Hobbyist framebuilder here. Once you have your fit dialed and you're familiar with it, 2mm of chainstay length is easily perceptible on a hardtail. A bike designed around 15mm longer chainstays will have some distinctly different quirks that arise from the stays. Small riders will tend towards shorter stays because of compromises that come from building multiple size frames around 1 design.Is chainstay length heavily factored into whether or not a bike is a good fit? I've never honestly taken it into account when purchasing a bike. I'm also not much of a GEO geek, I like to experience different things though. I do find longer chainstays to be harder to adjust to than shorter CS.
evil offering has chainstay 17.1 inches. is this short enough?My 29er xc bike has 445mm chainstays and a Syntace Flatforce stem and I can huck it off any nipple sized bump on the trail. So something over 445 for sure. Because I hear with long chainstays, the bike isn't fun.