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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Oversized Foco/Custom frame

    A friend of mine - who hasn't registered on this forum - is about to have a custom frame built. The frame's pertinent dimensions:

    STA: 74 degrees
    HTA: 73.2 degrees
    Seat tube length: 57 cm (C-T)
    Top tube length: 53 cm
    Wheelbase: 97.5 cm
    Chainstay length: 42 cm

    And the issue itself: It seems that a 42 cm chainstay length is longer than almost all chainstay lengths found on other bikes. The frame builder states that since the chainstays are also built with ultra stiff oversized foco, for reasons of comfort, the chainstays should be lengthened to 42 cm. (Note that the Litespeed Vortex, for instance, has only a 40.6 cm chainstay length.)

    My friend thinks that a 42 cm chainstay length will unnecessarily slow down the bike too much. The frame builder says otherwise. My friend, not really knowing how oversized foco feels when riding - he currently rides a bike with a Reynolds 853 frame - thinks that maybe at most a 41.5 cm chainstay length would be more appropriate.

    Anyone want to weigh in with their opinions?

  2. #2
    Coco Puff
    Reputation: rwbadley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    The 42 should be ok; I would be more concerned about the top tube length and the likelyhood of severe toe overlap. But then again, I'm no expert.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Henry Chinaski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Interesting dimensions. What is your friend trying to achieve with this bike? Eddy Merckx went pretty fast with 41.5 c-stays so I don't think 42 should be unnecessarily slow. But changing geometry to compensate for tubing/materials seems a bit odd to me. It would seem to me that you'd chose your geometry according to fit and intended use, and then select tubing/material according to the rider's weight, expected level of abuse and of course price.

  4. #4
    pain in the butt
    Reputation: sorebut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    My Giant OCR1 has a very compact geometry and the chain stays are probably 40.4cm.. My new Eisentraut custom is much longer (by eye it is 2-3 cm longer). The major difference between the two that I can relate to the length of the stays is chain slap. I never had my chain slap on the Giant's stays, and on the Eisentraut I have to clean it after every ride...
    Of course the Eisentraut is much more comfortable a bike to ride, but I am not sure how much of this added comfort is from longer chain stays..

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    I have two custom foco road frames. One has 42 chainstays and one has 41chainstays. Both are built with round non-oversized tubes. I weigh 165 in the heart of the season and both frames are stiff enough.I bet this bike will be plenty stiff with 42s.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: HeronTodd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    You won't lose any speed or performance with longer stays. All else equal, longer stays equals a longer wheelbase which provides a smoother ride. All short chainstays do is limit tire clearance.
    Todd Kuzma
    Heron Bicycles
    Tullio's Big Dog Cyclery
    LaSalle, IL 815-488-1858

    I'm Learning About Life with Stevie Joe:

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004


    In terms of what my friend is trying to achieve with his new bike:

    1) Have a comfortable riding position for 30-50 mile rides
    2) Be able, should he so desire, to sprint well for short distances.

    Also, the geometry of the bike did not change to compensate for tubing/materials. It was only the chainstay length that was in question.

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