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Initial impressions - new Maverick fork.

Ridemonkey

This is not an active account
Sep 18, 2002
4,109
0
Toronto, Canada
These are my initial impressions of the new Maverick Fork after 2 days of riding.

There are a few things I have wondered about this fork since seeing some of the early prototypes. Do we need 6 inches of travel in an XC application? Will the fork be too tall for a regular trail bike? Too heavy? Will all that travel and extra fork height interfere on climbs?

I have been riding a 4 inch travel Psylo Race for the last year. I have liked the suspension characteristics of the Psylo, but the reliability has been terrible and it can be quite flexy in tight trail conditions. I was eager to find out how the Maverick compared on my usual trail rides.

I would have to sum up my experience with the Maverick fork like this: The Maverick fork unmercifully slaughters the Psylo in EVERY category. It is lighter, a lot stiffer, and has 2 inches more travel.

I took the Fork to the Hall Ranch trail, a local favorite. This trail has a very long section in the middle that is nothing but windy, extremely technical rock gardens. The section is unforgiving and once it starts, you get no relief until you have cleared the last rock almost a half mile later. This is the perfect place to test out some new suspension goodies.

Climbing through the rocks was standard procedure on the Maverick. With a quarter turn of a knob on top of the fork leg, the suspension partially locked out at about 4 inches. This made the height of the fork almost identical to the Psylo. I didn’t feel the fork negatively affected my climbing ability at all – and why should it since it’s no taller than what I’m used to running, and at about 3.25 pounds it’s lighter too. Even in 6 inch mode, the fork didn’t bob any more than the Psylo during seated climbing.

At full extension the fork is about 1.5 inches taller than my Psylo. While at first I was worried this would slacken the steering of a trail bike too much, what I found on the ride was completely different. I really couldn’t tell that the fork had slackened the steering at all. Why? Because this fork is so much stiffer than the Psylo, it just steers quicker. I honestly couldn’t feel any difference in the steering even with the fork in 6 inch mode.

The advantages of a super-stiff long travel fork became very clear once I started descending through the rock garden. Lines I used to give a second thought to before choosing were absolutely no problem on the Maverick. Two inches of extra travel makes a big difference in technical terrain! There is one corner on the trail that is a 90 degree turn with an 18 inch step-down on the corner. This turn would twist my Psylo so badly that I had to wrestle the bike around the corner every time. The Maverick was so stiff on that corner that it turned what used to be the toughest part for me to clear, into no problem at all. I found the fork to be as plush as the best air forks that I have tried in the past.

I like to do some XC racing but I’m not the type to ride something like a SID. Since I’m already racing a 4 inch fork, I honestly don’t see any reason why I couldn’t use the Maverick in the same application. For technical 24 hour courses like those at Northstar and Moab – this fork would be ideal. And if I had my way and XC racing was made a lot more technically demanding…… well you get the picture.

Of course, this fork isn’t going to replace every single crown fork out there. It’s still an air fork – so durability and reliability aren’t going to match a coil fork. I can’t comment on the long term reliability of the Maverick – but after two days of riding there was no oil leakage – which is 2 rides better than my Psylo does, even after a factory rebuild. Some people might be deterred by the fact that the fork uses a proprietary hub with a 24mm axle – but that stiffness has to come from somewhere.

For those looking for the perfect trail riding fork for those long, technical, epic rides – I think this might be it.

On another note – this was also my first ride on the Maverick ML7. This frame pedals like a Hardtail yet has 4 inches of effective suspension. Very nice!


<center><table><tr><td colspan="4" align="center"><b>Click an image for larger view</b></td></tr>
<tr><td valign="bottom"> <a href="/media/maverick/photo_detail.php?photo=mav2.jpg" target=new><img src="/media/maverick/mav2_sm.jpg"></a>&nbsp;<br><font size="1">Big fork!</font></td><td valign="bottom"> <a href="/media/maverick/photo_detail.php?photo=mav3.jpg" target=new><img src="/media/maverick/mav3_sm.jpg"></a>&nbsp;<br><font size="1">Sweet bike :)</font></td><td valign="bottom"> <a href="/media/maverick/photo_detail.php?photo=hub2.jpg" target=new><img src="/media/maverick/hub_sm.jpg"></a>&nbsp;<br><font size="1">Maverick hub</font></td><td valign="bottom"> <a href="/media/maverick/photo_detail.php?photo=stem.jpg" target=new><img src="/media/maverick/stem_sm.jpg"></a>&nbsp;<br><font size="1">Integrated stem</font></td>
</tr></table></center>
 

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spincrazy

I love to climb
Jul 19, 2001
1,530
0
Brooklyn
Nice write up.

