How does wheelbase affect performance? I'm getting a new comfort bike and I'm curious about how wheelbase will affect performance.
Looking at (mainly) these two bikes - 20" in the Trek, XL in the Specialized.
All things equal, I'd get the Specialized because the LBS that carries Trek had pretty poor service when I stopped in and the Specialized has a better rear derailer, longer chainstay (to clear the panniers) and I like the shifter routing on the Specialized better. I've had good experiences with both brands in the past.
However, I've come across a "like new" Trek that I can pick up for ~$150 less than the Specialized.
Main use will MUPs and I tow my daughter around a bit and will probably get a Copilot-Limo rack/chair sometime in the future. Light communting (~10 miles round trip) - mainly groceries and other errands. I'll probably throw some 28mm tires on the bike to amp up performance a bit. May do some dirt trails here and there, but ~95%+ I'll be on paved trails/roads. BTW, the main reason for comfort bike is an old upper back injury that acts up if I spend too much time hunched over a road bike or I'd go with a Hybrid. That said, I'll get in a nice tuck and haul bootie every so often.
If there is a significant advantage/disadvantage to the ~3 inch longer wheelbase on the Specizlized, then that may sway my decision.