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  1. #1
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
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    Swapping forks has made commuter much more stable.

    I'm posting this primarily because I'm interested in any similar modifications others have made that were successful.

    I'm sure there will be those who question the rig and setup I use, but it's worked for me. Well, almost. I'm using a Trek Lane cross bike as a commuter (got it new for the ridiculous price of $450). Iíve Ortlieb Front Roller Classics on a Tubus rack in the rear and a TopPeak Tourguide Dx on the handlebars. The front gets a bit squirrely when there anything in the front bag. Two days ago I found the front fork from my Cannondale 800T in the bike shed. That frame was trashed in an accident four years ago. Itís got more front rake than the Trek Lane. So, I swapped them out, and what a difference. Itís added 34 cm to the wheelbase and now the front end is very stable.

    So, are there any similar modifications by others?
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  2. #2
    tsl is online now
    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Rochester, NY
    My Bikes
    1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    The front gets a bit squirrely when there anything in the front bag
    Slapping weight on the front of a racing bike results in exactly the handling issues you experienced. Glad you had a fork on hand that would work.

    This is why bikes intended to carry loads in the front need to be designed to carry loads in the front.

    Front end geometry is one of the fundemental differences between bikes designed to be pack mules (audax/brevet/rando, touring, porteur, etc.) and racing bikes. Remember, cross bikes are racing bikes. They're designed for off-road racing. As the intended load in front increases (as is does from audax, to touring, to porteur) the geometry changes need to be more pronounced to compensate.

    This is also what makes these bikes handle funny without a load on the front. My audax bike has to be held down in corners--the effect is subtle, but it's there. Otherwise it pops up like cork and straightens out. That's the effect the geometry has to keep the bike from falling deeper than intended into corners when the front is loaded.

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