Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Framebuilders
Reload this Page >

Carver Bikes

Notices
Framebuilders Thinking about a custom frame? Lugged vs Fillet Brazed. Different Frame materials? Newvex or Pacenti Lugs? why get a custom Road, Mountain, or Track Frame? Got a question about framebuilding? Lets discuss framebuilding at it's finest.

Carver Bikes

Old 05-16-24, 10:41 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
PromptCritical's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
Location: San Diego
Posts: 604

Bikes: Columbine, Paramount Track Bike, Colnago Super, Santana Tandems (1995 & 2007), Gary Fisher Piranha, Trek Wahoo, Bianchi Track Bike, a couple of Honda mountain bikes

Liked 195 Times in 128 Posts
Carver Bikes

Anyone have any feedback on Titanium frames by Carver bikes? There is on for sale on eBay that looks interesting and like it might fit
__________________
Cheers, Mike
PromptCritical is online now  
Old 05-16-24, 10:59 PM
  #2  
blahblahblah chrome moly
 
bulgie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,106
Liked 2,767 Times in 1,146 Posts
Made in China, which has downsides compared to more local.

Also they are custom-made, so the one you get may have quirks dreamed up by the original owner that he regretted later, maybe why it's for sale. Forgive the broad generalization, but production models usually get more thorough vetting of the design than one-offs.

A friend of mine got a Chinese Ti frame (not Carver) and there were several things wrong with it. I don't remember the whole saga but among other things the chainring hit the chainstay even though he was using the size that he originally spec'd. The importer tried to fix it by indenting and made some other problem, besides the indent looking terrible. This was some years ago and I don't remember whether the bike was ever made good enough or whether he gave up on it, sorry. Irrelevant anyway since it's not a Carver.

Ebay's return policy is pretty buyer-friendly, just make sure you inspect it very carefully ASAP so the return window doesn't close
bulgie is offline  
Old 05-17-24, 04:23 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 2,274
Liked 809 Times in 481 Posts
I friend of mine bought a belt drive Ti MTB frame from Carver and the rear end was so flexible that the belt skipped under load, no matter how much tension he put on it. It was useless for anything other than casual riding around town.
dsaul is offline  
Old 05-17-24, 07:58 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
PromptCritical's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
Location: San Diego
Posts: 604

Bikes: Columbine, Paramount Track Bike, Colnago Super, Santana Tandems (1995 & 2007), Gary Fisher Piranha, Trek Wahoo, Bianchi Track Bike, a couple of Honda mountain bikes

Liked 195 Times in 128 Posts
Thanks. Very helpful. The buyer wanting mods & eBay are the exact situation. I'll probably pass on the opportunity, but the frame looks like it is the perfect size; ug. Much appreciated.
__________________
Cheers, Mike

Last edited by PromptCritical; 05-17-24 at 10:26 AM.
PromptCritical is online now  
Old 05-18-24, 11:00 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4,515
Liked 1,394 Times in 733 Posts
Habanero Cycles has their frames made in China, and have done so for over 25 years. Currently I ride an older Nuevo Road model and it is a plenty stiff, yet comfortable even sporting 25c tires. They have some new designs available, but I am a traditionalist thus I keep pedaling the horizontal top tube machine. I also have the Habanero Cross built up and it serves duty when I visit my son in Seattle. Now that frame is a superior ride, smooth as glass on the pave'. Probably my favorite of all from Habanero. Originally I bought a Retro Road from them about 20 years ago, but no longer have it. The frames are very well designed and are about half the price of a domestic built Ti frame.
TiHabanero is offline  
Old 05-18-24, 04:03 PM
  #6  
blahblahblah chrome moly
 
bulgie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,106
Liked 2,767 Times in 1,146 Posts
My friend's custom Ti from China was a Habanero. I just looked at my old emails to remind myself, this was back in 2012. Partial list of what was wrong with it:
  • Crank hits chainstay. Not just the chainring but also the crank at the pedal end. Road crankset was spec'd, ended up having to use MTB cranks with wider Q-factor
  • Housing stop for rear disk too close to the brake, would have kinked the cable too much. Had to bypass the stop and use full-length housing and zip-ties.
  • Seatstay bridge lower than spec, couldn't use the tires he spec'd it for (28 mm), had to use a skinnier back tire.
I don't know whether Habanero bent over backwards to make the guy happy but I doubt an entire new frame was offered. In my opinion that would be the only way to fix all those problems. Habanero dude seems like a nice guy, but I'm guessing he wouldn't stay in business long if he had to supply a new frame every time the factory made mistakes. This is just one screwed-up frame I'm talking about, maybe a fluke, but so many mistakes on one frame is not very confidence-inspiring.

