Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    My Bikes
    Surly Crosscheck
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Surly LHT off-road experiences?

    We are getting a new bike for my wife--either a Novara Safari or a Surly LHT. Light touring is intended at some point, but mostly the bike will run around town (running errands/getting groceries), on bike paths, shorter charity rides, and hopefully on some trails. I'm curious if anyone has taken their LHT off-road. I'm not talking about technical trails, but dirt roads verging into light singletrack. The bike will see similar use to my Cross-check, but we think the LHT or Safari (with the 26" wheels) will fit her 5ft.1 frame better. She doesn't care about going fast.

    Any experience on rough roads or trails with your LHT? Would the longer wheelbase made climbing on dirt incredibly difficult (hard to get traction)? Any sense of why one bike would be better than the other?

    I know they are pretty different in price; we could afford the LHT, but if the Safari is just as good or better for what she will do then we would just as soon save the money.

    Thanks.
    -----------------
    My 2005 Surly Cross-check & some thoughts on riding

    "Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous" --David Hume A Treatise on Human Nature

  2. #2
    SpecOps-27 Emerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    My Bikes
    Surly Crosscheck
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    bump. Don't more people have experience with thier LHT on trails and such?
    -----------------
    My 2005 Surly Cross-check & some thoughts on riding

    "Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous" --David Hume A Treatise on Human Nature

  3. #3
    Person Person jessefive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Philadelphia
    My Bikes
    LeJune Track, Surly LHT
    Posts
    377
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hopefully I will soon...

  4. #4
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    BOSTON BABY
    Posts
    6,417
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There was a post a ways back on the Surly blog, before they released the LHT, about testing it off-road. They said good things about it (of course they did, they built it!), but remarked that rear wheel slip will happen easily on loose ground or steep hills with loose ground. That's because of the long chainstays. Other than that, it should be fine. You should avoid going over too many logs - the lower BB means you could bash a chainring.

    By the way, Surly also makes the smaller sizes of the Cross-Check for 26" wheels, so that's still an option.
    ISO: used, working Shimano 10-speed shifters/groups (6600, 6700, 7800, 7900). PM por favor.

  5. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    5,117
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a similar bike, though it has higher bottom bracket clearance. I think the main problem are tires. even 37s don't have much float. I was on a fourty mile section of rail trail with firm stone dust surface, and I had to let a ton of air out of the tires to get up on top of the surface. Of course, you can fit wider tires.

    If you run drops as you probably "should" if you are doing a lot of road touring, there are control issues, unless you can find some dirt drops.

    Finally there is braking, most drops, combined with road levers and cantis, or whatever, do not provide the kind of stick in the spokes stop I want off-road.

    You could deal with the last two, obviously by simply adding flat bars and MTB brakes.

    So I think all the problems you will encounter probably aren't driven too hard by the frame. I have an old 80s moutain bike, and it is pretty similar to a touring bike in it's frame. Also, some expedition bikes design for 50% off-road/road , like the Expedition 26, still have the really long stays.

  6. #6
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Hilo Town, East Hawai'i
    My Bikes
    1994 Trek 820, 2004 Fuji Absolute, 2005 Jamis Nova, 1977 Schwinn Scrambler 36/36
    Posts
    3,268
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by grolby
    There was a post a ways back on the Surly blog, before they released the LHT, about testing it off-road. They said good things about it (of course they did, they built it!), but remarked that rear wheel slip will happen easily on loose ground or steep hills with loose ground. That's because of the long chainstays. Other than that, it should be fine.
    OTOH, the longer chainstays should help keep your front wheel on the ground, which can be a big problem when pedalling uphill on rough trails in the lowest gears. (Hell, I've even had that problem on the road when launching from a stop with a big load in the rear.)
    --
    -=- '05 Jamis Nova -=- '04 Fuji Absolute -=- '94 Trek 820 -=- '77 Schwinn Scrambler 36/36 -=-
    Friends don't let friends use brifters.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    My Bikes
    1980 Motobecane Grand Jubile, 1986 Kuwahara ATB (WIP), 1991 Spec'zed Rockhopper, 2006 Bianchi Volpe
    Posts
    355
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    I have a similar bike, though it has higher bottom bracket clearance. I think the main problem are tires. even 37s don't have much float. I was on a fourty mile section of rail trail with firm stone dust surface, and I had to let a ton of air out of the tires to get up on top of the surface. Of course, you can fit wider tires.

    If you run drops as you probably "should" if you are doing a lot of road touring, there are control issues, unless you can find some dirt drops.

