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long chain stays on a touring bike?

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long chain stays on a touring bike?

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Old 07-02-10, 10:08 PM
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Venturarace
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long chain stays on a touring bike?

What, if any, are the disadvantages of a bike with a very long chainstay? I see that the
Masi Speciale Randonneur had a chainstay length of 465mm! While the others I am
considering are at 425mm...the Volpe, Crosscheclk, Clubman, etc.

It seems like the longest chainstay of any of the bikes im looking at. Will this mean a more
slow, sluggish feel to the bike?

Now, I wondering if I should go with the Volpe instead? Im a numbers guy and I may be
overthinking this and it really means nothing.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-02-10, 10:14 PM
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The long 465mm chainstays give the bike a surfing feel when carving through turns and should work to stabilize the bike when loaded with extra weight.
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Old 07-02-10, 10:15 PM
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Touring bikes usualy have longer chainstays to provide room for heel clearance (to panniers). It also gives the bike more 'relaxed' handling, and a little more comfort.
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Old 07-02-10, 10:18 PM
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The advantage of a long chainstay bike is it should make the bike feel more stable *and* it gives you more room to mount panniers without suffering from heel strike (when your heels hit the panniers). The bigger your feet , and the bigger your panniers, the more likely this will bother you.

A shorter bike is going to feel a bit stiffer and snappier.

If you're thinking about touring, I'd favor the bike with longer chainstays.
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Old 07-02-10, 10:23 PM
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The CrossCheck has horizontal dropouts, if you put the wheel all the way back it's about 45cm. The 700LHT has the same length of chainstays as the 26" version but the 26" handles quicker. I don't think handling is that defined by chainstay length compared to the total effect of other dimensions and how the gear is attached to the bike . If the panniers are loose and floppy with high mounted gear on the handlebars it won't matter what length the chainstays or top tube is. The bike will handle funky.
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Old 07-02-10, 10:25 PM
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Yes, the bike with shorter chainstays will have handling that feels quicker (or 'twitchier' if you don't like it). And there'll be a few extra grams of weight, both for the extra length directly and also for a bit heavier build if the frame rigidity is to be kept the same.

Longer chainstays reduce the chance of heel strike against panniers and have more stable ('sluggish' if you don't like it) handling, especially when loaded. Long stays are also a benefit if you want to run fat tires in conjunction with fenders.

But the differences are pretty slight - I've used my crit-geometry bike with 390mm stays for fully loaded camping trips and didn't have any issues. Conversely, I don't feel any slower on my touring bike with 450mm stays (except in the hills - and that's due to weight, not geometry).
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Old 07-02-10, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
If you're thinking about touring, I'd favor the bike with longer chainstays.
Agree. Just make sure you buy a chain that's long enough! I was a little surprised to find that a standard 114-link SRAM chain seemed just barely long enough to fit my Nashbar touring frame (455mm stays?) w/50-39-30 crank and 12-27 cassette.
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Old 07-02-10, 11:52 PM
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465 is not all that long, there are other longer choices out there. Look up the recent thread about Arvon Stacey. Also Sakkit, and Thorn. Noted bike engineer Jobst Brandt who is towards the roadie end of our spectrum, or credit card touring, none the less uses long chainstays on his bike. He is not sold on the short stay advantage even in higher performance riding that we do while loaded touring:

http://yarchive.net/bike/short_chainstays.html
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Old 07-03-10, 05:21 AM
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Thank you for all your comments......

The truth is I have NO intentions at ALL in doing touring or adding panniers to the bike. I will be using the bike for casual to moderate weekend group/solo rides, 25-50 mikes charity rides and hopefully a Century in the
future. Im beginning to think the Masi Randonnuer really is NOT the appropriate bike for my needs.

I tihink the Bianchi Vople or Salsa Casseroll(sold out nationally until Sept in my 53cm size) may be a bit more appropriate for me.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-03-10, 05:40 AM
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You may decide later to tour. I did.
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Old 07-03-10, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Venturarace View Post
The truth is I have NO intentions at ALL in doing touring or adding panniers to the bike. I will be using the bike for casual to moderate weekend group/solo rides, 25-50 mikes charity rides and hopefully a Century in the
future. Im beginning to think the Masi Randonnuer really is NOT the appropriate bike for my needs.


