Thoughts on ML-8 Replacement
I've had my ML-8 since 2008. And I've been riding it hard since then. Real hard. The bike is still going strong, but bike frames take lots of abuse and that could change at any moment. So I'm trying to come up with a backup plan. If something goes terribly wrong with my frame, what other 6.5 - 7" frames are in production? Bikes that hopefully have similar qualities to the ML-8, like light weight, very good at climbing, good at drops.
I know if my frame cracked tomorrow, there are still new Maverick frames out there. But for the sake of this thread, let's assume Maverick is out of the question. What other bikes are out there that could make a future former ML-8 rider happy?
I briefly looked at the Specialized Enduro Evo and the Trek Remedy. Aside from being coil, which I like, I'm not really digging either frame. Plus even though I like the feel of coil, I'd probably go air again anyway. Plushness can't beat infinite adjustability.
I have gone through the same thought process, in the same boat as you. I was going to suggest an Enduro comp? Others seem to be the Mojo HD, firebird, etc. One thing I am finding difficult is that most of the "trailbikes" are spec'd now with varying forks, mostly centered around 32/34 stanchions which, IMO, won't hold a candle to a properly functioning DUC32. On most bikes it seems like once you get into the 36 stanchion territory you then are buying a jump bike.
It seems like the enduro is the best mix of everything and you can spec it with a burly (36 fox or 35 lyric) fork.
I'm actually running a rockshox lyric on my ML8. I was never a fan of the Maverick fork. I'm actually only interested in a frame when it comes down to it. I'm a "replace whatever is broken" kind of biker.
what are you using the ml8 for exactly? i assume with the lyric, it's not long travel AM touring ...
Hmmm a little bit of everything I guess. Mostly technical singletrack riding with as many stunts and drops as I can find. Some downhilling. Some urban riding which is actually long distance street riding, whilst seeking out urban "natural" stunts.
Originally Posted by ragetty
effectively, nowadays there are next to no 'bad' frame makers, so you could just go for something you like the look of and that gives you the same geo (relatively short wheelbase, relatively steep ha for the travel - although modern 160/170mm travel bikes are tending to be a lot flatter).
nocolai will make a frame to your specs. a mk.1 nomad should give you a similar geo. the trek slash is perhaps an option if you don't mind the hugely asymmetric stays, and the ha is f l a t. or something with less travel but designed for 'stunts' (slopestyle) ...
well before i got my ml8, i used to regularly cruise the used bike forums for inspiration. in the end i decided there was little i liked better than the ml8, both in terms of 'look' and suiting my needs. having said that, if the right nomad or intense uzzi had shown up, i might have been tempted ...
some of the more boutique manufacturers also often have good deals on discontinued models and ex-demos.
What did you mean by "I'd probably go air again anyway" ? The ML8 shock has both air and spring coil.
I'd call that an air shock more than a coil shock.
I will agree with you on that. If you let all the air out the sping coil doesn't seem to provide much force. However, I have removed the spring coil and had to have quite a bit higher air pressure. I put the spring back in. I guess I liked the ride better with the spring coil in. It has been a while, my have to try it again.
I would say Nomad then. It would be pretty easy to find a replacement frame since you are running a lyric already.
You will not be able to find a 6" bike to replace the climbing ability of the ML8. On the downhill side there quite a few bikes that will do the job better such as the Ibis HD or Nomad.
I bought an Ibis mojo SL to replace My ML8 and or Durance. But I am still ridding my ML8 most of the time. I have since bought 3 more ML8 frames (selling for good prices if you can find them)to ensure that my ML8 will not die.
I bought Mike West's old orange ML8 frame which was very well used with blown rear shock and rough monolink bearings. I rebuilt the rear shock and re-greased the bearings and the frame is as good as new without any play at the pivot bushings. All bikes that I have ridden have some play at the pivots within a year of hard ridding! I will be ridding my ML8 for quite a few years.
