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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Ladies on Surly LHT's?

    My wife has decided her new bike may be a Surly LHT. The 46-cm frame geometry closely matches the geometry of her Giant Boulder step-through. She hesitates to get an aluminum frame due to carpal tunnel / vibration issues that the aluminum bikes seem to have.

    I ride an LHT and have enjoyed it as a commuter bike & recreational steed since November. We'll start some touring in the next year. We're both 53, ride 12 - 16 miles 3 or 4 times a week.

    Could I get any of the ladies who have or are riding the LHT to comment on their experience?
    Likes?
    Dislikes?
    Disappointments?
    Recommendations?

    thanks,

    Woody
    centexwoody
    They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.

  2. #2
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    I built up a LHT for my wife, which she has been very happy with. I can offer my second-hand opinion.... she lets me do all the posting

    See posting #3 in this thread:

    Any tall Long Haul Trucker riders out there

    -- Mark

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmmCeeBee
    I built up a LHT for my wife, which she has been very happy with. I can offer my second-hand opinion.... she lets me do all the posting

    Well, if mama's happy, everybody's happy and that's definitely my goal on this project. May I ask what size frame it is and your wife's height? MC is 5' 3" and it looks like a 46-cm LHT is just about perfect.

    See posting #3 in this thread:

    Any tall Long Haul Trucker riders out there

    So what component set did you use? I'm running a 50/39 FD with a 12-28 RD on mine but am thinking a triple may be more appropriate for MC. Did you use barcons, STIs?

    - Mark
    thanks,

    Tom
    centexwoody
    They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member saraflux's Avatar
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    I have a 49cm LHT and I absolutely love it.
    I have put 1000+ miles on it and it's great.
    i can't decide if i like riding bikes more than i like riding trains...

  5. #5
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    I have a 42cm LHT, the smallest one with 26" wheels. I haven't toured with it yet, or even done any very long rides. It's a big hefty, but it's really comfortable and stable.

    I can post more details on it later. I've got a nasty cold going right now and thinking hurts...
    Gunnar Sport
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by centexwoody
    May I ask what size frame it is and your wife's height? MC is 5' 3" and it looks like a 46-cm LHT is just about perfect.
    It was a tough choice between the 46cm and the 50cm for my wife -- all the specs for the 50 looked better, except for standover height (about 1/2", which on paper looked kinda scary). But in the end, we got her the 50cm frame, and it's perfect in all respects. The standover height turned out to be just right, in shoes it's an inch or more. I wrote to Surly for their advice on this decision, and they were helpful.

    My wife's specs (all barefoot):
    height: 162.5cm (64.0")
    floor to sternum: 133.5cm (52.5")
    floor to pubic bone: 76.0cm (29.8")
    arm (ribs to palm): 59.0cm (23.2")
    shoulder width: 37.5cm (14.5")
    weight/shoe size: 125 lbs/7.5 women's (to show she's average build...)



    Quote Originally Posted by centexwoody
    So what component set did you use? I'm running a 50/39 FD with a 12-28 RD on mine but am thinking a triple may be more appropriate for MC. Did you use barcons, STIs?
    The LHT build came out to about $700, frame included. That's cuz I have a shelf full of spare parts I've been accumulating for a decade -- sales at Nashbar and LBSs. I'd definitely call it a mix of components.... Most moving parts (derailleurs, hubs, etc.) were LX-quality from my collection. Non-critical things like seatposts, handlebars, stem, etc. were Nashbar specials. Just about the only 'new' components were Sugino XD300 cranks, 8-speed bar end shifters, Cane Creek brake levers, and compressionless cable housing. In my opinion, the Sugino (XD300 or XD600) is the ideal choice for touring.

    My wife is happy with the bike -- but I'm the first to admit I chose components based on my experience, and (most important) reliability. Search the board for "LHT" or "build", you'll find many preferences. But the toughest thing about building a bike -- choosing components -- is also the greatest advantage: you get the right bike, instead of a compromise.

    -- Mark

  7. #7
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    There's only a few country's in the world that denote men's frames as leg over and ladies frames as step through. If you cant or don’t want to swing your leg over the seat and you’re a man there should be nothing wrong with purchasing a bike with a step through frame to make getting on or off the bike easier. If you’re a woman and you want a touring frame, which provides the strength required when loaded with gear , you certainly don’t want a step through frame. We need to get away from this Gent's and Ladies frame denotation and simply call them want they are. Personally I would say go for the LHT for your Wife!

    I am seriously considering purchasing one of these for sweat less trips to the grocery store and assistance getting them back.

