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  1. #1
    Shin Banger wrey's Avatar
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    What happened to elevated chain stays?

    I picked up this Haro Extreme recently. It got me thinking, why doent anyone make a hard tail elevated chainstay bike anymore? As I recall the adavantages are the ability to have shorter effective chainstays for better climbing, no chain slap on decents, and you can remove the chain w/o a chain breaker.


  2. #2
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    You got me curious with a couple of the advantages you mention. How does the design allow shorter effective chainstays and how does it allow the chain to be removed without a chain breaker?

  3. #3
    If I own it, I ride it CV-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked
    You got me curious with a couple of the advantages you mention. How does the design allow shorter effective chainstays and how does it allow the chain to be removed without a chain breaker?
    Don't know about the shorter stays, but you are only going to remove the chain without a breaker if the RD is made to do it. Example below

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  4. #4
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CV-6
    Don't know about the shorter stays, but you are only going to remove the chain without a breaker if the RD is made to do it. Example below

    Yes, I understand that. It goes for the FD as well, for that matter. But I learn something new on BF all the time, so I was just curious what wrey's reasoning was-

  5. #5
    Senior Member CampyGuy's Avatar
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    The reason he said you don't need to break the chain is because the chain never crosses the chainstay.

  6. #6
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    You can always remove one of the jockey wheels.

  7. #7
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Funny, a Diamondback (I think) came into the shop today with the same frame style. Never seen it before.
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
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  8. #8
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    I bought my Nishiki Cascade back in 1993; I use it mostly on the road, although it's useful to be able to go anywhere with it, despite its 35+ lbs of mass.



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  9. #9
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Your house is upside down.
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  10. #10
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    ^ 35+ lbs? it looks like it is about to float away?
    Horse-free.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by el twe
    Your house is upside down.
    Quote Originally Posted by le brad
    ^ 35+ lbs? it looks like it is about to float away?


    Add the Nishiki Alien to the list. I read somewhere that they went to that design to eliminate chain suck...

  12. #12
    Extra Medium Member redtires's Avatar
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    You can use effectively shorter chainstays because you do not have to contend with the battle between chainring-chainstay clearance and tire clearance. The only constraint would be how tall the tire was, to avoid it rubbing on the back of the seat tube. They're a little more difficult to build as light as a traditional double diamond hardtail. And honestly, you'd really only get about an inch (maybe) shorter chainstay and that really doesn't end up a enormous advantage in climbing. The best thing you can do to improve climbing is to do more of it and work on your technique.

  13. #13
    Shin Banger wrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtires
    You can use effectively shorter chainstays because you do not have to contend with the battle between chainring-chainstay clearance and tire clearance.
    Exactly correct.


    I had an Apline Stars back in the day similar to this one. (Mine was polished) With the elevated chain stays and the curved seat tube this bike rode like no other mt bike I ever had. I wish I still had it!!!

    Last edited by wrey; 07-01-07 at 11:14 PM.

  14. #14
    Shin Banger wrey's Avatar
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    Ok, now this would be my dream eleveated chain stay bike!!!


  15. #15
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrey
    Ok, now this would be my dream eleveated chain stay bike!!!
    I'm in the process of building my "dream" elevated chain stay bike. Based on the length of chain needed, I don't think the position of the rear wheel changed that much on the Nishiki's. I need to get my butt in gear and finish this thing.
    I would have to agree with one of the statements earlier about chain slap. My 05 Rockhopper makes a loud clank every time I clear an obsticle or hit a rut or root. A lizard skin helps, but it would be nice if someone developed a bike that didn't have that problem. I'm not sure the elevated chain stay design corrects chain suck, a new LX front derailer did the job on my Rockhopper and my Specialized XC Comp never had a chain suck problem. Still, I think those old Nishikis are really cool looking, hence I'm pooring money into this project.
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    just finish this alpinestar cromega...

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  18. #18
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    I knew if I watched this thread I'd end up learning something. The bikes look cool (of course, I already knew that ), the lack of chain slap is a benefit of the design, and I can definitely see the benefit of keeping the chainstay away from any chainsuck problems. I think elevated chainstays to get shorter effective chainstay length is just one way you can do that, though. There are lots of conventional mtb frames with extremely short chainstays (but granted, not to the extreme the elevated chainstays allow). Carefully curved "s-shaped" chainstays allow chainstay length that's plenty short enough, though, in my opinon.

