Chainstay Length Question

PB Forum :: All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country
Chainstay Length Question
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Posted: Dec 10, 2019 at 15:59 Quote
ATL23 wrote:
It seems to suggest that a 440ish CS length is a good reference point for a size M, which is what I usually ride.

However, I've ridden the canyon neuron in a M with 440 stays and I didn't like the bike very much.

There's a lot more to a bike than chainstay length.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 9:12 Quote
yeah, long chain stays aren't bad, they are just more difficult to throw around, in my opinion

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 9:24 Quote
traqs wrote:
yeah, long chain stays aren't bad, they are just more difficult to throw around, in my opinion

Exactly. Less playful, more stable. A short rear-centre is a little better for sliding, cutties, manuals, and collapsing rear tires because you just want to hear that braaap. A long rear-centre is a little better for staying centered and hauling ass.

The difference between an especially short and an especially long rear-centre is 30 mm. The difference between a somewhat short and a somewhat long rear-centre is about 15 mm. It's just not a huge issue.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 15:21 Quote
Short CS bikes sound more BMX-ish: easy to jump, wheelie, slide wheels. It sounds like a light, toss able, "small bike" experience.

Long CS bikes sound more like a "big bike" experience: more of a straight line, "heavy" rock crusher. A "monster truck" if you will.

I'm exaggerating for effect.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 22:33 Quote

The differences are subtle - sometimes almost imperceptible - but yes, that's exactly the idea.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 22:50 Quote
R-M-R wrote:

The differences are subtle - sometimes almost imperceptible - but yes, that's exactly the idea.

For example, a low bottom bracket can help a bike turn faster, offsetting a longer RC. Same thing with a steeper head angle. Or, lower weight can make a bike easier to whip around even with a longer wheelbase. Faster tires can make the bike feel more dynamic. A physically strong rider might think just about any bike is whip and fast whereas a small, weaker woman might have trouble just lifting the front wheel to manual regardless of geometry.

So yes, RC is just one part of the equation.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 22:57 Quote
Yes, and those are just static dimensions and masses. You have to also consider dynamic properties, such as the motion ratio curve, shock set-up, rear-centre length change, etc.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 23:14 Quote
True, true, suspension kinematics, air pressure, compression and rebound adjustability.

I keep reading and watching reviews which say that Current bikes are light years ahead of bikes from just 3 to 5 years ago? I wonder how that could be true, even though I don't doubt it. Stiffer wheels, stiffer frames, stiffer forks, yes. I suppose slacker head angle makes for better high speed handling whereas steeper seat angles are supposed to make for easier climbing on steeper grades. As chain stays get shorter, cornering is faster and handling a touch quicker.

Perhaps it's a combination of better frame geometry, stiffer frame and wheels, along with greater suspension adjustability. Overall, there's probably a lot less slop in current bikes. Not to mention the big gear spreads.

Nonetheless, I can't really enjoy any of these benefits until the weather clears up and the demo trucks roll out again in the spring lol.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 23:44 Quote
It's a combination of everything and it's all happening faster than ever.

• Trail: More.
• Stem: Shorter.
• Reach: Longer.
• Head-tube angle: Slacker.
• Front-centre: Since it's a combination of the previous two, it's getting much longer.
• Seat-tube angle: Steeper.
• Wheels: Larger.
• Tires: Wider.
• Rims: Wider.
• Travel: More.
• Pedaling anti-squat: More.
• Motion ratio: More progressive.

Stiffness among stiff bikes hasn't gone up a great deal, but we no longer see many bikes lacking stiffness - there used to be some real noodles out there. Similar situation with forks. "Slop" was never a big problem, so it hasn't changed a great deal.

Wheel stiffness among aluminum wheels hasn't changed a great deal; carbon wheels are still all over the map.

There was a golden age of adjustability between ... somewhere around 2000 - 2010 and it's decreased since then. We still see some flip-chips and optional positions for shocks or rear dropouts, but the need for adjustability has declined as we've improved geometry and kinematics.

Dampers are better, dropper posts have been a revelation, tires are night-and-day better, and shifting and chain retention have come a long way. It hasn't been any one, critical change; it's due to almost everything changing a moderate to large amount.

Posted: Dec 12, 2019 at 0:39 Quote
On the road bike side, bikes have gotten significantly better in the past 3-5 years alone with the introduction of domane isospeed and specialized futureshock tech. Redshift has introduced suspension stems and seat posts in the same time frame. I'm surprised other brands don't have viable suspension systems of their own. Leaf springs and needle bearings and elastomers aren't brand new tech. Perhaps companies like Giant and perhaps others are developing their own systems? Hydraulic brakes are probably an improvement, so a lot of tech is being borrowed from the mtb side, at long last.

It's also a blessing that road bikes have gradually moved towards longer head tubes, stems with rise and wider handlebars. Road bikes are actually rideable now! Somehow manufacturers figured out that most road bike riders don't weight 135 lbs, probably closer to 200.

Gearing is lower, a lot lower as we've moved from 7 speed freewheels to 11 speed cassettes. Gearing range is far more usable, even for skinny elite racers.

Back to MTB, I've really enjoyed riding with 27.5+ wheels, and rarely enjoy 29ers. The latter feel too tall and too slow. The former just make me feel like I'm getting the best of both worlds: better rollover but with a lot of the quickness and 'fun' of 26ers. Who knows, maybe 29" wheels have gotten so light I won't notice in the spring? Ha! Doubt it, but you never know. Oh wait, Bontrager has 1,300g wheels for the budget price of just $2,400.

Really looking forward to demos as I am going to be in pretty good shape this time around.

Posted: Dec 12, 2019 at 4:43 Quote
There's no substitute for actually riding the bikes!

I've enjoyed 2.8" tires on sufficiently wide rims, but anything wider and the negatives outweigh the positives.

On the road side, I agree about higher front ends, which make the drops a viable position. The various suspension systems haven't blown me away, but high-end tires in wide widths (ex. 32 mm Continental GP5) on wide rims are amazing.

Posted: Dec 12, 2019 at 6:36 Quote
this forum seemed to turn into a showcase of the biggest words people know...

To keep it simple, and summarize everything anyone has ever said about chainstay length. This is the KEY to life. The best chainstay length is right below. Everything you have ever wanted to know about bike, and the lottery number. All just down below.

You ready?

Ride the bike and see if you like it.

Posted: Dec 12, 2019 at 6:47 Quote

It's fine if you don't like the more technical side of things, but let's not discourage discussion and analysis. This is how technology evolves and how bikes became better, which you can now ride and see if you like, even if you don't care to understand how they came to be this way.

Posted: Dec 12, 2019 at 6:52 Quote
yeah nah I totally agree with you, That is not what I was intending to do by saying that, I enjoy the technical side of bikes, I find it interesting. Just figured I would throw that comment in incase joey comes in this forum, that has never stepped foot on a bike before, and wants to buy a $3000 bike. Ya feel?

Posted: Dec 12, 2019 at 7:03 Quote
There are more constructive ways to say it. For example, you could say "There's no substitute for actually riding the bikes!" and add some of your opinions to help guide the "Joeys" ... which is exactly what was said and done in the post prior to yours.

In the unlikely event someone is so enamored with our sport that he or she wants to spend $3000 on a bike without ever having ridden before, then I'm thrilled to have that level of enthusiasm on our team and let's do our best to welcome and educate them.

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