Chainstay length and touring

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  • I was wondering if someone could help on a question relating to chainstays?

    I read online that good touring bikes have chainstay lengths ranging from 42-46cm and that chainstays of 41cm are typical of city bikes. How true is this statement?

    Is a bike with a chainstay length of 41cm and a total wheelbase length of 101,5 cm (1015mm) unsuitable for touring with front and rear luggage?

  • it depends

  • My initial thoughts are more along the lines of that if you have 410mm chainstays, I'm guessing tyre clearance is limited to... 28mm ish? And presumably has quite a steep angles accordingly? I'd be more concerned about that than the chainstay length itself.

  • I'm gonna say no, its not unsuitable. Extra chainstay length gives you a) better clearances for tyres and mudguards usually and b) more stability. The bike will feel a bit less chuckable under you but will be more stable and predictable which is handy for carrying luggage.
    A bike can feel a bit unwieldy if the weight of the rear luggage is further back than the rear axle which can be necessary for heel clearance on short frames whereas it can be further forward on a longer rear end.

    BUT, you can ride just fine on a shorter bike

  • Aren’t long stays especially handy so you don’t heel strike your panniers?

    I wouldn’t know, because I put my panniers on the front, like a true hipster.

    Edit: What @PhilDAS said.

  • @lt

    How did you know that? I'm impressed! Actually, it's a bike I've just received, can return, but unfortunately the seller didn't have everything in functional order. It was presented as a light tourer and has all the eyelets one could wish for. Only later did I realise this bike has a strange geometry with short chainstays.

    Curiously, the seller claimed it is a 650b that can take up to 40mm tyres, except the initial images and after he changed the components out -all had 28 or 32mm tyres. So I am quickly trying to understand what I have here and if it really can take 40mm as he claimed. Unfortunately, he put on incompatible short derailleurs with triple crank, and the cables for the gears and brakes aren't installed. So, yes the clearance between tyre and chainstay isn't great and the seat tube does appear steeper(?). I should post some images.

  • Good points, thank you.

  • I guess the pro and contra of what you are saying would probably depend on how much money one is giving out. If the bike isn't perfect but cheap - then why not. The greater the price, the more one begins to question things.

  • Some pictures would be nice :)

  • I want to be a hipster like you : )

    Truth is, I always pack too much and so I want front and back packing, hah.

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Chainstay length and touring

Posted by Avatar for Hornsweep @Hornsweep