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  1. #1
    West side of paradise
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    Surly LHT or Kona Sutra?

    I'm doing some consulting for a bike shop owner. Part of the deal is that I can get a bike/frame/fork for his cost. I've narrowed it down to the Surly LHT or the Kona Sutra. I want to set up the bike as an all-arounder. I'll use the bike for fitness riding about 80% of the time on both paved and fairly smooth dirt roads. The remainder will be fully loaded touring on both dirt and paved roads. Anyone with experience with the Sutra? The limited number of braze-ons is a minus for me, since I want to use both a front lowrider and a rear rack plus fenders. I'm not sure about the disk brakes. It would be nice to have the stopping power (figure close to 300# fully loaded-me, bike, gear), but they look to be a hassle for rack mounting. On the plus side, it is built fairly close to how I would build it. The LHT's seem to get good reviews here, although the color is hideous (I'll live with it). I would build it from the ground up and it would probably end up being more expensive.

    Does anyone have experience with both bikes? I'd love to hear as many opinions and recommendations as possible on either choice.

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member mshattuck's Avatar
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    No experience to chime in with on the frames...but what about just painting the LHT? If you're saving *bling-bling* on the frame then maybe you could get creative and give it a sweet paint job to dump the hideous color.

    Just a thought...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dougmt's Avatar
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    And....
    I've found tons of places in MT that will powder coat a frame for under 100 bucks. If there are that many in MT there have got to be some around where you live.
    D

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Another think to consider is that the Sutra is on the slow boat from China. Literally. I've been trying to order a frame set for months. I was being told "two more weeks" for a while, now it's "we have no idea when it will be available".

    There has been a recent post about racks and a Sutra. A simple search should turn it up. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Old enough to know better Spudmeister's Avatar
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    Hey, I like the color of the LHT!

  6. #6
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    I like that color too! (sincerely... if I had to paint my bike, it would look like that!)

  7. #7
    The Observant One
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    I have no experience with the Kona, although I do have a Bear that I think highly of.
    I am in the process of building up a LHT which I got from Spicer Cycles. Best price I found and Gene there is a super guy. Answers e-mails promptly and did some extra work on the frame for me.
    He powder coats too.
    So if you go the LHT route, take a look.

    http://parts.spicercycles.com/site/i...x=7&Submit.y=8

  8. #8
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    "Frame cost" probably doesn't apply to the original poster, since he's getting shop price, but this price beats Spicer Cycles for the LHT. Don't know about their service -- and I've heard good things about Spicer. That counts for something.

    BikeZone

    -- Mark



    Quote Originally Posted by pur1138
    I have no experience with the Kona, although I do have a Bear that I think highly of.
    I am in the process of building up a LHT which I got from Spicer Cycles. Best price I found and Gene there is a super guy. Answers e-mails promptly and did some extra work on the frame for me.
    He powder coats too.
    So if you go the LHT route, take a look.

    http://parts.spicercycles.com/site/i...x=7&Submit.y=8

  9. #9
    Quietly Desperate Kodama's Avatar
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    Another vote for the LHT - steel, good touring geometry all braze-ons and you can build it up exactly how you want it. I'd ditch the Surly graphics and I'm all for painting to taste.
    "The true traveller is without goal, it is the absence of goals which creates the ultimate traveller."
    - Gao Xingjian 'Soul Mountain'

  10. #10
    The Observant One
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmmCeeBee
    "Frame cost" probably doesn't apply to the original poster, since he's getting shop price, ...
    -- Mark
    DOH!

    Uhhhh.....

    Nevermind
    "Go! You have yet time to clean the rust from your sword." - Theoden

    "Life happens. Everything else is Attitude." - Nemesis

  11. #11
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Is it possible for someone that wants a 56cm or 58cm Surly LHT frame and is adamant about positively wanting 26inch wheels on their bike, to do anything with the LHT?

    How easy is it to also do S&S Coupling retrofitting on the LHT frame?

    Thanks.

    Cheers

  12. #12
    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUCAS
    Is it possible for someone that wants a 56cm or 58cm Surly LHT frame and is adamant about positively wanting 26inch wheels on their bike, to do anything with the LHT?

    How easy is it to also do S&S Coupling retrofitting on the LHT frame?
    The way I understand it, the only thing restricting you from 26" wheels on the larger LHTs is the brakes. Regarding the couplings, its as easy as writing a check to a reputable frame builder. So, if you want an LHT with S&S Couplings & 26" wheels, you need to buy the appropriate frame, find a good frame builder in your area & have them install the couplers and move the brake mounts.

  13. #13
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    The LHT was designed for heavy loads. One big guy to another... we're a heavy load

  14. #14
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Suppose one finds a frame builder that can move the brake mounts as you postulated, and one installs 26inch wheels on the Surly LHT: Is this gonna affect the geometric characteristics and handling of the bike? I mean, the LHT is designed around 700cc wheels for the upper size frames (56cm,58cm etc). Comments appreciated.

    Cheers.

  15. #15
    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    Interesting question. I wish I knew the answer. You might want to contact the guys at surly.

  16. #16
    West side of paradise
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    Thanks for the comments. I decided to go with the Surly. I also ordered decals in case I want to paint/powdercoat the frame. I'm really looking forward to building this bike.

  17. #17
    Steel is Real. markw's Avatar
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    Good choice. Pictures don't do the color justice. I think you'll like it.

  18. #18
    West side of paradise
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    My Surly LHT frame and fork arrived over the weekend. I am very stoked to build this bike! I am glad I ordered the decals though. I'm sanding it now and it goes to paint this weekend. I'm thinking about a gold metallic with all black components. What do you think?

  19. #19
    Member Mel Wade's Avatar
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    Here a picture of our Surlys that turned out better for color than most I have seen.

    Don't abandon the color too soon.
    Mel Wade
    "I love it when a plan comes together" - Hannibal
    http://www.melwade.com

  20. #20
    18 dog baby
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    The color of my Trucker is beautiful. It's esoterically aestheic, I think.
    mah-ha

  21. #21
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    What is the max chainring size that fits on the LHT? Can it fit a road triple? Just wondering since I have a box of parts I could use, and I have wanted to build up a nice touring bike so I can make use of my panniers again (neither of my current two bikes have eyelets for anything, nor do I think the frames will take well to jerry-rigging).

  22. #22
    Senior Member jacobs's Avatar
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    You're ditching the olive to go for GOLD w/ black components????


    I don't think any of us can give you advice on style.

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