"Let's say you were ordering a custom off-road, 26" expedition touring frame. What chainstay length would you specify?"
If it was for on-road and bike specific trails, I would probably go for 60 cm. With a loaded road touring bike, I can't really power my way out of traction problems on dirt trails, riding slicks. I have to carry the mo, or forget about it. I want the longest stays I can get for the load and the ride, and don't really worry about climbing hills on roads designed for car use. Arvon Stacey makes bikes with a 50+ wheel base and his clients seem to like them. Probably not offroad enough for you though.
The guy behind Thorn runs 26" wheels on overlength stays, the stays are what look to me to be "Sakkit length", and he prefers that arrangement. He runs 2" tires so you can tell he is into the roughish stuff.
19-19.5 inches is about the max you can get with standard components, and that probably has more to do with what shows up in standard custom bikes. On deep custom bikes you aren't limited to standard parts so the sky is the limit.
The blue Arvon attached, looks to have stays in the 55 cm range.
Last edited by NoReg; 01-23-08 at 03:48 PM.