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Width Without the Waves: A Few Rides in on the 560mm Wide Crust x Nitto Shaka Bar

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Width Without the Waves: A Few Rides in on the 560mm Wide Crust x Nitto Shaka Bar

Crust Bikes gives the people what they want and that ranges from frames, to complete bikes, accessories, parts, and yeah, handlebars. Their small-time operation allows them to pivot easily to follow trends and in a lot of ways, set the trends themselves. With road bikes permuting into even more capable off-road machines, a lot of the ideologies of mountain bike design and technology have found its way onto drop-bar bicycles. Sure, the obvious moves are those shorter-travel suspension forks but something that not many people have touched on is bar width.

That’s where Crust Bikes and Ultra Romance have really influenced and inspired the question: what is the appropriate width for a drop-bar bicycle? We already looked at my Sklar with the Towel Rack Bars but after much demand – and my own curiosity – I decided to try out the Made in Japan by Nitto Shaka Bar.

The 2019 Chris King Open House: Mercredi, Mosaic, Northern, Pursuit, Sage, Sklar, Speedvagen, Stinner, Sycip, Victoire

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The 2019 Chris King Open House: Mercredi, Mosaic, Northern, Pursuit, Sage, Sklar, Speedvagen, Stinner, Sycip, Victoire

This year’s Chris King Open House chose 18 builders from all over the world to display their new colors for 2020: Bourbon and Violet. Thanks to ENVE, Santa Cruz Reserve, SRAM, Brooks, and Spurcycle. these bikes were built out appropriately for such a showcase. Below is a gallery of half the bunch, in alphabetical order for your enjoyment, with each builder’s description of the bikes. Make sure you comment on your favorite because there is some gold in these galleries!

The Beautiful Bicycles of the ENVE Open House Part 02: Sklar, Falconer, Sarto, Sage, Argonaut, Moots, Retrotec, Legor, Bastion

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The Beautiful Bicycles of the ENVE Open House Part 02: Sklar, Falconer, Sarto, Sage, Argonaut, Moots, Retrotec, Legor, Bastion

ENVE has been supporting frame builders, both in the US and internationally for years now and has developed a symbiotic relationship with these artisans, who choose to put their forks, bars, and wheels on customer’s build kit lists. With this catalog of talent at their fingertips, they decided to have an Open House to celebrate not only their factory and offices in Ogden, Utah but the frame builders who choose ENVE to build out their complete bikes.

Continuing yesterday’s coverage are Beautiful Bicycles from Sklar, Falconer, Sarto, Sage, Argonaut, Moots, Retrotec, Legor, Bastion.

My Manzanita Sklar 27.5 All Road Is Meaner Now with Crust Towel Rack Bars

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My Manzanita Sklar 27.5 All Road Is Meaner Now with Crust Towel Rack Bars

This bike. This freaking bike. When I first built up my Sklar, it was built on the 700c wheel platform. At Lost & Found last year, I swapped out the i9 wheels for the new ENVE G27 650b gravel wheels and haven’t missed the 700c wheels one bit. From there, the bike slowly went under transformations but it wasn’t until I put the Crust Towel Rack Bars on it that I feel like this bike has finally come into its own.

The Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2018

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The Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2018

We shoot a lot of bikes here on the Radavist. A lot. From my estimates, including tradeshows, and events like the Chris King Open House, or the Moots’ Employee Bikes, and even the Speedvagen Build Off, we shot 220 or so bikes in 2018. That’s a lot of bikes. A lot of details. A lot of component selection, build styles, and uses. From road, to mountain, and everything in between, noting the permutations that exist in this ever-so-special era in the cycling industry, I really feel like we’ve shown you just about everything you could see this year.

Out of those 220 bikes, I looked at the data in the form of traffic metrics, social chatter, and comments to pick the Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2018. While many bikes had a lot of comments, some had higher traffic or social media shares. Compiling all the numbers, a very compelling list was formed. Not included in this lot are bike reviews, of which Morgan’s review of the Midnight Special and Kyle’s review of his Chubby Cosmic Stallion took the highest metrics from all others on this list. I guess they’re in a league of their own!

At any rate, check out the complete Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2018, in no particular order, below!

The 18 Beautiful Bicycles of the Chris King Open House

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The 18 Beautiful Bicycles of the Chris King Open House

For the past few years, Chris King has opened their doors to the public as part of an entire weekend of events dubbed the Chris King Open House. This event’s intent is to be coordinated with a product launch of their new colors for the year, as well as to showcase what makes their operations tick, and to display a selection of custom bikes, built by some of their best builder customers.


the two new colors for this year: matte turqoise and matte mango.

