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  1. #1
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    Looking at a new bike purchase.

    I have narrowed it down to the Surly Long Haul Trucker, or Specialized Secteur Sport Triple.

    Both have the geometry I am looking for, where the saddle and stem are the same height when fitted. I want to be comfortable and go fast also. Any thoughts or comparison on the two?
    Last edited by MikeWinVA; 02-24-10 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Added links

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    any links to the specs?

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    My opinion, steel frame, xt hubs and bar end shifter, xt rear dearailleur over a mostly Sora Group. I have bar end shifter on my tandem and I'd have no problem on a single.

    You do mention speed, only thing about the Surley would be the wider tires 35 compared to the 25 on the Specialized. I don't know enough about the rims to say you could put 25's on the Surley, maybe more narow than a 35. That would be my only concern if I were factoring in a speed comparison....just my 2 cent.

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    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Long Haul trucker.....check the commuting forum....generally applauded..... and steel is real (my prejudice )
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  6. #6
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    I may be a little biased, since I love my Cross Check, but get the Surly. It will probably outlast you. You can always put skinnier tires on the Surly if you want, but you probably can't get 35's into the Specialized for gravel rides.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
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  7. #7
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    How narrow a tire can the rims accept? Anybody know? Nice to have one set for cruising and one for race (since the OP mentions speed)

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    24.2 mm wide rims.

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    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWinVA View Post
    24.2 mm wide rims.
    The inside width of the rim is 17.5mm. (from the specs on Alex rim's site) That is 1.2 mm wider than the Cross Check's rims, and I have used 23's on my Cross Check. You should be able to run 25's if you want.
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    Have you ridden both bikes? Does one feel better? Are they both at the same LBS? If not do you prefer one of the LBS over the other?

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    Short rides on both. Frankly, they both feel similar. The Specialized is at a nearby shop, the Surly about a hour away. I prefer the local shop.

    It looks like I can fit fenders on the Surly too. Maybe I can get the LBS to order it for me.

  12. #12
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    These are really two completely different bikes. The LHT is designed for long-distance touring: strap on 70lbs of stuff and ride around the world. The Specialized is more of an endurance road bike: grab a couple of water bottles, a spare tube or two, go ride a century. In addition to the different purposes, the geometries appear to be quite different judging by the numbers.

    As it happens, I own both a touring bike and an endurance road bike. I have both bikes outfitted quite nicely and both are very comfortable. The endurance road bike, however, gets quite a bit more use than the touring bike. Given the two options, I'd save a bit more money and do something different: buy the Secteur Elite Compact. I like zippy, light endurance road bikes more than the heavy, slow-steering touring bikes. The Secteur Elite has much better components and wheels than the Secteur Sport. In the real world, I don't notice much difference between a road triple and a compact double. The compact is lighter and you have slightly more options if you ever want to upgrade, so I'd go with the Elite Compact rather than the Elite Triple.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    I like zippy, light endurance road bikes more than the heavy, slow-steering touring bikes.

    Out of curiosity, what is a Bob Jackson touring bike, light endurance or heavy steel touring bike? This dude in the video was one of the first guys I rode with that made me think "it's the rider not the bike". We did a 78 mile ride about 5 years ago and this dude was tearing up the other riders on racebikes with his Bob Jackson equipped with fenders , rack and cargo shorts. But I do see the guy riding up in the hills too! So that might have somthing to do with it!

    Curious cause if Richard's BoibJackson is considered a slow steering touring bike, it won't be the bike slowing down the OP.


    Richard in his cargo shorts on his BJ touring bike. His wife too is a very strong rider!


    About 1:50 in, you can see the fenders and stuff on Richard's BobJackson.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Curious cause if Richard's BoibJackson is considered a slow steering touring bike, it won't be the bike slowing down the OP.
    Bull. If the OP had to choose between riding a 30lb steel boat anchor and riding a 13lb carbon fiber racebike he would undoubtedly be faster on the lighter bike, all other things being equal.

    But, what does that have to do with anything anyway? When I was training on my 51lb loaded touring bike, I occasionally passed guys on Trek Madone's, Cervelo S2s, etc. Does that make the touring bike my favorite bike? Nope! It climbs like a brick and steers like an 18-wheeler. Fun on the right roads, but I generally prefer the road bike...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWinVA View Post
    Short rides on both. Frankly, they both feel similar. The Specialized is at a nearby shop, the Surly about a hour away. I prefer the local shop.

    It looks like I can fit fenders on the Surly too. Maybe I can get the LBS to order it for me.

