Seat Tube Angle BB Drop Chainstay Length Heat Tube Angle
Atlantis - $1400 72.5 4.8 44.0 71
Long Haul Trucker - $410 74 4.7 46.0 71
Is the 1.5 degree difference in the STA something to be concerned with? What reason besides cosmetics should I spend the extra $1000 on the Atlantis? Will the bikes listed above have the same "trail" characteristics? Please respond with any comments you might have.
Mercian KoM with Rohloff, Bike Friday NWT, Pogliaghi Italcorse (1979)
The LHT is an excellent choice for a touring build-up, and in the touring forum you'll find many threads about it if you run a search on it.
Differences with the Atlantis? Minimal, really: It's unlugged (a very big deal to the Rivendell folks), it's an ugly pea green, and it's not a Rivendell. The LHT is not made to quite the exacting tolerances that Toyo of Japan uses to make the Atlantis either, but it's not sloppily made by any stretch, and Surly is known as a great value at a budget price, with all the necessary braze-ons and fittings for loaded touring. The geometry differences are a matter of taste, but it's often said that the LHT is an Atlantis copy, from the cranked chainstays and clearances to the angles. They even extended the headtube like Riv does.
In short, the LHT is probably the best value in a touring frame save a Mercian custom, in my most humble opinion. Good luck with it if you decide to get one! You can build them up with yesterday's components and a new Brooks and have a seriously excellent tourer with money left over for racks and bags and the pending tour itself.