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  1. #1
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    test rode a Durance today, still unsure

    The only shop with one on hand is an hour and a half away, I guess I should be thankful to have found one at all.

    I am 6'1" with a 32" inseam. The Durance is a large with a Fox float 32 140mm. DUC 32's seem to be hard to find anymore.

    I didn't get to take it on a trail, I intend to get there earlier and rent it for a more thorough test ride.

    My initial impression was it was hard to wheelie, bunny hop, or do anything that involved lifting the front tire off the ground. The shop moved the seat back and swaped the 110mm stem for a 70mm. This helped a little but I was still left wanting.

    I am wondering if this is the nature of the mono link design as the wheel path, albeit perfectly sensible for square edged impacts, does go rearward when the suspension is loaded and seamed to impart a strange sensation of resistance to lifting the front end like a bike with long chain stays.

    Could this be something as simple as to long of a top tube for my preference? I'm an old BMX'er and always prefered smaller frames. my last hardtail MTB had a 16" frame and it felt much better to me than the 18" frames the sales folks always suggested.

    I felt as though I could not get my weight far enough over the back tire and contemplated the Matic with the slacker seat tube angle, but that only solves for the seated position. I like to accelerate from a slow roll on one wheel like a gate start and this was not working at all for me on the large Durance.

    Looking over the geometry charts for the medium and large Durance they appear to be close on all accounts save for about a 1" shorter front center and a 7/8" shorter top tube and seat tube. The seat would have to be raised putting me farther over the back tire, The shorter top tube and front center would seam to make the ride a bit feistier but I'm just guessing.

    I really like Maverick bikes and hope this is just a fittment issue for me. I'm new to full suspension so perhaps I'm just asking a Humvee to behave like a Corvette, but that "right" feeling just wasn't there.

    I realize I just got here and I'm sorry for asking so many questions. I'm hoping to get back into MTBing and be around long enough to have something to contribute in the future.

  2. #2
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    the 140mm fox has an a2c of 511mm, 9 or 10mm shorter than the DUC32, so making the angles even steeper - a 150mm revelation would give you an a2c of 530mm, which was one of the options i considered.

    before you dismiss the durance because you 'can't get the wheel of the ground', perhaps look first to see if this is (for you) a general 'hardtail / full suspension' or even 26" vs. 20" issue (that is, if you haven't already). all full suspension bikes are going to squat when the weight is all on the back wheel - and wheelies and manuals are done on bikes with much more travel than the durance, so i suspect the maverick design is not the crucial issue ...
    Last edited by ragetty; 01-03-2012 at 02:53 AM.

  3. #3
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    Jon,

    There certainly is a lot to consider given the entry fee for mountain biking these days. I too come from a BMX background (albeit, way back in the 1970's) and started mountain biking in the late 80's. My first "real" mountain bike was a Bridgestone MB3, no suspension, and I relied on my BMX skill to clear trails both up and down. I then stepped up to a Ritchey Plexus with a Rock Shox SID, less than 3" of travel up front if I remember correctly, and my style evolved based on the bike. In 2001 I bought one of the first Maverick ML7's, which is very similar to the Matic, and I haven't regretted a single moment. After years of riding I realized that it is the bike and terrain that dictates my style - if I need to bunnyhop a log I can, if I need to pop my front wheel up to clear some nasty roots on a climb I can, My ML7 in no way is as agile as my old Mongoose BMX and I don't expect it to be, it doesn't have to be. And on it I can ride harder, further, and safer than I could on any of my previous bikes.

    My point is that your skill and style will evolve as you ride your new bike and you may find that letting the bike and suspension work is just as important as being able to bunnyhop. IMO, the Matic would be a better "transition" bike into the world of full suspension and you will get years of enjoyment from it. As you progress as a rider you may then decide you'll want more travel, or not.

    You should also evaluate the trails where you plan to ride and even go to the trailheads and see what others are riding. It's my experience that MTBers LOVE to talk about their rides and you will get plenty of advice on what is best for your area. Matic or Durance, with a Maverick, you can't go wrong,

  4. #4
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    Great replies, I really appriciate it.

    ragetty,
    I definately have not dismissed the Durance, Infact those fellas at the bike shop had me ride a Salsa spearfish 29er, some tricked out ultra plush VooDoo, And a couple of BMC's (one being a hard tail), and I kept coming back to the Durance. I didn't feel at home on any of them really.

