Reba at 80mm travel and you were all good. Then Fox got into the game with an 80mm travel fork. Okay, yippee! Manitou was there with an 80mm fork, life was good.
100mm forks were for FS rigs. Nice! Works well there. But guess what? Now all the new hard tails have 100mm forks. Ever see a 2010 with an 80mm front end? Not too many are set up that way anymore.
So it was that when Lynskey sent over this bike, it had a 100mm Fox fork up front. Nice fork and all, but the front end of the bike was so tall, that the handle bars were higher than the tops of my Fargo drop bars! Umm............'scuse me, but that's tooooo upright folks! Not only that, but the longer lever arm the 100mm fork presented was playing havoc with the front triangle of the bike. I wasn't really digging it, ya know?
So I figured that I'd try a suspension corrected for 80mm travel rigid fork, like the Salsa CroMoto Grande' Ahhhh! It is just the right spicy additive to this titanium stew! Man, the bike is just really a whole heckuva lot better than it was. Better steering, better stiffness in the front end, better seated position, better weight distribution on the front wheel, and oh yeah.................it is lighter too.
But what about that rigid, stiff steel fork? Ya know what? Funny thing is that it rides just about as smoothly as it did before. Oh sure, big hits will rattle yer eyeballs a bit, but the frame is working now like it hasn't before because of the rigid fork. The little stuff I'm hitting feels about the same as it did before. Titanium. Nice. Smooth. I wasn't getting that so much from the front suspendedness I had going on before.
Front end lowered to a reasonable height, lighter, better steering, nice titanium feel. It's like I have a different bike to test now. Too bad I didn't swap it out earlier! It's a Twenty Nine Inches test rig, so it won't be here much longer. I just know that now I'll need to stock an 80mm travel suspension fork for these longer legged hard tails that the industry is foisting on us now. Ya know, sometimes "more" isn't really "better".
Have a great weekend and ride yer bicycles!