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Old 03-12-07, 08:29 AM   #1
jorgsofi
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Surly LHT Complete vs. Surly Cross-Check Complete?

I'd like to purhcase one of these two, but can't decide which. I don't do fully-loaded touring. I do mainly credit card touring, centuries, and city riding. I'm on the short, light side. I appreciate a triple crankset. Should I go LHT? Should I go Cross-Check and add a third chainring? What do you think? Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-12-07, 09:22 AM   #2
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I wouldn't buy an LHT if I weren't doing fully loaded touring.
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Old 03-12-07, 09:24 AM   #3
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I'd get the CC and add the triple.
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Old 03-12-07, 10:48 AM   #4
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If you peruse the touring forums for long you'll see that there's been quite a few people who've done fully loaded touring with a Cross-check. I'm setting mine up for not only that but for commuting, randonneuring, and some trail-riding. It's a great bike.

But so is the LHT. In a recent issue of Adventure Cycling the LHT was reviewed and (was it Shubert that reviewed it?) the reviewer was surprised at how nimble and responsive it was when it wasn't loaded down. So...which to get? If I knew I was going to do a lot of loaded touring, the LHT is slightly better suited with it's longer chainstays, but if touring was only going to be an occasional event and I wanted a do-all bike, the Cross-check would still be my first choice.

There. Clear as mud!
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Old 03-12-07, 11:44 AM   #5
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And so the Cross-Check it'll be. Thanks for your help!
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Old 03-12-07, 03:52 PM   #6
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Can you test ride?
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Old 03-12-07, 04:02 PM   #7
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I think the LHT is the better all around bike except for trail riding, and even there it's that narrow segment of trail between something like an LHT's capabilites and and MTB. A CC bike is in the opposite direction from road, all your uses are road. Not sure how the body size issue relate, except you need a lightish bike.
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Old 03-12-07, 04:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeezyDeezy
I wouldn't buy an LHT if I weren't doing fully loaded touring.
i ride mine all over san francisco, and am loving it. track bike is now collecting dust
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Old 03-12-07, 06:02 PM   #9
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Before you buy that Cross Check, (a fine bike), test ride one of these...

http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_volpe.html

Another fun bike.
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Old 03-12-07, 08:49 PM   #10
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*Sigh*

Which mandatory bikes have we not yet plugged in this category? We've got the Cross-check, the LHT, now the Volpe. I suppose it's time to mention the Jamis Aurora and the Novara Randonee. There, now it has been said. I think it's required to point to all of those bikes in at least 25% of threads in the touring and commuting forums. Says so somewhere in the user agreement for the forum registration.

Oh my god, nobody said this:

If you want to spend a bit more money, the trek 520 is a great bike too (yep, still being made).

Ahhh, my job here is done.
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Old 03-12-07, 09:08 PM   #11
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My understanding is the main benefit of a committed touring bike (LHT) vs. a CX bike (CrossCheck) is the longer chainstay on the LHT. I'm sure this affects handling, but I've ridden both and can't 'feel' the difference. The longer chainstay also provides more heel clearance for panniers and room for fenders with a dual swing/traditional pull FD (on the CrossCheck you'll need this to upgrade to a triple; it fits, but just barely after some monkeying around with wheel and fender). Note: to upgrade a CrossCheck to a triple you'll need a 2mm BB spacer (around $2) or a 4mm wider BB (around $25 and up), a FD with triple capacity (around $30 and up), and an inner chainring (around $20).

Yesterday I got the 1400 cubic inch REI Commuter Panniers for my Cross Check to use with my Jandd Expedition rack. I have not commuted with them yet, but there's plenty of heel clearance so that won't be an issue.

Last edited by hopperja; 03-12-07 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 03-13-07, 10:27 AM   #12
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People keep tellling me the BB may be too low on the LHT. I expect to ride mainly on pavement. Yet, a 54cm LHT has a drop of 1.9" vs. 2.6" for the CC, implying a higher BB than a 54cm CC? Am I understanding this correctly? If that's the case, it seems the BB shouldn't be an issue that would affect my decision. What do you think? What about responsiveness? Is it true an LHT would not be as responsive as a CC? Would the difference be meaningful? Again, I'm not going to ride off-road. Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-13-07, 10:52 AM   #13
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Are you able to test ride either one?
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Old 03-13-07, 11:11 AM   #14
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Even though I'm a fan of the Cross-Check (cuz I have one), those who have encouraged test rides are absolutely right. Just because I love the CC doesn't mean you will. You might fall for the Volpe or the 520 or the Aurora or, you get the idea. Test ride! I've test ridden tons of bikes over the years and without fail, the one I've purchased had "the feel". I just knew after only a few hundred feet that it felt right. So, if you can, do test rides.
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Old 03-13-07, 11:40 AM   #15
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I think JT52 really has a point here. Test riding bikes is free and "the feel" of the right bike makes it worth the money you're going to shell out.

