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short rake forks

What is the shortest rake you can get for a stock MTB fork? There are a bunch of grass polo guys here in paris (well the banlieue) that ride some weird custom bikes with a super short rake and almost vertical head tube. These bikes are pretty sweet polo bikes, they can pivot with their front wheel almost at 90deg. So this got me wondering if there are zero rake forks for MTB being made. Obviously there is an issue about the wheel overlapping the frame but I think most MTB dont have this problem.

Depending on what kind of frame you start with you can reduce the trail of your bike pretty simply. I am playing on a Cannondale touring frame with a 700c rear and 26" front. The fork isn't original but it is similar to the original. In any case this steepens the headtube and ultimately reduced trail so the bike can turn pretty tight at low speed, but these bikes are definitely harder to turn at higher speeds, it takes some getting used to for sure.

So if you're using a MTB running a 700 in the back isn't an option unless you are playing fixed no brake? But the bigger the size difference between your front and back tire the steeper your headtube. So you could reduce trail just by using a 1.25 tire on the front and a 2.1 on the back. If you have a suspension corrected fork you could pick up a fork from the 1990s designed for a rigid bike etc... It's all about finding something used and just compare it to what you have already. Bike co-ops and community/used bike shops are a great place to find old rigid forks of all different dimensions.

i've been contemplating putting a soma rush fork on my mid 90s gary fisher. it has 38mm rake and i run a 700. i just need to see if i'll get toe/frame overlap. i tried turning my fork backwards but... that shit was retarded.

the columbia solution is to shorten the rake yourself by crashing into the boards and bending your shit.

Columbia, MO

i'd like to bump this thread because i just acquired a mountain bike and i want to set it up for polo but the fork rake is ridiculous. i noticed the joust fork has 30 rake and that would be great except that i need 1" and i'm pretty sure it's 1 1/8" (that and i don't think they would sell just the fork). does anyone know of a low rake fork that's made for 26" tires and has canti brake mounts?

carve. smash. eat shit.

carve. smash. eat shit.


that would be perfect if it had canti brake mounts.

carve. smash. eat shit.

carve. smash. eat shit.

yeah that would make it more useful... seduce a welder?

this isn't exactly the same thing but you could use one of these and U brakes

how long of a steer tube do you need? and will threaded work?


i'll have to measure the steer tube when i get home. threaded is preferable because that's what it is now.

carve. smash. eat shit.

carve. smash. eat shit.

if you have a 1 1/8" headtube, you can get some of these http://store.icyclesusa.com/shared/StoreFront/default.asp?CS=icycles&Sto... to convert it to use a 1" fork.
also, canti posts are not that hard to braze on, they cost about $2 or less and a local builder will do it for pretty cheap.

charlie, i know you run your fork backwards because it's so bent up from crashes. i would run mine backwards but then i wouldn't be able to use the front brake. how can i bend the fork to have less rake without doing it the natural (charlie) way? i've heard of people using 2x4s and a mallet. any tips from people who have successfully done this would be appreciated.

carve. smash. eat shit.

carve. smash. eat shit.

yeah don't bend your fork... i'm waiting on one of those cruiser forks as a replacement right now

don't go bending your fork man, even good steel (which a poojoe fork aint!) loses integrity. i'll send you a threaded 26" fork down with canti bosses if it's steer tube is long enough for what you need.


tight! thanks, cris. i'll get you that measurement soon...

carve. smash. eat shit.

carve. smash. eat shit.

adding rake is one thing, bending back tubes is another, you will most likely get kinks in the blades. i have a bending mandrel for fork blades, it supports the sides of the tubes so that you dont have kinking/bulging issues. also, if anyone needs bits brazed on(canti posts, cable stops, etc) i can do it for cheap.

Get an old Kona project one fork if you can find one.
Skid & Destroy
Axles of Evil

Yo Dawg I heard you like redundancies so we got a PIN number for your PIN

thanks for the tip, timtim!

carve. smash. eat shit.

carve. smash. eat shit.

A lot of East Van & other Cascadia players use MTB frames for their polo setup. I've noticed that Martin & Rory have a ridiculous amount of rake on their forks. Is this a problem for them? Probably not, but I would like to know what they think. Chime in...

The rake on that fork blew but I adapted. The use of the past tense here is because Richey Rich is a thing of the past as of this weekend. Long live my One Bi Won!!!!!

BOP: Eating Little Split Pea's shit for years.

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

the fork isn't a deal breaker, it's just that i'm used to playing on twitchy track(ish) geometry bikes, so i don't want to deviate too far. i'll adapt either way, though.

carve. smash. eat shit.

carve. smash. eat shit.

