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I am looking at a Carver 96er Frame. The Carver runs a 29er wheel in front and a 26 inch wheel in the rear. I am wondering how these would ride compared to a full 29er Advantages/Disadvantages? Anyone have any experience with these? The concept seems to make some sense to me.
 

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lots lots lots lots and LOTS of stuff about the concept in this forum. DO a search

there is an article in one of this months mountain bike mag's about the bike. It was not 100% positive. Sounded like the reviewer was not the biggest 29er fan generally. It was either MBA or DirtRag. I can't remember which.
 

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Only 2 reasons I know of to go 29/26 ...

1) You've already got a 26" suspension-corrected bike, a new 29" bike is too much investment for you right now, and you want to go fully rigid in front anyway. At least you can get an improvement in how you roll over stuff at the front, and half of the stability benefit. You won't get any improvements in climbing traction, of course, and you won't get very much improvement in rolling resistance since most of that is in the rear tire.

2) You're so hard on rear wheels that you can't build up a strong-enough 29" rear wheel, even with 36 straight gauge spokes. I actually know someone - who's been riding 29"ers longer than I have - who fits into this category, and plans to have a custom 29"er built.

I see NO other reason not to go 29" wheels, assuming you accept the benefits of big wheels in the first place. In other words, there are very, very few people for whom a NEW production 29"er would be a good investment. The grip, stability, ride and rolling resistance benefits apply to both wheels, and if you go 29" at only one end I think you're only getting half the benefit.
 

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This is just my opinion, but why bother. I say go full 29, and not mess with the whole 29, 26 thing. Remindes me of the Specialized Big Hit with the 26 front, 24 back. Bad Idea to me. JMO
 

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Recovering couch patato
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A reason that will mean more to Europeans than to others, the UCI doesn't allow any bikes with different wheelsizes front/rear. Not even in timetrial anymore.

Intriguing how the 96'er "concept" seems to appeal to so many people who have not properly demo'd a 29"er. LIke 29" is the inevitable evil, and the 96'er the attractive half-evil.

One that doesn't thoroughly try a full 29"er before soending serious cash on the half-way evil, probably doesn't deserve much more value for investment.

Prediction : a few years from now, the resale price for a Carver frame will be surprisingly low. In 20 years, it will sell for more than original retail, as a unique fluke(sp) in MTB history. The 29" bike had already been realized in '99, but in 2005 someone thought that a golden compromize was required with under half the 29" advantages in return for 1/3lb weight savings.and that many others would feel the same. The bike industry is so silly...
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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It's a looooong story!

This "96er" (I still think the moniker for these bikes is silly) thing has been hashed out here before. I remember reading that "if you haven't ridden one, you don't know what your talking about" line before concerning these bikes. So, to that end I have had the unique opportunity to build one of these up cheap. I got my hands on a Trek 4500 frame for free, an old Manitou 700c suspension fork for free, and with that and my vast parts bin selection it looks like I'll have myself a 29"X26" rig to test here shortly. I plan on running the same tires as my Karate Monkey and doing some roll out tests, climbing tests, and some single track time trials on both to satisfy my requirements. Then when somebody chimes in here and says "I don't know what I'm talking about",well.......they still might be right! :p At least I'll have my experiences to draw upon, and heck.......it's a bicycle, how could it not be fun! :D :p
 

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I'm sure the Carver people had been riding full 29"ers for many years, and have eventually come to the conclusion that they just couldn't live with that super-bulky extra 1/3lb that only offered the better half of the 29" advantages, at a staggering sub-half of the weight penalty.

Hey, oversized stems, 31.8mm, have been tried over a decade ago, and the market didn't want them. 26/24 has been tried in both XC and DH, same effect. Surely this time it will work, magnifying to 29/26?

I did try the 29/26 thing before finally getting my first full 29"er. Even though the setup was rigid (which I was used to on that frame), already the rear end felt overly harsh. No thank you on a hardtail version of that!

"Yes Sir, this is our new model mini van. What we did over our existing mega-van was shortening the wheelbase by 2", while reducing the number of seat from 8 to 5. Furthermore, by cutting off it's tail we managed to keep luggage space exactly the same. Overall weight of the vehicle, thanks to these improvement has amounted to a welcome 20lb advantage, which will boost your car's performance beyond your imagination. You know how in car racing 20lb is the difference bewteen winning and losing? Amazing isn't it Sir, the advantages to be reached by downscaling things?".

or

"Yes Sir, we changed the front wheels to 19" rims with wide slick, and the back end got 14" ones with shortened travel to give a more lively rear end. You get all the back-end sliding, but with a front wheel drive car!"
 

