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Old 05-23-09, 04:41 PM   #1
Agentbolt
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Well, I finally gave in (2009 Truckachino Long Haul Trucker)

My very first thread here was a post about how I insisted on doing a cross country tour from San Diego to Boston on a Trek 7.5 FX. I got talked into the 7.3 FX because the 7.5 had a carbon fork and therefore no eyelets, but I was still determined to go Trek without spending 1300 bucks on a 520.

Over the months though, I got to try a friend's LHT, and I was also looking at spending about 400 bucks to upgrade the front derailer, handlebars, shifters, and front crank on my Trek. I decided that rather than spend the money kinda-sorta forcing my bike into being something it's not, it was time to bite the bullet and spend the dough on a 2009 LHT.

980 bucks later, and I've got one on order that should be here by Friday. So the question is now, other than throwing a Honey Brooks B17 on there (I'm getting the Truckachino color so I thought Honey would match better on it) is there anything else those of you who've gone with the LHT would swap out or change right away? I'll probably get some Schwalbe Marathon tires for it, and I've already got racks, fenders, and panniers from my Trek to put on it.
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Old 05-23-09, 05:34 PM   #2
J.C. Koto
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Congrats!!

LHTs are very well set-up from the get-go, so you should be fine. Just pedals and the Brooks would be nice (I'm still used to the stock saddle, though, and find it fits me pretty well). I'd personally run the stock tires for a while and see what you think, and at any rate save the cash for those for later (like if you start getting flats). You *might* want to change the handlebars, but that's totally a personal preference. You will need to change the stock brake pads to something better. The Tektro brakes they come with are fine, but the pads royally suck. Actually, I'd change the brake pads before anything else.

The LHT is a great bike for the money! I think you'll love it Don't forget a pump of some kind.

What size didja get?
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Old 05-23-09, 06:19 PM   #3
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58 CM.

I already have a C02 pump, and there's a space underneath my wedge bag for another handle pump just in case. I will make sure to replace those brake pads right away, I hadn't known they were no good. I have a set of Shimano M324 pedals and some MT121 shoes, so I should be good to go in that department as well (haven't used the pedals yet, I'll get fitted on those when they fit me on teh bike itself)

I'll keep the handlebar change in mind, I think they're gonna feel weird at first no matter what just because I've used flat bars my whole bicycling life thus far

I hear nothing but good stuff about the LHT, and it certainly seemed like a decent set of components for the money, so yeah I'm pretty excited about it. My only concern now is that with an LHT and a Brooks saddle, I'm going to look like EVERY other tourer on the Transamerica route. Maybe I can find a funny horn for it or something.
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Old 05-23-09, 10:01 PM   #4
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I've had my LHT for about a year now. I've taken it on a SF to LA Pac Coast tour and rely on it daily as my commuter bike. I love it! Replaced the saddle and pedals right away.

Of all the stock items on my LHT, the Slickasarous tires were the biggest failure. I must have received about a dozen flats in ten months. Hopefully Surly isn't still using the same brand of tires for their stock LHT. But if tires are the only problem on my stock bike, I'm not too bummed.

Hope you enjoy your trucker,
Tom
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Old 05-23-09, 10:54 PM   #5
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I've had my LHT for about a year now. I've taken it on a SF to LA Pac Coast tour and rely on it daily as my commuter bike. I love it! Replaced the saddle and pedals right away.

Of all the stock items on my LHT, the Slickasarous tires were the biggest failure. I must have received about a dozen flats in ten months. Hopefully Surly isn't still using the same brand of tires for their stock LHT. But if tires are the only problem on my stock bike, I'm not too bummed.

