Tall Tale - Steel Hardtail Mountain Bike
Coming June 2024!
Please see this page for details on the complete build kits and allow 2-3 weeks for a complete to be built up. Please drop us a line if you have any questions on completes.
Mountain bikes are where it all began for Sklar. Through designing and building hundreds of custom mountain bikes in the past decade, we became one of the first small brands to push progressive modern mountain bike geometry. We experimented with those long, low geometry numbers and learned a lot about how to make a hardtail mountain bike incredibly capable, but also how to keep it feeling familiar - something you know how to have fun on. We found that you don’t have to sacrifice playfulness and agility in the pursuit of sheer speed.
Fast is fun, but fun is funner. There are lots of geometry tall tales out there, advocating for full progressiveness just for the sake of it. Our Tall Tale is informed by the most progressive geometry, but firmly grounded in the realm of fun and familiarity.
In designing and building hundreds of custom bikes, we had the opportunity to talk to countless riders about what they truly love in a mountain bike, and this is what it comes down to. The Tall Tale is a great tool for quick after-work rides with friends or for spending a whole day on big weekend adventures. It strikes a perfect balance between aggressive new-school geometry and the familiar capability needed for an all-day affair. It's not a 6” trailbike that blasts down hills but struggles on the upl, nor is it an XC race rig that ascends effortlessly but lacks stability on descents. Sklar has refined geometry and materials to create a mountain bike that does it all quite well. A Sweet Spot, if you will, for having fun out on the trails.
The Tall Tale is a simple yet capable bike. Capability comes from thoughtfully chosen geometry and carefully selected materials that allow this bike to be fun for all your mountain biking adventures. When it comes to simplicity a hardtail takes the cake and it is really the only choice for a rider who would rather spend their time out on the trail in peace than maintaining bearings or dealing with creaks as those oh-so-fun full suspensions do. Whether it's a quick ride before work for some speedy fun, loading up your fanny pack with snacks for an all-day weekend adventure, packing it up with bags for a multi-week bikepacking trip, or just spending a night in the woods – this is the bike for it all. Having one truly enjoyable bike encourages regular use, and this is precisely that bike. How sweet is that?
The Tall Tale is constructed using the finest available materials, ensuring a superior ride quality and durability. It boasts details like our in-house designed chainstay yoke for an optimal chainstay length, asymmetrical chainstays for a finely-tuned ride quality, and our distinctive ovalized top tube. Custom oval-butted tubing makes these joyfully compliant frames strong enough to take years of abuse. A fun bike you will want to keep riding season after season.
- Frame Material: Double butted, Air-Hardened Chromoly Steel.
- 148x12mm BOOST Spacing, UDH Dropout
- ISO rear brake mount
- Designed for 29” x 2.6” tires
- 31.6mm Seat post (stealth routing)
- 2 bottle cages in front triangle
- triple cage mount under down tube
- Rear rack mounts
- 130mm travel size S, 140mm M, L, 150mm travel XL
- 73mm BSA Bottom bracket Shell
- EC34mm/44mm Headset
- Clearance for up to a 36T chainring (boost chainline)
- Full External Cable routing
We often get questions about fit and strong reactions to the reach numbers on these frames. Reach, as an indicator of fit, does not take into account seat tube angle or head tube angle and due to the steep seat tube and slack headtube angle on these bikes reach makes them look longer than they are. the important numbers are your saddle height and distance from saddle to handlebar. Here are the saddle heights and saddle to bar reaches we had in mind designing the sweet spot, measured from the BB center to the top of the saddle center and from the tip of the saddle to center of the stem. Also please note these frames are designed to be ridden with a 30-50mm stem.
Small - 64-69 CM saddle height, 44.5-51 CM saddle to stem
Medium - 68-74 CM saddle height, 50-53.5 CM saddle to stem
Large - 73-79 CM saddle height, 53-57 CM saddle to stem
XL - 78-82 CM saddle height, 56-60 CM saddle to stem
These numbers are just rough suggestions. Please double check and ask us or your bike fitter or send is an email if you have any questions or concerns.
Tall Tale FAQ's
What size wheels/tires can I run?
The Sweet Spot is designed around 29 x 2.6" tires and that is what we recommend. 2.4 and 2.5" tires are great as well. We do not recommend running 27.5" wheels on this frame because it will make the bottom bracket super low and the tire clearance won't be in the right place. We totally understand why you might want to run 27.5" wheels on your MTB but those reasons are also things that we baked into the design of this bike, so we think you might still like it :)
What size headset/crownrace do I need to order?
The headset is EC34/28.6 upper, EC44/40 lower with a 1.5" crown race.
What is included with this frameset?
All frames ship with a seat post clamp and thru axle included.
Where are the framesets manufactured?
These frames are built in Taiwan
Can I run a rigid fork?
The short answer: No
The long answer:
This frame is designed around a 130mm-150mm suspension fork. Most rigid forks are correced for 100mm or suspension, meaning a rigid fork will be 30-50mm shorter than what the frame was designed for. For that reason we would not recommend running a rigid fork. If you are looking for a rigid hardtail that can handle a 100mm-120mm fork, check out our PBJ Frameset.
What suspension fork should I run?
We get this question a lot. In order to maximize ride quality and standover, the "base setting" for size Small is 130mm of travel, 140mm of travel for medium and large and 150mm of travel for the XL. Can you run different amounts? absolutely. I run my size Large with a 150mm fork and love it. A longer fork will raise your bottom bracket, make the handlebars higher, head and seat tube angles a little slacker and the opposite for going shorter. In our experience 10mm either way isn't a huge deal. 20mm is where you start to notice things and going more travel is a little less noticeable than going less.
Fork offset is the difference in the location of the dropouts compared to the imaginary centerline that is projected out of the head tube. Offset determines the "trail number" on the bike which is a key indicator of how a bike will handle. Most suspension forks these days are available in 44mm or 51mm of offset. The size small and medium frames are designed around a 51mm offset fork and the XL and large frames are designed around a 44mm offset fork. Theoretically this whopping 7mm of difference allows us to build a bike with a longer front center (nice and stable, confidence-inspiring on descents) while keeping the trail number in check (not too floppy because we have to make the head tube angle slacker on long front center bike in order to locate the handlebar in a comfortable riding position). That said, 7mm is probably also the amount of tire deflection you get just sitting on your mountain bike. So if you want to split hairs, get the 44mm offset for your S or M, 51mm for your L or XL. If you want slightly maybe just noticeable more stable handling get less offset and more offset for slightly more active handling.
How is the Tall Tale for Bike Packing?
The Tall Tale is an amazing bike packer. The frames have plenty of room for a frame bag, triple-boss mounts under the down tube for extra water, fuel or gear storage and 4 bosses on the seat stay to mount a rear rack if that is what you like.