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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering what you guys (and gals?) thought about frame design for a full suspension 29er.

I know that Walt has built a few, bcd has done his Inevitable DH bike for 29" wheels, but I would love to hear from the builders pertaining to FS 29" wheeled fs frame design especially as it relates to chainstay length issue?


Most designs I've seen are 18" plus with the latest Salsa offering coming in at a whopping 18.5" chainstay length. I think the shortest I've seen is the Lenzsport Lunchbox with something like 17.5" chainstays. The long stays on these FS 29ers make me think they'd be somewhat cumbersome to ride, in particular, on east coast trails like we have here in CT with a lot of short steep ups and say in VT where trails feature many many switchbacks. Then again, maybe I'm talking out my ass and it is a non-issue. However I do notice that I prefer hardtail 29ers with shorter stays (Karate Monkey, EMD 9)than some of the ones that say feature the 17.9" chainstays (Soul Dillinger, Cannondale 29er).



Is there any way to get around this with FS 29ers that you guys can see? Would a certain type of suspension design (perhaps with a curved or interrupted seat tube) work better than what currently exists? I thought the Pivot dw_link 29er would have featured shorter stays, but nope, that thing is also at 17.9" as well.

Just throwing it out there to see what the frame building community thinks.

Cheers,

Mark
 

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My thoughts..

Mark -

As always, the really big folks are fine - longish chainstays ARE a feature of most 29er FS designs, partly from necessity and sometimes from laziness. I mean, Devin is a great bike builder, but he's not Einstein - GF could make a short chainstay 29er if they spent some time and effort on the design. They just haven't bothered because what they're building is selling like hotcakes. Why mess with success? For real everthing-tweaked-just-right type bikes for snobs, small companies and custom builders do a better job. Your average Joe mtber doesn't even notice the longer chainstays, because he doesn't know how to bunnyhop or ride a sharp switchback anyway.

The bikes I do with Ventana rear triangles can get down to about 445-450mm (so 17.5" or so) chainstays, but that's the practical limit (and it involves moving the seat tube and upper pivot around to make everything clear). My DH bikes can get down to 16.5" or so, and I think Alex's are <16", so it's not as much of an issue there. I've got a tentative design for a heckler-type single pivot XC frame that would have 17" or slightly shorter chainstays, but whether I'll ever get around to building it is another story.

I'll have my 5" travel 29er out in Vermont (we'll be around Montpelier/Waterbury most of the time) if you want to ride around on it, but as I recall, it might be a bit big - 24" effective TT. I can't remember what size of bike you ride, but I'm pretty sure it's smaller than what I ride. Then again, this bike was made to be as compact as possible (17" seat tube) to fit in a travel case, so it might be doable with a stem swap or something. It's got a 72 deg HTA and 44mm rake Fox 120mm fork, so I'm hoping it'll handle well on the tight stuff in VT. We'll see.

So, uh, to conclude this rambling diatribe, I think you'll see some more short CS FS 29ers sometime, but they're mostly going to come from the small builders and manufacturers, not the big guys.

-Walt
 

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August 4-13, I think.

We'll be at a place called Caspian lake from the 4th-9th (but we'll be traveling around on day trips and riding) and then we'll be back in Montpelier/Barre/Waterbury riding until the 13th. I could theoretically even leave the bike with you after we leave, but you'd have to ship it back, which probably isn't worth it. I really don't know if it would even come close to fitting you anyway.

-Walt

MMcG said:
Walt - when and where are you going to be in Vermont?

Best,

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I live in Connecticut and would have to drive up to meet you. I'm 5'9" tall but I did fit fine on the Ted Wojcik Monkey Butt - that also featured a 24" ETT and Ted had it set up with a 70mm Thomson.

I'd like to test ride a few production FS 29ers but they are few and far between at local bike shops in this neck of the woods.
 

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I love long chainstays. They're not great for poppin' manuals or on trials bikes, but for XC/Enduro they're great. They're 1/2 the reason my 9er outclimbs any 6er I've ever owned.
 

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depends what you want the bike for...

my chainstays are a hair shy of 18" and while it IS harder to manual the bike....the climbing traction and downhill stability are unparalleled. i don't find it too hard to move the bike around in tight singletrack at all, but i will admit that i have to use more physical effort to move the bike quickly.

even at my diminutive size (5'6") i am convinced that FS 29ers are absolutely superior for XC/enduro/backcountry riding, chainstay length be damned. for FR and DH, urban etc....well i have 26ers made for that type of riding.
 

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My testbed 29er FS has 18.25 stays and I can't say it's to any detriment whatsoever.

So now in my 20th year on the mtb, I've had bikes with 16.25 all the way to 18.25, and while you can definitely feel a difference, I prefer long stays for XC/Enduro. As far as I'm concerned they manoeveure just as easy in the real world and have the added bonus of lightyears better climbing characteristics.

Not advocating a 'One long chainstay fits all' approach, just that longer does not equal worse in most situations.
 

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Well said!

It's easy for even me to get caught up in the short-chainstay mania - because it's something that's easy to quantify and hard to pull off, from a builder's perspective. That's certainly not an indication that longer chainstays are a bad thing in general. In fact, I think one of the things many riders like about 29ers (though they don't realize it) is that the stays are longer.

-Walt

Thylacine said:
My testbed 29er FS has 18.25 stays and I can't say it's to any detriment whatsoever.

So now in my 20th year on the mtb, I've had bikes with 16.25 all the way to 18.25, and while you can definitely feel a difference, I prefer long stays for XC/Enduro. As far as I'm concerned they manoeveure just as easy in the real world and have the added bonus of lightyears better climbing characteristics.

Not advocating a 'One long chainstay fits all' approach, just that longer does not equal worse in most situations.
 
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