Evdog, tell me about Carver 420 ti

Discussion in 'Bikepacking' started by mike, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    It looks like a thoughtfully-designed 29er (or 27.5, not that that matters) hardtail with modern amenities and potential as a nice bikepacker.

    Anyone else, tell me what's out there that I should consider. Custom would be nice, but Moots/Erickson prices are repelling, and months of added time to build is not appealing either.

    Which brings me back to Carver. 1400 for a ti frame under 4 lbs; fun geo, modern, adaptable. Dropouts for any drive possibility; FD possibility. 142x12 rear, threaded BB, tapered head tube, no internal routing, good tire clearance.

    A used bike or frame is not a deal breaker, but I'm set on ti, a hardtail, and it will have CF hoops.

    Thanks for insights...
     
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  2. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Hey Mike,
    Not sure what really needs to be said you have most of the key points down in terms of pluses for this bike. I do like the bike overall for sure. While Carver does do custom frames the 420 is a stock build, which is good because they do carry inventory. I had mine in hand 4-5 days after ordering. I liked the fact that it is very versatile. Like you mention you can use any style of dropout QR, thru axle, SS, and it can be run 27.5 or 29er. My setup is the 142mm thru, 27.5 wheel size.

    The only things I don't like are the small front triangle and the fairly long seat tube for the frame size. Not much I can do about the triangle, I have this issue with all bikes since I need a small or sometimes medium frame. So any frame bag I put in there won't be as big as I'd like. It wouldn't be an issue on a larger size. Regarding the seat tube, I would normally want at least a 5" dropper post but I can only use a 4" post on this bike because the seat tube is so long. Its not a huge deal since this bike is mostly for bikepacking where I can't really use a dropper, or for longer easier rides more suited to a hardtail than FS.

    I have noticed that I am not as confident on this bike on technical descents as my FS. No doubt part of that is the lack of rear suspension, but part of that could also be the shorter 4" drop. It is things like tight downhill switchbacks that I can clean no problem on my Ibis, I cannot with the 420. I also don't like the 420 as much as my FS for technical climbing, but that would be the same for any hardtail. Hardtails get bounced around a lot more making it harder for me to stay on my line and maintain traction while climbing.

    As long as the bike has the specs you want I wouldn't hesitate to order one. There are a couple other bikes worth looking at. The Cove Hummer and the Lynskey frames. Cove is Cdn$2000 but that is in the US$1500 range with exchange. It is a bit heavier but would also be burlier. I have owned a Cove before, they are excellent bikes. That is probably what I would have bought except the exchange rate was nowhere near as favorable when I bought. The Lynskeys go as cheap as $1250. A friend bought one a couple years ago and has no complaints. It seems like they only accept up to 2.3" tires which was a reason I did not go that route. And I think they were a bit heavier too.

    The downside with ordering these frames is you can't really try them out before hand. But as long as you know what you are getting based on the geometry I think you will have a hard time going wrong with any of them. If you have any specific questions let me know and I will try to answer

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  3. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors MTB Addict

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    That picture looks suspiciously like it was taken in Bryce Canyon...beautiful.
     
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  4. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Ev, huge thanks for taking time to put that down and post a pic. I can't think of anyone's riding tendencies more reflective of my own than yours, so it's a great value to get your take on it.

    I would expect a HT to be less of a trail slayer than my FS; thanks for confirming. That tells me it would probably be great for the uses I intend. I have 29er in mind and would probably set it up a bit on the XC side, maybe try a rigid fork on it. Probably 1x11, QR seat collar/no dropper and no wide rims.

    Glad you are digging your 420. Crank on!...
     
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  5. MCB2K

    MCB2K Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Castle Rock, CO
    Name:
    Brian Kiggins
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc
    I'm thinking the forum needs a bikepacking section.

    Hello, Mikie... is this thing on?!?!
     
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  6. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Outstanding idea! It would, no doubt, be a quiet place...not unlike the endeavor itself :)

    I'm getting the jones again for some reason...selective memory, I suspect. I'm thinking Great Divide again, not on a tandem should make it "easy," correctamundo?????

