Introduction: As the geometry evolves for 29″ers, riders have been getting increasingly more aware of front end geometry, especially as it pertains to forks. Offset and axle to crown measuremens are topics du jour, while head angle charts are consulted like the newspapers latest astrological section. What does it really all mean? Does this stuff matter all that much. (Actually, that is a totally valid question) What happens when fork “A” gets mated to frame “B”? Will my bicycle become a wheelbarrow or a twitchy track bike? Hopefully the following posts concerning my forays into this nebulous world of front end geometry will help to clear some things up for some of you.
The Set Up: I decided that in order to figure out what might result from swapping out forks that I would use one bike. This bike would get several fork swaps throughout the summer and I would report on each forks effects on said “one bike”. That bike is the OS Bikes Blackbuck. I also decided that for the most part I would stick with rigid forks, since there will be less variables with rigid forks versus suspended forks. (Although I will use a couple suspended forks as well) Along with the different forks, I will also detail out the different equipment and fit changes I needed to make to keep my relative seated posistion correct. All forks will be fitted with the same Avid BB-7 disc caliper with a 185mm rotor. I will also be using a Titec H-Bar, Avid levers, and Ergon grips throughout the test with various Salsa CroMoto stems to help achieve proper fit. The head set will be a Chris King No-Thread head set.
I will periodically update the test with new posts. The first in this series will be on the initial set up. Then we will get into the following fork swaps afterwards. I will also touch upon my past experimenting with an On One 29″er where I swapped out the stock fork for a Bontrager Switchblade. Stay tuned for the first part in this series coming soon.
In the meantime, please leave any questions or comments in the comment section. I’ll be sure to address each one if I can.