Low-Trail Fog Cutter

Stock fork is 398 a-t-c, low trail conversion fork is 398 a-t-c. Per this calculator the head angle and seat angle shouldn’t increase at all.

I was able to measure the seat angle and confirm it is 74° with the low trail fork. Per this calcultor I am getting a trail of 37mm. I think it’s a little higher since the rear tire is 7mm smaller than the front.

Anyway, the bike is now a low-trail speed machine. It feels really great, I waffle on the existence of planing so let’s just say this bike feels lively and fun to ride even after 3 hours on the road. The fork blades are much thinner than the ones on the Masi Randonneur and since the frame is more than a half pound lighter it’s kinda obvious this bike is going to be a better riding bike.

If you’re looking for a low-trail roadbike that isn’t overbuilt with touring tubing, I think a Soma conversion is the way to go. The Fog Cutter or Double Cross Disc are both great options.

I’ve only done two rides but they’ve both included a little bit of gravel, some singletrack and an hour +3 laps of a training crit. The bike handles well without any load on the front. I’m using a cheap Neco needle bearing headset from eBay and so far I’ve had no shimmy and the handling feels precise and more neutral than expected.

I’m running mis-matched tires because I’m not 100% convinced the Compass tires are to be trusted tubeless. Also the new 1.5mm wider Compass Babyshoe Pass is about the same width as before, right at 40mm. Goddammit Compass why you keep doing this to me. I wish the Hetre came with a tubeless bead.

I’m going to keep using the bike for training crit riding and maybe keep it the way it is before bogging it down with a frame bag or rack and using it as my daily rider.

8 thoughts on “Low-Trail Fog Cutter

    • You know I had expected to put a rack and bag on it almost immediately but it handles so well unloaded I just went with a framebag instead. I’d imagine it would ride fine but I’ll most likely leave it bare until winter when I do need the extra space for clothing. I’ve ridden quite a few different bikes with vastly different trail values and this one is the most intuitive handling bike I’ve ever ridden. No shimmy and handles like it’s plugged directly into my brain.

  1. Have you tried it with a front bag ever? You built almost exactly the bike I’m currently researching to build, but I’d like the front bag for the longer rando rides.

    • Cool, your comment prompted me to write an overly long update. Pertinent to your question, yes I’ve been riding with one for a few months now. It’s a DLSR camera bag from the thrift store zip tied to a rawland rando rack.

      It works great. The change in handling is minor and easy acclimated to. I usually carry around 5 pounds in the bag between clothes, food and extra batteries. I’ve had ~20 pounds up there with no issues and great handling so there’s a big window of carry capacity. A front bag is indispensable for me for longer rando rides, clothes are bulky and having a front back to stuff them into is great. Are you doing a fog cutter/soma fork build?

      • Yes, exactly like yours actually. I’ll have a decaleur/box bag up front and add some other bits and bobs. Super happy to hear it’s worked well for you.

      • They only thing I’d recommend is to make sure and get a good needle bearing headset. The cheap ones do not work very well as they have a tiny adjustment window between binding and wobbling.

      • I’ve heard really good things about the Rivendell one, which is currently sold out. Any other recommendations?

      • I currently use the $8 Neco one from eBay. The one I plan to upgrade to is the $81 IRD double roller drive headset – at universal cycles. The Neco one is fine just kinda sucks to set and always ends up with too much damping for gravel descending. But it’s so cheap it’s hard not to buy at least to try.

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