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I am looking for a new trail 29 frame after 8 years on Yeti 575,TNT and DW Turner 5 spot.

My short list:

Lenz Behemoth - will have test ride.

Ventana El Rey(2012 model) - no option for test ride

Turner Sultan 2011 model - no option for test ride

I will use 120 mm fork.

I saw that the main difference is the chainstay length- Lenz chainstay is much shoretr of the three frames.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the chainstay (WB) length?

Thx
 

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I have a very long FS 29er - the Salsa Big Mama.

I agree with the perceived positives and disagree with the perceived negatives.

The wheel base of a long bike makes for very noticeable stability and control on steep climbs. It holds it's lines and has excelent traction. It is also an extremely comfortable bike.

I have absolutely no problems with tight switchbacks and fast, tight, single track cornering.

There is a lot of BS being pushed around on the internet. Short chain stays, in my opinion, which may or may not be of worth in the eyes of any individual, is right up there with the cream of the BS crop.

Yes, I have a short chain stay bike to compare, but it is not suspended.

I hope you are happy with the bike you buy. Personally, I wouldn't be putting short chain stay too highly up my own list of priorities. Others will disagree. No doubt about that.
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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:thumbsup:
have you tried the GF/trek rumblefish? a test ride on that would give you a good idea of the differences between 26" and 29" trail bikes and chain stay length (behemoth 17.3 vs 17.8 for the GF)
I think your examples here reflect the "sweet spot" for chain stay lengths for FS applications. Too short is good for a niche style of riding that some really like. It's good for them, but a lot of folks don't ride in a manner that dictates shorter stays. Longer stays are okay, but do start to get in the way of things regarding weight distribution and cornering.

There are always exceptions to be pointed out though. ;)

Finally, shorter chainstays bring out compromises that force decisions on the part of designers which may or may not be beneficial to certain riders. For instance, really short chain stays, (like the Devinci Atlas at 430mm), are cool until you realize that tire size is severely limited by said short stays and resulting Frt Der overlap. Tire clearances are the biggest loser when chain stays get closer to 17".

If you want to be able to stunt, kick out the rear wheel, and basically toss the bike around, perhaps a short stayed FS is the way to go, but beware of the tire issue. As I say, exceptions exist, but are not the rule.
 

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The biggest advantage of short chain stays is the increase in handling if the frame builder does the rest of it right. They have their place. Where the short stay frame usually shines is in XC racing. In most cases the rear is also a bit stiffer with shorter stays. But a good designer can make longer stays every bit as stiff. But it is easier to make a short stay rear good and stiff.

The main disadvantage, as others have noted, is that a shorter stay does tend to seriously limit tire size. Front derailleur clearance is also often an issue. Not exactly an optimal situation on a trail or AM bike.

As noted, I would not make short stays a major + in working out a short list for an FS 29er. If you're racing then maybe. But for a Trail/AM bike I'd put big tire clearance way ahead of shorter stay length.

Good Dirt
 

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I don't know when you are planning on purchasing but check out the Salsa Horsethief, very cool! The only people that talk about chainstay length are people on this forum. The only way to judge a bike is by riding it. All of the bikes on your list are excellent choices and should put a smile on your face.
 

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I have the tracer 29 , and in my case I can adjust my chain stay from 17.7 To 18.2.
In the shorter setting the bike is more suited for thither cornering and stunt ridding , the front pops off easier. In the longer setting the bike climbs better and is more stable at high speed cornering but not as agile .
 

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I would say the chainstay length may matter, but is not nearly as important as the fact that the DW rear suspension on the Sultan absolutely slays the admittedly simple single-pivot designs of the others.

Propedal lever? We don't really need no stinking lever (well, maybe on smooth fire road climbs).
 

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Funny!

I have a very long FS 29er - the Salsa Big Mama.

I agree with the perceived positives and disagree with the perceived negatives.

The wheel base of a long bike makes for very noticeable stability and control on steep climbs. It holds it's lines and has excelent traction. It is also an extremely comfortable bike.

I have absolutely no problems with tight switchbacks and fast, tight, single track cornering.

There is a lot of BS being pushed around on the internet. Short chain stays, in my opinion, which may or may not be of worth in the eyes of any individual, is right up there with the cream of the BS crop.

Yes, I have a short chain stay bike to compare, but it is not suspended.

I hope you are happy with the bike you buy. Personally, I wouldn't be putting short chain stay too highly up my own list of priorities. Others will disagree. No doubt about that.
"...right up there with the cream of the BS crop..."

The way you said that - funny. Really made me laugh!

Mr. Hand: " I don't know. I like that! ... I think I'll keep it on the board for all my classes to enjoy..."

Spicoli: "All right."
 

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I am looking for a new trail 29 frame after 8 years on Yeti 575,TNT and DW Turner 5 spot.

My short list:

Lenz Behemoth - will have test ride.

Ventana El Rey(2012 model) - no option for test ride

Turner Sultan 2011 model - no option for test ride

I will use 120 mm fork.

I saw that the main difference is the chainstay length- Lenz chainstay is much shoretr of the three frames.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the chainstay (WB) length?

Thx
This issue has been beat to death in the past, just search for it.

Chainstay length should not vary for wheel size, but unfortunately, 29" bikes have to compromise the generally accepted length of 16.75"-17" inches found on almost all 26 inch mountain bikes to get tire clearance, derailleur and linkage clearance.

