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  1. #1
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    New Custom Carver

    Hello All,
    Over the last few months I have worked with Davis Carver to design and order a custom ti-frame for the coming season(s). My goals were pretty simple, to have a bike that fit me perfectly, that had short chainstays along with sliders so I could mess with CS length and WB, used a Lefty HT, had some rear end compliance but was not flexy, could fit BB30 and a 142x12 rear and finally to have something that looked unique. Davis has been very easy to work with and we appear to be on track for our agreed upon delivery schedule. Also, I was impressed at what his Chinese frame contractor could do in the way of tube bending, etc at a relatively affordable price. My understanding is that my frame should arrive in a week or two, so I thought it a good time to start a thread. There was a CAD drawing here, but it was pointed out to me that there were some issues with posting it. Since there are now pics of the actual frame below, it is unnecessary anyways.
    While I have been waiting for the frame, I have been compiling the components for the build. Most of the new stuff I ordered from my LBS, the West Hill Shop in Putney. That includes a full XX1 gruppo and some nice wheels they built up using Light Bicycles carbon AM rims. I did buy a new 2012 Lefty carbon fork off eBay along with some other items.
    Once I've received the frame, I'll post some pictures along with a ride report for anyone who is curious.

    Regards,
    Wardo
    Last edited by wardo78; 05-15-2013 at 11:51 AM.

  2. #2
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    OK, it has been awhile since I started this thread. My frame took a little longer to arrive than projected, but 4 weeks is not a big deal in the larger scheme of things. I thought I had all the components on hand, but alas that wasn't to be. Everything should be here by Friday, but in the meantime, here are a few pictures. I did some basic graphic accents, which in my mind enhance the look. The frame weighs just under 4 pounds with the sliders. Here are the pics:

    New Custom Carver-imgp1743-l.jpg

    New Custom Carver-imgp1745-l.jpg

    Thanks,
    Wardo

  3. #3
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    Amazing!!!

    If Salvador Dali built a bike frame...

    I'd really like to get a Ti cantilevered paperboy bike type frame. Did they charge per curve?

  4. #4
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    Yes,
    Each curved tube was an upcharge, but honestly the whole frame was very affordable for a full on custom job. I sent Carver a drawing of what I envisioned, and they massaged it into a practical design. It took 4 weeks of back and forth to get it right. I think we started mid-January. Contact Carver if you have specific questions on pricing, I am sure they'd be happy to help.

    Regards,
    Wardo

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden_Monkey View Post
    Amazing!!!

    If Salvador Dali built a bike frame...

    I'd really like to get a Ti cantilevered paperboy bike type frame. Did they charge per curve?

  5. #5
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    Whaoh, looks like it slithers. Do you have a geo chart. That's one crazy looking bike.
    You're so cute internet tough guy. Noogie...Noogie...Noogie.

  6. #6
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    Exactly what I was thinking VEry unique Can't look at the pics, makes me feel kind of sleepy/wonky, reminds me of Jungle Book and the snakes mesmerizing eyes. Very interested to see it built up
    Quote Originally Posted by Golden_Monkey View Post
    Amazing!!!

    If Salvador Dali built a bike frame...

    I'd really like to get a Ti cantilevered paperboy bike type frame. Did they charge per curve?
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  7. #7
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    The geometry is as follows, 70 degree HT, 73 degree ST, 23" ETT, 17" ST, with a variable 16.33" to 17.1" CS. It will fit a 2.4 Maxxis Ardent at full forward with a bit of room. I hope this helps.

    Wardo

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Danger View Post
    Whaoh, looks like it slithers. Do you have a geo chart. That's one crazy looking bike.

  8. #8
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    A custom bike that actually looks custom is always a sight to behold on the trails. I like the paint jobs and welding on the traditional looking custom frames and the curves in this would have me looking.

    Did the designer say anything about compromised chainstay rigidity with your build? What kind of BB shell is that?

  9. #9
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    WOW!
    SWEET looking frame ....very interested in seeing it built up and most importantly, a ride report.
    I dealt with Carver a few years ago, ultimately I did not get a frame through him as his Chinese builder would not do short 29er chain stays.

    Love the look of the curved seat stays.
    The Chinese builders are stepping up to the plate.

    Frame looks amazing!
    You cannot go against nature, because when you do, its part of nature too.

  10. #10
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    I don't know what type of BB shell it is, but Davis and I did speak quite a bit about CS and BB rigidity. I wanted something that had some vertical compliance, but was laterally stiff. Although it doesn't show up in the pictures, there is a small but burly yoke bridging the two chainstays at the BB. I'll only really know how it performs when I get it on the trail in a variety of conditions. Once I get it together, I'll try to write an honest ride report.

    Wardo

    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    A custom bike that actually looks custom is always a sight to behold on the trails. I like the paint jobs and welding on the traditional looking custom frames and the curves in this would have me looking.

    Did the designer say anything about compromised chainstay rigidity with your build? What kind of BB shell is that?

  11. #11
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    Nice custom bike!

