What is Wheelbase

Wheelbase is the horizontal distance between the center of the points where the front and rear tires contact the ground. For bikes with the same front and rear wheel diameter, this is the same as the distance between the axles.

Why is it important?

In general, shorter-wheelbase bikes tend to have more quick handling while longer-wheelbase bikes tend to be more stable. In years past, this was a simple indicator of the intended use-case for a particular bike; race bikes had shorter wheelbases, touring bikes had longer wheelbases, etc…

However, modern bike design is more varied with a greater range of use-cases. Instead of looking solely at wheelbase, it’s important to consider the rider’s position. The relationship between Chainstay Length and Front-center can tell us more about the bike design than wheelbase alone can.

Variable wheelbase

For bikes with horizontally-adjustable dropouts, the effective chainstay length can be changed which will affect wheelbase. If the bike brand specifies a wheelbase range, the shorter value is considered to be the Whelbase and an optional Max Wheelbase attribute can be populated to describes the effective wheelbase when the wheel is in the rearmost position.

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