The only negative(?) is the steep (for current style of geometry) geometry for downhill stability, but if you are not ridding the Duc 32 you can alter the front fork length and stem/bar for better position. If I had to get anew bike right now I would pick the Ibis HD for 26" 650b use and the SC tallboy LT for 29". IMO other then wheel size the only advantages(?)/differences of these bikes are the geometry (slacker head tube/tapered headtube/rear axle/ ability to use angleset hdset).
Anyways all high end frames are very good but the ML8, considering its age and ease of shock servicing it still holding its own against these new bikes.
So, not that i want yo to move away form the ML8 as it's still a great frame, but...
I like to play with bikes and luckily i can! Go IBIS HD with a X-Fusion Vengeance...
It climbs almost as good as the ML8 and we all know that's a daunting task! I must say that it really does climb as well, if not better at times. The descending is spot on, a little different and takes time to get the different position feel between the two. But that will happen whenever you get a new bike. The DW link and its "anti-squat" are a slightly odd feeling till your used to it.
One way to over come this is not to use the platform on the shock. I'm not a huge fan of Fox, in general ok stuff, but i have not tried the newer CTD on this particular frame and it may be fine. I run mine with the Marzocchi ROCO air. With its adjustable bottom out air setting the bike can sag with out bottoming...
The frame is plenty stiff and about 1/2 pound to 3/4 pound lighter than the ML8 depending on what year!
The biggest difference you'll find is the out of the saddle smoothness and landings. Take a jump into rubble and feel nothing!
The ML8 might have gotten to that point had we been able to update, but you know the story there...!
I've also had lots of miles on a SC TB LTc, damn fun bike, hoping the Intense Spider Comp is even better (should be here this week and hope to have the SC TBLTc on the sales table soon!) The intense has a shorter TT and shorter chain stays, both should meet my fitment better and better handling on the back end, not as "boat" like!
The DW linkage is better if not superior to the VPP. Less pedal feedback, less chain growth which equates to less pedal induced "bob" and needs a much lower compression shock allowing to have better small bump compliance. The reason to stick with the VPP on the 29er for me, is the lack of a light longer travel 29er frames (that fit).
Another frame to consider is the Pivot Mach 5.7 carbon. But i think that frame might be to light for its intended purpose. The Firebird is probably nice but same if not heavier than the ML8.
As i ride more bikes of varying suspension designs, i can honestly say the Maverick still fits right in it terms of suspension. The biggest and best change is the current geometry, slack, long center to front, short chainstays and still can climb!
Anywho, thats my .02, there are some really cool bikes out there and they ALL ride well, but i think Mr. Weagle in all his marketing prowess does have a good design! All said and done though a well placed single pivot bike works well too!!
Hi Ethan, BTW, thanks for your help over the years with my ML7.5...which is still going relatively strong (I think). However, curiosity may kill this cat. I am thinking of a Turner Flux that I might be able to acquire at good price. I know it's no ML8 equivalent, but how about it for the milder trails I ride? The closest trail (Sansom Park in Ft Worth, TX) is a bad / good combo of very steep abrupt climbs, slightly rocky / chunky sections, and more vertical relief than you would think in Texas. Sections would reward a hardtail, whille other sections could dish out as much as an ML8 would really want. The ML7.5 climbs better than many, but still takes extra body movement / and is not so stand-on-the-pedals-friendly. Young studs ride this on 29er hardtails, so part of this question is whether 26er DW is still a biplane, but more so, the question is whether shorter-travel DW has any advantage over almost-as-short travel ML-7.5. I also ride rougher trails (but with less steep climbs, but rougher bigger DH) and smoother trails (where a 29er hardtail would be all you'd need). In a way, I'm admitting 2 bikes might be better than one, but sight unseen, I''m curious if the DW Flux is a direct replacement for the 7.5.
Originally Posted by Ethan F
I use my Ml8 for exactly the same riding and it rules! Fox float fork, not expensive, but does the job, even rocking 9mm quick release still. after 20 years of riding, bike handling skills mean more than a ton of travel, big stanchions, and adjustability. Set it once an go I say.