Unfortunately for my friend, he immediately sent it to Bilenky as soon as he received it, to have S&S couplers added. Very expensive. This was before he knew all the stuff that was wrong with the frame. Then he rode it for a little while, with the kluges mentioned above, until the downtube broke at the coupler. That's Bilenky's fault of course, not Habanero. But it explains why I don't see him riding that bike anymore.

Lesson learned; he won't be getting another custom frame from China. Stick with stock models with a known track record, or get your custom from someone local who speaks your language.
bulgie is offline  
Likes For bulgie:
Old 05-18-24, 05:52 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4,515
Liked 1,394 Times in 733 Posts
Unfortunate for your friend. I assume he purchased new from Habanero. Mark sold the business not that long ago, somewhere around 2018 or 19. When going custom everything is optional, including placement of braze-ons. It could have been spec'd for one set of calipers and another set of calipers where used instead? Same with the crank?
No matter, one man's experience does not equate to another man's experience. No?
TiHabanero is offline  
Old 05-18-24, 07:01 PM
  #8  
blahblahblah chrome moly
 
bulgie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,106
Liked 2,767 Times in 1,146 Posts
Originally Posted by TiHabanero
Unfortunate for your friend. I assume he purchased new from Habanero. Mark sold the business not that long ago, somewhere around 2018 or 19. When going custom everything is optional, including placement of braze-ons. It could have been spec'd for one set of calipers and another set of calipers where used instead? Same with the crank?
No matter, one man's experience does not equate to another man's experience. No?
My friend told me it was spec'd for Avid BB7 and that's what he used. He also said the order sheet specified the crank, and the tire size, with fender clearance. I only have his word to go on I didn't see the order form. But he's a very high-integrity person, not a BS artist, quite the opposite, he's very careful and precise with his words. Oh and in case you're wondering, he's not a bike snob and not overly picky, he just likes to ride and wants things to "just work".

With most custom builders, you can just say Avid BB7 and they know what you mean, you don't have to spec the braze on placement in millimeters. Same with tire clearance, the end-user shouldn't have to know the axle-to-brake-hole dimension for say 28 mm tire with fender clearance, the custom builder can translate the customer's wishes into numbers. Me, if I were ordering from China, I would insist on approving the drawing before any metal gets cut, but my friend assumed those details would be worked out for him.

Not picking on Habanero or China particularly; we've all heard of customs that didn't get certain details right. But if you have to send a frame back to China to have the problems corrected, that's very expensive. Shipping from China is subsidized by their government, but that's not true for shipping things back it's usually not worth it.
bulgie is offline  
Old 05-18-24, 08:22 PM
  #9  
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 24,525
Liked 3,821 Times in 2,603 Posts
I think I would skip a used Carver.

Carver uses XACD nowadays, I think. I think at one time he used Waltly maybe? Hate to say this in the framebuilders forum, but I think most people are happy with what they get from XACD. Some have reported issues with Waltly since they got a lot of notice a couple of years ago. Carver charges a markup over the direct from China frames, and I have heard he is pretty good at what he does.

You can get relatively inexpensive U.S. made Ti frames though. A friend has a litespeed that he's pretty happy with. I forget if it's Linskey or Litespeed that frequently has really good sales. I think I would watch for one of those.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 05-19-24, 08:10 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4,515
Liked 1,394 Times in 733 Posts
No question about using a US based builder for ti frames over a Chinese sourced one. If it fits your budget it only makes sense to do so. For example it it were within a few hundred bucks to go domestic, that is a no brainer, however beyond that then it makes sense to consider all the options. If I were able to weld ti, I'd make my own
TiHabanero is offline  
Old 05-20-24, 02:43 PM
  #11  
blahblahblah chrome moly
 
bulgie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,106
Liked 2,767 Times in 1,146 Posts
Originally Posted by TiHabanero
No question about using a US based builder for ti frames over a Chinese sourced one. If it fits your budget it only makes sense to do so. For example it it were within a few hundred bucks to go domestic, that is a no brainer, however beyond that then it makes sense to consider all the options. If I were able to weld ti, I'd make my own
Ha! I can weld Ti, made Ti bike frames for a living for a few years, but never made one for myself. I prefer steel. Not trying to convince anyone else though, my reasons are idiosyncratic, don't apply to you.
bulgie is offline  
Old 05-20-24, 08:28 PM
  #12  
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 24,525
Liked 3,821 Times in 2,603 Posts
My reasons for not having any Ti bikes are pretty idiosyncratic too, I could never trust Ti after having a Teledyne Titan. That was what the doomed submarine was really named after, the original crack and fail.

That, and I came to realize that steel is just fine.
unterhausen is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.