Originally Posted by 531phile
Another big difference is the geometry especially the chainstay length. The aurora has a chainstay of 17.3 whereas the LHT has 18.1.
The aurora would make an excellent commuting bike to work. Looking at the geometry it looks like it would handle a bit faster than the LHT which is good in traffic. It can be a good loaded tourer with the right size panniers to avoid heel strike, but the LHT beats it almost every catagory geometrywise for carring heavy loads.
So, get the Aurora if your going to do light to moderate touring and commuting. Get the LHT if your going to do heavy fully loaded touring.
Thanks for all the tips, guys! I think I'm going to stick with the Aurora - price seems reasonable (just need to add racks, better tires and pedals), and it seems like the best fit for my needs (local commuting and riding, and regional touring). My upcoming touring plans are currently fairly short (week here, week there), and I'm trying to keep the load reasonable. I did my first tour last summer (3 wks) on a vintage Fiori, and though I don't know how long the chainstays were on that bike, I know it wasn't a touring-specific bike (and so probably didn't have very long chainstays), and I didn't have any problem with the infamous heel-strike.
I think I'll be checking in soon with more questions about women's touring saddles - because my bike was recently stolen (BOO!!), my much-mocked but very comfy saddle and favorite pedals went too!