I’ve been riding my carver now for a year. Last summer After using my buddies 29er I was impressed how smooth and flowy it rode but I felt like the long chain-stays took away from my ability to pull the front end up. This is what made me think a 96er was a good idea. The only companies I found were trek and carver bikes. The decision was obvious for me I wanted more than one gear and I prefer the feel of ti. Trek didn’t offer theses options.
My previous bike was a litespeed that has been in for a warranty 4 times. Both the litespeed and the carver are built with 3-2.5 Titanium. The carver has a beefy block weld of ti at the head tube the place where the litespeeds had failed every time.
My first impression of the carver 96er was it felt like a full 29er I would see the bigger wheel in front of me and it would give me a bit more confidence rolling over things. It seemed like the extra diameter 29” wheel and the ti frame softened things up a bit. My descending was noticeably better with this frame. It differed from a 29er when it came to situations that required pulling up the front wheel; it is easier with the carver (because of the shorter chain-stays).
There are some notable downsides to the ti carver 96er though. The break and derailleur cable mounts are very sharp; I suffered several small tears in my shorts before I decided to file them down a bit. Also the stickers fade fast.
The geometry is a bit slack for my liking the head tube puts the wheel to far in front. This is my personal preference I know bikes have moved tord slacker angles but I feel this takes away from the snappiness and climbing. I improvised by using a smaller fame with a longer stem to make the front end seem a little less slack. I’m 5, 11” and ¾” riding a medium frame with a 0 degree140mm stem and a 5 degree flat bar. I was a bit worried it might handle weird with such a long stem but it hasn’t been a problem. I’ve been happy with the fit.
I’m nit picking with most of my complaints because despite the faults this is the best bike I’ve owned. I’m convinced 96ers are the way to go.