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  1. #1
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    Seattle recommendations for shop to re-rake my fork

    Hi Seattlites,

    My 2011 Salsa Casseroll (2011 Casseroll | Bikes | Salsa Cycles) has large amounts of trail (60 mm) so i've been thinking about having the fork rake adjusted to a lower number for various reasons. Can someone recommend a couple places in the general Seattle area that have this capability and are known to do good work, any idea about pricing for this? Was thinking of asking Elliot Bay Bicycles about it but see they shut down. I tried asking in the comments on Jan Heine's blog in the comments but either my question is being deleted (twice!) or something went wrong.

    Why do this?
    Re-raking the fork seems a good way to try out the wonders of low trail geometry on a bike i know well and that has some issues i don't like. The effects of low trail geometry are expounded on at length in Bicycle Quarterly - i have drunk deeply from that Kool-Aid and want to try it on my bike. The issues are major toe strike/overlap (doubt this will be fully solved), the usual feeling of the tail wagging the dog when panniers are loaded, a few times i've had major shimmy when hitting a sharp edged bump going downhill (more like tank slappers that scared the hell out of me the first time), and handling with a front load. The latter i suspect is aggravated by the large amount of trail which amplifies the impact to the frame, setting up the shimmy. Mostly, i just want to try low trail geometry!

    Stock geometry is as follows:
    head tube angle 72deg
    offset 50mm
    tire width 32mm
    This produces a long 60mm trail per various online calculators such as Bicycle Trail Calculator | yojimg.net

    If offset is increased to 60mm by adjusting the fork rake, trail is reduced to a much lower 50mm. Head tube angle steepens by a small amount, likely less than 0.5 deg so don't expect that to present a major issue.
    Increasing trail to 64mm (not sure how feasible this is) results in 45mm trail.

    I have plenty of adjustment in my brakes, not sure how much the tire moves closer to the bottom of the fork crown but probably a reasonable amount to not present an issue with my fenders.

    Recommendations for places to help perform this work?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Center for Appropriate Transport (CAT) here in Eugene should be able to do the work, or give you references. However, I would look for local frame builders in your Seattle area. There must be a few.

    Does Salsa make their own bikes in the USA? Anyway, consider contacting them too.

    Personally, if I was you, I'd consider buying the desired fork rather than getting mine bent. You are wishing to experiment with your bike. What if you don't like the outcome? My cargo bike has a lot of extra flex that I hadn't anticipated when I built it, and some of it is attributable to the long fork rake. It may be easiest to bend your fork to give more rake, than to remove the rake. And, the more bending you, the more likelihood of damaging the forks.

    Thus, if you can buy a matching fork to your specs from Salsa, that would certainly be worth considering.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    R&E in Seattle Builds Bike Frames & Forks Custom so Has to have a Rake Jig.. though, perhaps, having them Build a New Fork is more realistic.

    More Builders , etc.
    Bike Industry Links

    Salsa Is now an Owned Brand Name of QBP's .. like Surly.. Taiwan... so Go thru the LBS with a QBP Account.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-15-15 at 01:49 PM.

  4. #4
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    I'd start with R+E in Seattle. Those folks know their stuff and will work with you to get what you want. Competent, fast, reliable, helpful and quite inexpensive, what's not to like?

  5. #5
    Senior Member cale's Avatar
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    There is a small powder coat shop, appropriately named Seattle Powder Coat, that does a lot of frame painting for locals. They'd be a good contact for referrals.
    Haha - we're laughing together, I hope.

  6. #6
    A Roadie Forever 79pmooney's Avatar
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    I have a 40 yo Raleigh Carlton International with 72 HA, 65mm rake/offset and 45mm trail. Fairly quick steering which I like. Also some wheel flop which I am not used to as all my other bikes are a lot steeper.

    I think you have the right idea, but you should be aware that the paint probably will not survive the operation. Bending high strength steel tubes cannot be done gently. After factoring in the paint, you may find that haveing a new one built doesn't look as expensive.

    Ben

  7. #7
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    Thanks, all, for the thoughts and ideas.

    Clifford: their bikes are made in Taiwan, part of the large QBP family. I specifically wanted a local shop to avoid the expense of mailing it elsewhere.

    I think modifying my fork will be cheaper than buying a custom fork. I haven't been able to find an off the shelf fork that gives me what I want, had already looked before asking here. I've heard of others doing this with no paint damage - somewhat surprising but willing to take that risk. Can always have it repainted or powder coated if I like the result. Hopefully the paint survives as I've always thought it was a particularly pretty, somewhat retro, shade of blue that suits the bike.

    If I don't like the result I can buy another stock fork or, more likely, sell the bike for something I like more.

  8. #8
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    Replying to help anyone else searching the forums for similar.

    I went to R+E (aka Rodriguez cycles at rodbikes.com), partly because they don't just build frames but also have experience with crash repairs, and they were willing to give it a try. They were nervous about going for low trail so offered to rerake some, test ride it, let me test ride it and change some more as needed. It took a while (over a month in total) & two rounds of raking, since it was low priority work for them.

    It ended up with mid-trail and they weren't keen to try for more but the handling feels much more natural so have stopped there. I had installed long reach dual pivot brakes a while ago because I hated the cantilever brakes. When reraking the wheel moves closer to the crown but my brakes were able to adjust sufficiently. A side benefit is almost all of the massive toe overlap the bike came with is gone. The paint was unaffected and did not crack.

    So overall it was worth the $90'ish cost and I would do it again. Some day I will buy one of their bikes, when I have saved up enough dough, to get exactly the bike I want.

  9. #9
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    This guy likes to do a lot of custom work.
    He does some nice work.
    He's in Georgetown.

    Haulin' Colin

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