    I might want to bring a broom or other bulky items home from the store which would make swinging my leg over the rear rack very hard. This nice electric assist step through frame bike would make that very easy.
    You know gasoline is going to cost over $3 a gallon again this spring, summer, and fall!
    http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s...ml/page18.html
    Last edited by n4zou; 03-01-07 at 11:09 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou
    We need to get away from this Gent's and Ladies frame denotation and simply call them want they are. Personally I would say go for the LHT for your Wife!
    I agree. However, my wife's biggest issue has been standover height and whether, when waiting for a light to change or otherwise coming to a stop, she is comfortable getting off the pedals and onto the ground. Other than that issue, she doesn't care whether standard or stepthrough.

    My OT reference had to do with requesting experience and feedback from women who are riding Surly LHT's, not the prevalent male perception as here on BF. (Not being critical of either, just recognizing that it is mostly men who post to the touring forum) And the response has been heartening and positive. Just some reassurance as we make the investment, you know? If I could get my wonderful wife to post to BF, she is completely capable of asking the questions herself but she has other priorities and is pleased to have me ask the questions.

    I appreciate your distinction in trying to rid the cycle community of gender-based stereotypes.
    centexwoody
    They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.

  9. #9
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou
    There's only a few country's in the world that denote men's frames as leg over and ladies frames as step through. If you cant or don’t want to swing your leg over the seat and you’re a man there should be nothing wrong with purchasing a bike with a step through frame to make getting on or off the bike easier. If you’re a woman and you want a touring frame, which provides the strength required when loaded with gear , you certainly don’t want a step through frame. We need to get away from this Gent's and Ladies frame denotation and simply call them want they are. Personally I would say go for the LHT for your Wife!

    I am seriously considering purchasing one of these for sweat less trips to the grocery store and assistance getting them back.

    I might want to bring a broom or other bulky items home from the store which would make swinging my leg over the rear rack very hard. This nice electric assist step through frame bike would make that very easy.
    You know gasoline is going to cost over $3 a gallon again this spring, summer, and fall!
    http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s...ml/page18.html
    Check with AllenG, he just ordered one of those for his father!!! Check this thread!
    Would you like a dream with that?

  10. #10
    M_S
    M_S is offline
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    Going off road?

    fatties fit fine...

    (Not my build, this is from dooley over at the commuter forum)

    I couldn't resist sharing this picture though.

  11. #11
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    those tyres are awesome, i've just gone back to them after few months of using schwalbe big apples

  12. #12
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    Well, after much deliberation, my favorite wife declared the Surly LHT too heavy (i.e. close to the weight of her steel Giant stepthrough Boulder). So last week we got her a 2006 46cm Specialized Sequoia Elite: carbon front & rear forks, 28 mm Armadillo tires, double-wrapped handlebars, cyclocomputer. And she just LOVES this bike! Had already put nearly 100 miles on it before she dropped the front tire into a gap between driveway & curb and went headfirst over the handlebars. Nine stitches in the left knee later, she's icing it and I fixed the pavement gap today...
    centexwoody
    They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.

  13. #13
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    Or.... "They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into..." OUCH!!

    I hope the beast is now tamed. And all is better tomorrow.

    -- Mark

  14. #14
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    the Rivendell Bleriot frame is only a couple hundred bucks more, and is gorgeous.
    It uses 650b tires, and might work for her.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmmCeeBee
    Or.... "They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into..." OUCH!!

    I hope the beast is now tamed. And all is better tomorrow.

    -- Mark
    thanks for good wishes - she stayed home from work yesterday (a very rare occurence for such an energetic woman!) kept the knee elevated & iced regularly and declared it was 50% better today.

    Bike was fine after checkup at LBS - only a scratch on the front rim & a bit of trueing needed.

    Now to keep her off the bike for another couple of days so she doesn't pop her stitches too early. It's gonna be tough & I'll have to be my most persuasive ().
    centexwoody
    They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.

  16. #16
    Junior Member RegL's Avatar
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    I own a Surly LHT and highly recommend it (even though it has dork fenders!) I had my LBS build it up to my specs last summer, which included very, very low gears - 16 gear inches - for hill climbing tours. I invested $1,540 in it from one end to the other including a good quality touring rack.

    Last summer I took it on a two week 700 mile bike tour of the New York State St. Lawrence River, Lake Champlain, and northern Adirondack Mountains. This bike is unbelievably comfortable - it fits me to a tee, and I don't get fatigued on it. It handles real well too - no frame flex or twitchiness, great on downhills too.

    Hard to believe, but I actually prefer it to my carbon fiber Aegis road bike.

    I commute 5 miles to work on my Surly several times a week, and it's a real work horse. I can't say enough positive about this bike. It's pictured in my post picture, and here's a link to the the tour that I used it on (it is pictured fully loaded leaning against a tree on Lake Champlain.

    http://home.stny.rr.com/teamaegis/BlueWatertour.html

    I have used two other touring bikes over the years - a rebuilt 1980's loaner Miyata 1000 that I borrowed for a tour two summers ago (I adored it, but like the Surly even more), and a Dawes, which I had for 10 years in the 1980's and also adore.

