Cargo Bike Front End Geometry
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Long Tail & Long John Cargo Bike Front End Geometry
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Xtracycle Radish V1Xtracycle Radish V2Xtracycle EdgerunnerLadies Xtracycle (Aaron's Old)Stock Cannondale Comfort 5 Xtracycle Big Dummy 24" Wheels & Dimension Fork (Aaron's) Big Dummy 26" WheelsBig Dummy 24" WheelsMadsen V1Madsen V2Yuba Mundo V1Yuba Mundo V3Val's DreadnoughtSun AtlasCETMA Cargo (Vincent's)van Andel Bakfiets (Aaron's)
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Fork Rake (offset)253055454545434345?454562653340
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Wheel Diameter670663676640660640676640650?675665680660510525
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Head Tube Angle67°72.5°74.570°71°72.5°72° 72°
69°75?70°70.573°72°7174.5
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Trail1157337696654655977?757039395433
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Axle to Crown ?435415410445410425425400?395426390414330315
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Shorter trail is better for cargo bikes because of the added weight on the front wheel caused by a long wheelbase. Cargo bikes benefit from fatter tires, but fat tires have more pnumatic trail than skinny tires. Think of pnumatic trail as being added to geometric trail with the goal for good handling being low overall trail. Most single bikes in America have been designed around 60mm of trail with skinny high pressure tires. Fat tires ridden at low pressures give even more pnumatic trail. Pnumatic trail is hard to measure and varies with tire pressure. Experience has shown that low geometric trail (35 to 50mm.) works best with fat tires (60mm) at low pressure (35psi). This makes the bike fun to ride, easy to steer and comfortable!
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When you add an Xtracycle Free Radical to a mountian bike, for example, more weight is transferred to the front wheel. This causes more flop. Flop is how much of a tendency the front wheel has to fall into the turn. More trail usually equals more flop. What this means to the rider is a greater effort required just to keep the bike going staight. The force at the handlebars is greatly reduced by designing a bike with shorter trail. If you have an Xtracycle try 24" wheels, or a shorter fork (axle to crown) since head tube angle cannot be changed. The shorter fork effectivly steepens the head tube angle and smaller wheels allow you to still use a fat tire without increasing the effective wheel size.
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