    As for why you don't see the elevated chainstay design much in recent years on hardtails, my guess is that it's because the design is inherently heavier. Back when pretty much all mtb's were hardtails, you saw all sorts of hardtail designs, everyone was trying to find an innovation. A little heavy? No problem, if you can show me it's got merits that outweigh (no pun intended) any problems. But eventually, quality XC hardtails had to have one primary thing going for them, or they weren't really marketable: light weight. I think that's the answer, the elevated chainstay design is inherently heavier, so it fell out of favor on hardtails. Just my .02-
    Last edited by well biked; 07-02-07 at 12:38 AM.

  19. #19
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Nice Classics!

    Elevated stays are alive and well in my Rocky Mountain ETSX-70



    You do have to mindfull of twigs and branches that can get thrown up into the cassette more easily for there is no chain stay to prevent or stop it.
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  20. #20
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    Elevated chainstays had several advantages (already noted) but one big disadavantage - bottom bracket flex. Traditional chainstays increase rigidity in the bottom bracket but elevated chainsatys remove it. To maintain the rigidity the elevated, lower stay has to be extended from the seat tube across to the downtube, creating a small, rigid triangle. Doing this incrreeases the tubing required and actually makes the design heavier than a standard hardtail.

    On a minor note, the design also negates being able to fit two bottles within the main traingle, except on very large frames. A bottle mount under the down tube pretty much means dismounting to use it. This would not be an issue to-day, with the avaialbility of Camelbacks, but back in the early 1990s the water bottles were still dominant.

    As ViperZ notes, the design survives but primarily on dual suspension models.

  21. #21
    NFL Owner monogodo's Avatar
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    If you still want one, ediscountbike.com is selling this bike through their eBay store:



    I picked one up from them a couple of months ago, but haven't built it up yet. I found a guy on the MTBR.com forums who bought 3 of them a few years back and loved them. The only issues I've found with mine is that it only comes in 17" (which isn't an issue for me), and the RD hanger thread has been repaired with a helicoil. I actually got mine directly from ediscountbike.com and paid $16.98 shipped. They've since removed it from availability on their website, but still list it on their eBay store.

    As for water bottle mounts under the downtube, my Catamount MFS has a similar mounting point, and I've never had a problem with grabbing the bottle and replacing the bottle while riding. It is a little higher, as it's mounted to the actual downtube between the headset and the pivot, as opposed to being just above the bottom bracket, but it's still reachable.

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  22. #22
    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrey
    Ok, now this would be my dream eleveated chain stay bike!!!

    I started mountainbiking a couple years before elevated chainstays started popping up, and with my subscription to Mountainbike Action I watched the series that led to the Yeti Ultimate- it was a mtb action project originally- and man... I don't believe I've ever lusted after anything more than I lusted after that Yeti Ultimate. I mean, it was ULTIMATE.

    It was really cool because they showed the whole design process and logic behind the design from start to finish and it really did make sense. I remember just feeling like any other design was pointless, really. But then of course suspension came to be and elevated chainstays seemed much less important.

    Note, however, that the Yeti can carry two full sized water bottles- it has bosses on the underside of the downtubne.
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    I just recently picked up an old Nishiki Ariel with the intent to flip it. Here are some pics:





    I hope to get about $200 for it on Craigslist--we'll see how it turns out. I'm just curious as to what type of buyer it will draw--someone who knows exactly what they're looking at and appreciates the design, or someone who is just looking for a solid bike that looks good enough for "basic transportation." Any predictions or thoughts on pricing?
    "Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, add that which is specifically your own." (Bruce Lee)
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Elev12k's Avatar
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    Hi Epicurean,

    There are absolutely people collecting that. It is not that much different from with nice touring- or roadbikes. There are several on Retrobike.co.uk for example.



    Doubt whether a regular mountainbiker will pay a serious amount for it. They probably consider the bike crap, because they never heard of it, it is steel, has no suspension, no disc brakes etc.

    Don't know what they go for in the US, but $200 sounds a bit steep to me.


    Personally I have several e-stays, the below being one of them. I ride it very often, say several times a week.



    A Tange OS tubeset nicely Tig welded to a 3kg(!) frame. It is a tank. For me with my 67kg it is 'a bit' overbuilt. It doesn't provide ultimate comfort and I would believe it is too much for a not so well trained rider. On the other hand the bike will probably outlive me and also future generations. Good for the environment, saves the planet.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    I like that Panasonic, Elev12k. But that's no surprise, I seem to like all of your bikes! I recently had no trouble selling an old Trek 830 for $200, so it would almost bother me (on principle) to start that Ariel out at a lower price--it's such a neat old bike. Of course, as you mention, most people don't know much about a Nishiki as opposed to a Trek...

    Oh, and here's a general question: Can anyone explain why most (if not all) of these elevated chainstay designs came equipped with the straight forks?
    "Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, add that which is specifically your own." (Bruce Lee)
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