Hope you enjoy your trucker,
Tom
The smaller ones use Allterrainasaurus or whatever they're called for 26 inch, the 700 stock tires that came with mine are Conti Travel Contacts.
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Old 05-24-09, 05:53 AM   #6
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I bought my LHT lightly used and I haven't swapped out the stock Conti Contact tires - they are doing fine and I've only gotten one flat from a shard of glass, and that's it. I'll keep em til they wear down enough to need replaced.
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Old 05-24-09, 06:05 AM   #7
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I have had my 42cm LHT for about a month now. It did come with Slickasaurus tires. I have not changed them out yet. So far, no flats. I did change out the seat post to a Salsa Shaft. The one that came with the bike is difficult to adjust especially if you add a Brooks saddle, which I did. Otherwise, on my truckuccino, I added a Surly Nice back rack and fenders. I am going with a black and cream theme so my Brooks saddle is black, but the honey color will look great on that bike.
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Old 05-24-09, 08:12 AM   #8
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Aside from the tires (which I highly recommend you swap out for Schwalbe's) the LHT is well set up- especially when you add the fenders and what not from the Trek. My only suggestion would be to stick with the stock handle bars for a month or two before opting to swap those out. I used to HATE drop bars on all my previous bikes (triathlon racing bikes) and had planned to swap the drops for a trekking bar on the LHT, but after two months of using the drops on my loaded LHT I find them very well suited for touring.
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Old 05-24-09, 10:13 AM   #9
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I put a Nitto 2-bolt seatpost on my LHT, which makes it easier to adjust the tilt of the Brooks. Since you've got racks, panniers, and fenders, I can't think of anything else to add. BTW, if you decide on a full-size frame pump, the 58cm LHT fits an Extra Large Topeak Road Master Blaster. (I first ordered the Large, which was slightly too small to fit.) I swapped out the stem for one that gave me a better fit. Otherwise, the only work I've done on my LHT is adding fenders and a rack. The stock Conti Contact tires seem fine to me.

I am considering changing the cassette. The high gear is ridiculously high for a touring bike--119 gear inches--and 11-tooth cogs are relatively inefficient. The Harris Cyclery Cyclotouriste 14 custom cassette would be a lot more useful, though it ain't cheap.
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Old 05-24-09, 10:21 AM   #10
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I put a Nitto 2-bolt seatpost on my LHT, which makes it easier to adjust the tilt of the Brooks. Since you've got racks, panniers, and fenders, I can't think of anything else to add. BTW, if you decide on a full-size frame pump, the 58cm LHT fits an Extra Large Topeak Road Master Blaster. (I first ordered the Large, which was slightly too small to fit.) I swapped out the stem for one that gave me a better fit. Otherwise, the only work I've done on my LHT is adding fenders and a rack. The stock Conti Contact tires seem fine to me.

I am considering changing the cassette. The high gear is ridiculously high for a touring bike--119 gear inches--and 11-tooth cogs are relatively inefficient. The Harris Cyclery Cyclotouriste 14 custom cassette would be a lot more useful, though it ain't cheap.
I did see it tops out absurdly high, it bottoms out at 21 gear inches though which should be low enough. I have a Topeak Morph I plan to strap to the frame, along with a C02 inflator.

That's two people who've said to change the Seatpost, I guess I should look into that. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 05-24-09, 10:23 AM   #11
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I am considering changing the cassette. The high gear is ridiculously high for a touring bike--119 gear inches--and 11-tooth cogs are relatively inefficient. The Harris Cyclery Cyclotouriste 14 custom cassette would be a lot more useful, though it ain't cheap.
I live in the flatlands of South Florida and put about 350 miles a week commuting on my LHT (I've managed to become mostly "car free" since purchasing my LHT) and was able to pick up a 12-23 SRAM cassette online for $24 (no tax and free shipping). I found the stock cassette too extreme on both ends for mostly flat commuting- although I WILL be putting the original back on whenever I tour anywhere with hills :-).
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Old 05-24-09, 01:22 PM   #12
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Congratulations on the new LHT. I am using Conti Travel Contacts on mine and after 4200 miles they still have plenty of miles left...I highly recommend them.
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Old 05-24-09, 04:14 PM   #13
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The only things that really NEED to be changed out are the saddle, it is an ass-hatchet and the brake pads are garbage. I put a Thomson Elite seatpost for the adjustability. The tires on a 58cm will be the Conti's and they are just fine. They don't need to be replaced until they are worn out.
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Old 05-24-09, 04:21 PM   #14
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I put big apples on mine, gave the allterrainasauruses, unridden, to a friend who uses them on an electric-assist bike (powered front hub). They are bald beyond belief now but still going for her so I am a certain amount of impressed w/ their performance.
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Old 05-24-09, 06:35 PM   #15
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bought my 09 lht last month. 56cm olive. add brooks b-17, topeak rear rack, sks fenders. left everything stock. will replace parts as needed. been on two short overniters fully loaded. using topeak trunk bag and novera panniers. brake pads are ok, they do the job. nothing special. no flats yet on continental tires that came stock. just my .02 cents
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Old 05-24-09, 07:50 PM   #16
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Congratulations on the new LHT. Here's a pic of mine (52cm), new in Feb. I was going to put a Honey B-17 on it but already had a spare black one so I went with that. Like canonsue, I'm going with the tan and black color scheme. I think it looks pretty good.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg The Old Mill - Rogues Hollow '09.jpg (99.6 KB, 136 views)

