So I've got this nice old French bike, a VeloSoleX. DB 531 throughout, and it is the smoothest-riding steel bike I've ever had. It's a keeper.
But... When i got it, the stem was seized. I worked and worked and worked to extract it but the corrosion weld was total. Tragically, in the process of trying to extract it, I tweaked the steer tube. As luck would have it, one of the guys I work with is apprenticing with Paul Wyganowski, and he took it on as a project. He's going to give me a 1" threadless tube and add a second set of eyelets on the dropouts,and I think I'm going to ask him to give me a set of mount points for a Nitto rack.
But the experience kind of got me to thinking: How much do rake, trail and bend each contribute to handling and ride? How much of ride quality comes from the fork at all?
I don't anticipate building my own frame but there's a good chance I might commission a custom frame at some point and I'd like to understand the theory better.