Written by Mike Joos Friday, 07 December 2007 00:00
My previous bike was a Litespeed that has been in for warranty 4 times. Both the Litespeed and the Carver are built with 3-2.5 Titanium but the Carver has a beefy block weld of Ti at the head tube the place where the litespeeds had failed every time.
My first impression of the Carver 96er was it felt like a full 29er I would see the bigger wheel in front of me and it would give me a bit more confidence rolling over things. It seemed like the extra diameter 29" wheel cuppled with the ti frame softened things up a bit. My descending was noticeably better with this frame. It differed from a 29er when it came to situations that required pulling up the front wheel, it is easier with the Carver.
There are some notable downsides to the Ti Carver 96er though. The break and derailleur stops are very sharp, I suffered several small tears in my shorts before I decided to file them down a bit. Also the stickers fade fast.
The geometry is a bit slack for my liking, the head tube puts the wheel too far in front. This is my personal preference. I know bikes have moved toward slacker angles but I feel this takes away from the snappiness and climbing. I improvised by using a smaller fame with a longer stem to make the front end seem a little less slack. I'm 5 11" and 34" riding a medium frame with a 0 degree 140mm stem and a 5 degree flat bar. I was a bit worried it might handle weird with such a long stem but it hasn't been a problem. I've been happy with the fit.
I'm nit picking with most of my complaints because despite the faults this is the best bike I've owned. I'm convinced 96ers are the way to go.
5 red octopus faces.
**Editor's Notes** - Mike tested the first generation Carver Ti frame. With his and other tester's input the cable stops have been relocated to the underside of the toptube, virtually eliminating the possibility of snagging. The decal material has be changed and sourced from another vendor to reduce fading. For an additional charge there is now also the option to laser engrave the logos on the head tube and down tube so you never have to worry about decals again. Small changes to make an already great frame even better.
|Carver Bikes Titanium 96'er Frame: Love the 96'er geometry, but looking for the compliant ride and durability of Titanium? Introducing the Ti 96'er, a 3/2.5 Seamless Aerospace Titanium frame weighing only 3.2lbs. The Carver Bikes 96'er is built around a 29 front wheel, and a 26 rear wheel. A revolutionary design that is changing the way we...|
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