Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Gainesville, FL
Bikes: Raleigh Super Course (1968)
Confusion about no-rake forks and handling
I'm learning about bike design - I'm way too new (and poor!) to be designing / building my own bike right now, but it's fun to pretend.
Anyway, I'm a little confused about forks with no rake (as in, 0 mm rake; not straight forks that have the rake set at the crown). People on BF and elsewhere online claim that no rake yields a twitchy bike or a bike with "poor" (by some standard) handling.
My reference is here
, which is linked from Sheldon Brown's website (so it can't be all wrong!). He says,
For a given steering angle, offsetting the hub forward reduces trail, while offestting the hub backward increases trail. This may seem counterintuitive, since very stable cruiser bikes usually have more fork rake than twitchy track bikes. But the other factor at work is the angle of the steerer -- cruiser bikes have very slack head tubes, so they have more trail despite their fork rake, not because of it.
By that logic, a bike with no rake is more stable than a bike with rake, all other things being equal (which they never are). So are the BFers and other Internet denizens wrong? Or am I misinterpreting this?
Any information is appreciated!