I'm curious, what is the actual/claimed weight of the fork? w/stem and 24mm hub? Is it not closer to what a Psylo or other 4-5 inch fork might weigh with a normal, light-ish stem and QR hub?

How did the inverted fork compare in ride quality or differ in handling than a comparable fork that is not inverted? How about stanchion protectors? I noticed there weren't any.

Price?

How long do you get to test it for? Any chance long term to gauge reliablity?
 

Ridemonkey

This is not an active account
Sep 18, 2002
4,109
0
Toronto, Canada
I'm curious, what is the actual/claimed weight of the fork? w/stem and 24mm hub? Is it not closer to what a Psylo or other 4-5 inch fork might weigh with a normal, light-ish stem and QR hub?

I didn't get to put it on the scale, but the guys at Maverick said the production models are coming in at the 3.25 pound mark. I don't think the stem is any heavier than a standard stem. The hub is certainly going to be heavier than something like a King, but its still not going to be heavier than the 4 pound Psylo race when all factors are considered.

How did the inverted fork compare in ride quality or differ in handling than a comparable fork that is not inverted?

Its stiff as hell! I only notice how stiff it was and how nice that extra travel was. Cornering radius was never an issue. I can't think of one drawback to the dual crown design right now.

How about stanchion protectors? I noticed there weren't any.

I've seen them playing around with some. I haven't seen any official versions yet - but I'm guessing they will make some available. (don't quote me on that!)

Price?

I think they will be around 700 without hub or stem.

How long do you get to test it for? Any chance long term to gauge reliablity?

Just two days. I can't comment on the long term reliability.
 

redbike

Chimp
Jan 23, 2002
4
0
Boulder
Thy shall not covet thy neighbors fork..... I just can't help it; I'm in lust.

The Mav guys definately have a winner if everything Ridemonkey says is true.
J.P.
 

Squeak

Get your pork here.
Sep 26, 2001
1,546
0
COlo style
Nice report RM.

I will be interested to see how this fork goes over. Sounds like it rips for a trail bike!
 

911

Monkey
Feb 28, 2002
275
0
Vail CO
This positive review has nothing to do with the fat Maverick ad at the top of the page, right? ;)

Jk... nice review.
 

Metal

President of FRONJ
Oct 17, 2001
542
6
Orange County, CA
Originally posted by Nicolai-USA
i'm drooling over the scenary!!!

and the bike of course ... :)
That is the exact fork that the Nucleon Freeride needs put on it. It would make it the perfect do all bike.
 

Ian F

Turbo Monkey
Sep 8, 2001
1,016
0
Philadelphia area
I just lost 25 years of maturity...

"I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!! I want!!!"

:D
 

dump

Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
5,477
321
Originally posted by Metal
That is the exact fork that the Nucleon Freeride needs put on it. It would make it the perfect do all bike.
hey - not so fast! i'm not sure how "freerideable" this fork is... at 3.25lbs, it seems like a stricltly xc fork - i have no idea what the durability of it is.... although, that makes me wonder what would be like to have an air spring boxxer for example... the coil springs and oil are at least 2 lbs, bringing it down to about 4 lbs... hmm.

- dump
 

Ridemonkey

This is not an active account
Sep 18, 2002
4,109
0
Toronto, Canada
Originally posted by dump
hey - not so fast! i'm not sure how "freerideable" this fork is... at 3.25lbs, it seems like a stricltly xc fork - i have no idea what the durability of it is.... although, that makes me wonder what would be like to have an air spring boxxer for example... the coil springs and oil are at least 2 lbs, bringing it down to about 4 lbs... hmm.

- dump
Yup like I said its not going to replace coil spring forks. And a Psylo race is 4 pounds with air springs - so no your Boxxer isn't going to hit that mark.
 

