Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
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Moving the wheel back in the dropout is the same as having a longer chainstay. Given the amount of debate about ideal chain length, it's difficult to say what the actual impact is. The general rule was that taller bikes or those with shallower seat tubes should have longer chainstays to improve weight distribution, especially for hill climbing. At least that's how we did things back in the bronze age.
BTW- like so much of what's debated endlessly about bikes it doesn't make an earthshaking difference, and there's certainly a psychological effect, otherwise there probably wouldn't be so much debate.
When I set my bike up I started in the middle figuring I might adjust it later, but was happy with it's overall handling so I never bothered trying other positions, but I knew others who'd go crazy, not only moving the wheel but replacing frames following whatever was trendy. Every Sunday you'd see the members of the Bike-of-the-month-club with their latest and "greatest" rides.
Also remember that what was considered outlandishly short, stiff or steep ("it'll ride so badly your fillings will shake loose") is crazy long, soft and shallow today. Depending on the vintage of the OPs frame, even with the wheel all the way forward, I'd be surprised if the effective chainstay length was as short as a more modern vertical dropout machine.
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