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  1. #1
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    Surly LHT and BOB ibex for off-road?

    hi crew,

    here's where i'm at ...

    I leave in little over a month to cycle 4,500km <northern nsw ~ northern qld> (Australia)

    I got a BOB ibex trailer and it has been amazing, very happy with this unit

    the idea was to just use my existing mountain bike (Shogun? 2004 model)

    up until now it's been the perfect MTB bike, but on the latest 200km test-ride (with BOB) my chain broke and the the front deraileur is playing up AND a spoke broke..

    my dad reckons that this is just the beginning of my troubles with this bike, as it's done a few K's in it's day

    ~ I have the feeling that cycle touring is about to become a huge part of my life, so I reckon an investment in the Surly LHT would be a good one

    my only question is, how does this Touring bike go off-road ?? off-course i will put some wider tyres on it (1.75-1.9's) but nothing beatz shockies ... (although i've never not used shockies? is it that bad on the bumps without 'em?)

    it's not like the entire journey is off-road, but there are significant portions that will vary from sand to gravel to corrugation to mud... ect .ect

    I guess what i want to ask is ...

    SHOULD I JUST GET A GOOD MTB ? as i already have the BOB trailer ....

    or should i just go for the Surly as it seems to be a quality build with decent components on the 'complete' set up

    There are two Mountain Bikes i've come across

    2008 Shogun Prairie Breaker Expert at just under $1000 AU dollars

    or for another $300

    2008 GT Avalanche Expert which comes with a decent set of shockies (I can lock them out)

    my only issues with these bicycles are the disc breaks? i'm not very familiar with them and most advice is to stick with the old scools V-breaks

    or I could just fork out the $1500 and get a Surly LHT 'Complete', which sounds like a nice ride and is compatible with pannier's if I want to go down that track some day




    i live in the country and my dad is going to be in Brisbane next monday ... .which is a rare opportunity for him to pick me up a bike

    what do you reckon ???

  2. #2
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    btw,

    this is a pre-lude to next years Cycle Journey to raise awareness about Rainforests and Sustainable Communities...

    share the journey with me @ http://calderacreations.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
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    The 700C wheeled LHT's will take up to a 29x1.9" MTB tire. I'd go that route if you weren't doing anything technical or with big rocks, or small drops.

    A MTB wouldn't be a bad choice, but the LHT will work better if you wanted to put racks on it.

    Shocks are a bad idea for reliability reasons.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Fueled by Boh's Avatar
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    i've taken my 26" LHT mountain biking, snow biking, and mountain biking in the snow. i managed to clean some of the most technical trails in my area in the snow. Granted, this was unloaded, but I still think it speaks well of the bike as an off-road/ fireroad tourer. It fits 2.1" nobbies (Bonty Jones ACX in my case) easily.
    I like that the smaller sizes of the LHT come with 26" wheels. This leaves plenty of room for toes, fenders, and toe cages. I feel like I would have gotten toe overlap on a crosscheck or some 29ers. Toe overlap on a mountain bike, imo, is one of the most obnoxious things. The 26" wheels will also give you some durability off road and open up the option of using heavy duty mtb rims. the adventurer/ XT combo the LHT comes with is a pretty nice set up.

  5. #5
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    how do i know if i'll fit the 54cm - 26in wheel Surly ?

    i'm average height, maybe 178cm (not sure about all the other bits and pieces, haven't measured them)

    I noticed you have those pedals where you clip your feet to them ? would this be adviced for off-road ?

    hmmmm

  6. #6
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    At 5'8" you'd definitely be on one of the 26" LHT's which will work out great. 56 would be too big.

    You're either a 52 or 54. See if you can find out what your standover clearance is. Get a book, and stand to a wall with your back against the wall, put the book between your legs and up against your pelvic bone. Mark that spot on the wall and measure it. Make sure to do it on a hard floor surface, not carpet.

    I'm thinking you'll be a 52

  7. #7
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    Ibex

    The Ibex will do you well. I had a custom-built bike pulling my Ibex with panniers when I bicycled between Cairns and Darwin. In hindsight the Ibex was all I needed. The bike was custom built because of my size. I had the frame built expedition-strength with an offset rear triangle. The rear wheel is dished and with 48 spokes both wheels are incredibly strong. No problems with the wheels, frame, nor Ibex - just with some Shimano components that fell apart: RD, BB, and chain... Oh well, just use top end parts not mid-range ones when riding in the Australian outback ;-)

  8. #8
    Senior Member DuckFat's Avatar
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    Change the tires and handlebars on an LHT and you'd be pretty much just like an early mountain bike. However, a true mountain bike will be better in many respects and with the trailer I don't see why you wouldn't just use a mountain bike you are comfortable with. Unless you need to carry more than the trailer will hold I'd do the mountain bike and keep it unloaded for times you want to unhitch and play around at your campsites on a lightweight bike. I'd get the GT and lock out the suspension when on roads and then unlock it when the trail got rough.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Fueled by Boh's Avatar
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    I pretty much agree with duck, since you've got a trailer already. a mountain bike has its advantages off road, but when it comes to spinning on flats and paved surfaces, you might wish you had more "roadie" geometry and some higher gearing... if you think road touring is in your future, you might want to consider a bike like the LHT. The LHT with 26" wheels makes for an extremely versatile bike. It actually resembles some of Thorn's offroad/ expedition tourers.