Shortbus

Turbo Monkey
Feb 27, 2002
1,013
5
Stuck in the 80s
yeah that's definitely a sweet fork... Is that frame's head tube TC compatible???? Even for XC use, i'd be worried with a triple on that headtube... But again, it's only the impression i got from the pics....

Christian
 

Ridemonkey

This is not an active account
Sep 18, 2002
4,109
0
Toronto, Canada
Originally posted by Shortbus
yeah that's definitely a sweet fork... Is that frame's head tube TC compatible???? Even for XC use, i'd be worried with a triple on that headtube... But again, it's only the impression i got from the pics....

Christian
I don't think that frame is any different than the ML7 they have always sold. They have been running these prototypes on their bikes for about a year now too.

Its a good question though. I want to put one on my Nicolai and its and XC frame. I'll see what they say about frames and DC compatibility.
 

-BB-

I broke all the rules, but somehow still became mo
Sep 6, 2001
4,257
28
Livin it up in the O.C.
The fact that this is a cross-country fork, and that most crosscountry bikes don't take dual crowns (w/o voiding warranty) could hinder sales.
Too bad, cuz it looks like a sweet fork.
I want one :D
 

spincrazy

I love to climb
Jul 19, 2001
1,530
0
Brooklyn
Originally posted by -BB-
The fact that this is a cross-country fork, and that most crosscountry bikes don't take dual crowns (w/o voiding warranty) could hinder sales.
Too bad, cuz it looks like a sweet fork.
I want one :D
Yes, but then again, dw said he's had a TC on his 2002.5 Hollowpoint and all's well there.....:think:
 

-BB-

I broke all the rules, but somehow still became mo
Sep 6, 2001
4,257
28
Livin it up in the O.C.
Originally posted by spincrazy
Yes, but then again, dw said he's had a TC on his 2002.5 Hollowpoint and all's well there.....:think:
Yeah... but if it DOES fail, DW can get a replacement much easier than I can.
We'll see how the fox is.
 

Motionboy2

Calendar Dominator
Apr 23, 2002
1,800
0
Broomfield, Colorado
Whats wrong Aaron?! You couldn't find a porta-potty to prop it up against? :D At least a trash can or something :p

It would be cool to get that fork on your nicolai so you can see what is the fork and what is the new ride. :monkey:
 

Ridemonkey

This is not an active account
Sep 18, 2002
4,109
0
Toronto, Canada
Originally posted by Motionboy2
It would be cool to get that fork on your nicolai so you can see what is the fork and what is the new ride. :monkey:
Can you believe that there is not one porta potty at Hall Ranch?

Yeah I'm looking to replace my Psylo so I'll probably get one. I'm also interested in trying it on another frame, and over a longer period of time.
 

Espen

Monkey
Nov 25, 2001
345
0
Tigerstaden, Norway
looks nice!!

Only time will tell how this works out in the long run.

I still want a 03 Forx Vanilla RLC fore my trailbike, a 5" RFX.

Are those the new DT rims? Disc only? Wide? Grams?




Espen
 

Motionboy2

Calendar Dominator
Apr 23, 2002
1,800
0
Broomfield, Colorado
Originally posted by Espen
looks nice!!

Only time will tell how this works out in the long run.

I still want a 03 Forx Vanilla RLC fore my trailbike, a 5" RFX.

Are those the new DT rims? Disc only? Wide? Grams?




Espen
We just got a pair of DT rims at Excel. I got to look at them for a few minutes before the took them away. They look kinda like a narrow 517. I need to look into them more though
 

shocktower

Monkey
Sep 7, 2001
623
0
Molalla Oregon
I meen really that is a kick ass bike ,just wanting to go out and do some real XC not the gay crap they call races ,yes it`s a man`s bike because it looks manly ;) ;) ;)
 

Knuckleslammer

took the red pill
Personal opinion, so don't cut my head off. I think the thing is butt ugly. That MacPherson Strut thing they got goin on in the rear end looks stupid. I think the forks look alright, but a bit bulky if you ask me. It's an alright ride, I guess if you don't care about looks. Knuckleslammer
 

Ridemonkey

This is not an active account
Sep 18, 2002
4,109
0
Toronto, Canada
Regarding the news forum:

I have often wondered whether or not I should keep the news forum open to comments. Its pretty hard to be taken seriously as a media source when articles are full of juvenile comments.