The question is how much do you want to compromise? Even the "short" stays on the Lenz are longer than the vast majority of 26" mountain bikes. 26" bikes have ended up at this particular chainstay length because it represents the best compromise between handling and stability for the majority of riders. I can't imagine any designer making a smaller wheeled suspension bike intentionally with 18"+ stays unless it was custom for a very tall person or they wanted the best stability they could get at high speeds.

I had both the Ventana and Lenz and preferred the nimbleness and fun of the Lenz.
 

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of the chainstay (WB) length?

Thx
Having owned many FS bikes including the ones mentioned above - suspension design per your riding style is a bigger fun factor (or should be) than chain stay length.

Just IMHO. Demo as many as you can and make your decision based on fun factor - not 10-20mm's. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.
 

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nicely put :thumbsup:
The question is how much do you want to compromise? Even the "short" stays on the Lenz are longer than the vast majority of 26" mountain bikes. 26" bikes have ended up at this particular chainstay length because it represents the best compromise between handling and stability for the majority of riders. I can't imagine any designer making a smaller wheeled suspension bike intentionally with 18"+ stays unless it was custom for a very tall person or they wanted the best stability they could get at high speeds.
 

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This issue has been beat to death in the past, just search for it.

Chainstay length should not vary for wheel size, but unfortunately, 29" bikes have to compromise the generally accepted length of 16.75"-17" inches found on almost all 26 inch mountain bikes to get tire clearance, derailleur and linkage clearance.

The question is how much do you want to compromise? Even the "short" stays on the Lenz are longer than the vast majority of 26" mountain bikes. 26" bikes have ended up at this particular chainstay length because it represents the best compromise between handling and stability for the majority of riders. I can't imagine any designer making a smaller wheeled suspension bike intentionally with 18"+ stays unless it was custom for a very tall person or they wanted the best stability they could get at high speeds.

I had both the Ventana and Lenz and preferred the nimbleness and fun of the Lenz.
Exactly!

I will add that there is no such thing as short chain stays on a 29er. Short for a 29er is sub 17". But that's not short. Exacerbating the sluggish feel of of a 29er is the extra 1.5" radius of the wheel. Not noticeable when riding flat, but when you go to bunny hop or do any rear wheel based moves, once the front wheel gets higher than a few inches off the ground, then it feels like the bike has 1.5" longer chain stays relative to a 26er. So 18" is really like 19.5" (at times). But for wheels on the ground cross country style riding, this isn't a problem at all. And if your are 6'6", long stays and big wheels will feel perfect even when bunny hopping. So I guess this whole chain stay length debate doesn't really have a right answer, it just depends on how tall you are and whether you want to do anything tricky.
 

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Banshee Paradox - 16.8" chainstay

I just built a Banshee Paradox
Pics are here: Paradox Photo Album - Page 1 - Pinkbike.com * I've added a front derailleur, a 22t ring and a longer stem since those pics*

With the short chainstay I can really lift the front of the bike over obstacles on climbs.
Also the rear is more nimble ... I think the kids call it "flickable"

I have a 2.35" Rampage rear tire and to fit a front derailleur in there, I had to buy a SRAM X-9 High Clamp Top Pull Front Derailleur. (20 bucks on ebay for OEM version)
 

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The main reason I'm interested in 29ers is for the longer chainstay. I ride large frames and I like to climb seated and I spend way too much energy and focus trying to keep the front end down. If I could get a 17.5" DW link 26er, that's what I would be riding.
 

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Went from a Rumblefish to a Motobecane ti hardtail, and while I haven't measured to be sure, the websites are showing that the Moto actually has shorter chainstays, and a shorter overall wheelbase. I find the Moto likes to keep the front wheel planted on climbs much better than the RF did, despite the shorter cs, and I find it tracks better and is generally more agile. Perhaps my personal experiences here are moot because I'm comparing a FS bike to a HT, but for what it's worth, I like the ride of the Moto much better (save in the rock gardens, where I miss the squish). Maybe I was just meant to ride HT. ;)
 

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much depends on the difference level seat vs. handle bars. how far towards the front you are sitting in relation to the bottom bracket (seat back post, length of stem etc.).

negative rise and long stem in combination with no seat back post will prevent floating front wheel - much more than some mm difference in chainstay length IMO.
 

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From my experience:

Shorter chainstays - more agile, more fun to ride
Longer chainstays - more stable at speed, less fun to ride

If I had a choice I'd go with shorter chainstays almost any day over long chainstays. I like to throw the bike around while I ride so short chainstays are far more enjoyable FOR ME. However, there's a middle ground, as others have mentioned if you get too short tire size and clearances becomes a problem. My current race bike is running 17" chainstays, anytime I go back to my other bikes (one with 17.8", other with 17.5") I can easily feel the difference and prefer shorter. It's not just people talking on the internet... there are advantages to short chainstays. Is chainstay length the only thing that should be considered when looking at a bike? He!! no, but it's definitely an important factor.
 

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I enjoy both. Have a relatively short chainstay'ed bike (Epic- 448 mm/17.6 in) and a long-ish chainstay'ed bike (Jabberwocky- 454.5 mm/17.8 in). I definitely notice the 6.5 mm difference between the two bikes. Do I like one more? Not really. I enjoy doing the same type of riding on both bikes, although I really like doing slow, technical, rock crawling on the Jabber.

Get some test rides, and figure out which you like better. There is no right answer.
 
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