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Carver Gravel Grinder Build: Country Road/Gravel Assault Bike

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Carver Gravel Grinder Build: Country Road/Gravel Assault Bike

Old 03-17-17, 03:52 PM
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Carver Gravel Grinder Build: Country Road/Gravel Assault Bike

I had an idea since doing a bespoke nice Ti roadie.... to do a non-urban Country Road/Gravel Assault Bike. Been an itch for years. Time to stop messing around.



Premise: Ride that could be fun on pavement, but mostly aimed for our Nebraska light double track or rails-to-trails yet could also fully bag the odd credit-card tour. Had to be drop bar-as my hands just don't tolerate a flatbar for more than an hour. 45mm desired tire clearance if not bigger.

The build was always desired to have adjustable Paragon sliding dropouts. Not for single-speed so much as tightening or loosening up the wheelbase depending on go-fast or touring use.

Steel is real and great stuff for touring...OTOH titanium is a bit nicer in that you never needs worry about rust!


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Plans materialised...I started stockpiling parts in January. Then plans fell apart due to timing constraints (rides to make and delays in fabrication and so on). Then plans were re-made, and then remade again....Which brings us to the fun stuff. The semi-final shopping list is below, PR links provided, not necessarily where I bought things (e.g. the fork I sourced locally through a dealer).

Stuff in Black is on hand and ready and soon to get pictured...Stuff in Blue is in the mail already and stuff in red is "oops that needs ordered"


I'll flap my gums more as things start getting assembled and come in the mail next week!


I'm dumping this to print now and will add/change later.



Frame:55cm Carver GG Ti. Shimano E-Thru axle/disc Paragon sliders, 12x142
Ti Gravel Grinder - Carver Bikes

Fork: Niner RDO Gravel...needs painted, not a fan of Niner's colors—sorry Niner
Niner RDO Gravel Fork > Components > Forks & Suspension > Road Forks | Jenson USA

Headset: King Inset 7, ZS44-EC44, for 1-1/8 to 1-1/2 steerer, color matches stem/seatpost
https://chrisking.com/products/42

Transmission: Ultegra Di2: R785 Brifters/FD/RD/battery/junctionA/JunctionB/harness/rotors/11-32, SM-EWW101 Wireless unit, charger..

Crankset: IRD Defiant 46/30, UN-55 Shimano BB
https://www.interlocracing.com/crank-...road-crank-set

Wheels: 32h Pacenti SL25, Bitex BX106 hubset, DT 14/15/14 3X black/Sapim silver brass nipples (1715g)

Pedals: Crank Bros Candy (3, with sole protector plate)

Tires: Panaracer 700x40 Gravel King tubeless

Seatpost: ProMax blue, 31.8mm
SP-1 SEATPOST - Promax Components

Saddle: Selle SMP Hell

Stem: ProMax via QBP 80mm?, blue matches headset/seatpost collar/cages
S-35 STEM - Promax Components

Handlebar: 44CM Salsa Cowbell3

Computer Mount: Ye Olde K-Edge

Tape:Shimano PRO handlebar tape, Bar pads a la Fizik.

Bar shapers?:Specialized BG Bar Shapers - mikesbikes.com

Fenders: ??

Pannier Racks/Bags: Bags are Ortliebs, racks: Blackburn front/Tubus rear
https://www.jensonusa.com/Blackburn-Outpost-Front-Rack
https://ortliebusa.com/product/cosmo/


Bike is BUILT! See this post for first ride pics!: https://www.bikeforums.net/19510701-post49.html

Last edited by Marcus_Ti; 04-14-17 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 03-17-17, 07:55 PM
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Builds everywhere! I love it!

That frame looks like an amazing value. Can't wait to see the crank on that frame.


-Tim-
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Old 03-17-17, 09:22 PM
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So, no more Flaanimal?

