I've been riding my 3 year old El Rey since it was new with a Reba fork set at 80mm. I've had lots of troubles steering this bike, as it really loves going straight. Every steering mistake I've made over these 3 years has been steering wide on turns because this bike just didn't want to to make the turns. Every turn was a fight.
I'm 6'3 and have the 23" El Rey, so it's just a touch to big for me. A 21" would probably be better at my height, but the older style El Rey had better standover in the 23" size than the 21" size and I liked the seat tube gusset much better on the 23".
A friend in the industry who knows bikes much better than me looked at how the bike fits me and told me to boost the fork up to the 100mm setting. I thought he was nuts because everyone knows that increasing a fork length increases the head-tube angle which slows down the steering. The last thing I wanted to do was slow down the steering on this as I was already steering wide everywhere. But I trust this guy as he knows bikes much better than I do and I had my LBS rebuild my Reba and set it to 100mm.
What a difference. This bike now goes exactly where I want it to go without hesitation. I've had several rides on this new fork length and this bike just seems perfectly dialed. I cannot believe that a small 20mm difference on this gigantic bike made such a huge difference in handling. I'm having so much more fun on this bike now.
I thought I would pass this story along since it flys in the face of conventional wisdom I've read on the interwebs regarding steering angles.
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