Thoughts?
why are you posting in a Touring forum?

seriously you're overthinking one straightline measurement of one part of a bike. You could just as well obsess over tubing diameter or wall thickness for the relevance to your needs. A bike built for carrying loads needs to be built more heavily with heavier wheels and tires than one that isn't. Since you aren't touring look around for a comfortable riding light road bike. And don't forget to check the pressure in the tires regularly.
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Old 07-03-10, 06:17 AM
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I tried the Masi Rando and thought it sucked.

Anything else.
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Old 07-03-10, 07:12 AM
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Don't get caught up in the labels.... that a long chainstay is good for this, or bad for that.


I have long chainstays on all my bikes.

I have no problem maneuvering the bike as well as I did with a racing bike. I can do group rides with all the racing bikes without thought. Riding is riding.

A long chainstay bike is more comfortable, no doubt.

The only limits are what we put our mind on.
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Old 07-03-10, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Garthr View Post
The only limits are what we put our mind on.
that's the truth. 30yrs ago I was 140lbs riding a fancy light touring bike across Utah. At a campground there was this older French Canadian guy riding a heavily loaded Gitane with steel rims and plain carbon steel tubing going the other direction. He looked as chunky as I do now except his legs looked like tree trunks. The bike disappears once you start riding.
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Old 07-03-10, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
The bike disappears once you start riding.
If you ride a lot or have the right bike. I started touring on a mountain bike with front suspension. I toured for three years on that bike and hated it but knew I wanted to tour. No matter how hard I worked and how in shape I was, I could never keep up with my wife. After a particularly long day and insane climb up a long hill, my right calf cramped so bad I thought it was going to explode. I swore that I would get a proper touring bike. I got one the following winter and have never looked back. Turns out, I enjoyed biking so much that I bought a bike shop!
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Old 07-03-10, 12:55 PM
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twodeadpoets: +1 on using 'the right tool for the job". Many people use MTB's for touring (me included), and love them. For THEM it is the right tool. Others benefit from a 'proper' touring bike. THAT is their 'right tool'. Each person has to make up his/her mind what is right for THEM! And I am sometimes amused by people who think they know what works for me BETTER than I do!? (also sometimes annoyed).

Like armpits, everyone has a couple opinions, and everyone else think theirs stink! That said, if you ask for opinions, you will get a wide variety of them. I would advise using them as a guideline, NOT as a rule.
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Old 07-03-10, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Venturarace View Post
The truth is I have NO intentions at ALL in doing touring or adding panniers to the bike. I will be using the bike for casual to moderate weekend group/solo rides, 25-50 mikes charity rides and hopefully a Century in the
future. Im beginning to think the Masi Randonnuer really is NOT the appropriate bike for my needs.

I tihink the Bianchi Vople or Salsa Casseroll(sold out nationally until Sept in my 53cm size) may be a bit more appropriate for me.

Thoughts?
A touring bike would be fine for the kind of riding you describe. There are other bikes that would be fine too. There's no reason you should be (only) looking at touring bikes (unless you are interested in touring too).

People tour on the Volpe and the Crosscheck. These bikes might be more prone to heel-strike issues but such a problem isn't a certainty (just don't use large panniers!).

Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
But the differences are pretty slight - I've used my crit-geometry bike with 390mm stays for fully loaded camping trips and didn't have any issues. Conversely, I don't feel any slower on my touring bike with 450mm stays (except in the hills - and that's due to weight, not geometry).
A sensible comment. People often like the "snappier" feel of shorter chainstays (and other related frrame properties) but, outside of racing, they aren't really necessary. Most of the time, people are riding their bicycles in fairly straight paths (there isn't much reason to need to turn them "quickly" and a touring bike turns quickly enough.

Last edited by njkayaker; 07-03-10 at 03:56 PM.
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