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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-16-08, 09:30 AM   #1
bdinger
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5/16 ride report - warning, abundant bike pr0n

So I woke up this morning at 0600, probably more than a little excited to get the LHT out on it's first day of "full" commuting. How did it do? Fan*tastic*. For those who think the LHT is "sluggish", well maybe I've never experienced a "fast" bike, but good lord this thing can move. Compared to my Trek 7.3 FX it doesn't have the "jump", i.e. when I hammer on it and it feels like it's jumping forward out from underneath you, but acceleration is very brisk once you get over the initial lag of the steel frame + big 700x37's aired up to a whopping 80psi .

The ride... oh man the ride. It's nearly as supple as my MTB in the front, and it doesn't have suspension! The rear rides better, steel wins this race bar none. Summary is that she rides like a dream, the difference between this an aluminum roadies is literally night and day. Hand positions are excellent, I've been using the hoods quite a bit, but I'm yet to get used to drops. I've used the drops a couple times and it's not bad, odd so far, but not bad. The handlebar position is very good but I may play with it.

Anyway.. 30 minutes and 7 miles later I was at work.. after stopping twice to adjust the saddle! This is probably my best time when you take out the saddle stops, as previous bests are right in the 30 minute range on the Trek FX. I found myself several times blasting away and didn't even realize I had picked up so much speed.

With all that in mind, she earned a name. This bike I have dubbed "Blue Thunder", a name oddly appropriate for such a ride. Without further delay:



The value of this bike is pretty awesome, here's some more porn featuring the '08 XT Shadow rear der.. it seems VERY smooth so far. Oh, and my new Superflash. Those things should be required for commuting, it's BRIGHT!!!



The detail they put into this is great. Lookit that fork! And those clean welds!



Finally, just begging for me to skip work and take her out on a century:



Summary? Pure... is all I have to say. Surly did their homework, there's really nothing I want to change about this bike. Tires are great, wheels are great, overall just an amazing ride. Many more miles to come.. only 15 so far, but man..
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Old 05-16-08, 09:39 AM   #2
Askel
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Time to go get it dirty now. Or as dirty as the fenders allow.

Those tires and gearing should make that an excellent two-tracking bike.
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Old 05-16-08, 11:33 AM   #3
Tom Stormcrowe
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I like the composition of the photos as much as I do the bike. I'm taking notes here. Much better than the Garage Door or wall photos.
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Old 05-16-08, 11:46 AM   #4
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Good looking bike. You better head home, kinda, right now "sick", sick of not riding your bike.
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Old 05-16-08, 11:50 AM   #5
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Beautiful!!

That will be my next ride. Oh yes, it will be.
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Old 05-16-08, 12:19 PM   #6
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I like the composition of the photos as much as I do the bike. I'm taking notes here. Much better than the Garage Door or wall photos.
Thanks Tom! It's nice to have such a view - that's essentially what I look at out my office window - and a courtyard/nice weather parking here. Some days it's nice to just take a 15 minute break to sit outside and listen to the drainage creek trickle.

Besides, it kind of fits the adventure nature of the LHT. It yearns for adventure.
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Old 05-16-08, 12:23 PM   #7
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Good looking bike. You better head home, kinda, right now "sick", sick of not riding your bike.
As my boss headed out to play golf this afternoon, he hinted to that very thing!!
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Old 05-16-08, 12:25 PM   #8
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Beautiful!!

That will be my next ride. Oh yes, it will be.
I said it for a year, then I finally pulled the trigger. I haven't regretted the purchase yet, and I doubt I will. She's a keeper!
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Old 05-16-08, 12:26 PM   #9
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Mmmm, bike pr0n. Looks lovely.

I agree with Tom - all new bike pics should have a bit of the outdoors about them - after all, that's what makes it fun
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Old 05-16-08, 12:30 PM   #10
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That will make a nice commuter. Plus if you ever get the need for speed, you can throw some 23 or 25 high psi race rubber on there and haul butt.
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Old 05-16-08, 12:34 PM   #11
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Thanks Tom! It's nice to have such a view - that's essentially what I look at out my office window - and a courtyard/nice weather parking here. Some days it's nice to just take a 15 minute break to sit outside and listen to the drainage creek trickle.