    You can definitely fit fenders on the Surly - it is a full-blown touring bike.

    These really are two completely different bikes - I'm sure the Surly weighs eight or nine pounds more than the Specialized. Much, much longer wheelbase and chain stays, much lower gearing.

    If "go fast" is truly a concern, for whatever part a bike plays in the 'go fast' equation, you're better off with the Specialized.

  16. #16
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    FWIW I am in a similar boat. I want a mix of comfort and speed. The Secteur is top on my list right now, but the LHT is not. Mainly because I am not interested in touring or commuting. I want a solid bike, aluminum is fine, that has relaxed geometry for my surgically repaired lower back. From what I read the Secteur has all of this. Now to get to the LBS for a test ride.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    Are you going to be commuting, touring , or just riding for fun/fitness? I like the Surly because I have one but my bike is used for all the reasons listed in the question. I shop , commute and bought the bike to be used as a tourer. I just built it up last month and really like the feel of steel compared to the aluminum bikes I have had in the past. Surly has a great reputation and their customer service is great. Have you looked intop the Surly Crosscheck? If a do all bike is what you want that may fit the bill also. I have to say I love my Surly Long Haul Trucker and I will find out how fast it is as soon as I can take off the studded tires.

  18. #18
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Bull. If the OP had to choose between riding a 30lb steel boat anchor and riding a 13lb carbon fiber racebike he would undoubtedly be faster on the lighter bike, all other things being equal.

    But, what does that have to do with anything anyway? When I was training on my 51lb loaded touring bike, I occasionally passed guys on Trek Madone's, Cervelo S2s, etc. Does that make the touring bike my favorite bike? Nope! It climbs like a brick and steers like an 18-wheeler. Fun on the right roads, but I generally prefer the road bike...
    Bull? To what? I asked a question and my answer is "Bull"? Yeah, that describes the Bob Jackson I asked about!

    As far as the two bikes in question from the OP, what the heck does a 30 lb and a 13 lb bike have to do with the situation? My point is that between the two bikes, one will not be much slower than the other. Where the heck do you come up with 13 lbs vs 30 lbs? Maybe you need to reread the thread and come up with an answer that relates to the topic. Maybe reread my question about the Bob Jackson frame, is it a slow steering bike or not? I ask because I am not sure if it is acutally a racing bike or a slow steering touring bike! Where in the heck did you come up with a 30 lb bike in this comparison?


    What does my statement have to do with anything anyways? C'mondude, reread the OP! The dude says he wants to be comfy but yet be able to go fast, he wants both. Is that not related to my post that one can ride a touring bike be comfy but yet still be somewhat on the fast side? That's what this has to do with the post, I brought up the point that some dudes ride touring bikes but yet have theability to go fast. Don't turn this into your own 50 lb vs a13 lb bike comparison, where in the heck does that fit in the 2 bike comarison? TRy to stay on topic!

    The dude is asking about one bike compared to the other, not a loaded touring bike. I've kept up with a paceline on a $200 mtb with slicks, so there is no doubt inmy mind that the Surley model would keep the guy from keeping up if he wanted to go fast. Yes, pack 20 lbs of cargo on me and no way would I keep up with the paceline, but who in the heck is talking about a loaded 50 lb loaded touring vs a 13 lb racer? Geeze!
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 02-25-10 at 08:22 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by iforgotmename View Post
    I have to say I love my Surly Long Haul Trucker and I will find out how fast it is as soon as I can take off the studded tires.
    Even with the chunk tires it comes with I have gotten some decent speed out of it. And it performs great loaded. Took mine on an 8-day tour in MT, BC and AB last summer.

    Obviously, speed depends on the rider. A perswn who thinks they are automatically going to go fast just because they buy sleek, light/lighter weight bike is kidding himself. Conversley, I have seen plenty of people going fast on what most people would consider "slow" bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    Obviously, speed depends on the rider. A perswn who thinks they are automatically going to go fast just because they buy sleek, light/lighter weight bike is kidding himself. Conversley, I have seen plenty of people going fast on what most people would consider "slow" bikes.


    Exactly my point! Whcih related to the OP's question of the two!...Where the 51 lb vs 13 lb bike comparison comes in ,who cares, that's not the topic! I'm not sure what passing my great grandma on a Madone while riding a 50 ln loaded touring bike has to do with the topic!

  21. #21
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    Even with the chunk tires it comes with I have gotten some decent speed out of it. And it performs great loaded. Took mine on an 8-day tour in MT, BC and AB last summer.

