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Thread: High trail road bikes

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    Default High trail road bikes

    Alway had the impression that road bike trail figure ranges from 55-60mm, but some models/manufacturers (e.g. BMC) have their race bike at 63mm or more.

    I know higher trail bikes hold a straight line well at higher speed, but what about cornering? Do they dive into a corner (i.e. turned more easily) or do they fight against your steering?

    And how should one think about the interaction between trail and front center for handling? Given a fixed trail and fixed riding position, a longer FC makes the steering slower/more vague presumably because less weight is on the front wheel?

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    Default Re: High trail road bikes

    My main bike for solo and group rides has trail in the range of 75-80mm.
    It rides great. Zero problems with steering.
    When I built this bike, I built 3 forks for it, with different rakes, about 23mm, about 35mm, and about 60mm.
    The long rake/low trail fork felt terrible with in incredibly vague feel to steering.
    It would probably ride better if I was carrying a 6 pack of beer on the handlebars though.
    The middle rake fork felt normal.
    The short rake/long trail fork feels the best to me for the riding I do.
    The bike feels stable as a rock.
    It steers wherever I want it to go. I don't ever have to think about steering.
    (Except with the 6 pack on the bars. Pretty squirrely steering then.)
    Mark Walberg
    Building bike frames for fun since 1973.

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    Default Re: High trail road bikes

    In my experience, for a road bike, high trail achieved through a lower rake fork works better than high trail achieved through a slacker head angle. That keeps the flop number lower, which I find preferable for not feeling too sloppy at low speeds.

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    Default Re: High trail road bikes

    All I can say is, my mountain bike with a rigid fork, 71 degree head angle roughly 73mm of trail steers just wonderfully. I realize the head angle is slightly slacker than that seen on a road bike, but the trail figure qualifies. Stable on the road, certainly so at higher speeds, but turns just fine.

    I have always been intrigued by Dave Moulton's Fuso frames which in many sizes had a 73 degree head angle and 37mm or fork rake. They were incredibly popular in their day so people must have found the steering fine for racing. I'd love to try a frame built that way.

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    Default Re: High trail road bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Walberg View Post
    My main bike for solo and group rides has trail in the range of 75-80mm.
    It rides great. Zero problems with steering.
    When I built this bike, I built 3 forks for it, with different rakes, about 23mm, about 35mm, and about 60mm.
    The long rake/low trail fork felt terrible with in incredibly vague feel to steering.
    It would probably ride better if I was carrying a 6 pack of beer on the handlebars though.
    The middle rake fork felt normal.
    The short rake/long trail fork feels the best to me for the riding I do.
    The bike feels stable as a rock.
    It steers wherever I want it to go. I don't ever have to think about steering.
    (Except with the 6 pack on the bars. Pretty squirrely steering then.)
    Thanks. Agree low trail bikes handle poorly in most cases, and I do prefer higher trails. Just wondering how high I should go to get all the advantages and less disadvantages of high trails.

    Quote Originally Posted by prototoast View Post
    In my experience, for a road bike, high trail achieved through a lower rake fork works better than high trail achieved through a slacker head angle. That keeps the flop number lower, which I find preferable for not feeling too sloppy at low speeds.
    Could another downside of slack HTA and high trail is too long a front center, resulting less weight on the front tire patch so the tire tends to wash out under the rider?

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    Default Re: High trail road bikes

    Mr. Kérautret used a fork with no rake.

    La fourche
    Pour accroître la stabilité et la maniabilité du vélo, François Kerautret proposait une solution très simple, née non pas d’un dogme mais du bon sens, avec du sommet du pivot jusqu’aux pivots, une fourche d’une rectitude absolue. Cette alternative assurant au vélo un comportement en ligne, supprimant ou en tous cas minimisant le «guidonnage» inévitable de gauche à droite.
    Une anecdote courait d’ailleurs sur ce sujet, a parcourt égal, les vélos Kerautret parcouraient moins de distance qu’un vélo classique, compteur au guidon !!!
    https://encycloduvelo.fr/fkc-francoi...-conception-2/



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    Default Re: High trail road bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Walberg View Post
    My main bike for solo and group rides has trail in the range of 75-80mm.
    It rides great. Zero problems with steering.
    When I built this bike, I built 3 forks for it, with different rakes, about 23mm, about 35mm, and about 60mm.
    The long rake/low trail fork felt terrible with in incredibly vague feel to steering.
    It would probably ride better if I was carrying a 6 pack of beer on the handlebars though.
    The middle rake fork felt normal.
    The short rake/long trail fork feels the best to me for the riding I do.
    The bike feels stable as a rock.
    It steers wherever I want it to go. I don't ever have to think about steering.
    (Except with the 6 pack on the bars. Pretty squirrely steering then.)
    I admire your stamina. I built myself a bike last year with a fork with a 60 mm offset. I had in mind building another fork at some point, if I was not happy with it, but building three forks together is very dedicated. I suppose you could now build two more frames and you then have three bikes.

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    Default Re: High trail road bikes

    For those of you who have not seen it, there is a discussion in this article (with the emphasis on low trail rather than high trail).

    http://normaali.net/temp/Front-End-Geometry.pdf

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    Default Re: High trail road bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Craddock View Post
    Mr. Kérautret used a fork with no rake.

    La fourche
    The Kérautret article in French is easily translated by clicking on the translation box that appears when opened, interesting read.
    Take care of yourself in this time of crisis and realize sadness, anger and grief are part of the process Brian Clare

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    Default Re: High trail road bikes

    Kerautret had his followers. I think he comes from a moto racing background. He has some people like Alain Prost as his users, not sure if it means anything.
    --
    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: High trail road bikes

    650 wheels and ZR fork. How to find a solution to a problem that does not exist.

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