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  1. #1
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    Cross Check vs. LHT (but with a purpose)

    Iím going back to REI this weekend to seriously consider taking advantage of their liberal exchange policy. I may ditch my Navarro Fusion in favor of either the Cross Check or LHT. I just donít think that Alfine 8 is cutting it for my relatively long and hilly commute.

    So forgive me for starting another ďversesĒ thread, but I do have some specifics I wanted input on, and things I should pay attention to when Iím test riding. BTW I did a bunch of searches on these topics, so Iím trying to only ask questions that those threads didnít fully address.

    Drop-outs: semi-horizontal on the CC. I canít see myself ever wanting to convert the thing to single speed. Would the LHT then be more convenient because there is less risk of wheel slip? Or are there other advantages to semi-horizontal besides conversion possibilities?

    Bottom Bracket: lower on the LHT, which is supposed to increase stability. But I canít tell if that means more stable all the time, or only when loaded down with gear.

    Top Tube Length: some posts suggested the LHT is too long, especially for those with long legs and short torsos (like me). Nobodyís ever mentioned that about the CC, but the lengths are very close, and in fact within 0.1cm for the 52 and 54 sizes.

    26 wheels: I would assume 700c are faster, but if they are in fact the same, I could see 26 being a little better for the occasional curb bonk, torn-up path, or no path at allÖ.

    Speed: way too open-ended, I knowÖ but people tend to say the LHT doesnít feel exceptionally fast because of the weight, while the CC is described as zippy, responsive, faster than expected. Why the disparity if the bikes are specíd so closely?

  2. #2
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    I think the differences may be the design intent.

    I see the LHT has eyelets for racks and fenders. Don't see that on the CC.

    There is a serious difference in the rear triangle geometry.

    LHT will have a longer wheelbase for loaded stability the CC is a little more nimble looking.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  3. #3
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Whoops. Missed the eyelets on the CC.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  4. #4
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    So here,s what I see.

    Beefier tubing on the LHT, 3 water bottles and a front rack boss.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    I would seriously consider the LHT for your application, for three reasons:

    1) I think the "touring" geometry is better for city riding, since it puts your head up a little higher for traffic and does reduce concerns regarding heel strike.

    2) The vertical dropout is just better for commuting with a derailleur, because it is noticeably easier to change flats.

    3) The "stock" drivetrain on the LHT has a wider range of gears, and you specifically mentioned hills.

    My 2c, YMMV. I suspect you'd be happy with either.
    I see unexamined people. All the time. I don't think they know they're unexamined.

  6. #6
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    How "long and hilly" is your commute ?
    LHT, CC or Pacer are nice rides, however each with a slightly different focus.
    You can easily commute with any of them.
    If really hilly; I would put a larger rear cog on the Fusion, ride it for a while - until
    you know what you need. Then use the Fusion as a back up commuter.
    ride long & prosper

  7. #7
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    my commute is about 10 miles total - a couple miles of suburbia with excellent bike lanes but hilly. then about 6 miles on a bike path with more hills, then another couple of miles through an office park area with moderate hills.

    The lowest gear on the Fusion is actually fine for climbing the hills, but it's just slow. I feel like there is a loss of efficiency in the IGH the lower I go in gears, and the whole back of the bike is heavy as hell. That's a sensitive topic - some people will say that is rubbish and there's no noticeable lack of efficiency with the IGH. They may be right, I don't know enough about bikes to be an authority on the matter. But I know enough to notice that the bike feels sluggish in the low range compared to my 1990's mountain bikes that I had as a kid. The only appreciable difference in those bikes is standard cassett versus IGH.

    That Pacer looks interesting... but no rack mounts?

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    Justin-
    i ride both IGH and deraileur bikes. my commute is 17 km one way, altitude at my office is 700 ft, home at 1400 ft - so I have some climbing to get home and hills in between getting to work. plus about half of the way is dirt road. both of my IGH bikes are a little heavier and probably a little less efficient - and yes a little slower - probably due more to bike design than the IGH. True the IGH spins a little less freely than deraileur. That is in the summer with a clean dry drive train In fall, winter & spring with mud, rain, snow, slush etc - the IGH is more effective.
    ride long & prosper

  9. #9
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    OP, where is that you plan to commute?

    martianone has brought up a salient point. Terrain and climate make the choice.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  10. #10
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    OP, where is that you plan to commute?

    martianone has brought up a salient point. Terrain and climate make the choice.
    Constant maintenance sucks, IMHO.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Absenth's Avatar
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    I love my Trucker
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker -- Blue Velvet
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  12. #12
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    well, spent a good four hours at REI on Saturday. I tried a bunch of bikes including:

    Novara Randonee
    Novara Buzz
    Clubman
    Trucker
    Cross Check
    plus some more that I don't even remember the name of

    after all that, I decided to keep the Fusion, and get set up with Crank Bros clipless pedals. After serious analysis and pouring over every minor detail, including getting a lot of input from some very nice cyclists outside of REI with waaay more experience than me, I decided that staying with the bike I have and going clipless was the best solution for dealing with the hills on my commute. Rather than posting a long novel about my experience, I'll just post some quick thoughts, some of which probably deserve threads of their own:

    The only noticeable loss of efficiency of the IGH is under acceleration. This includes both from a stop, as well as up shifting and putting the hammer down. Otherwise the power output feels about the same.

    The IGH has spoiled me for the convenience of not having to pedal onto the next ring when shifting. From a stop, I can choose what gear I want based on the conditions (usually when crossing the street). Again, nice for an urban, suburban commuter.

    The somewhat upright position on the Fusion (or similar bike) is a significant advantage for visibility which is really helpful in urban, suburban commuting. With my commute, I'm on a bike path for most of it, but I have about half a dozen sketchy intersection crosses.

    Some of the bikes I tried were steel. I did not feel any difference at all in supposed smoothness or less jarring bumps that steel is supposed to provide. I found that tire size made much more of a difference. Going from 28 to 32 was a marginal improvement on bumps. But whatever size was on the Cross Check was a significant improvement.

    Speaking of the Cross Check - that is one fine bike. I ultimately decided I don't want drop bars, but if I did the Cross Check would be my #1 choice. That bike had the biggest, nobbiest tires of all I tried and it stood out as the fastest, zippiest bike. It just wants to go go go. It eats up cracked sidewalks and fractured asphalt like nothing. If I had decided on switching bikes, the Cross Check would have been it. But I just don't like drop bars, and I'd have to think about converting to flat, and... well, I'm getting off topic. That Cross Check was friggin sweet. No wonder it's so popular.

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