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  1. #1
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    maverick DUC 32 -- sucky?

    with so many of us building approx. 6 inch fr/rear light or med weight trailbikes these days, i've noticed that the mav DUC32 rarely gets mentioned. in fact on the trail (i ride mammoth/tahoe/socal) i've only seen two, ever. one was on a Moment.

    from asking around and e-research, i've heard these complaints:
    a. leaky seals / dribbled oil on brake pads
    b. significant twisting under hard braking (recent MBR mag trailbike review slagged the Whyte bike, primarily for this reason).
    c. requires non-standard front hub and associated issues
    d. no platform valving

    Anyone here have experience w/ this fork? the twisting-when-braking issue, which apparently can cause sketchy handling in some circumstances, sounds serious....is it?

  2. #2
    on a routine expedition
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    I had a Maverick for a while, and I never felt the twisting while braking issue you mentioned. I found it to be a very stiff and well tracking fork. I found it more confidence inspiring in the rough and rocky stuff than the Fox Vanilla it replaced.

    From what I understand, the leaky seals problem has been cured by new seals from Enduro Seals.


    Quote Originally Posted by frorider
    with so many of us building approx. 6 inch fr/rear light or med weight trailbikes these days, i've noticed that the mav DUC32 rarely gets mentioned. in fact on the trail (i ride mammoth/tahoe/socal) i've only seen two, ever. one was on a Moment.

    from asking around and e-research, i've heard these complaints:
    a. leaky seals / dribbled oil on brake pads
    b. significant twisting under hard braking (recent MBR mag trailbike review slagged the Whyte bike, primarily for this reason).
    c. requires non-standard front hub and associated issues
    d. no platform valving

    Anyone here have experience w/ this fork? the twisting-when-braking issue, which apparently can cause sketchy handling in some circumstances, sounds serious....is it?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by frorider
    with so many of us building approx. 6 inch fr/rear light or med weight trailbikes these days, i've noticed that the mav DUC32 rarely gets mentioned. in fact on the trail (i ride mammoth/tahoe/socal) i've only seen two, ever. one was on a Moment.

    from asking around and e-research, i've heard these complaints:
    a. leaky seals / dribbled oil on brake pads
    b. significant twisting under hard braking (recent MBR mag trailbike review slagged the Whyte bike, primarily for this reason).
    c. requires non-standard front hub and associated issues
    d. no platform valving

    Anyone here have experience w/ this fork? the twisting-when-braking issue, which apparently can cause sketchy handling in some circumstances, sounds serious....is it?
    I've been on one for a year now with no plans whatsoever to replace it. Someone brought up the twisting thing about the same time I got mine. Out of curiousity, I pedaled up a hill by my house, got to a full sprint downhill and slammed on the brake while watching the hub. It doesn't twist.

    Seals leak. That part is true. I just put a lizard skin boot over mine as a hanky. Problem solved. Although I am curious about the enduro seals.

    I will never want any sort of platform valving on my forks since they are not affected by drivetrain forces.......silly concept.

    I love the thing. And I live in tahoe so it sounds like we're on some of the same terrain. Two friends of mine have them as well on hecklers. Leaky seals is also the only complaint I've heard from them. One of them is over 6ft and 200lbs and rides very fast and not so smooth.
    STRAVA: Enabling dorks everywhere to get trails shut down........ all for the sake of a race on the internet.

  4. #4
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    Lol!

    The twisty complaint is total BS, it shows up in one direction if tested on a German testing rig, but on the trail the DUC is an incredibly stiff fork, way stiffer than a TALAS or Vanilla in my experience. You feel no deflection when hitting obstructions as with other forks of a similar (or heavier) weight.

    I've used one for most of this year including a trip to Fruita and Moab. It also means you can have a 28lb bike with a super-stiff, pile it through rock-gardens fork on the front - brilliant!
    'The Fear' is your friend...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deano
    The twisty complaint is total BS, it shows up in one direction if tested on a German testing rig,
    I'm not even sure how it would show up at all. A disc brake puts a counter rotational force on the hub, which is fixed at two points in the fork. The force then acting against your foward momentum is then symetrical. It's not like your hub is trying to stop one side of your bike.

    What am I missing here?
    STRAVA: Enabling dorks everywhere to get trails shut down........ all for the sake of a race on the internet.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    My DC shiver never did this, but my SC shiver did to a huge extent. Hit the brakes, and the entire front wheel shifts to the left. Pretty dramatic.
    How does that really happen though? The only pressure on the fork that's not distributed between the two "dropouts" is the rotor......which is pushing the caliper/fork leg foreward.....
    STRAVA: Enabling dorks everywhere to get trails shut down........ all for the sake of a race on the internet.