     
  7. rossage

    rossage MTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    The forum sounds like a good idea.
    I have some equipment on order and I will be trying it out on some local overnighters. After I get my gear figured out I have a few epics on my radar....Death Valley, Mojave, Anza, Tibet....
    I have been researching Salsa, Surly, and others and now that Carver is on my mind...
    Dirt baggers unite!
     
  8. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Close to Bryce, but not in it! http://www.imtbtrails.com/forum/threads/bikepacking-the-dixie-200.2628/#post-19998


    Mike if you go with a rigid fork get a cheap one so you don't waste big $$ when you realize how much it beats up your hands. I had one for a while on my On One before it got stolen. It could be fine for fire roads but I would go suspension for with lockout if you plan to ride much singletrack.

    Rossage, try it out on your full susp. first if it works you may not need the hardtail. For a lot of bikepacks especially anything with techy singletrack I prefer my Ibis.

    And yeah, a bikepack subforum would be cool.
     
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  9. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Nice tip, ev. I'm thinking 29+ up front might take a little edge off. Thinking a fire road crusher and not a trail weapon, but point taken. The light 100mm fork options out there would be dreamy, too : )
     
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  10. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Yeti ASR5c, SC Hightower
    @mike
    @evdog
    @MCB2K
    Done Fellers! The Bike Packing Forum is now alive and ready...:thumbsup:
     
  11. rossage

    rossage MTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Awesome!
     
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  12. MCB2K

    MCB2K Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Castle Rock, CO
    Name:
    Brian Kiggins
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc
    Mikie da man!
     
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  13. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Wicked good, thanks, Mikie! That's what I call service : )

    Bikepacking, though...like backpacking – one word.

    - mikethepita
     
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  14. rossage

    rossage MTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Bike packing: putting your bike in a box.

    Bikepacking: putting your troubles in a box and riding into cerebral bliss....
     
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  15. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Yeti ASR5c, SC Hightower
    and done again! :thumbsup:
     
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  16. rossage

    rossage MTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Awesome X 2 !!!!!!
     
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  17. Danmtchl

    Danmtchl MTB Addict

    Location:
    Bakersfield
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    2015 Devinci Troy Carbon 27.5
    Look at the Kona Explosif or Ritchey Timberwolfe. Long travel hard tails that are great for bikepacking. I am out of commission for a while but when my leg heals up I want to start building a bike up.
     
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  18. CarlS

    CarlS Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    Name:
    Carl
    Current Bike:
    Walmart $50 special
    Awesome! I had this same thought too before.
     
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  19. Faust29

    Faust29 MTB Addict

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Dead Highball
    @mike - There's a Carver on Craigslist now in Tustin.
     
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  20. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Thanks loads, Fauster. Inquiring about the size mystery.

    Speaking of you...I'm also looking really hard at the steel El Mariachi : ) Really nice pricepoint...


    PS: On that 420 ti: "The frame size is 18. My height is 5'8" and I fit really well on this frame." Bummah!
     
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  21. Faust29

    Faust29 MTB Addict

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Dead Highball
    I love the el Mariachi... A very adaptable machine, and not as heavy as some. Mine was 28.5 from the factory with tubes, 2x10, and heavier wheels. I've owned it for over a year now, and the only upgrade I see for me would be another el Mariachi set up differently, or maybe a titanium version.

    I keep watching the Path clearance frames for one in my size...
     
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  22. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Aye, Faust – thanks for the info. I'm a bit behind ya. The ti EM looks primo...and priced accordingly!

    I see some steel in my future...
     
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  23. scottay

    scottay MTB Addict

    Location:
    Gods Country
    Name:
    Scottay
    @evdog whats the name/ maker of the framebag above the waterbottle? And the two smaller ones also?

    I have a Relevate GasTank. Looks kinda like that....

    Thanks!
     
  24. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Hey @scottay sorry I never saw this before. Guess I'm not qualified to use these complicated @ tags!

    Both bags are Planet Bike. One is Lunch box the other a snack sack. http://ecom1.planetbike.com/saddles.html. Got the snack sack because it fits in the lower frame of my Mojo SL. The other is larger. Both are much cheaper than Relevate or custom. I couldn't afford $40-50 for these as I was off work for a while.

    Carver 420 is still going strong. I may convert to SS at some point soon.
     
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