Besides, it kind of fits the adventure nature of the LHT. It yearns for adventure.
And yet you're still in front of the computer..................run Forrest run, or pedal as the case my be.
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Old 05-16-08, 04:57 PM   #12
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Dang sweet bike, and the Brooks just seals the deal... Good thing I love my new(ish) CrossCheck so much - else I'd be having to explain to DW why the first new bike didn't cut it and I now need another...
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Old 05-16-08, 06:44 PM   #13
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cut the stem/steerer (or whatever it is) and get clipless i like it.
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Old 05-16-08, 06:57 PM   #14
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That is one sweet bike Ben
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Old 05-17-08, 10:33 AM   #15
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Wow, thats one sweet LHT!
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Old 05-17-08, 10:44 AM   #16
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Drooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool.

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Old 05-17-08, 11:05 AM   #17
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I have been wanting a complete LHT for awhile now. Once I get to my goal weight I will sell my fitness bike and get a LHT. How do you like the bar end shifters?
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Old 05-17-08, 11:57 AM   #18
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I have an LHT that is set up as a road bike with 700c x 28 high pressure tires, and I love it. I especially like the bar-end shifters. My Trek mountain bike with the ratcheting shifters always seems to be out of adjustment - every shift is an act of faith. On the LHT, after the first 200 miles (I was taking it back for it's first scheduled tune-up anyway) I started hearing a "crunching" noise coming from the bottom bracket area, and asked the tech to look at it. He found that the bolt holding the front derailleur to the seat tube was not tight enough, which allowed the FD to slip to the point that in any gear except high it was brushing the next chainwheel. But, you know, the darned thing was still shifting fine? I bet one of those ratcheting shifters would have had me pushing the darned bike home!

I also have a B-17 (black to match the bar tape) on mine, which, after the break-in, I find to be super comfortable.

This LHT is pretty much my bike for life. I see other folks on their gaudy-painted carbon fiber and unobtainium 8-spoke wondershifter speed machines, but those bikes just don't pull at my heartstrings like the LHT does. The only other bike I would like to have right now is a Surly Travelers Check because I travel a lot on my job, and it would be nice to be able to pack it with me on an airplane when I go out of town - but I'd have it built just like the LHT with a triple chainring and bar-end shifters (and a Brooks saddle).
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Old 05-17-08, 02:37 PM   #19
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Another long ride today, with my good riding buddy and his new Single Speed Salsa Casseroll - which is a very pornographic bike in it's own right. I rode down to the LBS to get the shifting dialed in as it was a little off, but now it's absolutely perfect. The barends? I love them. *love* them. I was on the fence, but after about 40 miles I'm in love. They "snick" into gear with authority, and I especially love the friction in front. Why? Have you, with indexed bikes, ever had that "one gear" that rubs in the front?

Me? Notsomuch . I just adjust it out and continue on. I like the indexing in the rear, now that it's dialed in it's perfect, man that rear XT der is nice and smooth. The best part of the barends is that they keep me from hunting through the gears constantly. I used to be the worst at that, now I just find a gear and stick with it, generally it's 38x13 (I think - middle in front, next to smallest in rear).

I'm absolutely smitten by this bike. Every other bike I've had, I've immediately had some gripe with. This one, the only one, is the pedals. They're killing my gigantic feet! A set of some MKS or other wider platforms with power grips, and I think I'll be set. I'm also going to add a spacer and bring the bars up a tad higher, after that though, I think it's going to be hard to expand on it.

tpelle - I'm with out, I think that this is my last road bike. I was talking with my riding buddy about that today, the LHT just does everything so well. I can ride over anything - comfortably - and go anywhere - comfortably. I just can't say enough good things about the quality of the ride, the steel and the 700x37's provide a very cushy ride. And, well, it's fast enough. Meaning it's no rocketship, but it would give my old FX a run, and to get any faster I'd have to compromise the ride.

I'm definitely smitten, can you tell?
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