  12. #12
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    A picture is way better than my description, so here you go:

    New Custom Carver-imgp1747-l.jpg

    New Custom Carver-imgp1746-l.jpg

    And here are two pictures of the a 2.5 Weirwolf full forward. It is tight, and the rim needs to be trued to more left offset for it to be truly centered, but I think it will work.

    New Custom Carver-imgp1749-l.jpg

    New Custom Carver-imgp1748-l.jpg

    Wardo



    Quote Originally Posted by wardo78 View Post
    I don't know what type of BB shell it is, but Davis and I did speak quite a bit about CS and BB rigidity. I wanted something that had some vertical compliance, but was laterally stiff. Although it doesn't show up in the pictures, there is a small but burly yoke bridging the two chainstays at the BB. I'll only really know how it performs when I get it on the trail in a variety of conditions. Once I get it together, I'll try to write an honest ride report.

    Wardo

  13. #13
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    Today I finished assembling my Carver, and got a good 1 hour long shakedown ride on technical singletrack trails I know well. Nothing was particularly difficult during the build, just the usual fussy details to get it just right. I am racing it tomorrow, so I spent some extra time making sure it was sorted. This included numerous stops during the shakedown to adjust things to perfection. Here are a few pictures built:

    New Custom Carver-imgp1755-l.jpg

    New Custom Carver-imgp1754-l.jpg

    New Custom Carver-imgp1756-l.jpg

    I am guessing it weighs around 22-23 pounds. As far as first impressions from my ride, the bike felt immediately comfortable, like a custom should. The seat tube felt slacker than I am accustomed to, but in fact is pretty sinilar to my Scalpel. I slid the seat a bit more forward and the sensation disappeared. I was struck by how flickable it felt and the incredible traction it got while climbing standing. It is a bit nose light when climbing seated on very steep stuff, but either I'll adapt, stand or move the sliders further back. The frame felt plenty stiff, I'll have a better sense after a few more days. The XX1 is incredible and shifts very smoothly, including while under a load. I like the relative absence of chain slap and light weight. I'll follow up with a more thorough report after I have more time on it.

    Regards,
    Wardo

  14. #14
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    Very nice build! Awesome bike!

  15. #15
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    That is way cool.
    I like the red and black tape on the seat tube, it works well.
    Hmmm,, Porter, what can you do for me .....

  16. #16
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    I like it better as a righty.

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  17. #17
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    Looks really nice Dude. Lot of stand over and post showing if you'd just raised the TT/ST junction up about 2" you could probably have had the ST bend follow the radius of the wheel - think that would have just been the tits.

    Quote Originally Posted by wardo78 View Post
    Today I finished assembling my Carver, and got a good 1 hour long shakedown ride on technical singletrack trails I know well. Nothing was particularly difficult during the build, just the usual fussy details to get it just right. I am racing it tomorrow, so I spent some extra time making sure it was sorted. This included numerous stops during the shakedown to adjust things to perfection. Here are a few pictures built:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Regards,
    Wardo
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  18. #18
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    Nice job. I love it.

  19. #19
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    Wow, that looks awesome. Seat post must be a perfect fit for you!

  20. #20
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    Actually, the seat tube is not integrated. It is an older 27.2 Aerolite Ti I had on the shelf.

    Wardo

    Quote Originally Posted by Shmoo View Post
    Wow, that looks awesome. Seat post must be a perfect fit for you!

  21. #21
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    Nice build! Very unique looking frame

  22. #22
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    OK, with another ride and race under my belt, I feel like I can offer a better ride report. First, I had my best finish of the season last weekend, and the Carver gets at least a portion of the credit. The course was a rocky, somewhat hilly and wet one that is considered technical by most of the riders. I've been racing a Cannondale Scalpel 3 that has been modeded to the point that it weighs 25 pounds or so with Ardents. I've also owned a number of other 29er's over the years including a beautiful Black Sheep SS. I am also regularly riding a 9:zero:7 fatbike.

    On to the Carver... the bike performed flawlessly. I was impressed with how well it tracked on high speed descents, yet was super maneuverable in the tight stuff. There was a lot of picking different tracks for your tires as you climbed over slippery rocks, and it really made that easy. I also didn't miss the rear suspension one bit. There is definitely some vertical compliance in the rear that takes out the worst of the trail harshness, but not a lot of excess flex. I could get the 2.4" Ardent to rub when really reefing on it during a standing climb. The wheel is dished a bit to the right, so once it is centered, I think it will be fine. The CS sliders were set at 16.75" (for clearance with mud) and I was very happy with the compromise. It climbed well seated, which is my preferred position while racing with gears, and the front end was plenty planted on the steep stuff. As mentioned before it carved well and had that 26" feel of agility. Really, it was exactly what I hoped it would be.

    The other components performed well, with the XX1 being a real standout. I really loved the range of the 34/42 and it shifted flawlessly in muddy conditions. I did have to really clean the BB30 Bb after wards, there was water in my shell along with mud. I bought a new FSA BB with seals that I hope will cure this since wet racing is just part of life here. I don't usually do recreational rides when it is wet to avoid trail damage, but racing is another story. Thanks for reading.

    Regards,
    Wardo

  23. #23
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    Love the build!

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