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  1. #1
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    Surly LHT complete: worthy upgrades?

    Hi, I've got a question for LHT owners out there.

    I'm about to go to my LBS and order a LHT complete. I still have 2 things to decide: utility blue or olive green and which (if any) components to upgrade.

    Apart from the saddle, which I will swap out for a proper leather saddle, are there any components that are worth upgrading upon initial purchase? My LBS allows me to swap parts around if I want. I'm a bit out of the loop in terms of bike shopping, but the LHT seems well equipped. Am I missing anything?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    I got the red one, and built it from scratch. If you're on a budget, the parts that come on it are pretty nice. If you have your heart set on anything like a Chris King headset or nice wheels with Phil Wood hubs, go ahead and get them if you've got the scratch, it's your bike. Good luck and congratulations.

  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpmartineau View Post
    Hi, I've got a question for LHT owners out there.

    I'm about to go to my LBS and order a LHT complete. I still have 2 things to decide: utility blue or olive green and which (if any) components to upgrade.

    Apart from the saddle, which I will swap out for a proper leather saddle, are there any components that are worth upgrading upon initial purchase? My LBS allows me to swap parts around if I want. I'm a bit out of the loop in terms of bike shopping, but the LHT seems well equipped. Am I missing anything?

    Thanks in advance!
    There's not much that you need to change right out of the box. Everything on it is good solid spec to begin with. The gearing is good...I might swap the 26 tooth inner for a 24. Everything else is just fine. When you need new wheels, look into building them with DT Alpine III but don't be in a hurry to do that. The stock wheels will last for quite a while.
    Stuart Black
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
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    Get the blue one. If they let you get the cinnamon red (which is not stock LHT Complete) go for that.

    I would swap chainrings to 46-34-24, but that's just me.

    When you get your "proper leather saddle" go for the honey color.

    Speedo

  5. #5
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    I'm in love with the colour of my sage green LHT and I think the olive might actually be nicer, but I haven't seen one yet in person. I'd stick it out for an olive green one myself, but when it comes to colours it's just a matter of personal taste. Whatever you decide you'll be riding a really nice bike...
    safe riding - Vik
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    If you're on a budget, the parts that come on it are pretty nice.
    Yeah, I am on a pretty strict budget. It'll still be a couple of notches above my previous ride so I'm quite happy with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    There's not much that you need to change right out of the box. Everything on it is good solid spec to begin with. The gearing is good...I might swap the 26 tooth inner for a 24. Everything else is just fine. When you need new wheels, look into building them with DT Alpine III but don't be in a hurry to do that. The stock wheels will last for quite a while.
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedo View Post
    I would swap chainrings to 46-34-24, but that's just me.
    Great advice - I'll ask for that 24t chainring, but I think I'll stick with the 48t and 36t though, I'm used to larger gearings for the larger chainrings. My old bike had 48-38-28 and the only complaint was the granny gear that was a bit high.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedo View Post
    Get the blue one. If they let you get the cinnamon red (which is not stock LHT Complete) go for that.
    [...]
    When you get your "proper leather saddle" go for the honey color.
    As it is, the shops in my city are almost sold out because the Canadian distributer under-estimated the demand for that ride. The three LBS' that are official distributors only have a few left, even though the season just started (I went snowboarding two weeks ago!), which makes it impossible to get the red frame (that one is "wow!") or a better deal on the bike...

    I was going to get the olive green with a honey B17. Those rivets should match the frame nicely once oxydized Not that the blue ain't nice, for some reason, I really like the green. I haven't seen the blue in person though, so I might change my mind...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post


    I'm in love with the colour of my sage green LHT and I think the olive might actually be nicer, but I haven't seen one yet in person. I'd stick it out for an olive green one myself, but when it comes to colours it's just a matter of personal taste. Whatever you decide you'll be riding a really nice bike...
    I love the sage green. Too bad they don't make them this year. Basically it's almost the same color as the olive green, except the olive is noticably darker.

    Nice ride!

  8. #8
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpmartineau View Post
    I love the sage green. Too bad they don't make them this year. Basically it's almost the same color as the olive green, except the olive is noticably darker.

