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i find the biggest benefit of longer chainstays (to match longer reaches) is with cornering dynamics - not as much with downhill bombing prowess. ie, stretching the front center without lengthening the rc requires forward weight transfers to keep the front from pushing. one of the best corner carvers i've ridden recently (the starling murmur) has 445mm chainstays. the marin mount vision (with 420mm cs) felt relatively unbalanced in corners, and thus couldn't be pushed as aggressively. the one size fits all swingarm philosophy shared by way too many (most) manufacturers baffles me. you can even get away with using the same swingarm (by changing the bb to pivot distance in the front triangle a la norco). \*shrug\*.
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