Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Rohnert Park, CA
Bikes: Pake track, Soma DoubleCross, LeMond Etape, Maruishi RoadAce 303
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If you like the handling your bike has now, I'd try to get something closer to being identical to your current setup. That said, 4mm of difference isn't a HUGE different.
Also, an essential measurement to take into consideration is the axle-to-crown length, as it will also change the handling. For instance, take a fork with a rake of 40 and an axle-to-crown length of 175cm. If you change to a fork with a rake of 44 and an axle-to-crown length of 168, it actually might feel around the same because the trail might be similar (I am of course just pulling numbers out of the air, so this won't be precise at all). You could do a simple geometry calculation if you have the head tube angle, as well. I have been told that an alright rule of thumb regarding forks indicates that for every 10mm of axle-to-crown length, the head tube angle changes by about a degree.