Seven Design Philosophy – Understanding Chainstays

Seven Cycles offers a variety of chainstay styles, each with their own unique features and benefits. Our most popular designs include our Inline stays and Chopped stays.

The popular perception is that chainstay length is one of the most important factors in bike design because stay length affects bike handling, acceleration, climbing ability, and descending stability. While it’s true that chainstay length has an important impact on all those aspects of a bike’s character, stay length is only one factor in more than 200 design parameters that go into developing an ideal bike.

Anytime we put too much emphasis on one design element at the sacrifice of others, the result is a sub-optimal riding experience.

Read THIS for a deep dive on Seven’s design philosophy for optimal chain stays.

Race Stays for Race Days

With road season on the horizon here in the Northern Hemisphere (they’re already racing Down Under), we are turning more of our attention to the growing list of road bikes on our build schedule. For riders who like to go fast, the go-to material of the last decade has been carbon fiber, and the reason given most is its inherent stiffness. Many of the race bikes we build incorporate carbon fiber in some way, either in the rear triangle, as in our Elium SL, or more extensively, as with our 622 SLX. Those frames can be lighter than a double-butted Ti frame, though much of that difference gets lost once the bike is completely built. Light wheels and/or components make a bigger difference to overall bike weight than the frame.

All of those bikes, the Elium SL, the 622 SLX and the double-butted Axiom SL, have titanium chain stays. We think they make for a smoother, more durable bike than carbon stays, but we have wanted to be able to make them stiffer for some time.

Now we are offering 1″ chain stays that will fit a tire as large as 28mm. These stays are more than 50% stiffer than a 7/8″ stay. That’s a big jump for a small gain in diameter. We are thinking of them as race stays for race days, for our riders who want all the stiffness and power transfer they can get out of their drivetrain, but also want the comfort and durability of a metal bike.