Originally Posted by fellsbiker
Now, that being said, if $ weren't an option, I bet I'd have better components. Or, maybe not, I'll never know.
Are you talking about this fella here:
Mojo HD | Bikes | Ibis Cycles US
Mojo HD 160mm ?
Yep, that be the one!!
Originally Posted by fellsbiker
On the Turner, i don't know! Is it the DW link or the older four bar? I think the shorter travel DW may be the ticket with the newer generation shocks. Using the somewhat closed position on the shock makes the bike less compliant and better flat, less bumpy terrain. Open it up and it no doubt it will more compliant than the ML7/5 on any out of the saddle positions. I'm still a Maverick fan, but with the better geometry and soft as butta on the descents it make it a difficult choice!
I just found this thread again, hahaha. Funny, as Ethan already knows, because my front triangle DID end up developing a nice big weld crack this past spring (14). And I wanted to get a mojo HD but alas, i had JUST put in an offer on a house that was accepted. So I ended up buying a new old stock ML8 after all. This one was that great green color, not the do do brown of my old ML8. So I should be good for another 4 years at least. The Mojo's look nice and I hear very good things bout the way they ride. But my god, they cost SO much! I mean, they make brand new Mavericks from when Maverick was still around, look cheap!
Here is my short list. Not that I am getting rid of my ML8 anytime soon.
In the last year I have tried a variation of wheel sizes on my Durance/ML8/DUC32(27.5 front/26 rear), Ibis Mojo/Duc32(29 front/27.5 rear), Intense spider 29 alloy/Duc32 and intense 29 spider comp/pike. I really like the Ibis Mojo set up in 29/27.5. If I had to pick one it would be the spider comp/pike due to the updated geometry and overall feel.
You should consider a 29 like the intense spider com. The new 29er geometries make the 29ers hard to beat. It is hard to go back to smaller wheels once you get used to the big wheels. There is quite the choice now days and a lot of short travel 29ers are getting quite the hype. (Eg. Evil Following).
They are safer, climb better, go over bumps much easier and roll faster.
Only negative is price.
For 26ers I would choose the Ibis HD which can be converted to 27.5 if you choose to do so.
For 27.5 I would pick the Ibis HD3,Intense T275 or the Nomad if you like more downhill.
I'd do the SB5c over the 6C and Nomad unless all your trails are pointed all down or Europe!
Those bikes are just to much for most trails, even Yeti tries to get people to pass on the SB6 for most trails...
Hey Ty -
Originally Posted by tymelero
I replaced my ML8 with an Intense Carbine 275. Amazing bike, also on Ethan's short list. We need to hook up for a ride and you can check it out!
Yep, the Intense is a great bike, I have the T275, super fun....
Get it with a FOX36 and you'll never look back....!!!
After so many accolades for the T275, I cannot wait until next weekend. I finally took the plunge and decided to demo a T275 and the new Ibis HD3 next weekend. My only point of reference is going to be my ML8, as I have ridden nothing else (literally) for the last 6 or 7 years.
Let everyone know what you think.
Remember to try the 140mm mode as well. You'd be surprised the split personalities it has in the two travels. Both good but makes for having the feeling of 2 bikes in one!
Money is a factor, so when I had the chance to get a Turner Burner at a good price, I went for it. Fortunately/unfortunately, Turner currently has a sale going; I paid less, slightly used, but the good news is I think for others, the aluminum DW Turners are currently a "steal." (almost a pun intended). Especially the Sultan, though I did not want a 29er.
Originally Posted by Ethan F
Again, I'm a little off topic, as I came from a ML7.5, but I'm liking everything about the Turner except its weight, and possibly its low bottom bracket (a mixed blessing). Despite the weight, I clear climbs regularly which I struggled with on the Mav. What? something outclimbs a Maverick???? True, on some of the more XC-race-oriented trails, the Burner will be out of place. But so would an ML8.
I robbed parts off the Mav, to build the Burner (what little fit: so I'm still 3x9 with older disc brakes) but want to somehow put it back together to re-confirm my impressions. Actually, it would be even sweeter to have access to an ML8, which I've always wanted.
