For some reason or another this morning I was thinking about chain stay lengths, it seems the vast majority of all racing frames since the 1970s have been produced with short chainstays, if you look back past that you'll note the length increases quite a bit in most cases. I know the shorter the wheel base has its pros for better agility, and when climbing in or even possibly out of the saddle any steep grade more weight over the rear wheel will make it stay in contact with the pavement a lot better. On the flip side the closer your saddle is to the rear axle the harsher the ride may become as when you are further away all the bumps become less exaggerated (think of riding on a bus seated right above the rear wheel well, and then sitting more towards the middle).
I'm sure longer chainstays are needed technically when building large frames to help keep the seat tube interfering with the rear wheel with a normal seat tube angle as well, unless perhaps you raise the BB height.
The overall reason I wanted to discuss this I was wondering how does the overall power transfer when you are actually pedaling? If there is more weight on that back wheel I have a tendency to believe maybe you will have to work harder in order to propel it, or is that actually irrelevant? I remember a frame Obree built to try and have a go at "the best human effort" hour record, I noticed the longer chainstays and got to thinking. Obree abandonded the record attempt after trying the design out on the track, he stated he was getting great power from it on the road, but on the track the design proved to be useless for some reason).
Last edited by divineAndbright; 12-12-10 at 02:43 PM.