I'm new here, and new to road bikes in general. I picked up a 2004 Lemond Buenos Aires frame for really cheap locally, but it was only the frame. How do I pick a fork without knowing the specs on the original?
I am watching a fork on eBay with a rake of 43 as well as another with a rake of 45, but I'm not sure which one.
Also what is the minimum steerer length exposed, once on the bike and in the headset, that will allow me to clamp a stem onto? I'm trying to do this on a budget, and I'd probably learn by trial and error, but it might get a little expensive in this hobby. Thanks.
You want the steerer to be only marginally below the plane of the top of the stem. Otherwise the top stem bolt could deform the stem into a void. New forks generally come with a super long steerer. I'd be leery of a used carbon fork.
Do all stem clamps differ in size from bottom stem bolt to top stem bolt? Ok another question, does it matter that I have a non-integrated headset? It seems as if most forks say they will work for both integrated and non. I'm trying to learn everything I can about the threadless fork setup, I'm used to threaded.
Yes, stems vary in the height of the steerer clamp.
Forks that are designed to work with integrated headsets often have a large platfrom at the top that matches the flare of a wider headtube.
It'll look better on your bike if it's not like this. Here's some technical help.