    My inability to wheelie and manipulate the bike the way I remember riding could most certainly be me, the main reason for my asking is precisely because I lack the saddle time on a FS bike to make that assessment. That particular Durance felt uncoordinated beneath me. I am left wondering if there may be a fittment issue.

    g_henrys,
    Everything you described is the experience I'm hoping to be rewarded with. I don't doubt there will be a learning curve and a great deal of time invested on my part before I get there. I lurk on the SoCal threads and ask questions at the LBS and think either the Matic or Durance will be a great choice.

    So, How about the option of a medium size frame rather than a large? The medium Durance geometry is actually very similar to my old GT lts-3 (yes, I rocked the elastomer) same front center length- very close top tube length, in fact the medium Durance has a 1/4" longer top tube then the old GT.

    The large Durance is the only Maverick anywhere near me to test ride. The whole time I was at that bike shop I kept thinking I need to try a medium. Are there any Maverick owners riding bikes a size smaller that could weigh in?

    I can't shake the thought that when I find the right bike it will feel right. Should it feel awkward?

  5. #5
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    Since you're 6' 1" I have to believe that you're correctly sized up on the large. My wife is 5 10 and rides a large Durance. I'm 6 0 and ride a large ML8 with the shorter stem. I've ridden her bike twice on my local trails and it's so amazingly different from the ML8 (not to confuse things - sorry). I raced BMX in the 1980s and again in 1999 and 2000, then I moved on to downhill and now SuperD and some XC. The ML8 is one sweet ride for the way I like to ride. I found the Durance to be less plush and I suppose more efficient on XC trails. Believe the hype of the parallel path travel monolink design - square edge hits are a non issue on Mavericks.
    I do think it's good advice to get a fork with a longer axle to crown than what a typical 140mm travel fork offers.
    If you can get one on one of your local trails, I'm sure it will seal the deal.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Richard View Post
    I can't shake the thought that when I find the right bike it will feel right. Should it feel awkward?
    of course not - assuming the fit is right ... i had a 35mm stem on my durance recently when trying out a fox talas 36, but it didn't feel right and within a week i'd swapped it for a 70mm.

    if you have another bike that does fit, you could perhaps try taking that along and making sure your points of contact (handlebar, seat & pedals) on the durance have the same relative geometry and overall positioning (fore/aft).

  7. #7
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    I too am on the cusp of medium to large frame. I have found you can adjust to either easily, though I think too small is worse than too large. I have a durance and a ml8. (and other non maverick bikes)
    I think all maverick bike head angles are too steep for the amount of travel they come with. The steep head angle is another reason to err to a larger frame. I solved the too steep head angle by putting a 650b wheel on the front, now it rides like a dream, and wheelies are much easier too.

  8. #8
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    I'll make matters worse! i would have sized you in a XL and a short stem and use the Fox 150mm, this matches the 520mm a2c as it was designed for. its all so much personal preference, i like long tt's and short stems, i just can't see you on a medium though. i'm 5'6", 30.5" inseam and ride mediums with 50-60mm stems. The Monolink workings do make it more difficult to manual, as the link compress it extends the wheelbase and pushes the rider up. BUT, do not let that stop you, i tell all riders to new bikes, give it no less than 6 months to settle into it! The large would be fine, but i would do a fork that has a 520mm ish a2c. the Monolink gives an amazing amount of feedback while doings its job of absorbing bumps! while you may feel its difficult to pull the front, it also keeps you more rearward biased, keeping otb's to a minimum!
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  9. #9
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    ragetty,
    Thats a great idea, but I can garantee that large Durance will dwarf my little GT.

    needmorealtitude,
    I'm with you, ragetty, and Ethan on the A2C situation. I've already been eyeballing 650B and 29er conversions for the DUC.

    Ethan,
    I have some height on you but I believe it's mostly in the torso. I prefer a more upright position and often found myself dropping the post all the way and hanging back over the rear tire on hardtails. Wouldn't a shorter top tube promote a rearward bias? It seems a smaller bike is at least a reasonable consideration. Truth is I don't want anything besides a Maverick.

    My first new MTB was a Trek 950 steel hard tail that measured 16.5 at the seat tube, The top tube measured 21.75". Notice these measurements are smaller than that of the small Durance. That bike never felt small. I test rode an 18" first at the insistance of the saleman the day I bought the 950 and really felt awkward on it.