My Norco Alpine bike was free. It is the biggest/heaviest piece of shit, no consideration of rake but I've figured it out.

A short rake fork without a steep headtube doesn't make much sense, the short rake fork will actually be less twitchy. A track bike or the joust has a low rake fork to compensate for the steep head angle, not because a short fork is twitchier.

bad use of the term "twitchy" on my part. you're correct that the i will increase the trail if i go with a lower rake fork on a relaxed head tube angle. i guess i was thinking more of shortening the wheel base as much as possible for tighter turning. i guess without changing the head tube angle, i'm stuck with a long wheel base and sluggish turning.

carve. smash. eat shit.

carve. smash. eat shit.

just thought of something. what if i replace the 26" fork/wheel with a 24" fork/wheel? that would give me a steeper head tube angle and less trail.

carve. smash. eat shit.

carve. smash. eat shit.

good luck finding shit for 24"

Columbia, MO

and a lower BB too

Berlin Bike Polo 2010
London Bike Polo 2008 - 2010

I been thinking about this issue of rake but I am still confused.
It seems to me that this measurement misses the point. Correct me if I am
wrong but "rake" is measured as follows:

"draw a straight line from your headtube
to the ground following the angle of the headtube.
measure the shortest distance from the front axle
to this line."

so rake is intrinsic to the fork, it has nothing to do with
the frame and thus cannot possiblly be the relevant
measurement for "handling".

It seems to me that the measurement which would perhaps better
correspond to the "twitchiness" would be the distance measured
in the following way:

"draw a straight line VERTICALLY from the crown of your fork to the ground.
measure the shortest distance from the front axle to this line."

so this measurement depends on the geometry of the fork AND on the
geometry of the frame, in particular it depends on the head tube angle.

since different bikes have very different head tube angles, it
seems that people should sell forks with a wide variety of rake
however it seems that the rake is consistently 40-45mm.
If you have a mountain bike, chances are you have a largish
angle between your headtube and the vertical. So using
a fork with small-zero rake should not be a problem but I
found that nobody really makes them.

For polo I think it is this measurement which one wants to minimize,
subject to the handling not getting too crazy.

Well OK, I found a guy in London who said he could do it for a
good price, 14bikeco or something.
hasnt worked out yet but I am hopeful.

it's all about trail

carve. smash. eat shit.

carve. smash. eat shit.


Berlin Bike Polo 2010
London Bike Polo 2008 - 2010

i think there's more to it than trail, even if trail is important.
for example, tight headtube angle with zero offset forks will be less twitchier on tight turns than a laid back angle with a normally offset fork, even though they could have the same trail.
when you turn an offset fork hard your tire is contacting outside of the centerline, and theres that moment where your bars want to eat your nuts because of it (dont act like u dont know). this doesn't really exist with zero offset forks. that said, offset forks are easier to ride at higer speeds (which is great for polo and the 1.5 ratios we got)
flatland riders use zero offsets for this, and cuz they're reversible.
someone in oly has zero offset on thier polo bike and its nuts, but good luck finding them.

www.starcitycycles.com I'll build you guys a fork if you want....any size and rake you want.

check for "mosso fork" on ebay; it's the closest i've found so far. It doesn't list the rake but it looks pretty short. comes with v and disc mounts and it's cheap. 26 only.

A shop can also order just the fork for the all-city dropout from qbp which has no rake but the dropouts are in front of the legs. 990 mounts only.

that's all I've found so far.

Looking for some advice here... I ride a surly 1x1 frame and fork and I'm having an issue where my front wheel tends to "jack-knife" when I'm turning at slow speeds, causing me to dab a lot. I compared it to another polo bike that had a steeper head-tube angle and short-rake forks and noticed that my wheel wanted to twist sooner (ie. less than 90 degrees) than his did. Just wondering if people think that a shorter-rake fork would help solve this problem? If so can anyone suggest any cheap 26" short-rake forks? Or does anyone have any other suggestions on how I can address this problem? Is this something that others riding Surly 1x1's have experienced? Thanks!

A lot of the guys here that were running 1x1's swapped the fork out for something straight with about a 30 degree rake I think. Don't know what kind of fork they have though.

Been riding a redline monocog fork on my 1x1. Looks identical to Sarah's KHS below.

I just bent my frame and fork on my 1x1. Works for me.

another option is the black market tech-9 fork- comes in 395 and 410 axle-crown, 33mm rake.

If you know someone at a bike shop who can order it for you, KHS makes a rad low rake straight blade fork with canti and disk mounts. It's what I have on my bike.
I think it's part of their Free Agent line, not sure on that though.