This year, they sent out an open invite to 30 of their best builder accounts, offering up discounted pricing to them to build a bike for the show, passing on the discount to their customers. Out of those 30 builders, 17 showed up, and they were displayed alongside a Pegoretti bike, which we looked at on Friday. These bikes lined the halls of the Chris King factory, where visitors could look at their features in great detail, chat with the builders about their process, and if they were so inclined, purchase their dream bike.

I was invited up to the Open House to document these bikes for the builders and for Chris King, as well as offering up an ultimate dream bike gallery for you, the readers of this website. Please enjoy! Which bike do you like the best and why? Oh and if you’re interested in one of the bikes showcased here, be sure to reach out to the builders, who are linked in the bike descriptions below.

2018 Grinduro: Sklar Titanium Hybrid Moments

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2018 Grinduro: Sklar Titanium Hybrid Moments

Adam Sklar wants to shake the negative connotations with the word “hybrid.” You see, Adam likes flat bar ‘cross bikes. He likes how shreddy they are and he always jokes about how people cringe at the word “hybrid.” For Grinduro this year, he brought a titanium bike, which I’m calling the Hybrid Moments. Partially because, well, it’s a hybrid and also because he’s never heard the song by the Misfits. Millennials!

Built with SRAM cah caw Eagle XX1, Zipp wheels, and those nifty new Paul Klamper Flat Mounts. What about that fork? Shhhhh!

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Follow Sklar on Instagram and Grinduro on Instagram.

Sklar Bikes: Titanium Seatposts

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Sklar Bikes: Titanium Seatposts

Want a way to Sklarize your bike? In need of a new seatpost? Want a little more compliance on your ride? Well, hold your horsies. Adam Sklar just posted up a few titanium seatposts, with 0mm, 15mm, and 18mm setbacks, all at 310mm lengths, and featuring ENVE clamp mechanisms. The posts are made in Bozeman, Montana by Adam and are in stock now. Head to Sklar for more!

Builder’s Camp in Bozeman: Sklar Titanium XC 29er Hardtail

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Builder’s Camp in Bozeman: Sklar Titanium XC 29er Hardtail

Each year at NAHBS, a selection of builders at the show lament on how we should actually ride bikes together more, not just talk about them once a year at the show. I get it. Sitting in a convention center, under that horrible lighting, discussing how a bike rides is worlds apart from actually riding out on the trails. This year, Adam Sklar took the initiative to plan a weekend and then some of fun times in Bozeman and sent out an open invite to numerous builders. His idea was to expose people to the culture here, the town’s local builders, eats, drinks, and shops, in an event playfully dubbed the “Builder’s Camp.” Squid, Breadwinner, Retrotec, Falconer, Horse, Alliance, and Strong, along with a few other locals, all prepared for 5 days of non-stop riding and relaxing in this beautiful mountain town.

Sklar Titanium XC 29er Hardtail

Before the swoops and curves he’s known for, Adam Sklar began his cycling experience riding XC mountain bikes outside of Denver, Colorado where he was born. That was a while ago – at least when you consider Adam is 25 years old – and since then, he’s moved onto making equally capable as beautiful, curvy mountain and all-road bikes. At some point in the last year, Adam decided he wanted to make an XC frame to ride. As humans often do, we tend to revisit our past experiences.

With a tighter wheelbase, a slightly steeper head angle of 69º, and a 120mm fork, the bike might look like some of Adam’s other trail bikes, but the handling of this bike is significantly different. With the Builder’s Camp approaching, Adam took a few days to whip up this frame, in the middle of organizing the whole event. While there’s no set pricing for a Sklar, his frames start at $3,950 for titanium and $2,650 for steel.

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Follow Sklar Bikes on Instagram and follow along with the #BuildersCamp hashtag.

Shige and His Monotone Sklar Monster Cross

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Shige and His Monotone Sklar Monster Cross

Shige is in town for the Sim Works pop-up at the Cub House. Normally, he works at Circles, the bike shop that created Sim Works in Japan. His job is to work in the “custom lab” at the shop, where various frame builders display their creations and the Circles customers can choose components and frames to make their dream bike. Remember our Shop Visit? Circles is a beautiful shop!