Either way, looking forward to some build pics.
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Old 03-20-17, 05:52 PM
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UPDATE:

Frame arrived today well packed and safe as one would hope and expect, 3 day shipping was 5 but only due to Snowmaggedon on the East Coast. Images are attached in the gallery below. Tried to get all the salient bits everyone would be concerned about. Just as sweet a finish of frameset as my Seven TBH (which cost considerably more). Great metal work by all appearances. Will swing by the LBS tomorrow to talk about getting transmission bits ordered and see those guys drool a bit.


Forrest Carver was as great to talk to to get this done. Email him before work, and he'd be back to my by lunchtime with answers. All I had to do was ask for Di2 drilling, and he asked where he wanted the drillings (full internal is possible, but requires a full custom process that doesn't make my timelines-8 weeks was what I was quoted).

For those wondering like I was...the slider dropouts on this model of Carver permit chainstay lengths from 425mm-445mm. Since I'm doing a touring/gravel built I'm feeling I'll try 445 for starters.

Cost as seen...$1500USD shipped. $1400 for the frame, $25 for the axle and sliders, and $80 for shipping.

Gallery:
https://imgur.com/a/ESCT7

Teaser:


Last edited by Marcus_Ti; 03-20-17 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 03-21-17, 05:53 AM
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Chainstay allows for a triple?
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Old 03-21-17, 06:24 AM
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Wow that frame is a crazy value for titanium, I really like the geometry too. I was concerned about the 425 mm chainstays for a touring build but 445 mm is much better. Any idea what size tire it can fit in 650b? Also any comment on the weight? 4.3 pounds seems quite heavy for Ti, but maybe a lot of the weight is in those sliding dropouts.
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Old 03-21-17, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by tangerineowl
Chainstay allows for a triple?
It should, Lynskey does the same yoke plate treatment on their GR250. I'll be running di2 and a 46/30 double though.

Originally Posted by cobra_kai
Wow that frame is a crazy value for titanium, I really like the geometry too. I was concerned about the 425 mm chainstays for a touring build but 445 mm is much better. Any idea what size tire it can fit in 650b? Also any comment on the weight? 4.3 pounds seems quite heavy for Ti, but maybe a lot of the weight is in those sliding dropouts.

With the converging of the chainstays and that yoke, the tire clearance varies depending on where the PMW-sliders are set. Measured up against the chainstay bridge, clearance is 45mm thereabouts....with the sliders at full extension, tire clearance appears at a guess to be 55mm (to maybe 60mm?) territory (measures parallel to the axle at where the flat-of-the-yoke-plate ends. Will know for certain once I get it wheeled.

I'll see if I can get an accurate weighing on the frame today. Advertised weight is on the heavy side for titanium....however the slider dropout parts alone add 170 gram at least (per PMW), NVM what the yoke adds and the welds. Also not sure if the frame is internally butted or straight gauge, I believe straight gauge which per David Kirk is about "4 ounces" AKA 115gram or so.

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Old 03-21-17, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for the info... looks like it'll be a sweet build!
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Old 03-21-17, 01:59 PM
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Now that is a big front rack. I was thinking a Salsa, but I had a leftover credit on my Amazon account, and this was the only front rack they had that also had a top rack space. Rear is in the mail, and probably won't match at all le sigh.



Racks - Album on Imgur

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Old 03-21-17, 08:50 PM
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Lookin good!
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Old 03-22-17, 01:40 PM
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Amazing for $1500. That's Chinese titanium frame price territory. I was planning on maybe doing a Vassago steel or possibly a Lynskey with sliders but the Carver has them both beat by a long shot for price. The Ti Allroad looks very similar and price is the same but allows for 45c tires so maybe better chance for running 27.5.
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Old 03-22-17, 03:16 PM
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Put a fork IN IT!...well at least dry fit anyway.

Niner fork - Album on Imgur



And dry fit! I'll admit I thought about refinishing this fork because I hated the graphics...but I'm warming up to the colors.





Originally Posted by NoGears
Amazing for $1500. That's Chinese titanium frame price territory. I was planning on maybe doing a Vassago steel or possibly a Lynskey with sliders but the Carver has them both beat by a long shot for price. The Ti Allroad looks very similar and price is the same but allows for 45c tires so maybe better chance for running 27.5.