    Nice ride!
    I think a slightly darker green might actually be a more pleasing colour, but don't tell my LHT I said that!... I'll never hear the end of it...
    safe riding - Vik
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  9. #9
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    I just ordered an olive green LHT complete. The only thing I requested to be switched are the brake pads to the salmon Kool-Stop pads, and the shop is replacing them at no additional charge. The shop had a utility blue frameset hanging in the window. The blue looks better in person, but I had my heart set on olive green.

  10. #10
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    The only meaningful swaps on my complete out of the box were a brooks and 26x2.0 big apple tires. I eventually wound up replacing the seatpost and swapping the 26t ring for a 24. I just had the receipt out for an insurance thing, got it a year ago today! 3500 miles so far. For consumables, I've gone through a chain, front brake cable, and front pads (replaced w/ KoolStop eagle talon grabomatics or whatever they're called)

    (I moon over the red, at some point I will strip mine down and paint it I guess)

  11. #11
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    Yay!

    It's done, just came back from the bike shop!

    I had my heart set on the olive green with the black brooks B17. I finally changed my mind in the store and opted for the utility blue and a honey B17 special Saddle. Now, all I need to do is wait one week...

    I actually got the last blue 56cm they had at the warehouse. Apparently that the distributor didn't order enough bikes to supply the demand. I got it at Yéti in Montreal. Surly lists 3 dealers in the city but only Yéti had the bikes in stock (and in the showroom). If you're in Montreal and are planning to get a LHT, don't wait too long...

    I decided to go with the stock gearing. My old rig had a 28t in the front and a 26t in the rear. Having a 26t in front and a 34t in the back is already a HUGE improvement and should fit the bill as I almost always ride rail to trail conversions.

    I ended up getting the stock-equipped bike, I managed to ignore all of your comments, but I did consider all of them! Well, that's not entirely true because Speedo suggested the color scheme I ended up buying!

    Happy trails!

  12. #12
    Getting older and slower
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    I just ordered a 56 cm Utility Blue complete bike myself. I'll probably swap over a bunch of parts from my current commuter - saddle, fenders, pump, etc. I'm sure I'll have to tweak the bars and stem to make it fit, but that's part of the fun of a new ride, now isn't it?

  13. #13
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    Funny, I got the buy bug today and called Le Yéti before I noticed you were in Montréal.

    I have a perfectly working bike but in case it bites again, I have a question. One thing I'd add is Paul Thumbies. There are two sizes: 26mm and 7/8 inches. The Surly sites says the clamp is 25.4mm. What about the bar? I'm gessing the 26mm? Is this standard for drop bars?
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  14. #14
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    I ordered one of their sage green frames about 3 years ago and built that up using parts from my old mtb.


  15. #15
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
    I ordered one of their sage green frames about 3 years ago and built that up using parts from my old mtb.

    Love the sage green.... Nice bike.....
    safe riding - Vik
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  16. #16
    Training Wheel Graduate twodeadpoets's Avatar
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    As some here have mentioned Surly doesn't make the Sage green any longer however my LBH just ordered the Olive green frameset for me on Wednesday from QBP and I was told that they still had Sage green frames in stock (I almost changed my order).

    This order completes a saga I've been going through since the beginning of the year when I ordered the complete 58cm Utility blue bike and realized after a couple of weeks that it was too big for me so I sold the blue frameset, keeping the components, and will build up the 56cm Olive green with the original components from the blue.

    What I changed on the blue before the ordeal: got the Brooks Champion Flyer Special in honey and Brooks perforated leather bar tape, WTB mtb drops w/31.8 clampable area, Ritchie 31.8 stem (same angles and length as original), Salsa cross top levers, and 38c Schwalbe Marathon Racers.

    When I get the green frame I plan to swap out the 26 tooth for a 24 and add a second stem for my handlebar bag. In the near future I plan to upgrade the wheelset and headset but that's about it.
    "Ride Like an Orca!" ~tdp
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erick L View Post
    Funny, I got the buy bug today and called Le Yéti before I noticed you were in Montréal.

    I have a perfectly working bike but in case it bites again, I have a question. One thing I'd add is Paul Thumbies. There are two sizes: 26mm and 7/8 inches. The Surly sites says the clamp is 25.4mm. What about the bar? I'm gessing the 26mm? Is this standard for drop bars?
    Yeah, I used to have shifters like that on my old '88 RockHopper. I prefer sticking with the bar-ends, although today's test-ride at the store clearly proved that they will take some getting used to.