    The bike I had before that was a Specialized Stump jumper I bought off my friend who stands at about 5'7". I don't recall what size the frame was but it had 24" rims. That was one of my favorite bikes til it was stolen, I always remember how that bike felt perfect for me.

    The GT that I still own measures 16.5" at the seat tube from the BB to the middle of the top tube. The top tube is about 1" longer than that of the Trek 950 and never worked as well for me as either of the other two and I rode that one for years. I compromised handling for comfort as that one has the elastomer rear suspension, It was easier on my hide.

    Now I realize that a FS bike will be a different animal and all your advise sounds very reasonable, but has anyone here gone from a hard tail to FS and decided they required a larger bike due to this transition? My personal experience with my previous bikes, coupled with the test ride I took on the large Durance makes me believe test riding a smaller size is the sensible thing to do. Oh how I wish I had access to more Mavericks to try.

    Perhaps I could test ride bikes of a different make at the LBS in different sizes to assess fitment.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan F View Post
    ... i'm 5'6", 30.5" inseam and ride mediums with 50-60mm stems ...
    i'm more or less the same proportions, but with long arms, and my durance is an 'S' with the adj. maverick stem for the duc32 at 75mm ...

    there's definately not a lot between them for me, i.e. i could probably go to a medium. the M would be a touch smoother at speed (longer wheelbase), but on the S i can get the saddle lower.

  11. #11
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    Ethan's (always) right! I'm same size, 6'-1" w/32" inseam and ride and XL Durance with a 90mm stem. I came from a Med 7/5. The XL is much easier to climb and manual because I'm not so cramped and can get more effective leverage. Plus, it's super stable descending and dropping. And, I have no problem getting way behind my saddle

    So much of it is preference and hard to know without trying, but I've found that bigga is betta -- it's just so much easier to shorten up a cockpit on a longer bike than to try and lengthen one.

    Besides, after a few rides, your skillz will adapt just fine. Trust Ethan!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Richard View Post
    I am 6'1" with a 32" inseam. The Durance is a large with a Fox float 32 140mm.
    That is the bike I would recommend as well.

    Ignore your old bikes. Seriously. What can be done on a bike like the Durance could not be done back then.

    I've got a 69er Durance and it makes the bike even more fun. Reduced travel be damned, climbing w/ the DUC32 improved and going downhill even faster than before is just nuts.

  13. #13
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    6'1" and ride a XLG ML8 from a l ML7 and am very happy with that upgrade. Get an ML8. If you want/desire a DUC32, i know of a brand new fork for sale so email me for that info
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.

  14. #14
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    Banks,
    My post count is not high enough to E-mail you apparently. I'll PM you my E-mail address.

    It seems the overwhelming majority vote for large at least. As of now I remain undecided if for no other reason than it being hard to separate from the kind of money these bikes command without a test ride.

    The one I tested was priced at $2,400. Without the DUC 32 and not being to crazy about some of the other components and it's condition the value just wasn't there for me.

    I tried contacting Maverick about the large blue demo frame but never received a response. I believe I'll be on the hunt for a while. Without the availability of others to try it is not likely that I will commit unless I find something very cheap. Perhaps I'll buy a Matic in every size til I figure it out then go for the ml8

  15. #15
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    Jeez man where do you live? You can probably find someone around you that would let you ride their bike. You could try calling Maverick though you would probably have better luck then email if they are back from holiday. I rode my bros ml7/5 over the holidays and I don't know that an ML8 is always better. Though I do prefer my ml8 It depends where you are riding to some extent.

  16. #16
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    I live in southern California about 30 minutes drive south of L.A. The closest LBS to me is The Path- The Path Bike Shop - Home, great place but sadly no Mavericks.

    I had considered posting in the SoCal section of the forum asking any Maverick owners if they would be willing to let me throw a leg over their ride. I tried calling Maverick directly, the two numbers I called were both disconnected.

    I'm seriously wishing I would have got the urge to get back into this a couple years earlier as it seems the shop I test rode the large Durance at had many Mavericks on hand.

    I would like to mention that I had been lurking on these boards long enough to read everything in the Mavericks section back to the last page before I registered. I have recognized the username of every poster throughout this discussion and have heard from just about everyone I was hoping to hear from, I am greatful to you all.

    I'll get the Mav I want eventualy, just might take a little patience and persistance. Not only am I confused about size but now the Durance vs. ML8 question, I got a feeling you folks will get more frustrated with me than I am about this.