The frame has Lynskey's fingerprints all over it, which Carver's site says the production is handled by them so it should. Go over it with a fine-tooth comb in design....you see a ton of common elements with the GR250 from Lynskey. Differences being frame geometry and the untapered headtube; otherwise the "biaxially ovalized downtube", the yoke plate, the fender/rack boss location and execution, etc all says Lynskey.

GR250's geometry is a bit less aggressive for starters....OTOH with the headset options I'm working with both are going to lower the effective HT angle and increase trail a bit.

For a long time Lynskey was even selling GR250 for only slightly more....$1750 IIRC frame-only with Syntace Wright dropouts and bead-blasted finish. You go spec out the frame building materials on Paragon Machine Works (and they're basically all there), it is about $600USD in parts and raw materials.


FWIW the All-Road has the same tire clearance as this guy....but slightly less aggressive geometry. Part of me liked this frame for starters because it comes from Lynskey in the long run. Don't want to sound like I'm a shill, just being honest.

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Old 03-22-17, 03:27 PM
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I guess I read the description and it said 40s but I missed the specs where it says 700x45c.

Anyways...yeah...but you also have to add an additional $500 to the cost of a Lynskey frame to get sliders which makes the Carver an even better deal.

As far as Lynskey making the frame, that could be good or bad as there's lots of mixed reviews. Good thing is lifetime warranty...hopefully Carver is better to deal with than Lynskey because I read they are a nightmare to work with when warranty issues happen. They blow up your email and phone when they think they're going to sell you a bike/frame...totally disappear when something breaks.

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Old 03-23-17, 04:37 PM
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Sorry took a bit for weights....Had to find a scale of adequate capacity....and that scale is a spring scale rather than a digital one


-55cm Frame, with seat collar and bottle screws (but sans Paragon sliders and axle)=1800 gram (about 4lbs)
-Paragon slider plates, Shimano E-thru axle mounting flat and lock washers, and thumb screws, and slider lock screws/nuts=250 grams.

I'm rounding a bit. In part because my spring scale has a max of 2KG. Also it is a spring scale. And also it is old.

Also....I found that Unlike TimothyH's Niner RDO build...my Niner RDO Gravel fork comes with a cam Maxle, rather than a bolt one. Which ends up being supremely inconvenient for anyone with ideas about racks....You see, Niner's cam-Maxle can ONLY be opened and closed with the cam 100% open as its lever is on a swivel so you can store the lever at any angle when closed. Looks Like I need to go and find a bolt-Maxle.






For those interested....some fun and depressing reading on exactly how many different thru-axle "standards" are out there:

All About Thru Axles - Fairwheel Bikes Blog
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Old 03-23-17, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti
Looks Like I need to go and find a bolt-Maxle.
Suggestion:

Email Chris Wolff <chris.w@ninerbikes.com>. His title is "Question Answerer", very patient and has helped me several times with things like Shimano part numbers for brake adapters and such.

You could also look at https://robertaxleproject.com.

This looks almost identical to what came with my frame.


-Tim-

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Old 03-24-17, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti
Now that is a big front rack. I was thinking a Salsa, but I had a leftover credit on my Amazon account, and this was the only front rack they had that also had a top rack space. Rear is in the mail, and probably won't match at all le sigh.
I bought and returned that rack last summer, but it was for a traditional touring bike. Perhaps with the limitations your bike has(carbon fork so no direct mounting, disc brakes so rack needs that clearance), the rack will work well.
On a traditional fork and rim brake bike, I couldnt have been more unimpressed with the design or quality of the rack.
It has some wonky spaced mounting bars for sure.

I could see it working for your setup or some absurdly wide fork rigid MTB adventure touring setup.