    Obviously, speed depends on the rider. A perswn who thinks they are automatically going to go fast just because they buy sleek, light/lighter weight bike is kidding himself. Conversley, I have seen plenty of people going fast on what most people would consider "slow" bikes.
    I agree that it is the motor but winter studded tires are always going to be a bit slower than the semi slicks I run for the rest of the year. Waiting for the snow to stop.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    The dude is asking about one bike compared to the other, not a loaded touring bike. I've kept up with a paceline on a $200 mtb with slicks, so there is no doubt inmy mind that the Surley model would keep the guy from keeping up if he wanted to go fast.
    Beanzy: I understand you're a very strong rider and can keep up with a paceline while riding a cheap mountain bike. Does this mean that the OP should buy a $200 mountain bike? No: he should buy a bike that's appropriate for him.

    Thinking hypothetically: what would have happened in your paceline situation if you'd been riding a light-weight racing bike rather than a $200 MTB? You'd probably have left the paceline in the dust or had an easier time keeping up, right? Now what happens if you're keeping pace with the paceline on a touring bike, you stick with the them to the top of a steep hill, and then they banzai down a twisty descent after reaching the top? Are you still going to keep up with them? Maybe not... The touring bike's steering geometry and long wheelbase will make it difficult to handle the tight corners on the descent at the same speed a racing bike will handle.

    You seem to be suggesting that because you met one guy who was a strong rider and he was riding a bike made by Bob Jackson (whoever the that is) that the OP should be able to buy any bike and go fast on it. I disagree. I think the OP should try to buy a bike that is going to be most appropriate for the riding he intends to do. Make sense?

    You also seem to be suggesting that weight doesn't matter: that anyone can go fast on any bike. Fine. But take the same guy and put him on two bikes that differ only in weight and he's going to be faster on the lighter bike, right? That's what I was taught in junior high physics, anyway!

  23. #23
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    You seem to be suggesting that because you met one guy who was a strong rider and he was riding a bike made by Bob Jackson (whoever the that is) that the OP should be able to buy any bike and go fast on it. I disagree. I think the OP should try to buy a bike that is going to be most appropriate for the riding he intends to do. Make sense?
    Yes but that sounds like a racing comparison. I am going on what the OP said he is wanting. A comfortable bike that will also "go fast". My point is that the OP wil be able to go fast on either bike (not talking about loaded touring) if he replaces the Surley tires with narrow like I stated above. Sure, all things equal (without a load) the Specialized may be a bit quicker but that doesn't mean the OP can't do a decent speed on the Surley. He didn't mention racing so I wasn't thinking 25 mph averages.

    My point about Richard is that it is the rider. If the OP is a strong rider, he will go fast on the Surley. If he isn't a strong rider, he"will not be" fast on the Specialized either.

    From this statement made by the OP, I responded by saying siwtch the tires and the Surely wil not give up much to the Specialized. That holds true if he doesn't plan to race and does not load "ONE" bike with a 30 lb load and not the other. I can see some of the others agree with me on not all slow bikes are slow "depending on the rider". Not all fast bikes are fast "depending on the rider". Again, yes, the Surley will be slower if he plans to race but I see no mention of racing, just wanting to go fast which is possible on the Surley with the right tires.

    If the OP had mentioned racing or riding in the TourDeFrance, my answers would have been quite different!

    BTW, I'm surprised you've never heard of Bob Jackson bikes. He's a very popular custom maker like Rivendell (sp?)


    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWinVA View Post
    Both have the geometry I am looking for, where the saddle and stem are the same height when fitted. I want to be comfortable and go fast also. Any thoughts or comparison on the two?
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 02-25-10 at 09:56 AM.

  24. #24
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Beanzy: I understand you're a very strong rider and can keep up with a paceline while riding a cheap mountain bike.
    BTW, want to clear that up, I'm not that strong, I just try hard!
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 02-25-10 at 10:25 AM.

  25. #25
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    MikeWinVA - What type of "go fast" riding are you considering? The LHT is capable of being outfitted as a quick tourer or randonneuring type of bike, but if you're looking for a zippy and responsive bike, a touring frame just isn't going to fit the bill. If you don't need the hauling capacity or massive tire clearance of the LHT, there are better bikes (like the Secteur Elite; I'm biased toward compact doubles) or if you're really interested in Surly, the Pacer is available as a complete bike now, and can still fit 28mm tires with fenders. If you're not doing any gravel path riding, a pair of 28s is plenty wide and still quick while givng decent comfortable cushion. It's Tiagra equipped, so a step up from the Sora components on the Secteur sport, and a level down from the 105 on the Elite putting it in between the price of either.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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