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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's that honey? Have a headache on my birthday? Come again? Not feeling very frisky on fathers day? Well, never mind, I now have a new mistress I plan on spending much quality time with, day and night.
This beauty is so special that I dumped my last mistress, a gorgeous, slender Niner One9 that had taken me to many special places. But this one has a bit more meat on her bones. She is a bit more curvaceous while being soft and firm in all the right places.

Introducing my new "Gnarvestera"

Frame: Carver Gnarvester (17")
Fork: Carver XC470
Cranks: Race Race Next SL 1x
Chainring: RF NW 30t
Cog: Endless Kick-ass cog 20t
Cockpit: Thomson Masterpiece/X4
Brakes: XT
Rotors: Alligator serrated
Bar: Carver 730mm
Ends: Ritchey WCS
Hubs: DTS 240's (R 142x12, Fr QR)
Rims: Light-Bicycle carbon 35mm DH
Spokes: DTS Aerolites (alloy nips)
Tires: Surly Knards 120tpi
Chain: SRAM 850
Ritchey pro saddle
pedals: Wellgo something or others
Grips: black/grey ESI Chunky
Cage: King

Weight as ridden (with pedals, cage, computer, bell, sealant etc...)
21lbs 13 ounces or ~9890g of 29+ goodness. :thumbsup:

Took her out for some foreplay this afternoon (and Wow!), but tomorrow we are going to get really nasty!

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When you're done with her...make her sleep in the wet spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks for the props. I admit this build has been a labor of love, and a labor on my wallet (kinda like a wife and kids).

Fantastic maiden voyage today.

Mountain Bike Ride Profile | First Gnarvester Ride...Fleming Meadows X2 + Jenkinson Lake near Pollock Pines | Times and Records | Strava

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The good: This thing really feels like it will roll over everything. I started out with conservative tire pressure at 18psi. After several miles I dropped it to ~16 and that was better. Thinking even slightly lower will be even better.
The feel of the frame is very smooth. Definitely rivals that of my SIR9, but then the 3" tires contribute to the ride feel for sure.
The grip was superb. I had one slight spin-out when I rolled over a rock at just the right moment and sent it shooting off the side of the trail. Almost lost traction one other time on some loose pine needles. Keep in mind I was not purposely climbing with my weight back to optimize rear traction, the tires/contact patch just provide superior grip.
I was able to really cut loose on some downhills and, even though I was not yet 100% accustomed to braking and cornering, I was still more confident with this bike and these tires, and that confidence was not misplaced.

The not-so-good: The first thing that stood out just from hopping on the bike was that the stem is a little high. I need to drop it down 10-15mm.
At 730mm, the bars are too damn wide. I am pushing 5'8, so these were overkill. I am use to 580mm Ritchey WCS bars. My hands were so wide apart that there was no leverage advantage. I will cut them down about 5 centimeters to 680mm (~1 inch off each end) and go from there, but would not be surprised if I get down to 650mm.
Due to the size of the enlarged seat stays and my massive calve muscles, when I stand while coasting, my right leg rests/rubs a bit. I already had this issue with my SIR9 so I knew this could happen. A good buddy pointed out that mocing my cleat further inward would push my leg outward a bit and that could help. Even though there was no negative affect to my leg (no rub mark...), I am going to try this and see if it helps.
Though I used carbon paste on the inserted portion of my seatpost and greased up every nut bolt and metal contact points on the upper portion, there was creaking that started after several miles. I don't think it was coming from the post/frame contact but rather the seat/post contact.
I definitely felt like I was sitting higher...I think that was because I *was* sitting higher as the tires are ~30 inches tall. Only really noticeable at the onset. By mile 15 or 20 I did not even think about it.
In-spite of the overall weight of the bike being only 21.8 lbs, I was able to feel the rotational weight, especially on slow, steep sections of climbing. Part of this was that Contributing to this was that I had not ridden SS in over a month (made the SIR9 a 1x9), the ride was at 3-4k of elevation, and I forgot that bigger wheels affect gearing so maybe I should have gone with one more tooth on the rear cog. Still, even though I am fat and don't have me best SS legs, I was able to muscle out over 25 miles and over 3700'..and loved it.

