This is a pretty random question, but I sold a 2003 Norco Charger to a friend a few years ago and have always felt bad about selling it to him.

Basically, I bought the bike in poor condition, but it came with 2 sets of wheels, and the drivetrain was pretty good, and the price was right. After putting some time into it with cables, truing both wheelsets, etc ... I found another bike that I liked better. So, I took the Charger and sold it to a friend telling him the last thing I needed to do was fix the fork. So, he bought it, and I "fixed" the fork, only to realize the fork is a piece of ****. I let him know, he didn't care.

Well,. I have always felt bad about that (we're talking like 3 years of this bothering me, I am a weird person) so I want to replace his fork as a "gift". However, I don't want him to measure the headtube as it will give away what I want to do (he will try to stop me), and I don't live anywhere near him anymore (4,000km away, actually).

My question is (yes, after all that): does anyone know what a safe steertube length would be to ensure it would fit that frame? I am planning on looking for something inexpensive but relatively recent ... something with a real damper, 100mm of travel, and relatively light (QR, as well) and, since I am pretty flexible and I am looking for a good deal, I will likely be finding used stuff.

Any input is appreciated, and I know this is a stupid request, but I am hoping for a miracle.