After the Chris King Swarm event, Shige made his way slowly down to Los Angeles, where we rode bikes and I shot his Sklar Monster Cross, which as the name implies, fits a massive 2.2″ 27.5 tire. The rest of the build is quite balleur, so excuse the excessive bling, but when you’re in the business of selling custom bikes for Circles, your bike has to look this good!

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Follow Shige on Instagram, Sim Works on Instagram and Sklar on Instagram.

My-ma-ma Manzanita Sklar MX All Road with Industry Nine i9.35 Disc Wheels

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My-ma-ma Manzanita Sklar MX All Road with Industry Nine i9.35 Disc Wheels

While we tend to see a lot of experimentation with MTB geometry, specifically hardtails here on the Radavist, I feel like the good ol’ all-road and ‘cross bike geometries, for the most part, stay mostly the same. Sure, head tubes might steepen or slacken a half or so degree, and bottom bracket height can vary, along with seat tube angle, but for the most part, these bikes all look similar in profile. Is it a by-product of design perfection or longevity? Who knows but the bottom line is; I rarely see a road bike geometry that piques my interest and begs the question; I wonder how THAT rides.

Then Adam Sklar sent me an email, asking if I had any desire to review one of his “team” MX all road bikes. I glanced at the geometry, saw the top tube length and thought it was going to be too long for me, especially for how I’d use it. Adam informed me of this bike’s design philosophy, which is part ‘cross geo and part modern MTB. Paradoxically, in short, Adam lengthened the bike’s top tube, slackened the head tube and lowered the bottom bracket. The bike is designed to run a shorter stem, a 70mm, versus a 110mm and with a longer head tube, puts the riding position a bit more upright.

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

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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.

Loose Lobster At The Landing: A Pre-NAHBS Tour Of Nutmeg Country

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Loose Lobster At The Landing: A Pre-NAHBS Tour Of Nutmeg Country

Loose Lobster At The Landing: A Pre-NAHBS Tour Of Nutmeg Country
Photos By Renaldo, words by ‘Cobra Bones’ Sinkford

The show coming to the east coast for the first time meant all eyes are on Connecticut, and who could provide the ultimate pre-NAHBS experience with home court advantage than the mayor of Lobster Landing himself? I was told Nutmeg Country was a place of peace. A place of pizza, and pancake flat roads soft to the touch and pleasing to the eye. Two of those things are true.

Over the holidays the modern and progressive geometry of the #ultranutmegger was designed. Sklar would build a nutmeg themed dream bike for NAHBS, as custom as desired. That was a rabbit hole he should have never walked down. Seriously. One bike became two, because I was not going to be left out of the party. Truss forks and custom racks haunted young Adam’s dreams as the parts started to roll in, literally like Christmas.

2018 NAHBS: Behold the Sklar Bikes x Ultra Romance Nutmegger

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2018 NAHBS: Behold the Sklar Bikes x Ultra Romance Nutmegger

Where do I even begin here? A bunch of awesome brands working together on a unique concept, featuring unique products and a lot of uniqueness. Is that even a word? Sklar and Benedict, aka Ultra Romance teamed up to build the ultimate bicycle. It’s so ultimate that I don’t even know what to call it. Is it a road bike? A touring bike? A mtb? Who knows. Right now, the consensus seems to be just “Nutmegger,” so that’s what I’ll call it. Before I go any further here, I’ll just say this bike begs for more than the brevity associated with copywriting of my NAHBS galleries and maybe one day we’ll dive in deeper, until then, I’ll give you the gist.

This is a part fillet, part tig welded steel frame in a nickel finish, with a custom stem by Hubert from Madrian Fabrication. It’s got a long wheelbase, mid-trail and a truss fork design, along with a double top tube to support the massive head tube. When you ride this thing, you’re really IN it, not on it.

The 66.6cm wide Crust bars are mated with a custom Swift Industries bag and nestled in that top tube space is an Andrew the Maker Bag. Those perty Paul and White Industries bits are custom annodized brown. There’s even a Connecticut State Coin as the top cap! It was assembled in Benedict’s mom’s kitchen and is still kinda sorta being built up as I’m writing this. Yes, the derailleur cable is long, there are no brake cable crimps and I had to stop Poppi from shallacing the tape as I was photographing it.

So what is the Nutmegger? I honestly have no idea. It’s a bicycle that embodies Benedict and that’s all it needs to be. Will Adam from Sklar make you one? Helllll nahhhhhh.