Re: Slow going...
the truss rods (fork struts) aren't just decorative. well, the original ones weren't. i dunno about the ones you have, i haven't see a one piece set up like that. truss rods have been around since the late 1800's.
the early blade forks were prone to bending on rough roads back in the early 1900's and those helped a lot. as forks improved, i think it probably became more of a decorative thing, especially when all the cool balloon tire bikes started coming out with springers, but they still add rigidity to the forks.
plus, they look cool.
i have them on my bike now, but didn't have them on my first one. there's a noticeable difference in fork flex when hauling ass down the road...