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Maybe, just maybe, the folks at Carver have ridden many bikes and like what they sell?


I think many of the folks here who talk **** on the 96er concept would not do the same about hardtail vs full suspension, which much of the same arguments could be made about.

Check out the Dirtrag review. Try to ride one. Don't let the din in here sway you too much, most of these folks are zealots, but that does make it interesting.

Personally I have a full rigid KM, but I plan on trying the 29/26 concept soon, as some of the very, very tight trails around here I'm not completely happy with the full 29.
 

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I'm finishing my 96'er build this week. My intention is to get both the 96'er and my X-Cal out for a side by side this weekend. I'll post some early observations and then follow up after some miles. Talk tou you guys this weekend.
 

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(was) Big in Japan
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jonassterling said:
I think many of the folks here who talk **** on the 96er concept would not do the same about hardtail vs full suspension, which much of the same arguments could be made about.

Check out the Dirtrag review. Try to ride one. Don't let the din in here sway you too much, most of these folks are zealots, but that does make it interesting.

Personally I have a full rigid KM, but I plan on trying the 29/26 concept soon, as some of the very, very tight trails around here I'm not completely happy with the full 29.
I agree with you - they might work just fine. But I pose this analogy to you: What would you (or people around here) think if I went to the SS board and said "Hey guys, a 2 speed is better than a SS!"

I bet you/they'd tell me to naff off. And fair enough. That is a place to talk about SS bikes. A place for SS lovers. And this is a place for 29er riders and bikes. So yeah, you could say zealot, but then this IS the allocated space for 29er nuts. By the way, there is a reason why many folks here come across as zealots - because we believe in what we ride.

I will recommend a 29er to anyone I know in the market for a new bike. I've ridden almost every kind of mountain bike since I started MTBing in 1989, and I honestly believe that 29ers are superior to comparable bikes with 26 inch wheels. I want to help my friends, it would weigh on my conscience otherwise. The only time I'd advise gainst a 29er was if there were special circumstances, for example monetary constraints or rider size.

I honestly think 29/26 has its place - but I don't think it is in the new bike market. I think it helps if you want to use a rigid fork, or want to test the waters before you commit to a 29er purchase. It can be pretty cheap to convert your current ride. I think there are now enough options for zippy-handling 29ers that the wheel size doesn't have to let one down in tight singletrack.

Finally, I too ride a KM - got it about a month ago. I think it is just as nimble as my SC Blur (and just as much fun - and like yours, it is full rigid). A lot less money, maintenance and hassle for the same amount of fun (if not more).

Out.
 

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I have tried one 29/26er, a perfect geometry match to the 26/26 I had ridden previously, so I think my opinion is valid. I'm not going to import a Carver frame, borrow a 26" rear wheel, just to try this specific specimen.

If your trails in your mind are too tight for a 29"er, get a 26"er. They're fine bikes, with a quarter century history. I've often seen that switchbacks not cleaned with 26" after many attempts, were cleaned first time on a 29"er.

Set up your KM with the rear wheel all the way forward, and ride it. This is mere millimeters longer a chainstaylength than on the Carver. Now add the difference, slide the rear wheel in place, bolt it down, and ride some more. Huge difference, huh? Personally, I just can't tell. We're talking millimeters on a meter+ wheelbase.

The Carver Mini accepts both 24" and 26" rear wheels. So for small kids it's fine to have chainstays half their body length, and not for grown ups? The extensive geoemtry sheet doesn't state what one owuld expect as the most important feature (short rear end) : chainstaystaylength. perhaps it's really not all that short?

Carver's XL (they also make XXL, which in itself is cool) has a 44.0" wheelbase. My favorite 29"ers I own in XL, with much longer toptubes, are SHORTER! Maybe they amde the front extra long and stable, to have the rear seem even shorter.

The mini's seat tube (top of seattube) measurement for some reason is in mm, odd. It's even not really much shorter than the "normal" XS, despite a really short toptube, odd too. I'malso pretty sure the BB drops though the sizing range aren't correct. The mini on 24/24 wheels could use a 165mm crankset+pedal as a kickstand :) 10 or 15mm shorter cranks on the XS than the XXL, wow.

Come to think of it, it should be relatively easy to make an adapter to stick a 26" rear wheel in a KM, keeping BB drop the same. Great way to void warranty and try something "new".

Sorry folks, bad mood.
 