It certainly is a versatile rack in terms of mounting options. Lame that the color wont match the rear rack...thought about spraypaint?
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Old 03-24-17, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
I bought and returned that rack last summer, but it was for a traditional touring bike. Perhaps with the limitations your bike has(carbon fork so no direct mounting, disc brakes so rack needs that clearance), the rack will work well.
On a traditional fork and rim brake bike, I couldnt have been more unimpressed with the design or quality of the rack.
It has some wonky spaced mounting bars for sure.

I could see it working for your setup or some absurdly wide fork rigid MTB adventure touring setup.

It certainly is a versatile rack in terms of mounting options. Lame that the color wont match the rear rack...thought about spraypaint?

I might rattle can it. Rear rack is a Tubus Cosmo in stainless. Should come in from Germany for $100 shipped today. As for mounting the front,the Miner fork has low, mid, and high rack mounts.
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Old 03-24-17, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti
As for mounting the front,the Miner fork has low, mid, and high rack mounts.
So I saw the mounts on the fork and figured they were for extra bottle cages or a light setup like the Trek 720 fork dry bags or Salsa Anything cages.

Thats really cool- a full carbon fork that is designed to handle the weight and stresses of a rack and bags.
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Old 03-24-17, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
So I saw the mounts on the fork and figured they were for extra bottle cages or a light setup like the Trek 720 fork dry bags or Salsa Anything cages.

Thats really cool- a full carbon fork that is designed to handle the weight and stresses of a rack and bags.
I asked Niner back when they released their RLT9 853 steel rig last month regarding their fork. It is overbuilt to MTB standards, uncut I think it is in the neighborhood of 600-650g. AFAIK there's only one other disc brake, rack/fender carbon fiber wide-tire fork in existence....and it is out of stock IRL until at least late April.

Originally Posted by Niner
Our fork can handle rack/pannier use. The fork mounts should be able to handle any weight that the rack is approved for.

Chris Wolff

Answerer of Questions
Niner Bikes

All the racks are here...the Tubus Cosmo came from Germany, US retail is $210+S/H+tax....I paid $100 shipped direct from EU. Kudos to Bike-Components.de for snappy delivery (and saving 50% USA retail)

Rear rack - Album on Imgur

Cloudy ugly day out (rode to work and back), so had to take some crummy cell pics indoors next to the step that Reilly Die Katze has loved so much...

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Old 03-24-17, 08:20 PM
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Nice looking build. Another frame to add to my list.
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Old 03-25-17, 07:48 PM
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Just got done looking at their site. The Tubus racks are really nice.


-Tim-
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Old 03-25-17, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
Just got done looking at their site. The Tubus racks are really nice.


-Tim-
Where to go...for 50% off...

https://www.bike-components.de/en/Ra...r_asc&limit=20
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Old 03-27-17, 12:08 PM
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Been a work-end. Transmission bits are starting to get ordered....For now a teaser of the other assorted bits IO have on hand including that crankset. Also that Fourier Di2 junction box mounting.

For now using an old 90mm -16/-6/+6/+17 degree shimmable stem I had in the parts morgue to fine tune fit once things go together...

Contemplating Di2 wiring....and considering just using the EW90-B 5-port junction by itself and no Jct B...would mean I couldn't put a stock Shimano Di2 grommet in the downtube though...Thinking I'll need 2x1.2M ETube cables and 1x 1M cable as well as the EW-JC130 splitter cable for the front end.




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Old 03-27-17, 05:14 PM
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Where did you buy the Fourier's Di2 junction mount?

-Tim-
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Old 03-27-17, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
Where did you buy the Fourier's Di2 junction mount?

-Tim-
I had ordered it off Amazon....this version of it (all alloy) appears to have been deprecated. The old listing says "unavailable". They look to have done a new issue that is aluminum and plastic:

https://www.amazon.com/Fouriers-HA-S...CJD08YGTFJQJHK

That costs about the same price. Yay for the race to the bottom of margin and quality. Other retailers might still have the all alloy version if you go looking, Amazon is screwy about these things. I think I got the one and only Prime copy of it back in January.
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