    Finally there is braking, most drops, combined with road levers and cantis, or whatever, do not provide the kind of stick in the spokes stop I want off-road.

    You could deal with the last two, obviously by simply adding flat bars and MTB brakes.

    So I think all the problems you will encounter probably aren't driven too hard by the frame. I have an old 80s moutain bike, and it is pretty similar to a touring bike in it's frame. Also, some expedition bikes design for 50% off-road/road , like the Expedition 26, still have the really long stays.
    letting out air from tires to ride on soft surfaces is common practice. even 4x4s do this.

    you can get plenty of control from drop bars, just make sure they're nice and wide (44-46 mm). salsa bell laps are nice.

    road levers with cantis can provide tons of stopping power. especially if you use old school high profile cantis - you'll have no problems locking up the wheels (not that you would want to). low profile cantis work fine too. Heck old mountain bikes used these and no one ever complained.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Thor29's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    757
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've had both the LHT and the Crosscheck. The extra 1/2 inch of bottom bracket height makes a big difference off road. I prefer the Crosscheck for all around use (including touring) and would only get the LHT if it were going to be used strictly as a touring bike. When it isn't loaded, it feels more tank-like. The Crosscheck is more nimble but not quite as rock solid when loaded down. Either way, they are both great bikes.

  9. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    5,117
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "letting out air from tires to ride on soft surfaces is common practice. even 4x4s do this."

    That's why I did it, but it was vastly less preferable to having real mountain bike tires, so my advice would be, depending on how much of the time one is planing on using this bike as an MTB, then consider an MTB, for the tires and everything else.

    Other than city bike uses this thing is to be used "some day" for light touring, and "hopefully on trails", though the thread is all about offroad performance. Other than Surly threads, the other most likely one around here is probably the "can I use my MTB for touring" For which the answer is always an enthusiastic "yes". Hardly seems as though the LHT is required for the uses described. Actually my Urbanite which is 1/2" or more higher in the BB, and otherwise a light frame loaded touring bike might be an all around better choice.

    "you can get plenty of control from drop bars, just make sure they're nice and wide (44-46 mm). salsa bell laps are nice."

    Exactly, the dirt drops are wider still, but probably not necessary for this rider.

    "road levers with cantis can provide tons of stopping power. especially if you use old school high profile cantis - you'll have no problems locking up the wheels (not that you would want to). low profile cantis work fine too. Heck old mountain bikes used these and no one ever complained."

    Not really true, I have Paul Neo Retros on my bike, and have been riding and wrenching cantis since the first MTBs appeared on the scene. There is a loss of power from road levers for sure, and I am far from the only one saying so. And I do want the capability to lock up my wheels, I don't want to always skid, but I do want to use all the power available right up to that point. "To infinity and beyond"

  10. #10
    addicted to coffee velotimbe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Queen Charlotte, British Columbia
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Gunnar Roadie, Trek Fuel EX, Fisher Twenty Niner
    Posts
    108
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My 62cm LHT has clearance for WTB Exiwolf 29x2.3 tires.

    Very narrow clearance, but they do roll.....

    Hows that for versatility?
    gunnarroadiesurlylonghaultruckergiantcypressstgunnarruffiantrekfuel90

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    wow

    Quote Originally Posted by velotimbe
    My 62cm LHT has clearance for WTB Exiwolf 29x2.3 tires.

    Very narrow clearance, but they do roll.....

    Hows that for versatility?
    post a pic if you can. I was nagging the surly guys about this before I bought a LHT, they said a 29er tire would fit but not be practical, that 45's were the suggested max. if 2.3's fit its got even more clearance than the crosscheck!

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    12,074
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute
    you can get plenty of control from drop bars, just make sure they're nice and wide (44-46 mm). salsa bell laps are nice.
    This would be way too wide for a 5'1" woman.

    The smaller sizes of any bike tend to have a longer wheelbase (proportional to the size of the rider). The handling of a M size LHT is no sure indicator of the handling of a small version.

    For just riding along trails, a drop bar, 26" LHT style of bike will be fine. I have taken my tourer over mountain trails and down extreme slopes that cause less experienced MTBers to bail out. The major variable is the style of tyres. Fit a knobbly, semi slick or narrow high pressure slick according to the conditions.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    My Bikes
    1980 Motobecane Grand Jubile, 1986 Kuwahara ATB (WIP), 1991 Spec'zed Rockhopper, 2006 Bianchi Volpe
    Posts
    355
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    This would be way too wide for a 5'1" woman.
    Give me a minute while I pull this size 11 out of my mouth.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •