Using a shorter fork

General bike chat that does not fit elsewhere
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Using a shorter fork

Postby Gabbo » Mon Jan 14, 2013 09:04 am

You are probably wondering as to why I'm even on this topic. Well as you know, using a longer fork will increase the head angle of the bike and using a shorter fork will decrease that angle. With the 58cm Tarmacs, the head angle is huge in comparison to the head angle on the size below (being a 56).

I know it's probably a daft subject, but the 56 felt more aggressive even though I felt a little too big for it. The 58 felt a little more relaxed if anything and I'm wondering, could this be influenced by the greater head angle due to the longer forks? Has anyone ever changed the fork on their bike and If so, why?

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Re: Using a shorter fork

Postby Pross » Mon Jan 14, 2013 09:09 am

More likely to be due to the different saddle to bar drop. Your saddle is the same height on both bikes but the head tube is smaller on the 56 and therefore the bars will be lower, combine that with a shorter top tube and everything feels that bit more compact and race like.

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Re: Using a shorter fork

Postby sungod » Mon Jan 14, 2013 15:05 pm

i'd be surprised if the fork was 'longer', for road fork length (crown to axle, measured parallel to steerer tube axis) distance is 370mm +/- 4mm, can't see why there'd be much, if any, difference in length between a 56 and 58 frame, the rake makes more difference to handling, but again it shouldn't differ much if at all

according to this... ... t#geometry ...the head tube angle, rake and trail are identical for 56 and 58 sizes

but what is different is the stem length, 100mm vs. 110mm, imho that's going to be the main cause of the handling difference, if you want more 56-like handling on the 58, fit a shorter stem
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Re: Using a shorter fork

Postby Monty Dog » Mon Jan 14, 2013 17:26 pm

These days, you'll find manufacturers stick with the same fork throughout a model range - it keeps inventory and costs to a minimum, although you may find smaller frames to have a slightly slacker HTA in comparison to larger sizes to accommodate front wheel overlap. I expect the difference was down to stem, toptube lengths and weight distribution - you'd have more weight over the front on a smaller frame and hence get more 'feedback'
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Re: Using a shorter fork

Postby Lucan » Mon Jan 14, 2013 17:56 pm

If you put a shorter fork on you'll go faster because you'll always be going downhill - bit like if you put a smaller front wheel on. Obvious, innit? :wink:
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