Maverick Carbon R Mountain Bike
Unconventional, unlimited, unbelievable — most of our favorite words begin with that same prefix, so its no surprise that we prefer our bikes to captivate the same unstoppable feeling. We want bikes that can ride hard, fast, and with unbeatable lively and playful characteristics for soaring up steep climbs, and rolling over tire-gobbling rock gardens with powerful wagon wheels. And so it's probably not surprising that we're attracted to Juliana's new unorthodox enduro sled, the Maverick Carbon R Mountain Bike. This uncustomary steed is built to power though the rubble with 140mm of VPP suspension tuned to eat up any obstacles that sit in your way. It's built with slacked out geometry that charges head first into gravity trails, and transitions into a beast on the climbs with the flip of a chip, staying on the back wheel of lightweight cross country bikes up punchy switchbacks, and giving the longer enduro beats a run for their money when you point things downhill.
We know we're not alone when we say our riding temperament changes from day to day, and we don't think our bike should limit that, which is why we're thankful that Juliana implements an integrated flip-chip to change the Maverick's geometry from one ride to another. All you need to do is grab a hex-wrench and in a flash you can slacken the head tube, and drop the bottom bracket for an extra planted feel when you're craving some lift-access rowdiness that challenges the sum of the bike's numbers. With the flip chip in the lower position, the head tube is stretched out to a long-and-low 65.2-degrees (compared to 65.5 in high), and bottom bracket height lowers 4-millimeters to keep you lower to the ground and more stable when gravity takes over. In practice, this enables the Maverick to switch from a climb-conquering trail queen to an all-out enduro sled with the turn of a wrench. It's worth noting that the bike ships in the low setting, and will be ready to eat up steep, challenging terrain right out of the gates.
The Maverick is built to steamroll over roots and rocks with its 29-inch wagon wheels and deep, 140mm of VPP suspension. It utilizes Juliana's lower link VPP suspension design that we've seen previously in the Roubion and Strega, which is engineered to minimize big bumps, while keeping things pedal efficient. Unlike the upper-link driven design, you'll experience better support, and higher levels of traction for all-mountain and gravity oriented disciplines. This model employs a RockShox Select rear shock that is dialed with an immense amount of tune-ability, so you can set things up exactly how you want it, optimizing small bump compliance for traction on the climbs, and eating up bounders and greasy roots on the race back to the bottom. First hand, we found that this lower link suspension excelled in the technical trails that challenged our sanity, gobbling up chatter, rock rolls, and drops that lead into hair-pin blind corners without hesitation. Despite its lofty 29-inch wheels, the Maverick retains a nimble, playful feel that's maneuverable through tight switchbacks, and capable of threading the needle when the trail calls for it.
Juliana models the Maverick after its Santa Cruz sibling, the Hightower. As such, you'll find that the Maverick features the same carbon fiber layups available, and geometry as her brother. This particular model is built with Santa Cruz's C level carbon, which falls just beneath the top-shelf CC layup. This means it uses a bit more material to land at the same stiffness and strength, and as such it weighs in between 250-and-280-grams heavier than the counter part — a small gain in weight for the huge savings for your wallet. Juliana pairs up the C level R-build with SRAM's pocket-friendly NX-Eagle components that offer a whopping 12-gears for tackling the steepest climbs, and rowdiest descents, plus a blend of RockShox and FOX suspension that's been fine tuned to lighter weight riders, giving us more room to play with when setting up suspension, so we have just as much control over settings and tweaks as heavier counterparts on the Hightower.
- Feel unstoppable on Juliana's new unconventional enduro machine
- 140mm of lower-link VPP suspension eats up obstacles
- Long, slack, and low geometry is built to go fast, and get down
- Swap geometry from long-and-low to climb-ready with flip chip
- C level carbon layup is light, stiff, and keeps price low
- RockShox Select suspension is fine-tuned for lighter weight riders
- SRAM's economical NX Eagle drivetrain shaves down price, not gears