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Old 05-26-11, 08:06 PM   #1
Dakota82
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Surly Vs. Other Brands

I have the Surly Long Haul Trucker on my Wish List but, sometimes I wonder if there is much of a difference from purchasing the same type of bicycle but of a different brand or, not even considering the brand; I mean, if it is the right bike, it is the right bike.

I mean, what makes a Surly Long Haul Trucker so awesome versus other bicycles? Is there really better performance? I mean, could one not purchase a drop down handle bar thin tire road bicycle for a cheaper price?

Not to knock Surly bicycle nor other brands of bicycles. They are all awesome to me. It is just that sometimes I can't help but think you could get the same thing for half the price.

I don't know. So many bicycles and so little time. So many frames and types. So many kinds of bicycles I wish I could ride for a week just to see how they are. Whenever I see something different, I just want to try it. I guess I have not finished my journey on knowing the exact specifications I would out of a bicycle depending what I plan to use it for. Such as, hauling, Summer riding, recreation, Winter Riding, etc.

I want a Surly Long Haul Trucker but sometimes, I think I could pick up a junky used frame or just go buy a different brand bike and it perform just the same but be cheaper in the end.

Why I would want a Surly Long Haul Trucker:

1.) Pretty looking bicycle
2.) Made from my home State
3.) Steel frame I feel comfortable going long distance on

Well, anyway, what are your thoughts? Is there anything about a Surly Long Haul Trucker that stands out from the rest?
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Old 05-26-11, 11:01 PM   #2
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When I mentioned to my LBS that I was considering an LHT he said that he felt they were a bit " Whippy" . I had never heard that opinion before regarding the LHT, but as I noticed this thread, I figured I throw it out there to see if anyone else felt that way. The LBS seemed to prefer Salsa even though he does not have it or the Surly in stock.
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Old 05-27-11, 02:04 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dakota82 View Post
I have the Surly Long Haul Trucker on my Wish List but, sometimes I wonder if there is much of a difference from purchasing the same type of bicycle but of a different brand or, not even considering the brand; I mean, if it is the right bike, it is the right bike.

I mean, what makes a Surly Long Haul Trucker so awesome versus other bicycles? Is there really better performance? I mean, could one not purchase a drop down handle bar thin tire road bicycle for a cheaper price?

Not to knock Surly bicycle nor other brands of bicycles. They are all awesome to me. It is just that sometimes I can't help but think you could get the same thing for half the price.

I don't know. So many bicycles and so little time. So many frames and types. So many kinds of bicycles I wish I could ride for a week just to see how they are. Whenever I see something different, I just want to try it. I guess I have not finished my journey on knowing the exact specifications I would out of a bicycle depending what I plan to use it for. Such as, hauling, Summer riding, recreation, Winter Riding, etc.

I want a Surly Long Haul Trucker but sometimes, I think I could pick up a junky used frame or just go buy a different brand bike and it perform just the same but be cheaper in the end.

Why I would want a Surly Long Haul Trucker:

1.) Pretty looking bicycle
2.) Made from my home State
3.) Steel frame I feel comfortable going long distance on

Well, anyway, what are your thoughts? Is there anything about a Surly Long Haul Trucker that stands out from the rest?
Just to clarify #2: Surly's frames are made in Taiwan.

Surly make nice bikes. They're certainly not the only nice bikes in the world, though.
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Old 05-27-11, 02:38 AM   #4
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Tektro brakes and bottom-of-the-line shifters for $1200? Weird...
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Old 05-27-11, 04:40 AM   #5
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Surly cornered the market for nicely made, sensible, useful, fairly priced bikes. They are not extra-special, ultra-light, artisan-made or anything fancy.
LHT is not a competitor to std road bikes, it is a touring bike. Compared to other tourers, it is a good benchmark. Most production tourers from major brands are poorly specced for loaded touring.
The mid-small sizes are available in MTB wheel variants.
As an everyday, doitall bike the LHT is a bit overbuilt but there is nothing wrong with that. Ive never heard it described as whippy. It is a lot stronger and stiffer than my fancy pants Bob Jackson World Tour and probably more useful for expedition touring.
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Old 05-27-11, 04:43 AM   #6
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Surly filled a niche that was missing in the market, affordable steel bikes in geometries that most big companies were ignoring.

The LHT is among the best values out there for a long haul tour bike. A full custom from somebody like Bruce Gordon is going to cost 2-3 times what the LHT does.

You can't really compare a LHT to a skinny tired drop bar cheaper bike, that is like the difference between a motorcycle and pickup truck...they both have tires and engines.

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Old 05-27-11, 10:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota82 View Post
I don't know. So many bicycles and so little time. So many frames and types. So many kinds of bicycles I wish I could ride for a week just to see how they are. Whenever I see something different, I just want to try it.
I have the same thought every time that I walk into Baskin Robbins.

It's only really a problem if you are a glass half empty kind of person and wonder "What if there's something that's even better than the one that I pick?" You worry so much about what you MIGHT be missing that you can never fully enjoy what you have.

