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  1. #1
    Senior Member Regulatori's Avatar
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    Jul 2015
    9 Post(s)
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    Rake/trail and what you personally prefer on velodrome bike: Twitchy/Neutral/Stable?

    I know a lot of the steel tubed track bikes from the past typically had 74-75 degree head tubes combined with a 28mm-35mm rake fork. I remember talking to Gabriel over on NJS-Export and he mentioned all of the keirin forks he offers are almost all 32mm rake.

    I've been looking a lot of steel track bikes and many of their head tube angles/low rake forks puts their trail at around 65. Sometimes higher even.

    Anything under 60 is going to be twitchier and anything over 60 will give a more stable ride.

    Here is my question.
    When buying a new fork and wanting to keep it around a 28mm-30mm like my stock fork, I found it next to impossible to find anything.
    Just about every modern track fork seems to be 38-45mm rake (think Wound Up had the lowest at 35mm).
    I found the same with a lot purpose built/higher end track bikes....
    Look 464 = 43mm fork, Anchor/Bridgestone PHM9 =38mm fork, etc..
    I can keep going but most of the time I find modern aluminum/CF bikes with the same higher rakes compared to the previous steel bikes.

    So that puts more modern aluminum/carbon fiber track bikes at a more neutral or even twitchier steering compared to the past steel bikes.

    -----My question. For people that have spent time on multiple bikes with varying levels of trail...everything from twitchy/responsive (mid 55-58 trail), neutral (60), or more stable (65ish), what did you most prefer?

    Only reason I ask is that I'm starting beginning Velodrome classes next April and have picked up a few different forks along the way. My original is 28mm and my other two are 38mm and 42mm.

    Just riding on the street I notice a huge difference. Yes, the 28mm is stable but the 42mm is so much easier for me to it's instinctive.

    I feel the quick response is actually helpful since the bike just seems to instantly react. I've run into a lot of idiots on our local paved community trail with quite a few close calls (ex...riders thinking they're on the Tour and doing 30mph/weaving in and out, telling upcoming riders "On your right" and have them move to the right). I feel the most comfortable on the I said, it just reacts instantly with minimal effort on my part. Never once have I felt it was too twitchy or unstable.

    BUT...I'm taking beginner Velodrome classes in spring. What fork would you go with?
    And when you did switch bikes/forks as you advanced, did you find yourself liking the more stable setups/higher trail setup or the slightly under neutral/a little twitchiness setup?

    Sorry if it's a stupid question. I've talked to a few frame builders/shop guys and they find rake/trail a very important part of the geometry/overall handling.....but find many buyers seem unconcerned/most just buy a fork without even considering that number or how it will affect the handling with their specific headtube angle.

    Thanks....I really appreciate it.
    Last edited by Regulatori; 01-19-16 at 07:17 AM.
    Samson track bike
    Saddle was leveled using Hattori Hanzo handcrafted folded steel NJS certified spirit level

  2. #2
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    36 Post(s)
    1 Thread(s)
    The Alpina F04 and Alpina Wing Pista (used on all Dolan bikes) have an offset of 30mm and are kinda easy to find.

    40mm is the max I've seen on a high-end track bike (Felt TK1). 45mm is a road/crit fork.

    The shortest I've seen is 25mm on the aluminum Bianchi Pista Concept.

    I prefer 74deg head tube and 30mm fork.

    Only reason I ask is that I'm starting beginning Velodrome classes next April and have picked up a few different forks along the way. My original is 28mm and my other two are 38mm and 43mm.
    Go with 28mm.

    Once you get on the track, your bike will behave much differently than on the road due to you riding on the side of your wheels.

    Don't overthink this.
    Quote Originally Posted by gtrob View Post
    Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.

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