At the same time, good questions have come up as well - and for the most part the discussion is pretty informative.

Point is - if you have genuine criticisms of an article - and you are able to discuss them like an adult - then criticism is welcome! However, if you are simply posting a stupid comment just to be stupid - then you are not welcome to post in the news forum.

I'll be working on creating formal guidelines for the news forum in the future. In the meantime - please give some thought to your comments.

The quality of a community is with its members. Do your part!

****If your comment was not deleted - then I'm not talking about you********
 

SpasticJack

Monkey
Feb 25, 2002
344
0
As much as I lust for that fork, I still can't get over the fact that they went with a proprietary hub/axle size. It seems to me more an attempt to corral people into purchasing new hardware from them instead of using what they already have. With any luck, someone will engineer a set of spacers and an axle to retrofit it to 20mm. If 20mm is good enough for DH forks, why wouldn't it be stiff enough for an XC only fork?
 

Espen

Monkey
Nov 25, 2001
345
0
Tigerstaden, Norway
I am sure this makes the hub/dropout interface stiff without adding too much weight.

DH forks is stiffer in the lower legs, and the lighter DH forks with standard right side down design got the extra brace on the top of the lower casting.

Even a Shiver (3950g and only 30% more travel) got flex and twist down at the hub/innerleg aeria.

I dont like odd components, but thisone defenately do a job.
 

SpasticJack

Monkey
Feb 25, 2002
344
0
The sheer size of the uppers speaks volumes about the pursuit of a stiff fork, but I still don't agree with the non-standard size.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,060
62
chez moi
What's the engineering/informed opinion on the no-steer-tube construction?
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,060
62
chez moi
There's no steerer tube.

The welded lower triple clamp has a nub that inserts into the headset; likewise for the upper triple clamp. A long bolt a'la Headlok goes through it all...but there's no tube to speak of.

They said the welded lower crown made it possible at Interbike, and to the layman, it doesn't look like the tube would bear any load if it's not in contact with the headset bearings...so why bother with one?

MD
 

SpasticJack

Monkey
Feb 25, 2002
344
0
well that would answer my question about how the stem is attached/upper crown is connected to the steerer.

Hmm I would also like to hear opinions on that one.
 

abikejones

Chimp
Feb 3, 2003
3
0
Is the turning radius negatively effected by the double crown. How much stiffer is the Maverick compared to a Fox Forx.
 

Ian F

Turbo Monkey
Sep 8, 2001
1,016
0
Philadelphia area
Originally posted by MikeD
There's no steerer tube.

The welded lower triple clamp has a nub that inserts into the headset; likewise for the upper triple clamp. A long bolt a'la Headlok goes through it all...but there's no tube to speak of.

They said the welded lower crown made it possible at Interbike, and to the layman, it doesn't look like the tube would bear any load if it's not in contact with the headset bearings...so why bother with one?

MD
Wow. I didn't know that. That's actually really cool. Avalanche MTN-8 forks use a similar set-up and MX bikes have used it for decades. I was wondering when a fork company would see the light... However, I suppose it mandates use of the Maverick stem?
 

CTR

Chimp
Sep 1, 2002
94
0
Australia
just a quick question, how would the fork be adjusted for different length steerer tubes? the upper 'legs' are bludged so you couldn't slide the top crown down, and the bottom crown is welded so there is no chance of moving that, i noticed there was maybe a spacer between the top crown and the headset but i'm quite confused how you would achive adjustment if anymore than 5mm of movement was needed.
 

Ian F

Turbo Monkey
Sep 8, 2001
1,016
0
Philadelphia area
Originally posted by CTR
just a quick question, how would the fork be adjusted for different length steerer tubes? the upper 'legs' are bludged so you couldn't slide the top crown down, and the bottom crown is welded so there is no chance of moving that, i noticed there was maybe a spacer between the top crown and the headset but i'm quite confused how you would achive adjustment if anymore than 5mm of movement was needed.
There would have to be different crown drops available for larger than average headtubes. However, the advantage of this system is you would only have to worry about the crown. Steerer length is not applicable. I'm sure this is something they will address during production.