    Not sure about the bar diameter, but I do remember that the diameter changes about an inch away from the stem...

    "Lentement mais surement" (translation: Slowly but surely) hahaha love your motto. I actually want to make a vinyl sticker saying "Slowly but" and stick it to the left of the "Surly" Sticker on the downtube. If you ever see a blue LHT that says "Slowly but Surly", it'll be me

  18. #18
    kingdom of tooth and claw
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    Not to hijack this thread, but I have a quick related question: is ordering the LHT complete more cost effective than building yourself? I have a couple spare parts, but would have to buy most everything, and I like whats on the LHT default build. I've often heard that building your own bike is not cheaper unless you have a lot of spare parts and/or buy on ebay/craigslist... curious if thats the case here.
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  19. #19
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueskytheory View Post
    Not to hijack this thread, but I have a quick related question: is ordering the LHT complete more cost effective than building yourself? I have a couple spare parts, but would have to buy most everything, and I like whats on the LHT default build. I've often heard that building your own bike is not cheaper unless you have a lot of spare parts and/or buy on ebay/craigslist... curious if thats the case here.
    Buying a complete bike is always A LOT cheaper than buying the parts separately and building up the frame. Manufacturers buy parts in quantity at very low OEM costs you'll never be able to match. About the only time it makes sense is when you have nearly all the needed parts laying around and even then you might be smart to buy the complete bike and either sell the new parts or use them and replace them with the used parts when they wear out.
    safe riding - Vik
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  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueskytheory View Post
    Not to hijack this thread, but I have a quick related question: is ordering the LHT complete more cost effective than building yourself? I have a couple spare parts, but would have to buy most everything, and I like whats on the LHT default build. I've often heard that building your own bike is not cheaper unless you have a lot of spare parts and/or buy on ebay/craigslist... curious if thats the case here.
    I can't imagine how building a LHT (with a similar build) from scratch can cost less. Just the frame and a similar set of wheels will come up to an amount close to that of the complete bike.

    In the end, it depends on how many parts you already have. In my case, I had nothing - except the accessories which aren't part of the build itself - so it wasn't an option I could consider.

    I guess if you already have a [almost] complete gruppo and wheels, you can pull it off. Of course, if you don't like the default LHT build, there's no point in buying components you'll want to replace, so a custom build is a valid option, but to assemble something that reassembles the LHT complete, you'll end up spending a lot more if you buy everything individually.

    Of course, there's always the case where you don't mind waiting three months for the bike, assuming you already have something to ride. In that case, you can probably shop online by scrounging around Craigslist and eBay, and end up paying about the same thing than the LHT complete.

    Take what I said with a grain of salt because I've never built a bike from scratch, but I think what I said makes some sense

  21. #21
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    I wish I had waited 'til they had the complete to save money, but I got one of the cool red ones, so it's okay.

  22. #22
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    I just got my olive LHT and I think it looks great. I haven't finished assembling it yet so I can't comment on the ride but it sure looks the part. One thing I would change is the headset, the ritchey comp isn't anything special

  23. #23
    Getting older and slower
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    Mine arrived Monday. I put the Tubus rack on it yesterday and rode it to work today. I like! I'm having a little trouble getting used to the brakes on the drop bars. I've been riding MTBs on the road for too long.

    It'll be a while til I get the fit dialed in. I didn't bother with the stock saddle, I got a Terry Falcon Y instead. It's firmer than my other bikes, but the LHT rides pretty smoothly so it's not a big deal. I expect I'll replace the seatpost with a Thomson and install a handlebar with a shorter reach.

    The LHT complete is a heck of a deal. I'm glad I got it!

  24. #24
    Training Wheel Graduate twodeadpoets's Avatar
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    Just got my LHT Olive frameset today... finally!



    "Ride Like an Orca!" ~tdp
    "People who enjoy waving flags, don't deserve to have one" ~Banksy


  25. #25
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    [QUOTE=twodeadpoets;6623000]Just got my LHT Olive frameset today... finally!



    is that a 54 cm?

    I love the olive green. I finally chose that color after many hesitations. Should get my Tubus Cargo tomorrow or monday, it cleared customs yesterday at noon...

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