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Old 05-27-11, 12:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Northwestrider View Post
When I mentioned to my LBS that I was considering an LHT he said that he felt they were a bit " Whippy".
What do they mean by "whippy"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Surly filled a niche that was missing in the market, affordable steel bikes in geometries that most big companies were ignoring.

The LHT is among the best values out there for a long haul tour bike. A full custom from somebody like Bruce Gordon is going to cost 2-3 times what the LHT does.

You can't really compare a LHT to a skinny tired drop bar cheaper bike, that is like the difference between a motorcycle and pickup truck...they both have tires and engines.

Aaron
Exactly right.

I choose the LHT when my custom road bike was stolen and I didn't want to dish out the cash for custom again.

I love the LHT for it's DO EVERYTHING ability. With two sets of wheels, I'm ready for whatever kind of ride I want...

clicky... | |
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Old 05-27-11, 03:00 PM   #9
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Ive never heard it described as whippy. It is a lot stronger and stiffer than my fancy pants Bob Jackson World Tour and probably more useful for expedition touring.
Yes, I'm still on track for a new LHT, I've not hear it described that way as well. My wife has one already and loves it....
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Old 05-27-11, 03:21 PM   #10
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I wouldn't say the LHT is 'whippey', but its 'soft' or 'flexible' when compared to a bike with a more rigid, stiff frame. They're supposed to stiffen up when loaded for touring, but they might work as an everyday road ride/light touring bike if you don't mind the flex. Personaly I like a stiff frame; used to have a Cannondale T900 (alumunim frame, definately stiff when unloaded), but it got stolen. Was going to buy a new one earlier this year but the T1/T2 touring line has been discontinued. If I was to buy a Surly it'd probably be the Cross Check; lighter, a little more compact wheelbase, but would work fine for short & lightweight 'credit card' touring and weekend road rides.
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Old 05-27-11, 04:30 PM   #11
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I originally wanted a LHT but after test-riding both the LHT and a CC, I fell in love with the CC and bought it. I am really happy now I didn't go with my original choice. My heart was set on a Trucker, but it wasn't the right bike for me. The LHT, I'm sure, is great for dedicated touring or super heavy duty commuting but if you don't plan on riding heavily loaded all the time, I'd give the CC, which can also shoulder a load well, some consideration. Test ride them both! You'll know which one feels right.

I think buying a brand name bike's value is in the quality of its frame. Really well designed frames and quality craftsmanship IMO buys a peace of mind that going with a cheaper option doesn't afford you. Also, I felt sort of bad dropping a grand on my Surly at first but now I've used it so much that it's pretty much paid itself in non-existent car insurance payments, car maintenance, and gas. I'm just saying, go for the Surly! You won't regret it.
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Old 05-27-11, 04:36 PM   #12
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Tektro brakes and bottom-of-the-line shifters for $1200? Weird...
$1050, actually. and the Tektro brakes work for some people but they didn't for me. Shimano BR-R550s did the trick for me. Excellent brakes, even better at reducing squealing than Kool Stop brakes.



Also, getting a complete bike as your first, I believe...from experience, gives you something solid to play around with until you learn more about bikes and what you want/need so that you can switch out and configure the components to your liking. Sure, I replaced the Tektro brakes but I looked at the complete bike price as a premium for the opportunity to learn. You can also throw together components on a cheaper frame but that would ultimately be even more expensively. In the end, no bike is really ever finished. You can just keep on tinkering and tinkering, trying to optimize performance and that's part of the biking hobby, too. At least it is for me.
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Old 05-27-11, 04:40 PM   #13
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As an everyday, doitall bike the LHT is a bit overbuilt but there is nothing wrong with that.
I disagree with that, respectfully. The LHT didn't feel like it would be fun to ride unloaded. A bike should make you smile, right?
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Old 05-27-11, 04:43 PM   #14
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QBP sends drawings and money to a contract manufacturer in Taiwan
Civia and Surly and Salsa are brands they sell , but don't make
they import and distribute to retailers.
most of all bikes in shops come from there
That sucking sound [] is quiet after the fact has happened..

want to satisfy #2 ?.
Gunnar is a TIG welded batch produced frame made by the Waterford company,
a Wisconsin shop.

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Old 07-28-11, 02:48 AM   #15
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What is the difference between 700c vs 26 inch tires? What performance would you get out of each?

The other day I saw a bike at local coop that had some thin tires on it. I looked at the tires and it said like 700c X 25. Could you put that on a LHT and would that ever be a good idea?

I road my room mate's bike over my wrong-buy hybrid bike to tour 60 miles and, I like it so much better. It is an older model Raleigh road bike. Tires fairly thin. It runs pretty fast. Too bad it is too big for me, single speed, and the drop down handle bars are not so great but, it rides much better than my hybrid.

Since then, I've had this feeling that a thin frame and thin tires is the way for me to go with a road bike. I am concerned that a LHT or Cross Check's frame might be too beefy for my taste but, then again, I have never test rode it so, I wont know till I try.
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Old 07-28-11, 09:05 AM   #16
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What is the difference between 700c vs 26 inch tires? What performance would you get out of each?