    Bottom line... go for it! You can pay a lot more for other touring bikes, but IMO it would be hard to top the Surly in quality and comfort.

    Reg

  17. #17
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    I got my Surly LHT a couple of weeks ago. I am a 5'3 female, with 73.66 PBH. I have been riding it constantly, and it is so comfortable ... even on a 56 mile ride this past Saturday! I have absolutely no problems with the fit, as of now.

    About the sizing .... this was a tough one. I was trying to decide between the 42cm and 46cm. I was not able to test the 42cm. My husband (5'5 with short arms) ordered the 46cm, so I was able to try his before I made my decision. I debated for many days, and finally decided on the 42cm. The reason for this is with the 46, even though the standover was fine, the reach just seemed to be too long. I could reach the tops of the bars fine, but going out to the hoods was a bit of a stretch.

    I was so worried after I placed the order with my LBS, that I should have gone for the bigger one, because I had been riding my husbands more and more while waiting for mine to come, and I was starting to think the 46 was the better size for me. Anyways ... my 42cm came in and I tried it ... and I am so happy with it!!!! The reach is perfect right now, and I can always go to a longer stem if I need to. When I ride my 42 and then ride my husband's 46, I definitely feel like the 42 handles better. The 46cm is kinda wobbly in the front, which in my opinion seems like an indication that it's too big.

    So for me, I think I could definitely be happy with the 42cm or the 46cm .... but the 42cm seems to be a better fit!
    Last edited by KSgirl; 09-26-11 at 01:31 PM. Reason: x

  18. #18
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Russ and Laura from pathlesspedaled.com rode LHTs across the country, last year. They're on folders now, but she might have some insight for you.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  19. #19
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    I've been using the same bike (Specialized Sequoia Elite - same year too) for 4 years now and it has behaved flawlessly once I replaced the wheel set with something tougher. The wheels were fine for unloaded touring, but I kept breaking spokes on loaded tours. 3 week long tours in 3 years with broken spokes was enough to motivate me to spend the extra cash. I replaced the rear cassette at the same time for a lower granny. (I also replaced the break pads as the pads the bike came with were terrible).

    I think you made a great choice and may be fine with the wheels that came on the bike. I love break interrupters and my position on the bike. It's a real comfy bike - I can ride it all day with no comfort issues. (I weighed 220 so loaded touring was just too much for the stock wheels.)


    Quote Originally Posted by centexwoody View Post
    Well, after much deliberation, my favorite wife declared the Surly LHT too heavy (i.e. close to the weight of her steel Giant stepthrough Boulder). So last week we got her a 2006 46cm Specialized Sequoia Elite: carbon front & rear forks, 28 mm Armadillo tires, double-wrapped handlebars, cyclocomputer. And she just LOVES this bike! Had already put nearly 100 miles on it before she dropped the front tire into a gap between driveway & curb and went headfirst over the handlebars. Nine stitches in the left knee later, she's icing it and I fixed the pavement gap today...
    Last edited by mtnbud; 09-26-11 at 02:44 PM.
    “If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out”

  20. #20
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    My wife isn't here now so I'll post for her. She's 5'2" with an inseam of aorund 28.5" and had been riding a Terry for over 25 years (it's from the early to mid 80s I think, so that dates us). The Terry never fit her correctly but it was as good as she was able to find. She tried changing the stem, etc. and there were modest improvements, but all in all it really didn't feel comfortable to her.

    She now has a 42 cm LHT (the stock complete bike, but with the addition of a Brooks B67 saddle and cross lever brakes) and loves it in all respects. In fact, she put the Terry on Craigslist and she sold her other town bike and only uses the LHT. She's used the LHT for longer day trips and for commuting, and the commute includes long, steep hills. The stock gearing is low enough for her.

    Before she would start to hurt after around 20 miles. Not so now. I'm thrilled and of course so is she.

    Note that the steering tube was *not* cut, giving the bike a weird look, but it works for her:http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=#post12953404
    Last edited by OldZephyr; 09-26-11 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Bad web link

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    4 year old thread.

  22. #22
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdom View Post
    4 year old thread.
    And still no pics of said women on bikes!

    I'd love to build a LHT for the wife, but she's 4'11"... not easy to fit at all.

  23. #23
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdom View Post
    4 year old thread.
    But still relevant.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  24. #24
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    I guess it is a four year old thread. Didn't notice that yesterday when I was posting, not that it would have made any difference -- I am so excited about my Surly that I'd talk about it anywhere! As soon as I have someone to hold the camera, I'll post a picture of me on it. For now, here is one of the bike. Boring, I know.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/6800096...in/photostream

  25. #25
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    Thanks for the suggestion, MMACH 5. Russ and Laura's website is awesome and should be very helpful. My husband and I are biking from KS to VA and back this summer via the Adventure Cyclying Transamerica route. So excited!!!!

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