Ask MBAction: Chainstay Curious



I’m curious as to the importance of chainstay size/proportion as you move up to XL and XXL frames. I’m looking at two bikes: the Alchemy Arktos ST 29 and the YT Izzo 29. Both are similar short-travel trail bikes, but YT adjusts the size of the chainstay to be proportionate to the mainframe by 5mm.

Alchemy stays consistent across all frame sizes with a 436 chainstay.

Basically, should I care? And what difference would this make to a rider 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds with intermediate to advanced skills? Is there a standard across manufacturers? Thanks!

P.S. Why are there no YT tests in your mag (which I love)? I realize they’re online sales only, but I’ve been riding a 29er Jeffsy for the past three years and love the bike! It’s a bit too much bike for the forests I typically ride in, though, which is why I’m looking around.

Ryan Gerber
Ontario, Canada


Looks like you have a sharp eye for bicycle geometry. Having chainstay lengths vary in size often costs a manufacturer more money, but some justify it by saying the chainstay measurement is optimized for each frame. That’s true, but that is not to say the Alchemy is a bad bike. Some of our test riders prefer the feel of a short chainstay that lets them whip the rear end around. Other riders want a more stable feel with a longer rear end. Your decision will be based on your riding style and trails you plan to ride.

We’re happy to say a YT Izzo just landed in our hands and will be seen soon in an upcoming issue.


Read MBA’s Bike Test On The Alchemy Arktos 29 Here

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