Friday, March 8


Well, I wasn't fooling anyone.

" Anonymous said...That is a Carver Ti 420."

It's not like I was really trying.  Kangalamangus was over at my house the other night checking out the bike and he noticed a recycled Misfit Psycles decal on my wall.  He was all like, "You should stick that on your new frame and send it to Peter."

So I did.  I also threatened to post it on his FaceWall to stir up a frenzy in his Empire of Hate, but he was unperturbed.

So yeah, why a Carver Ti 420?

I don't think any stock frame will ever make me 100% happy.  The best I can hope for is maybe 80%.  I'm a picky asshole, and I know what I like for the most part.  That's why my last two custom frames are still around.  They hit the mark spot-on with zero complaints and would be very difficult to replace, even with a modern plastic bicycle.
I wanted something sooner rather than later.  My three criterion were the following:

* Short chainstays, like 16" and some very small change

* Would take the 140mm fork I already had from the FSR EVO and rock it

* As single speedy as possible.

That was about it.

There weren't a whole lot of stock frames to choose from, but the Carver won out despite:

* The very tall seat tube for my size (23" ETT with a 18.5" C-Top of ST)

* A shorter headtube than I prefer

* One bottle cage

Then there were the little surprises:

Although it is single speed specific, there is a second set of guides along the bottom of the top tube, presumably for a dropper post.  Then again, that might be handy if I ever go that route... assuming I have room for one since I only have @20cm of exposed seat post.  Might not be room enough for a dropper anyways.

When I tried to run the shortest possible chainstay length possible with a 32X20, I ran into a problem.

I couldn't get it.

The Paragon 142X12 slider bumped into the dropout before the sliders were all the way forward.  That was the little bit of room I needed for a 32X20.

Three solutions:

* Hack off the interfering bit of slider

* Grab a slightly worn chain from the Stickel and use it

* Run a half-link (the route I took, thus lengthening the chainstays)

A bit of meh moment indeed. Had I ran a standard 135mm axle this would not have happened, but I wanted the additional stiffness (and my Industry 9 Torches were already 142X12).

The other dilemma (self-induced)?

I had bought the Paragon Machine Works Titanium Complete Combination Cap Screw Kit.

IMHO the best thing you can do for yourself if you have Paragon sliders... so worth the $43.

I didn't even consider the stock hardware.  While it may have been "good enough for government work," I wanted the best.  The stock tensioning screw was a Phillips head and the fixing bolts just used star washers.

All was fine and good until I tried to use the PMW tensioning bolts with thumbscrews... they were too big.


So I dug around in my bolts and found some forgotten ti hardware that did the trick, albeit I don't currently carry a 3mm around for adjustments.

All that aside, this bike is another experiment.  Back when Montucky Miller and his frat house companions told me about this frame in August at the Breck Epic, I scoffed it.  Why would I want yet another single speed?

But then I did, just a week ago.  Something all-mountain'esque but still very single speedy.  Before throwing custom dollars and time down the drain, I needed something that would allow me to give it a whirl, see what I like and don't like, and then... if I like it, go from there.

Things I really like about the Carver?

The high BB.  140mm is a lot of travel, and when that bike's front end dips down, I don't wanna be clipping pedals.  We don't "carve turns" in Pisgah.  Save those low BB's for SoCal.

The front end looks uber stout for ti.  A fat, shaped down tube, a large diameter top tube, and a big ole tapered head tube.  This thing should not feel flexy in the least.

The short'ish stays.  I might get bored this weekend and try one of the other solutions to tighten things up, but I also might just ride it before I mess with it.  We'll see what happens first.

So yeah, the Tour de Charlotte is tomorrow.  Assuming no jail time is involved, there should be some kinda post here Monday.  Since I'm kinda doing some course marshal duties, I won't see all the action, but I'll do my best to keep track of what I see and hear and report back.


Rob said...

Very cool frame, especially for the pricepoint. The long seat tubes bug the hell out of me though...

Anonymous said...

I remember having to modify the drop out on my new AL frame.

Long seat tube and only one bottle mount? double fail.
Other than that, it is a sweet looking ride.

b said...

You beat me to it. I've been finger-hovering-over-the-BUY button close to buying this frame for the past three months. Is the single bottle cage mount only an issue with your presumably sized exxxtra-small frame? Have you contacted Davis re the slider issues?

Anonymous said...

How does a Carver Ti frame compare in build quality to a higher end stock Ti frame. Maybe a Moots isn't a fair comparasion..just wondering. Really like the Carver 29er with sliders....

dicky said...


Let's see.

I held a bottle to the seat tube. The way the bike is designed and with the bend, it would be really hard to sneak a bottle in. I seem to remember the Honzo and Nimble 9 also lacking that mounting option. No faults there, but if I went (or go) custom, the frame would HAVE to accomodate that second bottle.

The high top tube meets the seat tube at the same point as the seat stays. I think if you tried to lower the stays (and at the same time, the TT), there would have to be a lot more bending and trickery (expense and labor).

I'm not the best judge of build quality. I've had four ti frames, each of them a little different at the welds. The MOOTS was the highest quality of all of them, hands down. Also, seeing the lengths that MOOTS goes to ensure quality (I've toured their factory), I don't know who could touch them.

That said, comparing such massively different price points is kinda out of the question. I can say that as much as I've had my ear to the ground, I've heard little about issues with Carver frames compared to another builder of ti in a price range slightly higher, who's frames seem to break when a butterfly farts.

dicky said...

RE: The sliders...

I plan on trying them on the Stickel to see if they both suffer from the same issue. If so, I might contact PMW and ask if they know about it. While the Carver is just PMW compatible, the Stickel is an actual hooded PMW design.

dicky said...

And also for comparison, the Nimble 9 small is too short in the ETT (22.87) and the medium ETT is too long (23.5)... for me. Respective 16 and 18" seat tube lengths.

The Honzo's numbers are closer, but the STA is a bit steep for me.

The Los said...

Damn you, Dicky. Damn you to hell. I looked at these frames last week, then you just had to get one.