The other day I saw a bike at local coop that had some thin tires on it. I looked at the tires and it said like 700c X 25. Could you put that on a LHT and would that ever be a good idea?

I road my room mate's bike over my wrong-buy hybrid bike to tour 60 miles and, I like it so much better. It is an older model Raleigh road bike. Tires fairly thin. It runs pretty fast. Too bad it is too big for me, single speed, and the drop down handle bars are not so great but, it rides much better than my hybrid.

Since then, I've had this feeling that a thin frame and thin tires is the way for me to go with a road bike. I am concerned that a LHT or Cross Check's frame might be too beefy for my taste but, then again, I have never test rode it so, I wont know till I try.
Here's the link explaining everything about rim and tire sizes: http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

26" are standard mountain bike size. 700C is road bike standard. 700"s come in a better selection of sizes, from 20mm for racing bikes up to 40 something for cyclocross. The determining factor is the bike design and whether it can accept larger tires. Road racing bikes with dual pivot brakes and tighter wheelbases can sometimes only take up to a 25mm tire, where as a bike like the Surly LHT or some similar frame designed for loaded/self supported touring, can take up in the high 30mm's. The design of the LHT uses V or cantilever brakes as well as having clearance under the fork and between the chainstays's for the larger tire as well as fenders, which are required on self supported tours, IMO.

So if you are doing loaded/self supported touring, a bike that handles wider tires will ride more comfortably and provide a more stable ride. Experienced tourers prefer 32-36mm tires as example.

If you only want to do credit card touring, no sleeping bag/tent/stove/pots-pans, etc... then a Soma Smoothie ES, or Gunnar Sport is a better choice, as this kind of "sport touring" bike is usually lighter and a bit faster, better climbing bike, etc...

I have road bikes that run the gamut - carbon road with 23mm's, sport touring with 27's and tourer with 32's. I have done supported tours with the heavier tourer running 25mm tires and found it to be a fine all-around choice of bike.
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Old 07-28-11, 11:03 AM   #17
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Planet wide popularity of mountain bikes, makes a tire in 26" widely available.
#2 is 406, BMX, kids bike [and Bike friday travel/touring bikes] use those size wheels.

then, 700c race bike size, and further down the list, wider touring width 700c ..
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Old 07-29-11, 05:58 PM   #18
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Tektro brakes and bottom-of-the-line shifters for $1200? Weird...
Things like this were why I chose a Trek 520 over LHT in my recent touring bike purchase. Other than that, they're both great bikes - it was pretty much a flip of a coin. At least with the Trek, you get a) better brakes, b) rack (a cheapo) pre-installed so you can make the bike "useful" right off the showroom floor.
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Old 07-29-11, 11:55 PM   #19
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Tektro brakes and bottom-of-the-line shifters for $1200? Weird...
the package of costs of all the parts is what gets you to the $1200 bottom line.

want something else, buy it at point of sale and have it changed.
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Old 08-05-11, 10:45 PM   #20
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I was at Surly Bikes website and it seems they no longer sell the bicycle in green. Does this mean you cannot ask a bicycle dealer to order it in green?
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Old 08-06-11, 01:29 AM   #21
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Surly is a QBP brand, Taiwan fills the contract there are hundreds of makes models and brands
all coming from there .. there has been capital flow to the companies there.
so they supply the most of the brand around the world get made there. Duh..
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Old 08-06-11, 06:47 AM   #22
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Dakota82, Surly basically stepped up to the touring plate with a catchy name to define an affordable touring bike, fit for loaded touring at a time when most of the major manufacturers were scaling back, or ceasing touring frame construction. There are other brands available, but the LHT has cornered the affordable touring market.

Years ago I fell in love with Bruce Gordon's bikes and decided I'd buy one when my interests turned that way. Unfortunately the economy fell through the floor when "the time came" so I built one from a used Cannondale, a manufacturer I've had two decades of experiance with. (Yes, it is sad that a company who's bicycle production began with a touring frame no longer produces one.)

Bottom line is there is perhaps a couple of dozen makes and models of new touring bikes available (discounting customs) available in N. America, Surly is just one of them.

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Old 08-06-11, 06:55 AM   #23
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You might look at Torker's InterUrban - is a steel road bike with the needed braze-ons for racks and such. 1/2 the price of the Surley bikes meaning you can upgrade as desired on components, wheels, etc.
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Old 08-06-11, 12:21 PM   #24
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I really don't get it, if you are looking for a touring bike, LHT isn't the cat meow. Sure its well set up for a low price point but why not look at look at a Bruce Gordon BLT? This is also a Taiwanese frame that is built to Bruce Gordon spec and comes with the front and rear Gordon Racks. If you look at the price with the racks the frame is comparable to the LHT.
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Old 08-06-11, 01:33 PM   #25
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Wish I had the $$$ right now. The BLT looks like it's a nice bike. And quite a deal with the racks.
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