US custom frame builder Adam Sklar introduces an off-the-peg steel do-it-all hardtail.
Perhaps better known for custom made titanium and steel mountain bikes and all-road bikes, US builder Sklar Bikes is going a little more mainstream with a stock build, trail-focused mountain bike: the Sklar Sweet Spot.
The marketing proclaims “It is not a 6in trailbike that flies down hills but drags going up, nor is it an XC race rig that climbs like a breeze but lacks stability in descent.”
Well, what is it then?
The answer is no more clear, and no less Dr Seuss: “It can be a lot of things. For example, the amazing places that this bike will take you to. Or the well balanced design that makes for efficient climbing and confident descending on rides short and long.”
Hence ‘The Sweet Spot’ – it’s a bike that will apparently do it all. Including perhaps some birth control if you have short legs?
Made in the USA “from the finest 4130 tubing available”, each Sweet Spot is built to order with a three month approximate lead time, less than a quarter of Sklar’s normal custom frame lead time – custom frames are only for the very patient. It’s also about $1,000 cheaper that a custom frame…but don’t be fooled into thinking that will make this a bargain. It’s $2,850 for a Sweet Spot frame.
Yes, $2,850 for the frame. And you’ll still wait 3 months for it. It certainly makes some of the UK builders look like a bargain. You can get a whole Stanton, made in the UK, for about that. Or a Shand frame and fork for a whole lot less. Or an 18 Bikes frame for little enough you could probably add the US airfare on and still have enough left for a coffee at the airport.
But I Still Want It
Maybe the price isn’t the point, and you just want one. It’s the bike for you, you like the curvy top tube, you just enjoy saying ‘Sklar’.
Of course, ‘progressive geometry’ is claimed, but perhaps more unusually the suggested fork travel varies depending on the size of bike you go for. Here’s the run down:
- 487mm reach, 427mm stays, 65.5º HTA (med)
- 150mm travel (M, L) / 130mm travel (S)
- 148mm Boost rear end
- 3D printed Stainless steel chainstay yoke allows for up to 29×2.8in tires with a standard Boost chainline
- 3 bottle cage bosses (Seat tube, inside down tube, under down tube)
- 180mm post mount rear brake
If this takes your fancy you build options are:
- Frame only ($2850)
- Alloy Build” featuring SRAM GX and a Rockshox Pike ($7,430)
- “Carbon build” fully kitted with XX1 Enve Composites components ($11,110)
Intrigued? Maybe. If you’ve got deep pockets and a thing for niche-ish steel. Though we admit we’re a little more intrigued by this single pivot number, which we believe to be a prototype, spotted in the offices of Adam Sklar’s PR company. So much skinny tubing!