    I wouldn't recommend a suspension fork though. If you are touring off road, you'll probably stay away from real mountain bike trails and find yourself on more level double track/ fire road type stuff. Suspension forks generally preclude the use of a front rack, and generally complicate the maintenance of your bike. If you do decide to go with a fork, stay away from air sprung forks and opt for the coil&oil variety. They are less likely to fail in a manner that renders your bike useless or dangerous. The guys from Riding the Spine learned this the hard way, and it has proven to be the demise of a couple GDR racers. When an air fork fails, it usually sags all the way through its travel leaving you with a wacky a-c height and a silly HT angle.
    I've raced and ridden rigid mountain bikes exclusively for the past 2 years with no problems. (including the leesburg baker's dozen!)

    as far as clipless pedals go, i personally recommend them. but, if they are out of your budget its not the end of the world. i commute with toe clips everyday and am quite fond of them. it looks like of silly to spin around in cycling clothing with sneakers on, but you'll get over it. if you can work them into your budget, i would point you towards entry level time ATACs with a walkable SPD shoe.
    sorry if any of that wasn't exactly clear, if you have any questions just PM or post.

  10. #10
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    gravel/dirt roads arent off road. You can take a road bike mountain biking if your smooth enough. Your Surly and trailer will do great. I have taken my bob on some serious mountain biking trips in harrisonburg va carrying trail tools and it does great bouncing off of trees and rocks. have fun!

  11. #11
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    great feedback, cheers everyone

    I am leaning towards the Surly, for a few different reasons

    Quote Originally Posted by Fueled by Boh View Post
    I pretty much agree with duck, since you've got a trailer already. a mountain bike has its advantages off road, but when it comes to spinning on flats and paved surfaces, you might wish you had more "roadie" geometry and some higher gearing... if you think road touring is in your future, you might want to consider a bike like the LHT. The LHT with 26" wheels makes for an extremely versatile bike. It actually resembles some of Thorn's offroad/ expedition tourers.

    I wouldn't recommend a suspension fork though. If you are touring off road, you'll probably stay away from real mountain bike trails and find yourself on more level double track/ fire road type stuff. Suspension forks generally preclude the use of a front rack, and generally complicate the maintenance of your bike. If you do decide to go with a fork, stay away from air sprung forks and opt for the coil&oil variety. They are less likely to fail in a manner that renders your bike useless or dangerous. The guys from Riding the Spine learned this the hard way, and it has proven to be the demise of a couple GDR racers. When an air fork fails, it usually sags all the way through its travel leaving you with a wacky a-c height and a silly HT angle.
    I've raced and ridden rigid mountain bikes exclusively for the past 2 years with no problems. (including the leesburg baker's dozen!)

    as far as clipless pedals go, i personally recommend them. but, if they are out of your budget its not the end of the world. i commute with toe clips everyday and am quite fond of them. it looks like of silly to spin around in cycling clothing with sneakers on, but you'll get over it. if you can work them into your budget, i would point you towards entry level time ATACs with a walkable SPD shoe.
    sorry if any of that wasn't exactly clear, if you have any questions just PM or post.

    very informative post ~ thankyou

    To be honest my future touring will most probably include some off-road sections, next year I want to cycle to Borneo in South East Asia

    but it seams that wherever you go in this world, there is an increasing amount of paved roads, so it would seem the wiser choice to plan for terrain that will most likely be encountered.

    I will have big chunky tyres and when I do encounter some dodgey roads, i'll just have to take it easy

    my only other consern is wrist pain due to bumpy roads and no shockies...???


    With the pedals ... please fill me in on a few things

    what are:

    • Clipless Pedals
    • ATACS
    • SPD SHoes
    • Toe Clips


    i'm not fussed about looking silly, however I am looking for a rainbow coloured flag to replace the BOB one with ....

    and its always been a dream of mine to cycle naked in the desert


  12. #12
    Slowpoach
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_in_ca View Post
    At 5'8" you'd definitely be on one of the 26" LHT's which will work out great. 56 would be too big.

    You're either a 52 or 54. See if you can find out what your standover clearance is. Get a book, and stand to a wall with your back against the wall, put the book between your legs and up against your pelvic bone. Mark that spot on the wall and measure it. Make sure to do it on a hard floor surface, not carpet.

    I'm thinking you'll be a 52
    178 cm is 5'10 to 5'11

    Check your measurements, Paul! I think this is getting to the 700c wheel sizes.

  13. #13
    Slowpoach
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    As well as standover/inleg height, measure up your current bike to make sure the new one will give you a similar riding position (assuming you're happy with it). Not frame size, but pedal to seat and seat to handlebar.

  14. #14
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    I'm 5'11" and needed a 54cm (26" wheels). The standover height was fine on a 56 but the top tube was too long.

    Joe

  15. #15
    Senior Member Fueled by Boh's Avatar
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    some info on clipless pedals:
    clipless pedals are similar to ski bindings in their form and function. they get their name from the lack of a "toe clip" or a toe cage.
    Time is a cycling company that makes a variety of components, and is very well known for their pedals. Their mountain bike pedal is called the ATAC.
    An SPD shoe is a cycling specific shoe with provisions to bolt a cleat to the sole. The cleat interfaces with the pedal and lets you apply force to all 360 degrees of the pedal rotation.

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