long vs short chainstays

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Posted: Oct 19, 2019 at 15:11 Quote
The geo on almost all modern bikes is moving towards longer reaches, slacker head angles and steeper seat tube angles. However, there seems to be less agreement on chain stay length.

Bikes like Mondrakers, Transitions and Yetis have longer reaches with shorter chainstays, while Pole, Nicolai and a few other brands use much longer chainstays.
I have done a lot of research on both the Transition Sentinel and Yeti SB150 (435 and 433 mm chainstays), and heard they are both very stable bikes at higher speeds and have plenty of front wheel grip, so is it possible this debate isn't as important as many people think it is?

Does one of these approaches make much more sense than the other?

Posted: Oct 29, 2019 at 13:48 Quote
theelias09 wrote:
The geo on almost all modern bikes is moving towards longer reaches, slacker head angles and steeper seat tube angles. However, there seems to be less agreement on chain stay length.

Bikes like Mondrakers, Transitions and Yetis have longer reaches with shorter chainstays, while Pole, Nicolai and a few other brands use much longer chainstays.
I have done a lot of research on both the Transition Sentinel and Yeti SB150 (435 and 433 mm chainstays), and heard they are both very stable bikes at higher speeds and have plenty of front wheel grip, so is it possible this debate isn't as important as many people think it is?

Does one of these approaches make much more sense than the other?

I think theres a lot to long chainstays. I've ridden lots of short chainstay bikes, some do it super well, like evil, where you can steer with the rear and almost "hokey stop" into a corner if you're coming in too hot and out of control, almost like throwing quick pivots and slashes on skis to dump speed and make quick direction changes without having to initiate/make an actual turn.

on the long chainstay bikes I've ridden, that style of riding seems a lot harder, like you'd need crazy commitment. but, when it comes to carving and holding speed through a corner, even tight stuff, they seem to be able to hold more speed with more grip, and you've got more control of where you place the grip.

I seem to be able to get away with line choices that i wouldnt have even considered on some of the short chaninstay bikes. stuff like off camber tight inside sketchy lines, commiting to more speed through super rough or loose corners. on that kind of stuff short chainstays seem to have less room for error, and if they go, they go. Where a long chainstay seems to fight to hold onto grip more, even if the rears starting to lose it, and i think you can do more to keep grip with body position.

obviously theres a lot more that goes into it geometry wise, but thats my thoughts if you're only changing rear chainstay length. one big negative is that they suck at manuals, being able easily and with little effort, pop the front on a short chainstay bike can come in super handy pretty often.


 
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