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You're

going to be a lot less happy when you drop your rear end another 1"+ while dropping the BB and slackening the HA. Rock meet pedal. Corner meet push.

Sounds like maybe you should have purchased a 96er from the get go...

jonassterling said:
Personally I have a full rigid KM, but I plan on trying the 29/26 concept soon, as some of the very, very tight trails around here I'm not completely happy with the full 29.
 

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I honestly think 29/26 has its place - but I don't think it is in the new bike market. I think it helps if you want to use a rigid fork, or want to test the waters before you commit to a 29er purchase. It can be pretty cheap to convert your current ride. I think there are now enough options for zippy-handling 29ers that the wheel size doesn't have to let one down in tight singletrack.[/QUOTE]
Amen to that. I just don't have such kind words popping up on this topic.

Maybe I should regard the 96'er (sissies to not dare call it 69'er) much like the shotblasted jeans. They don't keep you warm as much, maybe itch a bit even, but make you look really cool in a selected type of company for a short while (fashion).

I wonder why, not even for the XXL (taller than most road bikes), Carver went for a 29" rear wheel, even as an option. If you fit a bike with a 24.5" seat tube, what's a couple mm's of chaisntays or 150g in a rear wheel?
 

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Sooooooo True!

Cloxxki said:
A reason that will mean more to Europeans than to others, the UCI doesn't allow any bikes with different wheelsizes front/rear. Not even in timetrial anymore.

Intriguing how the 96'er "concept" seems to appeal to so many people who have not properly demo'd a 29"er. LIke 29" is the inevitable evil, and the 96'er the attractive half-evil.

One that doesn't thoroughly try a full 29"er before soending serious cash on the half-way evil, probably doesn't deserve much more value for investment.

Prediction : a few years from now, the resale price for a Carver frame will be surprisingly low. In 20 years, it will sell for more than original retail, as a unique fluke(sp) in MTB history. The 29" bike had already been realized in '99, but in 2005 someone thought that a golden compromize was required with under half the 29" advantages in return for 1/3lb weight savings.and that many others would feel the same. The bike industry is so silly...
Intriguing how the 96'er "concept" seems to appeal to so many people who have not properly demo'd a 29"er. LIke 29" is the inevitable evil, and the 96'er the attractive half-evil.

None of my riding buddies would think of going 29'er. However they say it would be great if they made a 29" front wheel for my DH bike. :eek:
 

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im on the east coast also...

jonassterling said:
Maybe, just maybe, the folks at Carver have ridden many bikes and like what they sell?

I think many of the folks here who talk **** on the 96er concept would not do the same about hardtail vs full suspension, which much of the same arguments could be made about.

Check out the Dirtrag review. Try to ride one. Don't let the din in here sway you too much, most of these folks are zealots, but that does make it interesting.

Personally I have a full rigid KM, but I plan on trying the 29/26 concept soon, as some of the very, very tight trails around here I'm not completely happy with the full 29.
and the potential lack of handling in the tight stuff is my biggest fear. im building up a soma juice as we speak but in my heart of hearts its hard to imagine any 29er cutting up east coast singletrack like a 26er. for those that dont know WE HAS SOME TIGHT @SS TRAILS!!!!!!!!. plus i ride a 20in bike, which dosnt help. we'll see.
 

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For super-tight trails, based purely on numbers, I'd advise stay away from the Carver. 70º head angle and a 29" front wheel?
The Carver is a longer bike than the average 29"er, and it's all in the front, without being in the top tube. An extra inch on the front IMO affects tight handling more than an inch in the back, and the Carver's back is ever so slightly shorter, and the front way long.
 

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King Pin
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My Vulture "ninety sixer fixer" has provided many good hours of fun for me. I don't think I've ever been entertained more on any mtb I've owned. She will enjoy the 24 Hrs. at Old Pueblo in a coupla months.......

She climbs with alacrity and descends with conviction. I love this bike!

I'd post a pic, but my current Pentax Digi SLR camera just seems to make things TOO big.
 

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I popped a 29" wheel (Salsa Delgado rim/Surly hub/WTB Exiwolf tire) in the stock fork on my Inbred and I'm enjoying it. I'm 5'4" so a production 29er isn't really an option(a 15" Rig might fit but I don't like aluminum)and I'm not currently in a position to pop for a custom, so this will hold me until I can go for the full 29er which I feel is the better way to go. I'm interested to see the Monocog 29er in the flesh, that may be a possibility if there's a small enough size.
 
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