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Questions and answers about sports

Minimum chainstay/crankset clearance

4 min read

Asked by: Fernando Marea

How much clearance do you need between chainring and chainstay?

3mm clearance

We don’t like to go less than 3mm clearance between chainstay and chainring, and you can contact the bike frame manufacture to see what their frames allow for chainring clearance and chainline.

How is chainstay clearance measured?

What is chainstay length? The distance from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the rear wheel axle. This measurement is taken from the side view of the bike, ignoring the z-axis such that the width of the axle or bottom bracket does not come into play.

Is more teeth on chainring better?

The number of teeth on your chainring(s) is a deciding factor in your bike’s gear ratio, with a greater number of teeth meaning a higher (harder to push) gear, and fewer teeth meaning a lower (easier to push) gear.

What is chainstay length?

Chainstay length is defined as the length from the centre of the bottom bracket to the centre of the rear dropout. Similar to the head angle, the bike’s smooth riding behaviour (long chainstays) is in juxtaposition with its agility (short chainstays).

How much is clearance at Chainstays?

2mm clearance between the chainstay and the rear tire.

How does chainstay length affect handling?

Quicker handling: The shorter the bike’s wheelbase, the more agile it will feel. On the trail, a shorter rear-end will help get the rider around tight singletrack turns more easily, and the bike is more responsive to “body English,” which adds to that feeling of agility.

What size chainring is best for climbing?

Mountain bike chainrings are available in smaller sizes all the way down to 26t, though I’d recommend most riders try a 30t or 28t first to experience how much easier it is to climb. For gravel bikes, I wouldn’t recommend going any smaller than 38t to maintain top-end speed on downhills.

What size chainring do pros use?

Pros often use a 55×11-tooth high gear for time trials. On flat or rolling stages they might have 53/39T chainrings with an 11-21T cassette. In moderate mountains they switch to a large cog of 23T or 25T.

How much difference does 2 teeth on chainring make?

In this size range two teeth in the front is about the same as one tooth in the back. It’s a very small change but sometimes it’s just that small difference that tips the scale in your favour.

What do longer chainstays do?

Longer chainstays create a more stable ride on rough ground and increase heel clearance around panniers. However, they’re harder to maneuver in extremely tight, technical situations. Shorter chainstays are not any faster, since they don’t significantly affect the mechanical efficiency of the drivetrain.

How much TYRE clearance do you need?

We recommend a minimum of 3 mm clearance between your tires and the closest part of your bike. Any less, and you risk having your tire rub under hard acceleration or if the wheel develops a slight wobble.

How much clearance does a gravel tire need?

These bikes have similar tire clearance to a mountain bike. If you’re on the mountain bike end of the gravel spectrum, make sure your gravel bike has clearance for at least a 45 mm tire, whether that’s on a 650b rim or 700c rim. If you’re more of a roadie, 40 mm is plenty.

Is 32mm wide enough for gravel?

28 to 32mm: These skinnier gravel tires are great for “groad” rides, where you’re mainly on pavement or otherwise packed, smooth, fairly well-maintained gravel or dirt roads. This tire size range provides extra stability on unpaved segments without slowing you down on the asphalt.

Is 35mm wide enough for gravel?

At 32mm-to-35mm wide (the UCI limit is 33mm for racing), they’re typically narrower than gravel tyres. This can help with grip as – in theory at least – the tyre can cut into the mud and down into harder surfaces, where a wider gravel tyre might float over it or clog.

Are 38mm tires good for gravel?

38 mm wide

38 mm tires are great for pavement and occasional gravel riding. To go with 38 mm tires, you have a choice of wheel sizes: If you’re running superlight carbon rims, go with 700C for 38 mm tires. With aluminum rims, if you like the nimble handling of a racing bike, then choose 650B wheels for 38 mm tires.

Is 40mm good for gravel?

Gravel tire width

Tires around 40mm wide are the most popular because they provide the best compromise between comfort, traction, and weight.