I can vouch for this fork too I think the specific name was 'KHS Rigid One 26in. fork'. Only complaint is that the A-C is pretty long

And its on QBP!

Think it would fit a 700 if I'm using disc?

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

Definitely, you might even be able to run a 29er

Color me intrigued...

Legalize Hand Throws - 2014

I will give you an accurate a-c measurement when I get the chance, but if you look at the pic there is visibly 2-3 inches from the top of the tire to the bottom of the crown, it's really wide too I had a 2.2x26 tire on there with potential to go bigger but was limited by my brake

Thanks for the solid advice!

Ok I'm gonna bump this. I'm looking for a fork for my new rig. I'm running 700c wheels But I'm not averse to a 26in fork as long as it fits the angles.

I'm looking for a fork with a Crown to Axle below 390mm and a rake lower than 43mm. Also It has to have disc tabs. I've been looking on Google and found a few options but not quite as aggressive as I'd like. So far the Origin 8 Chromo-lite disc road fork or a Kona P2 is what I'm leaning towards. The Origin 8 is cheaper, lighter and steeper on the angles than the P2.

Does anyone know of something I might have overlooked. A cheap aluminum option would be great then I could get the weight of the fork down to below 700grams as oppose to the 1100 or so the Origin 8 weighs.

- Sincerely
Olsen Aviles



"Manufacturer: Civia
Mfr Part #: Civia Bryant Fork Black
UPC: 708752056503
Model: Civia Bryant
Color: Black
Material: Steel
Brake Usage F/R: Front
Fork Rake: 45mm
Axle to Crown Length: 395mm
Crown Race: 30.0
Steerer Tube Length: 325mm
Brake Type: Disc
Wheel Size: 700c
Defined Color: Black
S.H.I.S. Clamp Diameter: 28.6
Steerer Type: Straight"

or there's the kona 2 fork


there is also the new fixcraft fork


also just a heads up I own the civia hyland fork and it mounts the disc caliper DIRECTLY onto the fork there is no adapter required but the lack of adapter also means you will need to buy a custom bash guard for the rotor.

I'm considering swapping out the fork on my Scrambler and I haven't been able to find any fork offset figures for the P2. The Scrambler forks have very short A-C measurements and rake, the P2 appears to have the same A-C but I can't find fork offset figures anywhere. Seems a lot of forks being sold list A-C but not offset, annoying. Maybe Fixcraft might like to let us know their plans soon?

Don't touch that Civia fork, I crumpled mine just braking on it...

Portland United

damn dude that sucks, got pics of it?

I got this thing, if anyone cares I can give an update on how it handles


- Sincerely
Olsen Aviles

was going to suggest the 700c version of this fork. http://www.maxpowercycles.de/
He's a polo player from germany, very good stuff. I'm waiting on mine at the moment. Looking forward to it.

I'm using SE Fork!
Very nice and strong one!
They have all sizes!

Well after waiting way too long and getting the wrong fork on the first shipment. I had a little less than one month actually riding the fork I mentioned above. I took it to crank gamble and I was digging the way it handled. Still felt a little slack but that is probably more the bike that im riding than the fork.

But the big problem here and why I'd never recommend the fork was that it failed pretty spectacularly after less than a month. So one tournament and 3 days of pickup a night for about a month is pathetic. I didn't have any into the wall crashes or anything and I'm not a player who draws a lot of contact.

It looks like it failed under braking. Since the rotor side drop out is the one that cracked. I can attribute that to the hard braking that comes from normal polo play. That coupled with hopping and stoppies is probably the culprit.

  • 1357257668732.jpg

- Sincerely
Olsen Aviles

damn dude, this is a civia fork too?

Nah, this is the origin 8 I mentioned a few posts above. It sounds like it failed in a similar fashion to the civia though. Either way gotta wait for the refund now, might just stick with v brakes and spend the cash on a new set of time atacs though.

Otherwise I'm looking at a project 2 from kona. Looks significantly stronger.


- Sincerely
Olsen Aviles

Yeah, the Kona fork is pretty darn solid.


What about the Hija de la Coneja fork?

  • Hija de la Coneja.jpg

I know I'm rough on bikes but I can't be the only one this happens to. I only weigh 150.

Anyways this is a surly fork that lasted me a lot longer but still only since march. Failed in much the same way; right at the disc tab.

  • 20130813_201349.jpg

- Sincerely
Olsen Aviles

Believe it or not, one of the best gambles I've seen is the fork with 10 mm rake. Aluminum fork, steel steerer (pretty short, though), V-brake bosses.
The story goes, the dealer has received a funky batch of straight forks. Regular people stay away from them, probably the only guys buying these are polo players :)