Thursday, March 21

Meat Carver?

So Tuesday I was going to write about the Carver, but then got caught up in thoughts about The Angry Singlespeeder, so I promised to write about the Carver on Thursday, but then had more thoughts and opinions to express about The Angry Singlespeeder, only to have him totally defuse the situation with kindness and humor in my comments and on FaceBook.  Now we're besties.

So about the Carver Ti 420...

Seat tube much?
I already went over my misgivings about the frame before I'd even ridden it.  Before I even talk about the actually "riding" of the bike, I still need to preface my opinions with the following statement:

I realize I coulda just stuck a 140mm fork on the Dickstickel Meatplow V.6 and had something similar to what I ended up with here.  Two things stood in the way; my desire to keep the By:Stickel built with a 100mm fork (not be swapping forks on a whim) and the fact that I had cut the 140mm Fjox fjork too short for the By:Stickel anyhoo.  I wanted an always ready to go at a moment's notice all mountain hard tail single speed... without going custom due to price, wait time, and the possibility that this was a terrible idea.  I love my By:Stickel the way it is, and I didn't want to mess with it.  Nuff said.


This past weekend, we rode some classic Pisgah "descents" and trails including Turkey Pen, Squirrel Gap, Avery Creek, Cove Creek, and Daniel's Ridge.  Some of those are my absolute favorites.  What shined about the bike that I noticed?

Technical climbing.  It was so easy to loft the front end onto ledges and waterbars.  I attribute that to the short stays and way relaxed seat tube angle.  I tried to measure it with my angle meter app on my iPhone.  Close to 68-69°?  Somewhere in there.  Crazy.  I realize I can't get an accurate measurement due to the offset seat tube... whatever.  Even with the 68° (listed) head tube angle, the front end didn't wander on the climbs, but that probably has more to do with the fact that when you're climbing steep shit on a single speed, you're standing with your weight more centered on the bike.

I thought the high bottom bracket would be a pain in the ass (13.15 listed, slightly more measured), but it was actually kinda awesome.  There's not a whole lotta "turn carving" in Pisgah, but there are a lot of impediments to forward progress.   I had a way easier go at Squirrel Gap than usual, a trail known for its technical features.  I just smashed away, totally scoffing the idea of pedal strikes.  I was also able to clear some pretty large logs (for me), but I do realize that the high BB might have had some placebo effect there.

Overall, I would say having a 140mm fork coupled with short stays equals exactly what I was looking for.  I was able to stick on to Kurt's wheel this weekend whereas he was dropping me back when I was on the FSR EVO.  This bike suits me and how I ride.  So much fun just picking that bike up and moving it.  Serious brahppage and schralping.

Loads of clearance, Clarence.


As I mentioned before, that one water bottle thing kills me.  I hate wearing packs.  I have plenty of them, they are okay when I have to wear them, but I prefer to leave them at home.  Fortunately, Pisgah has lots of streams, and I have iodine and Gu Brew.

I can get away with riding all day with this combo.  I win.

That "tall feeling" on this bike.  With the bottom bracket being soooo high and the fork being soooo long, I am really up there.  My bottom bracket drop is less than 30mm.  I know exactly what would make it feel better.

image stolen from one website that stole it from another

The Thomson Elite Drooper Post.  I must haz it.  Why the yet to be released Thomson and not one of the other drooper posts that are already on the market?  Because I don't know anyone that tests their products like Thomson.  I remember when they showed their seat post collars at Interbike for the first time.  Somewhere between 1-2 years later, after more testing than you would imagine a company would do on something like a seatpost collar, they released it.

I trust Thomson.  I am actively pursuing the acquisition of their drooper from all angles to ensure that one will be in my possession ASAP.

I consider myself quite lucky.  You need at least 185mm from rails to seat post collar. 

I have 200mm.  That's close.

As much of a bike snob as I am, and despite my desire to hate the bike based on the nits that I picked last week, I really like this bike.  It freaking rails.  I would love to do something custom in titanium based on this bike.  Lower top tube, somehow mash a second bottle on there, but that's about it.  At $1,400 MSRP, you are getting really close to where you could get this frame with custom numbers... but in steel... but just how you want it.  I am perplexed, but in the meantime I'll just ride this bike until further notice.

I have no advice to offer.  I'm not usually one to settle for something I'm not 100% on, but for what it would cost me to address these small concerns that I think I can work around...

I'm keeping this bike around for awhile.

I have my "quiver."

Six bikes that just happen to be 100% single speed...

If that makes me an angry single speeder, so be it.


Anonymous said...

six single speeds in your "quiver"? it makes you an idjit. team redundancy...

dicky said...

Fixed gear track bike for work

SS Cyclocross bike

Beach cruiser

Rigid SS

100mm all-rounder SS

140mm all-mountain SS

Team Narrow Minded

go play in traffic said...

I can t lower the top tube for you, but i could absolutely get a second cage mount on that bike. And a Koala Bottle is awesome for tight squeezes.

The Los said...

I've been toyin with the idea of the Carver, but the more I really think about it. the more I realize I should order a Waltworks.
The shortcomings (no offence) of my Nimble 9 are minor, and one of them (only one bottle cage mount) would still be there with the Carver. Plus, the trails here in Ride-a-ho don't require a high BB. In fact, I don't think I've had a single pedal strike with the 12" high BB I have on the Canfield.
I guess I'm an idjit, too- 4 one speed bikes in my "fleet."


dicky said...


The Angry Singlespeeder said...

Wow. 100% singlespeed fleet. You take this shit seriously. Much props. Much.

- A.S.S.

Anonymous said...

When some riders switch gears, they pull a lever. When you switch gears, you grab a different bike. Sweet.

The Los said...

Oh, Anonymous... you so crazy.
Rather, when we "switch gears," we just sack up. Dicky and I (not anywhere close to the same category, mind you,) both race things like 100 mile off road events. We're not grabbing different bikes.
Are you implying that everyone should only have one bike? Are you not grabbing a different bike whether you're riding mountain trails or racing cyclocross?


Richie "Dickie" Trent said...

Gimme that Ikon 2.35, now. You must rank higher in Maxxis's "industry insider douchebag" than I.

Chief Rocka said...

44 Bikes. Custom. Price point. Ti in 2013. Wait for it.

Big Stud-muffin E. said...

Although you might be charged a bit more for your custom, Ti, SS, fat bike.

Anonymous said...

Los, I was just attempting to be clever, nothing more. I have four SS bikes and four geared bikes. They all have their own purpose and use. And I'd be hard up to find just one bicycle to fulfill all of my needs. I'm a bit of a playa in that I'm not a one-bike man. Peace!

dicky said...

You can have my IKON 2.35 when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers... or when I get a new one.

Whichever comes first.

Anonymous said...

Strap a Two Fish Quick Cage Adapter on there somewhere (on extra seat tube or the underside of the down tube)with some double-sized tape to limit slippage and you have your second bottle cage. Not the most elegant solution, but beats a hydropack.

dicky said...


Why don't I just schmear dog poop on my stem?

I'm too much of a snob for that. I'd rather be thirsty.

Anonymous said...

A principled man, twisted, but principled.

Anonymous said...

Hey all you tall beautiful people, if you get an 18" or larger Carver 420, there's a second water bottle braze-on on the downtube. Suck it shorties, enjoy that camelback!

Anonymous said...

what length stem are you running on your 420? 50mm?

dicky said...

That's a 70mm Thomson.