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As a Rivendell owner, and Bicycle Quarterly reader, I have become aware of the trail conundrum in bike handling with a front load.  I have an A. Homer Hilsen that I have set up with both a front basket,

Front basket porteur style

and an Acorn Boxy Rando bag.

Back from a winter ride

I have carried up to 10 lbs in front on a number of occasions, and while it takes a few pedals to get used to the weight, it comes out just fine.  Jan Heine of Bicycle quarterly has made a strong case for lower trail numbers on a bike that will be carrying a front load.  This was a common geometry of nice French randonneuring bicycles in the 40’s and 50’s.

Rawland has been designing an update of their Sogn all-rounder with low trail numbers.  I am very tempted to try one out and see if I can tell the difference.  I may wait for a while as a few of the Seattle Riv riders are likely getting one.  I’ll hopefully be able to take one for a spin…