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Gravel bike fork rake recommendation.

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Gravel bike fork rake recommendation.

Old 04-13-21, 05:48 PM
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keithdunlop
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Gravel bike fork rake recommendation.

I'm upgrading the fork on my Soma and I'm looking for rake advice. I have a choice between 43mm vs. 48mm. The head tube angle is 73. The bike is setup as a fast commuter with occasional weekend fire road gravel duty. The current steel fork has a 43mm rake, but I'm wondering if I would improve off road handling by getting the 48mm. For example, the Enve G Series gravel fork has a 50mm rake. The Ritchey gravel/adventure fork is 50mm as well.

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Old 04-13-21, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by keithdunlop View Post
I'm upgrading the fork on my Soma and I'm looking for rake advice. I have a choice between 43mm vs. 48mm. The head tube angle is 73. The bike is setup as a fast commuter with occasional weekend fire road gravel duty. The current steel fork has a 43mm rake, but I'm wondering if I would improve off road handling by getting the 48mm. For example, the Enve G Series gravel fork has a 50mm rake. The Ritchey gravel/adventure fork is 50mm as well.
Personally I would try out the 48mm fork just to play around with both and see what I like more.

It depends mostly on how you ride, where, how aggressively and how much weight you have over the front axle. If you do a lot of high speed riding you may want to stick with 43mm. If you're looking for sharper handling at lower speeds, go 48mm.

Keep in mind that 73 degrees is already rather steep for a gravel bike.
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Old 04-13-21, 07:58 PM
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The reason the Enve has more rake is because newer gravel bikes are coming with slacker head tube angles, not 73 degrees any more. Forks with 43-45mm rake will not work well with slacker head tube angles because they result in a bit too much trail. Putting it on your bike will result in lower trail than you are used to. I think lower trail feels fine, but some people don't like it. I think it imparts a livelier feel to the bike. I have a bike with 55mm rake and 73 degree HTA, and it took me a few minutes on the first ride to get used to it.
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Old 04-14-21, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
The reason the Enve has more rake is because newer gravel bikes are coming with slacker head tube angles, not 73 degrees any more. Forks with 43-45mm rake will not work well with slacker head tube angles because they result in a bit too much trail. Putting it on your bike will result in lower trail than you are used to. I think lower trail feels fine, but some people don't like it. I think it imparts a livelier feel to the bike. I have a bike with 55mm rake and 73 degree HTA, and it took me a few minutes on the first ride to get used to it.
Yah, this is what I've discovered after more research as well. The Ibis Hakka for example is a true gravel bike and has a 72 degree HT and it's paired with the 50mm rake fork. I'm thinking that my frame was not really intended as a gravel bike and pairing a 43mm rake fork with the 73 degree HT angle is the better option. It produces the recommended trail.

This site helped a lot:Bicycle Trail Calculator | yojimg.net
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Old 04-14-21, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by keithdunlop View Post
Yah, this is what I've discovered after more research as well. The Ibis Hakka for example is a true gravel bike and has a 72 degree HT and it's paired with the 50mm rake fork. I'm thinking that my frame was not really intended as a gravel bike and pairing a 43mm rake fork with the 73 degree HT angle is the better option. It produces the recommended trail.

This site helped a lot:Bicycle Trail Calculator | yojimg.net
There is no right or wrong here, especially with Soma's frames since they dont even come with forks and you can order forks with different rakes from them. As long as you get a fork with the correct A-C length, buy the rake that you want to get the trail that you want. A 43mm rake fork, 45mm rake fork, or 50mm rake fork will all work just fine- its really a matter of how do you want the handling to feel.

https://www.somafab.com/archives/pro...tter-frame-set
-- If you want to choose a third party option, please look something with the following specs. 1-1/8" non-tapered steerer, 390-400mm axle to crown length, and of course something that will fit the bike hub on your front wheel. 48mm rake is ideal. 44mm rake is acceptable. Please follow their instructions carefully.


https://www.somafab.com/archives/pro...e-set-v1-rosso

What kind of forks are compatible with the Fog CutterEven though we call this a road bike, we built the frame around a cyclo-cross length fork. So anything 390-400mm in length with a 44mm rake will work as designed. (48/50mm rake for the 48 and 52cm size) We do make a robust matching straight blade carbon fork for this frame, but you can run our lugged CX Disc Fork or Straight Blade CX fork. Or a third party CX fork. It needs to have a 1-1/8" steerer though. Road forks will be too short for this frame.
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Old 04-14-21, 02:03 PM
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Thanks!

Thanks everyone! I got the matching Soma carbon fork with a 43mm rake. It provides the trail that the bike currently has that I'm already comfortable with.
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