Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    ridin' Mary
    Reputation: OhNooo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    325

    I finally stopped crippling my El Rey

    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.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    185
    That doesn't surprise me. The website says its set up for 100mm. The Old El Rey was a slower steering bike to begin with. Its amazing how small tweaks can make a huge difference on the bike though.

  3. #3
    Team Fearless Descender
    Reputation: El Salt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1,970
    Nice!
    .
    "...when your ride is nearly over, it seems to have lasted but an instant..."


    Stuff

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jeff in Bend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    423
    When you say steering do you really mean cornering? I steer my bike at slow speeds, like a tricycle. I corner my bike at higher speeds. In general a slacker bike will descend and corner better but will be harder to climb and steer.

  5. #5
    ridin' Mary
    Reputation: OhNooo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    325
    Yah. Cornering. At the 80mm setting, I just could not lean the bike over as it always felt like it was going to slide out. I tried multiple super knobby front tires, but they always were giving way. So I was truly steering. Now I can corner!

    I do find that the extra inch of height on the front end does make the granny gear climbs a bit trickier. I need to get my weight further over the front of the saddle to keep the nose down. Locking out both front and rear suspension helps.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    729
    Can you put the stem lower, maybe flip it over to get lower?
    If you have a riser handlebar try a flat one.
    Now that you have the handling on turns going well, tweaking for the climb will make it that much nicer to ride.

  7. #7
    ridin' Mary
    Reputation: OhNooo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    325
    Thanks Kronk,

    I've got a straight stem that is sitting directly on top of the headset with no spacers. I'm also running no-rise bars. I don't think the stem height is an issue, as the cockpit fits me fine. This is also a rather short 90mm stem as the bike is a bit too long for me.

    I just lock out the fork for the climbs and it works much better that way.

    I climbed a trail that had dozens of switchbacks (both up and down) yesterday, and I was able to ride them all. The last time I went to that trail I was cursing around each corner. I'm a happy clown.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •