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  1. #1
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    El Mar Rigid Fork Geometry Question

    I've got an '12 El Mariachi 3 with the RS Recon fork. I spent some time getting everything dialed but now I'm considering picking up the matching green steel fork. One concern is that the steel fork is compensated for 80mm of travel but the stock fork has 100mm. Will that make the bike more twitchy? Better handling?

    I've felt that on loose stuff I tend to wash out (could be tires also), would this change impact that tendency at all?

    Also, for you seasoned 29er/El Mar vets. When I get rolling this thing just seems to want to keep going straight, like a tank, but in a good way. Is that normal for 29ers or just the El Mar? Do you think going rigid will change that up at all?
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

  2. #2
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    For me, going between the same rigid fork (but in black) and a RS Reba Race set to 100mm, I found I need to flip my stem (a Salsa ProMoto 2, 5 degree, 100mm) from dropped with the 100mm fork to rise for the rigid fork. Doing that makes the bike work well for me.

  3. #3
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    That's what I was thinking. I actually have the stock stem flipped over so I could just flip it back and get about the same positioning.

    Did you notice any difference with the handling?
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

  4. #4
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    Not really... Most of my time with the rigid fork was doing springtime dirt road riding, but there wasn't anything that I really noticed. The head tube angle obviously changed a bit, but not enough to matter to me. Both configurations worked fine, and I'd have no concerns going back and forth between one or the other.

    I've actually got another El Mariachi (Ti) on the way, and when I sell off the steel one with the suspension fork I'm planning on keeping the rigid fork. So maybe that's a way of illustrating that I'm comfortable with both options?

  5. #5
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    No problems here with an even shorter Pug fork on my '12. Doesn't speak to how different it will feel coming off of the suspension fork though.
    Well, it was a good try.

  6. #6
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    Ok, so I've purchased and installed the Salsa rigid fork that matches my frame. The bike feels just very slightly more lively and nimble, but if I wasn't looking for it I may not notice. Still super comfortable and even with the change very "neutral" feeling. So far so good.
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

  7. #7
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    It's pretty cool to hear your experience. I'm actually going the opposite way. Before my Ti El Mar, I rode a Niner SIR9 with the original 490a/c fork. For me, that geometry was not as twitchy - or as you call it, "lively & nimble". But with that said, I still preferred it. With the 470a/c fork, the geo was just a tad bit too 'aggressive' for my liking, so I'm going back to a longer one. I guess I just preferred the more neutral side of the longer fork.
    Randy

  8. #8
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    For what it's worth, I swapped the rigid fork (80mm suspension corrected) fork on to my El Mariachi a couple days ago because the squishy fork needed work. I was lazy and didn't flip the stem back up, and went for a nice ride on some twisty, technical trails last night. What a blast... I love how that bike rides.

  9. #9
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    Update

    Installed the longer 485a/c rigid fork on my El Mar Ti. It was a good change for me, I liked the slightly more slack angle. I got the Soul Cycles Dillinger steel fork. As far as handling is concerned, I feel the biggest difference was in the weight distribution. I felt more "forward" with the 470a/c forks I had installed previously. This lead to a more racy feel and aggressive posture that I didn't prefer. The Soul Cycles fork has the current generation 45mm fork offset so I still feel that steering feel is just as quick as with the shorter forks I used. I felt this was a good thing since my previous 9er was the SIR9 with a 490a/c but with the older gen 39mm offset which felt slower in steering.

    An ironic side benefit, the Dillinger had a comfortable feel to it compared to both the On-One and Carver carbon forks I ran previously. The Carver fork I first used was nice and light, but felt very harsh on the trail. The On-One was less harsh but still felt a little rough. I had read in some posts that some riders who had switched back to the steel Salsa (El Mar & Fargo) Grande fork that they had felt that the steel forks had a more comfortable (for a rigid fork) feel. I was pleasantly surprised to have felt the same with the Dillinger.

    ps. I ordered the Brushed Raw Clearcoat version of the Dillinger and it looks totally SWEET on the Ti El Mar.





    Last edited by 家ndyA; 10-04-2012 at 10:31 PM. Reason: details
    Randy

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