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  1. #1
    ridinglikecrazy
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    Can someone please explain Fork Rake to me?

    my 2009 CAAD9 had a fork witha 45mm rake. In looking to upgrade and replace it, the ones I've looked at all have either a 43mm rake or 49mm rake. Assuming I go with a rake that is less, or more than what i have now, what affect does that have on the bike?

    I've heard increasing rake provides more stable steering, and less rake make steeing more twitchy? this this true?

    thanks,

    RD

  2. #2
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangerdavid
    I've heard increasing rake provides more stable steering, and less rake make steeing more twitchy? this this true?
    It's the other way around—more rake means quicker steering, less rake slower steering. Generally, differences of up to 2 mm can't be felt. With the + 4 mm change, you might notice that steering has quickened. But after some rides, you'll get used to it. (All this given that fork blade lengths are the same.)

  3. #3
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    Yes, actually you are correct rangerdavid. It's just that less rake on the fork means the bike will be very responsive...so much that some have called that "twitchy". A nice big rake on the fork will give you a less responsive ride and thus may feel less "twitchy" but that wont be too exciting on a winding downhill road.
    Most true race bikes built for speed will have no rake on the fork.
    Bikes built with a little more comfort, lets say with Rubaix in mind...will have some rake on the forks.
    Last edited by Hooben; 09-18-2010 at 06:19 AM.
    With people like Peter P. around, I am done posting on this website. Mean people have driven me off after 9 plus years. Good luck newbies beware.

  4. #4
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    Two posts, and already a disagreement! Well, I'm going to go with Wim on this one. A fork with more rake will put the axle more forward, thereby decreasing the trail and making the bike quicker to steer. Whether it is too twitchy or not depends on rider preference and what you're starting out with frame angle in the first place.

  5. #5
    wim
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    Confusion reigns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooben
    Yes, actually you are correct rangerdavid.
    Now both the OP and you have got it reversed. Less rake > more trail > slower steering. More rake > less trail > quicker steering.

    I have to admit that the word "rake" is confusing because it implies an angle or a curvature. But with bicycles, "rake" is the distance in millimeter between two imaginary straight lines parallel to each other. Another word for bicycle fork rake is "offset", which is less confusing, but hasn't really caught on.

    /w
    Last edited by wim; 09-18-2010 at 07:03 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificaslim
    Two posts, and already a disagreement! Well, I'm going to go with Wim on this one. A fork with more rake will put the axle more forward, thereby decreasing the trail and making the bike quicker to steer. Whether it is too twitchy or not depends on rider preference and what you're starting out with frame angle in the first place.

    Win has it correct........
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

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  7. #7
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
    Win has it correct........
    Wim DOES have it correct. It's easily seen here. More rake = less trail = less stability. Less rake = more trail = more stability.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Can someone please explain Fork Rake to me?-frame_stability_sketch.jpg  
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wim
    Now both the OP and you have got it reversed. Less rake > more trail > slower steering. More rake > less trail > quicker steering.

    I have to admit that the word "rake" is confusing because it implies an angle or a curvature. But with bicycles, "rake" is the distance in millimeter between two imaginary straight lines parallel to each other. Another word for bicycle fork rake is "offset", which is less confusing, but hasn't really caught on.

    /w
    My bad Wim, you got me....definition for rake and you are correct. Good job buddy.
    With people like Peter P. around, I am done posting on this website. Mean people have driven me off after 9 plus years. Good luck newbies beware.

  9. #9
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    As for the impact of a change. If the frame is on the verge of instability, then 3mm change in rake can make a noticeable difference. I have a bike where with the original 43mm fork it was impossible to ride "hands off". With a 40mm fork it's fine.

  10. #10
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooben
    My bad Wim, you got me
    Well, I didn't mean to "get" anyone—just explain how "rake" is used (confusingly) in the bicycling world. If you want some more confusing facts, "rake" in the motorcycle world refers to the steering axis angle (identical to the head tube angle on a bicycle) and it's expressed in degrees. On a motorcycle, a zero-degree rake would be vertical. And yes, more rake means slower steering on a motorcycle.

  11. #11
    ridinglikecrazy
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    Thank guys for all the responses. I have a '09 CAAD9-6. the OEM fork has a 45 rake, according to the Mfg. I'm looking at a 3T fork which has a 43 rake. So according to the responses here, it really shouldn't make that much difference at all.

    The bike steers nicely now, and I'm accustomed to it. So perhpas ther 43 is the way to go for me.


    RD

  12. #12
    A wheelist
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    Here's a better graphic than the other one I posted.

    It's easy to see what a difference more or less rake will make to the Trail -
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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    Mike T's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

    I'm not cranky; I just have a violent reaction to stupid people.

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