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Having ridden SS exclusively for that last several years (the last two rigid), I had an idea of what to expect. I wanted a SS with superior traction and a bit more cushion. This bike, this build, is what I have been waiting for. Sure, I could make it lighter with a lighter bar, stem, seat etc. but I wanted it to be strong as well. In fact I opted for the heavier 460g DH wheels rather than the 420g XC/AM rim. I just figured the extra 40g per wheel was worth it. This bike is light enough and it is solid (yet squishy). I have been through many, many bikes over the years, but think I have finally settled on the ones that will stay in my stable. I hope to be shredding the gnar with this one for years to come.
 

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Nice build, I am going for something similar, but probably going to go a little cheaper on the rims/cranks. Going to test ride one up at Carver's shop in a month or so before committing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
S.O.B.
Post up with detailed ride reports, please. I've thinking about building up a like Beast myself.
First ride report done. When I was looking at building one, there were only a couple threads here and a handful of pics on-line, so I wanted to be detailed for those like you who may be considering such a bike.
One more thing to add to the ride report. I still found this bike 'flickable'. I am not a big, strong guy, but I in spite of the wheel base being slightly longer than I am use to, I was able to corner switchbacks (up and down) without issue, and when needed to, I was able to hit the front brake and swing the rear around. Now I am no trials rider by any stretch, but I had practiced this one move on my other single-speeds due to some of the tight trails I've ridden in NC. I admit, it was easier on my 18.8 lb One9, but this bike is more fun to ride. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nice build, I am going for something similar, but probably going to go a little cheaper on the rims/cranks. Going to test ride one up at Carver's shop in a month or so before committing.
Ha, I am jealous. This purchase was a leap of faith, having never ridden a 29+, before taking the plunge. I live pretty modestly as a teacher with two kids. But I figure this is better than coming home with a convertable, or trying to sneak around with that hot tattooed chick at the grocery store that flirts with me. ;)
I did originally have my silver Shimano XT's installed on the frame as I was waiting for the wheels to be built. They just did not look right. It was clear *to me* that I needed black or carbon cranks to really bring it together. I probably should have picked up some SLX's, but had just received a raise at work, so I said, "[email protected]% it!" and purchased the lightest, prettiest cranks available (Arts Cyclery had the 170's I needed at 15% off).
As for wheels, I was originally going to build these up on Flows. I know that Surly recommends a minimum of 35mm (30 internal) width for these tires, but if you do the math (internal width of rim to tire width ratio), there is VERY little difference to running a 2.35 or 2.4 on a Crest (what I have been doing over the past year) than running this 3.0 on a Flow. Of course there are more options out there as well (velocity etc.). I had found the DTS 240 hubs used for $300, and the rims, direct from china for $187 ea. Still, they were not cheap, but again, this IS my mid-life crisis build so 'there ya go'. :cool:
 

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but again, this IS my mid-life crisis build so 'there ya go'. :cool:
Hah, yeah, I'm a little young to be doing a mid-life crisis bike...I'll call this my 'marriage and kids are not too far off in the distance, so I might as well get some nice bikes before I can't afford to anymore' build :) I am also a little wary of carbon bits, based on my riding style (bash and crash) and experience
with carbon on mountain bikes (I've broken my Ibis Mojo twice). I find that I bash my cranks on rocks a whole lot, and I'd drive myself crazy trying not to clip rocks with carbon cranks and rims on rocky New England trails.

My Plan:
Frame: Carver Gnarvester
Fork: Carver Trail 490
Top Cap/Plug: Carver
Headset: Cane Creek 40 ZS44/ZS56
Crankset: SRAM X9 or Truvativ AKA
Bottom Bracket: SRAM GXP
Chainring: Wolf Tooth
Cog: Endless Kick Ass
Spacers: Endless Fibonacci Spacers
Wheelset: Velocity Dually, Hope Pro 2, DT Swiss spokes
Tires : Surly Knard 27TPI
Stem: Race Face Turbine
Handlebar: Race Face Turbine
Grips: Oury Lock on
Brakes: Shimano XT
Rotors: Carver Vented
Chain: XT
Pedals: XT
Seatpost: Race Face Turbine
Seatpost Collar: Carver
Saddle: Flite Ti (an oldie)