  7. #7
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    I'm not even sure how it would show up at all. A disc brake puts a counter rotational force on the hub, which is fixed at two points in the fork. The force then acting against your foward momentum is then symetrical. It's not like your hub is trying to stop one side of your bike.

    What am I missing here?
    My DC shiver never did this, but my SC shiver did to a huge extent. Hit the brakes, and the entire front wheel shifts to the left. Pretty dramatic.

  8. #8
    Gentleman Loser
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    You don't see or hear much about them because they are really hard to make, and thus are made in small numbers.

    Mine rocks, and I ride it hard.

  9. #9
    meh....
    Reputation: Monte's Avatar
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    I guess I'll pile on too.

    with so many of us building approx. 6 inch fr/rear light or med weight trailbikes these days, i've noticed that the mav DUC32 rarely gets mentioned. in fact on the trail (i ride mammoth/tahoe/socal) i've only seen two, ever. one was on a Moment.
    It seems like the stuff that gets the most mileage on these forums are having problems. Not as many riders post to rave about their components as do those that post to ask questions, or complain about funky bits.

    from asking around and e-research, i've heard these complaints:
    a. leaky seals / dribbled oil on brake pads
    Fixed with new seals from Maverick or Enduro.

    b. significant twisting under hard braking (recent MBR mag trailbike review slagged the Whyte bike, primarily for this reason).
    Never had this happen to me, one year on the fork, lots of steep descents, techy down hills, fast bermy stuff.

    c. requires non-standard front hub and associated issues
    Big deal. What are "associated issues"?

    d. no platform valving
    Big deal. I see no need for platform valving in a fork. It's locked down for most climbs anyway, and there's no bob when it's locked down.

    Anyone here have experience w/ this fork? the twisting-when-braking issue, which apparently can cause sketchy handling in some circumstances, sounds serious....is it?


    Monte

  10. #10
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    The DUC is light and it is stiff. It doesn't have a fancy damper, though. It is in the works. The seal issue has been solved to a large extent by the new seals that Maverick ships now and even further by Chris from Enduro and his seals which have a separate oil seal and dust wiper.

    DUC gets a lot of bad rap because it is a very unusual design and people are not used to such thing. Another reason being that it isn't produced in such mass quantities as the forks from the big boys, so they don't litter every sales floor and people assume they must not be kosher. Similar deal as White Bros.

    The wheel release system is brilliant, better than quick release, maxle and not to mention bolt on stuff. The only complaint I've ever had with it was the damping and it can be tuned to some extent by the end user, and completely by a skilled machinist .

    _MK
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  11. #11
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    I am not put off by "new" or "different" stuff, but the 3 times I have ridden a DUC I've thought, eewwww, not nice. I will go grab another at IBike, but despite really wanting to like the fork, I have yet to be impressed. I heard they were going to overhaul the damping system, yes? That may get me interested again...
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  12. #12
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    thanks for the direct info.

    the UK mag MBR is usually fairly decent in its reviews--not that i read it often. the brake-force twist is certainly possible in theory (do a force diagram...) but that was the first mag review i've seen that called it out so strongly--wonder what was going on there.. pretty much all reviews highlight the excellent fwd/backward stiffness.

    the non-standard hub issue is of interest to those of us who tend to have a group of bikes, and a number of wheelsets in our garage. currently i have 3 decent quality handbuilt front wheels on 20mm hubs...all with different rim widths...and none of them will work in this fork. and vice versa.

    most of the riders i know are gearheads who get into all the latest toys...small brands are especially popular, especially if expensive. it's not uncommon to do a socal ride where nearly every bike you pass on the trail is over $4k, and pretty much any isoteric item you can think of rolls by at some point. yet you just don't see the mav, at least where i ride.

    i've read reviews calling the damping 'pretty primitive compared to the competition', so i'm interested to see what changes.

    i'm not a huge fan of fork platform valving but i do like a fork with infinitely variable travel adjust, and a usable spring rate in each position, and the mav apparently fails this requirement based on what i've read. ?

  13. #13
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    I am not put off by "new" or "different" stuff, but the 3 times I have ridden a DUC I've thought, eewwww, not nice. I will go grab another at IBike, but despite really wanting to like the fork, I have yet to be impressed. I heard they were going to overhaul the damping system, yes? That may get me interested again...
    Well, that's precisely how I feel. I never felt eewwww, but the damper is the achilles' heel, nevertheless. Don't expect the fork to feel any different at this year's Ibike.

    _MK
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  14. #14
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    I think it's a great fork but two things were not mentioned:

    Price: That thing costs a mint, and you need a 24mm hub to boot! Yes the fox 36 does too but I'm not defending it either. I think the price of some of these forks are rediculous!

