Gravel grinders and All-road bikes are hot these days! These buzzword-laden names describe a type of bike that is, at the end of the day, a really versatile and fun bike. As I have described before, some of these bikes lean towards a "mountain bike with drop bars" while others are more of the "road bike with big tire clearance" category. This bike is closer to the latter. Road bike-ish geometry with clearance for a 700x45c or 27.5x2" tire. When I say road bike-ish I mean that the fit is similar to what you may see on a road bike, though the head tube is slightly taller and the stem just a touch shorter with an ever so slightly longer top tube. These very slight changes keep handling snappy and fun, but a lot nicer on the descents. A few mm of added bottom bracket height also helps with pedal strike off road while keeping the handling fun on roads paved or not. This bike uses super lightweight steel for a light and responsive ride.
All that stuff is cool. But what does it actually mean?
What it means is that this bike is really fun for leaving your front door and seeing where the day takes you. It's good for that early season lunch ride where you plan on riding road, but you notice that a new trail has dried out. It's perfect for keeping up with your friends on road bikes when you want to, or hanging with friends on light trails too. It is also going to be fun (probably type 2) when I ride it 100 miles at the Lost and Found gravel ride in a few weeks.
If I could only have one bike, this would be it, and I can't wait to put more miles on it because this one is mine!
Billy lives in Portland where it's always nice to ride a bike. Whether it is a sunny summer day, or one of the other 360 days of the year. I kid! But really, Portland is a great city to bike commute and to recreate in, so we created this really special ride.
Though I may consider this a gravel bike, it has some serious influence from the randoneuring world. A higher handlebar height adds comfort for quick trips to the coffee shop or artisinal pencil sharpening store. This will also help with some of the off-pavé riding that Billy plans on doing when he loads this thing up for a weekend bikepacking trip or a spontaneous adventure ride.
It is exciting to get to know folks through building bikes, and Mark is one who I have gotten to know pretty well. This is the third Sklar headed to his household down in Durango, CO and I could not be more excited. Mark has been romping around on my old 29+ singlespeed for the past few years but he was ready to trade it in for something fresh.
This is what we came up with. A little more "modern" XC geometry. Something Mark can shred around Durango every day. It is set up dedicated Singlespeed with Paragon Machineworks sliding dropouts, a PAUL SS hub and White industries freewheel - old school!
If Mark ever decided to put on some gears though, the frame has routing for a rear derailleur and it is as simple as swaping out the drive side slider. So easy!
I am excited for Mark to get out on this bike, I know that he rides a lot and I know that he rides well. I am hoping to make it down to Durango at some point and see it there in its natural habitat.
I went to engineering school with Brandon up at Montana State, so it was cool to hear from him about having a frame built this past fall. Brandon now lives in Oklahoma and was wanting a bike to get out on the awesome gravel roads and paths and sometimes singletrack that he rides there.
We designed this bike with all day comfort and handling in mind, but keeping it fun and capable when single track needs to be shredded.
The frame uses a combination of Colombus and Vari-wall steel for a nice light build. Brandon decided to deck the bike out in very nice parts like the White Industries Crank set, Enve post and bar and Chris King bearings all around.
As pictured the bike is set up with 700x45c tires, but it will also clear a 27.5 x 2.1" tire.
I love the Matte blue and orange color on here as well. Matte powder with a paint matched fork.
This should be a great bike for Brandon and I can't wait for him to get it out on the road. I have to say I am a little jealous myself!
This custom steel gravel bike was built for CJ who lives down in the bay area. A versatile all arounder, this bike was made to ride on or off pavement, be ready to clear big tires for spontaneous outings and short overnighters, or run skinnier tires for more "training rides" and the cross course come fall.
The best cyclocross bike is one that can be used to race in the fall, but is also a great all arounder for gravel grinding, road riding, training and general shenanigans the rest of the year. This custom cyclocross frameset is just that.
Susan walked into the shop this summer and placed a deposit for a new cross bike. I was psyched because as unbelievable as it may seem, I do not get to build all that many bikes for local customers here in our small mountain town of Bozeman, MT. Anyhow, we got to talk bikes, take measurements and design this rad bike for Susan, who at 5'3" has always had a little trouble fitting on a stock bike. Being a local, it was also great to get to ride together on the Alter Tuesday night shop rides and later at our weekly cross series.
Fast forward a few months and Susan's bike was ready! A fresh coat of liquid paint sets the frame off. Gotta love the fade. I delivered the frame to Susan and she did a beautiful job building it up with parts from our friends at White Industries, SRAM, Zipp and more. This bike is so rad and I can't wait to see it out on the dirt, road or wherever else it may go! I'm sure it's going to crush at the cross races next fall. Happy riding Susan!
I received a call a few months back from fellow named Keith, who was looking for a birthday present for a friend of his. Sounds like a good friend, eh?
We worked together to plan out this awesome mountain bike for Hossein to ride. The custom titanium frame is designed as a nice all arounder that will shine especially well on the long flowy trails with occasional techy sections - where it will mostly be ridden. The plus tires (seated on Enve's M6040 plus rims) should provide lots of comfort and traction and the 140mm fork won't let it get pushed around.
We went with a Shimano 1x11 drivetrain and a OneUp Components cassette extender. Hossein really likes the Shimano interface, but wanted that big gear for slow spins up long climbs.
Lots or Made in USA Components like the White industries crankset and headset as well as King hubs and a PAUL Stem top off the build. Good stuff all around!
This bike screams dream bike, or at least it does to me. It was a really fun ride to build and I can not wait to see it put to use!
This custom steel 29er mountain bike frame was designed to be a versatile all around ride. Using Paragon Machine Works sliding dropouts the bike can be run as a single speed, or be run with gears as pictured with a Shimano 1x11 speed drive train. The Signature swoopy front triangle provides a nice comfy ride while also allowing extra space for a frame bag. The custom segmented and tapered steel fork will make for a nice comfy ride and the anything cage mounts provide space for hauling extra gear on long bike packing trips.
Though pictured with 29" wheels, this bike will also run 27.5+
Monstercross bikes have been around for a while, but the trend seems to have exploded in the last few years with more people wanting to get out and ride right from home, get off the road away from cars, and explore a greater variety of terrain.
Recently folks have also realized that tire manufacturers have a backlog of XC race tires that are only mildly heavier than a cross tire and share similar riding characteristics with the added benefit of high volume and tougher sidewalls - awesome stuff!
This bike was originally built for myself to try out the platform and it was a blast! Key features include cranks and an early prototype headset from White Industries, A 1x11 drive train with an 11-46T cassette - crucial for adventurizing. This bike also has a dropper post which is actuated by the modified left shifter lever - super trick.
This monstercross bike is running the Maxxis Aspen tires as pictured. The unicrown fork has a custom built "basket rack" to use for touring. I did a couple of multi-day tours on this bike and it was so good. The big tires provided awesome comfort and ease of mind when we found some rooty, rocky singletrack.
Monstercross is here to stay!
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