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,
and an Acorn Boxy Rando bag.
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…