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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:32 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:19 pm
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Location: Runcorn, cheshire.
Now i have decded to buy an elevated chainstay bike frame.
It got me thinking, just why did this frame design stop being made ?
I have no idea why, but i have always wanted one,
And the thought of no more chainsuck is a nice thought.
So was it just an exercise in bike fashions ?
Or was there some genuine merit to them ?
So hopefully someone can shed some light on my question.
Typically being into retrobikes, i like to actually learn something about the history of certain bike designs.
Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:42 am
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The only one i ever rode had the most horrendous sway from the bottom bracket. Seemed as if the bottom bracket shell, front and rear wheels were all in different counties, travelling in slightly different directions.

And it weighed a tonne.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:27 pm
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I seem to remember being able to take the chain off without splitting it was mentioned as a benefit (this was pre-powerlinks I think and shimano chains required a one time use special locking pin). I think it was also believed that you could get the effective chainstay length shorter so making them better at climbing. Chain suck may have come into it - but I think it was too early for most people to worry about that.

I suspect they may have also been inspired by Chris Boardman's bike too. My Kirk attracted a lot of attention after he made the news. I don't think the Kirk was particularly wobbly compared to competing designs (aluminium mountain bikes were rare and expensive so stiffness not quite so prized). But it was certainly heavy.


Last edited by greencat on Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:08 am 
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Location: Behind you with the duct tape pulled out.
Well i have had a saracen kili racer and a alpine stars cro-mega estays and both were fine around the bb when pedaling hard. So its either I cant feel it or people have read about supposed weakness around the bb and they can then feel it? True they weigh a bit more than a trad frame design. The saracen is the one bike i regret letting go.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:42 am
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IIRC It was an Alpinestar Al-Mega i rode and having come straight off a Trek 970 (true temper cromoly IIRC) and a 653 road bike you could definitely feel the wobble. I ended up with a new Torus XT instead of the ~18 month old Alpinestars (or the Zaskar i also tried, which i swear was trying to force the saddle where the sun didn't shine every time i hit a stone on the trail!)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:37 am 
retrobike rider
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Location: Yorkshire, England
There was no real need for it in a hard tail, they just looked god and had a good concept. Keeps mud and dirt away from chain and mech buildup near the bottom bracket. Chain can stay in one piece but not really why. Also you chain doesn't hit the stay all the time.
But they ate heavier than a normal design.
They are still used today. Swingarms in suspension for example and if they don't have flex problems then there is no reason why a solid frame should.

You will of course find many other posts on this with nice examples of modern frames and personal opinions on them.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:52 am 
retrobike rider
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Location: Runcorn, cheshire.
all being well i should have this next week.
bought it off a retrobike member.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:00 am 
Special Retro Guru
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Location: busy forgetting how to edge flip on a 11x11 monster cube///...
you bought an estay frame made of foam...thats gonna flex..ps i have a very nice anodised blue ozone hanging on the wall that my bro got at the malvernes when they started out..


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:04 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:57 pm
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Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Short chainstay length is one of those advantages indeed. As tyres got wider, traditional frames had to run longer chainstays to alow the chainstay itself to fit between the tyre and chainrings. An E-stay doesn't have that problem.

Chainsuck is still very much a problem. Without the chainstay being in the way, the chain can get pulled upwards until the lower end hits the higher end, or until the mech tensions up so much that it pulls it off the chainring again (or worst-case scenario : until the mech gets pulled to pieces)

Mud clearance is often claimed to be an advantage, but I do have my doubts about that.

Image
Sorry that it isn't all shiny, this bike currently does 300 miles/week.

Yes, there's plenty of room on top, but still none at the sides. These are 1.95" slicks, with the original 2.1 knobby affairs it's worse.

As for why they disappeared, I reckon there are a few reasons.

1 ) e-stays were a lot more nervous and require more skill than the more stable regular designs. That 1" or so difference in chainstay length makes a world of difference.
2 ) BB flex, albeit present in a lot of designs, is made out to be much worse than it actually is. It's usually caused by rider error (stomping on the pedals in too high a gear) too. Still, once such rumours start to spread, they are quickly mistaken for the truth.
3 ) Most manufacturers didn't get it right BITD. Sbike e-stays broke right behind the seat tube, Alpinestars ruined the Cro-mega and Ti-mega's strength with the 1992 redesign (they all crack in the bit of tube above the dropouts, just below the actual rear triangle), Al-megas and Aliens cracked just about everywhere, etc etc. The entire design got a bad reputation because of this.

Oh, and the single e-stay designs (like my Sbike) need special attention when driving with normal pedals. If you're not careful how you place your feet, those cantilevers can really hurt the inside of your ankles.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:43 am 
MacRetro rider
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Lots of modern designs based on years of research and development other than full sus dont use estay design which suggests good reasons for their demise. Probably didn't ultimately do anything significantly better than the classic diamond frame and fashions changed. I reckon though they'd work well with fat bikes as the complexities of getting around the very fat tyre with the chainstays to the bottom bracket could be eliminated.


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