Hello folks more knowledgeable than me,
Here's the short, how can I modify the surly cross check geometry to be more touring friendly by either re-raking a fork that's too tall or building a new one? In other words, do I want more trail or less trail for a more stable, loaded front end (loaded w/ about 25-30 lbs, on a low rider rack).
Here's the long version:
I have a slight conundrum in regards to my 52 cm surly cross check. Last year I crashed it, had a friend new to framebuilding braze a new, extra sturdy fork to replace the one lost in the crash and had a good friend at Bilenky "persuade" the frame back into alignment. This experience makes me love steel frames even more.
It turns out that my friend building the fork bought a fork crown that appeared identical to Surly's, but was in fact too narrow. So we changed to a different one, and forgot about the difference in blade length. That put me with a cross check with a fork about 1.5 cm too long, it slackened the angles out (IMO too much) and raised the stand over height higher than I'd like. Still, I did a 2,000 mile loaded tour last summer on it. It behaved -ok- loaded, I couldn't ride no-handed but it wasn't unstable.
I've since moved and found another new to framebuilding friend, who has offered to either re-rake my current fork or braze a new one.
So, if he increases the rake of the old fork, that will reduce my trail as well as offering some solution to the too-tall-fork problem, but will it make the bike more stable under a fully loaded front end?
If he brazes a new fork, do I want more or less rake from the stock cross check geometry?