The man known as UltraRomance has a few things going on. Probably half of his paycheck comes from Specialized, which is where we first met him when Watts attended their gravel bike camp a couple years ago. The rest comes from selling co-branded and co-designed items from the likes of Swift Industries and, now, Crust Bikes. The latter is gearing up production of his new handlebars, which adorn his new Sklar “Nutmegger” bike.

ultraromance custom sklar bike for riding connecticut backroads from nahbs 2018

The bike is a mash up of cruiser style comfort, gravel bike performance, and mountain bike (hardtail, anyway) capability.

ultraromance custom sklar bike for riding connecticut backroads from nabs 2018 uses a CT tricentennial gold coin for a headset cap

Special features like a Connecticut tricentennial commemorative coin as a headset cap signify not just Benedict’s (aka UltraRomance) home state, but also one of the many reasons why you might want a custom bike. Because you can really, truly go as custom as you want.

ultraromance custom sklar bike for riding connecticut backroads from nahbs 2018

The Nutmegger features a truss fork, also handmade by Adam Sklar, and his signature rolled, arched and flattened top tube:

ultraromance custom sklar bike for riding connecticut backroads from nahbs 2018

The rear tail light doubles as a frame pump mount.

ultraromance custom sklar bike for riding connecticut backroads from nahbs 2018

Simplex downtube shifters lead to…

ultraromance custom sklar bike for riding connecticut backroads from nahbs 2018

…an old Suntour rear derailleur with plenty of extra cable, just in case. Of something. It’s mounted to a hanger extender to help it play nice with the mountain bike cassette.

ultraromance custom sklar bike for riding connecticut backroads from nahbs 2018

Paul Components provided custom anodized “nutmeg” parts throughout the bike, including skewers, brake calipers…

ultraromance custom sklar bike for riding connecticut backroads from nahbs 2018

…headset and seatpost.

The new bar is 666mm wide at the inside of the flare. While mountain bikers are well beyond that these days, consider that it’s 22+ millicentimeters (almost 9″) wider than your average road bike handlebar. This is the third iteration, now made by Crust Bikes, and should be ready in four months.

Retail will be $105, weight is maybe 250-300g, not final yet, but surprisingly light for the size. Made of 7000-series aluminum. They’ll also offer slightly more reasonable 550 and 580mm widths. The bags are also for sale, made by Swift Industries. And they have clever names.

If you’re at NAHBS, swing by his booth to pick up some Party Plugs, too.

ultraromance custom sklar bike for riding connecticut backroads from nahbs 2018

Remember kids, you too can live the bike lifestyle. It all starts with a dream.

12 COMMENTS

    • As first, I thought that was a thin tube intended to serve as a brace between the stays. Now that I see it is cable housing, you really weren’t aren’t kidding…

  1. That poor Suntour derailleur needs some love. Not need to mention the shift levers… they’re ok, but don’t have the wrap for the cassette.

  2. NAHBS has become nothing, but a show of gimmick bikes. Each builder trying to outdo the next with gimmicks, and the awards are silly.

  3. I want to like this bike, but I can’t get past that horrendous rear brake routing. I’m sure it works fine, but why would you do it like that?

  4. Perhaps the builder has decreased the cable pull lever lenght on the venerable XC so it works with the Simplex Rétrofriction lever, Also, I think these levers where the inspiration for the first XT shifters. Retrofriction yeah!

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