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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-05-07, 05:12 PM   #1
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Surly LHT for Commuting?

I'm thinking of building up a Surly Long Haul Trucker as an around town errand bike and once or twice per week commuter. I'd probably commute on it on Mondays and Fridays to haul my clothing for the week back and forth, and use the regular road bike the rest of the time.

I'm planning on spec'ing it with standard drop bars, an Ultegra 9-speed triple (which I conveniently already have from a wrecked bike), plus racks, etc.

Although it's touted as a "touring" bike, I'm more interested in it for it's load carrying capacity and "car replacement" potential.

Comments and feedback appreciated.
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Old 07-05-07, 05:47 PM   #2
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I am not personally familiar with the LHT, but from what I've read and know I would love to do an LHT build. It's a very popular "do it all" bike. Go for it.
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Old 07-05-07, 05:55 PM   #3
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LHT is a great touring bike, but you might also consider a Big Dummy for an errand bike. I already have a touring bike, but my next bike will be a Big Dummy for just that purpose.
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Old 07-05-07, 06:06 PM   #4
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I just built up an LHT for commuting. 9-speed Ultegra STIs (couldn't find any 9-speed 105), 105 standard double cranks and front derailleur, XT hubs and rear derailleur.

I loves it so.
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Old 07-05-07, 07:07 PM   #5
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I love mine. When I described what I do with a bike (overload with groceries and commuting gear) LBS recommended the LHT. I took a Surly Cross Check for a spin. I liked it well - until I took out the LHT. I fell in love and have never looked back. The LHT is smooth and sure-footed - my pack pony.
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Old 07-05-07, 07:47 PM   #6
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I use mine for errands and, once or twice a week in the summer, a 44 mile round trip commute. It's perfect. I have grocery panniers for shopping, plus REI Trans-It panniers for other errands and commuting. I just love the bike. You can run fat tires with fenders in the winter and fall, and road tires during the summer for fast rolling. I currently run 28 mm road tires, but I like the option of putting some real fatties in there.

I should mention that I converted mine to a flatbar bike with bar ends. I'll post a few pics when I get a chance.
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Old 07-05-07, 07:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
LHT is a great touring bike, but you might also consider a Big Dummy for an errand bike. I already have a touring bike, but my next bike will be a Big Dummy for just that purpose.
Is that by Fred Sanford Cycles?
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Old 07-05-07, 08:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exfreewheeler
Is that by Fred Sanford Cycles?
I thought perhaps Chipcom had started his own line of bikes.
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Old 07-05-07, 08:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
LHT is a great touring bike, but you might also consider a Big Dummy for an errand bike. I already have a touring bike, but my next bike will be a Big Dummy for just that purpose.
Hmmmm....probably not. I'm more interested in a "road bike that can haul some stuff", than a dedicated "beast of burden".

Or, to put it another way, I'm more interested in a hatchback than a Suburban.
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Old 07-05-07, 09:28 PM   #10
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I still love my LHT complete 1100+ miles in (10-11 weeks; I have backed off to 80-90 miles/wk since achilles flameout). 2" big apples, cascadia fenders, hauling overloaded panniers, pulling kid(s) to/from daycare/daycamp in trailer, groceries in panniers trailer or both, 60 mile rides on off-days, you name it, it does it. Smooooooth ride, hands-free no problem regardless of load.
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Old 07-05-07, 10:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
LHT is a great touring bike, but you might also consider a Big Dummy for an errand bike. I already have a touring bike, but my next bike will be a Big Dummy for just that purpose.
I'm becoming quite impatient waiting for this frame to be released.
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Old 07-06-07, 04:21 AM   #12
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I'm really happy with my LHT complete. Before buying, I had the LBS swap out the stem to get the handlebars about an inch below the seat, and I had the tires changed to Panaracer T-serv 28s. I added SKS full fenders and a Topeak Explorer DX rear rack with tail trunk. I bought Jandd grocery panniers for trips to the grocery store, and some cheap REI panniers for commuting to work.

I use my LHT for a 39-mile round trip commute to work, usually four days per week. I also use it for long weekend rides (centuries; etc) whenever the weather looks threatening. I even took it on a fast training ride last night because my Trek 5200 is in the shop getting the headset replaced. I had no problems keeping up, even though the LHT is at least 10-lbs heavier than my Trek. I did have to work harder on the hills, and I didn't engage in any attacks or sprints because the accelleration of the LHT is less than stellar... but still, I'm impressed that the bike was fast enough for me to keep up with my friends on their racing bikes.

The LHT is the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden. And the handling remains the same even when you add a heavy load in the panniers.

If you get the "complete" version, it would be a good idea to get rid of the Tektro brake pads. They'll chew up your rims. I replaced mine with Kool Stop.
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Old 07-06-07, 05:15 AM   #13
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I use mine as my main commuter and it just plain rocks. Very stable even when fully loaded. I was also checking out the Big Dummy but decided to just keep my LHT rolling. I would say it's a more versatile bike. Heck, mine even double as my offroad bike once in a while.
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Old 07-06-07, 06:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSP
I thought perhaps Chipcom had started his own line of bikes.
I forgot, if it ain't in Bicycling Mag, you guys probably never heard of it.
http://www.surlybikes.com/new/bigdummy_pop.html
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Old 07-06-07, 04:07 PM   #15
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LOVE my LHT! Makes a fine commuter, is very comfortable over distance (and rough pavement with the steel frame), and, as others have noted, handles a load very well.
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