    A2C: On a bike designed for a 6 inch fork, this might be a wee bit too short. But on a bike made for less, this might be perfect since it wont rake your bike out too much for cruiser night easy riding!

  15. #15
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    Excellent fork, poor reliability

    I had the DUC32 on a Whyte 46 I owned and I loved it.

    The only problem was that it went back to the importer (TFTuned) 3 times.

    The first 2 were for leaky seals, I didnt really mind as it was under warranty and he tuned them to stop brake-dive for free.

    The 3rd time was when the air spring went on me as I was doing a bit of DH. Not the 10ft drop king of DH, just the singletrack kind. The fork started maiking a funny noise under braking and then just stopped working completely.

    Again this was fixed under warranty but I was so dismayed by the reliability that I sold the bike. It wasnt completely because of the fork, I found the 46 to be too high and the rear end too long.

    One thing though, the performance of the fork was superb. The best I have ever had. I've had 8 sets of forks in the past 3 years and nothing came close to the DUC's. I have pikes on my 5spot now and compared to the DUC's the rebound is very primitive and has a hard time keeping up with constant bumps. The DUC's never deflected, soaked everything up and gave me loads of confidence.

    I may look a the DUC's again if it is true about them having an internal ovehaul.

  16. #16
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    I've been running DUC's for over a year now on my Intense and the seal problems have totally been solved with a new upgraded set (they are blue in colour) no leakage at all in 6 months hard use.

    I love these forks, the damping is basic, but hey most of us just live with what we got. Lots of tuning potential usually means we mess it up rather than set it right.

    Have experienced some of the pulling to the side effect, but only once. Very strange. only really noticed it when going very fast on a very loose Spanish descent, with one make of tyre. Have heard comments that it's down to not doing the axle clamps up tight enough.

    These forks are so easy to service at home, if you don't mind spannering they will last you a lifetime as all the parts are simple and replaceable.

  17. #17
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    I thought the MBR review was of the SC32, which will be inherently more flexy, if you're talking about the whyte 19 review. Another point not made with the DUCs is the proprietry stem required as well. I would like to try a set. Pedalhead has a pair on hi new ornage spot, ask him.

  18. #18
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    I've had the DUC for about a month and a half. I have it mounted to a 29er and have noticed flex in the front. I can't determine how much is from the front wheel though. Just for fun one day I slammed on the 8in front brake on a asphalt road and boy did it twist. I then tried it on a fairly smooth section on a fast descent and I observed some twisting. But in the real world, when I wasn't obsessively focusing on whether the fork was flexing, the performance is awesome. Another local rider swears his doesn't flex, but he probaly weighs 190 compared to my 240. I like the damping better than my other favorite fork, the Pike Air. It does dive and bob more than the Pike, but that can be remedied with a different negative spring according to Maverick. It's not as much as a issue since I added more oil to the air chamber. The lock down feature is nice too. The seals are holding up well. Customer service is top notch. I sent a email containing about five questions, and the response was to call back. Still, to be honest, I would prefer the Pike Air on my 26in bike for two reasons. Cost and because weight shifts are more pronounced with my fat butt and sloppy riding style on my 26in bike, the dive and bobbing of the Mav would be a issue.

  19. #19
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    As Robbz mentioned, I've been running DUCs for a little over a year, first on my old (broken) Whyte 46, and now on my 'Spot. I had a "few" problems with them for the first six months or so...

    -- Four sets of leaky seals, including my first set of blue ones, although this now appears fixed with a second blue set. The leaking was so bad as to be constantly fouling the front rotor, resulting in some "interesting" brake-free moments.

    -- Lock-down failed. When dialled down, the fork would immediately re-extend to full travel. Cartridge replaced.

    -- Cable guide broke on the final descent of Whytes level (Wales), slid down the fork leg & became a nice premature bumper for the fork to compress upon (aka mash itself against). My front brake cable also flapped around in the front wheel. Fortunately, it was a Goodridge hose so nice & strong.

    -- As the Maverick hub is essential (unless you go CK), it's also worth stating that mine was dry and needed rebuilding twice in six months. I've now replaced it with a CK.

    -- Damper assembly top cap sheared off, causing the spring rod to smack against the lip in the upper tube when the forks compressed. Ouch. Fortunately, this happened at the top of a climb, not on a downhill.

    At this point, the bike shop (who have been excellent from the start), replaced the forks with a brand new set....

    ...from a "bad batch"...

    -- Air cylinder leaked into the oil chamber, so that even the good seals couldn't hold back the torrents of p1ssing oil being forced onto the lower leg by compression forces.