Besides the bike itself, try to get a feel for the bike shop selling it. Do you think that they will stand behind the bike?

Also remember that most of the stuff you read on the internet is bull puckie.....this isn't a personal attack on anybody, but I would have too much faith in spending a $1000 on advice posted on this board alone.

Do your homework, test ride, have fun. Buy the bike for yourself....not whatever some self proclaimed bike guru tells you. (I am a self proclaimed bike guru, BTW)
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Old 03-13-07, 11:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgsofi
People keep tellling me the BB may be too low on the LHT. I expect to ride mainly on pavement. Yet, a 54cm LHT has a drop of 1.9" vs. 2.6" for the CC, implying a higher BB than a 54cm CC? Am I understanding this correctly? If that's the case, it seems the BB shouldn't be an issue that would affect my decision. What do you think? What about responsiveness? Is it true an LHT would not be as responsive as a CC? Would the difference be meaningful? Again, I'm not going to ride off-road. Thanks for your help.
The Crosscheck uses 700C wheels a 54cm LHT uses 26" wheels that will explain the BB drop difference. The actual BB height on CC will be higher than the LHT.
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Old 03-13-07, 12:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppereira007
i ride mine all over san francisco, and am loving it. track bike is now collecting dust
No doubt it's versatile, but it's made for touring. If you're not doing ANY loaded touring, there are so many other bikes that would better fit the bill.
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Old 03-13-07, 03:56 PM   #18
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I'm considering the Specialized Tricross Sport, a cross/touring bike with a triple crankset.

Have you compared this bike with the Cross-Check? I would be interested to hear which one looks better to you (or anyone else reading) and why.

(I haven't yet done a comparison, but so far I really like the Tricross.)
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Old 03-13-07, 04:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgsofi
I've test ridden tons of bikes over the years and without fail, the one I've purchased had "the feel". I just knew after only a few hundred feet that it felt right. So, if you can, do test rides.
+1 enhanced

(Just be sure, though, that things like saddle height, stem, bars, tires, tire pressure, etc., and psychological factors (your own moods and attitudes or prejudices at the time of the test ride, salespeople's influences or pressures, and so on) are not getting in the way of a fair comparison.)

I've been struck by the way some bikes are just a joy to ride. This makes all the difference.
The way I'm beginning to see it, If the bike and I are going to be spending a lot of time together, there might as well be some kind of spark there.
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Old 03-14-07, 05:05 AM   #20
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I've had this internal dialouge and I'll plump for the LHT. I'm putting a child seat on the back and panniers on the front.

If the CC did the front panniers thing, I'd be in a world of indecision.
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Old 03-14-07, 06:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetbike
I've had this internal dialouge and I'll plump for the LHT. I'm putting a child seat on the back and panniers on the front.

If the CC did the front panniers thing, I'd be in a world of indecision.

Uh.... the Soma Double Cross does front panniers! It's like a Cross Check, but built out of 831 steel. It's "officially" a cyclocross bike I set mine up as a tourer and it was fantastic.... Has front fork rack-mount eyelets. Otherwise very similar to a Cross Check in philosophy and style.

Sam
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Old 03-14-07, 06:35 PM   #22
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Take a look at the Surly Pacer. It's what you're looking for.
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Old 03-14-07, 07:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splandorf
Uh.... the Soma Double Cross does front panniers! It's like a Cross Check, but built out of 831 steel. It's "officially" a cyclocross bike I set mine up as a tourer and it was fantastic.... Has front fork rack-mount eyelets. Otherwise very similar to a Cross Check in philosophy and style.

Sam
Uhh it's tange chromoly steel, probably not much different than surly's. http://www.somafab.com/frames.html

I had bilenky braze some rack braze-ons but it was like 50 bucks
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Old 03-15-07, 02:57 PM   #24
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We can't test ride the LHT!

Taking some test rides is great, of course, but it's not really possible with bikes that have to be specially ordered, and the LHT is one such model: stores do not have it in stock. So people who are interested in the LHT have to read about other people's experience, here on the web.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JT52
Even though I'm a fan of the Cross-Check (cuz I have one), those who have encouraged test rides are absolutely right. Just because I love the CC doesn't mean you will. You might fall for the Volpe or the 520 or the Aurora or, you get the idea. Test ride! I've test ridden tons of bikes over the years and without fail, the one I've purchased had "the feel". I just knew after only a few hundred feet that it felt right. So, if you can, do test rides.
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Old 03-15-07, 03:01 PM   #25
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touring bikes carry stuff well, even around town

Just a reminder: touring isn't the only kind of riding that benefits from touring-bike geometry. Long chainstays are a real advantage for me everytime I haul groceries home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeezyDeezy
No doubt it's versatile, but it's made for touring. If you're not doing ANY loaded touring, there are so many other bikes that would better fit the bill.
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