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Old 07-29-08, 04:51 PM   #1
xnihilo
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LHT or T2 ?

Okay, here's the gig:
I'm about to convince The Wife a new touring bike is the way to go. She knows how grossly inadequate my life insurance is, so getting a new bike is just the ticket to keep my ticker tickin'

I had my heart set on the Cannondale T2, but I've seen a lot here and on other sites singing the praises of the Surly LHT.

So....besides the obvious of saving $300 for the Surly, what are the pros and cons of the two? Is the weight of the Surly that much more than the Cannondale to make a noticable difference?

thanks!
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Old 07-29-08, 06:41 PM   #2
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IMO-
it is more important to decide which bike fits you better and feels more comfortable to you.
Last fall my partner and I decided we were going to get new "real" touring bikes. So we looked
around a lot. For her the Cannondale T2000 was perfect and has been a great bike for her. A T2000 didn't feel quite right to me. The LHT gets a lot of good press (I do have a CrossCheck), the fit wasn't just right. I ended up with a Trek 520, the last bike on my list- but it had a good feel and after some tweaking got the fit fine. We are leaving on Friday to tour the perimeter of Nova Scotia where ever are on Aug 14- we need to make a bee line back to Yarmouth by Aug 23.
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Old 07-29-08, 06:51 PM   #3
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IMO-
it is more important to decide which bike fits you better and feels more comfortable to you.
+100

They are both good choices. Get a test ride in on each bike and then buy the one that you liked best.

I ride a LHT and it's my favourite bike by a long shot. In my friend group we've got 5 LHTs and everyone loves them. When I helped my friend get a touring bike a year ago she test rode a few and settled on a Cannondale. I set it up for her with racks and fenders...she's had many happy miles on it.
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Old 07-30-08, 08:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by xnihilo View Post
Okay, here's the gig:
I'm about to convince The Wife a new touring bike is the way to go. She knows how grossly inadequate my life insurance is, so getting a new bike is just the ticket to keep my ticker tickin'

I had my heart set on the Cannondale T2, but I've seen a lot here and on other sites singing the praises of the Surly LHT.

So....besides the obvious of saving $300 for the Surly, what are the pros and cons of the two? Is the weight of the Surly that much more than the Cannondale to make a noticable difference?

thanks!
The Surly is heavier from what I've read here. Most run above 30 lbs. My T800 (an '03 version of the T2) runs around 27 lbs with out any particularly lightweight components.

They are about equal in componentry and frame geometry. One thing to think about, however, is the frame warranty. Surlys are warrantied for 3 years while Cannondales carry a lifetime warranty.

A lot of the cult behavior around the Surlys has to do with the 'steel is real' idea. Yes, aluminum tends to be stiffer than steel because of the size of the tubing. Yes, the ride can be a little harsh without a load. No, aluminum will not fall to pieces underneath you (most people ride on aluminum rims, aluminum handlebars, aluminum cranks and other stuff without thinking about it). No, aluminum is not any more prone to failure than steel. Yes, you might be able to get a steel frame fixed in the mountains of Afghanistan but that's only important if you are going to be riding in the mountain of Afghanistan. Yes, the stiffness of the T2 translates to a bike that is incredibly stable under load and provides a very comfortable ride.

If you want a T2, try one. Try a Surly too. Then buy want you really want and don't worry about what the other kids say
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Old 07-30-08, 08:18 AM   #5
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A lot of the cult behavior around the Surlys has to do with the 'steel is real' idea.
Being a member of the Surly LHT cult my impression is that people are stoked about their LHTs because they ride very nicely and are very versatile bikes. One think I particularly like about my LHT is that it rides very nicely heavily loaded or without any cargo at all.

There are other steel touring bike options out there that don't generate the same interest and positive response so I don't think it's frame material thing.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:21 AM   #6
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T2 vs. LHT

I have a Cannondale T2000 and a LHT and like them both very much. The Cannondale is about three pounds lighter. The ride on both is very nice and I can't say I like one over the other. But like most have said, ride them both and see which one feels more comfortable to you.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:25 PM   #7
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Being a member of the Surly LHT cult my impression is that people are stoked about their LHTs because they ride very nicely and are very versatile bikes. One think I particularly like about my LHT is that it rides very nicely heavily loaded or without any cargo at all.
+1. I love my LHT. I ride it mostly as a commuter/around-town bike. I have yet to do any actual touring on it but 35 mile days w/ modest loads in the panniers are pretty common.

I think the LHT complete is a tremendous value, and some of the "cult" may be due to that. I did upgrade the saddle and seatpost on mine though.

I agree that for long distance riding, fit is really the #1 factor. In my case it turns out that the 56 cm LHT fits me perfectly. Someone with a shorter torso probably wouldn't be as happy with an LHT, the top tube is on the long side.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:14 PM   #8
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Thanks, all.
Part of the problem is finding a dealer who actually carries these bikes. I contacted Cannondale directly and they didn't even know of any, but said a dealer about 100 miles away "might" have one. My LBS said they'd be happy to order one for me. I think there is a dealer close to Orange Co. that has the LHT. Again, quite a journey. Would be nice to see them side-by-side.

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Old 07-30-08, 10:22 PM   #9
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Thanks, all.
Part of the problem is finding a dealer who actually carries these bikes. I contacted Cannondale directly and they didn't even know of any, but said a dealer about 100 miles away "may" have one. My LBS said they'd be happy to order one for me. I think there is a dealer close to Orange Co. that has the LHT. Again, quite a journey. Would be nice to see them side-by-side.
Pretty common for touring bikes. They can be hard to find. Try REI. Mine has a couple of T800 from last year left.
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Old 07-30-08, 11:15 PM   #10
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Once you've got a list of bikes suitable for your needs, it comes down to fit, price, aesthetics more than anything else. There's a thread on "what's wrong with your touring bike" or something like that - if you list the Touring list by replies you'll find it on the first page.

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Enough praise: criticize current touring models here
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Old 07-31-08, 02:16 AM   #11
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The Surly is heavier from what I've read here. Most run above 30 lbs. My T800 (an '03 version of the T2) runs around 27 lbs with out any particularly lightweight components
Mine is 36lbs with racks, fenders and a the usual accessories (no water bottles), so yeah, it's pretty heavy. The LHT's frameset is quite heavy and so are its tires. But it's a nice stable ride.
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Old 07-31-08, 06:08 AM   #12
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The feedback that I have read on both of these bikes over the years has been positive. Like they said try both and pick the one that feels right.

The only other thing that I would add is that, if you are a Clydesdale (like me) there will definitely be an advantage in the Cannondale. Their jumbo frame is great for a big rider with a heavy touring load.
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Old 07-31-08, 08:16 AM   #13
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The feedback that I have read on both of these bikes over the years has been positive. Like they said try both and pick the one that feels right.

The only other thing that I would add is that, if you are a Clydesdale (like me) there will definitely be an advantage in the Cannondale. Their jumbo frame is great for a big rider with a heavy touring load.
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