Sounds like a great chance to experiment Doland ; ^ ) As you say, going with less rake will increase trail which may or may not be a bad thing, depending on how you like the current handling of the bike. The change will not be huge, for instance if your head tube is 73 degree it will take you from a current ~5.2cm of trail to ~5.7cm - still pretty much average for current racing bikes, so steering shouldn't be drastically slower. And who knows, you might even like the added stability.
Of course you could also experiment with re-raking your old fork, assuming it's still structurally sound and you don't care about potentially messing up the paint. I'll probably get in trouble for saying this, but a 2x4, a rubber mallet, and a tape measure are all you need.
John Wood Red Lodge, MT
On Feb 6, 2008 10:29 AM, Cheung, Doland <CheungD@bv.com> wrote:
> Was wondering if anybody could shed some light on reducing fork rake and
> it's effect on handling with a fork replacement. I'm considering
> putting a carbon fork on a Bianchi steel bike, but the catch is that the
> original fork's rake is 50mm, whereas the current carbon forks with 1"
> steerers only go to a 45mm rake.
> IIRC, assuming the bottom race to axle distance is the same, reducing
> the rake with increase the trail, making the bike steer slower? Any
> help or experience would be appreciated.
> Doland Cheung