    Then the frame cracked, but that's another story .

    Anyway, at this point, the bike shop offered me pretty much any other set of forks I wanted as a replacement. I decided to stick with the DUCs. Why? Firstly, because I'm probably a bit stupid, but mostly because they're great when they're working, and many people never have any problems with them. Mine have now been perfect for four rides, and that's a lifetime compared to the last set. Yes, they're a bit bouncy & make a squelching noise with every pedal stroke, but they're also fantastically light, and yet you don't feel like they're flexing all over the place on gnarly descents. The a/c length is pretty short for a 6" fork, and they're designed to run with a lot of sag anyway...hence why they can work on bikes that traditionally might have 5" on the front. If they didn't have the 4" lockdown for climbing, then they'd be useless, as that light weight means the front end wants to lift at a sniff of an uphill gradient, but they do, so that's not an issue (just don't use the 4" setting for anything else). When they're ready for a service I'll probably take them to Tim Flooks for some anti-brake dive modding, but I don't feel it's essential just yet.

  20. #20
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    Oops, double post.
    Last edited by Count Zero; 09-26-2005 at 08:25 AM. Reason: double post

  21. #21
    Gentleman Loser
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    Cracked frame and multiply busted forks...

    My man, you are a doomsday machine and I would love to ride with you one day!

  22. #22
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    haha, if only that were true! I'm far more jey than my ability to destroy suggests

  23. #23
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    My two cents from 2 years on the DUC

    I'll have had my DUC for 2 years next month. If I had to use one of these stupid new categories, I would be more of an all-mountain dude... I don't do big drops, but the more technical a trail is, the better.

    -the DUC shines on technical, rocky, rooty, jagged terrain. It allows you to fly through these sections going up or down at speeds you'll never thought were possible. It is amazingly stiff and tracks extremely well through rough stuff. Steering feels way more precision and responsive with the DUC compared to other forks I've ridden (admittedly only ridden when trading friends' bikes - Fox & Zokes 100-125mm). So trying it at Interbike on their test course is not the ideal test track, but still better than a parking lot...make sure to get some real trail time on it.
    -the limited numbers are because the DUC requires very precision welds...if they are off even slightly, there are problems. Contrast this to bolted double crowns where bad tolerances don't matter as much because the bolts bring the forks inline.
    -new DUCs come with the blue seals, and do not leak. If you have an older DUC with black seals, call Maverick and they'll send the blue ones. They take about 10 minutes to change.
    -I have two pairs of wheels, both with the Maverick front hub. Both are still running smooth, despite many hub-deep stream crossings and riding in snow in Colorado...plus lots of dry dusty conditions.
    -the DUC is ideal for 4-5" frames but I think is probably a bit short A-C for 6" frames...I've talked to folks here in Boulder who have ML8 (6.5") and say the frame begs for just a bit more fork.
    -proper setup is crucial. I find I like between 82-87 psi for my 165lbs; any less and it is spongy and lots of brake dive, any more and it bounces off rocks.

    -Lastly, and most important, the DUC really is a love it or hate it bit. Every Maverick dealer I know will let you demo a bike with a Maverick fork so you can decide for yourself.

  24. #24
    meh....
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    Quote Originally Posted by frorider
    the non-standard hub issue is of interest to those of us who tend to have a group of bikes, and a number of wheelsets in our garage. currently i have 3 decent quality handbuilt front wheels on 20mm hubs...all with different rim widths...and none of them will work in this fork. and vice versa.
    Well, you had to select specific 20mm hubs to get those 3 wheelsets built, and those don't work on QR forks. It's just another hub to me. If you want to run the wheels on different bikes, that's different, get King hubs and swap axles, or however CK goes from 20mm to 24mm. Do you think CK would jump on 24mm axles for just 2 forks on the market?

    Monte

  25. #25
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    The DUC should not be thought of for the same frames that you would use most other 150mm forks on. The A-C length puts it in contention with other 125-140mm forks, so compare it to them to be fair.

    Pricy? To be sure, but once again, check the price of the whole package on both alternatives (fork, top crown, stem and hub) to get the big picture.

    Whether or not you will find it appealing probably has more to do with individual pet peeves than anything else. I distribute them here in Sweden and the few units that are out in service here have yet to come back to me for any of the leakage or other problems mentioned in this thread. I really liked it on my ML7 demo bike while I had it and am looking forward to trying them on a few other bikes that I carry (putting a 29'er version on an El Capitan next month!), but for 26" applications the Fox 130mm models are an easier sell, even if the overall cost of a Fox/Thomson/Hadley package deal is not that different.

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