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  1. #1
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    Email to SURLY over LHT 50CM or 52CM sizing

    Hello folks,

    I'm still having loads of difficulty deciding between the SURLY LHT 50CM and the 52CM bike.

    I've finally sent an email to SURLY to see what the source says.

    I thought that I would re-post it here in hope of getting some other recommendations.

    Some of the information here appears in previous posts but I think I've now been able to distill my sizing problems in a more coherent way.

    I hope those that read it will be tolerant of its length and constructive in any comments.

    Thanks very much in advance.

    _________________________________________

    Dear Surly,

    My name is Joe

    I am an ex-pat living in Taichung City, Taiwan.

    As of this year, SURLY LHT complete bikes are being made available here in Taiwan via special order.

    This is great because there is already a lot of interest in SURLY bikes from the foreigner community here and growing interest from Taiwanese cyclists as well.

    I myself am interested in purchasing a LHT and a local bike shop, who has purchased a 50CM LHT as a demo model, has generously been letting me test it out for several weeks.

    I absolutely want to buy a LHT but I am worried about the frame sizing issue.

    I have been to several local bike shops and spoken to dozens of Taiwanese riders. I have been involved in numerous discussions on the SURLY LHT / Cross-Check Google Forum and similar discussions on www.bikeforums.net.

    Because I do not have a 52CM LHT to test - or even to see - here in Taiwan, it has been very difficult to make my decision.

    I was hoping you could provide some much needed advice.

    My measurements are the following:

    Height: 170 - 170.5 CM
    Weight: 80KG
    Sternum Notch: 138.5
    PBH: 78 - 79.5
    Shoulder Width - 42
    Recommended Saddle Height: 68.5 - 70CM
    Shoe Size: 8 - 8.5 US

    My experience testing the 50CM LHT is fairly extensive so I will hope you will bare with me.

    I began testing the LHT with all stock parts.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/64532733@N00/3503293554/

    It turns out that the stem length was too short and the bar-end shifters were hitting me in the knees.

    The LBS then changed to a much longer 11-12 CM adjustable stem so that I could test out various handle-bar positions.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/64532733@N00/3518586726/

    This was much more comfortable but after speaking with many different people, the idea of having an 11-12inch stem on a touring bike would be problematic. Although it makes the steering very stable, if I were to add a loaded handle-bar bag, it would made the steering dangerously slow and cumbersome while touring.

    While using this 11-12CM stem, the stock seat was also pushed back quite far. Almost as far back on the rails as it can go.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/64532733@N00/3518577960/

    Despite the length of the stem, this was a relatively comfortable riding position for me. I felt as if I was sitting well over the bottom bracket and the balls of my feel were in the correct position on the peddles. I felt slightly stretched out but my neck, back and wrists were comfortable.

    After realizing that the stem is too long however, I have had the LBS put on a shorter 9CM adjustable stem on the bike. I have also purchased a Brooks B-17 saddle and installed it on the bike because this is the seat I will end up using with whatever LHT I purchase so I thought it would be a good idea to attempt to dial this bike in while using it.

    Unfortunately, because the B17 has relatively short rails, the seat is currently back as far as it can go. We have also had to install a set-back seat post to try and attempt to re-create the same comfortable riding position I had with the 11-12CM stem and the set-back stock seat.

    With the new 9CM stem / B17 set up, the cockpit of the bike seems slightly too short.

    It also bothers me that I've had to set the saddle as far back as it can go and had to add a set-back seat post which makes me feel as if I am not sitting properly over-top of the bottom bracket as might be recommended.

    There is no question that I want to buy the LHT.

    I find it a stable and fun bike to ride.

    I really do need some recommendations about whether or not I should buy the 50CM LHT or try to move up to a 52CM LHT.

    I have tried to test the imaginary stand over height of what the 52CM might feel like by putting 2CM thick books under each tire.

    Under these circumstances, and with wearing shoes, the simulated 52CM top-tube would be pressing against my crotch but not my pubic bone.

    On the 50CM LHT, I have about 2-3CM of clearance with my shoes on.

    On the LHT spread-sheet available at:

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?k...s0XLxM31WpvkCw

    It seems that my measurements put me on the borderline between those who are riding a 50CM frame and those who are riding a 52CM frame.

    My problem is that I believe that my torso is long compared to the length of my legs.

    I think that this is visible when you see me standing beside the 50cm LHT:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/64532733@N00/3502504675/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/64532733@N00/3502501827/

    In this sense, I'm pretty sure that the 50CM LHT frame is perfect for the length of my legs. I have about a fist-full of seat post available when my seat post height is set properly. (I have small fists)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/64532733@N00/3518579074/

    However, I think that it is too short for my longish torso.

    That is my story.

    I hope you will have the time to respond to my email and help me to make my decision between the 50CM LHT complete or the 52CM LHT complete.

    Thanks very much in advance for your help.

    Best,


    Joe

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Joe -
    Just wondering, but since you're in Taiwan don't you have access there to all sorts of great frames and framemakers? Perhaps you could just have something built to your actual spec, rather than trying to make the LHT fit you?

    Best -
    Rich
    Rich-
    1998 Guerciotti Genius, 1992 Cannondale Delta V 1000, 1990 Cannondale SR500, 1989 Bruce Gordon Hikari, 1984 Trek 620, 1983 Muddy Fox Monarch, 1970-something Andre Bertin, 1960 Rudge Sports

  3. #3
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    Thats a good point.

    While it is true that there are lots of excellent frames made in Taiwan, not so many of them are made available domestically.

    This is largely because of the fact that the Taiwanese domestic market hasn't caught on to steel frames.

    For example, I've heard that the Thorn Sherpa: http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/sherpa.html is made here in Taiwan but it is just not being made available domestically.

    SURLY and SALSA complete bikes are only, in the last few months, being made available by special order through the exporters. This means that they are able to special order bikes for the Taiwanese market, only after a batch as been made and is ready to be shipped to the USA.

    The SURLY LHT is now available as a complete bike and it seems to fit the bill.

    That is why I've been so keen.


    Cheers

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Ah, that makes perfect sense. For Export Only syndrome!

    In any event, the LHT complete is a good deal, and I hope they respond to you with the info you're looking for.

    Be Seeing You -
    Rich
    Rich-
    1998 Guerciotti Genius, 1992 Cannondale Delta V 1000, 1990 Cannondale SR500, 1989 Bruce Gordon Hikari, 1984 Trek 620, 1983 Muddy Fox Monarch, 1970-something Andre Bertin, 1960 Rudge Sports

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hasek's Avatar
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    Holy crap Joe, 65+ messages on the Google email list since February and you still haven't decided? You know what friend, no one will be able to tell you which size will make you happy if you are in between the two. See what Surly says and then choose one based on their help.

  6. #6
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    the 52 gives you 1 cm greater reach than the 50 cm while reducing your standover clearance 2 cm

    you only have a 2-3 cm standover clearance on the 50 cm with the stock 26x1.5" tires - if you mounted 2" tires you'd have only 1-2 cm - this means 2" tires on a 52 cm would make it just a little too tall, although you do tilt sideways naturally at stops to alleviate this problem.

    sounds like you're gonna need a 120mm stem on the 50, or a 110mm on the 52 - no big difference IMO

    i say go with the 50, at least you got some standover, and 2" tires are still an option

    better yet, get a custom frame built to your specifications

  7. #7
    Senior Member gregstandt's Avatar
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    I want your bike shop!
    Relax, it's a bike ride.

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