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 ride...like 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 42mm...like 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.