I have been struggling with what I believe to be a too steep head angle my ML8, I had the same issue with the Durance too. I first owned a Durance, (still have the frame) then bought a ML8 thinking that would improve the head angle issue, it didn't, yes I should have read the specs first.
After exploring my options, and talking to Maverick, I decided on two options, change the front shock to a 160ml fox which will slacken the head angle, and the other option, put a 650b wheel on my duc, and add spacers for the 650b wheel. Well the duc came back I threw the 650b wheel on it, took it for a spin, very impressive. I have been riding it everyday in every possible condition, truly putting it to the test, really everything, high speed turns, super techy rock gardens, blind leaf covered holes, snow, new unfinished trails, steep ups and downs, and drops. It's a different and incredible bike, it is now a real all mountain bike. 1 1/2 inch bigger wheel really improves the high speed GS style turns, brook crossings, rock gardens, drops are all of them are so much more fun. I cannot detect any loss in it's hill climbing ability, which has always been super strong. Maybe Maverick bikes have too much hill climbing geometry?
Now I have a new 2012 fox "something" 160ml still in the box, guess it's finally time to sell something on ebay.
Can't wait to ride again tomorrow.
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Thread: 650b up front on my ML8