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Old 05-26-08, 08:11 AM   #1
uciflylow
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Surly Nice, or JandD rack?

I have been following the toruing threads for years, and am making plans for some short touring trips. I also ride a road bike, and commute to work as much as possible during the warmer months. My current commuter is a (too big for me) Trek 850 Mtbike. It has cheeper aluminium racks front and back, but haven't been loaded heavy for any lengthy trips. The rear rack mostly caries my cloths and shoes for work. I also wanted a commuter that fit me properly, with the capibility of toruing. My bike shop is a Trek dealer, but it was gonna take forever to get a 520, then I wanted the crank changed, SO!
As I type this, the bike shop is building my Long Haul Trucker and I am mulling over my rack choices. I have narrowed them to the Surly Nice racks or the JandD Expedition, and Extreme. I want the shelf on the front, because my current commuter rack has a shelf and it is handy. I wonder if the weight of the steel racks will be a handicap when using this bike as a commuter. I have thought about going with the Surly and removing the front rack when not on a tour. It looks like once set up it will only be removing 4 bolts to remove the rack.
Build specks, LHT in Olive, bar end shifters, A719 rims 36hole w DT Swiss spokes, LX hubs and derailleurs, Shimano LX Treaking crank, 48/36/26, Canti brakes, and fenders. I'll try and post a picture when it's at it's new home.

My bike will be used mostly for commuting, with a weekend tour thrown in here and there, but I have a week long tour planned for the summer. Just wondering if anyone has suggestions.
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Old 05-26-08, 08:24 AM   #2
brotherdan
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I'm a fan of the Jandd combo. I did a modified cross country with the expedition/extreme combo and liked them a lot. The only issue that I had is that my bianchi volpe doesn't have a mid-fork rack mounting braze-on. But the Jandd extreme comes with hose clamps that allow it to connect to forks that don't have mid-fork braze-ons, so it really wasn't a problem. And it won't even be an issue for you, as the LHT fork does have a mid-fork braze-on.

I took the extreme front rack off my bike when I was done with that tour to lighten the load for commuting. But the expedition has stayed in place and held up admirably. And now I've done several subsequent tours of three weeks or less with just the Jandd expedition, and no front rack. It's been almost six years since I first installed the expedition, and I have no intention of ever taking it off my bike. I'm not a big fan of the design of Jandd panniers, even though they are very durable, but their racks are awesome. I would definitely go with these racks if I had to buy another set in the future, though the old man mountain racks look pretty nice too.

Last edited by brotherdan; 05-26-08 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 05-26-08, 08:33 AM   #3
valygrl
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I suggest you switch to mountain bike gearing if it's not too late, if you are going to carry camping gear.
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Old 05-27-08, 07:46 AM   #4
BigBlueToe
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I bought a Jandd front rack and used it for the first time this past weekend on an overnighter. It was very handy to have the front platform. I put my airmattress there. I'm thinking when I'm in places with limited water I can carry water there, or if I'm in a place with limited food I can put a loaf of bread there (for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.)

One caution. The mounting arms on the Jandd didn't fit my LHT. Luckily, I also had a Tubus rack with little spacers. They worked perfectly for mounting the Jandd. You may need to improvise some sort of spacers (buy some spares from Tubus?)

One last word. My crankset was a 46/36/26. I swapped out the 26 for a 24. It was easy and pretty cheap. I've been on long climbs over mountain passes before where I just didn't have a low enough gear, and I don't want to be in a situation like that again. You might consider it.

One more last word. The overnighter I just took was the first time I rode my LHT fully loaded. It was great! I couldn't be more happy with it. Enjoy.
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Old 05-27-08, 08:01 AM   #5
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There's no good way to say this without it sounding vulgar, but I guess thats what Surly intended:

My wife has a nice rack, on her LHT, and she loves it, although it is a bit heavy. I've never seen the jandd FR in person, but a striking feature of the surly rack is how large (especially wide) the front platform is. You could probably carry a pizza box on it with no problem.
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Old 05-27-08, 08:49 AM   #6
uciflylow
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Thank's for the comments all. BigBlue, I read your review and enjoyed it very much. If I find the 26x34 won't get me over anything I may encounter I will follow the advice and go to the 24, I should know the answer to that question soon.
I have another question for some more experenced tourers. I see you review the Back County 1 tent. I have this tent also and wonder. Should I cary a big plastic bag to store stuff in at night if it rains, because the tent has no vestibule?
I have been sleeping in this tent, in my yard, to sorta do some shake down experence. My first trip is this week end with the Tour De Cure and I plan to "sleep out" on the over night portion. This will be on the road bike, with someone portaging my pack to the over night point.

ps My wife thinks I have lost my mind, sleeping in the yard! I just want to find problems in my sleep arangement before being far from home!
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Old 05-27-08, 08:52 AM   #7
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I prefer the Surly Nice Rack when installing on Surly frames.
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Old 05-28-08, 07:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uciflylow View Post
Thank's for the comments all. BigBlue, I read your review and enjoyed it very much. If I find the 26x34 won't get me over anything I may encounter I will follow the advice and go to the 24, I should know the answer to that question soon.
I have another question for some more experenced tourers. I see you review the Back County 1 tent. I have this tent also and wonder. Should I cary a big plastic bag to store stuff in at night if it rains, because the tent has no vestibule?
I have been sleeping in this tent, in my yard, to sorta do some shake down experence. My first trip is this week end with the Tour De Cure and I plan to "sleep out" on the over night portion. This will be on the road bike, with someone portaging my pack to the over night point.

ps My wife thinks I have lost my mind, sleeping in the yard! I just want to find problems in my sleep arangement before being far from home!
I usually put my extra stuff in my panniers and set them close to the tent where I can hear if some critter is trying to get into them (that's the idea, anyway; I'm not sure if I'd wake up.) On my old panniers I put the rain covers on at night. With my new Ortliebs I shouldn't have to.

I'm another one who sleeps in the backyard to test my new gear. I haven't turned the sprinkler on yet to test waterproofness, but I think I should. My wife understands, but my dogs don't. They come out and whine to come in the tent with me so they can check that I'm alright. Then they go back in the house (through the dog door.) Then they come back a couple of hours later to check again.
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Old 06-03-08, 03:44 PM   #9
uciflylow
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I stopped by the bike shop last Friday, the frame and all parts are in, except the rims. I have the touring bug in a bad way now! The shop owner got me an ok deal on the Surly racks and I am going with them. I can't wait to get on the bike and do a shake down weekend!

I did the Tour-De-Cure over the past weekend. I took nothing I would not have taken on a solo trip, it was just in a duffle bag instead of panniers. I got the tent up before the storms came in the night, and I was nice and dry all night. I put my stuff in a big black plastic bag where it remained dry. Luckly, I was able to break down camp between thunder storms in the morning. Of course we had breakfast in doors and the storms just kept coming. The start was delayed, then options where given for the ones that didn't want to ride in the storms, then they canceled the whole days ride. This was probably wise due to the lightning and the liability issues if they allowed the ride to continue. Long story short, the gear worked well! Now just finish building my bike!

Thanks for the advice. UC
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