Perfect chainstay length-
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2015

    Perfect chainstay length

    Just wondering if there are any ideal chainstay lengths for a single speed.

    I run 20x32 and feel like I can never use the adjustable dropouts on my bikes. Most recently my last bike had a min chainstay length of 445mm and my current bike is 427mm. Even though they both have adjustable dropouts there is only 1 rand9m position in the sliders that works with single speed chain. If i take out a link the chain is way to tight and if I add a link then I can't tension the chain

  2. #2
    Reputation: Cotharyus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Those adjustable dropouts aren't there to change your chain stay length, they are there to tension your chain properly. That said, there is no idea chain stay length. It's a number that results typically from arriving at working solutions with other parts of the frame's geometry. A longer chain stay will result in a more stable ride, a shorter one in a slightly more playful ride. Some people complain you can't manual a bike with long stays, but I've never had that problem, and I've ridden (and owned) some of the worst "long chain stay" offenders, to hear some of the folks on MTBR have their say. I suppose the question is, do you feel confident in your bike at high speeds? Do you feel like you can't make your bike do the stuff you're asking it to do? Is there some glaring deficiency? Because "ideal" is going to come down to your opinion of how the bike rides.

  3. #3
    Downcountry AF
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    You can change your chainring/cog and end up with a nearly identical ratio but a different length chain. Find a combo that lands you in the middle of your adjustable dropouts if you want.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    my perspective is- the shorter, the better. sub-17" (~430 mm) chainstays are nice, but under 16.5" (~420 mm) might be ridiculous. but that's my subjective experience based on my height, weight, and riding style. other riders will want them much long and others much shorter.

    on any bike that uses adjustable sliding dropouts to tension a chain, you get what you get with the gear combo you chose. so if you think you have the "perfect" number in your head, you're going to be off by a little bit in the real world.

    also keep in mind- CSL cannot be taken in isolation. if you want to make the front end of your bike easier to loft, shortening the CSL is one way, but raising the BB, or shortening the reach to the bars can have a similar effect.

    a bike with a low BB and a long CSL is going to feel very stable, and might be preferred if you're tall, or if you're riding long distances with a loaded bike.

    but a long CSL with a very high BB might balance out. a high BB and a short CSL will be nimble indeed, maybe too much so, such that it will loop out and cause you to go OTB often. there's a balance and compromise to seek here.

    it is my opinion that a bike with a low BB ought to have a comparatively short chainstay as well, at least for the way I like my bike to handle.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 10-12-2018 at 09:08 AM.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    I run 30x18 on my Nimble 9, and I've run the dropouts both almost fully extended (~430mm) and almost fully slammed forward (~415mm). Adding or removing two links causes those results.

    I was surprised how much difference 15mm could make in the way the bike rides. The longer the chainstay, indeed the stabler the bike is at speed. Likewise, the shorter the chainstay, indeed the more "nimble" the bike is in general.

    Overall, though, I'd agree with above. The shorter the chainstay the better. Less chainstay = Mo' fun.

    Find the ratio you like to run, then try a few different chainring/cog combos with that approximate ratio that will allow the shortest chainstay.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    I used the calculator above to get me pretty close and figure out what options I have given the ratio I like running. I like stays as short as possible...running my 2016 Nimble 9 fully slammed with 34 x 18.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sage of the Sage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    I prefer my chainstays long enough to reach the dropouts from the bottom bracket...
    Salsa Timberjack SS
    -Gears give me headaches

Similar Threads

  1. Niner SIR9 / MCR 9 chainstay length
    By Clink in forum Niner Bikes
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-06-2011, 02:34 PM
  2. Truth: Silver Chainstay vs. Black Chainstay
    By dllq in forum Ellsworth
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-11-2008, 01:00 PM
  3. Chain length & chainstay length
    By marinrider in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-14-2006, 05:28 PM
  4. I Have Acheived Perfect Chain Length
    By OneEyeMan in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-01-2006, 07:16 AM
  5. ENO hub - chain length not perfect
    By ralfonso in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-28-2006, 04:10 PM

Members who have read this thread: 10

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts




© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.