In the United States there is a growing number of frame builders engaged in low-trail geometry.
It started with Jan Heine, a very passionate and inquisitive cyclist, who in his quest for the ideal randonneur, once rode a 50s ‘Rene Herse‘ and was amazed at how fantastic that rode.
One of the things that stands out is that they used a different geometry at that time, a slightly steeper head tube in combination with a fork with more rake, profiding the bike with a short trail.
This is ideal for the use of a heavy front bag, such as on a conveyor, or a randonneur, because with less‘ wheel flop “ the weight has no influence on the steering behavior, on the contrary, it’s drives very easily.
Obviously I would like to try this also .. then it’s a good idea to buy a fork, but I obviously go for the more exciting version: make a mold and bend the fork yourself.
It went very good indeed, I gave the fork almost 2cm extra rake, only the forkcrown lowered 8mm, but that’s not a problem.
Than the test drive: it felt like the bike was put on rails and the steering was getting used to, but driving with no hands , suddenly went very well and my porteur bag with 35kg groceries could be steered with a finger!
Project succeded, so I adjusted 2 more bikes, the paint stayed perfect to my surprise, apparently it’s supple enough.