funky coaster brake, the SRAM clamp on the brake, all of it! Is it running different wheelsizes or does it just look like that in pic #42?

  • Theodor Rzad

    ho…ly…shit…SO RAD

  • Pascal K

    damn!

  • Wooookiecrisp

    Any info on the seat post? I like the remote-less dropper…

  • California Travis

    Love this bike!!!!

  • Skateajawnn

    does anyone know pedals are on there?