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  1. #1
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    Curious about the LHT

    I'm considering going with the Surly LHT for a new touring bike, and I'd like a little input. First of all, does anyone have any ideas as to about how much I could expect to spend on a reasonable setup? And I'm a little confused about the process in general...can I get my LBS to help me build it up, or will I have to do that myself? And if it's the latter, how difficult would that be? I have moderate mechanical experience with my bikes, but nothing too extensive. Also, what are the pros/cons of the 26" wheels? Thanks, folks.

  2. #2
    yes
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    Your LBS will probably be happy to do this for you. Check surly's site to find a local dealer. Maybe pick that LBS, but you could probably pick your favorite.
    Just ask them, and ask about prices. My guess is $1000 - 1500, but if you have something else in mind, I'm sure that they would work with you.
    Some people think that smaller wheels are better on smaller road frames, b/c the seat and head tube angles can be better. Look at these angles on frame geometries of road bikes to see what has to be done to keep the wheel clearance. Smaller wheels are also tougher, but not as smooth. Some touring bikes use 27" wheels, which are a little bigger than 700c, so that the ride is even smoother.

  3. #3
    LHT Commuter wsexson's Avatar
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    Your LBS can order the frame for you from a distributor (QBP if you are in the US) and build it up into a complete bicycle. You can have the LBS take care of the things that are done with specialized tools (headtube and bottom bracket facing and chasing, headset and bottom bracket installation, cutting your steerer) and you finish everything else. It isn't that difficult to build it up from a bare frame yourself like I am. I have spent about $800 on frame, parts, and shipping. I am using a pair of wheels that I already have. LHT availability seems to be pretty hit and miss, unfortunately. I had to wait 3 months from when I had the money to buy it to when it was in stock.

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    It strikes me that the standover heights for the LHT are pretty high for the TT length, does anyone find that they lean the bike when stopped, or anything of that nature?

    I wish I could ride a built one to see how the fit is per frame size, but of course, who has a collection of all the sizes built up?

  5. #5
    One Hep Cat Joe Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theapodan
    It strikes me that the standover heights for the LHT are pretty high for the TT length, does anyone find that they lean the bike when stopped, or anything of that nature?

    I wish I could ride a built one to see how the fit is per frame size, but of course, who has a collection of all the sizes built up?
    Check around for a local shop with one in stock and ride it. I bought a Surly Cross-Check that we had to order and ship to Alaska, and it made me REALLY nervous to drop what I thought was serious green for a bike I had not ridden, but I trusted my bike shop guy and everything turned out great. Still, I would not do it again if I could avoid it. I don't know where you are, but I bet there is a dealer with a LHT within 500 miles or so. Good luck!!

  6. #6
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Yep, a lot of independant shops I've seen in my area have a LHT built up on the floor as a bike for try or buy. I was able to test drive one before I bought.

    most shops could probably get you a lx level gruppo and maybe handlaced wheels for 1200-1400. I think most shops will build up framesets into bikes for customers for a set fee of between 100-200 bucks plus the price of the parts.

    For some reason, and I don't know if its true across all the sizes, but it seems the LHT's 'size big' . maybe because of the slightly sloping top tube, the SO height or whatever, but I think sizing down one size from what you usually ride makes sense with the LHT - IE, if your road bike size is a 60 cm, buy a 58cm LHT, etc....
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  7. #7
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yes
    Your LBS will probably be happy to do this for you. Check surly's site to find a local dealer. Maybe pick that LBS, but you could probably pick your favorite.
    Just ask them, and ask about prices. My guess is $1000 - 1500, but if you have something else in mind, I'm sure that they would work with you.
    Some people think that smaller wheels are better on smaller road frames, b/c the seat and head tube angles can be better. Look at these angles on frame geometries of road bikes to see what has to be done to keep the wheel clearance. Smaller wheels are also tougher, but not as smooth. Some touring bikes use 27" wheels, which are a little bigger than 700c, so that the ride is even smoother.
    I know this is drifting a bit from the matter at hand, but the difference in diameter between 27" wheels and 700C wheels is too small to make a difference in how they roll. Put big enough tires on a 700C rim, and you'll actually have a greater total circumference than a 27 x 1 1/8" tire. The differences between 26" and 700C/27" are a lot more real. Theoretically, at least, 700C wheels will have lower rolling resistance. In practice, I don't think that you would notice any difference between them, especially on a loaded touring bike. 26" wheels will mean lower gears for the same crankset and rear cluster. I guess this means that you can gear the bike just a bit lower, but it's yet another issue that's unlikely to come into play, since you would be considering wheel size in choosing your gearing anyway. The real benefits of the smaller wheels are indeed preserving the frame angles and making it easier to fit the bike appropriately to smaller riders. 26" wheels will also be stronger than 700C wheels, all else being equal, but the biggest factor here is the quality of components and worksmanship. It's unlikely that you'll somehow find yourself riding somewhere that would collapse 700C wheels, but that 26" wheels would survive . Nasty terrain will be rough on any wheel.

  8. #8
    Johnny Vagabond
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    For some reason, and I don't know if its true across all the sizes, but it seems the LHT's 'size big' . maybe because of the slightly sloping top tube, the SO height or whatever, but I think sizing down one size from what you usually ride makes sense with the LHT - IE, if your road bike size is a 60 cm, buy a 58cm LHT, etc....
    Surly is notorious for making their frames a little bigger than one would expect. I normally ride 19.5 to 21" bikes, and I recently had to step down to an 18" when building my Pugsley. Granted, the Pugsley is (a) not a tourer, (b) weird enugh as it is, and (c) not a 700cc bike. However, with the size of it's tires, it does have the same diameter as a 700cc wheel and tire would, and its geometry is not far off from a 1X1, their MTB standard.

    But, anyway, Surly is known for making their frames a bit bigger. Just watch the geometry - and get yourself fit, if you can.

  9. #9
    Senior Member metal_cowboy's Avatar
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    Her is a good place to ask questions: It is a new site for LHT owners. http://groups.google.com/group/surlylht
    Rivendell Alantis, Rivendell Rambouillet, Klein Adroit, Co Motion Big AL

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