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Friday
Feb152013

Product Review: Specialized Carve

Riding a new bike for the first time is something that the bike shop employee takes for granted. Test riding the latest product, upgrading your own bike when new technology arrives on the scene is one of the perks of the job. I've ridden some of the best bikes in the world, had the opportunity to test out the latest and greatest on and off road.

When the opportunity came to test ride the Specialized Carve for the first time, I was excited. A great bunch of riders were heading up the local trails together, led by our very own 'Mash' (Mash is a Whistler veteran, at home for a few months having lived in Canada for a few years now). Now I don't claim to be a mountain biker by any means, but it's something that I enjoy and wish I could do more of.

I dusted off the MTB shoes and off we went.

First impression: "this bike is pretty awesome". The plan was to climb mostly on the fire trails before descending back to town on single track.

The Carve climbs well. (I rode the 2013 Carve Expert) Yes, a carbon 29er would probably climb better, but as an off-the-shelf or out-of-the-box 29er, the Carve comes as a complete package. The tyres are well spec'd for most people's ability. I never felt I was at a disadvantage to the other riders. (The only thing holding me back on the climbs was my own lack of fitness!)

When we reached the top, and headed back on the single track, the first thing I noticed was how well the bike cornered. I never felt out of control. The front wheel always felt planted.

Rolling over obstacles was a no-brainer. The bigger wheels tackled all the small bumps, medium bumps and bigger bumps. This is not new to anyone, but the front end handling and short rear end make life easier, that's for sure.

Small details that compliment the bike include the Body Geometry Saddle and Grips. The two contact points are "ergonomically designed and medically tested" (I'm a bike fitter, I love this stuff) and make things more comfortable out of the box. The only improvement I would make first up to the bike would be to invest in some lock-on Body Geometry Grips.

Overall, it was a great experience to ride a hard tail again. While not as forgiving as a dual suspension bike, the Carve is definitely a lot of fun. Great value for money, that's for sure.

Washo

Stay tuned for more reviews, including Mash's Command Seat Post Review, coming soon.

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