Re: [CR]Fork bend, handling

(Example: Framebuilding:Tubing:Falck)

From: <NortonMarg@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2002 20:45:28 EDT
Subject: Re: [CR]Fork bend, handling
To: LouDeeter@aol.com, classicrendezvous@bikelist.org


In a message dated 6/6/02 4:22:49 AM Pacific Daylight Time, LouDeeter@aol.com writes:

<< Anybody have a clue whether the bend itself affects the ride or is it the overall effect of the rake and trail? >> Hi Lou, The thinner the blade is at the bottom, the more difference there will be where the bend is. I believe it will be a subtle difference, yet a difference. Conversely, a fairly thick blade won't matter much at all. The "bend" will only affect shock absorption. Trail is a completely different geometrical component, that has to be matched within limits to the head angle. Trail affects handling. I had a Merckx that ad a pretty typical French set up of a steep head angle and too much fork rake, resulting in a bad trail. Descending was no fun. If you just leaned the bike over, it wanted to head to the outside of the turn with the front wheel feeling like it wanted to wash away. The only way to corner the bike probably would have worked ok on super steep alpine switchbacks. Keep it as upright as possible, body weight to the inside, and turn the handlebars to steer around the turn. Straight-steer turn-straight-steer turn, etc. The more "Italian" front geometry of "short rake-with-steep-head" (in my size) produces a ride where you look-and-lean and it goes "where you think" or see.
Stevan Thomas
Alameda, CA