Maverick American has been carving its own unique MTB path for a good few years now. It all started just after head honcho Paul Turner handed over the reigns of RockShox, the company he founded, started Maverick and created his first frame, the ML7.
This features lightweight 4in travel, and is a smooth riding all-rounder that impressed loads of very experienced riders. The 7/5 is the 5in travel version and challenges preconceptions by being a bit lighter than its predecessor. There's also a ML8 6in travel model available.
Maverick frames are far more reasonably priced than they used to be, but in build quality terms they're as good as they've ever been.
The only problem we experienced was with the main pivot bearing clamp bolt, which came loose on one ride. Saying that, as soon as we'd tightened it, we had no further complaints.
If you're looking for a single bike that feels very much at home in all terrain, then the ML7/5 is a very desirable option. It will serve you well on Alpine jaunts, will be the envy of the riders on your local trails and will float you to the end of every marathon with energy to spare. Now, you can't ask for much more than that.
Maverick's SC32 125mm travel fork with its big through-axle hub is fitted too. This completes the Maverick package, but unfortunately it's a fork that we've never been overly impressed with in its straight-from-the-box format. We like the servicing simplicity and the lockout/travel reduction switch for climbing, but trail performance isn't as precisely controlled as other £450 forks we've tested.