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Old 05-24-09, 11:54 PM   #17
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I just picked up my Truckachino LHT this week. I added the brooks honey with matching tape and it looks awesome on the bike. The bike-including tires-is pretty fantastic stock but the breaks are the noticeable weak point, less because they are bad in their own right than because they don't seem up to par with everything else on the bike. It is a joy to ride and gobbles up the road.
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Old 05-25-09, 07:43 AM   #18
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Congrats!!

LHTs are very well set-up from the get-go, so you should be fine. Just pedals and the Brooks would be nice (I'm still used to the stock saddle, though, and find it fits me pretty well). I'd personally run the stock tires for a while and see what you think, and at any rate save the cash for those for later (like if you start getting flats). You *might* want to change the handlebars, but that's totally a personal preference. You will need to change the stock brake pads to something better. The Tektro brakes they come with are fine, but the pads royally suck. Actually, I'd change the brake pads before anything else.

The LHT is a great bike for the money! I think you'll love it Don't forget a pump of some kind.

What size didja get?
What's wrong with the pads, and what did you go with?
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Old 05-25-09, 05:13 PM   #19
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Dellphinus,

The stock pads are a very hard, brittle compound that don't have much stopping power, especially when wet. When I first switched them, there was more rim metal embedded in them than I felt comfortable with (but then again, that was the first set of pads those rims ever saw, so I dunno).

I switched out first for some threaded-post Kool-Stop Blacks which I liked a lot, and when those wore out, some threaded Aztec 2's (I think), which are OK. I would have gotten threaded-post Kool-Stop replaceable cartridge pads, but couldn't source them locally, and absolutely needed pads that very day!!

Edited to add: The stock pads were OK until I started riding with a load. That's when they became unusable. *Especially when wet*!!!

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Old 06-26-09, 08:44 PM   #20
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I've joined the LHT cult, too.

Here's an older pic from last month:



I've picked up some Modolo Yuma Traveller bars and am figuring out (or trying to) which Paul's thumbies to buy (road or mtb), and which brake levers to buy....

Fenders have been added, too.

LOVE this bike. Too much fun...
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Old 06-26-09, 09:06 PM   #21
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Yeah, I've been noticing that the pads on mine are hard as bricks like everyone else.

Going down a steep grade without any bags on, I still found it hard to slow down. Grabbing the brakes hard, I swear I was just stretching out the cable more than getting any extra friction. I think my next pay check is going to koolstops and Proofide for my new B-17 black.
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Old 06-26-09, 09:15 PM   #22
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I've joined the LHT cult, too.

LOVE this bike. Too much fun...

The Surly kool-aid tastes pretty good doesn't it?

Love that color, custom I assume?
Stainless steel Bert fenders would look killer on that.

Mike
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Old 06-26-09, 09:29 PM   #23
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"I did see it tops out absurdly high, it bottoms out at 21 gear inches though which should be low enough."

The bottom gear may be the only one that is in the right place, getting nice spacing is the problem. I would probably opt for the 55 buck SB cassette in 8 speed anyway. Not worth making the change though until you feel you need it.

If you break it down, the Surly LHT is just a relatively cheap chromo frame with a great name. and a good design for touring. That is enough for most who fit off the rack, good choice. It doesn't change every single other part standing on it's own. It's an LHT, that does nothing to alter bad gear ratios, indiferent braking, poor tires etc...

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Old 06-27-09, 12:30 AM   #24
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That bike looks REALLY sharp, dwnptrl! God I wish Surly hadn't insisted on the two ugliest colors possible for this year's models
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Old 06-27-09, 03:28 AM   #25
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I've joined the LHT cult, too.

Here's an older pic from last month:



I've picked up some Modolo Yuma Traveller bars and am figuring out (or trying to) which Paul's thumbies to buy (road or mtb), and which brake levers to buy....

Fenders have been added, too.

LOVE this bike. Too much fun...
That looks awesome. How did you find debadging the frame
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