We’re in Portland for MADE Bike and are kicking off our coverage with a special project between Sklar Bikes, Roly Poly Coffee, and Brooks England: The Bean Bike! Keep scrolling for a detailed look at this clever mixed-wheel cargo bike designed for transporting coffee and other goods around town!
Thanks to 1-Up USA for sponsoring our continued 2023 MADE Bike Show coverage!
Our friends at Sklar Bikes have been nestled in the culturally rich historic “downtown northeast neighborhood” of Bozeman, MT since 2014. In that time, the neighborhood has turned from a forlorn industrial superfund site into Bozeman’s coolest bustling neighborhood with an amazing bakery, art galleries, a natural wine shop and Montana’s only coffee shop and bean roastery – Roly Poly Coffee Co. Roly Poly, which John recently documented, has only been around for a couple of years but in that time it has become a hub for locals and out-of-towners looking for great coffee and even better vibes.
A true third place where you both feel at home and get to run into all your friends too. In addition to serving tasty coffee drinks and other nice things Taylor, proprietor of RPC, roasts beans in-house which are then turned into cortados and drip at the cafe. Taylor and team also deliver their tasty beans to grocery stores around town and mail them off to coffee enthusiasts around the world.
When asked about his connection to Taylor, Adam Sklar remarked:
“[we] first met on a bike ride in Austin, Texas in 2015. I was very young then. LOL. When Taylor moved to Bozeman years later, we became fast friends and have had the pleasure to work on a bunch of different
projects together since.”
Roly Poly packages its coffee beans in cans…
In addition to a stint together at Bozeman’s premier outdoor gear company Dangle Supply, Adam helped Taylor to build out furniture in the Roly Poly cafe as well as the espresso bar that went into Taylor’s 1986 Bronco where Roly Poly first started. Their friendship, which coalesced through the years over bikes, beans, wood glue, and getting high outside has now come full circle and is exemplified in the Bean Bike.
The Brooks B190 is a heritage design reissue, available now at Brooks England
“When Brooks approached us about making a bike for the MADE show in Portland this fall we thought a cargo bike for bean delivery would be both fun and also cool,” said Adam and Taylor in eerie unison. “Adam had been wanting to try out a cycle-truck style cargo bike with the cargo platform built into the frame and I was looking for an excuse to not take one of my seventeen cars to deliver beans, so a cargo bike seemed really nice,” said Taylor.
While the bike looks a little funky with a 29” rear wheel and a 24” front it is secretly just a fun around-town geometry with 67mm of trail and a comfy MTB-ish fit. The smaller front wheel keeps the center of gravity low and much less floppy than a basket or fork-mounted load.
Bean Bike Design
While Adam has designed and built plenty of touring bikes meant for carrying weight, a cargo bike is a little different. With the Bean Bike, he wanted it to ride like a fun rigid MTB you might have as a townie. The bike will primarily be used for cruising roads and alleys but Bozeman does have a number of trails all throughout town, which are sometimes the best and most fun ways to get around.
“Keeping the load stationary is preferable because while you can never entirely isolate handling from changing when you carry big things, it does help some,” Adam told us. To that end, he kept the load directly above the axle and designed around a specific trail number making for a nice balance between carrying capacity and handling while both loaded and empty.
“We opted to set the bike up to Taylor’s specs but went with a custom tall headset spacer and a nice QR seatpost from PAUL to allow for other coffee shop employee’s inseam heights,” said Adam. “Taylor insisted on going fixed gear but we compromised with a single speed. LOL.”
- Frame: Sklar Bean Bike Cargo
- Fork: Custom Sklar 24″ Cargo
- Bar/Stem: Sklar Custom Integrated
- Headset: White Industries
- Brake Levers: Paul Short Pull
- Brake Calipers: Paul Klamper
- Grips: Brooks Plump
- Shifter: N/A
- Saddle: Brooks B192
- Cranks: White Industries
- Chainring: White Industries
- BB: White Industries
- Derailleur: N/A
- Cassette: White Industries Freewheel
- Chainring: White Industries
- Hubs: Paul Component
- Rims: Spank
- Tires: Maxxis
Thanks to 1-Up USA for supporting our continued coverage of the 2023 MADE Bike Show. Check out 1-UP’s made in the USA bike racks.