    I've read where many ML8 owners feel their bike is better in tight, twisty technical sections than that of the Durance or it's predecessors. I'm a little perplexed after looking over the geometry charts as it would seem it should be the other way around. What is it about the ML8 that attributes to it's handling?

    I like the look and the weight of the Durance but I get the impression the ML8 is a little more fun to ride. Right now without any seat time my wish list consists of a Durance with a DUC 32 and an ML8 with something like a Talas 36. Now if I could just convince my wife to go back to work.

  17. #17
    Schipperkes are cool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Richard View Post
    . Right now without any seat time my wish list consists of a Durance with a DUC 32 and an ML8 with something like a Talas 36. Now if I could just convince my wife to go back to work.
    yeowouch!
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.

  18. #18
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    Come down to San Diego and you can try my Large Baby Blue durance with DUC32. PM me if you are interested. Weekends are best as I've got a few ankle biters. I have Friday the 20th off (I get every other Friday off) if that is better.

    Mine is more of a cross country build. 26.6 pounds.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Richard View Post
    I had considered posting in the SoCal section of the forum asking any Maverick owners if they would be willing to let me throw a leg over their ride. I tried calling Maverick directly, the two numbers I called were both disconnected.
    And that does not worry you?
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  20. #20
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    alex_sdca,
    I really appriciate your offer, but I was hoping to get a chance at something other than a large. I'm sure that yours being equiped with a DUC will be different to a degree, however I'm very much interested in trying out a bike with a different top tube and front center length. Seriously though, that is mighty generous of you and I'm truly greatful.

    zorg,
    To a degree I suppose it does. Hypotheticaly speaking I considered what the availability of parts and support would be should Maverick go south. But realisticaly they could shut their doors today and there should be enough soft parts to service the shocks shelved to last many years. Since I was looking for a used bike I would not get a warranty on the frame reguardless of the companies future.

    Besides, If Ethan is posting and banks has a line on a brand new DUC how worried should I be?

  21. #21
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    As a heads up, there are a couple of bad phone numbers listed on Maverick's site. I believe I got thru from the number listed in their Contact Us section. I got right thru to Chris and he was very helpful with my endless questions. That convinced me to get a demo'd Durance. I can bunny hop and wheelie it great, but it does have the DUC32 fork. I figured to go Maverick, I would go all the way. The fork takes a lot of work to dial in to your weight, but when its there, it is butter over everything.

    I am 6'-0" with 32' inseam (205#) and I ride a large, with the seat very high and pushed very far back. The frame still feels very small to me. You probably need to raise the seatpost more as well as slide the seat past the maximum limit to get a good feel. Before I did this, my legs were rubbing bad on the seat to the point of serious bruising. Very uncomfortable. I made these adjustments and after a 34 mile ride today, no complaints whatsoever. I love how this bike feels the harder you charge rocks and roots on downhills. It is like they say, this bike has to be pushed to your limits before you can appreciate the suspension design. I don't like riding this on pavement at all, but when I get it on the trail, it climbs like a goat and bombs downhill as good or better than my S.C. Nomad. I would be amazed if you would like the fit of a medium. Just my 2 cents.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Richard View Post
    I've read where many ML8 owners feel their bike is better in tight, twisty technical sections than that of the Durance or it's predecessors. I'm a little perplexed after looking over the geometry charts as it would seem it should be the other way around. What is it about the ML8 that attributes to it's handling?
    I would definitely not say that. When I rode the ml7/5 it was much better in the tight twisty sections (these were pretty flat though) I actually cringed a bunch at first thinking I was going to clip a tree but I did not (b/c I was used to ml8). Doesn't mean I would change though.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Richard View Post

    zorg,
    To a degree I suppose it does. Hypotheticaly speaking I considered what the availability of parts and support would be should Maverick go south. But realisticaly they could shut their doors today and there should be enough soft parts to service the shocks shelved to last many years. Since I was looking for a used bike I would not get a warranty on the frame reguardless of the companies future.

    Besides, If Ethan is posting and banks has a line on a brand new DUC how worried should I be?
    Okay. Rumor is that Maverick is no longer around but some of the insiders will support the brand on their own. Since it's all e-speculation, your best bet would be to find a way to call Maverick to confirm. BTW, I test rode a Durance with a Lyrik a couple years back and really enjoyed it.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  25. #25
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    That Orange ML8 on pinkbike is a one off team bike built for Mike West I do believe. Notice the lion logos and the funky color on the top of the rear damper.

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