Written by Gunnar Christensen Friday, 18 March 2011 14:56
All great projects start from modest beginnings. I know I'm not the only person to walk into their friendly local bike shop for a tube and a few energy bars and walk out with a new Ti mountain bike. That's what happened to me 2 years back at Bath Cycle and Ski/Bikeman.com. While I was waiting to pay for my $10.00 worth of merchandise I got to talking to the proprietor, Davis Carver, about the Carver 96er mountain bike. The conversation went something like this: "Davis! your're looking svelte as usual." And Gunnar, you are the model of a pro athlete with your physique." After the pleasantries were finished, I said to Davis that it was too bad he didn't make Carver 29er's...answer: "we do!", well, too bad you don't make them out of Titanium...answer: "we do!", well, too bad you can't ad S and S couplers for travel and yep, the answer is"we do!". It went on like this for a few minutes until Davis said he would have the CAD drawing of my specs emailed to me in a few days for approval.
In a nut shell, what I received a few weeks later was one hell of a ride. A Carver Ti 29er with S and S couplers, disc AND canti mounts, rear rack mounts and a eccentric bottom bracket so I can go SS. This bike climbs like a mountain goat on crack (when I'm in shape), and makes for a very versatile bike for the quiver. I often swap out my front suspension fork for a carbon rigid and throw on some 700x32 slicks and I have a great touring machine. I've actually done a pretty good job keeping up with some fast road warrior rides with this arrangement.
The best part is being able to take my Carver on the road with me while traveling and not incur outrageous airline over size baggage fees. I recently traveled to Tucson over the Thanksgiving Holiday and all I paid for was the normal $25.00 baggage fee...a normal bike box would have been over $100.00. It also saves money on rental cars as you can easily fit the box in a compact car. I find I can pack the complete bike along with shoes, riding gear and tools and have the box weigh about 48 pounds which keeps it under the 50 pound airline limit. I always travel with extra brake and shift cables as they sometimes get frayed when removing them to ship the bike, the answer to this is to use cable splitters (which I use on my S and S equipped Seven road bike...and works great). I also use a wire tie on the exterior lock clasp to add a bit more security. Just be sure to place another wire tie on top of your gear inside the box with a note to TSA to re-attach the wire tie they may remove to inspect your box. I also remove my disc brake rotors and tape them inside a cardboard sandwich to protect them. I also only use three bolts instead of the six for the rotor mounts (not sure I would recommend this!...but it works for me...and saves time!).
If you want a great Ti mountain bike that gives you lots of options at a decent price, check out the Carver line of bikes!
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