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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How much of a difference in handling will the change in head angle from 71 deg. (what I'm used to) to 68 deg. make? I like my 100mm fork, but there seem to be few hardtails (save for Cannondale and Voodoo) which take a fork of that height and keep a 71 deg. head angle.
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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huge, in my opinion. will be especially noticeable on climbs, where the 68 deg will feel much different (in a bad way) when climbing, especially when standing (my experience anyway). Even a 1 degree angle can be noticed quite a bit by some riders.

bottom line, i would personally run the fork per the design of the frame. little confused.....do you currently have a 71 or 68 degree angle (I cant tell for sure from your post). how are you getting from 71 to 68 or vice-versa? same bike...that would be REALLY huge change requiring a monster of a fork change.

i would NOT run a hardtail at more than 1 degree off of what it was designed for.....the extra stress on the headtube from a slacker setup "may" result in a very stiff penalty (to your head if the headtube breaks) and not to mention, would screw up the intended geometry a lot (3 degrees is a huge change, relatively speaking).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not planning on doing anything weird with my present frame. I have a Cannondale which had a 71 deg. angle with the old fatty, which just happened to have the same fork to crown height as the conventional 100mm fork I run now. I'm just trying to make sense of my options in new frames given the fork I have right now. Kona's XC stuff typically is designed for 100mm forks these days, but with a 68 deg head angle. Voodoo frames are designed around 100mm, too, but with the steeper 71 deg. angle.There don't seem to be a lot of hardtails that are built with steep head angles and the longer forks. I have no experience riding anything slacker than 71 deg., so I was looking for some input.

So it will make a noticeable difference in climbing? I live in the south, home of lots of quick, steep changes in elevation. We have some short walls to climb on most of our trails. Would the slacker bike be a lot more apt to wander on something like that? What kind of rider would clamber for a hardtail with that slack head angle?
 

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Ride on
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When a fork compresses it steepens the HA, which makes the steering twitchy at the worst possible time. This is one big reason why you don't see too many frames that have a steep HA with a longer travel fork.
 

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IMO, a 71 to 68 deg change makes climbing more difficult at first, but eventually you get used to it and climb just as well(I went from a Marin HT with 71 HA to a Sette Reken with < 68.5 HA). The more precise steering and high-speed conrol, and control on the descents, make a slacker 68 deg HA superior (again, IMO).

Ant
 
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