I'm going to have Carver price it for me as stated above, and compare to what it would cost me if I source all the parts. May also have Carver build it with XT shifter/rear der/casette and then buy the cog/spacers/ss chain and swap out as needed. Suspension fork down the road, will likely pick up a used 140mm Fox Float or Talas 29 and trim as needed.

p.s. very glad my gf does not read mtbr :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hah, yeah, I'm a little young to be doing a mid-life crisis bike...I'll call this my 'marriage and kids are not too far off in the distance, so I might as well get some nice bikes before I can't afford to anymore' build :)...
...p.s. very glad my gf does not read mtbr :)
Yeah, my wife does not read mtbr also or I might end up dating that hot, tattooed chick at the grocery store...cause I'd be single.
Sounds like a tough, bullet proof build...yet still pricey (hard to avoid that). Hopefully you have some parts lying around or from another bike. I already had the brakes, rotors, bar ends, grips, chain, cog, pedals, seat, stem, post, spacers, computer, bell and front bolt on skewer (much came from my One9) and then I picked up the hubs used for a sweet deal. So really it was the frame, fork, wheelset, cranks, bar and headset. Still, those pieces alone added up to plenty. Selling my I-9 wheelset, One9 frame and many other bits I had lying around cut my direct out of pocket in half, but I definitely splurged. I learned after building up my first SS that I ended up spending more money upgrading later than if I purchased what I really wanted initially. That said, with your projected build, you won't need to do any upgrading. I know I have nothing I want to change, other than throwing on my 21t cog and of course when the Maxxis Chronicle hits the market, I will be all over it.
I will look forward to seeing your build after it happens.
 

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Hey I may have some bars that would work perfect for your set-up. They are Specialized s-works carbon flat bars, 6 degree sweep I think I last measured at 655. I'd be open to trades. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey I may have some bars that would work perfect for your set-up. They are Specialized s-works carbon flat bars, 6 degree sweep I think I last measured at 655. I'd be open to trades. :)
Ha, funny. Sorry, but this Gnarvester will be 'Specialized Free'. Plus, a Sweet Ti bar on a sweet Ti frame looks hot. I do have two aluminum Ritchey WCS bars (both black and white) and a white FSA 180 bar. Be happy to swap either of those, I'll even give you a two for one deal. ;)
 

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Really nice build S.O.B.! I've been enjoying my Gnarvester for over a year now and still loving it. The increased traction and small bump absorption is just awesome. Mine is set up 1x6 right now, but I set it up for easy SS conversion and will make the change later this spring when I get my riding legs back. Mine is quite a bit heavier than yours, a sub 22lb Gnarvester must feel great! My wheels are really heavy right now, but I am holding out for the Notubes 50mm rims before building up anything else.

Enjoy the ride!
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Really nice build S.O.B.! I've been enjoying my Gnarvester for over a year now and still loving it. The increased traction and small bump absorption is just awesome. Mine is set up 1x6 right now, but I set it up for easy SS conversion and will make the change later this spring when I get my riding legs back. Mine is quite a bit heavier than yours, a sub 22lb Gnarvester must feel great! My wheels are really heavy right now, but I am holding out for the Notubes 50mm rims before building up anything else.

Enjoy the ride!
Mark
Thanks Mark, especially for the posts and pictures that gave me the confidence to go ahead with this project. I have been out on three different trails already (thanks to Spring Break) and just love riding this piece of art.
I just trimmed the titanium bar down to ~676mm (took ~26 off each end)...the titanium is certainly tougher than aluminum...but the reciprocating saw cut through it o.k.; finished it off with a metal sander (drill attachment). Also cut the steering tube a bit more as I get my Gnarvester dialed in just right.
Last night I did a 16 mile ride with the pressure (120tpi) at ~15 front and ~16 rear and it seemed great for railing corners and smoothing out the trail. With these rims, I don't dare go lower. I might consider a 1x9 or 10 setup for certain events (like the Tahoe Sierra 100 in August), but will likely just use the SIR9 as I won't feel so nervous if I drop the steel frame and fork on the rocks. Maybe after a year or so I will go your route and switch back and forth. By then I should be able to get a Shimano 1x10 cheap as the new 1x11 is now out. If I throw a 28t on front, I will have all the climbing gear I need.
Thanks again. I hope this thread adds to helping others as yours and '1x1clyde' helped me.
Ride on!
-James
 
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