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Front Range Cyclist
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Just curious to what avid Niner riders think of this....what if your Niner had a shorter chainstay how do you think it'd affect the bike?

Asking because I like their geometry and have ridden their bikes overall. But having a frame built this winter and I have a design idea that could shorten the chainstay by .5 to a full inch. Question is.....should I?

From my experience I think it should make it climb a wee better but that said I've never ridden a really really short chainstays on a 29er or any bike (always road more stock stuff) so curious as to how all it will affect the ride. Advantages and disadvantages?
 

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Recovering couch patato
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I figured out ways to make chainstays shorter than most could dream of. hardest part, finding an actual use for short chainstays that would involve the rear wheel actually rolling.
Great idea for jump bikes.
 

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Cloxxki said:
I figured out ways to make chainstays shorter than most could dream of. hardest part, finding an actual use for short chainstays that would involve the rear wheel actually rolling.
Great idea for jump bikes.
Since about half of the posts on here are about intangibles or hypotheticals, let's hear it!
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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In my mind, short vs. long chainstays has more to do with ride comfort, down hill stability, mud clearance, heel clearance, and whether or not you end up with a shorter or longer wheel base. To some extent, it will also affect pedal strikes, depending on the BB drop and wheel base.

Climbing is only a small part of the equation when it comes to making your chainstays a certain length.

What I would like to see is the chainstay length adjusted to projected rider size. Shorter for short riders, longer for taller riders. Keep the body weight in relatively the same place for every size rider in relationship to the rear axle. But maybe I'm just screwy. :D :p
 

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Wouldn't short chainstays make standing SS climbing better by virtue of giving better traction?

Other than that (which could be pretty important if you are a SSer and climber), I'm not sure they offer as many advantages as longer ones.
 

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Guitar Ted said:
In my mind, short vs. long chainstays has more to do with ride comfort, down hill stability, mud clearance, heel clearance, and whether or not you end up with a shorter or longer wheel base. To some extent, it will also affect pedal strikes, depending on the BB drop and wheel base.

Climbing is only a small part of the equation when it comes to making your chainstays a certain length.

What I would like to see is the chainstay length adjusted to projected rider size. Shorter for short riders, longer for taller riders. Keep the body weight in relatively the same place for every size rider in relationship to the rear axle. But maybe I'm just screwy. :D :p
I agree. I am building my hardtail/rigid XC/trail/AM/whatever frames with 17.5" stays regardless of wheel size. I know that 15.4" stays on a RIGID bike are too short for reasonable stability at speed (it still hurts!).
 

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OneBadWagon said:
Wouldn't shorter chainstays move your center of gravity towards the back and make it more wheelie prone? I used to try to climb on a Jamis Komodo and it was like a pogostick with the front tire.
Depends on the overall geometry of the bike. You can not point to any single frame dimension and predict how it will handle. They has to be considered as a whole.
 

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Framebuilder
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Guitar Ted said:
What I would like to see is the chainstay length adjusted to projected rider size. Shorter for short riders, longer for taller riders. Keep the body weight in relatively the same place for every size rider in relationship to the rear axle. But maybe I'm just screwy. :D :p
As a certain framebuilder likes to say.... Ted gets it!:thumbsup:
 

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shiggy said:
Depends on the overall geometry of the bike. You can not point to any single frame dimension and predict how it will handle. They has to be considered as a whole.
That's why they're called Variables, correct? I mean, if sugar tastes sweet, and you add it to your drink, regardless of what you're drinking, it would be sweeter, right?

To limit the discussion to chainstay length only, can you tell me what traits would differ between these two frames?

Assuming wheel size, tt length, sta, hta, bb drop and all else besides CS length are the same, would it not be safe to say that the short CS bike will have the center of gravity moved closer to the back tire?
 

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Shorter chainstays on a 29er... good or bad idea???

I've owned a Ventana El Cap for the last two years and it has a notoriously long wheel base. At first it was a little hard to manual, but I've been able to overcome it and appreciate the increased stability on downhills. Don't let anyone tell you that a long wheel base is no good in tight conditions. I live in Virginia and ride very tight trails. My bike handles it all very well.
 

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Well, I know I sure appreciate the 44.5cm chainstays on my D440, when I'm going down hill. With my shorter chainstay 26" SS, I always feel like I'm about to endo. Not the D440.
It climbs just fine, thanks, but is definitely not quite as manuerable as the 26"er is. A trade off overall, I'm happy to make.
 

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OneBadWagon said:
That's why they're called Variables, correct? I mean, if sugar tastes sweet, and you add it to your drink, regardless of what you're drinking, it would be sweeter, right?

To limit the discussion to chainstay length only, can you tell me what traits would differ between these two frames?

Assuming wheel size, tt length, sta, hta, bb drop and all else besides CS length are the same, would it not be safe to say that the short CS bike will have the center of gravity moved closer to the back tire?
How sweet is sweet? What is too sweet? What is not sweet enough?

Yes, the CG will move back. But to what degree and how it changes the overall handling or specific characteristics depends on the actual geometry of the bikes (including stem length and bar height), the size of the rider and their riding style. You can make general statements but they mean little until you put the rider on the bike on dirt.
 

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Doggity said:
Well, I know I sure appreciate the 44.5cm chainstays on my D440, when I'm going down hill. With my shorter chainstay 26" SS, I always feel like I'm about to endo. Not the D440.
It climbs just fine, thanks, but is definitely not quite as manuerable as the 26"er is. A trade off overall, I'm happy to make.
You're not taking everything into account if you think that the reason your 29er is more stable going downhill than your 26er because of the length of the chainstays.

Shiggy, I know what you're talking about, but my point is that basic geometry changes do have an effect, (arguable, obvious), and agree that it takes more than any 1 ideal measurement to make a good riding bicycle.
 

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I think the ideal 29er would have a zero inch chainstay. In fact the ideal 29er would have no chain either. And to keep it simple it must be a single speed, and have only one brake, and of course it must be a fixed gear.:madmax:
 

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richwolf said:
I think the ideal 29er would have a zero inch chainstay. In fact the ideal 29er would have no chain either. And to keep it simple it must be a single speed, and have only one brake, and of course it must be a fixed gear.:madmax:
Here it is!
 

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OneBadWagon said:
You're not taking everything into account if you think that the reason your 29er is more stable going downhill than your 26er because of the length of the chainstays..

Shiggy, I know what you're talking about, but my point is that basic geometry changes do have an effect, (arguable, obvious), and agree that it takes more than any 1 ideal measurement to make a good riding bicycle.
No doubt, the longer wheel base, longer and narrower footprint of the tires, and the different geometry of the D440 are also factors.
 

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juansevo said:
Asking because I like their geometry and have ridden their bikes overall. But having a frame built this winter and I have a design idea that could shorten the chainstay by .5 to a full inch. Question is.....should I?
Depends on what type of frame it is (hardtail, rigid, suspension?)
Depends on gearing (SS or multi geared?)
Depends on your size?
Depends on your style of riding?

I personally like chainstays in the 17-17.5 inch range for a suspension bike or any "sit to climb" bike. For any bike where standing climbing is involved generally shorter is better IMO. If you run a lower saddle than I do you might like them shorter, if you run a higher saddle, you might like them longer.

If it is a custom bike, discuss it with your builder.
 

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I personally like longer stays. I've had no problem with climbing traction even running a small block 8 on the rear. The front wheel still easily floats over things and the extra comfort is noticeable. I guess maybe if all you ever do is climb maybe it could be better but for everyday up and down trails you'll miss the stability and comfort of the longer stays.
 
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