For those of you with lots of money, I presume a carbon DW-link would rule (Ibis). For those of you with less money, consider a Turner.
I'll give Santa Cruz this...they have some awesome Bronson video ads out from Scotland or Wales or wherever
I was a long time Ml7.5 (3) then a ML8 owner (2), I adored the ML8 suspension less so the duc but for replacements I have gone through
Turner Sultan x 2
Yeti Big Top x 1
Giant Anthem 29 x 1
Specialized 29 x 1
I have finally settled on a Rocky Mountain Element 29er, just a great all round bike suspension does what it says
never really got on with the Sultan even though I wanted to hence selling and rebuying, it is a great bike but sort of steamrolled everything into submission time wise on the same 10 mile loop 3 mile climb to start with then downwards and a final 1.3 mile climb
turner climbing on the long section two minutes slower than the Rocky
Turner descending only 2 seconds faster than the rocky
I do miss the maverick ml 8
Ok, finally several weeks later I got around to write down my impressions of the HD3 and T275. I posted the comparison below also in the Ibis forum. The things that struck me the most in comparison to my ML8:
-how much lighter these new bikes are; huge difference; probably doesn't help that I am lugging around a coil x-fusion vengeance, but it just rides so darn well
-biggest thing for me was changes/improvements in geometry. I guess the whole thing about longer reach/front end, short chainstays, slacker head angles and steeper seat angles is indeed the new secret sauce. I liked it a lot and sad to say quite a bit better than my ML8
-in terms of suspension, I still like the ML8 a lot; yes, the new bikes felt more controlled and confident especially when going down fast or rumbling through rocky stuff as well as jumping, but it was not complete night and day; in my book the ML8 is still pretty darn good in terms of suspension AND pedaling. Matter of fact, in terms of pedaling it is still superb.
Neither one...no funds for a new bike. I demoed just out of curiosity, as I hadn't tried anything in at least 6 or 7 years. My only point of reference is my Maverick ML8 with x-Fusion Vengeance in the front, which I've been riding exclusively for the last 7 years. The medium HD3 fit me like a glove (I am 170cm or 5ft7 with short inseam). I wouldn't change a thing, all I had to do was adjusting rebound and compression settings on the Fox 36 to my liking and never looked back for the next 2 hours. What struck me immediately how light it was. It really did everything exceptionally well. Great pedaling in and out of the saddle, very compliant suspension front and rear. The Ibis booth had done a great job setting up the suspension. At the end of the ride I noticed that I came pretty darn close to using full travel front and rear. However, the most remarkable aspect for me was the geometry. It just felt so playful, easy to jump and steering was just a perfect compromise between stability when going fast or rumbling through rocky stuff and going slow techy uphill or winding my way through slow technical single track between trees. Before I forget, traction with those wide Ibis wheels was just unreal. I believe the tech at the booth told me PSI front and rear was in the lower twenties...felt great and never had any sensation of under inflated tires.
The T275 was quite a bit of a struggle initially.I rode the medium and what I noticed immediately was the less generous standover cleareance and longer seat tube in comparison to the HD3, so those were already 2 negatives in my book. This is probably a total non-issue for those with longer legs. Initial set up at the Intense booth was pretty bad and I pretty much had to adjust everything after 30 minutes mid-ride. Once I lowered the pressure in the Pike in the front and added more air in the Monarch Plus shock and readjusting rebound front and rear, the Intense felt like completely different ride and I started to like it a lot, especially going down. The Ibis definitely pedaled better and felt more confident and easier to go uphill (fire road or techy slow uphill) and needling may way through twisty single track than the T275, not by a super wide margin, but noticeable. Going down the T275 felt slightly more confident yet also more playful at the same time, I really liked it a lot for any kind of descending.
Overall, the HD3 came out on top for me, first and foremost due to much better fit of the frame to my body and that it was a better allrounder. If the T275 had equal fit, I could easily see myself choosing it over the HD3. There was just something in its DNA that just felt right and super balanced when going down fast as well as catching air.