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Trying to decide on what fork offset to go with on a new bike, 46 vs 51. itll be a 130 travel fork. havent decided on a frame yet but regardless, id run a 130 on all my options, maybe drop it to 120. all would have a pretty slack HTA.

From what I understand, a shorter, 46 offset should track straight better, maybe be a little slow to respond. while a 51 should be a little quicker responding, maybe not push as much in switchbacks?
but then i've heard people say that a shorter offset handles better at slow speed, im guessing because of more resistance to turning? where a higher offset allows the wheel to move around "flop" more? I think people have 2 different definitions of flop.. it could be that feeling of the front wheel moving around and wandering during climbs, or it could be the feel of the front turning one direction, and wanting to keep turning "flop" to that side.

Anyway, i'm just wondering what the effect might be like on a shorter travel fork? vs long travel? if the amount of offset is the same, but one fork is shorter than another, you'd have a smaller effect from a change in offset right?
 

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My understanding is that offset choice is a function of HTA, rather than travel. Seems like most manufacturers are speccing shorter offset on bikes 66* and less.
This is a good point. My favorite part and possibly the only noticeable part of reduce offset is the weight distribution when I'm in a neutral body position. You have more weight on the front wheel naturally compared to standard 51mm. That means the front wheel has more traction and your arms get less fatigue from trying to lean forward and press into the bars. Its helpful on a long and slack bike that naturally has a rear wheel weight bias. Maybe not as helpful on a steeper bike with a lower stack cause your weight may move to far forward, idk haven't tried that type of setup?
 

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My understanding is that offset choice is a function of HTA, rather than travel. Seems like most manufacturers are speccing shorter offset on bikes 66* and less.
It is not that simple. Shorter offset increases trail. And so does the slackend head angle. If you combine both, you can end up with too much of it. Realy slack bikes need longer offset.
 

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Haven't tried it on a short travel bike but this video matches up with my experience on longer travel bikes. Particularly how the shorter offset feels more stable everywhere (less steering corrections on climbs and railing turns). The shorter offset fork rewards a more aggressive rider, if you don't aggressively lean the bike in corner it will feel sluggish. The longer offset rewards less aggressive riding and those who tend to turn the bars more than lean the bike. His thoughts line up with my experience switching from a Hightower LT with a longer offset to the Megatower with the shorter offset (and having ridden over 65° HTA bikes with longer offsets).
 
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